"Ultimate Africa" Safari with O.A.T.

Old Nov 15th, 2007, 01:33 PM
  #1  
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"Ultimate Africa" Safari with O.A.T.

We are considering the "Ultimate Africa" Safari (to Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe) with Overseas Adventure Travel in May '08. I would appreciate any recent trip reports/recommendations. Was this trip well-organized, were there any safety/health concerns? How were the accommodations and your guides? Did you feel safe in Zimbabwe?
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Old Nov 15th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Read "Trip Overbooked" on this (Africa and Middle East) site. I read by chance this morning and i would never book an OATs trip. Well, I wouldn't anyway as I don't like tour groups, but once in a while you hit a country where a group has some advantages.
Anyway, the BBB complaints would really put me off.
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Old Nov 15th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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SuzyQuzy,

We are looking to take one of OAT's safaris in September of 08, leaning toward Ultimate Africa. Every post that we have seen on this trip, both on Fodor's and Frommer's, as well as one couple that we know, have been extremely positive. Our only question is Zimbabwe itself, with its political and economic problems. Having taken 8 Grand Circle trips and been totally satisfied, these negative posts don't bother us. We are taking our first OAT trip, to Israel in February/March.

Kack and Ann
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Old Nov 15th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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If you look at the Trip Overbooked post, you will see that there was a satisfactory resolution prior to Philbill's Post.

Jack and Ann
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Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 03:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Just got back from Ultimate Africa. It was great, felt safe everywere. The only bad thing was airline lost are luggage on way there.Still have not seen it, it took a differnt safari. We did pack two changes, so was hard, but now know we can do 19 days with only carryons.
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Old Nov 24th, 2007, 08:50 AM
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Sea4burkes,

Please tell us more, perhaps in a report. Questions arise often on this trip, so a first hand account would be helpful.

So sorry about your luggage.
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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I took OAT's Kenya & Tanzania trip, but my roommate had previously been on the Ultimate Africa trip, which she raved about.
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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ann-nyc,

If you have it, could you forward us your roommate's Email address, or forward ours to her. We are planning to take one of OAT's safari trips in September and are trying to decide among them. Our address is [email protected].

Thanks,
Jack an Ann
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Hi SuzyQuzy....

We are booked for the Ultimate Africa trip with OAT on July 22nd...we have never traveled with them but are going with friends that have been on MANY trips with them and have nothing but wonderful things to say..... please let us know what you find out....

thanks...
bob & nancy
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Old Nov 26th, 2007, 06:15 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
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I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the OAT Ultimate Safari. My info might be dated as I went on this trip in June of 2005.
As far as safety - I was newly widowed - traveling by myself and only had one uncomfortable experience that could be attributed to a larium reaction, raging hormones and/or acute homesickness. And this occurred in my room one night, while overly romantic hippos serenaded each other directly under my deck.
This trip is what whetted my appetite for more of Africa, especially Botswana.
I didn't have the problems others experienced on the Boston end of things - but I would keep a close eye on arrangements until you board that first flight.
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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We just got back from Ultimate Safari with OAT. It was fantastic. Everything went very smoothly except our flight on BA, but that was not their fault. The trip was perfectly safe and the tented camps were excellent.
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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bernieman and sea4burkes,

We just booked a September 26 departure of Ultimate Africa today. How visible was the economic chaos in Zimbabwe? How did you handle tipping there as far as currency? Obviously, a year from now conditions may very well be different. If either of you publish a trip report or photos, we would love to see them. Both of you experienced problems with your airline arrangements. Were both of the problems BA? How physically demanding was the trip? How readily available was electricity for charging camera batteries? How frequently was laundry available, and did it require extra expense or tips? We are going in any case, but just want to be as prepared as possible.

Jack and Ann
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
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Just my dos pesos worth while waiting to hear from bernieman and sea4burkes -

In the tourist parts of Victoria Falls there is evidence of the economic problems, mostly in the aggresive desperation of the crafts vendors. Once off hotel grounds you are pretty much fair game and will having wood carvings thrust in your face. We stayed at Victoria Falls Hotel this past March and were escorted by the Tourist Police to and from the Falls.
Always tipped in dollars - there will be envelopes at the camps one for general staff and one for the guides. A couple of times when I had more than a couple day's laundry I put a couple of dollars in the laundry basket. You can have laundry done daily in camp - its included in the trip cost. Clothes are air dried, then ironed to complete the process. Dirties in the basket in the morning and usually folded on the bed by evening. They do not wash "small" (undergarments) but there will be washing powder in the bathroom for you do to a handwash/rinse.
Every camp had charging facilities in the office - Baobab had outlets in the room and were "on the grid" so with an adaptor I was able to charge batteries in my chalet.
As far as physically demanding - it is a lot of travel in a short period of time - but no heavy hikes.
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