a VirtualTourist member
Has anyone used Sameco tours and would they recommend them? The iterniary they proposed looks great but I would like a recommendation if possible?
Sameco is a fairly new operator, however they have joined KATO, and that is a good thing. No have not used them nor heard of them before this. I am however fairly well aquainted with both Kenya and Tanzania safaris. See my Kenya page for more information.
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I did check out the Sameco website, and they are quite proud to be an associate member of KATO. I would venture to say that they will be fine. Understand that "associate member" is kind of a trial basis. They will likely strife to do a good job, as it is important for an operator to be a member of KATO.
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If you are looking for reliable operators, I can certainly give you few reliable names. First check out the TATO site to get an overview of the available ones that are registered with TATO. There are about 140+ registered with them. They do tend to be a bit political, and I do know some operators that have been around for years but are not on the TATO list
Make sure that you visit a travel medicine specialist especially if you are from the U.S. Do not assume that your regular doctor has the answers needed for up to date travel medicine concerns. Malaria can and will kill you. Do not take medical advise from no medical people, - including us. This is far too important an issue to listen to guesswork. Here is the medical requirement page regarding Kenya.
Also be sure to include tips in your overall travel costs. Not a good idea to ignore that one.
Tipping in Tanzania is similar to what it is in the US. Similar but not the same. On a safari remember that there are more than one person to tip, depending on the quality of the safari. This is a general guide on safari.
Driver/Guide: US8 – US20 per day per guide
Chef: US8 – US20 per day per chef if it is a an adventure safari in tents.
Be aware that this is not really per person. For instance, if you are in a party of four, each should contribute about five buck for a total of twenty bucks a day for the guide. If there is an assistant, half or two thirds of the tip for the guide in enough.
On a trek, like a Mt. Kilimanjaro trek, this is a general tipping guide for that type of travel, same rules regarding group tipping as above.
Head Guide: US15 – US30 per day per guide
Assistant Guide: US10 – US20 per day per guide
Cook: US8 – US12 per day per cook
Porter: US4 – US10 per day per porter
Also know that most tourist frequented restaurants and hotels/lodges are also to be tipped pretty much as you would in the US. Lot of places have tip buckets on the counter.
Now if you are alone of with a partner on a safari, simply ask discreetley what is customary, and then compare the response with the above guide, and you will have a fair idea of what to do.
This should give you a place to start, and when questions come up, just come back and we will work on it.
Good luck planning, and I hope this helps.......d:o)
....sorry, I gave you the TATO website instead of the KATO website. (TATO is Tanzania Association of Tour Operators)
Here is the KATO