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family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

Hsinchu, Taiwan
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family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

We are traveling in a group with 2 elderly, 4 adults, and 2 very young children. Looking for a reliable travel agency to book our safari trip. Any suggestions with personal experience? thanks alot!

1. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

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2. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

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Removed on: 05 January 2014, 09:35
Vannes, France
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3. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

Hi,

I have been using Travel Beyond in Wayzata, MN, (www.travelbeyond.com), and have always been very happy with everything they have organized for us. We love Africa, and I confirm that Jeanie Fundora and Kota Tabuchi will take very good care of you. Actually my initial contact there was with Craig Beal here on TA when I asked a question on a forum and he responded with such detail that I was sure his company could make our safaris even better than ever.

Jeanie has sent us on a 2 week safari to Zimbabwe and Botswana (August 2012 including Ruckomechi at Mana Pools, Little Makalolo at Hwange NP, Elephant Camp at Vic Falls, Little Vumbura in Okavango Delta and Chitabe Lediba in Moremi) and now we will be leaving on a 2 week safari starting February 22, 2013 where we are going 4 days to Cape Town, 5 days to Lion Sands in Sabi Sand and then 5 days to Camp Jabulani in Kapama Game reserve where we are doing an extended version of their pioneer for change program. Jeanie has also organized our 2 week July 2013 Tanzania safari to Beho Beho in Selous, Chada Katavi in Katavi and Grey Stoke in Mahale. And, yes, we are safari addicts, and though we have been all across East Africa, our best experiences have always been those organized by Jeanie and Kota. We are returning to Botswana also (Selinda, DumaTau amd Little Mombo) accompanied by Africa Geographic contributing photographer Grant Atkinson as our personal guide and photography instructor (had the good fortune to meet him on our August 2012 Botswana safari organized by Jeanie). Kota is equally as good and knowledgeable. He organized my May 2012 to Uganda trip - it was a dream come true...loved, loved it!! Plus he has created some unique Botswana and Rwanda Gorilla trekking itineraries for me also.

I always had ideas of what I wanted to do, as our priority is always the animals, having excellent guides/trackers, education (learning during the safari) and photography. I have always had a list of camps of interest to me for each trip, but Jeanie never hesitated to propose additional camps, and when discussing our interests with both Jeanie and Kota, they always provided detailed feedback and good solid information about the different camps, reserves, activities and "what to expect", so I could then decide what I wanted. If they thought they could propose something more interesting, they never hesitated and I appreciated their candor in offering their opinions, as they have been to so many camps and parks/reserves and could easily tell me, if based on our interests, the camps and activities proposed or requested would be enjoyable for us. Even if you have no idea what you may want as far as lodging, I recommend discussing your interests, travel dates of interest and budget so they can provide several options that can then be discussed and tweeked to meet exactly your safari goals. Everyone should have the perfect safari experience!

If you are interested, click on my TA name and search my forum postings to read my trip report on our August 2012 ZIM-BOT safari Jeanie at Travel Beyond organized. I will also post a trip report of our upcoming South Africa safari she has organized upon our return.

Hsinchu, Taiwan
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4. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

thanks~ especially to OTBPGourmet for your detailed info! I'll look into it!

Camarillo...
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5. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

We just returned from a fabulous two-week trip to Africa with 9 days of unforgettable safaris. We saw 38 different mammals and 111 different birds. But we had no idea where to go when we started planning. Through reading TripAdvisor postings, I discovered Craig Beal, who owns Travel Beyond, an agency specializing in Africa. Craig has been to Africa numerous times over 20 years, and two other Travel Beyond associates we worked with have lived there – so they know southern Africa intimately.

I called Craig and explained what I hoped for in seeing Africa. I gave him my budget and he responded with a few options. Through additional conversations, Craig, Pam and Kota listened carefully and modified the plans for our specific desires, with good rationale for each suggestion. We settled on Zimbabwe, rather than South Africa or Botswana because we got more bang for our buck – at no loss in expectations.

In Zimbabwe, we went to three very beautiful camps in Mana Pools NP, Matusandona NP, and Hwange NP. The first camp, Ruckomechi, was situated on the banks of the Zambezi River overlooking animals day and night. In this Wilderness Safari camp, we did 4 game drives seeing lions daily, 4 leopards and 2 cheetahs, and did a morning nature hike and afternoon canoeing among hippos and crocs. Two night drives allowed us to see nocturnal hunters like a civet, genet, bushbaby, and wild cat.

The second camp, Musango, on a small island in Lake Kariba, provided two highlights of our trip by tracking a black rhino and by visiting a native village of fisherman. We identified over 80 birds and saw many mammals from boat game excursions. Our third camp was Little Makalolo, another Wilderness Safari camp in Hwange NP. Again, the tents were luxurious with king beds, solar showers and flush toilets – like the Ritz in the bush.

We ended our African adventure with a day in Victoria Falls and four days in Cape Town – both of which were worth seeing.

Travel Beyond arranged everything from airlines to personal representatives that met us at every destination. They helped prepare us for the trip with personal information from recent visits to Africa. The overall trip was less expensive than comparable trips by major tour companies. We were exceptionally please with the service Craig and his staff provided and would gladly recommend them for anyone interested in a trip to Africa.

6. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

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Removed on: 05 January 2014, 04:05
Gold Coast...
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for Kruger National Park
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7. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

Sorry Rick

Advertising not allowed

Edited: 05 January 2014, 03:46
Pretoria, South...
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8. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

LOL, Sandmans, it looks like this thread is all about self-advertising and solicitation. As usual.

9. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

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Removed on: 26 August 2014, 12:51
Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: family safari trip looking for a reliable travel agency!

OTBPgourmet - think you have missed the point if bushkid's post, who I might add us a regular and reputable contributor to the forums.