Local Outfitters in Tanzania?

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Jan 30th, 2006, 07:11 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
lisa - could you tell me more about your experience with Good Earth? What made you decide to go with them? Did they deliver everything as promised in your itinerary, or were there last minute lodging changes. Good Earth was able to get availability for lodges that Roy claims to be sold out. Should I be skeptical?
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Jan 30th, 2006, 10:19 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I see no reason to be skeptical, although I have no idea why one operator would be able to find availability if another could not, unless they have a block of rooms set aside in advance or something? Both Roy's and Good Earth are reputable operators. Of course it never hurts to ask them to double-check and make sure of availability. But all of our accommodations were exactly as we had confirmed them. For lots more detail including photos of our vehicles & accommodations and our trip report etc. see homepage.mac.com/lisaandmarktravel
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Jan 30th, 2006, 11:50 AM
  #23
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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A lot of operators have special agreements/relationships with lodgings/camps that give them access that others can't get. Sometimes, the safari operator and the lodging company are one in the same. For example, East African Safari and Touring Company owns a number of lodges in Tarangire National Park. So, they can get in where other operators cannot. I believe MKSC owns some places or has special relationships. I think Hoopoe does, as well.

So, in addition to being able to get availability where others cannot, the operators will try to push their own properties above others. So, if there's someplace you really want to stay, you may have to be insistent about it. ATR is like this. They have their favored lodgings, and try to steer their clients that way. This is a combination of having a vision of the type of safari they're selling, and the working relationships they've established with the different lodging companies. If they don't like the lodging you've chosen or don't have a working relationship with the company, they can be a bit stubborn.

As noted, a lot of operators will pre-book rooms, but I don't think that the smaller companies can afford to do this. I know that Roy definitely waited until I was sure before they tried to book. I didn't quite get the itinerary I wanted, but we did get all the accommodations I specified. We had to flip the order of the itinerary, but that was o.k.


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Feb 1st, 2006, 03:20 PM
  #24
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8
I just posted some good things about Good Earth on this forum - got back from a Tanzania w/them last week. It was just two of us with the guide (who was terrific), so he probably would have spent time doing anything we wanted. One thing that constrains the time on game drives is the distances between the camps/lodges. On a traveling day, we would do a game drive in park we were already in, but then have to drive a long distance and get into the next lodge just before nightfall or earlier. If you wanted a full day game drive, I would definitely find out about that upfront.
We were in Toyota Land Cruiser which was fine. Not the newest vehicle I saw in parks, but nothing wrong with it.
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