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Which East African Tour Operators Accept American Express???

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Jul 18th, 2005, 08:08 AM
  #1
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Which East African Tour Operators Accept American Express???

Of course, I am looking to avoid the Micato's and A & K's and looking to find more reasonably priced operators that accept American Express.

Thanks.
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Jul 18th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Good Earth does, but only for the initial deposit (which I think is usually $300 per person minimum, but you can put down a maximum of up to $500 per person on credit cards if you want to pay a larger upfront deposit). The balance must be paid on arrival in either cash or traveler's checks (can be Amex traveler's checks), if not wired in advance. Their website is www.goodearthtours.com.

I believe Africa Dream Safaris allows full payment by credit card including Amex, but they are U.S.-based and I did not find them reasonably priced relative to Tanzanian operators, although I'm sure they are more reasonable than A&K, Micato, etc. It was not worth it to be to pay their huge markup in exchange for being able to pay in full by credit card.

2afrika does, but they are U.S.-based as well (they subcontract out to Predators in TZ I believe), and their price on the customized itinerary I requested was higher than Good Earth (but lower than Africa Dream Safaris).

Most of the Tanzanian operators I found seemed to require wire transfers & the fact that Good Earth did not was one thing I liked about them.

Since I have not gone on the trip yet though I will have to reserve comment on their services during the trip itself until I return in December.
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Jul 18th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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The majority of in country tour operators that accept credit cards will add a surcharge for doing so and even then, many only accept Visa/Mastercard. Out of country agents may accept credit cards without surcharge, but of course, they've already calculated the processing fees into their prices.

Are you looking to earn MR points or is there some other reason that's escaped me? If it's the points, then you'll have to calculate if it's worth paying the surcharge/markup. I decided to send wire transfers to my tour operator this time.
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Jul 18th, 2005, 09:54 AM
  #4
bwanamitch
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While most of the upmarket camps in East and southern Africa accept credit cards, most of them don't accept Amex (actually I don't remember even one). So if you plan to pay any additional expenses (souvenirs, balloon flights, ...) by card, you should consider another one than Amex. Visa and MC do the job at nearly all places.

Mitch
 
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Jul 18th, 2005, 11:38 AM
  #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I contacted 2Afrika and I had already been in touch with Africa Dream Safaris (they are in my native Los Angeles, but they don't accept AMEX, only Visa/MC).

I really prefer to deal with a company that accepts AMEX. I know that if anything went wrong that AMEX would be there to protect my interests, as it was there recently when I felt cheated by the company that I bought my camera and accessories from recently.

I will say that this is a frustrating experience...I know Southern Africa like the back of my hand, but East Africa is mostly new to me and I am like a mouse trying to navigate its way through a maze right now and feel like I keep hitting dead ends.

While Tanzania is still atop my list, unless I can get this worked out in the next week or two at an acceptable price, I do have a top-notch India trip waiting in the wings. The other likely option would be Wild Dog Season in South Luangwa combined with Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Hwange (Makalolo Plains).
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Jul 18th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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The US company I usually use, New Adventures (www.newadventures.com) does accept Amex. I know because I hoard the Delta SkyMiles I earn! (no surcharge, either, and reasonable safari rates)
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Jul 18th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Hi Rocco
ATR accepts Amex. I think they have access to a lot of the same accommodation and camps as Africa Dream but they operate out of London.
The reason I wanted to use Amex is that it provides me with full travel insurance.
Cheers
Sarvo
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