A guide to selecting an African safari operator : African safaris are renowned for their breathtaking natural beauty; they offer once-in-a-lifetime safari experiences, with breathtaking scenery seen in Kenya’s Maasai Mara and fascinating species found in Tanzania’s Serengeti. But in order to experience an African safari to its fullest, you’ll need an operator or guide, and the choice of one can have a significant impact on how well your trip goes. Knowing what to look for when selecting a safari operator from the thousands that are currently available is crucial because of this. Use this checklist to sort through the crowd and arrive at a well-informed decision:
What are previous visitors saying about their services?
You can obtain a decent sense of the level of service quality provided by an operator by using third-party review sites such as TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Trust Pilot, Safari Booking, and similar travel forums. These aren’t reviews from their website that they can modify; these are intended to be reviews from real customers.
Have they been in business for at least three years?
An experienced safari operator will benefit from their wealth of knowledge and expertise, which they will apply to your trip. They should have at least three years of experience operating safaris. Naturally, this does not mean that the more recent operators should be totally shunned after all, they might provide a creative and zealous edge.
How knowledgeable are the guides? (Accreditation, tour experience, proper licenses, etc.)
You will need an operator that is familiar with the area if you are travelling for a specific event, like the Great Migration. Verify the guide’s credentials because you want the trip to be instructive as well.
Who runs the operation?
An organization that manages its own operations can tailor your schedule to provide a more unique and exclusive experience from beginning to end. Additionally, you benefit from direct bookings, which do away with the possibility of misunderstandings and delays when working with intermediaries. In addition to being less expensive, direct bookings save you the commissions that agencies receive.
How responsive are they?
Do you receive prompt answers to your questions, or do you have to practically beg for the information you require? This will provide you with an idea of their customer service standards already.
What activities do they offer?
Would you like a more opulent excursion where you can enjoy the views and sounds from the luxury of your lodging or aircraft, or are you searching for a more rugged, personal bonding experience with Mother Nature? Check out the activities they provide and get a breakdown of your quote so you can understand the costs associated with your safari package.
Do they have their own vehicles?
Verify the types of vehicles they employ for transfers, long-distance trips, and game viewing excursions, among other activities. To give them greater authority over upkeep, you want to make sure they own the cars. Also enquire about their insurance coverage.
What are the accommodation options that they offer?
Make sure you are happy with the selections provided because you want a cosy spot to unwind in after a long day. What about the restrooms and urinals? Verify that those are also up to par. Although safari firms frequently offer excellent recommendations because they work with owners of lodging properties, you are still free to make your own decisions.
Do they have a clear payment cancellation and refund policy?
Prior to making any payments, be sure to review the terms and conditions pertaining to payments as well as the cancellation policy. A 50% down payment is typically required for direct bookings, with the remaining balance due upon arrival. When booking, use your best judgement. For instance, it should be cause for suspicion if the bank account name and company name are different.