Almost without exception, we book all our travel arrangements ourselves wherever we travel, and do not use travel agents.
We decided to make an exception for our non-guided trip to Namibia, Victoria Falls and Chobe next year.
We decided to book with Gemma Dry who is a country expert on this forum because:
- we have learned so much from her numerous helpful posts and wanted to say 'thank you' in some small way;
- some of the places we want to visit are somewhat remote and while most had web sites, we liked the additional comfort of dealing with someone on the ground there who had direct personal knowledge and links with these places;
- we thought it would be easier to make one credit card/foreign exchange payment covering all our bookings rather than make separate payments for each;
- we had read on the TA forum that you do not pay any more for using an agent for accommodation, car hire etc - you get at least the same rates as on their websites with them paying a commission to the agent from that.
Having now booked the trip with Gemma by email exchanges, I wanted to say how impressed we have been with her helpfulness, speed and efficiency. We had mapped out an itinerary but Gemma made helpful suggestions which improved it.
Now the challenge is to stay patient for the next 9 months.