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E-Trip Africa

by Jeffersons Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 3:57 AM

Does anyone know about a company called E-Trip Africa. They have given us very reasonable rate for Lemosho 9 day trek. They have been very good about responding to our questions. I only found a few reviews about them on Trip Advisor and a few other sites. All the reviews where quite good. But I am thinking that it is more safe to book with an American Company. Atleast, then if something goes wrong I can use the system to try to get my money back.

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    Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Odinnthor Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Good morning and welcome to VT.........d:o)

    As a tour director, having done a fair number of a variety of safaris in every African safari country, including a Kili climb, I have a bit of an insight into the various local tour operators around the world.

    First, it is almost always better to work with a local operator rather that an American one, if for no other reason than the cost factor. Remember, no matter if you go with an American operator, they will almost universally contract with a local operator anyway.

    That being said, - You are essentially going with an American company. E-Trip Africa is a new-ish division of Worldwide Travel Group, based in Newark, New Jersey.

    Now, if this was an independant company, I would hesitate due to the newness of the company. However with the backing of the umbrella company, I am less concerned. The benefits of being a mega umbrella company, is that they get EVERYTHING they need right away. Always, ALWAYS review the "About Us" page on an operator's website. If that page is just a promotional spiel, it is a big red flag. The About Us page is there to tell the reader how they started, when they started, any affilliations with major int'l travel associations, and any awards collected. Here is their website, and also the website of Worldwide. Go to the Abnout us page for E-Trip Africa, and read their story and look at the bottom of the page, where you see all their affilliations.

    I would say that your problem is solved. This is in essence an American company, but rest assured that they still contract with reliable locals.

    Any further questions, just come back. Hope this helps somewhat.........d:o)

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    Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Odinnthor Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    .....I am so sorry, - I promised the links as well. Here they are. Look also under "Contact Us", and you will see the Worldwide address in Jersey.

    worldwidegrouptravel.com/201...

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    Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Odinnthor Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 8:53 AM

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  • Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Jeffersons Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    Thank you for your advice Odinnthor. They did tell us that for the climb they work with a local tour operator as it is required under Tanzanian law. But they have provided additional training to the guides, as well as a modified menu that is designed for foreigners. I also understand that they have an office on the ground where one of their foreign managers or owners is there at all times to ensure things run smoothly.

    Basically when I looked at the price, I found that most of the local companies don´t include airport transfers, hotels, meals at the hotels, private toilets, or oxygen in their price. Some even charge extra for the drive to the park trail head. I don´t really know exactly what all the extras cost individually, but when I did some research it turns out that it would probably cost more going locally and then getting riped off by the taxi, etc., plus all the headache trying to figure everything out.

    Thanks again.

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    Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Odinnthor Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    You are welcome........................d:o)

    You are quite right about the "additionals". With E-Trip, they clearly are seeking instant credibility, if those additionals are included in the overall price. An operator with heavy backing from an ubrella company, can do things like that, - where a local newbe would be depending on the additionals for survival in a competitive field. Good luck!

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  • Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Brendan2013 Online Now May 30, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    I dont know this company but I am coming from Kilimanjaro trek just a week ago with a local company called Shayo Trekking and Safaris company located in Moshi.They give us a real good price and amizing services.Check with them through
    www.shayotrekandsafaris.com
    Thanks

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  • Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Africa-traveller Online Now Aug 5, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    I find Odinnthor's answer perplexing and confusing and bordering on self promotion of a travel organisation.
    Odinnthor state-First, it is almost always better to work with a local operator rather that an American one, if for no other reason than the cost factor. Remember, no matter if you go with an American operator, they will almost universally contract with a local operator anyway.
    Then you go on to totally lambast your original statement and lend support towards using a foreign owned and based company who only sub contracts their climbs and the profit margin stays in the USA.
    Oddinthor also states-I would say that your problem is solved. This is in essence an American company, but rest assured that they still contract with reliable locals.
    How would you know that they contract with reliable "locals"?
    There is a reason why foreign owned companies are not allowed to hold a Tourism Association Licensing Authority (TALA) licence.
    The original poster could simply ask for a copy of the TALA licence (not just to be told the TALA number) and you will see who the licenced operator on the ground they subcontract to.
    Odinnthor goes to a lot of trouble to provide support to this new company, bordering upon self promotion of a large travel group.

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    Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Odinnthor Online Now Aug 5, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Africa traveler.
    You are completely misunderstanding my responses. The OP (original poster) asked about a certain operator. I responded that I did not recommend them. I did not at any time promote an American operator. It is always better to go direct to the locals. I did not say that the American operator uses "reliable" locals. I never said that. You did.

    My response was a warning about going with people that are not reliable, like the operator they asked about. Please re-read my responses and re-think what you accused me of. You were completely and categorically wrong.

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  • Re: E-Trip Africa

    by Jeffersons Online Now Sep 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Seems that my message started something of a little debate. Anyway, we just returned from our Trek and it was fantastic. We did go with E-Trip Africa because I felt safer dealing with people that I could hold responsible, if something went wrong. In the end it was clearly the best choice, even though nothing went wrong. One of the owners of the company met the 5 of us at the airport. The manager who helped us organize the trip was at the hotel for the briefing with our guides. Even though E-Trip was working in partnership with a local company, you would have never known. The guides were top and really helped us all make it to the summit. The camps were full with many other companies and I think I can honestly say that our gear was the best and we were one of the few groups with our own toilet. While the dome mess tent looked like something you might find on Mars, it was very modern and a perfect size for us.

    Since I saw the debate on this post, I looked up a few of the other companies that we saw along the trek. All but two of them were asking more than what we paid, so, it is clearly not a guarantee that you will get a better deal by booking with a Tanzania company. And compared to what we experienced, I would have been happy to have even paid more to be sure to avoid some of the situations we saw other groups dealing with. Surprisingly at the end of the trek there were some angry people arguing with guides over tips and a question as to how many porters they actually had. Don't know the full story, but these people booked with a local company and several people in the group were sick most of the trek. Maybe it was luck, but our operator was clearly very involved in the whole process, I really can't imagine that any such mess would ever happen. I think they probably understand how word of mouth works a little better than some of the people that could not even give us a quote free of errors.

    It seems to me that Tanzania is still not very developed and things there are done a little differently. Thus, for such a big adventure that could have life threatening complications, go on the safe side and organize your trip with a company that is in the same country as you. They will understand your needs and also respect you as a client, if for nothing more than to protect their reputation.

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