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What is Overlanding? Quite simply, Overlanding is a word synonymous with adventure. Long regarded as the most authentic way to discover the highlights of Africa, Overlanding is all about exploring the continent by road and immersing yourself in the culture and environment of the country you are travelling through.
An affordable and exciting form of travel, Overlanding allows like-minded people to come together in a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere, make friends and to share their travelling experiences. Make no mistake however: these tours are not specialist game viewing safaris (although much focus is indeed on Africa’s wildlife) and Overland tours in Africa can be rough and rugged at times.
How tough is it?
Africa is an adventure destination and travelling here is not always predictable. You’ll need a positive attitude, a good deal of flexibility and must be prepared to expect the unexpected and deal with any difficulties or delays which Africa might throw your way!
An Overland Africa itinerary may vary from time to time due to various factors – washed-away bridges, local politics, vehicle repairs - and in many areas Africa is unsophisticated and altogether lacking in infrastructure so by entering the journey without too many expectations of luxury and by travelling with an open mind, travellers will find that they will enjoy the trip so much more.
How do I travel and what do I have to do?
Overland travel is in a variety of vehicles including specially adapted expedition trucks, 4x4 vehicles or minibuses. Vehicles carry their own cooking equipment, food and water supplies, tents, camping gear and spare parts.
Overland tours are usually camping and participation trips: all group members pitch in and assist with camp chores including setting up camp, cooking and washing up. Accommodation is in tents but if you prefer not to camp, we also offer more upmarket trips where travel is still done overland by vehicle but you’ll be staying in budget hotels and lodges.
Time and daily routines
Overland tours are based on daylight hours and clock time doesn’t really matter, so expect to get up at dawn! Sunrise is often the best (and coolest) part of the day and if you’re in a game park, it’s of course the best time to see the most exciting animals.
Some driving days are very long, but others are only a few hours. You can expect to have a non-driving day every 3-4 days when you are in the same place for more than a couple of nights.
All for one, one for all
The easiest way to travel as a group is for each person to be responsible for a particular job such as cooking, cleaning, finding water or lighting the fire. No matter how unimportant it may seem, each job adds to the smooth running of the trip. If you can’t do your bit on the odd occasion, see that someone else does it for you and help others when you can. This is part of your contribution to the success of the trip and the best way to get to know your fellow passengers.
You’ll be travelling with strangers for a while: learn from each other’s cultures and form a strong, supportive and fun team. Get involved, participate, throw yourself into the frenzy of overland life, and you will become not just a passenger, but an African Overlander.
Time Travel: two weeks or two months?
Overlanding has changed over the years in that it has become much quicker and it’s now entirely feasible for people to explore large portions of Africa in just a few weeks rather than months.
Indeed, a few years ago you would have had to hand in your notice, say farewell to the family, pack up your home, and commit to several months of hard slog through Africa. Today, thanks to a comprehensive range of trips, improved infrastructure and excellent flight links between Africa and the rest of the world, you can discover the wonders of Africa on an overland tour that can last from just a week to two months.
There is now a far greater choice out there to suit your budget and time frame and still keep that job back home; speak to our consultants about what overland tour suits your requirements.