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Good Earth versus African Dream Safaris... I know, hard to compare...

Good Earth versus African Dream Safaris... I know, hard to compare...

Jun 17th, 2010, 06:20 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 38
Good Earth versus African Dream Safaris... I know, hard to compare...

Here's the deal... I was booked for an independent ADS safari with a friend who had to back out last minute... ADS does not do tours and with their single supplement the same trip would have cost me triple was a group GE safari with virtually the same itinerary would cost. So far the trip has two other people on it.

Meanwhile, having worked with ADS for awhile who proactively is very hand holding, takes care of visas, etc.... , I am finding the GE guy pretty bare bones... with a lack of hand holding. For a first time safari-er going by myself, I am slightly alarmed and need someone to make me feel better before I book this. I am hesitating I think more because of the difference... I am worried that I will forget something that the ADS people would have told me... that GE will not. Not sure that justifies so much more money. Advice? Good Earth really gets good reviews on this site.... which is the reason I called them to begin with. Plus, I like their itinerary which is very close to the one I already had planned.

Someone please tell me I'll be fine with Good Earth?

Thanks. Nervous Nellie.
mkude is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 07:24 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
So finances have played a big role.

The hand holding and taking care of visas are some of the services provided by ADS that account for the difference in costs.

One nice thing about forums like these is that you can receive electronic hand holding for free.

I cannot tell you from experience that you'll be fine with GE since I never went with them, but from what I know, I would not hesitate to book them. Ask for references and check those out. You can also ask for the contact info for the others going on your trip. The other participants may or may not be willing to give that out. When I'm part of a group I always state that I'm happy to visit with prospective group members pre-trip.

I'm not trying to take business away from anyone, but you want to feel comfortable all the way through. If you're not getting that feel from one company, there are others & here are just a few:

The Africa Adventure Company in Ft. Lauderdale
Africa Serendipity in NYC
Eastern & Southern in Kenya
Kiliwarriors in Tanzania and Virginia
Go2Africa in South Africa
2Afrika in NYC
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 08:16 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 118
Mkude -

Search on my Login (Otis72) and read my trip reports for safaris with Good Earth in Jan 2007 and August 2008. You'll get a feel for our experience with GET and information on preparations, particularly in the first posting. We are returning for third safari (TZ Northern Circuit) in February 2011 with Good Earth, once again with our friend Abdi Saidi as Driver/Guide.

Jim.
Otis72 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 09:13 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Mkude, fifteen minutes into your first safari outing, you'll look back and laugh at all of consternation. Just don't do it so loudly that you scare the animals or make the mother and son team think they've booked with a crazy woman.
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 10:10 AM
  #5  
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Posts: 38
You are so right. Okay, I feel reassured and am going for it. Thanks guys!
mkude is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 10:52 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 20
mkude
We went with Good Earth last August on our first safari and we didn't encounter a single glitch. We booked their Classic Safari with some changes in lodgings plus an extra day, and though I had a lot of questions while planning the trip, Narry (in Tampa) always replied to my emails within a day. I'm sure I pestered him no end so he ended up doing a lot of "hand holding" in my case. Poor guy! It was only the two of us on safari, my 26 year old daughter and me & our guide Raphael was fantastic, flexible & hardworking, always willing to begin game drives earlier and stay out until dusk, it was up to us. I'm planning to go back to Tanzania in the summer of 2011 with a volunteer group and hope to book a short safari with Good Earth after the project is over.
Here are some pics from our African adventure.
http://vaz.smugmug.com/
roissy17 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 04:15 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 266
ADS is costly....ouch, I had received quotes from them for a private safari and they were priceyyyyy.

Getting a visa upon arrival is no big deal...there's a hole in the wall where you submit a form and money..that's it.

Try some in-country operators if you can, you can shave off $1000-$2000 over these places just by doing that.
TigerPhotog is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 11:17 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 642
mkdude,

I have travelled with GE twice now in East Africa and thoroughly recommend them. I've found Narry to be helpful and prompt with emails, accommodation and meals were good and the guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. I'd recommend requesting Raphael if you do end up booking with GE.

I will be contacting them again regarding planned trips in 2011 and 2013.

Regards,

Pol

A search on my name will find the earlier trip reports from 2005 and 2008.
Treepol is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 02:27 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 247
You won't be sorry with GET - I had a wonderful safari with them (it was private, but I'm sure their group tours are the same). It was my first safari and after an initial "glitch" with my transfer once landing in Tanzania, everything was great. You won't have transfer issues if you're with a group. And visas aren't a problem - there are two lines when you land and you just stand in the one that is for people without visas (and make sure you have your US$$ with you for the visa fee). I found GET to be very conscientious and professional and they do go out of their way to make you feel at home in their country.
CarrieT is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 05:45 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 4
I traveled with African Dream Safari two years ago and yes it was a lot of money but worth every penny. Our guide took us to places where we never saw another 4x4 all day. He was so caring and knew so much we were sorry to leave him. I would travel with them again. I just sent them an e-mail to see if they could help us with a lodge before and after a Kili climb I am doing in November.
Good Luck with what ever you decide
nealie is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 07:28 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Nealie, did ever comment on your trip when you got back? It appears this is your first post under this name.
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 08:24 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 4
No, I never did comment before. I am totally new to the computer , but doing ok. Now that I know what I'm doing I started to look around and was trying to get in touch with 2 young gentlemen I met in the airport in Egypt in april. They had just finished a Kilimanjaro climb and now that I'm going I wanted to get in touch, or anyone else who has done the climb. These guys' were from upstate New York and one had done an Iron man event.
nealie is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 08:53 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 266
Sounds like nealie is promoting ADS.,.haha. I've seen such posts before .

mkude, there's a lot of $ to be saved...if you know who to approach. Take your time....
TigerPhotog is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 10:47 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 4
sorry, new to this and was just trying to help and also relate about my safari. We were not new to travel and still I was impressed. I don't know what you mean you have seen my post before
nealie is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 11:33 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
First off, it's great you enjoyed your Africa trip and have a Kili climb on the horizon as well. Good luck finding your airport pals that have made the climb.* Fortunately I do not think it is necessary to be in Iron Man shape to climb Kili. Not that you are not in Iron Man shape...

As to how I know this is your first post, if you click on your name, it shows the history of all the posts you have made. The reason I used "first post under this name" is because sometimes people change their screen names. All the previous posts are listed with the other name.

When someone makes a single post that bolsters some company, it appears as if someone from the company is searching the travel forums looking for their name and then posting something positive, pretending they are an unrelated traveler.

So that's what this looked like. But looks can be deceiving.

*In case you do not locate the climbers you were searching for, or to add to your info base on the climb, here are some links to relevant threads. ADS probably has some recommendations as well.

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...er-and-why.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...d-pictures.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...elp-please.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...-operators.cfm
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 11:35 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
My apologies to mkude for the hijack, but it appears she has made up her mind. Who knows, after reading the above, maybe she'll tack on a Kili climb!
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 05:33 PM
  #17  
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Posts: 38
hahaha... atravelynn, you crack me up. I am so out of shape, I would get tired from even looking up at Kili... but I am absolutely jealous and in awe of all those who do it... I wish I had it in me. Happy this post was hijacked with good GE write ups because I did go with them. I find Narry to be a bit lacking in proactive ideas and help on specifics, but he certainly is responsive when I send him an email... and I am excited!!!!! PS My friend whom I tried to get to come with me... finally changed her mind and now wants to go AFTER I booked the group tour. Figures!
mkude is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:30 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Mkude, Your friend might want to join you on the group trip or when you want to go back you'll have someone lined up.
atravelynn is offline  

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