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Recommended Tour Operators

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Recommended Tour Operators

Hi all,

We are planning to travel to Tanzania and Zanzibar in December and wanted to see if you had any feedback on the below operators.

1. ATR (Africa Travel Resource)

2. Java Safari

3. Access2 Tanzania

4. Roy Safari

5. Safari & Beach

Much appreciated.

Thank you

A x

Newark, Delaware
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1. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

Your list is primarily of well known operators and one agent, also one company I have never seen in Tanzania. You can search the forums for reviews of each company. But you will likely get about the same set of good reviews on each of them. Except one that strangely has a massive number of reviews ??

The point is TA is full of fake reviews (both good and bad). These are mainly reputable companies you have listed. Ask each for a quote. They will probably each provide you a slightly different proposal. Decide on the proposal you like the best (itinerary and accommodations) and then send the same request to the other 2 or 3 that you had a good feeling about from your initial interactions. See who gives you the best deal and then weigh in the relationship from each. This will get you on your way.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

If you haven't already, you should read some of the Top Questions on the right of this screen. Bullet 4 gives a list of vetted TOs that many use. Then, as mentioned above, there is the search box for other reviews. Note that some of these TOs and agents have found their way onto the 'one day tours' review pages in the Attractions section of TripAdvisor even though the reviews are clearly for multiday safaris whilst others who do offer daytrips have been refused a place in that section. In fact, you might wish to search TripAdvisor entirely rather than just this forum...you have either option.

As mentioned there are what we like to call 'one post wonders' who come on and give glowing (or terrible) reviews of a supplier. These should be considered suspect. Granted, everyone initially had only a few posts, but is the review is several months old and there is no other TA activity; then I would think it is a plant, false identification, or coercion by the supplier. Unfortunately there is a lot of this around? You can also search the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum for feedback.

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
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3. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

You have listed an overseas agent ATR where I prefer to us local companies.

I have never heard of Java safaris so I wonder where you did get that name from. I would go to the top questions 4th post down on the right ..you will find a list of safari opertors I would start with some of them.

You need to realize that some tanzanian operators also charge a few thousand dollars more then another operator for virtually the same experience...so do some research.

I like the comments by QM in the previous post about reviews on TO...many are very suspect but for various reasons are left.

You should remember out of 100 people who goon safari a very small % actually write a review on return.....makes you think ....

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4. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

Hi,

Thank you all for your responses, greatly appreciated.

In terms of the one you have not heard of Java, I was actually recommended by a friends that used it last year.

Also which is the one with the loads of reviews I was unable to find.

A x

Chicago
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5. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

The ones who seem to have more positive reviews on this forum are Eastco, Swala, Access2Tanzania, Safari Infinity, Basecamp, Roys, and Shidolya (who I used and was very pleased), but there are many more out there.

Newark, Delaware
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6. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

I know of Java Safaris. They do exist and I have heard good things about them, but no personal experience so I cant vouch for quality. The last operator you mention, I have never seen in Tanzania. I think they are actually a Kenyan Operator (but I could be wrong). And if you want to see plenty of fake reviews this is where you will find them.. tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g297913-Activiti…

Trip Advisor has a strange policy on who they allow to have pages and what can be reviewed. Most of the reviews you will find there are not in line with TA regulations, but for some reason no one takes them down. You will see 2 companies have a missive number of reviews, compared to the norm, so maybe there is something funny going on.

If you want reviews about multi-day safaris you might try:

www.safaribookings.com

www.yourafricansafari.com

www.safarireviews.com

While you may still find a few suspect reviews, these sites seem to make more of an effort at tracking IP address and investigating questionable reviews before they post them.

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
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7. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

I agree with post 6 the attractions section of TA does attract false reviews and in my opinion is manipulated by certain companies.

I would also look at www.safaribookings.com for more reliable safari reviews. The other 2 sites I don't know.

But the best way to find out about a company is to ask for references of recent clients and then email or ring them

Arusha, Tanzania
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8. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

I agree with your point Noexpert ,

The best way to find out about a company is to ask for references of recent clients and then email or ring them.

It is true that there are so many fake post and fake reviews on Trip advisor now days. This behavior started slowly since the end of 2012. Now its getting too much. Trip advisor, you still have enough time to fight with these people who come here to write fake reviews to advertise their business etc. I have seen this before in thorn tree/ lonely planet forums. Before they were good and reliable but after they accepted fake post they are now dying smoothly. They are going to the end of their life.

Now, my advices is, you need to have someone who is responsible of tracking IP address and investigating all post and reviews before they are published. This will make Trip advisor so special and number one as it used to be in past two years. But if it will be as I can see it now, you one day going to remember my sentences.

Asanteni.

London, United...
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9. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

TA doesn't read these posts. You should post it to the support forum where someone might read it.

Newark, Delaware
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10. Re: Recommended Tour Operators

Sadly even in the support forums no one reads the emails. A camp we like to use was wrongly listed on TA as being in Arusha rather than the Serengeti. Not only did it not help this camp, but people thought we were idiots since we were suggesting a Camp "located in Arusha" during their safari in Serengeti. It took ages and plenty of post on forums to get anyone to help them get it sorted out.

As you can see in the Activities section, TA plays dumb and rarely looks at reviews that are reported as violating TA rules. So as you said, probably a slow death as people start to realize that 70-80% of the hotel reviews are fake (according to a University Study that I read last year).

Anyway, starting to get off topic for OP question.

Edited: 18 June 2014, 12:10