Africa Adventure company

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May 6th, 2005, 01:33 PM
  #1
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Africa Adventure company

Has anyone used or know anything about
http://www.africa-adventure.com/
tulip44 is offline  
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May 6th, 2005, 03:03 PM
  #2
 
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i used them for my trip to zim/botswana in january. they are very reputable and i had no problems.
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May 6th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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Here is a link of a previous postitive post about Africa Adventure

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4

It was under the thread "Central Kalahari in July"

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May 6th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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We didn't end up using them for our trip, but they were very helpful and came highly recommended from a family who had used them a couple of times. The only reason that we didn't go with them is that we managed to get exactly the itinerary we wanted for a better price with go2africa.com. They have some great books and other resources on their website that I used in planning our trip.
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May 6th, 2005, 08:32 PM
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We used them last year. Great trip. Would use them again.
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May 7th, 2005, 05:43 AM
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sandi
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Yes, Africa Adventure has a good reputation, especially with Mark Knowlton's book which seems to be an entry into his company.

I do recall a thread last year from a women who had problems with them - their attitude! They knew best and didn't seem responsive to her requests for certain properties. I believe she eventually went with another outfitter and was to post the specifics after her trip... I don't believe she did.

Back many years ago, when planning my very first safari, Africa Adventure was one of the companies I contacted. While their itineraries were good, when I asked about making changes and selecting different properties - that "attitude" shown thru - they knew best. And the prices they offered for a Seychelles extension was much more expensive then the company I finally booked with.

At the same time, I have friends who have booked two of their safaris with Africa Adventure with satisfactory resuls; thereafter, they went with in-country outfitters for the better prices.

So, it's a toss-up!
 
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May 7th, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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We are using Africa Adventure Company for our upcoming honeymoon (Depart June 5). They had the best price with full service that we could find. I know I probably could have gotten a better price by going with a SA operator but being my first trip I wanted to be able to work with someone local. I will let you know how everything goes, but we have been impressed so far.

Piperpilot
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May 7th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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I have to agree with you to a certain extent, sandi. I had a particular itinerary in mind (places, not necesarily camps or hotels). They knew I was in touch with other travel operators and said to feel free to ask them about any of the itineraries or properties being suggested so that I would be sure to get exactly what I wanted. When I did just that, the person I was talking to said that he didn't know anything about the properties that had been suggested and implied that he only knew the best ones so I would be taking a risk booking with anyone else. Then he tried to convince me that the only way to keep my trip within the budget I had set was to skip Botswana and instead so an itinerary that included a walking safari in Zimbabwe. My parents who are traveling with us are in their 70's! Anyway, just be careful that they are not talking you into something you don't really want. When I suggested a property in Cape Town in the waterfront area rather than a guest house further out, our contact at go2africa gladly reworked our itinerary. The other company I had dealt with was African Portfolio. they were pretty responsive and willing to work out our perfect itinerary, but they came in about $1000 more than go2africa for a trip that was one day shorter. We leave on June 17th and I will definitely post our trip report in July when we get back.
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May 7th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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sandi & jcasale,
While I have no experience with Africa Adventure, I've had similar experiences with other US based agents. In general, I think there's more of a belief or confidence that they know best. I hesitate to use the word 'attitude' and I don't necessarily think they realize that they're coming across this way. Perhaps it's a cultural thing.

I had one agent try to talk me out of a particular camp that I was interested in because he believed it was way above my budget (turned out it wasn't) and another agent who when I mentioned my itinerary ideas, just said "WHY would you want to do that?". He ultimately did provide me with a quote for what I wanted, but it was the way he posed the question, like I was crazy for considering it or something. Those remarks didn't dissuade me from pursuing my ideas but rather made me reconsider working with either of them.

On the other hand, I think it may actually be helpful to some travelers who are looking for more direction from their agent.

Many here obviously relish the research process and like to get multiple opinions from various sources, and then form clear ideas of exactly what we want. I think in that case we may be better off with in country operators. But not everyone likes or has the time to go through this process. Different agents fill different niches and what works best for one person may not work best for another.

Does that count as philosophy 102?
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May 7th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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I am now ready for the graduate level travel philosophy courses.

I found the comments on Africa Adventure steering clients to or away from options interesting because I have not had that experience. In fact I've made some rather unusual requests that have been accommodated without question. I tell them what I want to do and they arrange it, then we adjust things according to my wishes and budget.

Things like:

-an excessive 8 gorilla permits in two countries in 9 days

-day long chimp habituation walks rather than the normal couple of hours

-staying 6-8 consecutitve nights in one camp on several occasions

-staying at different camps in the same park, not just in the Serengeti, where this is more common

-extra boat trips at different times of the day down the Kazinga Channel

-being the first client sent to Kutandala (despite their relationship with the managers of another N. Luangwa camp, there was not a question)

(Not that other agents can't do this too, but did want to give Africa Adventure credit for doing this for me.)

There was one instance of their adamant input when I was contemplating an alteration to my Zambia itinerary by dropping Old Mondoro. Alison Nolting (co-owner) told me, "You can't cut this. You just have to include Old Mondoro." Of course I could do whatever I wanted and didn't have to take her advice, but I followed her urgent pleas and included it. It remains a highlight of my Africa travels.

Also on my first Zambia trip many years ago, Africa Adventure booked Tafika in South Luangwa. I knew Robin Pope camps, but was not as familiar with Tafika. I trusted their advice and had a fabulous stay. On another Zambia trip, I specifically requested two Pope camps and Africa Adventure booked them without question. I had some lucky wildlife sightings and enjoyed myself (definitely a postive experience), but believe they were right to have steered me and other clients toward Tafika.

As for prices, I check around both in the US and a couple of African agents, but have almost always ended up with Africa Adventure based on cost. They have been very helpful keeping single supplements to a miniumum for me, which may not be an issue for everyone. More than once, they also have found me a vehicle full of safari-mates who were willing to join me on my custom (and somewhat unusual) itinerary, so that costs were shared, and we all had a great time.

I have traveled to Africa with other operators and have had good service and no problems. So the good news is there are many options out there to get you to Africa.
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May 7th, 2005, 01:47 PM
  #11
sandi
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atravelynn - The original poster asked for information of those who have used or knew anything about Africa Adventure... which I believe is reflected in the answers.

As many responses have been both positive and negative. Anyone can have a bad day and not be attentive to client's needs... that's fine, but that's what prospective client's are left with and base their decisions. On the good days - all goes well.

Patty - what is the remaining schedule for your Continuing Education courses? LOL
 
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May 7th, 2005, 02:20 PM
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To me that's what makes it difficult to recommend a particular operator when someone asks for general advice - there are many good options out there and as atravelynn pointed out 2 people can have different experiences in their communications with the same operator.

Some agents may seem 'pushy' because they're truly passionate about what they do, similar to many of us giving advice. We all do it because we have a passion for travel and may come across as opinionated at one time or another (oh wait we ARE opinionated ). But it's just our point of view and no one should take any of us (most especially me) too seriously. It's a balancing act trying to absorb all these differing opinions while at the same time not allowing any one to dissuade from something you really want to do.

Off to finish my dissertation...
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