Mystery shopper: Lancaster, a budget Safari in South Africa

Mystery shopper: Lancaster, a budget Safari in South Africa

Location: Lancaster
Wanted: An animal-loving couple want a budget safari in South Africa, but could they get better value elsewhere and still see the big five? They were flexible on the date and length of holiday.
Budget: £3,000

The Traveller
10 Sir Simons Arcade
The shop was attractive and welcoming, while the agent showed a lot of personal interest, had good safari knowledge and really tried to fulfil my requirements. I was asked lots of questions and we talked about the best places to see animals, but I was told seeing the big five wasn’t guaranteed. I was given Travel 2’s Africa brochure and offered a more cost-effective fly-drive trip taking in Port Elizabeth, either Kariega or Amakhala game reserves, Cape Town, Cape Point and its wine region. They said the tight budget could be achieved by doing a self-drive itinerary. I said I was nervous driving abroad, so they told me to think about it and return if I wanted to book.

31 Market Street

The shop was very clean and attractive and I was acknowledged straight away. The agent found Emirates flights from Manchester to Johannesburg on March 18, and a a stay at The Reef Hotel, for £3,012. I was asked to return to discuss safari options if we could raise our budget. The agent didn’t ask many questions to find out what I wanted or whether I’d consider alternatives. I had to volunteer a lot of information.

Thomas Cook
11 Cheapside

The agent was very welcoming and direct about my budget not being enough. They found a seven-night trip with South African Airlines flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg and hotel stays for £4,000. They said the safari would be extra, so I should increase my budget or wait for a special offer. I was given three good brochures, but the agent could have looked harder to meet my budget or offer to call me when deals come up.

Winning agent

George Dennison, partner

“We get a lot of interest in safari and you can do it on a budget in South Africa. There are four or five game parks near Port Elizabeth, so if you fly there and drive yourself it can be affordable.”


While no agency looked outside of South Africa for a more affordable deal, The Traveller went to more effort to create an itinerary within the tight budget and for that reason came out on top.

Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location


This is a community-moderated forum.
All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.

More in mystery-shopper