Uganda trip expenses

Reply

Nov 29th, 2014, 07:35 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 19
Uganda trip expenses

I want to run a problem past the board to see if I'm being reasonable. I booked a 10 night solo trip to Uganda with a very high end company in September. I paid a lot of money for a driver and 3 hotels. Chimp, and 2 gorilla permits which are of course fixed. My agent in South Africa is no longer with the company. My new agent sent me my itinerary with the company's costs, which are $2000 less than what they charged me.

I have been to Africa about 10 times. I usually book my own trips. But I got lazy and needed a reliable driver between camps. And this company even upcharged me for their own lodge in Bwindi!! Their commission turns out to be 26%!

I wrote the company and asked them to split the difference with me or refund the whole amount or risk having a very vocal and unhappy client. This trip of a lifetime is turning into a nightmare

What does the experienced board members think? Am I being an unreasonable miser? Or is this company gouging me. Most of these companies give you a blanket price so you can't see how much commission they are getting but this one broke it down. They were going to charge me $200 to walk me from arrivals to departures. That should have been the tip off I should have looked elsewhere. But I wanted to stay at their Bwindi property and they were offering a discount on permits so I chose them

Thanks
docklang is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2014, 09:12 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 61,943
I'm no expert . . . But IMO you booked what you must have thought was a reasonable amount for the itinerary. So complaining now does seem sour grapes. No quite sure what is 'nightmare-ish' except you probably overpaid. Maybe press them for a modest adjustment, but since you obviously could afford the original price I'd just go and enjoy the amazing animals and all.
janisj is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2014, 10:57 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I think you have to go with the price you agreed to. How do you know what the commission was with the previous agent? Maybe it was the same amount, but just not disclosed. For high end operators in Africa, I have heard that 30% can be typical.

Now about the upcharge--if your original itinerary had a different accommodation at a lower cost, then it would seem you have a case not to be moved to a higher cost lodging because agents changed. I'd fight that one.

--Or are you being upgraded to better, more expensive lodging at no extra cost? That's a different story.

There may be lodgings or services within the itinerary that you can tweak with this new company. Maybe you don't need someone to walk you from arrivals to departures, so that service can be dropped completely.

Unless you are getting less service for the same cost or unless the new agent is of lesser quality, I would not complain. The apparent "upcharge" is the exception if it is indeed a change that you do not want.

If you've been to Africa 10 times then you know what a thrill awaits you. Forget the nightmare talk, start reading about Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, and start training for all the primate hikes. No worries, enjoy the trip.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2014, 11:02 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Oh, just noted you may not be needing as much training as I thought for the hikes. I think you had investigated porters and a transport chair. Those extra services can also add to the cost.

If you have the itinerary you want and the additional help on your visits to the primates, I wouldn't monkey around (ha ha) with that. It could be hard to duplicate special services.

After this incident you have an understanding for "what we don't know can't hurt us" and "ignorance is bliss." That's one reason agents are often very reluctant to break down costs in an itinerary. It can open a can of worms.

Safari njema!
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2014, 07:44 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 19
Thanks all. I wasn't quite clear. Same overall company, just different agent within the company. I guess they realize Americans like to pay with dollars and have a local number to call!

If 30% is the norm, then were in the ballpark. I usually have done self drive, but needed a car and driver, but I guess this is what you pay for a private trip. I'm not a backpacker anymore

And I'm actually training by going up 11 flights of stairs every day. Hope it helps.
docklang is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 2nd, 2014, 06:55 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Keep climbing docklang. Good for you!

I climbed 11 flights too as training, what a coincidence! But sometimes I carried a bag of cat litter for added weight.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:51 AM.