Tanzania Safari Companies

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Apr 9th, 2013, 08:16 PM
  #1
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Tanzania Safari Companies

Hi folks,
Just back from snowbird trip and planning next years.
Main destination will be a Tanzania for a safari and beach time.
Many have recommended Roy's Safari so I contacted them and was surprised that the email answer came from A-Way-To Africa Safaris whom I have never heard of. They say they work exclusively with Roy Safari but I also read on this forum that people have worked with African Serendipity as US agent to book Roy's Safaris.
So my question is: Does anyone know of A-Way-To Africa Safaris ?
Should I just disregard and contact Roy Safari again to insist on dealing directly with them ?
Is this a common practice now, to refer inquiries to another company to handle ?

I have to think that I would pay extra to use a USA middleman to book a safari with a Tanzanian company - no ?

I have read some forum posts on Tanzania safari companies, Roys is often mentioned positively as well as Thompsons.

Any comments to assist would be appreciated. Also looking for recommendations on Zanzibar accommodations.
Thanks. Christo.
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Apr 9th, 2013, 08:40 PM
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You emailed Roy Safaris and A-Way answered? Must be something new or wrong?
I went with Roys in Feb 2011 and they are top notch (and I've been on safaris every year since 2005, mostly to South Africa). We worked with Roys, (Mr.) Sanjay, directly.
I'd try to deal directly with Roys, Sanjay. Unless there's been lots changes since 2011.

regards - tom
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Apr 10th, 2013, 04:18 AM
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Have traveled with Roys for three safaris now and have been most pleased. Will add that Sanjay is a real gentleman and have enjoyed more than one conversation with him during stay at Africa Tulip which is next door to Roys office.

Worked thru Africa Serendipity as we wanted coordination of travel in Kenya and also a bit of peace=of=mind in that US contact, accepted our local checks, phone call away and extensive knowledge of East Africa travel.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 04:59 AM
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Very odd...I also traveled with Roys (just last month), great experience, and dealt directly with Sanjay. I've never heard of A-Way safari, I'd try emailing directly to Roy's again.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Roy's has two reps in the States who if they (Roy's) receive many reqs from North America - US/Canada - refer them to either A-Way to Africa... or Africa Serendipity, one big happy family the three.

If you are a repeat direct client with Roys, feel free to mention in your new request. Otherwise, you can be assured of the same excellent Roy's service once in-country.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 03:14 PM
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Sandy, Stop advertising yourself. You know the rules......
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Apr 10th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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baraca - I do not feel sandi was advertising herself. Where in her posting did she link herself with A-Way to Africa? Or maybe it is to Africa Serendipity she is advertising, how? Or, maybe it is Roys? Tell me which one it is from her reply

She is adding relevant info to help clarify what goes on with Roys. If anything it is Roys that is getting advertising!!

regards - tom
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Apr 10th, 2013, 04:19 PM
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Tom,

OK, she can advertise other agents/agencies, but not her own. Sandy knows the rules of this board.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 04:43 PM
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I still contend she was not advertising. Which one of those is her agency and where does she say so? Just because you know the one does not mean anyone else does. She is simply clarifying how Roys works. Valuable information since many of us have and do use Roys. You may have the last word, I'm finished on the topic.

regards - tom
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Apr 10th, 2013, 05:56 PM
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Thanks folks.

Sandi, your insight makes me feel a little more comfortable, however I still find this practice of assignment to be not quite right. I've read many good reviews of Roys but do not know A-Way to Africa from a hole in the ground. To me courtesy and professionalism says you first contact the client and then ask them if they would mind dealing with their preferred agent instead. Perhaps I'm old fashioned !

Moving on, I'll just put that in my back pocket for now as I have many other questions and will also contact other companies for comparison - it's a lot of money.
Maybe better to start another thread for the next questions.

PS. I did not sense any advertising.
Christo.
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Apr 11th, 2013, 01:44 PM
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Thanks Tom -

This question has come up too many times over too many years, so felt it was time to clarify.

No one gets a reply from a request to Roys not knowing from whom and why. If client prefers not to pursue further, they have every right not to.

Besides there are lots of outfitters who have similar arrangements with reps in other countries. A2T has offices in Arusha and Minnesota; Good Earth likewise with offices in Florida. Can't recall all... but that's how they have chosen to handle their business.

Seems for some people, one can't win for loosing. Either clients don't get replies because an outfitter 'in-country' is swamped, or if they do with quick turn-around, that's not good enough either. In this instance, for the hundreth time a question was asked and answer provided. That's it.

And, as there are thousands of outfitters out there, if you prefer not to work with a particular one, there are many more from which you can choose.

End of discussion.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 04:46 AM
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I'd clarify that Access2Tanzania doesn't just have "reps" or agency representation in Tanzania, they actually employ their own guides (who only work for them) there and the Tanzanian-born co-owner runs the office there in Arusha, which is where all the accommodations and guide arrangements are booked from. It's not a sort of agency or shadow representative that other companies might have, it is an acutal A2T presence.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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...sorry amyb, a brain fart. Was thinking of another company also with 'letters' and it not being A2T. If brain works and I recall, will update who.

As I remember Brian had been in peace corp and years later started the company with a partner in Arusha though Karen/staff handles the bookings out of MN. Thanks for picking that up.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 07:13 PM
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OK so Roys works with some US/Canada agencies including A-Way-To Africa Safaris, no big deal, done that before. I usually prefer to deal direct but if using the agent works well with no extra cost then that's fine with me.

It would be nice to pay with a cc. I hate bank transfers.
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Apr 13th, 2013, 11:00 AM
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Few ooutfitters who handle safaris Tanzania/Kenya accept credit cards. Those who do, either assess a fee/surcharge for use (at minimum 5%), or include in overall price to you.

Bank wires are the usual method of payment and easy to do. What's to hate? Besides fee for wires is certainly less than the surcharges for use of plastic or/if % added into your price.

Always up to you.
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Apr 14th, 2013, 02:02 PM
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I contacted 5 tour operators. When I contacted Roy's they had a US agent email me with a response to my questions. Perhaps they thought I would be more comfortable dealing directly with someone from my own country. She said I could contact Roy's if I preferred. I should have done that in order to continue my questions with that company. After a couple emails, the patronizing comments of the US agent in response to some questions was why I eliminated Roy's from my list. In the end, I have chosen a company whose owner lives in Arusha and our email conversations have been very prompt and polite. The price was better as well.
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Apr 14th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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Hi dkaymarie and thank you.
That is about the same as the email I received from the CDN co. and their service may turn out to be just fine, I don't know yet.
I am still doing pre-planning and have not settled on an outfitter. Likewise I will contact several, try to get some comparisons.
If you don't mind saying which company did you choose ?
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Apr 15th, 2013, 07:39 PM
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I chose Basecamp Tanzania. The owner, Achmed, has been very helpful.
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Apr 18th, 2013, 11:06 AM
  #19
 
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I would try Roy again directly. I did a two week driving tour with them and they were great - the key issue was flexibility to move away from the itinerary if the good game viewing was somewhere else.

christo, if you don't get any joy from Roy try http://www.africadreamsafaris.com/

Michael Wishner is a Tanzania specialsit and first introduced me to Gol Kopje (some of the best cheetah viewing I have had in over 20 safaris.) and I have now returned several times - he works with some great camps and really knows his stuff - his plans can get you off the beaten track and his company is a recipient of the Tanzania Humanitarian Awards.

Having done the rounds of camp hopping a few times I now tend to just visit
Alex Walker's mobile camps http://www.serian.net/thecamps/serengetimaswa.html

I am not sure what time of year you are going but his camp's move with the game and I have never been disappointed.

I often book with Gamewatchers http://www.porini.com/african-safari...l?sub=tanzania and although I have not been to Zanzibar with them they booked a safari plus island holiday for some friends who were full of praise.

With regard to the discussion on advertising

A short time ago Sandi proclaimed that I was touting when I recommended two or three camps in Kenya although I am not an agent nor do I have any economic interest in any camp. Hence I have sympathy for baracca's concerns. I found her noting two agencies one of which (Africa Serendipity) she has a financial interest in somewhat against the spirit of what she was espousing with me.
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Apr 18th, 2013, 11:33 AM
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Sandi does NOT advertise on this forum, but is generous with sharing her expertise. She only mentioned Africa Serendipity to note that they are a US rep of Roys. "Nuff said".

I would also recommend The Wild Source for Tanzania safaris. Bill Given has set up his own outfitting company in Tanzania with his outstanding guide, Deo Magoye. So, he can provide the planning service in the US and also the outfitting services in Tanzania. Deo guided my group last year and it was a fantastic safari!

Zanzibar: I'd recommend Indoma Tours there. Masoud Salim, a co-owner with his brother has been my guide almost every year I've gone to Zanzibar. They handled our arrangements last year after the safari and did a great job. We stayed at Pongwe Beach Lodge on the coast and Tembo House in Stone Town. Don't miss Monsoon Restaurant in Stone Town.
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