Choosing a Tour Operator: What to Look Out For When Identifying a Reliable Safari Operator

Choosing a Tour Operator: What to Look Out For When Identifying a Reliable Safari Operator

Choosing a reliable tour operator is one of the most important decisions one has to make when going on an African safari. The secret to an epic trip of a lifetime is booking with a reliable and legitimate tour operator.

There are two options for a tour operator when travelling on an African safari.  The first option is booking directly with a tour operator on the ground. The other option is booking with a travel agent in your neighbourhood who acts as a third party middle man. These travel agents will book your safari with a tour operator on the ground on your behalf. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.  Below are a few points you should consider while booking directly with a tour company.

The Website

Chances are that you have not been to the country you want to visit for your African Safari. Therefore, you will likely be looking for a tour operator online as opposed to visiting their offices. The operator’s website is the first point of touch. It can be instrumental in helping you identify a reliable tour operator. The first observation you will make is there are hundreds of them. Here are a few tips that can help you when selecting the ideal tour operator.

  • Is the website updated regularly? A reliable tour operator should have a regularly updated website. The date and rate of tours should be up to date. Besides, it should have a blog published on a regular basis. This is a sign that the operator invests time and effort in the upkeep of their office. This virtue will also be reflected in the office.
  • A reliable tour operator should also provide their contact details on their website. More importantly, they should respond to communications done through these contact details.
  • Another critical feature you should look out for is the Meet the Team page which will help you to get to know the management of the company.
  • Besides, the website should have a rich gallery of photos with the tour’s operators on the ground. Such photos provide the much-needed evidence that the company operates on the ground.

Travel consultants

After establishing that indeed the website is a virtual office of a reliable tour operator, the next step is contacting them. Communicating with the travel consultants will help to establish whether they are properly trained and have the necessary experience and can offer reliable advice. Be sure to ask for information and pictures of the vehicles and equipment use. Besides, enquire about the guides who will lead the tour and their own experience of travelling the country.

Instead of emailing the company, you can just call them. Speaking to someone even if it is on the phone can reassure your trust in them. If you still have doubts, you can consult one of the accommodations on your itinerary and enquire about the services of the tour operator.

The reviews

Online reviews from reliable sources, such as Trip Advisor, have become essential in determining the reliability of companies. They are a good way of getting first-hand information from objective judges. A reliable tour operator should have positive reviews online. When considering these reviews, always remember that it is quality over quantity. The experience expressed by the reviews is more important than the number of available reviews. Besides, be keen to observe whether the company responds to both positive and negative reviews.

Negative reviews tell more about the operator than the positive ones. Check the issues raised by the former clients and how the company responded to these issues. Confirm if the company has taken actions to prevent the problem from happening again. More importantly, check the social media pages of the company. A reliable tour operator will update their social media pages regularly.

The price

A safari can only be as good as the guide that accompanies you. Education is a critical aspect of a safari and typically, education is expensive. To get the best out of your safari you need to be prepared to spend a little more. Although overpricing a safari trek does not make it necessarily good, you should be wary of cheap safari trips. Guests who pay a fair price get more out of their safari than they could very expect.

Choosing a reliable tour operator for your African safari is often a challenging task. The above tops can make it easy and in the end, let your guts and heart lead you in making the decision. Then you can look forward to a memorable trip of a lifetime.

Shrike safaris is one of the best and reliable tour operators providing services in East Africa. You can check some the reviews from our satisfied customers at on trip advisor. Get in touch with us for the best experience.






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