K&T July 1, 2020 - we are going! Anyone else?

My husband and I are excited to be going on our first Tauck tour. I'm new to posting on this forum, still figuring out the different features. I've tried the "search" feature to read about tips, suggestions for clothing, shoes, vaccinations, etc. So much to learn! Is it better to post a "question" or a "discussion?" I have questions that I would like to discuss. LOL



  • Welcome Bobbette. The discussion, question thing is a new feature on the forum which was revamped this passed June. As long as you post for the correctly named tour as you have done above, we regulars will see it. It all gets posted here in the same area. Any posts which are new or unread by you will appear in a white background instead of pale grey, whoops, gray. Well when you get to K and T, it will be Grey since it was originally under British rule, I digress.We have lots of different views on this forum, so you should find something helpful once you sort out what might be relevant to you. I’m just about to take K and T for a second time. I have been in the area twice around that time of year.

  • Thanks so much, British, for your reply. I've read many of your posts with very helpful information. I will have lots of questions as I plan for this bucket-list adventure. Wow! A second trip for you to K&T - it must be amazing to draw you back. I've heard that is what a trip to Africa does to us wanderlusts.

  • Hi Bobbette - You are very lucky! You will be going on an incredible journey with an incredible company. We did K&T in July 2018 and are still in awe at what we saw and did. There are a number of folks who love Africa and write here (like British) who have gone on this trip, and some multiple times. So I'm sure over the next months you will gain a lot of valuable information. The two biggest items you really do need to research on the forum, and there is a ton of information for them, are visas and vaccinations.

  • Thanks, Virginia_Travelers! I love hearing glowing reports like yours. I am so excited to be going on this adventure with Tauck. We have a friend in the travel industry who specifically recommended Tauck because he said they do the very best Safari. I appreciate your suggestion to give special attention to visas and vaccinations. I have already noticed there are lots of view points on those subjects. I look forward to learning more from folks like you and British, who have experience and are willing to share that information. These forums are great for newbies like me who will benefit from the wisdom of seasoned Safari-goers.

  • Bobbette. My wife and I will be on your tour, which will be our 5th with Tauck. We are from the NY metro area. A couple from North Carolina we know from prior Tauck travels will also be meeting up with us for the tour. Tauck does a really great job, and you will definitely be happy with your choice.

  • Hi sevenseas - so glad to meet you! We are Bobbie & Jim from southern California. Wow! 5 tours with Tauck, that's a great endorsement. I look forward to meeting you & your wife and friends. I have used a cruise website forum before where there are Roll Calls and opportunities to chat before the trip. Now I feel like we have a roll call of sorts for this K&T tour!

  • Well, this trip of a lifetime will have to wait until the world is a safe place to travel again. Thankfully, KLM gave us a full refund. Tauck refunded half of our deposit back, and gave us the other half in the form of a voucher. Not sure if or when we will ever get to visit Africa. It was supposed to be a huge celebration combining our 45th, my retirement and hubby's big 70. Stay safe everyone!

  • We all feel your pain. There are probably no regulars to the forum who haven't been affected so far and probably more to come. It doesn't matter whether it is your first or fifteenth, they are all special and a big disappointment when you can't go.

  • Sorry we won't be meeting you on this one. We are expecting this to be canceled but think we have more options per their stated policies if we wait for Tauck to go forward with cancellation. We are confident they will do so before final payment is made. Even if Tauck wanted to proceed I don't think they could - who knows when borders will open, or if US travelers will be welcomed so fast as the #1 infected country in the world. And who knows when flights will be back. So much for all of our travel immunizations (at least we will use those in the future). Our challenge is on the flight end....we used about 500,000 of miles/points which time to accumulate, including for follow on flight segments, for business class given the long flight segments. Not sure what will come back, but in the end if well and healthy, that would be the worst of it. Stay well and safe, Happy 45th and 70th, and see you on tour somewhere, sometime.

  • Bobbette, we are in the same boat, we will be cancelling our safari trip in August. We were flying Delta/KLM. How were you able to get a refund from KLM? Assume you cancelled versus the airline?

  • edited April 2020

    Jill, there is a big thread on the forum about issues with KLM or was it Lufthansa(?). Articles about airline refunds have have been in the Washington Post, other national news, and even addressed by our gov't. It boils down to keep trying (if one agent isn't helpful, call right back and talk to another), and as a last resort, file a charge-back request with your credit card company. Unfortunately, it seems that few if any of the recommendations will result in a timely refund.

  • Don’t forget, if Tauck booked your flights, they have to give you the money back as long as Tauck cancels the tour and not you. Most experts on travel are saying to let the travel company cancel not out, as then you have more rights.

  • We will likely not be going on K&T in August, but waiting to see what Tauck does. Now they are pretty busy with cancellations through June. I can’t imagine that they won’t cancel—incidence of the virus is beginning to increase in Africa. The last thing we want is to take the chance, go, and get sick in a country with poor health care. We have two trips booked for 2021, and not sure about those—all depends on when a vaccine becomes available. 😢😢

  • There will be no vaccine until late 2021. Another factor, other countries likely won’t want us, our dollars are less valuable than their lives. I have three trips booked in 2021, my best hope is that our September 2021 one has the best chance.

  • We have one booked in May and one in October 2021. October is a possibility but the re-scheduled Africa trip likely won’t happen until 2022.

  • We are wanting to book Italy April 2021. Maybe better to wait till fall 2021?

  • Hi Jill - I contacted KLM via their Customer Care toll free phone number: (800) 618-0104. I had to wait on-hold for a while. The representative was very polite and helpful. She said they would refund the money to our credit card and sent me an email with the Refund Request attached. She said we would get the refund in 7-10 days, but we didn't. So we followed up with KLM today and they said they're so backlogged that refunds are taking 8 to 10 weeks!

  • Thanks all. We booked our flights via Amex platinum, used points for one ticket and paid for one ticket. I know that US carriers must refund but I am concerned about the KLM flights from Amsterdam to Africa and back. I will look for the other thread, these are my 1st posts to Tauck forums.

  • edited April 2020

    Call me a skeptic, but in this day and age of computers, a refund takes little manual intervention, so it should be almost instantaneous. They are just stalling for time, trying to figure out where to get the refund money which they have already spent! When you purchase tickets online and money goes the other direction, it is immediately charged to your card! I get a cell phone msg alert before I've logged off. There is absolutely no reason a refund shouldn't happen as quickly.

  • I saw a ‘blurb’ yesterday that said one of the drug companies was about ready to begin testing a vaccine on humans and if it checks out it would be available in ‘early’ 2021.

  • edited April 2020

    I've seen similar reports- I want it in early fall 2020!!!!

  • Jill: The other airline thread that AlanS had mentioned earlier concerns refunds from Lufthansa and I started that thread because I was so frustrated with the customer service from this airline to receive a refund from a flight that they had cancelled. It is on the first page under "Recent Discussions" category and is entitled "Anyone else having issues contacting Lufthansa Airlines regarding refunds for cancelled flights?".

    AlanS is correct in that all of the airlines, US and Non-US are stalling refunds so that they don't blow thru all their cash. It appears to be taking anywhere from 2-6 months depending upon the airline. I started my refund process on 3/16 and have still not heard a concrete date as to when I will receive a refund after numerous telephone calls and e-mails. Lufthansa started with the usual 7-10 business days but that is just a placebo. I finally initiated a charge back request with my Credit Card Company on 4/16 as I feel this is the only way that I will ever see my money. I am supposed to hear something by the end of April with how things are progressing. I was told by the Credit Card company that I have to wait 2 complete billing periods before I can receive a credit in order to give Lufthansa a chance to respond to the complaint. I haven't heard anything yet although my credit card company did post a "temporary" credit on my account, so I guess that is at least some sort of progress. If I ever receive a refund, I will post the results against that thread. These are challenging times.

  • Can you imagine the response if you told your creditors or credit card company they would need to wait two billing cycles to get a payment from you?!?!? They would tack on outrageous fees. penalties, initiate bill collector or legal action, etc. How come this only works one way, to our disadvantage?

  • No different than the airlines charging $200 change fees (before COVID). What's their actual cost? Nest to nothing. One of many predatory industries protected by either a virtual monopoly or collusion.

  • I’m sure your last question was rhetorical, because I’m sure you know the answer. It’s because they can!

  • I agree Alan, it is so frustrating. This is my first time ever having to deal with an issue such as this, but I guess these are very unusual times all the way around. Customer Service is very important to me especially since I have worked in that arena all of my professional life. It only takes 1 complaint of bad news to spread like wildfire to destroy a business so I have always tried my best to be upfront with my customers about solving issues with service. I have flown Lufthansa many times in the past when flying to Europe and I can say , confidently, that I will no longer use their airline , they have lost me as a customer. All they had to do was be upfront and tell the truth and although it would be hard to hear about a 2-3 month delay with refunds, I could have lived with it considering the circumstances. I just don't have any tolerance for companies that continually lie, it doesn't sit well with me. That is why I appreciate the wonderful service that Companies like Tauck and Allianz provide. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

  • I’m sure your last question was rhetorical, because I’m sure you know the answer. It’s because they can!

    Of course. About 11 years ago, I was in NW Germany. I took Deutsche Bahn to FRA for a flight home. The train broke down, so I missed my Lufthansa flight. At the airport, I was charged $200 for a ticket change. I said that it wasn't my fault that I missed the flight due to the train mishap. She said it wasn't the airline's fault either, to which I replied, "but both the railway and airline are owned by the German government." As it turned out, I got a non-stop flight home, instead of the one stopover as originally scheduled and got home about the originally scheduled time. I did manage to get my DB train ticket refunded, with the help of a German friend who called them for me.

  • @Bobbette - Just circling back to let you know that this departure has now been canceled - got the word from my TA. So even though you canceled some time ago, it was not to be this year. Perhaps we will meet on a future tour. Be well and safe.

  • We are scheduled to go at the end of August, but I doubt it will be a go, between the Virus and the locusts.......We will be waiting for Tauck to make its decision. Bobbette, thanks for the information on KLM and please let us know when you get your refund as we are booked with them as well.

  • Delta refunded two full fare business class tickets for us in 2 days. So I’m not sure that “all airlines”are stalling refunds.

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