How to choose a good tour operator in 2021
How to choose a good tour operator in 2021: Tour operators are people or companies whose plan and organise tour safaris for you or on your behalf. They take care of all the details of the safari and ensure you enjoy a hustle free safari. some of the things a tour operator does include but not limited to putting together desirable itineraries for you, pre-booking safari activities, organizing transportation, booking accommodation, advising you on different safari elements among other things.
Tour operators are a very important part of making your safari a success and a hustle free one, because they are normally natives of the given country of your tour and they know most of the things that you need to have a successful safari.
East Africa as a region has a number of tour operators that you can contact to help you plan your safari, but how do you zero down to a good tour operator, how do you choose a good tour operator?
In this article we breakdown some of the qualities of a good tour operator that will perfectly serve you and your entire safari needs. The qualities of a good tour operator include:-
- Member of The Country’s tour operators association or registered with the government tour operators body.
A good tour operator should be a member of the Country’s tour operators association or registered with the government tour operator’s body. This is very good accountability avenue and you know if a tour operator can sustain its membership in any of those bodies it is doing the right thing because these bodies meticulously screen all the activities of their member tour operators to ensure standards and quality of services is maintained.
You can easily find out if a tour operator is part of the tour operator association by requesting for their membership ID or details, or you can check the association website for the list of its members.
A good tour operator should be well equipped with all the right and relevant information on all safari and tourism related issues among other things. You will notice as you interact with the tour operator or as you interact with their online platforms on how much information they have on safaris and different topics and how many of your questions/concerns they are able to address accurately with the right information. They should be able to provide you with all the right and up to date information you need to make the necessary decisions for your safari.
The way a tour operator communicates with you is very key; because you have entrusted a tour operator to take care of all the details or almost all the details of your safari, they should be able to keep in constant communication with you giving you updates and involving you in the planning stages as you desire. This constant communication keeps you assured that your trip is being organised and ensures transparency in the whole process. You can always keep in touch with your tour operator through phone calls, via email, whatsapp and any other social media platform.
- Client Reviews
A good tour operator will definitely have good reviews from previous clients who have enjoyed the services of this tour operator. These reviews are easily found on trip advisor or on any of the different social media platforms. What previous clients say about the tour operator will give you a good head start on what to expect from the tour operator. Also reviews from previous clients are evidence that the tour operator is not a scam and that they are experienced in planning and executing the best safaris as promised.
- Safari prices
Good tour operators are not exploiters. When we plan to have a safari, we are looking to have a great experience at very comfortable rate according to our budget and preferences. So a good tour operator should be able to give you affordable prices for your safari that are with a given range of your desired safari be it budget, midrange or luxury.
You should note that affordable here doesn’t not mean cheap, because we all know normally gives us poor quality or below standard services. So affordable here means prices that are realistic enough to can get you a good quality safari without breaking the bank or feeling exploited.
To know if a tour operator’s prices are fair and realistic, it helps to check with the prices of the other tour operators in the country to read reviews of previous clients.
- COVID19 Policy
Because of the COVID19 pandemic, it’s important for you to choose a tour operator who has a well stipulated covid19 policy that ensures your safety and the safety of others with you on a safari.
You can find this policy on the tour operator’s online sites or ask them about their policy for more information.
These six are the top qualities to look at when choosing a tour operator and the other things like tour guides, coverage etc follow depending on your preference. (How to choose a good tour operator in 2021)