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Roys, Good earth or ATR? Please help with Itinerary :o)

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Oct 20th, 2005, 08:35 AM
  #61
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hotchilli: amfs did use ATR and I believe that she is due to return from her trip any day. So watch for a trip report from her.
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Oct 20th, 2005, 08:37 AM
  #62
 
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Hi folks grappling with who to use. I too am planning a trip to Tanzania in June or July. Briefly, GE never replied to my email asking for help planning the safari (NEVER, and still haven't); ATR responded but ultimately told me in so many words that I was a cheapskate (of course, they didn't use that word) and told me that weren't the company for me because I thought the quote they had given me was too high (it was about 20-25% higher than others) - ATR also pushed their own sites; I've described my experience with TSA elsewhere on this board (not good); and ultimately chose to go with Africa Serendipity. Sandi, yes, the same Sandi who gives such great advice and information on this board (and always objective - not in any way pushing Africa Serendipty, the company she represents), is most helpful, a delight to work with, and quick to respond to emails. I therefore give Sandi and Africa Serendipity my highest and most enthusiastic recommendation! And have a great trip regardless of who you choose.
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Oct 20th, 2005, 08:58 AM
  #63
 
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Interesting. I guess I graduated from cheapskate with ATR. The other year I contacted them and never heard a word. This year, no problem, they were all over me (so to speak).

Good Earth sort of put me off, said, Get your airfare first, then we'll talk. Also dealt with Roy and they were extremely helpful, although a little more expensive, and my friend's mom wanted to use her CC.

The op we used last time was just as expensive and was offering something very off the rack, plus I was a little worried they'd give us the bait-and-switch re: our guide (and it was the guide we loved love loved, not the agent).

So for the next-next time, which I'm hoping will be something straightforward and relatively inexpensive in Kenya, who knows. Of course if I have some sort of windfall I'll angle for a Kenya/Rwanda/Uganda combo.

Choosing an operator is not easy. And I think the more money you're laying out, the more worrisome it becomes.
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Oct 20th, 2005, 09:18 AM
  #64
 
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wjsonl,
Sorry to hear you had such poor initial responses from those operators. I'm glad that you were finally able to find one that met your needs. Your post really illustrates how different travelers can have vastly different experiences with the same operator.

Hope you have a great trip! BTW did you post your itinerary somewhere?
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Oct 20th, 2005, 09:56 AM
  #65
 
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Thanx, Patty.... and Leely, re: they were all over you (so to speak), reminds me of the time in June when we were heading back to the Serengeti Serena Lodge after doing a game drive and our guide/driver noticed that the right front tire was losing air. He told us there was an alternate way back, somewhat shorter, and he was going to take that route to try to get back before the tire went flat. Well, he took the shorter route, all right, but he didn't make it back before the tire went flat. So, as it happens (didn't Forrest Gump say something like that?) the tire went flat in a low lying area which was in the middle of quite a few trees (thorny acacias I think, but don't recall for sure - dang these senior moments). All of a sudden the tsetse flies were everywhere, coming in our pop-top roof and open windows. They were all over us! We started slapping at the flies and mostly slapped ourselves (those little rascals are fast). We quickly lowered the top and closed the windows and then took it to the little pesties! Fortunately for the four of us, I had sprayed our clothing with Permethrin (an insecticide) before leaving on the trip, and we all had put a recommended insect repellent on all exposed skin. Unbelieveably, none of us got stung! One of my memories of the trip is staring in the face of hundreds of tsetse flies hitting the windows trying to get in!
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Oct 20th, 2005, 10:05 AM
  #66
 
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we just returned from a trip with Good Earth and had great service & quick responses from them. I am in the process of writing a full trip report & should (hopefully) have it up by the end of the weekend. I would definitely travel with them again - price was very good and again, we had really good service.
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Oct 20th, 2005, 10:12 AM
  #67
 
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wjsonl,
Great story. Don't you just love E. Africa???

Actually, my parents took us on an extended driving trip throughout Mexico when we were teeny-tiny. My most vivid memory is being in "the jungle" somewhere and thousands of mosquitoes trying--and succeeding--to get into our VW bus.

Again, I'm glad you found the right op. for you. And yes, have you posted a final itinerary?
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Oct 20th, 2005, 10:29 AM
  #68
 
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Hi Lorib, glad you had a good experience with GE. Of course, by my comments I certainly didn't mean to imply that they never get back with anybody. Obviously, if that was the case, they'd go out of business. But, I am not the only one on this board to report communication problems with GE. And, IMHO, they should get back to everybody, 100%. Communication problems simply are a red flag and could mean that you might expect problems in other areas, as well. Fortunately for you, things went well.
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Oct 20th, 2005, 10:33 AM
  #69
 
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I agree that all of the companies should respond to everyone. I had sent our itinerary to about 6 companies back in January and did not hear back from 2 of them, but I don't recall which 2 they were. I definitely felt the same way as you, frustrated that the companies did not respond.
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Oct 20th, 2005, 10:45 AM
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Lorib, we're definitely on the same page.... and Leely, a VW bus, huh. So you were a teeny tiny thing in the 60's, I assume, correct? Lordy, I was at UT-Austin in the sixties, you child you! I'm taking my son back to Africa as a graduation gift. He'll graduate from Texas Tech in May and go on to a teaching/coaching career. Here's our itinerary:
Day 1- Arrive JRO, transfer to Impala Hotel (B&B)
Day 2- Drive to Tarangire Natl Park - o/n Kikoti Camp (FB)
Day 3- Tarangire NP - o/n Kikoti Camp (FB)
Day 4- Drive (via Manyara, Ngorongoro) to Central Serengeti- o/n Mbuzi Mawe (FB)
Day 5- Serengeti - o/n Mbuzi Mawe (FB)
Day 6- Serengeti - o/n Mbuzi Mawe (FB)
Day 7- Fly to Arusha - day-room at Impala Hotel; evening transfer to JRO for homebound flight (B)

Chris is real excited about getting to go back. We did a "lodge safari" in June (wife and grandson along with us), so this time we want to "rough it" so to speak (yeah, right, roughing it in a luxury tent!).
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Oct 20th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Yeah, you sure know how to "rough it"!
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Oct 20th, 2005, 12:21 PM
  #72
 
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Yeah, we're tough Texans, gonna ride out there (in a 4x4) on that there Serengeti range and lasso some buffalo; then we're gonna grill 'em on a campfire and have 'em with Tuskers on a kopje...
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Oct 20th, 2005, 12:41 PM
  #73
 
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Them buffalo look mighty tough to me. I always thought them gazelles looked at lot tastier! <)
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Oct 20th, 2005, 12:51 PM
  #74
 
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Gazelles? You and cheetahs have something in common. Are you a fast woman?
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Oct 20th, 2005, 12:56 PM
  #75
 
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You should see Patty in her chaps. And she's not even a Texan.
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Oct 20th, 2005, 01:00 PM
  #76
 
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I like chaps, too. In fact, it's my favorite Ralph Lauren cologne... (does that smell?)
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Oct 20th, 2005, 01:42 PM
  #77
 
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Not fast on my feet, but my husband tells me I'm a pretty good shot, fer a woman that is

(Just kiddin' Rocco, I've never shot a poor helpless animal. Matter of fact, I still have those rabbits I found in the park. Haven't been able to bring myself to throw 'em on the grill yet but jus wait til they chew up the next piece of furniture! > )
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Oct 22nd, 2005, 02:19 AM
  #78
 
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Incidentally, about the tsetse fly attack story above, none of us had on blue clothing. You would've thought we were The Blue Man Group!
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