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Off to Africa: First Time. Leaving this Thursday, All Planned by Julian of Timeless Africa! WAHOO!

Off to Africa: First Time. Leaving this Thursday, All Planned by Julian of Timeless Africa! WAHOO!

Old May 26th, 2008, 09:11 PM
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Hi Isabel,

Sorry for sounding rude on this thread - all of this intended towards the certain travel agent. I usually speak my mind, if I think I have a valid reason to - I don't have any reason to want to be liked by anyone or not to!

What many of us who regularly travel to Africa object is, about the way certain people manipulate this site. In this case, Jasher (the screen-name in the thread). First of all, his expertize is shallow. He professizes expertize in many areas (that he doesn't have) to sell safaris to innocent travellers and making them believe all the myths associated ...... it's all a way a conduct business on public travel forums (always against forum rules to conduct business). What makes a forum more valuable and I hope you agree with me, is when people make contributions in order to enhance the quality of the information on the forum vs trying to maipulate it for self-generated business.

As to Namibia and driving - that's the best way to see the country from what I hear! Let's hear as to what the opinion is of people like Sniktawk and Skimmer who have been there many many many times ..... and they will not be fooled by dramatic writing .......

Re the Chitabe thread - Isabel,it's fair to have a different opinion and I respect your opinion.

But, bottom line is Isabel - If he is all that innocent and wanting to help innocent travellers, how come he doesn't post on this site anymore - with his actual screen-name? Thought about that one?
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Old May 26th, 2008, 09:15 PM
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Typo: Should read (manipulate)
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Old May 26th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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From what I read it seems that he's mostly suggesting quite expensive options at first.

His knowledge on the field isn't that great like some others on the boards here. I remember he was talking about Lebala like he knew the area very well although he has been there only once for a very brief period and some of his remarks didn't make sense at all and I am not talking about the accomodation and the vehicles here.

It's true that some elements of his advice are the same as ours but suggesting (between the lines) that the expensive approach is the best way to go isn't right.

Some of the most famous camps in Botswana are located in a national park where off-roading isn't permitted in theory.

Even in Botswana you can still do an affordable photographic safari without paying the big money but you have to choose your areas and operators carefully.

When he was suggesting things about Namibia (Etosha/Sossuvlei) it looked like he hasn't been there yet or has been there very briefly.

For me, he's just looking for business from unexperienced travellers with lots of money on their hands and that's not the way it should be on travel forums and it can be quite frustrating for some among us (like myself) to read advice which is pointless from time to time.

Old May 27th, 2008, 12:32 AM
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As Hari has asked me to contribute further I will.

The two threads he has posted indicate to me that this person has very limited knowledge, and is merely selling to maximize commission. This is the problem with most travel agents; this has resulted in the situation where small independent operations are being driven out of business or into the clutches of WS and others.

The solution is to surf the net and make up your own mind it is easy, I have picked where I want to stay on nearly every trip I have made. I also make use of two South African travel magazines Getaway and Go, which I understand have been previously described as “down market” on this forum. The only time I have ever been really disappointed was when I took the advice of an agent.

A translation follows br /> At Etosha most people self-drive it follows that you should hire a car and self -drive from Windhoek to Etosha it is only 5 to 6 hours. Those people that fly to the lodges outside Etosha probably shorten their journey by at best 2 hours and then have to pay for Game Drives that are limited by the need to enter and exit the park each day. They also pay around 2 to 3 times as much for this experience of seeing the same things for a far shorter period. But they do of course get very nice food!

Old May 27th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Why would Julian post on this site when even the mention of his name sends the self-proclaimed "experts" into convulsions?! Even a "good morning" would set people off. After all it might not be "good" or even "morning" for everyone.

Almost every operator offers fly-in safaris in Namibia. The claim that flying is unacceptable in Namibia and that self-drive is "correct" for all is absolutely ridiculous and tells us all quite a bit about the person making such a claim.

I view a travel agent not as an all knowing Supreme Being who is to lead me to Paradise but as someone who will make the reservations at the camps I have selected. Just as there are many roads to hell there are certainly many different paths to a great safari. Let's talk about safaris and quit this nonsense.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 07:42 AM
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Why does someone put who the trip is planned by the in the title?

I think that is a little strange...
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Old May 27th, 2008, 08:09 AM
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I think this thread has indeed gotten strange.

My purest of intention was to say goodbye to all of you and let you know of our itinerary. This is my first trip to Africa, shoot me if I gush, say nice things about someone or heaven forbid don't do a safari the way some of you think it should be done.

I'm an enthusiastic person naturally and get easily excited about so many things in life. For a living, I am cookbook author, chef and nutritionist. In my work I do many reviews of food products, restaurants, etc. When I come across something that I feel is special, I share it. For what I do spills into the way I behave in my personal life. I like to champion people and causes I feel worthy, so what if I took a little liberty before I went on a trip to say nice things about someone.

There may be a newbie on this board looking for someone to plan their trip. It's not like I gave out a phone number or web address of someone. Give me a good old break, for someone who has been posting since 2003 I think I know a bit about this board. I found my agent on this board because some posters here "gushed" about him in the past
here. I found that very helpful.

And I thought the Europe board was harsh at times! Some of you have such suspicious minds it truly amazes me. If I was a complete newbie or someone who had one or two posts, perhaps then you might question.

Since all of you are such good travelers and good travelers are good researchers, do a little research and you will see I am just an upbeat, exclamation type of person.

I grew up in the hotel business and with travel agents ( good ones!) on both sides of my family, I do think I know a thing or two about traveling. And one is to be a bit more respectable to others.

I'm outta here, putting the last touches on our trip.

We'll see if I even do a Trip Report now, I don't want my nice memories turned to trash.

Just following from the Europe board, I have and many others have metioned and praised anyone who assisted us with trip planning including agents. My posts go back to 2003

I have had enough of this thread, we'll see if I even do a Trip Report as most of you have just completely turned me off.

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Old May 27th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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We will be at Boulders June 14-17, so I look forward to meeting you then! It's the beginning of our travels. On to Mateya after Boulders.

Have a wonderful time. You will love Capetown! Most beautiful place in the world! All of Southern Africa is amazing.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Tripgirl, I'm sorry your post got sidetracked.

You have a wonderful itinerary and I hope your trip is better than the one you've been dreaming of!

Have an excellent adventure and please do post a trip report when you return.

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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Have a wonderful trip and please DO post a trip report!
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Thank you for your kind words, I knew there must be an expert somewhere on this forum.
Would you be kind enough to detail the operators that offer fly-in safaris to Etosha, so that we will all know better in future?
Old May 27th, 2008, 09:38 AM
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I was just about the end this nonsense of a post, but then you posted and made my day.

I shall look so forward to meeting you!!

We depart as you know from Singita on the 15th, but let's try to meet each other on the 14th!

I have long salt and pepper hair and look Italian. I'm about 5"2. My husband has grey hair, slender.

Let's do really try to meet up and chat!!!
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Old May 27th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Sorry for the reception you received, tripgirl. We're not usually as bad as the Europe board really Have a fantastic trip and come back and post a report!
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Old May 27th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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I agree with Patty!

Do post a trip report. If you're gushing now, I'm not sure what the next step up from gushing is--but you'll be doing it. South Africa is a very special place with incredible people.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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I think you ended up being a victim by association. Kind of like an innocent bystander who gets caught in the cross fire.

Many of us thought a certain agency put you up to this and asked you to mention names and that's the reason for the harsh reaction.

The whole Africa experience should be a good one from planning to the trip itself to fond memories for a lifetime. It would be a shame to have any of that process marred with disappointment. The posters here are not known for doing that.

I don't think the remarks were meant to deflate an excited first time visitor. I believe we just interpreted this post to be backdoor promotion.

Thursday is almost here. I hope you are nearly packed. Have a marvelous trip.
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