Do you know this tour company?

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Feb 5th, 2005, 04:51 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Do you know this tour company?

We are planning a trip to SA, Botswana and have been working with a US company named Africa Safaris located in La Jolla,CA. I have check with BBB but can't find out much about them. Do you know anything or have suggestions on how I might check them out?

Thanks
whatmough is offline  
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Feb 5th, 2005, 07:53 PM
  #2
 
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whatmough,

Is this the company to which you are referring?

http://www.africasafarisllc.com/

While they have a beautiful website, I would be leery of any company that does not focus on either Eastern Africa or Southern Africa.

The reason for my uneasiness with such a company is I would believe that they are just subcontracting everything out to local operators that you should be dealing with direct, and, in turn, adding a substantial markup to the price.

Just to be safe, I would definitely check their price against a local South African tour operator once your itinerary is known. I have had been fortunate enough to find a very good South African agent for my 19 night Zambian/South African safari in TAGA Safaris:

www.tagasafaris.co.za

I am native to Los Angeles and the last tour operator that I dealt with was African Travel Inc. out of Glendale, CA (in Los Angeles County). This was for my 2003 safari but I was not at all happy with their service and it prompted me to act on my own behalf for my Zambian safari last year. I can tell you, it is more trouble than it is worth to try to deal directly with the lodges and that is why I am glad I found a quality local South African operator in TAGA Safaris. It is companies like TAGA that some American companies will call anyhow, only to put their markup on it.

I can tell you, it is very difficult being on the the other side of the world and trying to deal with African lodges. It sometimes takes a 2-3 day turnaround for each communication, while a South African agent is much more likely to just pick up the phone and personally speak to the right person with the answers.

So, get your pricing, but before you are ready to commit yourself with a deposit, give a local South African company like TAGA Safaris an opportunity to better the pricing and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
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