Safari Travel Agent Pricing


Nov 19th, 2005, 05:41 AM
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Safari Travel Agent Pricing

Have decided on using Wilderness Safari for Botswana 2007. Lots of choices on the internet for travel agencies who appear to be highly qualified. Will pricing vary from agent to agent with an identical itinerary? At $15-20K per person, I need to make certain that I am getting the best prices for my party of 4 adults. Have contacted Eyes on Africa and Adventure Travel Desk/ Any advice between the two or another agency?
DianeJF is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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I've traveled with ATD to Africa with great success and have spoken to/emailed Nicky at Eyes, who was highly knowledgeable and responsive. Both good agents.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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I am going to Botswana in June 2006 and am also using Wilderness Safari. Before I booked I did a lot of research and found that Wilderness rates are set regardless of whom you book with. Which camps are you going to?
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Nov 19th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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To Raelond and everyone else!

Thanks here is our tentative itinerary, would love input.

June or July 2007

3 Nights Duba Plains, Little Vumbura or Chitabe
3 Xigera or Tubu Tree
3 Nights Kings Pool or Savuti
2-3 Nights River Club
5 Nights Cape Town Cape Grace or Hemmingway House
(Another agency recommend Kwara and Lebala)

Alternatively may start at River Club to get over jet lag from Hawaii. All advice is welcome.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 11:30 AM
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Either option is going to be great. Balance the budget and you'll be set.
Nice trip: I am jealous.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Great itinerary.

Of the places listed, I have stayed at Chitabe (and we saw plenty of wild dogs, and also lots of lion and leopard, in addition to more general game) and Savuti (great for elephant when I was there, and also wild dog and lots of lion).

Great itinerary, and you may do better if you book with an operator based in Africa than the US. Lots are recommended if you search around the site.

I haven't priced your itinerary, but my hunch that you could spend less than $60,000 to $80,000.

Another frequent poster is from Hawaii and he may be able to indicte with whom he booked. He just returned and is already planning return trip.

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Nov 19th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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I used an agent in Philadelphia that I highly recommend and we did a similar trip although included two nights in the winelands. We started in Cape Town(4nts) then 2nts outside Stellenbosch, 1nt JNB, 6nts in Botswana at 3 WS camps and ended with 2nts at the River Club. Email me if you'd like his name or more info. Great trip!!
moremiles is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Wow, that really sounds like a great trip! Whether you decide on June or July will make a substantial difference in price, probably about 30 to 40 percent more beginning July 1st (beginning of high season in Botswana). Also, Kings Pool (6 paw camp) will probably be about 40 percent more than the other 5 paw camps.
You can also try Our trip worked out great and he does a lot of business with Wilderness Safaris.

If you have 5 nights at Cape Town, have you thought about staying out in the Wine area for a couple of nights, as that was our favorite portion of the Cape Town area.
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Nov 19th, 2005, 12:56 PM
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Looks like a great trip. I really liked Chitabe and also had good luck with wild dogs there in August. Late June or July would be a good time too. Duba Plains for me is this August.

Any of those options look great!
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Nov 20th, 2005, 10:28 AM
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Sounds like you're setting up a wonderful trip!
To comment on some of the camps:

Your first choice is between Duba Plains, Little Vumbura or Chitabe. These are three very different choices. LV is great for water activities (but on our 2001 visit, not as good for game drives - I understand the main Vumbura camp was better for that). Chitabe is good for predators - we didn't love this camp as much as the others (we stayed in Chitabe Trails but it's connected to Chitabe main camp, though guests remain separate) but many visitors love this camp. Duba Plains I don't know personally but understand that it's great for lion and buffalo interaction, if I have my camps right.

Tubu Tree is one of my favourite camps - everything from the guiding to the tents to the beauty of the area to the food to the staff to the public areas and bar... it's all wonderful. When the flood waters are high you can usually also do water activities from this camp though you may need to be driven a distance from the camp to the water's edge.

Savuti and King's Pool are pretty close to each other - about a 45-60 minute drive. Animals such as the cheetahs and wild dogs have large enough territories that they are sometimes nearer one camp and sometimes nearer the other. We stayed in Savuti and enjoyed our wildlife experience there very much. The camp has been changed somewhat and now has 7 tents not 5, it also has raised walkways between tents and public areas. The log hide by the artificial water spring is still there and very popular. KP is more luxurious but I imagine safari game viewing experience will be very similar in either.

I don't know your other camps.

For more on those WS camps that I personally favour, I can also recommend Jacana (a wonderful water camp with stunning views over the floor waters (depending on when you go) and which has a magical intimacy that few camps share), Mombo (which offers such wonderful game viewing, especially of leopards and lions), Jack's Camp (which isn't strictly WS as it's still owned by Uncharted Africa/ Ralph Bousfield but is now run and marketed by WS and offers a wonderful experience in a very different environment - we especially loved seeing the brown hyena and spendikng time with the meerkats).
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