Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > How about - African Adventure Company, Anyone used that one?

How about - African Adventure Company, Anyone used that one?

Reply

Feb 2nd, 2003, 07:40 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90
Patricia:

You're right! Nothing should cost that much, unless you're trying to go ULTRA, ULTRA luxury!!!

However, we have always noticed that being American means higher prices, for the most part.

The boutique Safari operators here in the US charge a lot of money, as I have mentioned above.

I have perused their catalogs and I find it insane that people will pay $2,000 a night for a Bush lodge in the various "p"reserves - ;-)

We were able to coordinate our safari portion through African Horizons based in Louisiana.

They don't really upcharge the safaris offered by the ground operators, and have answered all of our questions in an extremely professional manner.

Our international airfare is going to cost about $1,300 per person. Everyone else has quoted us $1,800 - $2,000.


We were in Egypt on vacation in 2001, and we discovered real quick that it was in our best interest to say we were Canadian - in order to receive bigger discounts on various services.

We tested our theory on several vendors and discovered that the prices were marked up 80% if we said we were American versus Canadian.

A vendor situated on the top of Mount Sinai tried to charge me $5 for a Kit Kat bar because I said I was American(after he asked where I was from). It was not an easy three hour hike at 2am, BUT I was not going to pay that much for a snack!

I made my husband go and buy it as a Canadian - and he paid $1.50.

Our other tour members also found this to be true.

This discrepancy may not be true in every single country in the world, but we have experienced it in Europe, South America, Eastern Europe, Caribbean and Asia.


It took some doing, but after a ton of research (which we always do before taking any trip), we can comfortably say that we are paying a fair price for the moderately luxurious safari trip we want to take in Africa.

I now hope that when we actually get there, things are as cheap in Africa as everyone keeps saying they are. We're not shoppers, BUT I might check into buying myself a new diamond while in SA - hehe

Ingrid

By the way: Are you going to post a trip report? I would love to read it...



IngridG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 2nd, 2003, 10:22 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 612
Hello Ingrid,

Where are you from? You are paying a bit more for your airfare then I did. Are you flying to London and then on to Joburg or directly from the US? Can I ask where you're going exactly and what private game reserves? Also what kind of pill will you be going on re malaria. There are things you must do & the Afrikaners showed me a few things;you see I was invited by the locals and got the south african discount but you must know what you're doing. I can perhaps help you. Are you taking travellers checks, credit card-what are you doing? Do you know what you "must" bring? There's a lot. If you want you can e-mail me to -let me know Patricia regards are you going to zimbabwe-there are things you have to know
pattysuericia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 3rd, 2003, 06:50 AM
  #23
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90
Patricia:

Thanks for the info.
I would love to email with you - my email is [email protected]

Malaria pills we are taking are the same ones we had to take while we were in Mae Hong Son (Thailand, Amazon and Egypt. It should be fine.

We always take a safe combination of cash, traveler's checks and credit cards (use credit cards only in dire emergencies).

Yes, we are from the US and we have not found anything cheaper than $1,300 airfare roundtrip to South Africa. It's open jaw though. Flying to J'berg direct - then Botswana and then to Cape Town and then back home...

I am very happy with $1,300US in September - high season

We have received several checklists for packing, but would welcome any other information.

We never check our luggage - only carry-on. We travel very light, and take very little changes in clothes (wash often) and take a lot of camera equiment and our laptop.

We buy cheap clothes for our trips, so we can leave them all behind and use our luggage space for souvenirs instead.
This way - we avoid the hassle of checking luggage.

Botswana has very strict weight limitations, so we are leaving half of our luggage in J'berg with friends on the way to Botswana.
We will get it from them on the way back from Botswana, for the Cape Town portion of the trip.

Pictures are our main focus while travelling. We always take somewhere between 3,000-5,000. Our equipment is heavy, but this is what we concentrate on while packing.

Our safari consists of a luxury fully-service mobile tented safari around Botswana for 10 days. We decided against the lodges, so we could experience a more authentic safari.

Our stop at Victoria Falls will be brief. We decided to not spend the night there. We will fly in - go on a guided tour of the falls and then fly straight to Cape Town that evening.
Let me know what we should watch out for there...

Thanks for your help!
Ingrid




IngridG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 4th, 2003, 10:33 PM
  #24
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 612
Dear Ingrid, sent you an e-mail late late last night from my e-mail address but you never replied. Did you receive it? My address is [email protected]
regards, Patricia
pattysuericia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 4th, 2003, 10:36 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 612
Hi Ingrid, on your subject line, put africa so I don't delete Patricia
pattysuericia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2003, 02:41 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90
Patricia:

I am not sure I received it. I will email you.

Ingrid
IngridG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 21st, 2003, 10:17 AM
  #27
Lee
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 123
I am using African Adventure company and find them quite cooperative. Ask for Gareth.
Online there is another company I found through Frommers.com--Zambezi Safari and Travel Co. They have offices in Livingston, Harare, UK etc. Princess at the UK office replies promptly via [email protected]
Lee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 09:18 AM
  #28
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4
Hi Ingrid, Patricia,

You both seem pretty knowledgable about traveling. I'm headed to Africa for the first time. After a lot of study, I've found AA is not the company to go with. As for locals, Local companies could be great and cheap, or they might be just cheap. Check Conde Nast Traveler for a list of Travel Agents that are specialists in that region. It's worked out great for me. Judy Peil( [email protected] ) is great. It might be too late for this time, but remember her, she's great.

On a question for anyone... Has anyone gotten a visa at the airport of Kenya, and had any problems. The state department's website says it could "be slow" whatever that means. Then, what if I cross borders out in the brush, to Tanzania. What do I do about a Visa for that?(I'm American)

Thanks!
darwinskye is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 09:35 AM
  #29
LizFrazier
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
darwinskye-
It has been posted that if you flash a nice crisp $50 bill, you whisk right through at Jomo Kenyatte Airport in Nairobi. When you drive to Namanga I believe they also can be purchased there. I'll let someone that did it answer that part. If you use a travel agent here, they usually can get you the visa for you. I have gotten my before I set out, but now I would just get them at the airports.
You gave me a nice little chuckle this morning with 'out in the brush' term. Lots of folks refer to 'the bush' as being out on safari, you remind me that it is not a common term here. Cute. Liz
 
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 09:36 AM
  #30
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 165
Obtaining visas in Kenya is easy except when there are a lot of passengers without visas and one has to queue for a long time. Best thing is to download the visa form from Kenya Airways website and keep it ready so that you can go straight to the visa desk while others are still filling in their forms. Also rush to the visa desk as soon as you are out of the plane. It takes 15secs to get the visa once you are at the visa desk. Have exact change ready.

Getting a visa in Tanzania on the Namanga Border is very chaotic. The locals have no concept of queuing and will jump the queue. You will have to be a bit aggressive (not verbally please but physically) and you will get it in the end (avg time if queues - 20 mins). Once again keep exact change. Don't forget your passport photographs.
king is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 29th, 2003, 07:35 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 612
Dear Darwinskye,

Many thanks for the compliments. I was especially lucky as it was all arranged for me by the locals in south africa-people I met in Europe. They did everything for me--the perfect trip.
The experts here on this site are : Karen(golfer), Susan, Selwyn, the very passionate-the one & only ROCCCO,Kavey -I just have fun reading their most wonderful observations & input.
But these people(who I stayed with) taught me a lot. I just loved south africa and really would love to go back. Kenya, tanzania, zambia, botswana, and Mozambique are all on my list as well. I was in South africa & zimbabwe for close to 5 weeks and I was so very sad to leave.
When & where are you going? What places are you visiting-I would love to hear about it. This Judy Peil-how do you know if she is good? Please do tell me more and let me know your plans please. Thanks Patricia
pattysuericia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 30th, 2003, 10:39 AM
  #32
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,182
Hello!
Agreed that Karen, Susan, Selwyn and Roccco are the experts - I'm just an enthusiast but have been to Africa only twice so have much less experience than many other posters here.
What I do have is enthusiasm and I read up a lot - I read all sorts of travel magazines, including Travel Africa, keep up to date with lots of websites and also find lots of articles in national newspapers...
I can't give you many definitive answers (apart from on the few things I know from experience) but can enthuse you and can give my own personal opinion if asked! And even if not asked!
LOL
GOOD LUCK!!!
Kavey
[email protected]
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 30th, 2003, 10:55 AM
  #33
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 612
Dear Kavey,

Why don't you take a group-I'll be the first to sign up! Love your posts! Patricia
pattysuericia is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:33 PM.