Want to learn how to choose the right African travel company? We present to you the best East Africa tour operators and a criteria you can use to point out an operator who is likely to exceed your expectations. East Africa has five countries and you may feel like visiting two, more or all of those.
What you should know is planning an East Africa tour is not easy. You will need a lot of experience in putting everything up perfect. Many travel companies screw this up when they perform well in one country and suck in the other. A score of operators have gone ahead to engage in partnerships with various operators from fellow countries in a bid to maintain a good service.
I wouldn’t recommend this because you will be in hands of different tour guides in each country you visit. Its better to find an East Africa tour operator who will tailor your itinerary and deliver the best services during your holiday. See some of the top East African tour operators that i recommend below.
Best East Africa Travel Companies
I travel with each of the operators i list here hence, cannot include them if i haven’t gone to a safari with them or find out that they have a couple of negative reviews regarding their service. So i recommend you inquire with them. You can also inquire with other East Africa travel companies you may find online. I will let you know how to point out a good East Africa tours and travel operator for your next trip.
So how do you Choose a good Tour Operator for your East African Tour?
I’ll try to be as broad as possible. These same criteria you use for choosing an operator for each of the East Africa countries cannot be applied here. I will give an example of travel affiliations. An East African travel operator does not have to be affiliated to each country’s tourism and trade association. One affiliation can be enough.
Tour package offered by the safari company
I would say this is the most important point to consider. An operator might have the biggest name in the industry but if they cannot put up a good itinerary for you then i wouldn’t advise choosing them. Study the tour package carefully and check each of the places you are bound to visit. In case you do not like a few places or rather prefer to add some destinations to your package then feel free to contact your East Africa travel company about it. If you work hand in hand with them, you will be able to put up a good itinerary for your holiday.
Reviews of the company
Reviews say everything about a company but you have to reach each review in detail. You also have to read about the response of the tour operator towards the review. TripAdvisor and Safaribookings are good preview platforms for African safaris but can also be used to tarnish a brand’s name.
Worst of all, its only the person who writes a review that can delete it. Ill just give you a simple scenario of a mentally ill client who booked a safari with one of the top tour operators in Uganda. His demands did not match what he paid for and often forgot about being offered certain services. he went as far as asking a male tour guide to share a bed with him and when the guide refused, he termed it as neglect. The client went ahead to initiate a deal with the guide so that they extort money from the Uganda tour operator and share it in between them but the guide refused this.
This is the same client who went ahead and wrote a long negative review about a company yet he was the one in the wrong. So when you go reading through reviews of various East African tour companies, try to picture the scenario and judge whether its worth crossing out a tour company from your list.
Confirm routing of your package
Since the birth of Google Maps, routing the world has become easy. You can easily confirm the destinations you are going to visit, the distance in between them and so on. Not all East African tour operators have the experience to put up a good routing. Some of them will offer you a package that has more driving time than actual time for activities. This is something you shouldn’t ignore.
When you receive quotes from various tour operators, do not rush! Take your time and confirm the routing of each travel package. I am certain you will be able to point out a few differences between the East African tour operators you inquired with and you should narrow your list further.
Price offered for the tour
The price offered for an East African tour should not be too high, neither should it be too low. Average is better! Avoid bargaining too much. Sometimes clients negotiate a lot that they end up deviating the operator’s initial plans. If a travel company proposed a package to you, just do your research and make sure everything is perfect. Do not bargain too much.
You have to spend to travel and you shouldn’t rule out that fact. Inquiring with multiple tour companies will give you an idea of the price range your tour falls in. For example, if you choose five operators and three of them offer you a quote that falls between $2000 to $2300, just know your range falls in between there. You shouldn’t rule out the operators who offer expensive packages. Sometimes they offer pricey accommodation facilities that elevate the total price of the package. You can ask them to make a few downgrades where possible.
I kept this point for the very last because its something many clients do not pay attention to. Some East Africa tour operators give very prompt feedback where as others take a while to respond to your queries. An operator who is too fast to respond to you is one you should travel with.
Such operators will always keep in touch with you even when you visit. They will check on your often to ensure everything is going on well despite being with a tour guide. Responsiveness if very key and you should never take it slightly.