Info on safar company


Oct 20th, 2011, 06:36 AM
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Posts: 32
Info on safar company

Has anyone ever dealt with V.J.'s Exotic Safari's before? If so how did you like the company?
annah58 is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2011, 09:44 PM
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Yes, absolutely..they have done all our trips for the last 14/15 years or so

In my opinion you have selected the best tour operators in the business.  There are a lot of  travel  company's popping up on the Internet so it is a good idea to get references.  I have taken a variety of trips with other travel company's in the past, such as OAT, American Express  and none of these company's compare to VJ's .  I have been using VJ's company exclusively  since the first trip he designed for us in 1997, to East Africa.  That was their Ultimate East Africa 25 day safari. That trip raised my reference standard on how a trip should be  and I will never use any of those other companies again. I will never forget  how on that first trip they designed I was worried  about spending 25 days  on Safari and as it turned out, we were having such a fabulous trip we tried to extend it for another week!

All of the trips they have arranged for us has been just like that first trip perfect from beginning to end. The only complaint that  I have  about VJ, is that the trips are so wonderful  I'm not ready for them to end! VJs has arranged many trips for us including 5 trips to India,  5 to Africa and he is presently working on another trip to Africa for me.  They have also, arranged our trips to South America, Thailand,  Borneo and China. In addition to arranging trips for me they has also put together some fabulous trips for some of my friends.

I noticed from your subject line that you are traveling to Africa which happens to be my favorite destination.  As I mentioned before that was the first trip they custom designed for us. VJs knows how to select the right lodges and will allow  ample  time at each location to maximize your  game viewing opportunities.  While that my not sound important it really is. If you think about it, how could staying only one night at a lodge give you much time to see  animals, and that is the point of the trip. I've personally seen people on safari rushing from here to there and missing out on so much of what's around them it seems like a complete waste of their time and money! Another important point is to have a comfortable reliable vehicle with a really experienced good driver and guides.  VJs only uses well established companies that provide great service that you can trust.

I hope you have a fabulous safari and you are in good hands with VJs!

I hope you find this information helpful.  Feel free to contact me if you have anymore questions.


joyik is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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Not to be cynical, but I would treat Joyik's post very cautiously. She's only posted twice and both posts are raving about how good VJ's is.

It's entirely possible that she just happened to join Fodors and truly has had a great experience with VJ's but I would be very cautious as it sounds like she's possibly the owner/operator.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2011, 10:28 PM
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Hello Iowa_Redhead

NO, You are ABSOLUTELY WRONG in your assumption.

Please Read the above post carefully.
We have used several other companies in the past but since we discovered VJ Safaris about 14 years ago we have never needed to or had to use anyone else since then.

Our demands are normally pretty specific and we prefer our trips customized to fit our style of travel.
For one our average trip length is about 30 to 40 days we like to spend about 3, 4, 5 or even 8 days in one spot
now you tell me which company puts out itineraries that are that long.
Most of what you will find is short, rushed group tours which we do not like or prefer to go on.
We do not like traveling with others and prefer doing private trips with our family or close friends.

Sure , I get a lot of catalogs and offers from other several travel companies and even see some interesting trips but consistently found ourselves coming back to VJs to put the trip together for us.
they understand us well and consistently deliver what we really want to do and often that is not your normal run of the mill type of travel
my kids have practically grown up on these trips

. they have also gone above and beyond every time and taken very good care of us through out these years of our association - (even getting one of our passports renewed and delivered to us on a game drive in the Mara)

VJs has been great to us and for us thru the years..its a perfect match for us personally and as long as they keep providing us with good services and trips we intend to keep using them.

it ain't broke why fix it...

Not sure why you would find a recommendation of one's favorite company unusual or suspect.

its no different than one liking a type or brand of a car and buying from the same manufacturer for years or much like one would go to the same doctor for many years...
Why?... its simple = because you like them and they provide good reliable services and benefits to your keep using them



By the way I am a Medical Doctor
joyik is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2011, 07:14 AM
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Because when someone joins the forums and immediately raves about a single company, that's what it usually is. That's why I said that it's entirely possible that I was wrong, but I wanted the OP to be cautious just incase.

I'm so excited about my own upcoming trip that I would hate to see someone trust a review from an owner and not get the wonderful trip that they thought they were getting.

Since you just joined the forums but spoke of a long history with the company and had such raving reviews, it basically hit every red flag for when an owner posts a fake review. I'm glad I was wrong.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2011, 08:14 AM
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"For one our average trip length is about 30 to 40 days we like to spend about 3, 4, 5 or even 8 days in one spot
now you tell me which company puts out itineraries that are that long."

.... considering that most visitors usually have only 7 or 14/days for holiday, those are the itineraries you find in many brochures or online (whether for group or independent travel). If not a set/group departure, but for independent travel these are suggestions.

Most all of these tour operators or in-country outfitters can/will/do design custom itineraries to meet extended stays anywhere, just as VJs apparently did for you.
sandi is offline  
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Hello Iowa_Redhead

thank you for your comments

I have been receiving Fodors mag and news on a regular basis ..they are always
encouraging people to sign up for newsletters and sites, etc. So I thought I should sign up.
was browsing some of the Africa posts and other posts as well.. Saw where anna58 had asked for this specific companies recommendation and since we have a lot of dealing with them for these many years, I was happy to provide that and all my experience with them.
Also mentioned which companies I had used in the past
by the sounds of your comments it sort of sounds like you perhaps have been done wrong by some company owner/operator at one time or another?
did you have a bad experience with someone in the past?
you will have a great trip - enjoy!

Sandi - thanks to you as well -
yes, over these last few "internet years" seems like hundreds of outfitters and travel companies have popped up everywhere....and more new ones popping up daily even as we discuss this -
difficult to weed thru all the companies that are out there on the net nowadays
did try dealing with a few others a while back and either no responses or very slow or in adequately answered
was rather frustrating - do not have too much time to deal with all my busy schedule
also felt some of the outfitters were trying to push you towards their own lodges
in fact on one occasion the lodge outfitter themselves referred me back to VJs (as well as some other companies)
indicating prices would be cheaper as they are their wholesaler partners.

yes, most catalogs or sites have short, often rushed and generic type of canned packages with barely 1 or 2 rushed nights in most places
most everyone going to the same places and lodges etc. plus you could be packed in with groups of 16, 25 or more people. I have done that before and did not like that at all
However, this is fine for people who want that sort of travel
have often found GLOSSY sites and catalogs could often be misleading and can
mask the quality of some of the accomodations used, specially for one who is not familiar with accommodations

from the early beginning we found VJs Safaris trips comprehensive and slower fact their first advertised trip that we started with was 25 day trip long
and since then we have had them arrange several of our 30 to 40 days trips not only back to Africa but other countries as I had mentioned above
thinking they still offer a 40 day trip advertised on their site
Sandi - are you a travel agent? if you want to make any recommendations, please do post it. Its always good to have backups!


joyik is offline  
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Dec 9th, 2011, 11:37 PM
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to Joyik,

"By the way I am a Medical Doctor"

Why is the above statement relevant to the topic at hand?

It's certainly not something any MD I know would write in a completely un-medical discussion.

The following "However, this is fine for people who want that sort of travel " reeks of snootiness. Few people have the time or monetary resources for a trip to Africa of 40 days. Thus, as Sandi said, most itineraries are for shorter lengths.

I agree with Iowa-Redhead. There is something about Joyik's responses that arouse suspicions as to motives: writing style, comments, and disclosure for unknown reason of her (supposed) profession.

Methingk the lady doth protest too much!
CaliNurse is offline  
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Dec 10th, 2011, 03:54 PM
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Iowa had right away thought I was a travel agent or owner of a tour company
the profession was mentioned only to clarify to her know that I was not in the travel profession

Was also responding to Sandis comment about shorter trips.
Not meant to be snooty at all
Sorry you took it that way
just was trying to explain I like longer trips and have a hard time finding longer trips thats all


joyik is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2011, 02:18 AM
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Thanks , Joyce. Sorry i jumped to conclusions. YOur explanation sure makes sense. Apologies to you.
CaliNurse is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2011, 02:56 AM
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V.J.'s Exotic Safaris Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional Location Wichita, Kansas Area Industry Venture

Pretty unusual company/setup not too well known caveat emptor. Wichita Kansas based check them out with Kansas carefully.Prefer quality locals with GREAT price points good personal experience. another great place for upscale options.

Happy Huntiing!
qwovadis is offline  
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Dec 13th, 2011, 11:58 PM
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Sandi apologies accepted. Please try to visit the South African tourism website to l;earn more about the destination.The information there is very important and you can interact with them.
Joyik, I can now understand your experience in both short and long tours.The trend is changing that it does not make sense visiting several places within a short period. I think the idea of taking longer at a place makes a better tour.
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