BOOKING A SAFARI
Booking a safari is unlike many other types of travel around the world. While there is a lot of choice of lodges and destinations, there is not a lot of good choices! The best lodges and destinations are usually small, intimate places away from the masses - and they are very popular! Dedicated travelers are booking their safaris 18 months in advance and many of the choice lodges and destinations are booked full long in advance. The Conservation Safari Company team want to give you the very best experience possible so if you are interested in traveling please dont delay!
Firstly we create and send you a proposed itinerary based on the information you give us.
Once you have approved the itinerary and costings we make a reservation with the safari providers. This often requires juggling of dates and shifting of the order of camps/activities to make it all fit together.
From when the reservation is made a 25 - 50% deposit (depending on providers) is usually required to secure the booking, within 14 days. For all flights a full payment is required of the estimated fee. After the deposit is received, we then go ahead and pay the relevant safari operators their deposits and book flights, transfers and make other detailed arrangements.
Deposits are non-refundable so it is important to make your plans when you are 100% committed to traveling. The deposit policies are not set by us but by the various providers - in the safari industry these are fairly standard across the board. Travelers are booking travel more than a year in advance to ensure they can get into the highly desirable lodges and thus they require the deposit to sort out the committed travelers. Travel insurance can be obtained which covers trip cancellation and this is the best security against a cancellation with a valid reason. Please read more about insurance here.
Final payment to providers is usually due a minimum of 60 days prior to travel, in which case we need to receive the funds at least 90 days prior to travel.
Flights are booked as a service to our clients, we bill you exactly what we get billed. In the quoting process we use average online pricing and in most cases the actual purchase from our airline suppliers is lower and we pass on this saving to you.
Invoices are either in local currencies like Rands (South Africa) or Namibian Dollars or for most other countries in US Dollars. The invoice currency depends on where the bulk of the travel takes place. You can be sure that all travelers wanting to capitalise on strong currencies in their favour will be able to do so, which is often why we will keep the invoice in local currency where possible.
Payments in local currency (Rands or Namibian Dollars) can be made by Bank Transfer or Credit Card. Bank Transfer is the cheapest method and takes a few days for the funds to make their way through the bank systems. Credit Cards may be used but a 4% transaction fee, depending on the type of card used, will be added to the amount as that is what we get charged. Payments can be made in a combination of both methods.
Credit Card payments are processed through a secure third party gateway called Paygate - we do not see or handle any of your credit card details or information but as soon as the transaction is processed we get notified. We can accept payments from VISA, Mastercard and AMEX.
US Dollar payments are accepted by Bank Transfer, and credit card however USD AMEX transactions are currently not possible, only VISA and Mastercard
Very few additional documents or vouchers are required these days, but copies of electronic flight tickets and any provided vouchers will be sent to you or included in your printable Travel Document. Your Travel Document will contain detailed daily arrangements of each destination and transfer, flight details and contact numbers. It will also contain a list of emergency contact details - a copy of your itinerary should be left at home with friends or next of kin so that they have a means of knowing where you are and who to contact in case of an emergency.