travel agent in DC

Jan 20th, 2010, 02:47 PM
  #1  
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travel agent in DC

My fiancee and I are thinking about going to Botswana on our honeymoon. Can anyone recommend a travel agent in the Washington, DC area who specializes in Africa?

Thanks,
Scott
dc_scott is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 03:24 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Congratulations!!

I use Classic Africa. They are in Connecticut, but I don't have any trouble dealing with them over the phone and online (our first trip I never spoke to them directly - a 3 week trip for four pp was planned entirely online/e-mail and it was FLAWLESS). A lot of posters deal with agents in S Africa or directly with the camps.

If you are planning to use Wilderness Safari camps you can e-mail them and they will send you contact information for a travel agent they recommend. There are others companies in Botswana, too.
christabir is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 07:09 PM
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Scott,

I know a lot of people in this business but I have never come accross a safari specialist in DC. Classic Africa is a good company and they are up near Hartford. Up in Philadelphia, there is Swain Tours and Premier Tours. Both these companies are really good too. You need to ask for Julian Harrison at Premier or Natasha Smith at Swain. On the side, Julian is the editor of the Fodors travel book for South Africa. He is the owner of Premier. He is also one of the five safari specialists recommended by Conde Nast magazine. All three of these companies are competitors of my company but I have no problem recommending them.

Christabir recommended Wilderness Safaris. They do not work directly with client and if you get on their web site and make an inquiry you will be put in touch with one of their appointed agents in the USA. There are at least fifteen companies that work with Wilderness in this manner and Clasic, Premier, Ultimate Africa, Discover Africa, Fish Eagle (Houston), are all part of this grouping.

Most of us also have contracts with South African Airways which operates a direct flight from IAD (Dulles) to Jo'burg daily.

Hope this helps.

Craig Beal
Safari_Craig is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 05:43 AM
  #4  
 
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Scott,
I am also located in the DC Area and we do two dafaris a year to Africa. We never found a decent, knowledgeable Africa specialist agent in the area. We did use an agent in Connecticut (not Classic Africa) but they were absolutely terrible and after 3 safaris we quit using them.
We now use Travel Beyond in Minnesota. http://www.travelbeyond.com/ Craig has proven a knowledgeable resource and a very reliable agent. In addition, he keeps in close contact with the Wilderness organization should that be your choice of camps to visit. There are other fine camps in Botswana but Wilderness is our preference. I'm a retired University Professor and Physician but visit Africa with my wife, because we are serious amatuer photographers. I must admit that I don't bottom fish for cost but have always found Criag to be more than fair. Once I'm on safari the one thing I demand is no mixups in flight or camp schedules or in the private guiding we arrange. Africa has enough surprises without schedule or communication foul-ups.

Chuck
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Jan 21st, 2010, 05:45 AM
  #5  
 
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"two safaris" sorry have never been on a dafari
safarichuck is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 05:48 AM
  #6  
 
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Not certain, but believe "Cape-to-Cairo" is located in the Washington, DC area.
sandi is offline  
Jan 21st, 2010, 07:56 AM
  #7  
 
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Scott,

Provide me with either your address or phone number and I will recommend an excellent agent in the DC area.
mkulove is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 01:38 PM
  #8  
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Thank you for all of your responses. Our planning process has begun.
dc_scott is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2010, 05:20 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Interesting to see that there are a couple of other DC-area members here. I'm in Reston and headed to Bots for 3 weeks on Monday.
rickmck is offline  
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