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Local travel agent to help with rates in Sabi Sands

New York
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Local travel agent to help with rates in Sabi Sands

I am looking to book a safari in Krguer National Park at Sabi Sands and these are the lodges I'm most interested in... Mala Mala, Londolozi, Exeter, Sabi Sabi . I have a friend who stayed at Mala Mala and loved it. Does anyone feel very strongly about one over another? Also, i have heard and read that local travel agents in South Africa can sometimes get you better rates than what I may get quoted directly. Does anyone have any people or companies I could try? I'd ideally like to spend no more than $1000 per night (for two people). Thanks for any help! Oh, and I am going in the middle of February 2008.

manchester
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101 posts
24 reviews
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1. Re: Local travel agent to help with rates in Sabi Sands

I had the same question a little over a year ago, this is what I did:

1. Searched for posts on here and fodors.com to find out what other travellers have said about local agents,

2. Look at their booking policies - credit card/bank wire charges; cancellation policies etc to ensure you are happy with them.

3. Request a quote from a couple/few of them so you can compare rates/promptness of response etc.

You can then choose who you feel most comfortable booking with.

For me, it is important that the agent responds promptly and with the information I requested (some don't!) as well as what rates they offer. We ended up requesting a quote from 3 agents and decided to go with Janine at go2africa.com, I had a cheaper quote for one accomodation elsewhere and they were able to match it, based on our experience I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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8,364 posts
55 reviews
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2. Re: Local travel agent to help with rates in Sabi Sands

Here's an operator that actually posts rates on the site, saving you a lot of email correspondence: http://www.wildwings.co.za/ You'll see some of the places you listed, as well as less expensive properties. I don't personally know these men, but I like their approach to marketing. It reminds me of how I ran my business. Pretty straightforward with options at various price levels and everything explained clearly.

Montreal, Canada
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2,086 posts
184 reviews
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3. Re: Local travel agent to help with rates in Sabi Sands

Hi Alana,

I am going to south Africa in 2 weeks and booked my Safari in mid July. So I understand what you are going through right now.

Yes, my experience was that you do get better rates by using local agents. Better yet, you do get (hopefully) unbiases advise.

One I would recommend is Tanya <Tanya@africadirect.co.za>. She did provide me with great advice even though I did not purchase my trio through her. She was very reactive and outspoken. I did appreciate he recommendations.

You can also Try Ernest at info@wildlifeafrica.co.za. He was very patient with my 1001 questions and changes of opinion.

Not sure about February rates, but shop around!

Alex

SOUTH AFRICA
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2,533 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Local travel agent to help with rates in Sabi Sands

February is part of the "high season" in our safari industry, so rates are quite a bit higher that time of the year. With the current Rand/Dollar exchange rate,chances aren't very good of you getting rates of $500 per person per night at any of the lodges that you have mentioned. If you aren't able to increase your safari budget, you could consider any of the following more moderately priced lodges in the Sabi Sands:

Djuma Vuyatela, Inyati, Elephant Plains luxury accommodation, Nottens, Kirkmans Camp (might be a bit expensive, but some agents may be able to offer you a good deal on this lodge).

Yes, some local agents do offer better discounts on various lodges, so shop around and see what deals are out there!

5. Re: Local travel agent to help with rates in Sabi Sands

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