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Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

Ottawa, Canada
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Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

Hello everyone. I hope to travel to southern and western circuits of Tanzania and to Rwanda in fall 2014 , and have been posting under "planning advice requested", but now have a specific further matter to ask for feedback on.

After doing a fair amount of research on Trip Advisor and through earlier posting, I have asked for estimates from six companies, both local and out of country - including a couple that are supposed to specialize in southern circuit. The quotes I am receiving and asking for adjustments to differ significantly. I have to admit this makes me nervous. Is this sort of discrepancy unusual or common?

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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1. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

Hi

yes the prices can differ madly. You can be offered $12,000 by an overseas company for a safari...very similar lodges and camps..that a local operator will offer to you for $ 4000. It is seen often on this forum.

The prices of lodges vary greatly as do the quotes different operators offer.

A local operator is usually cheaper and better ( more local knowledge) than an overseas agent who usually subcontracts anyway.

The Southern circuit because of flights often is more expensive than the Northern circuit.

Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

Provided you feel comfortable doing it, I'd just ask the operators you have been dealing with. Coming from the other side, when I have clients who come to me with similar quotes I'm always happy to look them over and explain where the differences come in. I never mind, and any good operator will want you to have confidence that you are getting the experience that you want, and good value. I've read on your other posts the operators you've been speaking to- several of them are very reputable and I am sure they would want you to be happy and confident in what they are suggesting for you.

A lot of it will come down to the specific operator's personal experience and tastes, and the information they've picked up from your dealings with them. If you ask, you'll understand why they've recommended what they have for you specifically, and how they compare to the alternatives, and this might well help you narrow down your decision.

Best of luck- I know the decision making is tough (I'm in the middle of planning my own latest safari and am finding it impossible to decide), but really, with Southern/Western Tanzania and Rwanda you can't go too far wrong so it should be an amazing trip whatever you pick.

Alexandra Matts- Travel Director- Extraordinary Africa

Chicago
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3. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

You can also have a great discrepancy in price by local operators. Of the 8 quotes that I received, for the same 11 day trip, going to the same parks, but staying in different lodgings, my quotes ranged from $3800-$10,000. I research, and chose the cheapest, and it was a great trip. You just have to look at your type of preferred lodging, and your comfort level of the company.

Townsville...
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4. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

mch46

We went to Uganda to see the Gorillas and combined this with what ended up by being a 30 day trip. 10 in Uganda and 20 in Tanzania.

Try and get a local Tanzanian operator who can do both countries, it really worked for us.

As mentioned by no expert in the post above above we also were quoted around $12,000pp from an US agent for a 12 day trip and and ended up paying less than 1/2 that pp for the total 30 days in both countries.

The quotes differ greatly from operator to operator for almost exactly the same thing so I would shop around.

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

Thanks for responses, everyone.

The surprising thing to me is that the best quote I have received by far is from an overseasr tour operator.

Alex, remembering yours and Stokey Girl's suggestions, I have asked for and am getting, I hope, Selous-Ruaha-Mahale-Dar-Gorillas for a total of 20 days, splitting camps in Ruaha (Ruaha River and Kwihala) but staying in Lake Manze in Selous.

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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6. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

I am not surprised that the best quote was from an overseas operator for the type of trip you want on the Southern circuit as most tour operators based in Arusha would only do the North.

london
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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7. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

I'm not overly surprised by this. I don't doubt the advice that for a northern circuit safari, better deals can be had with local operators (or possibly for a driving safari of the southern circuit) but for a fly in safari like this, it's not the same scenario.

Sounds like a great trip you've got lined up, please come back with a report. I'd love to hear about Mahale particularly. Where are you staying there?

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

Stokey Girl,

I'll be staying at the Kungwe Beach Lodge - did you see I've followed up on your suggestion for Ruaha about Kwihala?

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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9. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

Yes I did see. It's a great camp, I'll be back there in August myself!

Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: Quotes for travel to Tanzania and Rwanda

Hi mch 46

I have replied on another of your posts about Mahale alternatives- we are staying in the park bandas (see Africa Travel resource photos Very basic but I'm sure is much cheaper than Kungwe).

Are you aware that Kungwe beach Lodge is owned by Mbali Mbali a company I've been told supports hunting safaris as well?

Just thought I'd let you know.