What is African Overlanding?

What exactly is overlanding in Africa?

Overlanding in Southern and East Africa is a life changing journey that brings together adventure, cultural immersion, and the raw beauty of the African wilderness and it’s wildlife.

Unlike traditional safaris, overlanding involves travelling in a specially equipped vehicle with a group of like-minded explorers, crossing diverse landscapes from the plains of the Serengeti to the sublime dunes of Namibia.

These group scheduled tours offer an incredible opportunity to experience Africa’s “must see” highlights and it’s hidden gems, camp under starry skies, and connect with local communities, all while making lifelong friendships with fellow adventures.  These overland tours allow you to relax while someone else handles the navigating, the driving, the cooking and all the other responsibilities that you could do without, while maximising your time soaking up all the amazing experiences on offer!

Whether you’re looking for breathtaking wildlife encounters, mind-blowing scenery, or a chance to step out of your life as you know it, overlanding in Africa is the perfect way to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Travelling through Africa in a purpose built overland truck

All overland trucks are custom-built 4×4 high clearance comfortable vehicles that are built to endure the tough African roads and are self-sufficient to carry everything you need for your African overland tour; food, camping gear, tents, chairs, cutlery and even the kitchen sink!

Most overland tours are limited participation tours where travellers pitch and break down their own tents and help out at mealtimes on a rotational basis.  On standard accommodated overland tours, guests will stay in accommodation, rather than camping.  On the premium accommodated tours, travellers will not need to participate in the cooking and cleaning.

We have a range of camping and accommodated (bedded) tours, small group or larger group tours and younger or older group tours, to suit your travel needs and budget.

We have a select range of small group bedded tours which include an additional crew member, giving you time to sit back, relax and enjoy your vacation.

Sleeping mats and / or stretcher beds are included on select camping tours – be sure to ask based on your chosen tour. All you need to bring is your own sleeping bag (only on camping tours), pillow, towel, clothing, cash and your passport.

What is an Overland Tour in Africa like?

Overlanding in Africa is a popular way to explore the continent, and it typically involves travelling in a specially designed truck or vehicle with a group of fellow travellers and a tour guide.

Here’s what you can expect from overlanding in Africa:

  • Adventure and exploration: Overlanding in Africa is all about adventure and exploration. You’ll be travelling to remote destinations, camping in the wilderness, and experiencing the beauty and wildlife of the continent up close.
  • Flexibility: Overlanding tours in Africa are designed to be flexible, so you can expect to have some input into the itinerary and activities. You’ll also have the chance to take part in optional activities like hiking, cultural experiences, and wildlife encounters.
  • Camping or Accommodated options: Camping is a popular accommodation option on overland tours, and you’ll typically stay in tents at designated campsites. Campsites may have basic facilities like showers and toilets, but may not have electricity or other amenities. The accommodated tours allow for you to sleep in a bed at night (sometimes in a permanent tent or hut or lodge).
  • Group travel: Overlanding tours typically involve travelling in a group, which can be a great way to meet new people and make friends from all over the world. However, keep in mind that you’ll be spending a lot of time with your fellow travellers, so it’s important to be prepared for a communal living experience.
  • Local experiences: Overlanding tours often focus on local experiences, like visiting local villages, trying traditional foods, and learning about local cultures and customs. This can be a great way to get a deeper understanding of the places you’re visiting and the people who live there.

Overall, Overlanding in Africa is an exciting and adventurous way to explore the continent. It’s ideal for travellers who are looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience and who are willing to rough it a bit to have unforgettable experiences.

Due to the distances covered to see the highlights, there are a mixture of long and short driving days. It can be exhausting and thus an element of fitness is required. The upside is that you get to explore remote regions that are difficult to travel to. It isn’t for everyone so please speak to your consultant to make sure you are up for the adventure.

Read More:

What is an African Safari

What is a Camping Safari (vs Accommodated vs Small Group)

Adventure Travel in Comfort

What kind of Food do we Eat

What is the difference between overlanding and camping?

Overlanding and camping are sometimes presumed to be the same, however, Overland trips can use accommodation at campsites or any other area that they arrive at. Overlanding focuses on the Journey rather than the campsite that you are staying at. The overland/journey is THE adventure.

Is Overlanding for me?

A past traveller Annette Noratli summed up travelling through Africa overland with this beautiful article about how life on the Road is Africa. 

Are you ready?  Africa is waiting!

Here, our Founder, Andrew Walton shares his incredible experience about how his overland tour to Africa changed his life.

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