Aardvark Safaris is an independently owned and operated company and a California Registered Seller of Travel. That means the only people we answer to are our clients and as a California Registered Seller of Travel, we are certified by the State and operate in accordance with their stringent rules. We are in our 11th year and have offices in the US, Scotland and England that cater to discerning world travelers. We don't advertise; instead, we rely upon word of mouth from our very happy clients who refer us to friends and family. As we work to satisfy each client with individual itineraries and attention, those referrals increase and every month, new clients come aboard to enjoy the ultimate in custom-tailored safaris.
At Aardvark, you are part of the process of planning your vacation to Africa and the Indian Ocean and our goal is to make it fun and hassle-free. With the top Africa travel specialists in the industry who have both lived and worked in more than fifteen African countries, our team at Aardvark can offer the safest, most intimate and exciting dream vacations. We’ve outlined our guarantees below with added links that go into further detail for your convenience. Feel free to call or email us if have any questions or concerns.
All of us here at Aardvark have both lived and worked in Africa. Because of this expertise, we customize first-class trips to areas we know and love. We are proud to say that we have experienced and stayed at every camp and lodge we book for clients, and maintain close relationships to some of Africa’s top guides and hosts. By working with our clients to understand their needs and wants, we tailor safaris to meet your goals and expectations. We don't work on commission. Our only goal is to plan and provide a full itinerary with the most efficient routing to save you time and money while guaranteeing the best trip possible for you.
Should we, or our suppliers, cease trading before you travel, your money is protected through the trust account we hold for each client. Your vacation payment is held until you have completed your travel, ensuring that we are able to offer you an automatic refund in the event that your trip is cancelled by us. In many instances, particularly if you book directly with companies in Africa or companies that aren’t Registered Sellers of Travel, you may not get your money back if the company in question goes out of business.
We don’t work for anyone but you. As an independent company, we don’t fill quotas or push pre-packaged trips.
We are registered with the California Attorney General’s Office as a Seller of Travel. That means we abide by the highest standards of care in the industry. We deposit all vacation payments received into a trust account, held until you have completed your travel. If, for any reason, there is a cancellation not in accordance with your contract, you are entitled to receive a prompt and automatic refund. Your satisfaction is our primary concern and we do everything we can to stand behind our commitment to you.
Your vacation is supposed to be hassle free but sometimes your dream vacation can turn into a nightmare. Booking directly, you have zero financial protection. On top of that, there should be some key questions that need to be answered before you proceed: Can you pay with a credit card? If so what are the hidden charges? If you cannot pay with a credit card, will you have to plan a money transfer at your expense? When you arrive in Africa what happens if no one is there to meet you? What if you have complaints regarding your trip, how do you arrange compensation? With other companies you can have extremely limited rights. With Aardvark, you have 100% protection. We encourage all prospective travelers to find out this information before booking their next trip to prevent unwanted hassles and headaches.
Booking through Aardvark will cost no more than if you booked the trip directly through African companies. We are able to negotiate low prices with our suppliers that equal savings for you. Sometimes it is actually cheaper for us to plan a trip for you that it would be if you booked directly. If you do feel that we are charging more for accommodations or services than those you can find on your own, we are happy to look at the difference and see if we can remedy the situation. In addition, we can provide an overview detailing the cost of each component in your trip.
As soon as you confirm a trip with your initial payment, we buy your lodging, guides, etc. in US dollars to protect you from any fluctuations in currency. The price will remain the same no matter what currency changes occur before your trip.
Feel secure and comfortable knowing that you have emergency service available from both Aardvark and local representatives on the ground in case you encounter any difficulties while you are away. There is always someone available at Aardvark, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to address any problems that you might encounter.
From the planning stages through your vacation and back home, we commit to providing you with unparalleled service. Before you leave, we’ll provide you with a detailed pre-departure package that includes visa advice, what to pack, what to expect, guide books, information on tipping, weather, photography, health and safety. We’ve built strong relationships with our suppliers in Africa, and to this day, we still visit them regularly to ensure quality control. When you arrive, you’ll be met by a friendly face and will be looked after until your return home. After you’ve finished your vacation, we’ll ask for feedback, which we then relay back to our suppliers to maintain the highest standards.
Your peace of mind and safety are our greatest concern. We only offer trips to areas and accommodations that we’ve visited personally to assess their comfort level, food and hygiene. In addition, we evaluate the onsite first-aid and nearby medical facilities so that you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about your safety. We constantly monitor visa and health regulations, as well as State Department and foreign office reports to ensure that your vacation can be undertaken safely. These visa and health requirements are always included in your pre-departure package. Should severe weather or political unrest arise, we can recommend alternative itineraries or provide you with a refund. In addition, with our many contacts and offices on the ground in Africa, we always know who to speak with to mobilize assistance in the unusual event that it is required.
Conservation is key to our daily operations. Each of our safaris provides our clients the opportunity to see the beauty of Africa: its breathtaking views, exotic wildlife, local communities, and remote areas. Many of the camps and lodges we recommend are green, low impact facilities while still providing high-end accommodations and facilities; feel free to ask us for more details. We work tirelessly to ensure that the benefits tourism brings to each region will not be offset by any negative environmental impact. We provide clients the option to offset their carbon emissions from their long-haul flights by purchasing carbon offsets which fund a project in Zambia that not only reduces carbon dioxide but provides food and employment to the local community. For more information, see Carbon Offsets. In addition, we support the Koiyaki Guide School in the Masai Mara National Reserve, giving the local community a chance to take part in their land and the future of tourism. Please see Koiyaki Guide School. Our efforts in this area have been recognized by AITO which has awarded us four stars for our responsible tourism work in the UK, US and Africa.
With several of our clients returning for their second or third safari with Aardvark and over 70% of our clients coming to us through recommendations, happy clients are truly at the heart of our business. Although we are now ten years old, we are a small company and have retained our personal touch. The owners remain involved with clients and sales on a daily basis and our team returns to Africa, year after year, to evaluate the properties we recommend to you. We encourage all prospective travelers to view the testimonials section of our website to see what past clients say about our services, and we would be more than happy to put you in contact with past clients with similar travel plans to answer further questions.