African Safari ABD

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by kenbradio, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. kenbradio

    kenbradio Earning My Ears

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    Hey, Has anyone gone on the Africa ABD? We are thinking of booking it and wanted some feedback from members who have gone. Our kids are 10 and 12, want to make sure they would be a good age to go so far and enjoy it. Any info would be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    :grouphug:
     
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  3. Bobo912

    Bobo912 DIS Veteran

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    If you go to the trip report sticky at the top of forum, on the third page Forever a Princess has posted a great trip report for South Africa ABD.
     
  4. deckes

    deckes deckes

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    My children were 9 and 12 when we went on this trip in August and they truly had the time of their lives. The flight was definitely the worst part, but well worth it. Disney makes this trip worry-free and it was truly worth every penny to go with them. There was never a time when the kids were bored or overwhelmed and they both made friends all over the country that they still keep in touch with. We actually just ended up canceling our Egypt trip with Disney and my son asked if we could go back to South Africa instead.
     
  5. Grifdog22

    Grifdog22 Barking Mad!

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    We are going the last week of April/First week of May 2011 - it's still a 2010 trip, it's cheaper and has several additional days that the 2011 trip cut out. Our twins are 11 on the trip. We researched this for 18 months, and everyone we have talked to, especially some very kind and generous PM we have received from this board tell us this is one of the best ABD trips. We jumped on when we saw the schedule change - because the 1/2 day free time just before Safari was when folks like Forever a Princess wrote up about the outside elephant ride...which we wanted to do very badly.

    We are going in a day early due to horrible arrival times and our pre-trip plan is to paraglide around the Lions' head. A group offers this to kids, etc. as a tandem trip, and they have checked out pretty well. Lots of kids pictures.

    We haven't yet done the trip, but I think ABD is the way to go with kids. On this one, they should stay fully engaged! Let us all know what you decide.
     
  6. kenbradio

    kenbradio Earning My Ears

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    Glad to hear the favorable reviews about the Africa ABD. We went to Peru in 2009 and our family loved it! Africa will be our next trip!
     
  7. Forever a Princess

    Forever a Princess One bottle of ketchup is not enough!

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    The South Africa trip is AMAZING!!! We went about a year ago and we're still talking about it.

    Have a great time when we you go!!! :thumbsup2
     
  8. Grifdog22

    Grifdog22 Barking Mad!

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    We are about a month before departure on the South Africa trip, and just received a very interesting letter from ABD. Our flight is almost direct – we leave Washington DC at 5:30 pm and arrive in Johannesburg at 5:40 pm (the next day due to the changes in the time zones) and change planes there to reach Cape Town. Disney has advised us that they will provide a special “meet and greet” in Johannesburg to assist in the transfer. Apparently we have to go through customs in Johannesburg, and then the flight to Cape Town leaves from a separate terminal.

    I think it is fantastic that they will have someone at the airport to make sure we clear customs and help with luggage and transfer to the next flight – this is really above and beyond what we already expect in their exceptional service. If the connection is missed somehow, they also say they will be there to assist to get us to the next available flight and make the appropriate arrangements for their already great pickup at our arrival city in Cape Town.

    This really adds to the start of a great trip.
     
  9. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Grifdog22, that is really amazing, but not surprising. :thumbsup2 ABD really know how to do it right. Did you arrange your flight through ABD, or are they doing this for everyone? (I'm suspecting the latter). They really are great about stepping up when a need presents itself. I can only assume people have had some real issues in the Johannesburg airport, and ABD decided to mitigate the problem. Go ABD!! There's a reason why I'm willing to pay more for their services!

    Sayhello
     
  10. ZeoliFamily

    ZeoliFamily DIS Veteran

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    I agree the service is amazing but not surprising. At the end of our Viva Italia trip last June we were departing Venice to fly home and the lines in the airport for British Airways were ridiculously long and slow. They have only two check-in counters. Our ABD guide, Mara, was staying with us to make sure we made it through security on time which was great but what was exceptional was what she did when it was taking so long and we were beginning to get nervous. Mara walked up to the counter, said a few things in italian to the agent and waved us from the middle of the line right up to the counter to check-in. Not sure what she said but it was effective and I did not see money exchanged so it wasn't cash! Just awesome.

    Oh, and we had booked our flights separately from the rest of the ABD package.

    -Jim
     
  11. Phil Cirrone

    Phil Cirrone Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for all the info. Disney is just the best way to go.
     
  12. Forever a Princess

    Forever a Princess One bottle of ketchup is not enough!

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    This is awesome! This was a BIG stress point on our trip. We were an hour late getting into Jo-berg from Atlanta. We had little over an hour to go through customs-etc-etc-get to gate to go to Cape Town. We made our flight but that is because the flight leaving for Cape Town was delayed.

    Kudos to Disney for this!!! :cheer2:
     
  13. Grifdog22

    Grifdog22 Barking Mad!

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    We leave for Africa in 11 days. This afternoon I received a call from Patricia at ABD (she is a goddess, by the way) just to "check up" on us for the trip, and see if we had any last minute questions. She chatted for about 20 minutes about the trip, she checked and confirmed that we have two guides for the trip, even though there are only 13 total guests going. Although we knew we had the only two Junior Adventurers on the trip (twin DD at 11), she also checked for us to see if there were any other kids under 18. My daughters will certainly send her a postcard!

    Patricia has been absolutely incredible in all possible ways from ABD, but the phone call out of the blue just to check up on us, make sure we had the passports in good shape, two pages left, bring sweaters and sweatshirts, etc. was again a level of service that I am continuing to swear by.

    We are the very last of the "2010 trips." They certainly are making it a good one. This is my third ABD trip, and I frankly have never seen service, even from much more expensive carriers, at the level we have received pre-trip. If this keeps up, I may not want to come home!
     
  14. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    :thumbsup2 That is so seriously excellent!

    I hope you guys have a BLAST! I can hardly wait for your Report when you get back!

    Sayhello
     
  15. Daisha Moore

    Daisha Moore Earning My Ears

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    Do share your experience in detail. Hope you'll enjoy to the maximum......
    :rolleyes1
     
  16. disneyholic family

    disneyholic family <font color=teal>Wayne always catches me<br><font

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    they have to do that - Johannesburg is one of the most dangerous cities on the planet - all they need is for something to happen to you changing planes and all of people's confidence in ABD would be down the tubes..
     
  17. lrweaver

    lrweaver Earning My Ears

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    My 12 year old daughter and I did the ABD trip to South Africa in June (June 17-29, 2011). We had a fantastic time. The Johannesburg airport was no problem at all. We were met by an ABD representative at the airport after we passed through customs. I could have taken care of the transfer to the Capetown flight on my own, but I was glad to have a representative there. A volcano had erupted in South America and the ash cloud had drifted across the ocean to South Africa. Because of this, all flights to Capetown were cancelled. The airline put us up in a hotel, which was nice since they didn't have to (a volcanic eruption is considered an "act of God" and therefore the airline doesn't have to accomodate you for the night). Anyway, the Disney rep met us and ushered us through the airline line to make a new reservation for the next day and waited with us while we waited for the hotel transfer. As I said, I could have taken care of this myself, but after 24 hours of traveling, it was nice to have someone else take care of the details!

    On the return, we had about nine hours to wait in the Johannesburg airport. It is a very nice airport; in some respects, more modern than some I've been in in the US. There is a nice food court, and once you go through security, lots of shops.

    The whole excursion was the trip of a lifetime. The guides, Jason and Craig, were incredible. It is a FABULOUS trip!
     
  18. disneyholic family

    disneyholic family <font color=teal>Wayne always catches me<br><font

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    in johannesburg - what hotel were you in?
     
  19. lrweaver

    lrweaver Earning My Ears

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    In Johannesburg the airlines put us up in a hotel overnight since we couldn't fly due to the volcanic ash. It was a Southern Sun hotel, exactly the same as the one in Capetown. When we got to Capetown the next day and checked into our room, I was stunned to see the exact same room as the one we'd been in in Joburg.
     

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