The starting point for The Good Safari Guide was a need in the safari industry for a credible, infallible and transparent system for identifying excellence. There are a multitude of selection systems and processes that we could have copied but none of the processes seemed to deliver what we needed. Thus we built a new system, driven by the knowledge of the experts in safaris; the tour operators. Working with our partners Travel Africa Magazine ( www. travelafricamag. com), The African Travel & Tourism Association ( www. atta. travel) and The Southern Africa Tour Operators Association ( www. satoa. co. uk), we invited independent safari- specialist tour operators to vote for the best safari camps or lodges in 8 main categories in return for a complimentary copy of the 2009 Good Safari Guide. This generated a list of recommended safari operators and their lodges/ camps, within which there were some ' safari gems' that were little known outside this select group of experts. We then approached 7 independent safari specialists, highly regarded by their peers and the safari operators, to vote with weighted votes on the shortlist ( the shortlist was created simply by number of nominations). This ' human touch' re- arranged the leading contenders with a few surprises floating to the top. It seemed ludicrous not to recognize these safari operators in a more public way and so was born The Good Safari Guide Awards, launched at Indaba in Durban in May 2008. Attended by the press, the award winners and runners- up, leading lights in the safari industry and an impressive number of their guests a new event on the safari calendar was born. The following day, stands all over Indaba were sporting their ' Good Safari Guide Award' trophies. The natural extension of this process was to consolidate the winners and other nominees in a directory that would be circulated free to the tour operators who nominated and offer it to other travel professionals, journalists and editors globally. The Good Safari Guide you are holding is the result of this long and exacting process and all safari lodges and camps within this guide come highly recommended by the judges and tour operators you will see on Page 118. You can an discover more about participating on Page 8. I look forward to your feedback on how to improve our process, the awards ceremony and the guide but in the meantime I hope you find this, our first effort, a useful aide memoire as you plan safaris for your clients, or yourself. Henry Hallward Publisher The Selection Process for The Good Safari Guide – a History 4
5 What is The Good Safari Guide Directory? Who is featured? The Good Safari Guide Directory showcases only those properties that have been nominated for, or have won, a Good Safari Guide Award. How does the Good Safari Guide selection process work? 1. Tour operators/ agents/ travel journalists nominate a candidate for a Good afari Guide Award, either online, by email or by phone 2. The Good Safari Team verifies the credentials of the travel professional – the nominating agent/ operator must be wholly independent of the property 3. Nominations are counted and those scoring the highest are invited to feature in the Good Safari Guide Directory, and if scoring higher than all others in their category, will go on to win an Award. An invitation to a nominated property to feature in the Guide is offered purely and simply based on the number of Good Safari Guide Award nominations received. Properties without nominations are unable to feature in the Directory. Because it is the nominations of respected safari industry travel professionals that determine who is invited to be in the Guide, the Guide does not showcase only the most expensive or luxurious, but a blend of safari properties, all of which illustrate that certain ' wow' factor. How to use this Guide The Guide's pages are arranged into countries and then into wildlife area. • To find accommodation offered in South Africa, Sabi Sand, simply look up South Africa and then you will find the ' Sabi Sand' section under ' S'. • To find a property suitable for your client based on specific preferences, for example, price or facilities such as a swimming pool, bar or internet access, you can use the Quick Reference Guide at the back of the Directory on pages 122 – 125. Please note: This Guide is not designed to take the place of a familiarization trip. The Good Safari Guide Team recommends that travel agents/ tour operators visit the safari lodges and camps that they intend to promote to clients, and use the Guide as an aide memoire only. The information included in this directory is, to the best of the Good Safari Guide Team's knowledge, accurate at the time of going to press. However, every effort should be made by the reader to verify the information prior to booking. Finally, if there are properties that you have visited and think should be in the 2010 Good Safari Guide, or you think should win a Good Safari Guide Award, let us know! Nominate them online, or just give us a call and tell us!