Galloping Safaris vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared
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Overall — 5
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A Truly Honest Review of Galloping Safaris5.0 January 2019
Well, overall we had a very nice and memorable experience with Galloping Safaris.Read more
We highly recommend this tour operator for any safari trip in Tanzania, especially to couples who are looking for a private luxury trip.
If you are seriously thinking of booking your trip with Galloping Safaris, we suggest you to read this long but very honest and detailed review.
It was our first time in Tanzania and our first safari trip.
Doing it as part of our Honeymoon trip, we wanted a private safari for the two of us with a private guide/driver and we wanted to stay at the most luxurious lodges of Ngorongoro Conservation area, Serengeti, Lake Ndutu, Lake Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro.
We started doing some research on the available Tanzanian Safari tour operators back in October 2018. We discussed over whatsapp chatting and video calls and dozens of emails with at least 6 operators. We needed to be sure as it is a common secret that there are many unprofessional companies that would cheat you in every possible way.
We ended up to Galloping Safaris and to Walter personally as he sounded very certain about what he was promising us. He was very responsive and he did his best to secure for us everything we asked for within the budget we had available.
There are also other operators appearing as experts in luxury private safari tours. But guess what...They are far (even 3 times) more expensive that Galloping Safaris without any extra service of what you will get from Galloping Safaris.
With Galloping Safaris we secured the best deal we could as we manage to spend the amount we had initially in mind while we stayed at the most high-end lodges of the area like. To mention some of them:
&Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
The Highlands Asilia Ngorongoro
Lake Ndutu Luxury Lodge
Kubu Kubu Luxury Lodge
Walter is a very promising professional, he is a hard-selling guy that will earn your trust. He is very well connected to all the Hotels and Lodges Managers. He will try to satisfy all your requests and needs.
Most of the times, he will succeed to do so.
Walter kept for us the best Safari driver, Joshua, a 37-year old guy with a 17 year experience on game-drive in Tanzania. Very adventurous, excellent english speaker, very knowledgeable about everything regarding the area, seasonal trends, animals, plantation, people and tribes, safari secrets. We visited the Maasai village where we had an amazing experience there. We had a very good time with Joshua as we were discussing with him throughout our trip spending with him at least 6 hours per day. He was very fun but also very careful and cautious at the same time. He was an amazing driver with an outstanding instinct about where we should be driven in order to see lions, cheetahs, hippos, wildebeest, elephants, zebras, giraffes etc.
We spent with Joshua the first 4 days of our main safari trip in Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Lake Ndutu.
Over the last 2 days, visiting Lake Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro for hiking, we had another guide/driver named Kennedy. He was very kind and helpful and fun but he didn't have the excitement and the instinct of Joshua nor he was such a good driver.
One negative comment is that although we have asked for 2 pairs of binoculars to find inside the Safari 4x4 truck and we received a written confirmation about it, there was only one pair and in a very bad condition. So, when we came across to animals that were far away we could not enjoy them not even with binoculars.
Apart from the Safari trip, we planned to spend 5 days to Zanzibar prior to safari. We asked Walter from Galloping safaris to make a research on 5-star beachfront resorts. The truth is that by the time (beginning of November 2018) we started looking for hotel in Zanzibar, the best resorts seemed to be already fully booked for the period of New Year's eve.
Our options were extremely limited. Walter managed to reserve a room at Neptune Pwani Beach Resort and spa which was a 5-star resort. We asked for a Sea front Ocean View Room and we received a written confirmation from Galloping Safaris about it.
However, when we arrived at the hotel, the front desk personnel had no idea about the room we had booked and pre-paid the 35% amount of it via deposit.
Unfortunately, the room was terrible and it did not correspond to a 5-star accommodation. We wouldn't rate it not even as a 3-star.
No adequate light blocking when the curtains were closed as the fabric was not blackout. We could not stay in bed and sleep after 7 am. We managed to stick some black plastic bags on the windows but again the problem was still there as there were other windows high enough that we could not close.
Another aspect of the poor accommodation and room amenities was the bathroom and toilet. In fact it was open space with the remaining room and the bedroom as there wasn't any wall or door to close only some wooden grilles with open gaps in between the wooden components. As a result, it was impossible to have any privacy inside the bathroom or the toilet. Not convenient at all for newly married couples...
The breakfast and the food in general in every single restaurant of the hotel was simply terrible, extremely salty and not what you would expect from a 5-star resort. We had paid for an all-inclusive package for alcoholic. However, they charged us for the wine we had over dinner.
The personnel was over all uneducated, not speaking english. Some of them were rude but there were also a couple of exceptions.
In general, our accommodation experience in Zanzibar was terrible and although this was not a Galloping Safaris' fault, we would expect that they would have protected us from experiencing such a terrible stay especially during our honeymoon and new year's eve period.
The positive aspect of Zanzibar was our butler/private guide there named Mussa Hassan from "Zanziplanet Tours & Travel". Mussa is a Galloping Safaris' external colleague who is taking care of the customers visiting Zanzibar. He is an amazing guy in every single aspect. He is very well respected in Zanzibar, very well connected to Hotel and high-end restaurant managers, very adaptable to customer's needs and last minute changes.
We believe that if Galloping Safaris had introduced us to Mussa Hassan and Zanziplanet Tours and Travel early enough, at the time we were searching for our accommodation in Zanzibar, we wouldn't have ended up to Neptune Pwani Resort and Spa as we are sure that Mussa, who lives and operates to Zanzibar, would have found a better solution for us.
Tour Galloping Safaris Company Reviews
What an amazing trip5.0 November 2017
My wife and I knew we wanted to do a safari trip for our honeymoon and we decided to go with Walter. It was an absolutely awesome experience. We had Laurence as our guide and we could not have asked for anyone better. He was very professional, personable, patient, funny, and knowledgeable. He went the extra mile during our game drives. He was very easy to talk to and by the time we left, it felt like he had become a part of our family. We were very happy with our experience and we plan to visit again in the future and it'll definitely be with Galloping Safari.Read more
Tour Galloping Safaris Company Reviews
Fantastic 7-day Northern Tanzania safari with Lawrence5.0 September 2017
Me and wife had a great 7-day Northern Tanzania tailor-made safari, covering Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro, with our tour guide Lawrance. We have seen Big 5 and covered all the great parts on the national parks we visited. Also visited Masai village, Olduvai Gorge and had a walking safari on Arusha NP.Read more
I started planning the safari just 2 weeks before arrival, which is not usual comparing to advised 6-months ahead the forum. Walter always responded quick & promptly to my questions and made changes on the itinerary. This had been the decision factor against the other options.
I always felt that the change on the itinerary was fair. He assured me that everything will go as planned, although the international payment made to their account the day before arrival.
Lawrence, our tour guide with us for 7 days and more than 700km, has more than 15 years experience on doing safari on the visited national parks. He treated us as his close friend and take care of us for all needs. He was absolutely fantastic. Spotted animals which is really hard to see. In one case we had been the first car to spot the hiding leopard, which is 100 meters far from us, on Serengeti NP. In a short time more than 10 car happened to be there. Same happened for cheetahs and rhinos as well. He give brief information on each wild animal that we have seen for the first time. Had all trust on him to be showing us the wildlife we are keen to see.
Every day he asked if any special arrangement needs to be made, if we are keen to see a specific animal and suggested a change on the itinerary which helped us to spend more time on Ngorongoro NP than planned one.
I am happy to suggest Galloping Safari and especially our tour guide Lawrence for a great safari.
Sukhran Lawrence Baba. :)
Tour Galloping Safaris Company Reviews
|Tours||13 Trips||1 Trip|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 534||$ 0|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Local Specialist||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Arusha, Tanzania||Fort Washington, Pennsylvania|
|Solo Friendly||Good for singles||N/A|
Founded in 2013, Galloping Safaris provides in depth African safaris as well as Mt. Kilimanjaro treks.
What Makes Them Stand Out?
They specialize in private luxury safaris in Tanzania - focused on truly unique wildlife experiences. Each trip is designed by an expert who listens to what you hope to get out of the trip and helps plan exactly how to make that happen for you and your travel companions.
Who Travels With Them?
Their trips are best suited to couples, small families or multi gen groups, and older travelers. Trekkers who are both experienced will enjoy their Mt. Kilimanjaro treks.
Where Do They Operate?
They focus almost exclusively in Tanzania and their local guides have many connections on the ground to help make your experience of the country as safe and comfortable as possible.
Why Travel With Them?
They offer experiential, bespoke travel planning, holidays and unique tailor-made itineraries for individuals and small groups. You can browse sample itineraries on their site for inspiration and your personal travel expert will help craft your trip.
A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.
What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?
These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.
They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.
The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?
Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.
Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.
While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.
They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style
Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.
Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.
Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?
If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.
All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.