Game Warden

Is Safaritalk influential?

34 posts in this topic

How influential is Safaritalk in your safari decision making process? 

 

How aware of Safaritalk are people, especially those who make repeat visits to Africa?

 

How much of a niche website is Safaritalk and what can be done to extend its reach?

 

How can operators, properties etc., be further encouraged to promote themselves and engage with Safaritalk's audience?

 

(Operators feel free to contribute to this topic, especially of your experiences with using ST and what it means to you.)

 

Thanks, Matt

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ @Game Warden

 

Safaritalk directly affected my decision to visit Leopard Hills in Sabi Sands. The trip report of @Tdgraves persuaded me of its worth.

 

Likewise, a trip report by @amybatt persuaded me to visit Porini Lion.

 

Almost no one in Africa I've met has been familiar with Safaritalk, including repeat visitors.

 

Several lodge managers were aware of it, but most guides had never heard of Safaritalk.

 

Were it only possible to briefly conduct a low-key interview, not at all lengthy or overly technical, with guides, rangers, lodge managers, tour operators, it might broaden the appeal.

 

Word-of-mouth is of the highest value but a bit of on-line publicity and a photo also do wonders.

 

Tom K. 

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally ST has been fairly influential for my travel decisions. Trip reports especially because they affirmed all the fantastic things I'd hoped a particular place would deliver. 

 

As a very chatty person I mentioned this forum to just about everyone I met in the Pantanal :D

 

Discounts and of course photos are the best way to engage members in my very humble opinion.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

It has influenced our decisions in particular again @Tdgraves and her reports on the Kruger led to our going there, As for publicity (and i have no idea of the cost) but how about a stall at the British Birdwatching Fair ?

Edited by Towlersonsafari
bad spelling
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like I am the influential one!!

;)

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Extremely influential to me personally! I never would have even thought about Zambia, for instance, if I hadn't read so many wonderful trip reports here. And it was an India trip report that finally convinced me to go there. And of course the depth of knowledge of the people here is invaluable.

 

Its also one of the friendliest forums I've ever been on--and I'm on a lot, of photography forums, other travel forums, etc. No trolls and no insults (well, some debates get heated but I've rarely seen it get personal or insulting.) I'm not sure why this is so but it encourages me to come here daily to see what my "friends" are up to.

 

Unfortunately it seems that many travelers I speak to are unaware, but I do try to spread the word. I also have spoken to some who say "oh yeah, I visited ST it years ago but haven't really been back."  I think there are just some people who rely on forums and appreciate the interaction with like-minded folks; and many more who just don't, for whatever reason. Not sure how to engage them. But I do encourage anyone I know who is planning a safari to come over here and take a look!

 

Also unfortunately I don't really have any friends who travel the way we do...most of my traveling friends are birders and when they do travel internationally to "exotic" places, they take tours. Not the type who do a lot of personal research.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not influential for me personally, but then I'm set in my ways!

 

I do direct people to this site (esp. from Tripadvisor) and know a number of them have gone on to book trips to Africa as a consequence of the information here, so ST can most certainly help and influence.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's extremely influential.  I wouldn't think to book a safari now without first consulting many, many trip reports here.  I've come to trust and respect so many people here over the years that just knowing they've gone someplace and loved it, likely means I would too.  I went with Offbeat Mara this year based on reviews and trip reports here and never would have considered taking on gorilla trekking without having read of others' experiences here.  I just couldn't find reliable information like that elsewhere.

 

I recommend Safaritalk to anyone planning a safari, especially on other forums.  While Trip Advisor and Fodors both have communities for this, I feel any truly useful information there is lost in the obviously canned replies repeated on every post and shilling done by operators and agents, to a degree that people who are just starting the trip planning journey aren't really getting the most reliable advice but rather what the agent/operator is trying to push.  I pray this community remains this way.  I by far value other travelers' experiences shared here, particularly veteran safari-goers, over any agent/operator.

 

I've mentioned Safaritalk to the camp managers at the last several places I've stayed as well as to operators I book with.  I've gotten a range of replies, from "I already have too many places to check/respond to" (to which I reply, "maybe, but none are of the caliber of potential client that Safaritalk has!") to "I'm a lurker there, I don't want to be overbearing or appear to be fishing for clients" to "Never heard of it but we'll check it out". 

 

Not sure how to expand the reach. That's the challenge, isn't it?

 

 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone looking forward to her first safari (and the kind of person who loves to read online reviews), this forum helped me make major and expensive decisions. My tour operator literally laughed (in an appreciative way) about how much research I'd done before contacting her; I told her most of it was straight from SafariTalk.

 

This week, we received news of a minor mix-up with our Busanga bookings, and I needed to make a quick decision. Rather than rely on my gut or even my tour operator, I knew exactly who to message and ask here. (Thanks, @KaingU Lodge ) It made me feel much more confident.

 

So thank you for all the hard work many of you put into this forum!

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This forum made my dream to see and feel Lake Turkana reality in 2016. The inspiration of this forum will bring me and my husband in 2018 for our first time to India. A big thanks @Matt for this forum and to all this nice active members too. SafariTalk is a never ending source of travel ideas.   

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

extremely influential - quite a few of my last trips were inspired by and planned with the help of members of this community

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Well it's been THE most influential thing when it comes to my Safari choices,to-do list and quite a bit more. 

 

1. Without it I'd never have found Doug Macdonald Safaris and I'd never have been diverted from Zambia to Zim. I have @wilddog @Atravelynn @Sangeeta to thank for that I think.

 

2. I am a little obsessed with the Pantanal and it's all @TonyQ fault - maybe I'll even get there one day....but not without reading the very latest reports on here. 

 

3. Now I know that you can get a whole day tiger permit curtosey of @madaboutcheetah so what the hell am I waiting for!

 

4. How dull my days would be if I couldn't join @Paolo @Anita or @Kitsafari on one is their dream like safaris. 

 

5. How would I know my Grants from my Thompson's without @Safaridude and surely the Dude and @inyathi should have written a book by now.

 

6.  I've learnt so much from so many about conservation @jeremie @egilio and conservation news @Tom Kellie, plus so many more besides. 

 

7. Even though I had no clue about Hen Harriers (to my shame I

might add)  I love a good Safaritalk debate and I followed, learned and formed my own opinion thanks to @douglaswise and @Towlersonsafari

 

8. I got to share a few jokes and kind words with @graceland and now she's gone I'm reminded the kindness of strangers holds an important place in the world.

 

Like @Whyone? I regularly send people here from TA and I send friends and colleagues links to reports on here whenever Inhear someone is going somewhere relevant. 

Edited by ld1
15 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Safaritalk is highly valuable web site for any independent traveller like us, as the amount of information. one can gather here is impossible to find elsewhere. Personally, our first safari (= Africa) destination was set after reading a trip report on here, by @Jochen . The positive attitude by members cannot be found anywhere else, and that, IMO, is the one most important asset of this site!

 

How influential is Safaritalk in your safari decision making process? Almost too influential; next 2 years of trips are either based on trip reports found here, or will be done with members of this community!

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Safaritalk  is a great source of information  for those who are seeking a bush and wildlife experience in Africa

 

If I am  looking for information and advice it is the first place I go to, trip reports are very useful to know what a place is like

 

rivals like trip adviser are mainly concerned with  accom and food , not the bush experience, I only check there if there is nothing on Safatritalk

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @everyone for your comments so far: I've been reading @Geoff's recent Zambia camp reviews, here, here and here, and I think they reflect exactly what has been mentioned above in that one can rely on the opinion of other Safaritalk members when planning a safari. It does please me and gives me satisfaction that such a level of trust and respect has built up here over the years - that members are influenced by trip reports etc., and go on to have memorable safaris themselves. And that members can and do ask each other questions about where to visit and why, that those with a lot of experience are willing to help those with little, and that takes away some of the worry when making a decision.

 

So, don't forget upon your return home, not only to write a trip report but let others know about the property/ies in which you stayed.

 

Matt 

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

1.) How influential is Safaritalk in your safari decision making process? 

 

Extremely influential. Ever since I´ve joined up here every single trip was in one way or other decided upon reading other´s reports and/or advice in the trip planning section. What´s more, ST has given me the pleasure of interacting and bonding with many people from all over the world in a way I never would have thought possible. "Hesitant toward the concept of online friends" I once wrote in a somewhat similar poll here some years ago. I couldn´t have been more wrong. I have been on several trips now together with members of this community, and will share my next three with no less than six different STers. I´ve also had the pleasure of meeting - and sometimes hosting for -  several members on safari and back home in Austria. And there are also some I´ve not met personally yet but have enjoyed the online interaction over the years that much that I do consider them "friends". The general friendly, positive vibe of ST is probably its greatest strength.

 

2.) How aware of Safaritalk are people, especially those who make repeat visits to Africa?

 

Many tourists have never heard of it, but I´ve also met quite a bunch of people who were at least aware of it or even frequent lurkers.

 

3.) How much of a niche website is Safaritalk and what can be done to extend its reach?

 

I guess it will always be a bit "niche". The way our trip reports are done these days are of a very high quality, which also means doing them is quite time-consuming. Most people will probably prefer to just read because they are not willing to invest that much time. Additionally, the level of knowledge some people here have and also the quality of photos, can be a bit intimidating. But it´s especially that level of expertise, especially that quality, that makes ST such a great place and different from all the others.

 

4.) How can operators, properties etc., be further encouraged to promote themselves and engage with Safaritalk's audience?

 

Can´t say it´s something I really miss. I trust in member´s opinons of operators - that´s what has made Doug MacDonald the ST-Go-To-Guy in Zim for example.

Edited by michael-ibk
7 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/23/2017 at 5:25 AM, Game Warden said:

How much of a niche website is Safaritalk and what can be done to extend its reach?

 

As has been mentioned before - publicity through Safaritalk hats and T-shirts!

 

 

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must confess that when it came time to plan my first safari in earnest, I ONLY used SafariTalk as my compass. Now that I have returned from it, I am looking forward to sharing my adventures with a trip report...once I catch up a little more on some sleep!

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@AmyT How awesome- welcome back...can't wait to hear all about it. :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must add my enthusiasm for Safaritalk. I'm not sure how I found it exactly, whether it was a referral from Tripadvisor or I just stumbled upon it while surfing the web about safaris, but since I discovered it I use it as one of my most trusted sources for safari information. In fact, I also decided to change my upcoming safari from Zimbabwe to Uganda after reading the reports of gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda on this site! I also discovered that another Safaritalk user, Amy T, is practically my neighbor and we are looking forward to meeting in person soon! Plus I love to read Safaritalk to see everyone's great pictures!

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, offshorebirder said:

 

As has been mentioned before - publicity through Safaritalk hats and T-shirts!

 

 

 

I second this--there definitely should be a Safaritalk shop with merchandise! Hats, t-shirts, luggage tags, tote bags... It's so easy to do now with no upfront cost with sites like CafePress and Zazzle (in the USA, anyway--not sure about elsewhere.) All you need is someone to design a logo--there must be some talented person here who would be willing to do so.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, janzin said:

 

I second this--there definitely should be a Safaritalk shop with merchandise! Hats, t-shirts, luggage tags, tote bags... 

 

Who doesn't need luggage tags?  What a perfect product!  

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has influenced where I choose to travel and even with whom I chose to travel. Good travel partners--priceless!

 

I trust the advice here and feel comfortable allowing myself to be influenced.  Like others have mentioned, I suggest this site to people planning nature trips so they may benefit from the helpful influence.  I mention the site to fellow travelers, operators, camps, etc. when I travel.  In Africa I find there is an awareness of this site by those in the business and have met a couple of random travelers who know about safaritalk.

 

T-shirts are a great way to extend the reach and I'd proudly wear one.  The meta tags we add to our reports, etc also direct anyone googling to this site.  I am surprised how often my google searches about various destinations lead me right here!

 

Operators and agents can engage directly--I have seen some safaritalk specials offered by operators, which would be something I'd investigate.  Trip reports and comments by posters are an excellent indirect way for engagement to take place.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

just looking at trip adviser reviews for a place without trip reports here, their writers  do not have the understanding of ordinary people

 

for Lewa house  someone said that the dining area was near a waterhole visited  by elephants

 

they gave a photo, well you would need binos  or a very long zoom lens to see the eles in good detail

 

no one would make that kind of error in a trip report

 

people here give honest assesments  which can be relied upon

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, COSMIC RHINO said:

just looking at trip adviser reviews for a place without trip reports here, their writers  do not have the understanding of ordinary people

 

 

Perhaps we are not ordinary.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.