Why Choose NTS?
An inbound tour operator like Namibia Tours & Safaris is a better option than your high street outbound agent and far, far better than trying to make all the arrangements yourself. But why?
Once we had a holidaymaker who wanted a special cake. They wanted it delivered to their guesthouse for a fellow holidaymaker’s birthday.
We had it made, delivered and printed with the customer’s face. As requested. We weren’t just being crazy.
So when you ask ‘why us’, that’s why: we’re not standard; we’re not the norm; we insist on being the best
Want to know more?
So you’re thinking:
Let’s start with two words: we’re locals. (Three words if you’re being pedantic.)
But trust us on this, when you’re travelling you’ll want up to date information, knowledge and, well, vibes. Our customers come back time and again for that reason.
We have consistently brought their dream holidays to life.
Over and over again. And believe us, the travel industry is a tough customer; no second chances here.
So, Who Are We?
Namibia Tours & Safaris, or NTS, is a family business based in Namibia. Hence the name. That’s where we started out, 30 years ago. These days we’ve expanded our knowledge and coverage to create tailor-made holidays across Southern Africa.
Our big cheese is Danie Steyn, a big name in the Namibian travel industry. In 1990 he began leading his own safaris into the remote and undiscovered wilderness areas of Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. Combining adventurous camping expeditions with luxury lodges, this pioneering approach soon became the de facto Namibia safari.
By 2007 NTS had become a fully fledged tour operator. Danie still runs his own safaris for regular clients, plus we employ guides and offer you a complete booking service from arrival to departure. Basically, you can arrange your entire African holiday with us.
Private guided tours, fly-ins, self drives, you name it. Our trips are fully customisable too. From budget to mid market to luxury. Small groups, families, honeymooners.
The Benefits of Working with NTS
Africa is a special place with vast wilderness areas and some seriously wild animals. It's also a place where planning a trip yourself is fraught with uncertainty and frustration. That's where we come in.
1. We're Locals
- We grew up here.
- We live here now.
- This is our home.
- We love it.
- We know it.
- We want to share it.
- We employ locals.
- We pay rent locally.
- We support our local suppliers.
We even support local tourism-linked conservation initiatives including pioneering community-driven conservation and Vultures Namibia. Good for us, good for you, good for the country, good for the planet.
2. We Have First Hand Knowledge
See above. We’re on the ground, we live here, we holiday here.
Plus, we put time, money and effort into sending our staff on educational trips - they see the lodges, do site inspections, try out the activities, experience the driving distances. It costs us a fortune but the first-hand knowledge, connections and inspiration that come from these trips is priceless. Wanna come work for us? We bet you do!
3. We Go Above and Beyond
Seriously, we're on hand 24/7 and nothing is ever too much trouble. So long as it’s legal. Remember the cake story at the beginning of this article? Want some more fireside stories? Coming right up:
- Once we had a holidaymaker who loved the bedding at their lodge so much we found out where it was from, ordered it, collected it from Windhoek and dropped it off at the airport hours before they flew home. Seriously, who does that?
- Once we had clients who wanted to give goodie bags to their group on arrival. So, we made up a cooler bag with a printed logo on it, filled it with snacks and an ice pack and gave it to them. On arrival.
- Once we helped clients ship special Karakulia rugs back home
- What happens if you leave cameras, binoculars, even clothing in the lodge? Don’t worry, we will get it and courier it back to you.
- Oh, and by the way, if you’re doing a fly-in combo tour and have luggage restrictions on internal flights, we can store or transfer your extra/additional luggage for you.
4. Our Experience
We have 30 years of up, down, across, back, in, out, all over experience. We know what’s possible, what works, what doesn’t and how to pair this up with you and your expectations.
We are not local newbies. We are specialists in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. We have a network of trusted partners across the sub-continent.
In fact, we are so well known and respected here that our connections are impeccable. Wherever you are we can call on someone we know to help, book, advise, drive, guide, change your tyre, cook your dinner...
Oh, and thanks to our high booking numbers major suppliers give us preferential treatment.
It’s ridiculous how easy it is. For you.
- Custom itineraries.
- Dedicated consultants.
- Free advice.
- One-click enquiries.
- You can do it all on your phone from your sofa.
- We even own cars for car hire which makes life much easier because the entire trip is booked in-house.
It will not be cheaper to book your holiday on your own. You will pay the same, or less, by booking through us. We do not add surcharges to suppliers prices so we are never more expensive. Plus, and it’s important to know, we get special deals and pass these savings on.
We also offer the best value for your buck by making the best itinerary and booking the best places within your budget.
We have hotlines to the reservations desks and we can secure rooms but we don’t pre book any - this means there is never a sales push as we aren’t in a panic to fill rooms.
It’s also worth noting that with us you get the benefit of insurance and protection - in case a lodge/supplier closes down.
And all our quotes are free and obligation-free.
7. 24-hour Care
- Someone who is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have a phone line that is assigned to consultants on a rota.
- We have live satellite trackers fitted to our vehicles so we can see if you’ve hit a problem.
- Across the borders we have representatives on call 24/7 as well.
- Consequently, if you decide to change your itinerary or you want to stay somewhere longer, we will do our best to get it sorted. Fast.
8. Candid Reviews About Us
We read our reviews and feedback too.
9. We Know Your Guides
By the way, we personally know our guides. Not only that, but Danie personally trained many of them.
10. We Know Where you're Staying
We’ve spent years getting to know the people who run the lodges and years developing our product knowledge.
11. Up to Date Information
As one of the leading tour operators in Namibia, suppliers and partners are quick to notify us of changes, upgrades, closures and other issues.
Lodge groups come and see us for in-house training and to share product updates and experiences.
We conduct regular site inspections, educational trips, marketing shows, supplier presentations and share all industry news and updates.
Plus we hold weekly staff training sessions on a range of topics including product updates and guide reports.
12. Our Advice is Free
Always and forever.
13. You Will Have a Dedicated Consultant
Always and forever.
Enquiries are assigned to a dedicated consultant and every morning at 8am new enquiries are projected on the wall. The assigned consultant reads it out along with any special information provided and the whole team chips in with tips, advice and their take on what the client wants. This sharing of knowledge and experience daily is a key difference between us and competitors.
Are you looking for your dream honeymoon? Got special interests or specific requirements? We publish our clients' current and upcoming itineraries to show you the final tours we end up booking. This helps to inspire you to see what's possible.
Oh, and if your particular needs and interests are not already catered for, your personal travel expert will design an appropriate itinerary for you.
14. We're Independent
Always and forever.
We monitor standards of lodges all the time and if any drop, we tell them and we stop using them till they sort themselves out.
We have no quotas, incentives or sales targets for any products we sell.
Our only objective is a happy customer.
15. If Things Go Wrong
From the moment you land we are there. If your baggage gets lost, we help you, we have staff in Windhoek who can take you to the shops to buy necessities etc.
If there are flight delays or if you miss a flight we help you make other arrangements.
If your car broke down in the middle of nowhere the lodge phones you, we track the vehicle and send help without you having to do anything.
If you’re unwell we make all the necessary doctor’s appointments and arrangements. Same thing if you need the dentist unexpectedly.
We have even visited a client in hospital who injured themselves.
We pride ourselves on going way beyond what we’re contractually obliged to do.
16. Safe Online Payment
Online payments are processed off-site by Nedbank providing the highest level of encryption and data security. How it works: we send you a payment link by email. Click on the link to open the Nedbank's secure payment portal. All you have to do is confirm the details, enter your own and hit the pay button. Done.
You'll receive two emails: one from Nedbank confirming the transaction and another from us to confirm the transaction is complete and reflecting in our bank account.
Please note: only Visa and Mastercard are supported and you can pay by bank transfer or swift if you prefer.
The Risks of Self Booking
You can organise everything from flights to dinner reservations online – so why bother asking (and paying) us to do it for you?
To be frank, it’s basically the opposite of the above. No computer can deal with the complexities of a tailor-made holiday, plus:
1. Time Consuming & Frustrating
We often get clients who have tried booking their own trip and nobody gets back to them; when they do the information is wrong; if they want to change one thing they have to go and re-contact all the lodges to change the dates etc.
What do you do if things go wrong? The fact is you are now very much on your own - with a good chance of losing a great deal of money.
How do you know you’re booking the right route?
Is the lodge as nice as its pictures make out?
Can I drive from here to there in a day?
Example: we got sent an itinerary which was a joke, to put it mildly. One day the couple wanted to be at Fish River Canyon, the next they’d teleported back to South Africa, the day after they were in the middle of Namibia. It was ridiculous and impossible and to add insult to injury they’d booked into an awful place on the highway.
Or what happens if there’s an airline strike and you have booked flights, a car and a string of hotels on various different websites... not fun.
Mistakes cost especially if you miss the free-cancellation window of a lodge (and they’re strict) or you forget to book a shuttle in advance and have to fork out for a private taxi or when you don’t have the right paperwork crossing the border or, or, or...
DIY you’ll most likely find yourself joining the crowd and finding it rather humdrum; we know how to make it special, unique and exclusive even on a budget. How’s that feeling of staying in a cockroach infested tent with a rickety safari vehicle and a surly guide and then pulling up to a swanky air conditioned carful of guided happiness on their way back enjoying their cocktails and percale linen. Or facing the road when the other punters all have beauteous sea views (our consultants know even which rooms to book and which to avoid)
The High Street Agent
Ok, you say
Unless you are working with a reputable agency committed to keeping current with their destination and product knowledge you're likely to run into problems.
You face the risk of a cumbersome itinerary design, quoting and booking process. You also face the possibility that the agent’s destination and product knowledge isn’t up to scratch.
Add to that the pressure following a face-to-face conversation. With us you can go over your options in your own time without someone sitting there smiling at you...
And you don't have to drive or wait for opening hours to reach us. Contact us when it fits in with your day.
The following points can also apply:
1. Beware the Hard Sell
They are likely to have an agenda and will naturally push you towards high-yield, high-volume destinations in East Africa when a trip to Namibia and Botswana is better, cheaper, easier and a thousand times more awesome...
They can and often do make their own mark up - remember they have extra costs they need to cover, not least in running their building...
3. Are They Any Good?
Ever found your local travel agent’s online reviews or testimonials? They’re not easy to find, if they’re there at all. A lot of local travel agents don’t even have their own website.
4. Their Knowledge is Out of Date
No matter how they try and persuade you otherwise, their knowledge will be at the very least dated, if not non-existent. They’re on your high street, we’re at your destination. They often come to us to hear about industry news.
Because they are contacting us first. So you’re always waiting for our response/quote to them so they can send it on to you. Or worse, you’re waiting for responses from reservations desks who, because they don’t know this agent, don’t necessarily give priority responses. They know us, they know we’re good for their business and they jump around when we make enquiries.
6. No Support When You're There
They're on your high street, we are here. When you run into a problem and call your agent, it'll be us they call for aid on your behalf.
A Fair Compromise: Your Agent + NTS
So you've got a travel agent with whom you've been arranging your holidays for years. Or you prefer speaking face to face with an agent, registered in your country.
A suitable compromise is to ensure your preferred agent works with a reputable in-country operator like Namibia Tours & Safaris. We travel often to agents and agents' trade shows to share our knowledge and experience on the ground.
Agents who actively engage in a serious ground handler like NTS to provide the actual booking and support service are far more likely to produce the amazing African experience you're dreaming of.
For their part the agent knows you, your travelling style and preferences; they can communicate same to us with all the jargon and insider knowledge that gets the job done.
If you choose to work with your agent ask who does their ground handling, bookings, support and logistics. Make sure they're working with a reputable company that can provide the service and support you need.
Why us? Because we have return customers. Customers who only use us, customers who don’t bother with anyone else. Customers who have travelled with us every year for years now. In fact, we have so many return customers we may as well put it out there - we have fans. Proper big time, loyal fans. Come join our family.