Travel agent woes--help requested!

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Aug 20th, 2004, 05:32 AM
  #21
CarlyGold
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... and Mark's web site is ....? Thanks.
 
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Aug 20th, 2004, 08:36 AM
  #22
 
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Google Taga Safaris.
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Aug 21st, 2004, 05:06 AM
  #23
 
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having done extensive research into the subject there are things people should be aware of. Firstly I do not think that mala Mala is a bad property in fact for game viewing it is excellent it has a great reputation, and may need some catching up in the luxury factor, but it is excellent value for money. When dealing with an operator bear in mind that they are there to make money. mala Mala offers a standard rate of commmission to every single agent, they do not make exceptions, Singita etc provide certain agents with certain commission meaning if one agent is going to get 30% from Singita versus 20% from mala Mala who are they going to try and sell?????
Karrell Travel are HUGE Wilderness Safaris supporters and get a huge commission from them so for booking a safari using only Wilderness Safafaris properties there is no one better. I on the whole would think that to book directly with a south African Tour operator makes the most sense as you are not going to get lumbered with double commission, if you are not sure of a reputable one than SATSA website will be able to help you
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Aug 21st, 2004, 08:42 AM
  #24
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Thanks for the input, everyone!
Kavey, we are U.S. based, but not opposed to using a South African Company.
At Taga, I did not deal with Mark--perhaps I should try again with him--especially with the info that mzcuriouz shared. Roccco, lowest prices guaranteed does sound pretty good....
Fish Eagles seems to be highly recommended. So I'll call them for sure and see what they can come up with. Next Adventure is also a prospect.
CarlyGold mentioned Karell, but actually, Karell is the parent company of South African Holidays (the agency with poor e-mail and phone call return). However, interestingly enough, I sent a complaint letter to the president of the company, and he called my home yesterday to personally address the issue. That's a good sign. I will also see what he has to say.
Because this Karell company (South African Holidays) is associated with South African Airlines, they do seem to have the lowest airfare, but at what cost to customer service? I'll pay a little more for an agent that I know that I can depend on.
Sandi, I agree 100% that gaining a longtime client SHOULD be more important than gaining a one-time commission. I'm looking for the agent that thinks like we do!

I'll share that last evening I had panic dreams that my husband and I made it to Cape Town, yet had not yet determined where we were going to stay for our Kruger safari! In the dream I had my computer, my cell phone, my trip notes, and my address book (none of which will be coming with me on the real trip) yet I could not find the phone number for MalaMala! It was driving me crazy! I kept looking and looking; calling friends and family; asking people on the street, and no one could tell me how to contact MM. Needless to say I'm up early on Saturday morning, anxious to see what the senior travel advisors have to say! I have got to get this thing resolved. My husband and I did decide that we want MM for sure, though. For game viewing it seems to be the place, and that's what we are most looking forward to. We'll spend our last few nights luxuriously in Jo'Berg.

Sundowner, please keep us updated! I'd love to hear about your MM experience! Based on what you shared, I may just book MM on my own, then let an agent do the rest. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. I can get started on that now...

Again, many thanks to all! I'll keep you posted.
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Aug 21st, 2004, 09:33 AM
  #25
 
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MissingMN,

Just as a precautionary measure, you may want to program the phone number for Mala Mala into your cell phone or write it in your passport, just to be safe!

I hate those kinds of dreams, but after you have concluded your visit to South Africa, it will be nothing but heavenly dreams!
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