Thinking of exploring one of the most magical continents but not sure of which tour company to go with? I was in the exact same position last year, and as an ex travel agent I was overwhelmed with the options, so I buckled down and did my research.
On recommendation from a friend I looked up Absolute Africa online, and it wasn’t long before I booked my partner and I on a budget overland 52 day safari from Kenya to South Africa. It was the most epic, incredible and adventurous trip of my life and I honestly couldn’t fault the company at all.
What to expect (think the magic school bus kind of excursion)
If you’re not into camping and don’t fancy long days on a big yellow truck then this isn’t for you, but If you are after a budget, unique and truly unforgettable experience and don’t mind getting a little dirty then look no further. The groups are varying in ages (ours was 18 - 45) and sizes (we had between 14 - 26) as some people do different sections of the trip.
Driving days are long, up with the sun around 5am packing down the tents and packing up the truck, long exciting day drives stopping for lunch on the road and a spot of grocery shopping for the nights meal. Arriving at each camp in the late afternoon, setting up the tents before the vibrant sunset sinks into darkness, sitting around the camp fire swapping stories, driving wine and all contributing to making a meal, cleaning up and tidying the truck!
Some places you are lucky enough to stay for a few days where you can relax, unwind and enjoy the magic. There is lots of optional excursions and experiences that you can pick and choose depending on your budget. The camping spots generally offer an upgrade option if you have some spare cash and need a real bed and a hot shower for the night. However more often than not the camping showers do offer luke warm water and clean enough facilities.
What to pack
- Head torch (invest in a good one that will last you)
- Warm sleeping back (buy a blanket and a pillow when you get there)
- A warm jacket
- A plastic cup, plate and some cutlery
- Your passport and yellow fever booklet
- Some american dollars ( theres a safe in the truck)
- #activewear for those big walks and safaris (especially a hat)
- A good camera (I am kicking myself I didn’t have a go pro)
- A washing line and some pegs (or you can borrow others or use the camps)
- Swimmers and towel
- Deet mosquito repellant ( get ateast 60%) and malaria tablets
- TRAVEL INSURANCE head to compare the market to find one that suits you!
4 Wheel safari in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.
Island life on Zanzibar, Tanzania.
House boating on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.
Walking with Lions in Zimbabwe.
Microlight flight over Victoria Falls and swimming in Angel’s pool, Zimbabwe.
Camping and poling in the Delta, Botswana.
Watching and waiting by the waterholes in Etosha National Park, Namibia.
Sleeping under the stars at Spitzkoppe, Namibia.
Dawn at Dune 45 and discovering Deadvlei, Namibia.
Swimming with Sharks and climbing Cape Town’s mountains, South Africa.
If you start or end your trip in Cape town I would highly recommend extending your stay at least a week as there is so much to see and do! It is one of the most breathtaking and adventurous cities I have ever visited! Using Air BNB and Uber worked a treat for us here and made it feel a lot safer.
Pack a bag and get going for an unforgettable and magical experience.
For any more info head over to my journal or contact me via email.