For many tourists, taking their first African safari is their greatest vacation fantasy. For many…
Good Working Website
When choosing a tour company for your safari, make sure that the company has a very good and secure working website. The website should indicate the destination of operations with detailed safari programs or itineraries, details of that particular country being sold, contacts of the company, emails and address of the office. The website should also indicate the partners where the company subscribes and reports to at some point for the client’s reference.
The company should be a member of a tourism association
This is a very serious point to note for the most of the clients when choosing a tour company to handle your safari in a particular country. Make sure that the company you have chosen subscribes and reports to a local tourism association or body in that very particular country. There is Rwanda Tours and Travel Association for your reference, Association of Uganda Tour Operators in Uganda, Kenya Association of Tour Operators in Kenya. The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators among many other associations depending on the country of your visit. The associations know those companies than you the clients and in case of any scam, the company can be traced by an association board and your money can be recovered at the end of the day. These associations have procedures before they register the listed and legitmate tour companies on their site, they make sure that each company is recommended by a company which has been in business for years, they inspect their offices, trained the individuals and many other requirements which are good for every client using a particular company.
Company Reputation and Review
The age of the company and what other clients are saying about that particular company is very important. The reviews will alert you what to expect from that very company and level of the services they will offer to you ranging from Transport, accommodations, activities and tour guides and drivers. The Reviews should be from the known companies like Trip advisor, Trust pilot, Safari bookings, Tour Radar among other platforms. When it comes to hiring a safari car in Rwanda for example, it is advisable to hire services of a company that has a good fleet of cars, so that if one gets an issue, it is immediately replaced and you continue with your safari.
The price of the tour is the main factor and it is a determinant for your safari depending on a particular company. Different companies offer different prices depending on the type of the accommodation recommended for you. So you should find out whether the safari lodges and accommodation facilities recommended is Budget, Mid-range or High end / luxury accommodation facility. Some companies offer low prices in the name of confirming a safari but you should go extra mile to consider other factors whether the prices reflect the services which will be offered. This is a point where you have to look for other client’s reviews and ask for the accommodation links to see how they look like and you will find out whether the discount given reflects the service which will be offered to you.
The communication flow also matters and it will help you find out whether the company is serious in business. You should be keen enough to find out the time of responding your inquiry. Usually a reply should be in a minimum of 2 – 5 hours and if the inquiries are over whelming then it should not exceed a day. When a company replies more than a day during the working days then there should be a question tag on that particular company. Anyway, you should always give a second chance because you might ignore a particular company yet it offers best services. The reason might also be understandable for example electricity breakdown, network problems or email breakdown. So always be keen enough whether considering this factor.
Banking Method and Details
Always be keen on the time of making payments to a particular company. The Genuine company cannot ask you to make payment via western union, money gram or mobile money overseas. However, genuine companies always have bank accounts in their country of operations and it should be in their company names with a clear address as it should be noted on their tour website, paypal, credit card, and flutter wave or direct cash payment to the office.
Flexibility and Flow of Itinerary
Always the flow of the itinerary also matters from one point to another and it will show that you are dealing with tour experts who know what they are talking about. The good itinerary should have half day or a day for resting especially long safaris of more than 10 days because some activities are strenuous like mountain hiking. Uganda Safaris and Tours for example should flow according to the locations of the different tourist destinations.
Make sure that the company you are dealing with is registered by the government body responsible for company registration in that particular country. Some companies operate when they are not registered and it is dangerous for clients because they may run away with the money without offering the clients their required services. A times is good to work with companies on that very country you are visiting because they contribute direct payments to the local people and even give back to the communities in that very country than you booking with companies overseas who do not know the needs of the local people.
A Good Company Should Give Back to the Community
Recently many companies have started supporting different communities especially those neighboring different tourist destinations. At least they make itineraries or safari programs which head to the organized community groups, schools or churches which favor the development of the local people. Most people living one the National Park boundaries have been affected or evicted by the park management and they always need help of the local tour operators who as well benefit from the existence of the that particular national park.
Social Media Presence
A good company should have different social media accounts providing updates and different posts all the time to its clients. The social media accounts include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, among other social media accounts. On checking the social media platforms, will also help you find out more information about that particular company and even reviews from the past clients.