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Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

new jersey
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Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

This is our first time to Africa and looking at Vantage and Globus tours. Leaning toward Globus but would like opinions on booking with Globus Monograms or Vacations to go? Has anyone had any experience with either in terms of cost and reliability?

Nature Responsible Safari
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Multi-day Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Safaris
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1. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

I wouldn't use anyone which is not located in Tanzania. Things vary from year to year and if you don't know that you might be in one part of Tanzania with all the animals in another part. Read the Top Questions for Tanzania on the right side of this web page and you will find a lot of local Tz safari operators.

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Minneapolis...
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2. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

I have a prejudice here, so I will answer your question in general terms... sorry, I know this is not exactly the question you asked...

Globus is a general tour agency... they claim 100 itineraries, 4000 departures a year and half a million people...

there is no way these folks can be experts on all those locations and know the kind of detailed information to match you with a good trip to each of those places. A safari is a specialized trip in a specialized locale and to get the best bang for your buck, you need a specialist. When you use a general tour agency uou are paying someone to contact someone else in Tanzania to plan a trip for you.

You ask about cost and reliability...

It is extremely unlikely that the middleman will give you any real value and it is extremely likely you will pay them a cut for doing something you could do better yourself.

as to reliability - they will only be as reliable as whoever they subcontract with in Tanzania. Why put in another possible level of error in communication and/or expectations?

It is very easy to plan a good safari to Tanzania using a Tanzanian tour operator - and if you review previous threads you will see that people love the safaris from these companies. With few exceptions, people love their company and love their guide/driver. These companies live and die by customer service, so they know their jobs and do them, with few exceptions, very well.

I started out with all of Africa. I narrowed it to Tanzania. From there I read about the parks and found that, for a first time safari, the northern circuit in Tanzania is probably the premier safari experience in Africa.

I then contacted a tour operator with our basic interests and style of travel and they made suggestions. We went back and forth many times until we had a safari tailored to our wishes at a price we could afford - a price, by the way, about half the cost of what friends payed through an American-based travel agency. We saw the same animals - actually, we did better on that front than they did, but our sheet thread count might have been a little less than theirs... we didn't get massages at the end of our days and we had to pay for our beers at most of the camps.

All you need to know is how many days you want to spend on safari, a general sense of where you want to go, a general sense of buget (like luxury, mid-range, budget) and then send it off by email to some TOs. You can use the list here or from the travel book like Bradt's Guide or Rough Guide. You can even type out the same itinerary you get from Globus and see how the prices compare when quoted by Tanzanian companies.

When in doubt, take the company name and do a search using the Search in Tanzania forums box - you'll find our quickly if people with a TA track record like a company. You can safely ignore the OPW reviews (one-post wonders) as those are probably plants/shills...

I won't list my particular favorite company - you didn't ask for that. But if you PM me or any experienced TA folks, you will get specific endorsements.

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Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

I took a tour organized by a North American provider when I went to Tanzania last month (for varying reasons - you can pick up my report if you click my name and look at contributions), but I agree with Karl and IAB that organizing something directly from Africa will get you more of a bang for your buck and there are many reliable Organizers there. But, I understand that for some, that is too big a leap of faith (baby steps needed) so here is my 2 cents worth.

I haven't travelled with Globus, but looking at their website and the hotels, this is a pretty standard safari route (9 days Tanzania) with hotels only and is not a value trip (I've digested their deals time an again for other trips and they don't come out on top for cost - but they are reliable). You could get something with a little more variety in lodging and enhanced experiences for a similar cost from other NA providers and even more from an African provider. Vacations to Go? well, I would never book with them, not because of lack of trust, but I would prefer not to use a consolidator - which is what VTG is. I got the VTG safari newsletter to review what is available, but would always call the company directly to try to get a match price. That way you develop a rapport with the branded company and have a better contact if something goes wrong.

My trip report will tell you who I used and what I thought of them, or send me a PM if you want to further discuss.

There are also some companies you can find here that have Stateside offices but originate in Tanzania which might help you bridge the gap for comfort.

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melbourne
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4. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

36bay37

I agree with this post of Karl's 100%. I have copied the original list from the top 10 questions for your interest. I posted it originally.I would look at the reviews and then email about 5 of them. Choosing a company also depends on your interests.

Do you want a Sopa/ Serena type safari or something a little different-off the beaten path.

Some of those below specialise in certain types of trips as you research you will find those that suit you.

Some if not all support charities or other village projects.

There are 2 ( I think- US based owners or pricinpals living in the US) I prefer the owners living in Arusha but others have a different opinion.

It is what suits you that counts. It is your trip after all.

These are not in any order: They are just a few of the really good middle of the road operators and what I would call budget camping operators.

stacy_readal@dumaexplorer.com

leopard tours@leopardtours.co.tz

simon@eastafricansafari.info

sunny@arusha.com

shidolya@habari.co.tz

stella@access2tanzania.com

swala@habari.co.tz

juliet@goodearthtours.com

donna@maasaiwanderings.com

also

Basecamp, and Roy safaris.

You could probably add Hoopoe.

Edited: 13 December 2011, 19:57
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Arusha
Arusha
Arusha Region, Tanzania
nyc
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5. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

Both of these companies are offering 'group' departure safaris, with set dates, set routes, set accommodations, often too much time spent in transit - then being with a group of strangers and not always stopping at the best place for game depending on time of year. More than likely these itineraries are pretty much the same, but maybe some use different lodgings and slightly vary the routing. So, if it's a 'group tour' you wish, guess you have to decide which is a better offering/cost.

If, however, seeking a 'private' safari, which is what most who post here choose, there are many tour operators Stateside, and even in-coountry outfitters who can design whatever you wish - when you travel, where to visit, how many days, choice of accommodations - and you decide how long to stay watching the lions, elephants or beautiful birdlife, rather than a decision made by committee. And, these are perfectly safe.

Above list from noexpert are responsible and reputable outfitters who can assist. Now, it's up to you to decide whether 'group' or 'private.'

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6. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

36bay37, when I started planning our Jun 2011 safari over a year ago it was a Tauck safari offered by Vacations to Go that appealed to us. I then started frequenting this forum and soon realised from all the info given here that booking with a local Tanzanian company was the best way to go. So I basically used the Tauck itinerary, upgraded a few of the accommodations based on reviews here, and sent my itinerary to 7 or 8 safari companies - 2 in North America and the rest in Arusha for quotes. We ended up booking a private safari with an Arusha company which cost significantly less than the Tauck group safari. The booking process was very easy and we had the most wonderful safari.

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Arusha
Arusha
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7. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

Go with an independent Tanzania-based safari compnay and you will thank several of us afterwards. I have traveled with Globus (Israel/Egypt in 2000) and had a great time. Large group but with local guide etc. It is one thing to be going to ruins and the like where a group approach worked well and certainly kept the cost reasonable (perhaps).Wife and daughters enjoyed a similar trip in England where again, looking at castles and the like seemed to work well for an escorted group trip.

Plus, in reviewing itineraries of some of the larger companies I often come away sensing considerable "down" time from seeing the country (such as game drives) That is fine for social interacting or resting if wildlife watching is not high on one's list.

But, for much, much more enjoyment of a safari you don't want to be in a convoy of vehicles, on a set and fixed schedule, etc if you can possilbly afford a private safari where you and your party have sole use of the vehicle/driver. And, when compared on a per person per night basis the private safari with a mix of permanent lodges and tented ones often is less than the big group packages. Plus, the idea of interaciton with your guide is priceless and that will be greatly appreciate once you are home and looking at pictures and diaries.

Do as the previous poster did. Often on our trips we stayed at the same lodges/camps as did the groups from the big companies, saw the same sunset/sunrised, drove the same roads, etc yet paid much less.

Dick

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Pasco, Washington
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8. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

I also started with a completely different itinerary than I ended with (Original was Cape Town, Kruger, Victoria falls), starting in June to just booking my trip this week for Feb 2013, Serengeti, Zanzibar, Cape Town. As Jintyf mentioned, I looked at the itineraries from the major tour providers, then started branching out, talked to about 20 operators. Finally ending up with a private tour for two with Access2Tanzania.

I didn't want to jockey for position with 6 or 9 to a vehicle, forced tour times, etc. (I did a Cosmos tour last year in Europe and that tour was perfect for me, a single traveler, first time). We have an excellent itinerary, with all costs included, even the side tours, etc. I did have to plan the Cape Town on my own which was no issue for that city.

Give yourself some time to really research.

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Zanzibar Island
Zanzibar Island
Zanzibar Archipelago, Tanzania
Access2Tanzania
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9. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

I read your paragraphs in Tripadvisor, My wife and her sister wish to go to see the migration in July and then off to see the Gorillas. Can you recommend an outfitter that we can trust who can give us decent pricing and good advice. I would appreciate your help very much. My Regards R Barnes renny@rennybarnes.com

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10. Re: Considering a Globus tour using Vacations to go. Any opinion

On the right side of this web page is a list of Top Questions about Tanzania. Look at the 4th question down and go to that link. There will be many safari operators, all known to be good.

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