LOW COST INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE SAFARIS TO AFRICA

YOU ASKED

We want to arrange a low cost college safari to Africa on our own (without a local Africa students safaris operator in Kenya). So far we have negotiated for car hire and rates with different hotels. While the rates look good, everyone wants us to commit with a non-refundable deposit which is rather tricky us the students have not subscribed to the safari. How can we get a low cost tour while by-passing local agent and without paying a deposit in advance?


ANNE HUYSMAN REPLIES

When planning college safaris to Africa, have this adage in mind: "cheap can be expensive". While you may want to by-pass the local student travel agency in Kenya, you should in the best interest of the students, understand all the consequences of arrange the college tour on item-by-item basis, instead of taking a full package from one source.

The danger is when "the rates look good", you shouldn't book a student tour based on the rates alone. You need to make a background check of the providers and understand the reasons (if any) why the rates are good and if they will be be valid at the time of your safari.

That every one wants a deposit - this comes with the business. If the hotels and car hire companies don't know you, they will demand a deposit. This is unlike the case with the Kenyan student agency who enjoys a business relationship with the providers and can therefore secure rooms and engage vehicles without putting down an immediate deposit.

If you link up with a experienced school tours operator in Kenya, they will be doing much more for your college than just booking hotels and vehicles. Expect value adding ground info on planning the itinerary, activities and access to sites which on your own would be difficult to go to.

Grant it that they will charge for their service but consider they get discounted rates from their providers, so their tours are not necessary expensive.

Anne Huysman
Ontdek Kenya Safaris