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Recommended High End Tour company(ies): SA, Kili & Okavanga Delta

Recommended High End Tour company(ies): SA, Kili & Okavanga Delta

May 3rd, 2011, 01:24 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 18
Craig – Yes, I leave for Durbs in 48 hours. Then I continue off for a few weeks to catch up on a few corners of Zambia and Malawi. Are you going over – if so I’d like to put a face to the name! ☺

( Stevie – forgive me for digressing amidst your thread! )

Chris McIntyre
Author: Bradt guidebooks to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia & Zanzibar
MD: Expert Africa & Wild about Africa
(offices in London & New Zealand)
Chris_ExpertAfrica is offline  
May 3rd, 2011, 01:39 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 730
First time I am missing the show since I bought the company in 2005. I am taking my wife and kids to Zimbabwe this summer so I can't afford the time off.

Stevie - sorry!

Travel Safe.

Craig
Safari_Craig is offline  
May 3rd, 2011, 01:42 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,003
Craig and Chris make some excellent points in this thread ... travelers take heed.
DonTopaz is offline  
May 3rd, 2011, 06:53 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
I totally agree with Chris - not only do you need to ask your agent "Have you been to this camp" - but, you ought to ask them, "how recently" and the accompanying details. Reason I say this, many factors that may make or break your safari - main factor the staff in camp - guides, trackers and camp management!!! a very crucial part of your safari, especially given the costs of safaris..........
HariS is offline  
May 3rd, 2011, 07:44 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Agree with Craig and Hari. But, how many agents can be current, say within two years, on how many camps?

regards - tom
ps - I volunteer to help out with camp updates, just send me paid air tickets and camp reservations !!!
cary999 is offline  
May 3rd, 2011, 08:04 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,286
Live and learn, but much better info is found from places like fodors than a travel agent. I don't expect my agent to visit every camp every year, but I can find current info from fellow travelers. Doing a little research on your own doesn't require much effort when checking up on an agent's camp recommendation. I was very happy with our first safari, but would have done things a tiny bit differently if I had done some research. As I said, live and learn.

To answer the OP's original question, I would stick with one country for such a short trip. SA in the Kruger region or Botswana. I did the Mashatu-Mala Mala (we did Arathusa, but same general area) trip. Definitely doable in that short time, if you can arrange for a charter flight between camps but Mashatu Main might be a better choice if they want high end. Tented camp is a bit rustic. August-Sept is a good time to visit. I use a local safari agent, and did Wilderness Safari camps when we went to Botswana. Got the agent by contacting Wilderness Safaris through their website.
christabir is offline  
May 4th, 2011, 04:24 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
All the replies so far I'm sure will help in your decision making when your employer comes to SA.

My advice simply put would be:

Go to Kruger Park and stay at one of the camps inside the park for a day or two or three. Guided tours are easily arranged once your there. After you have seen the animals and experienced the bush, jump on a plane and come to Cape Town. It is the place to be in South Africa. I live here and appreciate the beauty everyday. There is so much do so and see in the Western Cape. You need to spend a good few weeks in SA to fully appreciate all that we have to offer. I am happy I live in the most beautiful place in the world (Cape Town). Good luck and i hope your employer has a good time in SA!
Discover_Africa is offline  
May 4th, 2011, 05:15 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I hope the ladies find a good trip and they should take you along Stevi for the help.

Some good advice given.

You're right Craig that I have not used these high end companies, but I've run into people using them, seen trips in progress, and encountered some A&K reps on safari.

If I were promoting companies such as AAC or EOA, I would have tried to convince Stevi to in turn convince her employer & friends to examine what they want in a safari and do some cost benefit analyses. But the title of the post stated "high end," so to me Micato and A&K are high in cost and in reputation, fitting the high end definition.

High end to me does not imply value. It does imply very expensive and impressive name recognition, similar to hiring a chauffeured limo for a night on the town, when you could drive to the same place in a Chevy or Buick. Though I have not done the limo option and don't care to, I'd still recommend it for a "high-end" night out.

We do agree on this statement you made:

"...if you compare the brochure price for group tours offered by some of the group tour companies it will often be more and sometimes much more than the exact same tour (same camps, same hotel, etc) on a private basis booked with 100+ other companies."

Stevi, do the travelers have a budget? That may help narrow which companies would work best.
atravelynn is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 05:37 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
Could I jump in and ask what would a 9 day high-end safari in Tanzania cost per person in the Jan.-Feb. time period next year. Thanks.
StanKase is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 07:28 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
StanKase,

I checked the Micato and A&K websites. Their time frames include some international flying, so it is probably close to 9 days. Just divide to see the per night cost.

A&K
Signature Tanzania
http://www.abercrombiekent.com/trave...dates&tid=4885
12 days is $11,000
No group size. Solo is mid $16,000

Hemingway
http://www.abercrombiekent.com/travel/?tid=4880
12 days is just over $9000
Max group size is 12

Micato
Tanzania Spectacular
http://www.micato.com/tanzania-spect...tes-and-rates/

10 days is just over $900
Don’t know max group size but for another $1000 it can be a private trip

Here are a couple more comments on luxury that relate to Tanzania.
http://www.go-safari.com/p/luxury-defined.html

The limo is honking and the chauffeur is calling. My night on the town awaits. Signing off for now.
atravelynn is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 07:41 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
CORRECTION NEEDED:

Micato
Tanzania Spectacular
http://www.micato.com/tanzania-spect...tes-and-rates/

10 days is just over $9000
Don’t know max group size but for another $1000 it can be a private trip
atravelynn is offline  
May 6th, 2011, 01:47 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 730
Thank Lynn! I get what you are saying.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
Safari_Craig is offline  
May 7th, 2011, 07:52 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Great info above for all to consider.


Stevi - As to your employers... they're trying to cover too much ground in too short a timeframe. Can't do East and Southern Africa with the # of days they indicate. Just getting from East to South is over a day; Kili requires minimum 6/days (7/days preferable).

Stick with South Africa or maybe South Africa/Botswana. There are enough references/links above to follow-thru with.

Good luck!

Lynn - I'm opting for a taxi... it's got 4/wheels and going my way
sandi is offline  
May 17th, 2011, 08:16 AM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 16
I SOOOO love this site and it's been ages since I've traveled myself. Thanks again to all who responded! I've passed on numerous suggestions made by you guys and we'll see what she comes back with.

Discover - I'm heading to Capetown myself due to my "Second Mom" being diagnosed with terminal cancer so we must go see her. She's in Simonstown. I agree about Capetown. I think I would move there if I could. It reminds me of the equivalent to an African San Diego (where I lived for many years).

Ciao everyone! Off to check flights to CPT
SteviSquaw is offline  
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