Tours in Review

My husband, Steve, and I took a 2-week safari through Kenya and Tanzania, March 27-April 15, 2008, with Masai Travel, Inc. (800/587-1644,, which advertises in ITN from time to time.

I cannot say enough about the trip, including the accommodations (each of the Serena lodges was unique), the food and the itinerary, not to mention the guides and the extent they went to to enable us to get up close and personal with the animals.

The reasonable price of $3,800 per person included airfare from New York to Nairobi, all lodgings, all meals and a guide for each...


My husband, Allan, always looks for the best travel for our dollar, shopping via the Internet. For a Feb. 4-17, 2006, safari in Kenya and Tanzania, we used a small company based in Nairobi: Njewa Safaris (Box 2009-01000, Thika, Kenya; phone/fax +254-20-210531, mobile +254-722-752520 or visit The land price for our tour was $2,700 per person.

Before our trip, we talked to a couple who had used Njewa’s services and they recommended the company highly. Allan’s e-mailed questions to Njewa were always answered promptly, and she provided excellent service and, for...


I took a very interesting tour of the Gulf States with Adventures Abroad (1124 Fir Ave., Ste. 101, Blaine, WA 98230; 800/665-3998) and learned so much about a fascinating part of the world.

The cost for my 20-day tour in January ’07 was $4,360, land and internal air, including the 3-day pre-tour in Kuwait.

It was interesting to be in countries where the overwhelming majority of the people in each were expatriates and it was rare to meet citizens of the country. The ratios ranged from about 35% citizens to 65% expatriates (more or less) for the different countries....


My husband and I have done many trips all over the world, and our itineraries, up until this trip, were planned by American tour companies or on our own. Finding the prices somewhat high with U.S. companies for a trip to southern India, I tried an in-country company, Indian Panorama (No5 Annai Ave., Srirangam, Trichy, Tamil Nadu 620006, India; phone +91 431 243 3372, fax 243 2874,

It has offices in several Indian cities, including Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Periyar. I contacted Smitha (e-mail smitha@indian at the Kochi office and began...


What set our 19-day Odysseys Unlimited (Newton, MA; 888/370-6765, tour of China apart from similar itineraries of other companies was our tour’s director, Ms. Wang Ping.

From our first evening in Beijing to our final trip to the Shanghai airport via the maglev, Ping was with us. She was charming, conscientious, extremely well organized, funny, caring and patient. Ping leads several Odysseys tours a year in China, including Tibet.

She made sure that none of the 23 in our group was left behind, and we never felt rushed. She allowed good time for...


On my first trip to Europe in 1958, my mother and I sailed on the Italian liner MN Augustus from New York to Naples, with a one-day stop in Lisbon. The ship’s route took us through the Azores, approximately 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal. We sailed through them around 8:30 in the morning, and I can still remember how beautiful and sparkling they looked in the bright morning sunlight, just like jewels in the water. I promised myself that one day I would return to explore those peaceful islands.

Never able to locate a tour to the islands, I had almost given up hope when, thanks...


Our trip to Ho Chi Minh City, VIET-NAM, and Bangkok, THAILAND, in March ’04 was grand. Darryll at Asian Affair Holidays (360 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 3008, El Segundo, CA 90245; phone 800/742-3133 or visit made all the arrangements and planned each detail. Nothing went wrong. As independent travelers, we need to know all legs of our trip will work out. This was our second trip planned by Asian Affair Holidays and we highly recommend this company.

Flying Singapore Airlines from Newark, New Jersey, to Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City was a pleasure. Such...


I took an 18-day tour with smarTours (501 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1402, New York, NY 10017; 800/337-7773 or visit, May 14-30, ’05, in which we spent 10 days in Malaysian Borneo, two days in Kuala Lumpur and three days on the island of Penang. The other days were spent flying. Our group consisted of 28 people, ranging in age from 22 to 86, with the average being the late 50s.

All of our flights were on Malaysia Airlines, which did an excellent job in cabin service and food. Our hotels ranged from good to outstanding and, with two exceptions, were well located. One hotel...