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Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

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Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon to Tanzania and Zanzibar. I have looked extensively at the Africa Travel Resource site (www.africatravelresource.com). It's very impressive (comprehensive!), but I always like to do a little checking up on a company before I book (to make sure we don't get scammed), especially since they require full payment for the accommodations in advance by credit card. Does anyone know anything about ATR? I've googled the company exhaustively and can come up with no reviews....Thank you in advance.

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

I have yet to book with them, but am also considering ATR for a trip to Botswana next year. I have spoken extensively on the phone and they have been very helpful. Sending sample itineraries, helping me with my modest budget (by botswana standards) asking me in-depth questions about my expectations for the trip. I will more than likely use them as the advice they have given seems to fit our needs prefectly. I will be booking part of my journey myself - international flights to SA and a stay in Cape Town and only using ATR for the Botswana leg. They have been very chilled about this, I've felt no pressure to book or part with any money. In fact after a number of emails and a very long phone conversation. They were happy to leave me to sort out the SA side of things and then get back to them in the summer over Botswana, with the only advice being that 2006 camp rates come out around August so if I want to get in a any specific camps it would be best not to leave my reservation much past the beginning of Sept. I know its not an easy decision to book with an overseas agent. I had a similar dilema with a trip to Polynesia. In the end I went with my gut feeling an booked with a Tahiti based agent everything went great. Sorry I can't offer more concrete advice.

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2. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

I just contacted ATR & inquired about Mafia Island.

I'm including my correspondce with them today.

I will let you decide whether their answers or lack of

reflected their competence. It seemed more like a cooky

cutter answer.

I'm a retired travel agent so I tend to be sceptical.

Since you are from the UK and I from the USA how reliable

tour companies are depends on their track record.

Here in the US we have an association that most travel agencies and tour companies belong to.

The most important thing is to make sure if you have to pay in advance that it goes into an escrow fund.

By the way I recomment Mafia island instead of Zanzibar

for your honeymoon. Just a thought.

Hi Zigrida

Thanks for your email and it's a pleasure to hear from you.

Chole Mjiini is one of my favourite places in Tanzania, it is more than a lodge as it is so unique and off the beaten track that it would be difficult to find anywhere else in Africa as cool. This is a perfect place to visit either after time spent relaxing on Zanzibar or perhaps after time out on safari.

The Chole Bay is a marine park so whether you like to dive or just take it easy and snorkel, there is an excellent mix or both.

In getting to Mafia there are daily flights from Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, the Selous and Arusha which fly down mid afternoon and return early evening.

The best time of year to travel are the following months : January, February, July, August, September, October.

Chole : www.africatravelresource.com/sc/t/tchoa.htm

Also it's definitely easier to travel down from the UK and fly into Dar Es Salaam.

If you do plan a trip just let me know.





Africa Travel Resource Ltd

Worldwide Sales

+44 (0)1306 880 770



-----Original Message-----

From: zdzenis@earthlink.net [mailto:zdzenis@earthlink.net]

Sent: 13 May 2005 15:59

To: tanzania@africatravelresource.com

Subject: Mafia Island

Dear Nick

Stumbled upon ATR web site.

I am not much for crowds or laying on the beach, so the little island of Mafia and Chole bay

sounded very insteresting.

I enjoy walking, sailing and snorkeling. Pole Pole lodge sounds more my style

then the treehouse accomodations of Chole Mjini Lodge.

The creators Jean and Anne de Villiers sound familiar. Where they ever in National Geographic?

I live on the east coast of the USA but also travel to Latvia where I was born.

Can you recommend reading material in reference to language, flora, fauna and best time

to visit.

Would it be easier to travel from USA, England or Latvia?


Zigrida Dzenis

6 Wardell Place

Ocean, New Jersey

USA 07712-4856

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3. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?


we used ATR for a Kili, Zanzibar trip in September 2003 - found them to be excellent. Very knowledgeable. Everything went extremely smoothly. Most of the staff there have been to the relevant companies and know what they are talking about.

Two other sets of friends have also used them and found the same.

Have a nice honeymoon. Zanzibar is amazing.

New York
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2 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

I am also planning a trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar for next summer ('06) and, so far, I am very happy with the amount and quality of service that ATR has provided (and I have not even booked anything yet). I have recieved some wonderful references from people that have used ATR in the past (all of which took similar trips to the one I am planning). I have cut/pasted one of them below. I hope this helps!


They were wonderful -- the trip of a lifetime! All of us agreed: it could not have been any better. (And just to let you know, we are all world class travelers and all of had been to Africa before.. so this is high praise, indeed!)

We had an incredible, knowledgeable guide, Lahaya, who never grew tired of answering every question about every animal you could imagine(and believe me, I can be insufferable! too, too curious, I fear..) We stayed at two of the four places you mentioned: Olduvai and the Ronjo Flycamp. Everything was so well thought through. This was not like staying in a hotels or luxurious accommodations, which could really be anywhere. The camps were comfortable, charming and contributed to the whole experience of what a true safari should be. They were perfectly situated,right in the middle of where you would want to be. At Olduvai, we went for the walk with Masai, watching the sunset.. We sang along with them their evening song as we watched the giraffes parade in the distance. At Ronjo, we could hear the lionesses and zebra in the distance. When we woke, we watched what looked like an endless train of wildebeeste crossing the sergenetti plain as the sun rose. Somehow, all the sounds were very comforting.. that's when you know you have become part of it.. you truly feel one with your surroundings.. ...

I would definitely take another trip with ATR, with no hesitation.

London, England
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5. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

I am also contemplating booking a safari through ATR. They have proposed an itinerary for a 6 day safari which looks very good. My only question is, did you manage to see the Big 5 up close or were they just sounds in the distance. Impressed with their help so far. Just want to make sure I will get the most out of the trip as it will be part of our honeymoon. They have recommended the Olduvai Camp and Ronjo Camp. Is 6 days enough or would you recommend longer?

London, England
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6. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

Here is a sample trip...

Day 1 : Arusha Moivaro Coffee Lodge

If you fly with KLM I suggest that you fly into KILIMANJARO International

Airport. We can pick you up and then I suggest that you spend your first night

in Arusha, at the Moivaro Lodge.

Here's the link ...

Moivaro : www.africatravelresource.com/sc/t/tmoia.htm

Day 2 : Karatu : Gibbs Farm

Today you will meet your driver guide and make your way up the rift valley

escarpment to the Karatu area which will bring you closer to the Ngorongoor

Crater for the next day but avoid spending the night on the rim. I suggest that

you visit Manyara National Park on your way up to Gibbs Farm. Manyara is a

beautiful park, it does not have as much game as the other parks but it a good

park to start with and a great introduction to the northern parks. Gibbs Farm

is a lovely farm set in the foothills of the Ngorongoro Crater. Gibbs is totally

different from anywhere else that you will stay. I think that it gives a nice

break from the normal safari lodges and tented camps. It is set in beautiful

grounds. You can choose to go walking in this area possibly up to the waterfalls

and elephant caves or hire mountain bikes for the afternoon or simply relaxing

in the beautiful gardens. The food is all home grown and very good. Here is the


Gibbs Farm : www.africatravelresource.com/sc/t/tgfma.htm

Day 3: Serengeti : Olduvai Camp

Today you head up to the Ngorongoro Crater. This is one of the undisputed

wonders of the world. Its 22km caldera is a microcosm of East Africa and must be

the only place where you can virtually guarantee great game-viewing every day of

the year. The crater is, of course, a hotspot for safari traffic, so don't

expect to have the place to yourself (although if you are first down in the

morning you can often be virtually alone in the crater for hours). For

accommodation in the immediate crater area, apart from Crater Lodge the

accommodation is disgracefully poor for the location and this is why we suggest

spending the day on the Crater floor before heading down to the southern

Serengeti for a stay at Olduvai Camp.

Olduvai Camp is somewhere that shouldn't be missed. It's location in the middle

of the short grass plains means that you are off the beaten track. In December

the game and wildebeest migration should be massing around this area and the

central plains so it will be swarming with game. Whilst at Olduvai you can also

go walking with our Masai guides. One walk I recommend is up to Sunset rock.

Take a couple of drinks, walk with our guides for 30mins up to the rock and

watch the sunset over the plains. It really is fantastic. It is a great way to

learn about the area, truly fascinating and not touristy at all. They are

genuine guys who have lived and worked in the area all their lives.

Here's the link ...

Olduvai Camp : www.africatravelresource.com/sc/t/tolda.htm

Day 4 & 5 : Central Serengeti : Ronjo Camp

After a night at Olduvai I have suggested heading up into the Central Serengeti

and spend a nights camping. The accommodation in the area is very poor which is

why we suggest spending a couple of nights out in the bush. We have our own

private campsite, where camp is already set up prior to your arrival.

Accommodation is in walk in tents with camp beds and a shower and toilet

connected at the side. It is basic but comfortable and much mroe comfortable

then normal camping. You will have campstaff to look after you with three course

meals under a mess tent and a camp fire to sit around. Ronjo is a fantastic

place and one of the most genuine forms of safari. If you want to be in the

middle of it all then this is the place to be. However, do not expect luxury.

TRON : Ronjo Flycamp : www.africatravelresource.com/sc/t/trona.htm

Day 6 : Southern Serengeti : Olduvai Camp

Today I suggest you game drive back to Olduvai. Perhaps in time for another walk

with the Masai or possibly to visit Olduvai Museum or shifting sands.

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7. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

Hi tazzie,

I'm kind of new to the whole safari thing, but have learned a lot.

I currently have a proposed itinerary from ATR as well. I am very impressed with it as well as the price they are asking. (it's on the high end of my personal budget, but for what they are offering - luxury tents- the price is very reasonable if not excellent. ) There are some reviews at the Fodors.com East Africa forum. They have a search engine as well. Some great, some not so great, but none were "bad" IMO.

congrats on your marriage - a honeymoon in Tanzania and Zanzibar sounds like a perfect way to start off your marriage!

hope this helps a little.


Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,484 posts
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8. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

Flooz... Several things: 1) you didn't say when you would be going, and that makes a lot of difference on where to go, especially in the Serengeti.

2) You want to get up close and personal, you should be close enough to the animals to smell them (is that close enough?). I've had lions lie down beside my vehicle; elephants walk past so close that they almost rubbed the vehicle, etc.

3) you should start your own thread and you'll get better responses to your questions. Just tap on the Start a New Post rather then Reply.

9. Re: Any experience with booking through Africa Travel Resource?

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