Booking our Safari

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Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:06 PM
  #1
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Booking our Safari

Planning a safari to Kenya and Tanzania. We have a group of 6people. Many in our group do not feel comfortable with the idea of wire transfers. Does anyone have recommendations for companies that accept credit cards?
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:58 PM
  #2
 
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Hello,

CCAfrica (www.ccafrica.com) accepts credit cards and runs several great camps in Kenya (Kichwa Tembo) and Tanzania (Klein's, Grumeti, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge). CCA can also book other camps for you. I have booked several safaris with them and have always used a credit card to pay.

Africa Serendipity is based in the US. I believe that some wire transfers may be involved, but if you book through them you would have the advantage of booking with a fully bonded US company. Africa Serendipity's prices are very competitive as well.

In general, you won't be able to book direct with a local company unless you use wire transfers. Booking with a local company is less expensive, but the peace of mind you obtain from being able to use your credit cards may be worth the additional money.

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 02:23 PM
  #3
bat
 
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Are you in the U.S.?--most, if not all U.S. tour operators will take them.

In the U.S. Julian alrready mentioned sandi's Africa Serendipity. I am aware of: Africa Adventure, Deeper Africa, Africa Dream Safari--all U.S. based and take credit cards.

U.K--ATR takes credit cards (but if you are in the U.S. many U. S. based credit cards will charge you extra because the charge is converted into pounds).
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 04:25 PM
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Let's Go Travel allow payment by credit card, if my memory is not playing tricks..and others too. You have to return a form with your details notifying the local Visa/ Mastercard people that you have agreed to release X amount of funds and for what. It's not exactly security heaven. If you do want to save the money I would pay everything on one card for which the limit was close to the total you were willingly paying, and then cancel the card once payment has been received.

If your concern is more about getting your money back in case of a cancellation, well in theory anyone who is a member of KATA should give you a refund in terms with their standard conditions. In practice, I do not know .... but in over a year of reading every board I can about Kenya I have heard of surprisingly few problems. Another thing is that if you shop around, some outfitters will accept a relatively small deposit if you are a private group (I paid 25% and the rest in Nairobi). I imagine a lot of operators are going to do you for 25% or so if you cancel anyway.

If you want real security then I am sure Julian is right that you will have to pay for it. There is nothing wrong per se with wire transfers - it is surely your recourse under law which is the issue? As far as I could see when I was planning, if you pay the deposit by credit card they can take what you authorise and say thank you very much just as well as they can with a wire transfer. The "bonded" bit Julian talks about is the imprtant bit if you are worried... no?

Personally I wire transferred the money and will do so again.
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 05:10 PM
  #5
 
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Africa Dream Safaris only takes credit cards for the deposit. The full payment must be made via wire transfer.

ATR allows you to pay for the whole thing via credit card, and they even take American Express.

If you're booking a safari for 6 people, that's an awful lot of points for an affinity credit card.
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 05:22 PM
  #6
bat
 
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lifelist: Thanks for correcting my misinformation about Africa Dream Safari. I almost booked with them and thought credit cards were OK beyond the deposit.
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:42 PM
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Paying with a credit card doesn't rule out booking with local in country tour operators. Many will accept them though most that do will add a surcharge for doing so. Also as kimburu mentioned, it's sometimes possible to pay only a deposit and the balance upon arrival.

For our first Kenyan safari, we paid a 25% deposit in advance by credit card (actually it was less than 25% as I added 2 extra nights to our itinerary but my tour operator didn't require any additional deposit) and the balance in travelers check upon arrival. The operator I used was Eastern & Southern Safaris in Nairobi.
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 10:24 PM
  #8
 
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Bat - no problem. I was seriously considering Africa Dream Safaris myself. It was in the course of my discussions with them that I discovered that they only take credit cards for the deposit.
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