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What about Intrepid Travel as a tour company?

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May 28th, 2008, 05:55 PM
  #1
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What about Intrepid Travel as a tour company?

I am looking for a tour company for my first trip to Africa, where I want to do an East African safari type trip. I travel by myself and don't think I can find a few other people to book a private safari, so I am looking for a small tour group. I traveled with OAT last year to S. America and thought they ran a good tour, but found that the people that travel with OAT are older (including a lot of 70 and 80 year olds), while I'd like to be with a "younger" crowd. So, I checked out Intrepid Travel's website and am now looking for feedback on them, or any other tour group you can recommend.
Thanks,
Martha
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May 29th, 2008, 04:29 AM
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If looking for a group, check out:
www.2afriKa.com. Believe most of their travelers are younger than those usually found on OAT tours.

They have various group departures with competitive pricing that might be of interest.
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May 29th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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I've been to India on an Intrepid tour and thought it was a fantastic experience -- a fun, adventurous group of people, ages from mid-20s to 50s. It was a very well-planned trip with a great guide and a lot of freedom to go off and do our own thing, then meet up with the group later. I would definitely recommend the company and would travel with them again.

Having said that, I think their African safari tours (which I haven't tried) would be different in some ways, considering you can't have the same kind of flexibility in wandering off on your own while on safari. Also, I don't think they have their own offices in African countries -- I'm pretty sure they use a local ground operator there, so you might want to ask them who it is and do some investigating about that company.
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Apr 30th, 2009, 04:40 AM
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My wife and I travelled with Intrepid to the Galapagos Islands. I would advise no-one to ever consider travelling with Intrepid after our experience; not simply because we were involved in a shocking accident that I will detail below but because Intrepid's response was and still is appalling. Essentially what happened was that the boat we were travelling in, the Spondylus charted from Kemperry Tours, crashed in to rocks off a deserted island at full speed at 3 in the morning and rapidly began to sink. While we were given a cursory safety briefing when we alighted the boat, non of these procedures were followed as the crew simply panicked - only due to the actions of the other passengers was one passenger actually rescued! Furthermore the lifejackets on the boat were old and all siezed up making it almost impossible in the pitch dark to put on. As the boat rapidly sank we all jumped in to a dingy made for 10 people when there were nearer 20 of us - as the bung was missing from the dingy this also began to rapidly sink. The next day the sister ship of the Spondylus, the Angelique arrived to 'rescue' us. However we soon discovered that our boat had not completely sank and was wedged on the rocks half submerged. Our crew then went back to the Spondylus and looted all of the belongings of the passengers - we could actually see them emptying bags etc on the Angelique before they gave them to us missing of all things valuable. Wallets were emptied but returned, cameras were taken from cases/bags with the bags returned - impossible that these things simply fell out and got washed away. When back in a 'safe' port (puerta Ayora) Intrepid were nowhere to be seen and instead placed mis-information on their website and directly to our families about how they were helping us through all this - rubbish, luckily a friendly local spend 2 days helping us out but Intrepid were nowhere to be seen. Our subsequent contact with Intrepid initially assured us that each passenger would be fully reimbursed for their lost belongings - however 10 months down the line they have not done so and do not accept any responsibility for what happened. As a group we kept faith in intrepids promises on the understanding that they would improve safety and refund all our loses - they have not followed through with any of these promises. No-one has ever been prosecuted for the thefts or for the accident and Intrepid have not helped us in pursueing these issues - essentially because they were ultimately at fault. This company is expensive, irresponsible and has no morals. Having spoken to many people in the industry I have discovered that Intrepid's corner cutting in pursuit of a fast buck is well known and has resulted in many incidences they would rather you did not know about - no doubt as with all my posts on this matter they will have this removed asap. My advice is avoid Intrepid.
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Apr 30th, 2009, 06:09 AM
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I don't have time for a full reply but I was on an Intrepid trip last summer: one of their 3 week Trans-Siberian trips. There were no problems and the experience was delightful. I was impressed at the time at the backup which our tour leader was given by others via cell (she was an experienced guide but first time on this trip).

The 12 in the group were all fine (ranging from 20s to 60s). Accommodations were as expected (except for one miserable place in Irkutsk) as was food and activities. I would definitely use them again.
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Apr 30th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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mjnbrown,

I have travelled with Intrepid three times in South-East Asia during the 90's and had a good time. The support of local operators in Asia is a strength of the company, however, like MDK I would want to know who the ground operator was in Africa, especially as the safaris are likely to be sub-contracted out.

If you are looking for a younger crowd, you might like to check out Drifters http://www.drifters.co.za/ and some other operator suggestions made on this thread, http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...his-summer.cfm


Happy planning,


Pol
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May 1st, 2009, 08:02 AM
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Another company with small group tours that has been recommended here and was described as being varied in age is Good Earth Tours. I am sure you can search and find the trip report.
laurie_ann is online now  
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May 2nd, 2009, 03:22 PM
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Darth--Thank you so much for informing us of your horrific experience with Intrepid! They might not have been responsible for the accident, but they should certainly have made it up to you in whatever way they could. I'll be sure to avoid them for any future trips!
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May 3rd, 2009, 08:43 AM
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My husband and I used 2Afrika for a Tanzania safari last year. One reason I chose them is because you can pay with credit card. We were the only 2 on the "tour" and it was very good. We are definitely "seniors".
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Jun 6th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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DarthBinks, I believe my friend Danielle was on your boat! lol I've traveled with both GAP & Intrepid, here's my pro/con list of traveling with them: http://www.poweredbytofu.com/2009/05...travel-review/

I wouldn't completely right them off for this incident, as sometimes it's out of the companies control when crazy things like this happen, especially when it's in the "adventure travel" category and parts of the trips are required by a country's law to be "outsourced" to local companies (like in the Galapagos). However, if a company is lax about following through on safety etc they could create an environment that encourages cutting corners/costs. Just my 2 cents.
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Jun 8th, 2009, 10:14 AM
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poweredbytofu - loved your blog and your '101 things in 1001 days project' - and also your comment, 'If you think Muslims are terrorists or that traveling is dangerous, I would encourage you to reevaluate your bias, check out some crime statistics, “simmer down” and book a trip to Morocco.' - great!
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May 19th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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Here is a trip report about the performance of Intrepid on an African safari tour written by a participant...

http://www.african-safari-journals.c...ri-review.html
WilmaW is offline  
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May 15th, 2013, 12:57 PM
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What about a travel company (Africa) for people in their 30s, 40s, and 50's? Any recommendations for this age group?
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May 15th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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Intrepid goes to Africa.

But you would get more help if you started a new thread instead of adding on to one that's three years old.
thursdaysd is online now  
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Jul 29th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Do not use Intrepid for South African safari....they are inundated with wealthy US hunter's who have a week to kill a trophy...equals canned hunting. Boyond the pale to shoot the last of rhino and elephant for "fun"
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Jul 29th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Are we talking about the same company? I can't imagine "wealthy hunters" going on a tour run by Intrepid Travel.

We're talking about this company: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/

Please provide a link to the company you are talking about.

I see that this is your first post. We tend to regard people who join Fodors just to bad mouth a company with deep suspicion. If you want your post taken seriously you need to provide some proof.
thursdaysd is online now  
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Jul 29th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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Intrepids Travel for hunters? Give me a break.

If these people (hunters... shame on all of them) can afford to kill game, they sure don't travel with the likes of group tours offered by Intrepids.
sandi is offline  
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Aug 1st, 2013, 08:51 PM
  #18
 
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Horrible trip. The group that I was paired up with was a lot older than me. It felt pretty lame, I felt like a loser. The tour guide didn't speak clear english, so there was a lot of awkward misunderstandings. Not a great value for your money, and if you try to contact the office for anything, it takes a long time for them to reply, and they just give you a lot of BS. Do yourself a favor and choose another tour group company, or better yet, just do it yourself. You will be sorry if you book with Intrepid. I've been with 6 other tours before, and this was the most disappointing of them all.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Hmm, you, like dingorunner, join Fodors just to post a bad review? With no profile? I see no reason to give your post any credence. I, on the other hand, have done five tours with Intrepid and would use them again.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 09:47 AM
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So I'll jump in here to say I've done 3 trips with Intrepids and am on the fence, sort of. After my first, Intrepid went all PC and changed from highly qualified leaders regardless of nationality to locally (in country) based leaders, sometimes of questionable quality.

My first trip was of the first type and the last two of the latter. The first trip was superb. Even though it was only the generally experienced leader's second time on that route, she knew how to get the needed information and everything went wonderfully.

The second trip, not so much, as not only was the leader young and inexperienced, she was not familiar with two of the visited countries. There was a lot of stumbling around and many question which could not be answered. Fortunately, excellent local guides offset her from time to time.

The last trip was not good (speaking again only in the context of the leader and his responsibilities) because we were assigned a local person who, while experienced and knowledgeable, was so poor with English that eventually we all simply started ignoring him for everything except "follow me." We solved most problems on our own and took group advantage of hotel receptions.

So basically, Intrepid currently stands at about a 50-50 position with me. Not counting independent trips (what I do most) I have three small group tours scheduled (Australia, Sri Lanka, Burma). The first is with G Adventures. I wanted to do the next two with G but they simply did not have suitable trips, either itinerary or dates. So those are with Intrepids; with no hesitation in booking with them.

It will be interesting to see what side of the fence I come down on.
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