Africa Overland Tours Photos
The trip was just like I wanted. Part of safari and culturePauline T (July 02, 2009)
Overall, I was thrilled with the trip-the wildlife was exceptional, and that was the number one reason why I wanted to go on this trip.Sara P (July 02, 2009)
Had a great time! Saw all the big five animals and then some.Brenda C (July 02, 2009)
Overland truck adventures in Africa provide the most affordable way to see the best of Africa. Sturdy vehicles are required to journey to the most remote parks, villages and outposts of Africa, making Overlanding the ideal way to experience the vast, wild nature of Africa. When you go on an overland tour you're experiencing raw Africa by camping under the stars, sampling local cuisines, visiting rural villages and searching for amazing wildlife.
Get involved, as these are hands-on participatory camping tours where you help with meal preparation and pitch your own tents! With some tours crossing a handful of countries and lasting almost two months, Overland tours in Africa are journeys to remember!
The G Adventures Difference
An Africa Overland tour is unlike any other adventure you'll experience. The mix of fascinating culture and wildlife is hard to describe and can only be experienced. These tours can be long and the reward is a trip of a lifetime. Spot the "Big Five" animals, dance with the Maasai and camp in the Serengeti. Our Africa Overland program stands out by offering:
- No Local Payments or Food Kitties - our pricing makes it convenient for you. The only spending money you need to bring to Africa is for drinks, tips and souvenirs. Less hassle = more fun!
- More Inclusions - are you comparing options? Make sure you know what is included in your tour. Some companies do not include park entrance fees or key activities in their pricing. We do.
- 10 countries and dozens of itineraries - our overland program covers virtually all of southern and eastern Africa, with tours lasting from 8-54 days in length.
- Guaranteed Departures - all of our Overland tours are 100% guaranteed to run until the end of 2012! Book a trip without having to wait to get your visas, vaccinations or flights taken care of!
- Our Trucks - from storage space to easy-access windows and onboard battery charging, our Overland Trucks are built with your comfort, safety and enjoyment in mind.
Your home away from home. When the next closest town or park is 6-8 hours away some days, you want to ensure that you'll get there safely and comfortably! Our Overland trucks are purpose built for the bumpy, sometimes non-existent, roads of Africa. When in Africa, "any truck" won't do. You need to know that your truck can multi-task when needed. Think of our trucks as your worry-free, safe haven in an unpredictable world.
What makes our Overland trucks stand out?
- Storage space - Lots of storage areas for keeping your luggage out of the way and travelling in comfort.
- On board safe, fire extinguisher and first aid kit - secure your important documents, passports and money safely on the truck without any worries. We've got you covered. All you need is your own padlock.
- Front view windows - Seriously, this is important. When you are on the road for hours it is nice to see what lies ahead.
- Quad style side windows - A fancy name, which basically means the windows are big and easily open wide for taking photos or letting in fresh air. They just as easily close to keep out rain and naughty monkeys!
- Battery charger - An on board inverter allows you to charge camera batteries while on the road.
- Kitchen - A fully stocked camp kitchen easily opens up for quick meal preparation.
- Communications - An intercom system between the driver and passenger areas ensures constant communication, so you can learn about your surroundings as you drive by, or before you reach your next destination.
- Interior Lights - Sometimes you get up extra early, or arrive after dark, so reading a book, eating breakfast or playing cards is made easier when you have some light!
- Ample Seating - Everyone has a seat and often there are extras. Our standard Overland trucks have 22 cushioned seats, comfy enough for an afternoon nap and big enough so you never feel crowded.
- Safety - Our overland vehicles are custom built to survive the myriad of conditions that Africa throws at us. All trucks are built to the highest safety standards and comply with all legal requirements in the various African countries we cross.
- Crew - Experienced and fully licensed CEO (Chief Experience Officer) and Driver.
Pitch your tents! You'll hear that a lot on Overland tours. When you're on the move so much, you need to have "homes" that pack up quick and easy. Even if you've never camped before, after a quick lesson you'll be an expert in pitching your tent under the stars. Campsites can be surprisingly well equipped in some places, while "wild" or bush camping in the middle of Africa can be as rustic as it gets.
Tents & Camping on Overland Safaris
- Durable Tents - We use canvas safari tents that are rugged and tough, built for demanding Africa.
- Spacious 2-Person Tents - Tents have a base area of about 4 square meters, plenty of room for 2 people with gear. Large doors and windows provide air flow and keep you as comfortable and cool as possible.
- Protection from the Elements - Our tents are waterproofed regularly and all have built-in insect netting on windows and doors. We also provide 4cm thick, warm and comfortable air mattresses to sleep on. Just bring your own sleeping bag and pillow!
- Campsite Equipment - When camping, the Overland truck stores portable camp chairs for everyone. Most campsites have additional tables and seating areas. A full supply of kitchen equipment is also provided.
- Campsite Amenities - Majority of campsites we use have a small snack bar or restaurant, flush toilets, simple showers and washing facilities. Hot water is a premium sometimes, so showers are often cool. Some showers may be in outdoor enclosures. A telepho ne is usually available at campsites as well.
- Wild or Bush Camping - In the Okavango Delta and Serengeti (plus possible other spots), camping facilities are very basic. In the Okavango there are no facilities, so we bring our own water, dig our own toilets and use buckets in trees for showers. A truly wild experience! In the Serengeti there are basic toilets and washing facilities but no showers or hot water.
- Campsite Safety - The campsites are frequented by many groups, so do not store valuable items in your tents. Nervy monkeys can also run away with your possessions. Certain campsites are enclosed for safety, but others are open to the wild animals of Africa and may have armed rangers patrolling at night. Use extra caution, and a torchlight, after dark. It is not unusual for Hippos and other animals to graze on the grass right outside your tent in the middle of the night. Your G Adventures CEO will brief you on the specific safety precautions of each area you visit.
Food, glorious food! Just because you're on rough roads in rugged Africa does not mean you need to sacrifice on food. You will get involved with the food prep, cleaning and setup, after all this is participatory camping. With ample storage for keeping food fresh you will probably be surprised by the meals that can be created on an Overland truck!
Meals are largely included on Overland tours and become quite the communal gathering. Chatting about the day ahead, or amazing wildlife you've seen earlier in the day is always a popular topic. So what will you eat and what do you have to do to help out?
Eating and Drinking on Overland Tours
- Shopping for Food - For most Overland tours the big shopping is done by the cook and guides before the tour starts. There is a large cooler/freezer on board to keep food fresh, but stops for snacks, fresh fruits and veggies are frequently available during your travels.
- Types of Food and Special Requests - You can expect local specialties and international favourites on your tour. Having a birthday? Have special dietary needs? Be sure to let us know in advance and we can ensure everyone enjoys their meal times.
- Breakfast - Morning meals typically include breads, cereals, milk and coffee. When the tour is not on the move for a couple of days, warm breakfasts with eggs and similar items may be prepared.
- Lunch - The lunch meals are dominated by sandwiches, salads and fresh fruits and vegetables. Enjoy the variety of exotic fresh produce that can be had in Africa!
- Dinner - Hot meals are prepared for dinner and may include meat dishes, pasta, burgers, salads, potatoes or a wide variety of other local and international meals. Special requests are always encouraged to keep things fun!
- Who Cooks and Cleans? - Our guides and cooks are experts at making virtually anything while on tour. But the experience is a group effort. Each tour will have a schedule posted for people to participate in the cleaning, setup or assist in cooking of meals.
- Drinks - You are responsible for providing your own alcohol and drinks, including bottled water. Many camps will sell cold beers, juices and carbonated drinks to enjoy. You will also have options to shop at markets to pick things up.
- Eating Out - While almost all meals are included on Overland tours, sometimes you get to explore towns and eat at restaurants, at your own expense. Zanzibar and more popular towns are good examples of this. Our guides will help direct you to some well known, healthy and clean places where amazing local cuisine can be enjoyed!
So you came to Africa in hopes of spotting some wildlife? No other trip style matches the variety of wildlife opportunities that our Overland tours can offer. Wildlife viewing from the Overland trucks is easy, with wide open windows for your cameras to click away and get the perfect pictures. When needed, in the most rugged parks, we'll swap the Overland truck for special 4WD and safari vehicles to get even closer to the action. The "Big Five" - Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo are a big draw for everyone on safari, while man people have their favourite animals they want to see, perhaps Giraffe, Hippo or Zebra?
With so many countries and so many parks and game reserves to visit, it is impossible to list all of the animals you may encounter in Africa. But here are some of the major wildlife highlights from places we visit like the Serengeti, Etosha National Park, Chobe River, Kruger National Park, the Okavango Delta, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park and Zanzibar.
Wildlife Highlights on Africa Overland Tours
- Lion - hearing the roar of a lion while going to sleep in your tent is something you will never forget!
- Leopard - the most elusive of the Big Five animals, many people return from safari without seeing one, so just getting a glimpse of these sleek hunters is something to be proud of.
- Elephant - surprisingly quiet, unless tearing down trees, elephants are a highlight for anyone on safari, whether it is in the Namib Desert, the watery Okavango of the grassy Serengeti.
- Rhino - a rare treat on any Overland tour. The Masai Mara and the Ngorongoro Crater are two top spots to watch for these guys.
- Buffalo - often found in large herds and highly aggressive in nature, these tough guys are part of the Big Five as well.
- Giraffe - legs strong enough to kill a lion and a tongue up to 20 inches long make these tall guys a highlight for most people. There are actually many different subspecies of giraffe, varying between many countries including Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda!
- Zebra - call them "zeb-ras" or "zee-bras, either way these stripey guys are often found amongst Wildebeest herds, which offer them more protection from predators.
- Hippo - funny looking and very territorial, hippos are not to be messed with and have been known to wander around some campsites at night, when they are most active.
- Mountain Gorilla - one of Africa's most amazing wildlife encounters is trekking into the dense jungle in search of these majestic creatures in Uganda!
- Cheetah - watching a cheetah chase down some prey, or a mother looking after her furry little cubs is another one of those "only in Africa" experiences to remember forever.
- Wildebeest - they're kind of ugly and they are everywhere, but as the leaders of the world's largest migration, they help create one of the most impressive sights in east Africa.
- Impalas and Gazelles - was that an impala? A dik-dik? A hartebeest? What kind of gazelle was that, a grant's or thomson's gazelle? Hoofed animals are everywhere in Africa, how many can you identify?
- Vultures - scavengers are a part of the life-cycle in Africa. Whether you spot them circling overhead or gnawing on a carcass, there is truly a mystique to these graceful birds.
- Hyena - possessing the most powerful jaws in the animal kingdom means that lions, leopards and cheetahs retreat often when these guys come running.
- Monkeys - sneaky little monkeys indeed. They'll hang out near camp waiting for a misplaced banana or perhaps a shoe left unattended!
The greatest migration on earth occurs in East Africa, with more than 2 million animals following a rough cyclical migration pattern between the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Led by around 1.2 million Wildebeest, the migration also includes massive numbers of Zebra and Gazelle, who migrate in time with the rains, in search of better grazing areas.
Sometimes referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World, witnessing the migration is surprisingly easy as these animals are almost on a constant move, and Wildebeest and Zebra are easily seen any time of the year. Getting lucky and timing your tour with the endless sea of animals in the mega-herd is a truly breathtaking experience.
When is the Wildebeest Migration?
The migration time always varies according to the short and long rainy seasons, with certain key events like the Wildebeest calving season help shape the need to be on the move. Every year the path varies, but here is the general cycle the migration follows.
January to March
Wildebeest give birth in the grassy plains around the southeast area of the Serengeti, not far from Ngorongoro Crater. By March the calves are big and strong enough to join in the migration. This is a popular feasting time for carnivores!
April to May
The long rainy season typically occurs and the migration starts to head west. Rains can last into June and once over, the mating (rut) season begins.
June to August
From the western Serengeti, the collection of Wildebeest, Zebra, Gazelles and other grazing animals migrate north away from the grasslands and towards the woodlands, crossing the famous Grumeti River in Tanzania and Mara River on the Tanzania/Kenya border (where crocodiles await).
September to October
Sometimes lasting into November, depending when the rainy season approaches, the herd stays, and swells in numbers, in the Masai Mara of Kenya. The northern Serengeti also has huge numbers of migratory animals at this time.
November to December
As the rainy season begins down in the Serengeti, the herd begins to migrate south in search of the forthcoming bounty of fresh food in the grasslands of the Serengeti.