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Help, which safari company should I travel with?

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Help, which safari company should I travel with?

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1. Posted by chemgal (Respected Member 149 posts) 9y

I'm looking at doing a safari/tour from Kenya to South Africa next year. I've researched a number of tour operators and all of the prices are similar when you include the local payments, optional activities and spending money (around US$7000). The tour operators I've looked at are: Acacia Africa, GAP Adventures, Intrepid, Kumuka, Dragoman and Imaginative Traveller. has anyone travelled with any of these companies in Africa? Does anyone have any recommendations for other companies??

2. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 9y

hi there chemgal. i did a 30 day joburg-nairobi with drifters adventures. the tour was a great one and i highly recommend them. you get a lot of bang for your buck if you can't travel independently on a trip like this. i've also done a different overland with kiboku (karibu) safari. i would recommend them as well. you can do the route either way...usually it depends upon your dates as they run the tours back and forth. i prefer to travel with a south african tour operator than one that is based out of europe or the states. i figured that these guys live there and most of the guides are south/east african anyway, might as well stick to the place of origin. a lot of travel agencies also will sell these tours and they are then outsourced to one of these companies anyway. you can book directly through them and call them on the phone to talk to them to get the lowdown. that's my two cents! but that being said, i'm sure once you look around, you'll learn about the track records of all the companies you research. good luck and happy travels!

3. Posted by chemgal (Respected Member 149 posts) 9y

Hey Soupatrvlr,
Thanks for your reply. I've just had a look at the websites for both Drifters and Kibobu and unfortunately neither offer the itinerary that I am after. I really want to go to Botswana and Namibia on the way to South Africa. I'm definitely set on going on a tour but I just have to decide which company to go with. I'm actually a travel agent so I know a bit about the companies but I don't see much difference between them so I would like some recommendations from people who have been on the tours.

4. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 9y

i don't know how much time you have but you can probably piece together a nairobi-joburg stopping in vic falls and picking up a vic falls-cape town to get the most coverage out of all these places. then you can see both botswana and namibia too. also, all of these tour companies usually have former passengers who are willing to discuss their travels with you if you want to learn about their experiences, but you probably know that since you're a travel agent! do you sell these trips? maybe you or your coworkers who have sold them could talk to former clients? just a thought. or were you looking for the lowdown from a different type of source?

5. Posted by chemgal (Respected Member 149 posts) 9y

Thanks for replying again! My agency does sell all of these tour companies but I've just started working in Canada and we don't seem to sell any Africa. It also wasn't a popular destination from New Zealand (where I previously worked). I'm just interested in seeing unbiased reviews from some neutral people.
Timewise, I can really take as much time as I want. I'll be doing this trip on my way home to New Zealand after working and travelling in Europe for a while.

6. Posted by Eaglegal (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y

I have been on 4 trips through this company. Three trips to Africa on safari and once to Madagascar. I was highly impressed with each trip!! It was also nice knowing that everywhere I went, I was met by many people who knew Andy personally and I was always given that extra special VIP treatment.

Good luck/safe travels


7. Posted by chemgal (Respected Member 149 posts) 9y

Hi Eaglegal, Thanks for your post. I've just had a look at their website and it all looks a bit pricey for me.

8. Posted by Eaglegal (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y

What are you looking at as far as price and the amount of time you'll be going for? Just wondering because they got me a great price for a 14 day trip this past May..S.Africa, Botswanna, Zambia. I was in The Oka Vanga Delta, S.Luangwa NP, Kafue NP, Vic Falls and then out. I did not have allot to spend this year. All told, my trip was US$5000. The best thing about them, is that they really design the trip around getting you the biggest bang for your buck. A GREAT deal of attention to what you want to do/see and spend. No 5 star lodges but thats not a "wild" vacation to me anyway! lol Don't get me wrong, the accoms were very nice, clean and comfy! They all included meals as well.

Whatever you end up doing...DO IT!!

By far, Africa is my favorite place on Earth. Simply magic!!

9. Posted by chemgal (Respected Member 149 posts) 9y

The trips I've been looking at will cost around US$7000 for around 50 days including spending money and optional activities (no flight though). These were camping trips that went from Kenya through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia to South Africa.
I'm definitely keen to go to Africa, I'll just have to work for a while to save the money. I'm currently on a working holiday in Canada then on to the UK for a year or so and I'm hoping to go to Africa on my way home to New Zealand.

10. Posted by chemgal (Respected Member 149 posts) 9y

After a bit more research - reading reviews from past travellers online, I think I have narrowed it down to either GAP Adventures, Acacia Africa or Dragoman. I would love to hear from anyone who has travelled with any of these companies to get your opinions. Thanks!