Do you have only 2 weeks or less in East Africa for an East Africa vacation? East Africa is huge and diverse; infrastructure isn’t well developed. Flights from the United States and Europe are long and seldom direct, and if one leg is delayed you can miss your connection and derail your whole itinerary.
Just getting to a lodge from an airstrip can be a time-consuming journey, too. A tour operator will know the ins and outs of local travel so you’re aware of traveling times in advance, and they’ll sort things out if they don’t go as planned.
They also know the best ways to contact lodges and airlines, which can be challenging due to time differences between countries on the continent, as well as unreliable phone and Internet.
So the approach of booking a safari/East Africa vacation for yourself online often works for American or European city visits, but not as frequently for a safari in East Africa (East Africa vacation) or Africa at large. With self-online booking, you may save money, but you could end up with hassles that outweigh the savings.
There are tour companies catering to all price ranges, from those on an extremely tight budget to those who simply want, and can pay for, the best. As with any major purchase, you need to research and choose very carefully – an apparent bargain may have unforeseen downsides once you have arrived and started your vacation.
Here are the reasons why you need a tour operator for your East Africa vacation:
Safety and surprises
Although East Africa is largely stable and safe, first-time travelers in particular can be anxious about their virgin journey into unknown terrain. Political climates can change quickly, and news can be slow to filter out through traditional news channels. Your operator has contacts on the ground who keep them up-to-date with relevant information. Natural disasters, or even heavier-than-expected rainfall, can make roads dangerous or impassable, and a tour operator can adjust your itinerary accordingly. And they will be accountable if anything goes wrong or if you don’t receive the service you paid for.
Specific requests or interests
When you plan a safari/East Africa vacation, you’re presented with multiple countries and infinite options, depending on your budget, the time of year, whether you want to see animals and landscape in a vehicle, on foot, or on a boat, and whether you want to stay in a canvas tent or a hotel. You may have dietary or health issues, or want an eco-holiday rather than a butler and private plunge pool. You might want to see three countries in 10 days or just one in a week. A good tour operator will discuss your preferences and tailor an experience that delivers exactly what you want and how you want it, saving you weeks of research. Tour operators also have the kind of overview of an area and its various options that you can’t pick up from reading individual reviews of places online.
Details, big and small
Weight allowance on planes, yellow-fever certificates, visas, tipping—these are just some of the easily overlooked details that a good outfitter will tend to. You’ll also receive valuable information about local culture and customs.
Choices and prices
Hotels and lodges have two sets of prices—rack rates, which are what the public pays, and a cheaper rate for tour operators. The operator will add their own markup, but you often still pay less, and you’ll be aware of all the costs involved up-front, which allows you to budget better.
Tour operators will also buffer you against currency fluctuations—the price you’ll pay months in advance of a trip will be guaranteed. Also, many lodges don’t take bookings directly from the public because they also prefer their clients to go through an operator, so you’ll automatically lose out on a lot of good choices.
Now that you know why you need a tour operator, you can get a fully exclusive East African safaris/East Africa vacation with us. We know East Africa and we know how to put together a safari that suite your desires.
We can as well combine or tailor your safari to include all highlights such as white water rafting, game viewing, gorilla trekking, cultural experiences among others.
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