Fantastic Tour Operator/Booking Agent

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Jul 4th, 2011, 04:51 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Fantastic Tour Operator/Booking Agent

While I never post on Fodor's (just Trip Advisor) I have always gotten sound advise from this board and wanted to pass along my travel experience. I will post my trip report on both boards within the next week or two.

We have been home for less than 24 hours and I feel compelled to plug my booking agent, Erica at http://www.safarispecialists.net/ or her email address is [email protected].

From the first contact, to the actual trip taking place was almost a year in length and never once did she grow tired of answering my questions or tweaking the itinerary as I changed my mind along the way. Her advice was always spot on and up to date with several fantastic recommendations.

At the time of final payment, my bank made an error in the transferring of the money. The only fix was to have the receiving bank in Botswana send the money (a very large sum) back. Even though she didn't need to, Erica contacted her bank making sure the reversal request went through so the error could be corrected. Without her help there is no way this would have gotten done.

Leading up to the trip, I had received specific guide and tent recommendations from a few online experts for the camps I was staying at (all Kwando-Little Kwara, Lebala Lagoon). Erica was able to secure all of my requests insuring we had the very best guides and tents with the best views. In addition to this, she also informed the camps it was our 10th anniversary. Lebala surprised us with a bottle of champagne and Lagoon fixed us a lavish private dinner for two in our room with wine, champagne and a bubble bath which my wife loved.

When we departed Maun to head off to our camps and returned, Erica was waiting at the airport to insure all of the arrangements were correct and we got on the right planes. On return, she was very interested to hear how our trip went and was interested in hearing any feedback we may have. How many agents actually meet you in person at the airport? It was great putting a face to the name.

Being a local in Maun, personally knowing the staff at the safari companies and transfer agencies, insures her customers are given the best treatment. While our trip was flawless from start to finish, it was comforting knowing our booking agent/tour operator was on the ground in Maun, Botswana ready to help if anything went wrong.

If all of this wasn't enough, she is also very competitively priced to give you great value. She can tailor make any type of trip you desire. Luxury, budget, mobile, you name it she can do it.

I would give Erica an A++ rating and will definitely be using her again. Feel free to send me a PM if you have any specific questions.

Trip report and camp reviews to follow in the next week or two. I will say however, it was a fantastic trip.
NorCalTravelpair is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2011, 11:10 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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I just took a look at their website and saw all the prices were still 2010.

People would probably need to contact them directly for accurate quotes.
OregonMaiden is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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This is a tout.
Cateyes555 is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Self advertising.
jacketwatch is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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I agree that the company's website should be updated. However, this isn't a tout or self-advertising. I checked out Trip Advisor and found this poster has been on TA since 2008 and has posted about other places such as Fiji and Italy. NorCalTravelpair, I'm looking forward to your trip report! You'll have to excuse some folks' suspicions, as there have been cases of first-time posters gushing about a company and they were, indeed, just touting their own firms.
ShayTay is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2011, 04:54 PM
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Some instances of really going above and beyond. Looking forward to your report.
atravelynn is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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Perhaps I spoke too soon. I also checked TA and yes there are tons of posts there by the OP. It does seem somewhat typical that 1st time poster who is a self advertiser puts in a plug for their website. It happens here a lot but in this case it looks OK. My apologies. Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2011, 06:42 AM
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Good grief, I was just trying to pass a recommendation on for a company that provided excellent service. Yes, I primarily use Tripadvisor but I have always watched the Fodors forums but posted a few times a while back. I did just find my original account, mason1201 so I will now use this so I have some history. I thought this would be a good way to give something back and help others find a reputable company that does a super job.

Regardless, yes I am still working through a 1000+ pictures so I am still a week away before I post my report. Stay tuned.
mason1201 is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2011, 07:43 AM
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Do try to understand why. As you are new here you haven't seen the many,many folks who are "one hit wonders", that is they are 1st (and usually last) time posters who sign on not to discuss travel but for basically free air time. It happens a lot.
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Jul 7th, 2011, 03:29 PM
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mason, I am glad you reposted and will check out your recommendation. I look forward to your trip report and have to admit I was also a bit dubious about your posting when you appeared to be a first timer. I am glad you had such a great trip can't wait to learn more about it.
KTtravel is online now  
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Jul 7th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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Me too. We are planning a trip to So. Africa next yr.
jacketwatch is offline  
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Jan 7th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Thanks for the recommendation. I've been overwhelmed trying to find a reasonably priced family safari in Botswana and Safari Specialists had several. The lodges/camps they use all have great reviews. I just sent an e-mail to Erica. We would love to see your pictures!
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