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Saga Tours

Auckland
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28 posts
27 reviews
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Saga Tours

Have also been in touch with Saga Tours - however am not sure of their reliability. Its an awful lot of money when they dont seem to belong to any Travel Association and require cash paid into their bank account. (They wont take Credit cards - which would have given me some security.)If anyone has travelled with this Company -I would like to know if you had any trouble with payments and delivery of what was offered on the tour.

San Fracisco, CA
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1. Re: Saga Tours

Hi Kiwilady,

Did you ever decide to go with Saga Tours? I was curious about them as well. If you didn't choose them, did you find another agency that appeared more reliable (and that accepted credit cards)?

Thanks!

Marc

Auckland
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28 posts
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2. Re: Saga Tours

No -didnt go with Saga in the end.

My family is travelling with Intrepid. If you need any more info on West Africa - let me know and I will get my sister to post some info. They are travelling on 3rd feb 2010.

Cambridge, United...
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3. Re: Saga Tours

I'm joining a tour in Mali with Saga Tours in January. I can let you know after that how it is!

Sydney
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29 posts
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4. Re: Saga Tours

How was your tour with Saga Tours in January? Was it a group tour or a private tour, and did they deliver as promised? I am booking for Dec/Jan but not sure which tour company to use? Any information or recommendations would be appreciated.

Sydney
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29 posts
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5. Re: Saga Tours

Can anyone tell me if they have travelled in Mali with Continent Tours? I am still looking for a good tour company to arrange a 9 day tour for me and my husband in December 2010. Reports of Saga Tours are scarce and we dont want to take a chance on a company which doesn't deliver. Can anyone advise? With thanks.

Cambridge, United...
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6. Re: Saga Tours

I booked to join a group tour with Saga Tours in January, to tour Mali and spend 3 days at the Festival au Desert. I do not have any other connection with Saga Tours, and didn't know of them before finding them on the internet.

I can honestly say that I was exceptionally pleased with the whole tour, their arrangements, the guide, the driver, everything and would have no hesitation in recommending them. Before travelling, the Manager, Mr Assou Sagara, answered all my email queries and he said that I would be met at the airport in Bamako. I chose to arrive one day before the scheduled tour departure, in order to catch up on sleep/acclimatise/ allow for lost luggage etc. (in case). He was true to his word and was there in person to meet me, and another traveller who happened to be on the same flight.

On the tour, all the arrangements and hotels were as planned, the guide, Guiré, was very knowledgeable, courteous, patient, and spoke several languages (French, English and several African languages). The 4 x 4 used was in excellent condition and the AC worked throughout! We had no problems in travelling whatsoever. There was a lot of time on the road, but it was as comfortable as it could have been, and the driver, Moussa, was excellent. He took good care of us and was a good driver. I felt safe at all times.

I was lucky to find myself in a small group (just 4 of us) plus guide and driver. I didn't know beforehand how many people would be in the group. Apparently there were a lot less visitors to Mali and in particular to the Festival this year because of warnings about Al-Quaida attacks and the security situation (warnings by 'Western' governments). In 2009 Saga Tours took something like 30-40 people to the Festival, and this year there were just 4 of us! (Not their fault, simply the security situation and scares). However I saw no troubles whatsoever, though there were Malian Army personnel guarding the Festival site (discreetly).

The highlights were visting Djenne (the Mosque and market), being in Tombouctou (not for the place itself, but just the name), and the Dogon country, the escarpement, and seeing a masqued dance - amazing.

I can not really fault anything about Saga Tours - everything went apparently smoothly. There was a slight hiatus at the Festival when we were not sure which (if any) Tuareg tents were ours to sleep in, but they also provided individual dome tents (one per person/per couple) so we had privacy, which was even better than anticipated.

This is a true reflection of my trip. I am not trying to make it sound better than it was; it truly was memorable and, to my mind, almost faultless. Yes, some of the hotels were not up to 'Western' standards, but one doesn't expect that in a developing country. Most were good to very good however.

I have read that some people are wary because Saga Tours don't accept credit cards, but that is common practice in parts of West Africa apparently, and I sent half the cash by bank transfer in advance, as requested, and had no problem. There is an intermediary bank which makes a charge, but I didn't lose out because of this. I sent exactly what Saga requested, and despite some extra charges being made by the intermediary bank, this was accepted, no problem.

If anyone would like any further detail, please do not hesitate to ask. PS I meant to say, I too thought the prices a little on the high side (though there were other very similar tours which were more expensive) but having been I can say that on reflection I felt it was excellent value for money and worth every penny, though I was lucky to be in such a small group.

Edited: 4:12 pm, March 16, 2010
7. Re: Saga Tours

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