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First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

Old Dec 12th 2004, 3:10 am
  #46  
Liz
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Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

In message <[email protected]>
[email protected] (Jim Ley) wrote:

Oh, Hi Jim -
Hadn't realised you were still around here!

    > On Sun, 12 Dec 2004 15:24:41 GMT, Liz <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >In message <[email protected] .com>
    > > [email protected] wrote:
    > >
    > >> It is amazing to hear you say that "you are nuts to book direct" from
    > >> the UK. The companies that go belly up are the agents - such as Far &
    > >> Wide and MyTravel. and not the reputable outfitter on the ground in
    > >> Africa who has been in business for 20-50 years! I guess you are right,
    > >> I would insist on ATOL or ABTA too if I book with an agent in the UK.
    > >You can't be an agent in the UK if you don't have the bondings, which cost a
    > >*lot* of money.
    > >This money is held in trust and refunded to the depositor if it isn't
    > >needed, but s/he has to recoup this money by adding it onto the price. This
    > >balances by us paying less in our overall travel insurance: for example I
    > >pay 96ukp for annual insurance which covers myself and my husband (and
    > >children under 18 if we had them) travelling together or separately, for all
    > >travel of up to six weeks at a time worldwide (though cancellation is
    > >limited to £5000). It excludes winter and dangerous sports, which isn't a
    > >problem for us. (It would only be 74ukp pa (family) if we opted to exclude
    > >the States.)
    >
    > but this travel insurance requires you to only book with ATOL/ABTA
    > does it? because mine doesn't, and gives similar benefits at a
    > similar cost.

It doesn't actually say that anywhere in the policy, but I understood that
all UK travel insurance had this as a condtions.
No, correction, I thought that UK travel insurance doesn't insist that you
book ABTA/ATOL, but they won't cover you if a company goes bust.

It's the Risk-assessment thing.
I'm prepared to book Ryanair to Europe, but safari losses are much greater.


Further correction:
I just looked at my current insurance document, which was carelessly lying
about in one of my many heaps of paper...
1. It costs only £72pa worldwide for me, spouse/co-habiting partner, children
up to 18/21 if living at home.
2. 17 days winter sports in any policy year have been added.

However, lookkng at the 'Cancellation and Curtailment' section, there is no
mention of what happens if a company goes bust or the FCO advises against
travel. It only mentions health, jury/witness service, call-up for emergency
service, redundancy, making property safe and secure and unusable car (for a
driving holiday in your own car).
Under 'General Exclusions', I see that you're *not* covered for losses
occasioned by war, hositilities etc etc etc, nor for losses...as a result of
travelling to areas that the FCO have advised against...
But I can't see just now (4 pages of A4 in small print!) anywhere it tells
you you're covered by the policy if you cancel a trip to an area the FCO
advises against, so I *suppose* you don't.


    > >Booking direct just doesn't give the same piece of mind.
    >
    > but your travel insurance would have covered the same cancellation for
    > the same reason, sure you may have had to find the alternative
    > destination yourself, but that's not that difficult, and for a great
    > many people is actually a pleasure, at the very least you need to have
    > some idea of the place you're going to anyway so most of the effort is
    > equal in either case.
In our case that's true, although it was, in that particular instance,
serendipitous since Corfu turned out to be equally good for out purposes at
the time, and we hadn't known that.

In Sandy's case (loss of booking at very short notice during the peak travel
weekend from Scotland) it could have been much more difficult, and he was just
wanting somewhere quiet and warm, so it suited him fine.

The first time we decided to go on safari it was at very short notice at the
beginning of July (it's a long story) and we couldn't get flights: the
safari bit was OK but not the flights.
I sat for ages in a local travel agent as she phoned round all the places she
could think of, including going via Paris, Amsterdam etc etc (there's no
difference if you're starting from Glasgow, since you have to change in
London anyway).
After a couple of hours the girl said, "Why don't you go home and I'll keep
trying and phone you and let you know." The next morning she phoned with a
list of airlines she'd tried and failed to get a booking with - this really
surprised me as we had three clear weeks!
To be honest, I thought she'd got bored and had given up, so I spend the
next day going round some Glasgow agents, similarly without luck.

Given that Sandy had to be in work, and couldn't have trawled round agents
(and even now doesn't have a computer, and we're all still on dial-up here
anyway) I'm sure that having the agent to do the work was the best possible
scenario under the circumstances.
Of course, he had the option to take a refund and his chances.

Would an insurance company have paid up quickly enough for him to make
alternative arrangements?

Slainte

Liz

--
Virtual Liz now at http://www.v-liz.com
Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Seychelles; Galapagos
"I speak of Africa and golden joys"
 
Old Dec 12th 2004, 6:18 am
  #47  
Liz
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Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

replying to my own post:


In message <[email protected]>
Liz <[email protected]> wrote:


    > But I can't see just now (4 pages of A4 in small print!) anywhere it tells
    > you you're covered by the policy if you cancel a trip to an area the FCO
    > advises against, so I *suppose* you don't.
Here it is:
Cancellation and Curtailment:
You are not covered for...
b. anything not included in 'You are covered' above.
Which means that I'm definitely not covered if the FCO advises cancelling a
trip so I do (be crazy not to: none of my travel insurance applies then
anyway), or somesuch.


Also:

General Exclusions...
You are not covered for claims arising out of...
18. The bankruptcy or insolvency of a tour operator, travel agent,
transport company or accommodation supplier.

19. A tour operator failing to supply advertised facilities.


Both of which would be covered by the ABTA/ATOL bond.


Anyway, I'm genuinely interested in finding out which UK insurer/s cover
both at a reasonable price: I honestly thought none did.
I live and learn.

Slainte

Liz
--
Virtual Liz now at http://www.v-liz.com
Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Seychelles; Galapagos
"I speak of Africa and golden joys"
 
Old Dec 12th 2004, 6:55 am
  #48  
Jim Ley
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Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

On Sun, 12 Dec 2004 19:18:21 GMT, Liz <[email protected]> wrote:

    >replying to my own post:
    >> But I can't see just now (4 pages of A4 in small print!) anywhere it tells
    >> you you're covered by the policy if you cancel a trip to an area the FCO
    >> advises against, so I *suppose* you don't.
    >Here it is:
    >Cancellation and Curtailment:
    >You are not covered for...
    >b. anything not included in 'You are covered' above.
    >Which means that I'm definitely not covered if the FCO advises cancelling a
    >trip so I do (be crazy not to: none of my travel insurance applies then
    >anyway), or somesuch.

Interesting, I'd shop around, whilst my annual policy only covers me
for 2500 in cancellation (which is about 3 months by my normal travel)
it does specifically include FCO advising against travel to the
destination.

    >General Exclusions...
    >You are not covered for claims arising out of...
    >18. The bankruptcy or insolvency of a tour operator, travel agent,
    >transport company or accommodation supplier.
    >19. A tour operator failing to supply advertised facilities.

I can't find any exclusions like this, but I only searched for the
terms in the PDF, so it could be worded differently.

    >Anyway, I'm genuinely interested in finding out which UK insurer/s cover
    >both at a reasonable price:

The policy I've got is from Tesco...

Jim.
 
Old Dec 12th 2004, 8:01 am
  #49  
Liz
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

In message <[email protected]>
[email protected] (Jim Ley) wrote:

    > On Sun, 12 Dec 2004 19:18:21 GMT, Liz <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >replying to my own post:
    > >> But I can't see just now (4 pages of A4 in small print!) anywhere it tells
    > >> you you're covered by the policy if you cancel a trip to an area the FCO
    > >> advises against, so I *suppose* you don't.
    > >Here it is:
    > >Cancellation and Curtailment:
    > >You are not covered for...
    > >b. anything not included in 'You are covered' above.
    > >Which means that I'm definitely not covered if the FCO advises cancelling a
    > >trip so I do (be crazy not to: none of my travel insurance applies then
    > >anyway), or somesuch.
    >
    > Interesting, I'd shop around, whilst my annual policy only covers me
    > for 2500 in cancellation (which is about 3 months by my normal travel)
    > it does specifically include FCO advising against travel to the
    > destination.

I usually find that either the cover is £3000 or less, or we both have to
travel together, or both. Or else it doesn't cover 'work' (could apply to D.)


    > >General Exclusions...
    > >You are not covered for claims arising out of...
    > >18. The bankruptcy or insolvency of a tour operator, travel agent,
    > >transport company or accommodation supplier.
    > >
    > >19. A tour operator failing to supply advertised facilities.
    >
    > I can't find any exclusions like this, but I only searched for the
    > terms in the PDF, so it could be worded differently.
    >
    > >Anyway, I'm genuinely interested in finding out which UK insurer/s cover
    > >both at a reasonable price:
    >
    > The policy I've got is from Tesco...
I could check it out.
They may have another policy coveing higher cancellations.
But then yours is more expensive already (I discovered mine cost less than I
thought).

Anyway, tx for the info

Liz

--
Virtual Liz now at http://www.v-liz.com
Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Seychelles; Galapagos
"I speak of Africa and golden joys"
 
Old Dec 12th 2004, 9:12 am
  #50  
Jim Ley
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Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

On Sun, 12 Dec 2004 21:01:50 GMT, Liz <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In message <[email protected]>
    >> >Anyway, I'm genuinely interested in finding out which UK insurer/s cover
    >> >both at a reasonable price:
    >>
    >> The policy I've got is from Tesco...
    >They may have another policy coveing higher cancellations.
    >But then yours is more expensive already (I discovered mine cost less than I
    >thought).

It's more expensive now than when I bought it too... and the
cancellation appears to be 5000 now too, but yes, it doesn't look so
competitive now.

Jim.
 
Old Dec 12th 2004, 9:36 am
  #51  
Liz
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

In message <[email protected]>
[email protected] (Jim Ley) wrote:

    > On Sun, 12 Dec 2004 21:01:50 GMT, Liz <[email protected]> wrote:


    > >> The policy I've got is from Tesco...
    > >They may have another policy coveing higher cancellations.
    > >But then yours is more expensive already (I discovered mine cost less than I
    > >thought).
    >
    > It's more expensive now than when I bought it too... and the
    > cancellation appears to be 5000 now too, but yes, it doesn't look so
    > competitive now.

Still, would be worth it if someone was booking a trip outwith ABTA/ATOL.

Liz
--
Virtual Liz now at http://www.v-liz.com
Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Seychelles; Galapagos
"I speak of Africa and golden joys"
 
Old Dec 12th 2004, 9:10 pm
  #52  
Rita Daggett
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Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

"Liz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
.
    > I was very pleased with our Kuoni safari which was our first trip.
    > Bangs for bucks, excellent value (on a group tour).
(snip)
    > However, they don't offer fully tailor-made safaris: you can pick and mix
    > from the different offering in their brochure, that's all.

Apparently not true - someone I know (electronically) had a complete
'tailor-made' done bt Kuoni in Tanzania a couple of years ago, with own
driver/guide.

(by the way, I agree with you about using an agent, for the 'bonding'
reasons, getting (often) cheaper flights TO Africa, and there's a time issue
too - I dont have endless time to sort things out for myself so I'm happy to
deal with an agent, and if its a good one, they often have very good advice.
For example, at WWJE and Sunvil the people who are organising your safari
have often visited the places themselves.

--
Rita Daggett
 
Old Dec 13th 2004, 12:36 am
  #53  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

On 10 Dec 2004 10:12:35 -0800, "Joel" <[email protected]>
wrote:

    >Day 1 Leave US For Nairobi
    >Day 2 arrive Nairobi. Overnight in Nairobi.
    >Day 3 Transfer to Samburu National Reserve - Flight on Air Kenya
    >Day 3-6 Elephant Hill Camp. A unique place. Pricey but I feel it is
    >worth it for the experience.
    >Day 6 Morning (Transfer back to Nairobi on return Air Kenya flight)
    >Day 6 -7 Two nights at Lake Nakura
    >Day 8 Morning - Drive to Masa Marai
    >Day 8 - 4-5 nights in the Masa Marai area. I'd like to work the whole
    >triangle if possible.Perhaps 2 nights in two separate lodges.
    >Day 13 - Morning Game drive - Transfer to Nairobi. Evening flight home
    >to US

Joel,

sounds excellent to me. Also the idea to change lodges in Masai
Mara for a total of 5 nights is not bad.

I don't know the Elephant Hill Camp, but usually you get what
you pay for.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old Dec 13th 2004, 12:36 am
  #54  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

On 11 Dec 2004 09:29:11 -0800, [email protected]
wrote:

    >I recommend flying to the Mara since you don't need a driver/guide
    >there. Also the road from Nakuru to the Mara is bad. I remember some
    >really bad patches near Narok but since I always fly, I don't have the
    >latest info. Hans should know.

From http://www.michna.com/kenya2004/ :

"The road between Narok and Ntulelei has been, or is still being
repaired. I met the repair truck on the way. Funny, the same
thing has happened to me before. They always seem to repair that
stretch in June, then the repairs hold for half a year. Ntulelei
itself and the distance to the edge of the rift valley is as
terrible as it was, however, so that took me some time."

That stretch is the real problem, apart from the whole drive
taking the better part of a day. Around Ntulelei the road
consists almost entirely of potholes and lots of dust, so you
have the choice between being thrown about, wasting several
hours while driving at pedestrian speed, and suffocating from
the dust.

On the other hand, it's part of the adventure. (:-)

I would say, if you drive in a minibus with an experienced
driver, it is bearable. These things have soft springs. And the
rest of the drive is nice and interesting. But flying is nice
too.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old Dec 13th 2004, 1:46 am
  #55  
Pat Anderson
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

In message <[email protected]>, Hans-Georg
Michna <[email protected]> writes
    >On 10 Dec 2004 10:12:35 -0800, "Joel" <[email protected]>
    >wrote:
    >>Day 1 Leave US For Nairobi
    >>Day 2 arrive Nairobi. Overnight in Nairobi.
    >>Day 3 Transfer to Samburu National Reserve - Flight on Air Kenya
    >>Day 3-6 Elephant Hill Camp. A unique place. Pricey but I feel it is
    >>worth it for the experience.
    >>Day 6 Morning (Transfer back to Nairobi on return Air Kenya flight)
    >>Day 6 -7 Two nights at Lake Nakura
    >>Day 8 Morning - Drive to Masa Marai
    >>Day 8 - 4-5 nights in the Masa Marai area. I'd like to work the whole
    >>triangle if possible.Perhaps 2 nights in two separate lodges.
    >>Day 13 - Morning Game drive - Transfer to Nairobi. Evening flight home
    >>to US
    >Joel,
    >sounds excellent to me. Also the idea to change lodges in Masai
    >Mara for a total of 5 nights is not bad.
    >I don't know the Elephant Hill Camp, but usually you get what
    >you pay for.
    >Hans-Georg
Hans Georg,
I think Joel means Elephant Watch camp? It is run by Iain and Oria
Douglas Hamilton. They have the Save the Elephant project at Samburu.
It certainly is pricey Joel but of course they are the elephant
experts. We found Samburu lodge to be well run.
Pat

--
Pat Anderson
 
Old Dec 13th 2004, 5:05 am
  #56  
Eben Schoeman
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

I often wondered who go on minibus safari convoys and where they come
from!

Honestly, I cannot think of a worse way to see Africa. Seven people in
a pop-up minibus traveling in convoys on a packaged tour. Incredible,
especially when I know how much they paid for that experience!

It's even worse when people promote these kinds of trips on these
boards. What are their motives? How much did they learn about Africa
from behind the windows of their minibuses? Who in Africa will
remember their nameless faces after they leave?
 
Old Dec 13th 2004, 5:16 am
  #57  
Jim Ley
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

On 13 Dec 2004 10:05:04 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

    >Honestly, I cannot think of a worse way to see Africa. Seven people in
    >a pop-up minibus traveling in convoys on a packaged tour. Incredible,
    >especially when I know how much they paid for that experience!
    >It's even worse when people promote these kinds of trips on these
    >boards. What are their motives? How much did they learn about Africa
    >from behind the windows of their minibuses? Who in Africa will
    >remember their nameless faces after they leave?

Surely the people on these tours are there for the wildlife, not for
the people, what's your problem with that? I agree, I can't see much
attraction in it for myself, but I understand why others do.

Jim.
 
Old Dec 13th 2004, 5:40 am
  #58  
Liz
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

In message <[email protected]. com>
[email protected] wrote:

    > Honestly, I cannot think of a worse way to see Africa.
You already told us you don't have much understanding - now you lack
imagination too!
I hate to get personal like this, but you have surely noticed in your life
that everybody's different!

I can think of plenty of ways which would be 'worse for me': for example
haven't you ever seen overlanders?
But people often post to this group asking about overlanding trips, and
other people post back enthusiastically. It works for them. or more likely,
it works for their budget.

I personally would rather pull my hair out than climb Kili or do rough
camping with chores, but plenty of people enjoy doing these things, and post
here with advice when others ask about them.

Your way may well be best for you (though you can't really know, since you
haven't tried the other ways), which is fine.

You can learn lots about Africa, or at least the country you're in, even in
a minibus, by talking to the driver/guide and asking questions: even when I
was on the Kuoni trip, the pre-trip documentation encouraged us to talk to
the guide about wildlife and culture. You can talk to the lodge/camp staff
when it's quiet, you can talk to the naturalist on walks or in the bar
afterwards.


    > It's even worse when people promote these kinds of trips on these
    > boards. What are their motives?
Your newsreader must be getting posts I'm not getting.
I haven't seen people promoting any trips here recently.
Apart from a few in the past from SA and Morocco in particular, there's very
little 'trip promotion' here: it's against the group charter, and is
unwelcome.

Liz
--
Virtual Liz now at http://www.v-liz.com
Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Seychelles; Galapagos
"I speak of Africa and golden joys"
 
Old Dec 13th 2004, 6:33 am
  #59  
Eben Schoeman
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

You are always promoting Kuoni, Liz. And WWJE.

You are promoting packaged travel that send hordes of people on safaris
on suspect itineraries at inflated prices while hiding behind this
insurance thing.
You think it is a great thing. Fine. Just don't promote it.
 
Old Dec 13th 2004, 6:40 am
  #60  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: First Time on Safari to Africa Questions

On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 14:46:02 +0000, Pat Anderson
<[email protected]> wrote:

    >In message <[email protected]>, Hans-Georg
    >Michna <[email protected]> writes

    >>I don't know the Elephant Hill Camp, but usually you get what
    >>you pay for.

    >I think Joel means Elephant Watch camp? It is run by Iain and Oria
    >Douglas Hamilton. They have the Save the Elephant project at Samburu.
    >It certainly is pricey Joel but of course they are the elephant
    >experts. We found Samburu lodge to be well run.

Pat,

oh, do the Hamiltons run a tourist business? I didn't know that.

Samburu Lodge (sometimes called Samburu Game Lodge) is also my
favorite in the area. Samburu Serena is a good backup. Larsen's
is a bit strange, and I don't know Intrepids very well, but
they're most likely also good.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 

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