African Travel Inc

Nov 9th, 2007, 03:05 AM
  #1  
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African Travel Inc

Has anyone had African Travel Inc. plan a trip or used one of the pre planned group destinations.
yellowpellican is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 06:13 AM
  #2  
 
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Alan Fox of vacationstogo dot com did a series of articles and posted pictures of his South Africa safari with African Travel. You can go to the Web site's Africa section and possibly see some of this now. His custom trip is listed as one of the AT offerings.

His was much more adventurous than most standard tours (see canoeing and helicoptering below):

Canoeing: "but the canoe trip through the crocodile- and hippo-filled waters of the Zambezi was arranged separately and is only for the physically fit and adventurous. This is not a good place to learn how to canoe, it is not suited for children or the elderly, and perhaps it is not even suited for people in their right minds. I'll leave that to you to decide."

and "The first rapids were exciting but manageable, as were the second and third, but there was something unusual about the way the forks came together at the downstream ends of islands. The currents seemed to collide more than merge, with some forks apparently deeper than others, and some currents actually appearing to run upstream.

I had just noticed this phenomenon when suddenly the front of our canoe spun 90 degrees from its downstream orientation, turning us broadside in the rapids. We paddled furiously, managing to right the canoe against the pressures that wanted to spin us around, but we were caught in an area of churning water and all forward progress had ceased.

"Paddle as hard as you can," I called out to my wife in the front, "we're stuck." We pounded the water with all our might, marking our movement against a spot on the shore. As we pulled on our paddles we'd move forward a foot or two, and while they were out of the water between thrusts, we'd drop back again.

After several long minutes, we covered the 20 yards to the edge of the whirlpool and escaped its grasp, but our relief was shortlived. Up ahead, we could see that one of our canoes had lost its stern paddler. Someone in our party had been bounced from his boat and was swimming with the crocodiles!

We spotted a bobbing head being swept downstream, swimming frantically toward the lead canoe. The guide quickly hoisted him out of the water...intact."

Helicopter ride: "The helicopter held four passengers, one beside the pilot and three in the row behind. We had drawn straws for seating assignments before we left camp, winner to sit by the pilot in the front row, loser in the middle of the back row and the other two getting back-row window seats.

I had drawn a window seat, but now on the scene I realized that there were no window seats in the back row because there were no windows--or doors--in the back row. Only the cockpit had doors.

We climbed in and fastened our seatbelts, and as the pilot came around to check mine, he shouted over the roar of the rotors, "It's okay to ride with your foot on the skid."

I was still wondering if I would even be able to ride without doors, so this new mental picture took me aback. I turned to my son (secure in the middle seat) with the raised-eyebrows sign we always use when one of us has just realized what he's gotten himself into, and he smiled back without so much as a trace of pity.

Carefully, I slid partially off my seat, slipped my right leg out of the chopper and lowered a foot down to a runner that was about halfway to the ground. I held my camera with both hands, but as we lifted off I noticed that my seatbelt suddenly seemed quite flimsy, so I gripped the back of the pilot's chair with my left hand, white-knuckle style.

Our pilot was an intrepid young Kiwi named Trent, and with a bit of flair he followed the short runway to the end, like a bush plane taking off, then banked into a rising 180-degree turn to take us over our tented camp before sweeping out into the Okavango Delta."



patlanta is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 06:33 AM
  #3  
 
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I leave November 24 for a trip to South Africa and Vic Falls planned by African Travel. I will let you know when I get back how it goes. I will say so far they have been great to deal with. Very quick to get back to me and answer all my questions.
aowens is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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We are not going to canoe!!. I think life will be complete without swimming with the crocks. I was looking for imput on the reliability of the company and the quality of services they claim to offer. Thanks for your comments.
yellowpellican is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 06:45 AM
  #5  
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aowens...Have a wonderful journey. Did you book them on a recommendateion.?
yellowpellican is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 07:02 AM
  #6  
 
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Yes - they were recommended, and I met the sales rep in Atlanta and was very impressed with her. I went with Micato last year and loved it, but this is a 10 day trip that I had them customize for my mom. She has been to Africa something like 15 times, but has never been to Victoria Falls. She also wanted to go to Mala Mala. She offered to pay if I would put it together and go with her!! So the whole trip was put together around those two things and Mom doesn't like to be gone from Dad for too long (now that he does not travel anymore). I am so far very impressed with them and will follow up when I return.
aowens is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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yellowpellican - African Travel did a fantastic job with our trip. Everything was smooth and as promised and I am ready to go back!!! We were taken care of at every step and their people could not have been better or more helpful!!
aowens is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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aowens-I've just started looking at Africa as a possible destination. Since you've now been 2 x, could you give me an idea of what you would recommend for a 14 day trip? (Husband's vacation is limited to that amount of time) Good/bad of Micato v African Travel? Thanks
patandhank is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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Wow - that is a long discussion. There are MANY people on this board that have MUCH more Africa experience than I do, but I will give you some food for thought. Do you want a group tour or do you want to customize your trip for just you and hubby? Do you know if you want to do East Africa vs South Africa? Do you want to include some beach time? Do you want time in cities and wine country or do you want to concentrate on game viewing? Do you want game drives or are you interested in canoe trips? Do you have a particular time of year you must go? Do you think this is a once in a lifetime trip or do you think you are just scratching the surface of Africa (no matter what you think, you will definitely want to go back so you might as well go ahead and accept that). This is just the beginning of the thought process and I am happy to help if possible as I know many others here will be happy to put in their two cents worth.
aowens is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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Another thing to consider is off-rosding. Some places allow it and others don't. This can be huge in that if the game isn't near the road and you can't leave the road, it can certainly effect your trip!!!
aowens is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 02:03 PM
  #11  
 
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aowens - You're right, I probably shouldn't have been so broad in my question because what I was really looking for was your comparison of the two companies you have used and, now that you've been, the pros and cons of the trips you've taken. That type of info is helpful I think in formulating ideas for a trip. Thanks
patandhank is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 05:24 AM
  #12  
 
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I think both companies did a fantastic job. I would recommend either of them, but for different things. I think Micato is great for a group trip, because they keep their groups small and take very good care of their clients and African Travel does a very good job of customizing a trip for 2 or 4 or whatever. I can't think of any cons to either of these companies - just two different types of trips. For my first trip I wasn't comfortable planning it on my own. (I hadn't discovered this forum yet) After going once and lots of reading trip reports etc. I knew what I wanted to do for my second trip, so I put it together. In the future, I think I would be more inclined to create my own itinerary vs. go with a group. Hope that helps a little.
aowens is offline  

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