Why Classic Africa
There is nothing that we at Classic Africa pride ourselves on more than our level of customer satisfaction - roughly 75% of our clients every year are travelers who have either worked with us before, or were referred by someone who has. Very few companies in the travel industry can match this level of repeat and referral business, and the fact that we specialize in just one destination makes it all the more uncommon.
A small selection of client comments can be found at our Client Feedback page, and we will happily provide reference details on request. We can explain how we add value to your safari experience, and why our business model enables us to offer a unique and unmatched service but, at the end of the day, the results are what count - don't take us at our word, ask others who have worked with Classic Africa about their experiences.
Southern Africa is not a mass tourism destination, and cannot be adequately represented by travel agents or tour operators who are not intimately familiar with the region's geography, climate, ecology, and people. It is our firm conviction that a travel company cannot do this complicated region justice without being exclusively focused on southern Africa: any agency or operator handling multiple destinations in Africa (or around the world) cannot legitimately claim to be a southern Africa specialist!
In addition to their extensive experience of living, researching, and travelling in southern Africa, Pierre and Margaret have also been arranging safaris to the region for discerning travelers since 1999. We regularly (and personally) visit every property in the Classic African Portfolio, along with many others, to ensure that they continue to meet the high standards that Classic Africa demands for its clients. In the course of helping literally thousands of travelers create southern African safaris, we've gained invaluable insights that can mean the difference between a good trip and an unforgettable travel experience. No matter where you are in the travel research process, give us a call and see how we can help you.
At Classic Africa, every itinerary that we create is designed in conjunction with our clients, taking into account their own unique interests and circumstances. We don't have a brochure of pre-packaged trips that we're going to try to "sell" to you - we will listen to what you want, make recommendations, and offer advice to guide you through the process of deciding what is best for you. A quick glance at our Sample Itineraries will reveal the breadth of interests and budget that we can accommodate; even our select portfolio of Scheduled Safaris are specifically designed to be incorporated as modules in an itinerary, not full itineries in themselves. Whatever your travel preferences, we will work through as many iterations of an itinerary as necessary to get to the point where it is just right for you.
This dedication to service is not only a feature upon which we pride ourselves, but is also one of the most important criteria that we look for in our local partners and portfolio properties. From the time you contact us, until after you return from your safari, you are assured of the type of friendly, professional, and personalized service upon which we have built our reputation.
In line with their commitment to the highest levels of service, Margaret and Pierre are personally involved in designing and arranging every safari that bears the Classic Africa logo. We deliberately limit our customer base to ensure that every Classic Africa client receives personalized attention from our company founders.
We never set out to be the biggest tour operator to southern Africa, only the best, and we frequently turn away new business to focus instead on serving the needs of our existing clients. There is no guarantee that Classic Africa will be able to handle your travel arrangements for southern Africa but, if we do, you are assured of the highest level of personal and expert service.
Unlike many other tour operators and travel agents, we have no limiting deals with specific local outfits to promote their properties exclusively. We accept no payment from properties in our Classic African portfolio - they are selected or rejected purely according to criteria which we have established as important components of the Classic African experience.
We work with all the top local properties, but are not restrictively bound to any of them. We also do not own or operate any camps, lodges, or hotels ourselves. As such, we have no vested interests, and are in the perfect position to independently analyze all operators, destinations, and properties in the region, and offer our clients impartial and objective advice.
Since 1999 Classic Africa has been offering American travelers the best of both worlds in that we are intimately familiar with southern Africa, but are based in Connecticut in the United States. This gives our clients the peace-of-mind of working with a bonafide American company, subject to the rules, regulations and competitive business environment that ensure a strong and healthy company. As further protection to our clients, we carry extensive liability insurance through a U.S.-based underwriter.
While email is convenient for some forms of communication, there are many circumstances in which there is simply no substitute for an in-depth and interactive conversation with someone who can provide detailed answers to your questions and help you to analyse the options - with our base in Connecticut, we can be reached from across the USA, at convenient hours, on our toll-free phone number. Furthermore, payments for your safari are facilitated in that we accept all major credit cards as well as U.S. checks and wire transfers to our U.S. bank account, with maximum security and minimal hassle. In addition, being U.S. based allows us to book your international airline tickets (if you so choose), whereas foreign companies can only issue tickets starting and ending in their own country of origin.
Savvy travelers know that, for a significant travel investment, it doesn't pay to take chances with an unknown foreign entity when you can take full advantage of the security and convenience of working with a well established American company.
Preparing for your southern African adventure can be a fun and rewarding part of the overall experience, or it can be a nightmare as you struggle to get information and advice on an unfamiliar form of travel to an unknown destination, from somebody who doesn't really know what they're talking about. At Classic Africa we pride ourselves on the extent to which we help our clients prepare for the "trip of a lifetime", sharing our own insider knowledge gleaned from years of living and traveling in southern Africa. We revel in attention to detail, and provide each of our clients with extensive personalized pre-trip information.
Each Classic African adventurer receives their own customized website as well as a leather-bound tavel book, with a host of information and advice on a range of subjects specific to their itinerary: reading lists, health and safety advice, shopping resources, restaurant recommendations, photographic tips, regional highlights specific to your destinations, and baggage limitations (to name just a few). Packing, often one of the most fun but daunting tasks of travel to southern Africa, is made easy with a comprehensive personalized packing plan covering details down to the tiniest toiletry that you will require. We also provide on-line shopping resources so that busy clients can easily and perfectly outfit themselves for safari.
A very important element of travelling to a largely unknown destination is the peace of mind to know that you will be well cared for while you are there. There is absolutely no room for compromise in this regard, and we insist on only the best: for the duration of your stay in southern Africa our local partner, Wilderness Safaris, will take care of you and your travel arrangements with impeccable professionalism and hospitality.
Wilderness Safaris is widely acclaimed as the best operator in southern Africa, and has won numerous awards to back this up. With offices in every big city and all major travel destinations across the region, they are close at hand to offer immediate assistance, 24/7, no matter where you are in southern Africa. This extensive 'on the ground' support network provides the independent traveler with a level of service and security that was previously only available on large group package tours.
Classic Africa was founded on the mutually reinforcing principles of service to our clients, and a contribution to nature conservation and cultural heritage in Southern Africa. These fundamentals - service and commitment to the region - are two of the most important criteria by which we select our Classic African portfolio and preferred local partners.
In addition to this general commitment to conservation, we also provide direct financial support to specific projects and organizations involved in conserving Africa's precious natural and cultural resources (Click here for further information on some of the projects that we are currently supporting). Our goal is to ensure that, as a Classic African traveler, you not only have an unforgettable safari experience, but can rest assured that your journey is helping to create a brighter future for the wildlife, wilderness, and people of southern Africa.
Better service doesn't mean higher cost. In fact, whether you make a booking through us or directly with the safari camps and lodges, you will pay the same rate. We are compensated by the properties, and our full range of services is free to you the traveler - from our advice and guidance in designing your 'trip of a lifetime', to the extensive information that we provide to help you prepare for your safari, and our comprehensive "on the ground" support.
Although, as tour operators go, we are a small "boutique" operation, our exclusive focus on southern Africa enables us to secure the best rates and privileges for our clients. And, with roughly 75% of our client base comprised of repeat and referral business, our marketing and overhead costs are significantly lower than our larger competitors. The net result is better service AND better value - but don't take our word for it, ask to speak to some of our satisfied clients.Let us help you plan your dream safari. call toll-free: 888.227.8311 or today
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