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GAP Adventures, other reputations

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East GAP Adventures, other reputations

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1. Posted by zebo (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y

zebo has indicated that this thread is about Tanzania

Has anyone had experience with GAP Adventures? I'm thinking of going with them for Kili hike and Tanz safari.

Also looking at Roy's, EcoAfrica, Duma, and Zara, seem to have the best feedback from customers.

Recommendations, and not spam, greatly appreciated!

Mark
Amherst, MA, US

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Hey Zebo,

I have a few different friends who have used GAP for trips to Central and South America, and they had excellent trips. Good guides and iteneraries.

That being said, I would think you could get a better deal working locally with a Tanzanian operator (Roy's is, I am not sure on the others). Cut out the middle man and see more of your money going to the local economy. Check out the Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators (TATO) to see a list of members and contact information.

For my own Tanzania experience, I used Africa Travel Resource to arrange my Kili climb, who used The African Walking Company as the local provider. (African Walking Companies email address is available from the TATO site). I had a very good experience with them, though they are more expensive than other operators. For Safari, I used Comfort Safaris, which I arranged locally in Arusha.

Enjoy Tanzania!
Greg

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 17, 2006 6:26 AM by GregW ]

3. Posted by adv3nture (Budding Member 49 posts) 10y

I used GAP Adventures on a trip to Peru this past May. My wife and I had a fantastic time. We would definitely book with them again if we were planning on taking a guided trip. We almost booked a GAP Costa Rica trip for next month but we decided to do something closer to home to save money.

They have pretty good prices for a larger company, certainly not as cheap as booking with a local operation within the country you are going to... but then again there is more security in booking with a larger company like GAP if anything goes wrong.

Compared to some of the other large tour operators based in the U.S. and Canada, they have some of the cheaper prices. For example... we could have booked a similar trip with REI Adventures and it would have cost about $1500 MORE PER PERSON.

4. Posted by vickim (Full Member 125 posts) 10y

G.A.P. Adventures is a fantastic company. I used to be a travel agent and dealt with them a lot. They are very organized and offer a quality experience wherever you go.

I do agree, though, that you can get it cheaper booking locally, as every tour operator, wholesaler, travel agent etc. must to include their mark up to the price. But, if you want the peace of mind that you are guaranteed a good trip with no hassles then it may be worth your while.

Another very good company on par with G.A.P. is Trek Holidays www.trekholidays.com I find they offer more of a variety because they deal with an assortment of local operators. They also offer a quality experince.

5. Posted by zebo (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y

Thank you much....and keep those tips coming!!!!

Haven't decided on a company yet, but am narrowing down to what I'd like to do (am travelling solo):

-climb Meru

-Tanz safari, camping with some variety: would like perhaps a day of walking, a day of mountain biking, day of canoeing, culture

-then off to Zanzibar for the relaxing wind-down

3 weeks total.

All tips welcome----the amount of info on the web is just about overwhelming! (but pleasantly so)

Mark

6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Quoting zebo

-Tanz safari, camping with some variety: would like perhaps a day of walking, a day of mountain biking, day of canoeing, culture

Have you found any information that would indicate that you can do this? From what I know, there is little in the way of travel options within the national parks themselves - it's in the vehicle with the guide most of the time, other than at the campsites and lunch spots. We did get offered a chance for a "walking" safari, but it was outside of the national parks, and the guide said that we might see some baboons and maybe an elephant, but otherwise little in the way of wildlife.

Anyway, if you have any information on the ability to canoe or mountain bike on a safari, please share it with us!

Thanks,
Greg

7. Posted by zebo (Budding Member 7 posts) 10y

Ah, good point. I didn't mean to imply biking or canoeing in the parks, but have seen tours that offer those activities off-park, which I'd really like to include.

I don't want to be so passive as to just be riding in a Jeep and taking pictures!

8. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Just make sure you provide yourself enough time for a good safari experience. When I was researching mine, I came up with 5 days as a good amount of time. It gives you enough time that you will be ensured of getting some good wildlife experiences. Shorter than that, and you might find yourself seeing nothing but grass and trees. Game viewing is a lot about luck, and the more time you provide yourself, the more time you have to get lucky and see something. There was one afternoon where we didn't see a SINGLE animal after lunch, and then again the next morning nothing until around 10 am.

I got pretty antsy in the jeep just sitting too. But the experiences with the animals make it worth it.

Anyway, enjoy Tanzania.

9. Posted by stevebk108 (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

I spent three months in East Africa this summer, and was able to fit in safari, white water rafting, and a week in Zanzibar. I recommend all three.

This is rather late as far as responses, but I wanted to pitch my recommendation for "Good Earth" safaries. Many of the "local" groups over there are Kenyan owned, and I wanted second the suggestion that you seek a Tanzanian operator to fuel the local economy.

We went for only two days, first day in Lake Manyara, second in Ngorongoro and saw wildlife the entire time. I can't imagine running the risk of not seeing anything with a shorter than 5 day trip, but we may have hit a very unique time of year or something--immediately following wet season.

Best of luck with your adventures!

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