Off the back of the unfortunate collapse of overland tour operator, Kumuka Worldwide, and an unstable market economy, we’d like to offer you a few suggestions of how to ensure that your dream holiday does not get ripped out from underneath you before you’ve even travelled.
It is not likely that your personal travel insurance or a travel company’s bond (which insures your deposit or full payment) will fully cover every single traveller if a tour operator goes into liquidation. Do your homework and find out as much information about the company that you’re going to be travelling with before booking your next tour.
Whether you’re booking through a travel agency or directly with a tour operator, you are entitled to information about the company that you’re planning on travelling with. A few questions that you could ask your consultant are:
- What is the tour company doing to improve its standards and ensure growth in the market?
- Is the company currently active on travel forums and social media sites?
- Has the company gone through any redundancies or restructuring in the last 6 months?
- What sustainable best practices does the company adhere to?If a tour operator is offering exceptionally large standing discounts and add-ons, this is indicative of either a pricing error, a lack of bookings or the inevitable cutting of corners on tour. None of these bode well for future tour operations.
To answer these questions for you from Nomad’s perspective:
Currently, our trucks are full and we have had to rent in additional trucks to cover our requirements. We are also currently building 6 new truck bodies to cater for the demand and to improve the quality of our trucks. All of our trucks on the road are less than 5 years old and are SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) compliant , making them the safest and well-maintained adventure trucks on the road in Southern and East Africa.
We are continually and consistently active on travel forums and social media sites to ensure that guests have a clear understanding of our product. We also use these platforms to advise on any situation and to respond to any constructive feedback from our guests.
Nomad has not had any redundancies or restructuring and 2012 has seen us experiencing our best sales months in Nomad history.
We invest in our guides education and careers to ensure that they are knowledgeable and passionate about Africa and the tours they are running. Continuous investment in our trucks ensures that they are some of the safest on the road and as we are a local specialist, we are always close at hand to resolve any situation immediately. We maintain a rigorous maintenance schedule on our trucks and each one is roadworthy tested every six months.
We do offer select discounts on specific departures to ensure that we run full and healthy tours but no standing discounts or add-ons.
We’d love to have you on tour with us to experience the wonders that Africa has to offer, please do come and join us! Our sincerest condolences go out to those who have been affected by Kumuka Worldwide’s collapse.