Are you planning your safari in Uganda? Do you know any tour company or tour operators in Uganda? Planning a safari to Africa’s remotest destinations, Uganda inclusive can be tiring and disturbing and things can be worse especially when it comes to choosing from over 500 tour operators that are wide spread all over the country.
Most of these tour operators may or may not be registered under the Association of Uganda Tour Operators, a travel organ that governs all tour operators in the country. A few of them might be operating under the legal terms while others may have lots of negative reviews from the past visitors with bad experiences on platforms such as trip advisor or safari booking. You will also prove it that it can be challenging to choose the best and trust worthy tour operator that will deliver its best while you are on safari in Uganda.
While selecting which tour operator or Safari Company to book your vacation with, make sure that you are dealing with a company or tour operator who is registered with Association of Uganda Tour Operator (AUTO) and you can find out this from the association’s website. Most of them may display a lot more about their companies on facebook while claiming that they are the best and trust worthy to deal with.
The best safari companies, famous start their companies and the site lasts for long. If you check and find the AUTO logo that is good but try to find if the AUTO Website is also there and not just looking at the logo. As well, an AUTO member also assures visitors of working with a Uganda Tour Operator to save your money over the foreign based one.
The company should be a licensed Ugandan tour operator. Remember there are more than 500 safari tour companies confined in Uganda and fewer than 200 of them are registered members of AUTO. Meaning the rest can be described as fake, they simply put logos of Uganda organizations claiming to be members with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and many more. A member of AUTO works with UWA to market the gorilla trekking permits deals with UTB and is registered as business in the country, licensed by established agencies and ministries, pays taxes to Uganda Revenue Authority and many others.
The reputation of the safari tour operator
Take note if the company that you hope to book your safari is reputable enough. Check its content on its site and find out what they are offering or does the site provide value added services, meaningful content and many more. It should have a page describe ‘about’ the company, physical address, contact, take time and read through one of the blogs and find if it is original content or they simply cut and pasted from the news articles.
Facebook page and uses other social network with postings which are of up to date. The same can be sighted on forums. The company should be realistic about trip advisor, thorn tree forum and other places where people write their opinions. You can be disappointed especially when a tour operator chooses a lodge which is not suited to you or with a person who may not be part of tourism sector. Always check the company’s facebook page.
Timely and relevant communication from the tour operator
Communication between client and tour operator is very vital for feedbacks. Most travelers who have never been to Uganda will have several questions requiring urgent answers especially on lodge description, tourism activities, insights, offers and many more. Usually, do not consider that a tour company with lowest cost isn’t that the best for your safari, you need a company that pays attention to details, replies visitors questions, and also understand the mindset of the visitor. In most cases tour operators focus on selling a safari and forget interacting with the clients.
Compare the prices of tour operators.
The cost of Uganda safaris varies from company to company. Therefore before making your choice make sure that you take comparison and weigh which one offers the best prices with the best services, especially in areas of tourism activities, lodges, safari cars and many more.
Mode of payment
Tour operators have different ways of payments however; most of them will request a bank to bank wire transfer. To most travelers this might also be of high risk to them given that if money once enters into some body’s account it may not be easy to recover. This means that the account should of business account and not private account. Do not send money through western union or money gram.
Most tour operators also have online system of payment and they use mostly PayPal PesaPal while other may not have online payment. You can use MasterCard or Visa and get points and make sure you have protection via your credit card company. Avoid sending credit card details to tour company through email. Cash is also allowed in most companies.
There is no need to mind more about the age of the tour operator or company since most of the companies come up and of which most of them have ever worked with other companies for long in the same field and they have opted to start their own enterprises too. In most cases new company offer the best experiences because they want to deliver to their best unlike the old companies that may feel that they have already achieved their goals and may not mind about that much.
In conclusion, while choosing a safari company or tour operator, make sure that you check through various websites to compare their prices, services, accommodation options, timeliness and reputation. Enjoy your safaris in Uganda.