In the course of doing some long-range travel planning — for Spring 2021, no less — I have gotten two proposals for safari in Kenya and Tanzania. Africa is the one destination that requires significant advance planning as the safari camps can have as few as 6 accommodations and fill up quickly, especially during peak travel periods. Our trip is during the “slower” months, but still it’s good to book out in advance. In fact, I was able to secure 2020 rates by booking early.
Africa is also a destination that requires the help of professional tour companies. It is so complex to move from location to location that I (as both a seasoned traveler and planner for others) wouldn’t even attempt it. I went back to an excellent provider who arranged two previous trips — &beyond. At the suggestion of a friend who has made numerous trips to Africa, I likewise engaged African Travel Resources (ATR) to see what they could offer.
I literally have streams of emails from both providers. African safaris are unquestionably one of the most expensive trips to take. Start with the distance (and travel time) to get to the continent. Then, once there, it is costly to move around for 10 or 12 or more days from location to location for extraordinary “camps” in the middle of nowhere providing an indescribable experience. It is also incredibly worth it if one can evaluate such a thing.
The dilemma? How to make the decision. Having spent my adult career in sales, I know that being on the wrong side of a bid is disappointing. One invests a lot of time and effort to “get the order.” The hubby and I were literally at the point of throwing a dart to make our pick. In the end, the decision was to go with ATR. Once made and deposit paid, I wrote a lengthy email to my &beyond Travel Specialist explaining everything. She was “beyond” gracious, wished me well on our Kenya and Tanzania safari and hopes to have the opportunity to work together again. Indeed. I look forward to it.