My wife, daughter (11), and I recently returned from a two week safari trip to Tanzania. In preparation for the trip, we did a lot of research regarding tour companies. We ultimately decided to go with Access2Tanzania. We are EXTREMELY HAPPY with the trip they put together for us, and recommend them WITHOUT HESITATION. Here are some of the reasons why: 1) The planning process - A2T does a lot of work up front to find out about you, and what kind of trip you are looking for. This includes a detailed questionnaire, with follow-up communications from the staff. 2) Customization, Input, and Control - Each trip is customized for the particular traveler/group. You have a lot of control over exactly where you go in Tanzania, what you do, where you stay, etc. The A2T staff is a great resource as you sort through the options. However, the ultimate decision is yours. 3) Your Own Vehicle and Guide - We had our own vehicle and guide throughout the trip, i.e., we were not simply part of a larger group. This gave us greater control over our daily itinerary. If we wanted to get an early start on given day, we could. If we wanted to sleep in, that was ok too. 4) Value - Based upon my research, it typically costs a lot more to get the kind of customization and personalization that you get with A2T. Don't get me wrong: African safari trips are expensive. However, A2T's price was comparable to what other companies charge for "off the rack" group tours, i.e., we got a customized, personalized tour at an "off the rack" rate. 5) The Guides - We LOVED our guide, Said. He was personable, professional, fun, attentive, and extremely knowledgeable. (You do not really appreciate the importance of a knowledgeable guide until you have one. It really adds to the experience.) Said told us that the thorough process A2T utilizes when hiring guides. He also said that many, if not all, of the A2T guides work in some other capacity with the company (i.e., they get a tryout) before they are hired as guides. Unlike other tour companies, A2T does not utilize contract guides. If all of their regular guides are booked during a particular period, the company does not take additional bookings. So, you always know you are getting an experienced, quality guide. 6) A2T's Charitable Activities - In addition to all of its other positive attributes, A2T has a truly inspiring charitable mission. You can read about it A2T's website. You don't have to spend much time talking to Brian or Karen to recognize the company's commitment to educating young people in Tanzania. It is inspiring. In conclusion, if you want to visit Africa, you should definitely check out A2T. FYI, I will also be preparing reviews of the lodges/camps where we stayed on the trip.
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