Safari Operator Payments

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Oct 26th, 2005, 05:02 PM
  #1
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Safari Operator Payments

So, after all this, I finally decide on an operator and they tell me they don't accept credit cards. (Well, they accept only up to 20% of the total). Is this common? I've heard some charge a surcharge, but haven't heard of operators that don't accept. All you experienced safari travelers have any advice about forms of payment? Thanks!
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Oct 26th, 2005, 05:57 PM
  #2
 
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I just did a wire transfer of $3000 to Roy Safaris with nothing more than a handshake agreement via e-mail. I asked the safari operators I solicited quotes from what their payment options were, and cash payents were the rule, not the exception. Operators that take credit cards are rare. I think the fact that ATR takes American Express was one major reason they were in my final two.
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Oct 26th, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Marcus,
It's true that some tour operators don't accept credit cards at all or only up to a certain limit and the ones that do often have a surcharge. You would probably need to arrange for a wire transfer of the balance or pay for your balance in cash or travelers check on arrival (if this latter option is accepted). I sent wire transfers for both my deposit and balance this time. If you've done your research and know you're dealing with a reputable tour operator, it shouldn't be a problem.

This is actually a very good reminder to check the individual payment and cancellation policies of each tour operator you've made inquires with early on in the process, so there are no surprises. Particularly the cancellation policies can vary tremendously. Many tour operators post their terms and conditions on their website.

So which tour operator did you decide to go with if you don't mind me asking?
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Oct 26th, 2005, 06:23 PM
  #4
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Hi,
I ended up with Africa Dream Safaris. I got the best service from them, they will help me in my stop in Nairobi and they got me all the lodges I wanted. I learned they work with H&A Unique Safaris in Tanzania which I heard is wel regarded. I got six quotes and they were on the higher side, but not the highest. I get nervous forking over cash, though, to anyone. No recourse, all that stuff. But if it seems to be the rule than I guess that's the way it will be. I haven't paid yet so if there are any last minute warnings feel free to share!
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Oct 26th, 2005, 06:43 PM
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One thing I did to help my nervousness was to buy my travel insurance within a short period of sending in the first payment. In a cash transaction, that's the only real back up you have.

What's nice about Africa Dream Safaris is that they're a U.S. company, so you'll have more avenues for addressing any problems you might have than you would with an overseas operator.
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Oct 26th, 2005, 07:30 PM
  #6
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Who did you use for travel insurance?
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Oct 26th, 2005, 07:54 PM
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I went with Travelex. I purchased the Travelite package which is a comprehensive package including medical, evacuation insurance, delay insurance, etc... I've purchased from them before for other trips, but haven't had cause to use the insurance. (knock on wood)

I used Insuremytrip.com to compare the various policies. There were cheaper policies, but the main reason I chose Travelex was that their policies were primary coverage. (i.e. Travelex pays first, and then my regular insurance pays whatever is left over.)

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