Optimizing Your Safari: 10 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Safari Company
Selecting the right safari company goes a long way in ensuring the best experience from beginning to end – a trip that is tailored entirely to your priorities and delivers seamless logistics and excellent wildlife sightings.
When considering a safari company, here are some important questions to ask.
1. DOES THE SAFARI COMPANY CREATE AUTHENTIC AFRICAN SAFARI EXPERIENCES?
Africa is in our blood because we were born and raised there. It means we create authentic safari experiences based on six generations of family in Africa, and more than 20 years of hands-on experience. Other companies have little or no African heritage to guide them. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
2. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY UNDERSTAND YOUR TRAVEL STYLE?
Bushtracks owner, David Tett, was born and raised in Zimbabwe. This makes Bushtracks unique compared to most other safari companies. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
3. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY OPERATE ITS OWN SAFARIS?
Bushtracks is the safari outfitter in Africa, so when you book with us you are going direct. We implement your preferences ourselves, in the planning and on the ground. We personalize your experience and control the quality from start to finish eliminating miscommunication and delays caused by middlemen. Other companies pass off your safari to a third party in Africa, leaving you in the hands of people you have not spoken to and who do not fully understand your preferences. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
4. IS THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY REGISTERED IN THE U.S.?
When a safari company like Bushtracks is registered in the United States, your travel investments are protected in a U.S. bank; you can buy trip cancellation insurance; and depart well-prepared with medical coverage. Traveling with a company registered abroad can put your investment at risk without means to recuperate your monies if your safari is interrupted or not delivered. If you fall ill or get hurt you may also have to navigate foreign courts without the protections afforded to U.S. residents or offered by a U.S. registered company like Bushtracks. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
5. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY OWN SAFARI CAMPS IN AFRICA?
Safari companies that also own lodges are in two businesses – the hotel and the tour business – and this creates a strong financial incentive to funnel you into their lodges rather than optimize your safari experience. Bushtracks has no ownership in any lodges, so we are impartial and will choose a selection of camps and locations that are best suited to you. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
6. DOES THE COMPANY HAVE A HIGH REPEAT AND REFERRAL RATE?
Other companies build their businesses around volumes of one-off travelers. At Bushtracks, over 60% of our business is generated by referrals and repeat travelers. This motivates us to optimize every day for every guest on every safari. For nearly 20 years, we have also operated safaris for institutions such as National Geographic Expeditions, Smithsonian Journeys, World Wildlife Fund, and the African Wildlife Foundation, and we are consistently held in high regard by their trustees and traveling members. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
7. IS THE AFRICAN SAFARI PERSONALIZED AND OPTIMIZED FOR YOUR AND YOUR BUDGET?
We build every safari from the ground up, hand picking each location and safari camp to match your preferences and budget. We leverage 20 year relationships with the premier African lodges, and send them a substantial number of guests which earns Bushtracks and our travelers the best rates available. Other safari companies often shoehorn you into an existing “custom” itinerary to save on trip development time and cost. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
8. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY OFFER A CONCIERGE SERVICE IN THE U.S. AND 24 HOUR SUPPORT IN AFRICA?
Bushtracks offers a concierge service through our very experienced safari planners based in California.They work as a close knit team to thoroughly prepare you for your journey, and monitor your trip from start to finish. We also have offices in key gateways such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Kasane, Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Arusha, and Nairobi, with more than 50 staff on the ground, available 24/7 to ensure your safari experience is unforgettable, and to support you in an emergency. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
9. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY HAVE INCREDIBLE SAFARI PLANNING TOOLS ONLINE?
www.bushtracks.com is a one-of-a-kind website that offers powerful planning tools to our guests. Here you will find our unique Trip Builder tool, transparent information on lodge prices, camp reviews, travel logistics, and more. No other safari company offers these innovative planning tools to their travelers and empowers them to make such informed decisions. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
10. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY HAVE CRITICAL AVIATION EXPERIENCE IN AFRICA?
Most safaris include flying on local airlines, scheduled light aircraft, or private charters. We have accumulated over 20 years of hands-on aviation experience, flying more American travelers on a wide range of aircraft through more African countries than anyone else. Our unmatched experience in African aviation and strategic air charter enables us to fully optimize your logistics, minimize your travel time, and maximize your time on safari. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.
Download our latest brochure or visit our Custom Safaris page to begin African Safari Vacation Planning.
You can always contact our team for more safari planning facts, to learn about our top trip, and more!
The first version of this article was posted on 9 Jan 2014 at 8:42 AM.