Needed! Advice on Tours to Africa

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May 29th, 2005, 08:45 AM
  #1
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Needed! Advice on Tours to Africa

I am a first time traveler to Africa and am looking at safari tours of Kenya and Tanzania. I have looked at various tours including bigfive.com, abercrombie and kent, micato and oattravel. I am in my early 30s and may be traveling alone. Can you recommend any other tour companies? Or if you have taken one of these tours, can you tell me if you enjoyed it? I would really appreciate it.
Thank you.
Patti
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May 29th, 2005, 05:45 PM
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Some friends of mine went with Smartours to Kenya and Tanzania. Looked like a nice itinerary and they liked it alot. I think the people traveling we a bit older than you - more in their 50's. But I think you may find that with alot of the groups since most people can't afford Africa until they are more "established". I also loiked the looks of the OAT itinerary and have heard good things about the,. We decided to do more South Africa, so didn't use them. We ended up planning our own itinerary through go2africa and they have been great.
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May 30th, 2005, 05:28 AM
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Patti,
Have used 2afrika on trip to Tanzania 2002 and Tanzania/Kenya in 2004. Do a search on rsnyder and you should have access to trip reports. One thing we learned when we planned our trips was that several of the companies use the same lodges, have the same itin., see the same sunsets, same meal plans, etc only the prices are quite a bit different. So be sure to check on length of incountry days, lodges, etc as you decide. In our case I was pleasantly surprised at savings we made over some of the higher priced firms on the same exact route as us, same lodges, same meals, etc. Your budget will be a major factor. If you have particular questions at least in regard to 2afrika I will try to help. We would have used them for this year' trip but they do not provide specific service to southern Tanzania. Enjoy the reading and studying!
Dick
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May 30th, 2005, 05:42 AM
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I have not taken any of the tours you mentioned, but am aware of all but Kent. They all have good reputations. A&K is very expensive for what you get in my opinion.

Here are some others that do group travel:

Africa Adventure
http://www.africa-adventure.com

Good Earth
http://www.goodearthtours.com

Thomsons
http://www.thomsonsafaris.com/ac_clas.shtml

Adventure Travel Desk
http://www.african-safari.com/

Natural Habitat (not just Africa, but wildlife tours in general)
www.nathab.com

Wilderness Travel (The worldwide adventure travel company in Berkely, CA, not the Botswana safari co. Their trips are a little more active and might draw more of a 30-something crowd. As mentioned by jscale, Africa travel skews a bit older than you.) www.wildernesstravel.com

Have fun planning and please post your progress.
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May 30th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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My husband and I went to Kenya in 2002 with 2Afrika and could not have been more delighted! We were 38 and 27 at the time. There were only 3 other people in our group (A BIG deciding factor for me, I can't stand the thought of being on a tour with 20 or more other people, each with their own agenda!) We stayed in very charming lodges and had decent food.. but most importantly our guide was TOP notch.. which, let's face it, is what makes a safari work or not.. we saw every animal you could imagine... and our guite, Peter was a genius at beating the crowds..we ended up going in April.. and though we had a day of intermittant rain, it didn't hamper our game viewing one bit.. we saw all of the "big 5" ! This was the trip of a lifetime.. and 2afrika delivered .. our price per person was $997. which included air.. the only thing we had to pay for in country was tips and drinks... then we added on a stop to A'dam for 2 days on the way home... Seriously, I could not recommend 2Afrika enough *no, I don't work for them at all!!!. Have fun whaever you decide.. (oh, if you do a search for 2afrika on this forum, you will find my detailed trip report posted upon return). Kenya is amazing.. truly amazing, everyone should go at least once . (oh 2afrika is about one tenth the price of A & K.. and seriously you see the sames lions!
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May 30th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Thyra,
I assume that the price you stated for your tour did not include airfare to Africa. Is that correct? That sounds like a great deal!
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May 30th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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Are you interested in a private, custom itinerary or would you prefer to join a group?
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May 30th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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When you mentioned OAT, I just remembered there was a long thread on the Europe board last year about them. A poster there had gotten bumped off of one of their tours about 1 month prior to departure because of overbooking -

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34546783
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May 30th, 2005, 06:13 PM
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oh Yikes.. well I did leave one digit off of my PP price.. yes $975 including air would be really great.. no, all told it was $ 1,975 pp and DID include air from NYC to Kenya. When I tallied up the entire trip.. the Kenya bit for 10 days was total, with tips and drinks and all that jazz about $2,300 per person which includes tax.. of course, before we left we had three nights in NYC and then on the way back a few days in A'dam.. that is where the "lion's " share of the budget went..
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May 30th, 2005, 06:43 PM
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Still a bargain, Thyra. You are so right about a quality guide being the most important factor.
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May 30th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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In East Africa the best value safaris are: Guerba (for long term safaris - a month or longer) and Gametrackers (for short term safaris - three days to a week). Good luck.
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