What's Important to You?
10 Questions to Consider When Comparing Africa Safari Companies...
1.) Reputation of the company:
a.) How long have they been in business?
Do you really want to travel with a company who has only been in business 5 or 10 years?
b.) Structure of the company, i.e., family owned/operated or publicly held?
Why is this important? Publicly held companies are mainly concerned with the bottom line to make the stockholders happy (aka make them money). This could mean a less than anticipated experience.
c.) What accolades have they received?
Has the company been recognized in such influential publications such as Travel & Leisure – World’s Best Value; Travel & Leisure – #1 World’s Best Safari Outfitter; National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic Adventure – Best Outfitters on Earth.
d.) Do they have a philanthropic mission?
Is the company’s philanthropy transparent? Has the company earned awards for their involvement & commitment. For example: World Tourism Award – Presented by The New York Times, Corinthia Hotels, and Reed Travel Exhibitions for Philanthropy; or Travel & Leisure Global Vision Award; or Condé Nast Traveler – World Savers Awards for Education and Doing It All.
2. How many people are included in scheduled departures?
Do you want to feel like you’re on a ‘bus tour’ with up to 35 or 40 others or would you prefer a company that only takes small groups of no more than 20?
3.) Can your trip be made ‘private’ without the cost doubling?
4.) Is there a guarantee that the trip won’t be cancelled?
5.) Does the company offer Expert Guides AND Trip Directors?
6.) Is there availability of a 24-Hr Concierge Team?
7.) How are you transported between camps/lodges?
Is the majority of your time wasted on long bumpy roads from camp to camp or do you save time by taking included chartered flights between camps?
8.) Does the company offer free laundry service?
Most safari’s limit the amount of luggage you can bring – not having to worry about packing enough clothes gives you peace of mine.
9.) What additional costs will you incur? I.E., tips to guides, drivers, admission to parks, meals?
10.) Does the company take pride in using camps/lodges who actively participate in not leaving an eco-footprint; and who ensure local people are hired with funds passed to the local communities visited – to aide in the preserving of their land and way of life AND for future visitors to enjoy.
My wish is to enlighten those who are planning a safari to Africa and make their journey one they’ll cherish and remember forever. Until next time….