We've not traveled outside the United States before. Can you please tell me how to plan a trip for my wife and me to visit South Africa (Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town) and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe? We could join other travelers from the United States on a 12-15-day tour but do not know how to get started. Several travel services offer the trip, but in checking them out with the BBB, we find that they do not quite meet acceptable standards. Perhaps you could direct us to a reputable travel agency or service in the Denver area. That would be nice.
–Melvin, Aurora, Colo.
Here's the issue, Melvin: The best travel agent or company for this type of African trip may not be located in the Denver area. Unless you really insist on being able to go into an office to speak with an agent, you're better off looking outside Denver for an agent or agency specializing in these sorts of African trips.
One high-quality travel provider to check out is the Africa Adventure Company. Specializing in African travel, this company was chosen as a "Top Travel Specialist" by Condé Nast and boasts an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Among the many trips the company offers are tours that include South Africa and Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls. For more information, visit the Web site.
Another company you might explore is Hills of Africa travel. This company promotes "fair trade" tourism, which helps locals benefit more directly from the economic impact of tourism than with traditional travel operators. However, this company doesn't do many prepackaged tours and would be most appropriate if you're looking to design your own itinerary. To learn more, visit the Web site.
Finally, there's Premier Tours, another reputable provider with a long history in Africa. Also honored by Condé Nast Traveler as a top travel specialist and holding an A+ from the BBB, Premier Tours has a very wide variety of options. Though I didn't see one that exactly matched your preferred itinerary, that doesn't mean there isn't one upcoming or that the company couldn't put one together for you. Premier Tours does, however, operate in all of the areas you mentioned. For more, visit the Web site.