Why solo traveler are like having leprosy
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Jun 16, 2012 11:04 PM Last Post By: Siddharth
May 29, 2012 10:08 PM
Why solo traveler are like having leprosyI have been searching and communicating with tour operators in Tanzania, yes TATO members. I have asked for a quote and in fact, some of the tours operators advertised the departure date exactly with my dates. But once I write the word "solo", I get the response find another person, we need minimum 2-4.
I have told them that I was willing to join a group, nope they said. But they are very willing to quote me for private tour. Ok I get it, besides the revenue they are hoping to make from a private tour why to they push solo travelers away? It could be that I am looking for budget camping safari but that's exactly what they have advertised.
I asked if I was going on a private tour if I"d be the only one in the vehicle riding with the driver and cook, and if at the campsite I'd be meeting others at meal time. Again, no, Why would I want to go in the middle of the jungle after flying 27 hours for 7 days?
One TO told me send the deposit, then we can advertise the safari trip and then they would be willing to reduced my fee because I would be part of the group.
I didn't have the same problem in Kenya. I already booked a safari for 4 days and will be joining a group in NBO. I would like to know how other "solo" travelers were able to book a safari tour in Tanzania from abroad. I'm not willing to wait until I get to Arusha
May 30, 2012 12:41 AM
1My guess is they don't offer group tours for solo travellers because there isn't enough demand for it- there are lots of operators and probably not enough solo travellers around who all want to go on the same dates.
My advice is to look at some of the big group tour companies- I have done small group trips with Exodus, Explore and the Adventure Company but there are others- Intrepid, Gap and Imaginative Traveller. These guys will outsource to local operators but they have the ability to attract enough people to fill the groups.
May 30, 2012 4:33 AM
2I emailed a company, Tro-Peaks, that I found recommend on the thorn tree a few times, about doing a Kili climb and a safari, as a solo traveller, and I was told no problem. Got put into a group for both. I have to pay a single supplement for the safari, but otherwise there's no catch, I had no hassels...
Of course, I'm going in August, so maybe that has something to do with it....
May 30, 2012 9:54 AM
You have not gone with tro-peaks yet, have you? I am considering them too. It is true it's hard to book as a solo. It's all an economy of scale. The tour companies have to go through basically the same process/paperwork to get you booked for one person vs group of 10. The larger groups are simply more money for basically not too much more work.
May 30, 2012 10:52 AM
I have a 5 day safari tentatively booked for 3 of us in Ngorogo, Serengeti and Lake Manyara, staying in very budget tented accomodation, starting around the 4/5/6 July. this was organised through contacts I made last time I was there. We arrive in Dar on 30th and want a few days to explore and travel up to Arusha. Are you interested in joining us?
May 30, 2012 2:21 PM
Oh that's too bad but not going til October, I haven't even booked my flight until I get the Safari trip pinned down. I am planning going to the same places plus Tarangire.
I just wrote to TATO I'm not sure if that would do any good.
thanks a bunch
Have a good time and do write a report or let me know after you get back
May 30, 2012 2:34 PM
Not exactly, like I said the operators most of them had a trip schedule for the same dates Oct. 10, 20 same as my dates, and yet when I asked for a quote and told them I was going alone. that's when the saw me coming a real sucker. They switched gear and said only group get someone to go with you.
Is not that I'm looking for a safari going to "hard to find places".. I'd like to go to very popular places where there's a lot of demand and not in the low season.
I don't want to go alone and just being with the crew, even if it was free. I checked other tours based in US but their prices are unreal since they usually have to mark it up the fee they are paying to the operators in TNZ. Intrepid is one of them, but they usually travel with a large group.
No, the tour company you contacted is not one of the ones I have contacted. Yesterday. I met a woman at a travel group and she is going to climb Kili in June and she's facing the same problem as me even originating the tour from Moshi.
Have you got a confirmation that indeed you're going with a group, and quoted group rate? You don't want to pay for a private with the hope that will change and get a price reduction nail it down from the get go first. I'd like to know how it worked out after going on your trip.
Are any of you guys doing a safari in Kenya? I have a couple of operators that I have to make a decision but they both offered group safari no waiting and the price is right and they are KATO member if it means anything
May 30, 2012 6:33 PM
7Wanderlust - haven't gone yet (it's still two months away) but we've been in fairly constant contact, and I a) haven't had any weird vibes, and b) they've been very good to keep me up to date on things, and they're arranging rental of various items. I realize it's about the same process - I'd prefer to trek with a company that didn't scrimp, and paid people a decent wage. I make one - why shouldn't others?
May 31, 2012 4:29 AM
8@Davewe - I was quoted a group rate, and it's confirmed as a group - and they told me where the other climbers were from. I was even given an option of days to leave on, and still be in a group. The company is based in Moshi. I don't know what to tell you - I've never had issues anywhere travelling solo - other than having to pay a single supplement sometimes.
I'll let you know how it went after.
May 31, 2012 10:12 AM
thank you, just like you I have always traveled solo except one trip, and yes I have only being imposed the single supplement, which I had never rebuttal it. BTW I just got a response from TATO as expected it they didn't support me but their members. So in the future listen up
don't use TATO as a criteria to consider a tour operator.
Maybe its a bit different for trecking or climbing trip since there are no lodges or having the luxury of driving lots of vehicles.But as far as safari a whole different story.
This organization is like being a member of the local chamber of commerce, nothing but prestige period.
I just got a couple of responses willing to take me along with a group, I haven't got the quote, but it took a very direct email telling them exactly how I felt being rejected it. I'm not singing victory yet since I've seen the quote or the itinerary.
Jun 16, 2012 11:04 PM
10Hi Dave - truth be told - i had come across the same problem about travelling solo. This is largely with better advertised agencies though... tro-peaks is one who is willing to take on a solo me as someone mentioned earlier... there is also a a local called Thabit who might be willing - comes recommended thru an acquaintance.
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