As soon as you have made up your mind about travelling and identified your preferred Travel Agency, there is some crucial information you must not withhold at all costs. Sharing that information with your Travel Consultant saves everyone the back and forth headache. Lodge operators need the information to ensure that you have a flawless safari. Well, mistakes are bound to happen but relaying the below information well on time will definitely help the team on the ground with logistics and overall planning for your stay. It is very essential that you share this information especially if you have confirmed your reservation. Reservationists usually go through the most compiling such information for the Lodges so as a traveler it will come in handy if you execute your part diligently.
This is one of the most crucial aspects. Some operators do not accommodate toddlers and children under a certain age so it is very important to be very specific with ages before you go any further with your booking. Most properties do not take in children under the age of six due to lack of adequate child friendly facilities. All in all if there are children, Lodges need to know which guide to allocate, private activities to book at an extra cost mostly as well to prepare some fun kids activities and goodies bags if available. In most cases there is also an age restriction for activities as well especially walking safaris and mokoro rides. Some properties are also not ideal for elders as they usually have mobility problems and Travel consultants are usually on a position to suggest more suitable properties.
Picture by Old Drift Lodge Victoria Falls
Your travel consultant needs to have all your names in order. This prevents the back and forth when the booking is finally confirmed. Passport names are very crucial especially for security checks.
– Dietary Requirements
This is something you need to inform your travel consultant about at initial stages of your reservation. You definitely do not want to keep your Nut Allergy a secret until you are in camp and have ingested nuts unknowingly. Lodges also need to cater for strict dietary requirements well in time. Most Luxury Safari lodges if not all are located in very remote areas and getting food especially perishables there is a very taxing process that requires accurate planning logistically. Even “little” details such as Drinks preference and views on communal dinning are very important.
Picture by Cresta Mowana
Medical Conditions and Physical Disabilities/Injuries
This one should probably be at the top of the list. It is an integral part of your reservation and by all means do not omit it. This is for medical conditions the Lodge must be aware of and assist on ensuring that you are well taken care of. For instance, in terms of mobility problems the team on the ground may assist by allocating rooms near the main area and may also help your Guide ensure that they assist accordingly on Activities. This will also help charter companies especially if wheel chairs and crutches are required.
Who is sharing with whom is very important as it saves everyone some time and energy upon arrival at the Lodge. As soon as you get there it will be a short property briefing and signing of indemnity forms then you are good to go.
Picture by Sanctuary Retreats
For obvious reasons Lodges need to be plan well on advance for Birthday celebrations, honeymoons etc. The earlier they get hold of the information the better. They will have ample time to pull out a few tricks they have up their sleeves.
Picture by Old Drift Lodge Victoria Falls
ri Arrival and Departure Details
Charter companies and Meet and Greet teams need to know your arrival details and expected arrival time as well as your departure details in order to schedule your flights and road transfers to lodges accordingly.
Picture by Belmond Safaris
You will without a doubt experience the best safari if you are confident about your ideal safari. Most Luxury Safari operators in Botswana have properties across different areas that obviously provide different experiences ie Makgadigadi, Kalahari, Okavango Delta, Chobe and Moremi. Sharing your specific interests like photography, birding etc will help your travel consult draw a perfect itinerary for you. Best news is, you can combine multiple properties owned by the same company for a perfect safari experience.
Picture by Tlhalefang Charles
Booking Expiration or Cancellation
Always keep your Travel Consultant on the loop with the status of your booking and keep your Provisional booking expiration date you got from your Travel consultant in mind. Even if you decide you can’t travel anymore, notify the consultant right away so that the booking gets cancelled accordingly. It saves everyone the time that get consumed sending chasers. Most travelers just disappear into thin air once they decide they can’t travel anymore and leave consultants hanging. Being communicative helps operators avoid holding provisional bookings in vain and thus losing some potential business.
Seamless booking tip: For any additions or amendments to your existing booking it is best you reply to one email correspondence instead of creating a new email so as to keep everything in one place.