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Picking Africa Travel Agent #4214
10/21/2005 10:05 PM
10/21/2005 10:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline OP
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sailn  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
Contacted one of the better In- country Africa "tour/safari" agencys that Eric/Carol has mentioned. . they referred me via e mail to what in my town looks like a one person "company" which is a travel planner for Africa. Don't think there i s a storefront. Nice web page but still looks like one person.
Crude question- but must be asked - how do you prevent him taking your money and running?

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Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: sailn] #4215
10/21/2005 11:44 PM
10/21/2005 11:44 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,542
Eric_Hill Offline

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Eric_Hill  Offline

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Posts: 11,542
Well one thing, would be that they will probably recommend that you buy travel insurance and from a 3rd party. That will help give you a clue first. Also that is a good thing because of the amount of money involved and the distance and other things that all come into play. This is not a simple trip to the caribbean, so in this case, because of even the airfare, travel insurance is probably really needed.

That will also protect you from the agent taking the money and running, at least th policy we had did.

Africa is probably not something that is in a huge demand in your area, so being a one person shop without even a store front would not be suprising. You can probably also get more information from maybe the resorts, just don't know what exactly you are dealing with at this point, so it is hard to say. The one we dealt with was also known by the camps, so that says something there regardling reliability I think.


Eric Hill
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Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: Eric_Hill] #4216
10/22/2005 07:55 AM
10/22/2005 07:55 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline OP
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sailn  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
we always buy it - I forgot it covers that

Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: sailn] #4217
10/22/2005 12:26 PM
10/22/2005 12:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,533
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Edward--sorry, are you saying that Bert at Fish Eagle referred you to someone else??? Would be surprised at that, but I guess it depends on what country you are looking at, as he may not do Tanzania or someplace like that, don't know. But, regardless, if you pay with a credit card, that provides you with a measure of protection.


Carol Hill
Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: sailn] #4218
10/22/2005 09:13 PM
10/22/2005 09:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 37
PA
skyscubadiver Offline
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Hi Ed,
Don't know where you are going but I just returned from Africa last month. I went to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro and then to Kenya for safaris. I booked with Good Earth Tours. They have an office in Arusha, Tanzania and Tampa Florida. I found them to be very accomodating and the prices were very very good. Google Good Earth Tours for more information if your destination is in that part of Africa. E-Mail me if you have any questions.

Mark

Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: skyscubadiver] #4219
10/23/2005 09:41 AM
10/23/2005 09:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,533
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Hey Mark, would appreciate it if you could post a trip report! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/Smile.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: skyscubadiver] #4220
10/24/2005 12:04 PM
10/24/2005 12:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 878
Colorado
wanderer Offline
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Colorado
I second the trip report request, Mark!

Climbing Kilamanjaro has always been one of my goals...


Amy

So many islands, so little time.....
Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: wanderer] #4221
10/24/2005 06:51 PM
10/24/2005 06:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 37
PA
skyscubadiver Offline
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I plan to put a short trip report together. Right now I am sorting through about 1400 digital pictures that I took, mostly on safari. It may be a little while but I will post a report.

I must say that the trip was absolutely awesome and I want to go back !!

Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: skyscubadiver] #4222
10/24/2005 09:09 PM
10/24/2005 09:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,533
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Ah, Looking forward to that trip report and hopefully a link to some pictures???? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/Smile.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: skyscubadiver] #4223
10/27/2005 02:58 PM
10/27/2005 02:58 PM

A
Anonymous
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Anonymous
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A


Did you go on a hunting safari or a camera safari? We are planning a hunting safari to South Africa in mid April and am wondering about the weather, trouble with firearms and crime.

Re: Picking Africa Travel Agent [Re: Carol_Hill] #4224
10/28/2005 09:07 PM
10/28/2005 09:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline OP
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sailn  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,341
South East US, Carolinas coast
Hey Eric- some advice please- Re an in country (Africa) Safari Company – a well known one- - after we sent them an e mail , they referred us to as they called it " our represenative" in Conn. And they also had a "destination specialist" contact us. Neither of these people are employees of the African company I think. I do not know what their relationship if any is. I asked the destination specialist who I was to pay the money to if I chose to have them prepare a trip- - he said to him, 8 weeks before travel.
I called the two travel insurance companies I have used - travel Insured and Travel Guard. Both said they only insure against default or failure of the "tour operator" (in this case the African company , an airline, a cruise ship etc) in this case they said if I paid the representative personally, and the representative or the destination specialist or even a travel agent kept the money, then I was out of luck. The only way to be insured was to pay the African company directly..
I went to the caribbean this year and we used a conventional travel agent – I looked at my credit card tonite and on this trip they charged my cc so that I paid the airfare part of the package directly to the airline, and paid the travel / hotel/food part directly to the tour package company (GoGo), so in that trip’s instance I was insured as I paid the "tour operator" not the travel agent/or agency. Memory tells me maybe in the past I have paid the travel agency- I can not remember.
Travel insured said "put it on a c card" so if they default they you can dispute it and get your money back. I called an Amex. Supervisor. They would not discuss their dispute policies, and said their claims people would only respond in writing (no phone calls) and only to actual cases claims- no what ifs--. Visa was a little better but very vague saying things like- we will do all we can for you, but then got vague at the end saying -I should choose a reputable agent. Etc. Both said that you had to file/dispute within 60 days of the charge per Federal law – that’s cutting it close on the 8 weeks advance payment.
Whats the solution? Find a US based tour company that is the "tour operator". So your deposit is covered for default by the travel insurance? How/when did you pay for your Africa trip and who did you pay? These are not $500 trips
Thanks




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