Does it matter?? If you’re a travel agent you may be au fait with these terms, although in an industry that is rapidly changing due to our fast-paced world you too might sometimes find yourself wondering. Perhaps you are a FIT (a what??) and might not understand any of those terms at all.
So let’s start there, FIT is a Foreign Independent Traveller, originally the F always stood for Foreign but these days it can also mean Free or Fully, or even Flexible! As you can see there needs to be some clarification. In this post we will break down what the different terms mean, how they differ and what kind of tour or product is best for each.
Small Group Guided Safari
Small Group Guided Safaris are JENMAN African Safaris’ particular area of expertise, we would go so far as to say that we are the industry leader in this category.
Definition: a small group that is guided and transported through various destinations by a qualified guide and usually a driver as well. Guests will be on tour with other guests who have also booked the tour, it is a small group with the maximum pax being either 12 or 14, and the minimum is 4. The tours are scheduled which means they leave on set departures and the itineraries cannot be altered by the guests.
Who it’s ideal for: This is usually the most budget-friendly option for travellers. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people. Travellers who want to see as much of Africa as possible but who find the task of planning routes, booking accommodation and navigating the hazardous roads a bit too daunting.
What distinguishes it: small group travel, more cost-effective, faster pace and covers numerous destinations in a smaller amount of time.
Another one of our areas of expertise, we take our extensive knowledge of African travel and create meaningful itineraries for discerning clients.
Definition: A suggested itinerary that can be tailored to the guests’ requirements. A guide travels with the guests and assists guests during the tour. A tailor-made tour can also be built from scratch with input from the traveller and the consultant.
Who it’s ideal for: Travellers who prefer more flexibility with their travel plans. People who want to have a say in creating their holiday itinerary but don’t have time to do research and put together all the arrangements. Friends or families who are travelling together who don’t want to slot into a group tour.
What distinguishes it: Flexible itinerary created to suit the needs of the clients.
Guiding is an incredibly important component of JENMAN African Safaris. We hand select some of the best guides in the industry then train and work with them for many years. We know the difference a knowledgeable and personable guide makes to a safari and are happy to arrange private guided tours for travellers.
Definition: A family or group of friends travelling with their own private guide who isn’t shared with any other travellers. Travellers can select one of our guided group tours and turn it into a private guided tour, essentially becoming a tailor-made product.
Who it’s ideal for: Travellers with more of a budget. It is costly to cover the costs of a private vehicle and guide for the duration of a 10-12 day trip. All fixed costs fall to the 1 group. If they are only 2 people, it will be quite costly.
What distinguishes it: Personal attention and privacy.
The freedom of the open road calls many a traveller. Africa is a sizeable continent and even some of its countries, like Namibia, are particularly massive. This means considerable distances between destinations and excellent opportunities for road trips!
Definition: A self-driven safari with no guide or driver. We arrange car hire and plan the route as well as book the accommodation. Travellers can choose between already designed itineraries which fall under the Tailor-Made category, or work closely with a consultant to plan a route that encompasses all they hope to see (within reason, remember Africa is big!).
Who it’s ideal for: Confident and independent travellers. People who prefer to holiday on their own (without a guide) and to have the independence of having their own car. People who enjoy driving and setting their own pace.
What distinguishes it: No guide. More opportunities to explore the region at own discretion. More independence for travellers.
As mentioned above this can stand for Foreign / Free / Fully Independent Traveller. These days with the ease of online planning and booking, a FIT might only come to a travel agent or tour operator to arrange a small part of their holiday, perhaps some transfers and accommodation bookings. FIT can also fall under tailor-made when the traveller is working directly with our consultant to assist in their tour planning.
Definition: Independent travellers who are largely responsible for their own travel plans.
Who it’s ideal for: Independent and confident travellers who can make it on their own and don’t need to be looked after. Those who prefer travel at their own pace and with their own friends or family.
What distinguishes it: No groups. Usually no guide, very little assistance needed from travel professionals.