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Mar 6th, 2006, 07:25 AM
  #1
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payment

Hi there

Is anyone else being asked to pay the majority of their safari payment way in advance?
i am going to Kenya in August and have already paid 30% deposit. I am now being asked for a further 50% to secure lodges as they are apparently insisting on full payment(5.5months in advance). I have checked with Ilkiliani and they are asking for payment.
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Mar 6th, 2006, 07:37 AM
  #2
sandi
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The 30% deposit is usual. This has also been sufficient until 60-days prior when your balance is due.

That said, this year has been a bit unusual. With such high demand, camps/lodges are requiring higher deposits from the ground operator. Since your 30% isn't nearly enough to cover the deposits the camps are now requesting, many are asking for additional from clients; otherwise, it's the outfitter who is laying out the money. Hopefully, you will make that final payment to cover everything.

If you are working directly with a camp as Ilkiliani, then you pretty much have to go with their requests, as you don't have an outfitter to run interference in some manner.

Whatever your decision, be sure to take out trip insurance should some unforseen occurance and you cannot go on the trip.
 
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Mar 6th, 2006, 08:59 AM
  #3
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We are working through Africa point and have general holiday insurance but this won't cover us if the agent goes under. do you know an insurance that would?
why is this year unusual? surely its always busy in August.
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Mar 6th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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A deposit upon booking is customary with the final payment due anywhere from 60 days in advance to on arrival. I haven't heard of an operator asking for this much payment this far in advance. It would make me a little wary.

Is Africa Point a tour operator or an agent? Many travel insurance policies cover operator but not agent default. Try www.insuremytrip.com for a comparison of various policies and see if you can find one that covers what you need.

Does Africa Point accept credit cards? If so, you might think about paying with a credit card. Even if there's an added surcharge, this would afford you much more consumer protection than paying by wire transfer.

Good luck!
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Mar 6th, 2006, 11:37 AM
  #5
sandi
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August is almost always busy. But you have to remember that after 9/11/01, tourism worldwide tanked. The years of 2002 and 2003 were terrible for East Africa. By 2004 the numbers were coming back, and 2005 was wonderful. For 2006, they are having a banner year and as easily as some properties tell you they have space, if they get paid from another sooner/quicker - be bye your booking. Money in hand....

It's certainly offputting, but this has happened often for the coming 2006 seasons.

I believe Africapoint (out of Nairobi) is the ground operator, especially for their Kenya itineraries. They also do itineraries in Tanzania and other African locations, but believe they use other ground operators in other countries. Africapoint is a discounter, so it's possible they run their operation differently then some of the names with which we are more familiar. But they seem to be reputable from those who have used them and posted here.

Why not inquire of AP, why exactly they require additional funds so early.

I doubt that AP will be one of those companies that is covered for default under any of the insurers found on the trip insurance links.
 
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Mar 6th, 2006, 04:55 PM
  #6
santharamhari
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For Botswana, it is normal to do a 30%deposit on confirmation of the bookings. That is what i hv done.....i think the full amount is due about 2 months prior to the trip....more or less 60 days prior to the trip....

I'm booked for my trip in Aug
 
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Mar 7th, 2006, 01:12 AM
  #7
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so what happens to my 30% deposit if the camp gives away the accomodation?
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Mar 7th, 2006, 05:10 AM
  #8
santharamhari
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The 30% is to keep the reservation. It usually is then never given away, unless you fail to make the final balance payment, whenever the due date is!!! If they are asking for more, then i guess they expect you to pay the desired amount asap. Chk with their cancellation policy prior to making the payments.
 
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Mar 9th, 2006, 01:58 AM
  #9
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I have been told by my agent that as August is a busy month the lodges/camps will accept payment from people who pay the whole amount up front and will bump off customers who have only paid the deposit! That is how we lost our tents at kichwa tembo although we thought we had reserved them in Janary
Apparently they have had this happen to them.
Anyone had any experience of this?
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Mar 9th, 2006, 04:40 AM
  #10
 
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I would suspect that if they did that they are in breack of contract. There are plenty of lawyers on this site. Any offers of legal advice?
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Mar 9th, 2006, 04:41 AM
  #11
 
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Breach that should be.
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Mar 11th, 2006, 06:38 AM
  #12
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yes, but how do you go about suing an african company?
my agent has had to pay in full for some lodges which are very busy in august apparently so wants ud to pay in full now.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 09:28 AM
  #13
 
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Hi Kate
Our travel company was very laid back about the intial deposit and requires payment in full 60 days prior to departure. They were able to confirm all of our lodges with only the deposit, so I'd check with some of the big providers to see what the concensus is.
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