What is Overlanding? Quite simply, Overlanding is a word synonymous with adventure. Long regarded as the most authentic way to explore Africa, Overlanding is all about travelling the continent by road and immersing yourself in the culture and environment of the countries you visit.
An affordable and exciting form of travel, Overlanding allows like-minded people to come together in a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere where it is easy to make friends and share travelling experiences. Overland tours are not, however, specialist game viewing safaris (although much of the focus when Overlanding is indeed on Africa’s wildlife) and these tours 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 you must be prepared to expect the unexpected and deal with difficulties or delays which Africa might throw your way.
An Overland Africa itinerary may vary from time to time due to various factors – a washed-away bridge, local politics, vehicle repairs – while in many areas there is unsophisticated or non-existent infrastructure. So, by beginning the journey without great expectations of luxury, and by travelling with an open mind, Overlanders 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, 4×4 vehicles or minibuses. Vehicles carry their own cooking equipment, food and water supplies plus tents, camping gear and spare parts.
Overland tours are usually camping and participation trips: all group members assist with camp chores which include setting up tents, cooking and washing up. Accommodation is in tents but if you prefer not to camp, we also offer accommodated Overland tours where travel is still 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 – in other words, there are plenty of dawn starts! But then again, sunrise is often the best (and coolest) part of the day and if you’re in a game reserve, it’s of course the best time to see the most exciting animals – such as big cats – on the move.
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 will be in the same place for a couple of nights or more.
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 shorter and it’s now entirely feasible for people to explore large portions of Africa in just a few weeks rather than over several months.
Thanks to a comprehensive range of tours, improved infrastructure and convenient flights 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; speak to our consultants about which Overland tour suits your requirements.