Premier Tours in Philadephia, PA

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Apr 7th, 2005, 08:03 AM
  #1
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Premier Tours in Philadephia, PA

My husband and I are planning a safari to Kenya and Tanzania this August/September and we were going to book through Premier Tours in Philadephia, PA. I know they were well liked by Conde Nast magazine but I was wondering if anyone out that has used them to take a safari? If so - what was your experience with them? Their prices and level of knowledge about different areas seems very good.
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Apr 7th, 2005, 10:14 AM
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sandi
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Premier Tours is very good with their consolidator airfares... which I have used, as have others, and we post their airfare specials. But you'll find many who post here choose to use in-country tour operators, rather then those in their home countries.

If you'd be good enough to list the itinerary Premier is offering and the accommodations and costs, we could better comment.
 
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Apr 7th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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We used Premier Tours for our family trip to Cape Town, Botswana and Zambia based solely on the Conde Nast article. It was such a fantastic trip and so well organized, no snafus anywhere even with complicated transit times, I recommend them highly. I also thought we received a very fair price considering we needed two rooms in Cape Town, JNB and the Winelands and then a family tent while on safari. We used mileage for the airfare but I've read that they offer excellent fares.
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Apr 11th, 2005, 03:52 AM
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We are using mileage for our airfare so that is not an issue. Our current itinerary is
Day 1 - Nairobi - Hilton Nairobi
Day 2 - Mount Kenya - Mountain Lodge
Day 3 - Lakipia - Sweetwater's Tented Camp
Day 4 - Lakipia - Sweetwater's Tented Camp
Day 5 - Lake Nakuru - Sarova Lion Hill Lodge
Day 6 - Kae Naivasha - Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort
Day 7 - Masai Mara - Kichwa tembo
Day 8 - Masai Mara - Kichwa Tembo
Day 9 - Masai Mara - Kichwa Tembo
Day 10 - Amboseli - Amboseli Serena Lodge
Day 11 - Amboseli - Amboseli Serena Lodge
Day 12 - Ngorongoro - Ngorongoro Serena
Day 13 - Ngorongoro - Ngorongoro Serena
Day 14 - Ngorongoro - Ngorongoro Serena
Day 15 - Zanzibar - Matemwe Beach Village
Day 16 - Zanzibar - Matemwe Beach Village
Day 17 - Zanzibar - Matemwe Beach Village
Day 18 - Dar Es Salaam to home

Per person price estimate is $5170 including meals, accomodations, park entrance fees, transportation and air transfers, game drives, internal flights
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Apr 11th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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sandi
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Godfrey - Wow! Quite a busy/full itinerary.

Since you don't indicate where internal flights fit in, I have some questions:

- How are you getting from Lake Naivasha to the Mara? Driving? If so, it's a long drive. Or are you flying via Nairobi to get to the Mara. Otherwise, the closest scheduled flights are from Nanyuki direct to the Mara, avoiding the long drive. Apparently you want to see Flamingos, but you can do that at Lake Nakuru, I don't believe you need both Nakuru and Naivasha.

However, you can drive from Nairobi to Naivasha, then after time here, drive to Lake Nakuru, then drive to Sweetwaters which is close to Nanyuki (not actually Laikipia area), from where you can catch a flight to the Mara. I'd skip Mountain Lodge altogether, if using this route.

- Can I assume you will be flying back from the Mara before heading down to Amboseli?

- Is there any particular reason that you are spending 3-days at Ngorongoro? Besides the fact that the first day, driving from Amboseli will be a long one.

To avoid the long drive from Amboseli, I'd enter Tanzania and have the first stop at Tarangire which is great this time of year. It's also closer then heading all the way to the Crater... 2-nts at Tarangire would be good. From Tarangire, the drive to Ngorongoro isn't so long... and you'd only need 1-nt, 2-nts max depending on how many Crater tours you do. Will you be driving or flying from here to Zanzibar?

The beach will be well deserved and a perfect way to end your African adventure.

Just some thoughts and ideas.
 
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Apr 18th, 2005, 03:17 PM
  #6
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From Lake Naivasha we are driving back to Nairobi and then flying to the Mara. We are also flying from the Mara back to Nairobi and then going to Amboseli. The reason we currently have 3 days in the Ngorongoro is so we can take a day and drive into the Serengeti. we drive from the Arusha airport to fly to Zanzibar and then we fly home from there. I appreciate the suggestions on Naivasha and Nakuru - we definitely want to see the flamingos but I agree that both places might be overduing it. What do you think about the cost? Is this a good value for our money?
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Apr 19th, 2005, 04:10 AM
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godfrey -

Thanks for clarification of your internal flights. Note that the departure from Lake Naivasha will be early in order to connect to the 10am flight out of Wilson (domestic) airport to the Mara.

As to the 3rd day at Ngorongoro so as to drive into the Serengeti - well, that's fine for a "look-see," but you won't be able to go much further then the very southern area and there isn't much happening there in August/September. It's rather barren.

You might want to drive early that 3rd day to Olduvai Gorge for a brief stop (no more than 1-hour), then return to Arusha and get the afternoon flight to Zanzibar. An alternative, would be to drive to Olduvai the 2nd afternoon at Ngorongoro, then get an early start on what would be the 3rd day at NC and head to Arusha for the flight to ZNZ.

With an extra day, if you consider only 2-days at NC, I would consider at least 1-day at Stone Town while on ZNZ island. The last day would be best, as it's closer (only 10-minutes to) the airport then having to drive about an hour from the Matamwe Bungalows to the airport and then ongoing flight to DAR.

As mentioned in my earlier post - do either Nakuru or Naivasha and with the extra 2-days, stop at Tarangire before heading onto the Ngorongoro Crater.

I can't comment specifically about the cost as you are using a US-based tour operator verus an in-country outfitter whose prices are often less. You may want to send your itinerary with the changes I mentioned to an outfitter who is received well here on Fodors:

Roy Safaris - www.roysafaries.com

You can email them thru their "contact" page and see what prices they can offer - use as a comparison and then make your decision.

 
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Apr 19th, 2005, 07:05 PM
  #8
 
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We are leaving tomorrow on our safari. I planned the trip and then shopped around for the best prices excluding airfare from the US. Premier Tours price was the same as Fish Eagle in Texas, but I really liked the agent Lisa C. at Premier. I think we did very well price wise, when I think of some of the quotes we got.

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Apr 20th, 2005, 03:12 AM
  #9
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I am very excited to hear all about your trip when you return. can you post your itinerary and a trip report please?
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