From the moment we spoke to our agent, we knew that our trip was in the hands of a professional who knew and loved the people and the countries that we would be visiting in Africa. Our agent, on behalf of this travel company, planned an itinerary with our needs and travel desires in mind, and as our interests changed, she tweaked the itinerary to match.
We were two couples, all long-time friends, traveling together. Our trip was to last three weeks. We were interested in history, people, and animals (of course!). Pacing was important to us: we wanted time to catch our collective breaths, and we were not interested in staying in different accommodations every night. Our agent got the pacing just right. We had time to make ourselves at home in each of the safari camps we visited and to enjoy rambling on our own through the cities and villages we visited.
The accommodations that our agent chose for us were spectacular and were within the budget that we'd set for our trip. Without exception, the staff at each establishment were professional and friendly and accommodating. The properties themselves were exactly what we'd hoped for, especially each of the safari properties: these were smaller, more personal properties where we were able to become acquainted with other guests, our hosts, and the safari guides and trackers. Although we were consistently treated like VIPs throughout our journey, we had plenty of privacy as a traveling group, too. Further, at each place we visited, the hosts at the individual properties and a local travel professional arranged by our travel company were available to ensure that our needs continued to be met and that any emergencies were addressed.
And, we had an unexpected need to rely on those services when, the day after our arrival in South Africa, one of our party had a medical emergency that required surgery in Cape Town and a few nights stay in a hospital. We were in constant contact with our agent in the States, our local contact in South Africa, and representatives of the travel insurance company that our travel company had recommended before out trip began. After a few days of recuperation and excellent medical care in Cape Town, and with the reassurance of the physician, we were able to continue our trip as planned. Yet, at each stop, since, behind the scenes, our agent had notified our hosts that one of our group had experienced recent medical issues, the hosts discretely asked our traveling partner if they could do anything to make him more comfortable. It was a thoughtful and reassuring touch.
There were personal notes from our agent at several stops, and she even arranged a special dinner for the four of us at our last safari camp to celebrate the end of our wonderful trip. As our agent predicted, the people and places of Africa stole our hearts. We would return in a moment, and we would depend on our agent and this company to show us the way.
See comments above.
Nothing. The planning and the pacing and the special services that our agent arranged (like massages in our rooms following our long trip to Cape Town from the Washington,DC area), were perfect. We especially liked experiencing safari camps in different countries at different points in our journey.
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