how to confirm accommodations on a private safari?

Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 03:36 PM
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how to confirm accommodations on a private safari?

I've read numerous reports of travelers promised certain accommodations, only to arrive at a sold out lodge, & transferred to a lesser accommodation. i booked a private safari in Kenya with African Quest Safaris. I requested specific lodges (Samburu Lodge, Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, & Keekorok) & they assured me there was availability.

What can i do to verify i have confirmed reservations at those lodges? should i contact the lodge directly? or request some sort of confirmation # from the tour operator? what the proper protocol?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Also, the private safari is in a minivan. i'm traveling during the "short rain" season in November. Am I asking for trouble as far as getting stuck in the mud?
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Yes, that can be done too! contact them direct to see if you are getting what you are promised!!!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:45 PM
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Don't trust the Keekorok reservation. I made one a year in advance and they still bumped us on arrival in Kenya. Unless you are with a large tour operator, you are at their mercy.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 08:15 AM
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With the unpredictable weather who knows what you are asking for or what delights await. I'd check directly with the lodges/hotels. Good luck and have fun.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 08:59 AM
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I've never done it but you can contact the lodges directly. It's possible the booking may be under the tour operator's name rather than yours. I think there's also some kind of voucher system that's used. My TO has mentioned getting a stamped voucher back from a certain camp, so perhaps you could ask your TO for a copy of these vouchers. Again, I've never actually asked for any kind of verification.

Do you know if your van will be 2WD or 4WD? We had a 4WD van last Nov/Dec when there were torrential rains and made it everywhere. A lot depends on the driver too. The ultimate irony was when we pulled out a stuck Rover in Samburu. Actually, the only time we got stuck on that trip was in the Elsa's Kopje Rover but were able to get out without rescue. Depending on the driver and where you go, it's possible to get stuck in anything.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:08 PM
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I almost always check my reservations. I call the camp and ask them if they have a reservation for me. Simple as that. Thus far, it has always checked out.

regards - tom
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Thanks everyone. I emailed the lodges directly & they were able to give me confirmation voucher numbers.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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African Quest is a reputable company and recommended by many, November is a low season, I dont think there is hussle as far as accomodation is concered, but for your safety and to clear doubts just call the hotels directly. Happy Holidays
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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jeanettehere - We just came from Kenya/Zanzibar 14 day trip. I booked a privet safari through the Transworld Safaris LTD, Nairobi. All bookings were done by them but I wanted to make sure that my requests were fulfilled. I contacted directly some of the lodges in Kenya and Zanzibar via email. I asked them to confirm reservations done by TS on my behalf and they confirmed. We did not have any problems.
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