Overland Info: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am a single traveler - is this OK?

A. You don't have to worry about the fact that you are traveling alone. We also have a lot of single travelers. The great thing about these trips is that you are in a group so you won't feel alone at all. On most African overland safaris there are no single supplement.

Q. Is there an age limit on overland tours?

A. With regards to age limits, we have had younger and older passengers travel with us without any problem. We just ask that you are fit enough as we have participation trips. Most trip are only open to participants aged 18 and older, but we also have a number of family overland tours for persons aged 6 to 17 years travelling with their parents. You will be required to put up & down your own tent, help out the cook with cooking & cleaning duties and do security. You will need to be able to climb the ladder steps to get on & off the overland truck. Passengers over 60 years are required to have a medical certificate.

Q. What ages frequent overland tours?

A. All overland tours are suitable for travellers aged 18 and older and usually not an upper age limit. Our average age is 18 - 35 years, however we welcome any adventurous traveller who is keen to explore by overland tour! You will need to have a reasonable fitness, be a keen camper and have a good sense of adventure. For travellers aged 60 and older, we do request a signed Passenger Indemnity form and Medical Certificate from your Doctor confirming you are medically fit for this type of tour.

Q. What are Family Trips?

A. We have selected trips which are classified as Family Trips. Family trips are trips where we welcome children aged 6-17 years travelling with their parents on tour. Please note children will be occupying a seat on the Overland Truck, therefore they pay full price. Parents must be aware that travellers aged 18 years and older will still frequent the trip and the tour is a participation Overland tour.

Q. When is the best time to travel to Africa?

A. East Africa straddles the equator but remember it is a misconception that everywhere on the Equator is hot. Generally the short rains arrive in October & November when there is a pounding of rain most afternoons before the sun shines brightly again. These rains are not too inconvenient whilst traveling, but it is the endless long rains from February to March when you might want to avoid traveling in East Africa. It's not much fun rolling up a wet tent every morning. Summer below the equator is from November to February when most days are clear and sunny.

The tropical coast of Mozambique gets a pounding of rain in February and March and this is not the best time to travel there,(therefore I Mozambique trips run May-Nov only), whilst the Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe and Zambia becomes excessively hot during October and November before the onset of the mild and cooling rains.

Botswana and Namibia receive little rain but can get hot in summer and surprisingly cold in winter. These are desert regions, and like all deserts temperatures drop sharply at night. Camping out in the depths of winter here, July through to August can be quite chilly.

South Africa has a moderate climate all year round though Cape Town is wet and windy in the depths of winter when Table Mountain spends most of its time under cloud, and Johannesburg gets a pounding of dramatic electrical storms over summer. Remember this is a guideline only as weather conditions can't be guaranteed!

Q. I want to see the Migration, when should I travel?

A. The Migration follows a general pattern, however being wild animals, the exact location cannot be guaranteed. Herewith a guideline as the the pattern they have been following in the past years. We also recommend you read up on this if your trip is planned around this amazing event!

December to February: Serengeti region: Wildebeest 'smell rain', graze and in February give birth.

March to May/June: Lake Victoria region: Animals follow rains along Western Corridor to Lake Victoria region

July to August: Mara region: Animals head East to the Mara region for grazing. Lake Nakuru in Kenya is known for its fantastic Flamingo colony.

Q. Where can you see a lake of Pink Flamingoes?

A. Pink Flamingoes can be seen seasonally at Walvis Bay in Namibia; Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and year round in Lake Nakuru in Kenya.

Q. How close do you really get to the Mountain Gorillas?

A. The 'official' policy is that you are not allowed to get closer than 7metres from them, However - we have had groups that have had a Silverback nearly in their laps. They are inquisitive by nature & it is not unusual for them to appraoch humans.

Q. There are many Overland trucks travelling through Africa, how do I make the right choice?

A. There are a lot of Overland companies out there in Africa offering similar experiences. Mostly the trucks run a similar route, but depart on different days, so you will probably see trucks on the road or at your campsite, irrelevant of who you choose to travel with. On choosing an Overland company, at the end of the day you get what you pay for, so always check what's included and what's not.

Q. What else must I pay for besides the tour cost?

A. LOCAL PAYMENT: The Local Payment or sometimes referred to as the Kitty, forms part of your total trip cost and is used to make payments by your Tour Leader whilst on tour - covering items like Fresh Products, camp fees and Park Entrance fees. The Local payment is paid to your Tour Leader at the Pre departure meeting, so you don't have to carry it with you and worry about it. Therefore we require Local payment to be paid in US$ cash only.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: These are activities, which are available for you to do along the way on the tour, but are not compulsory. This is why we have not included them in the tour cost. The Optional activities must be booked & paid for along the way and suggested form of payment is US$ cash. Sometimes you can pay by Travelers Cheques or Credit card, however the surcharges, particularly in East Africa can be very high, sometimes up to 14% for Credit Card!

Please note however: The Serengeti / Ngorongoro Crater and the Okavango Delta Mokoro Optional excursion can be paid in US$ Travelers Cheques or US$ cash. Please note there is now a 5% Travellers Cheque commission charge to pay for the Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater trip.

DAILY SPENDING: We also recommend a guideline of about US$ 25 to US$ 30 per person for spending money daily to cover things like Bottled water, Refreshments, Curios, drinks and any meals not specified in the itinerary. Of course this amount varies depending on how much of a curio shopper and drinker you are!!

Q. Must I bring a Sleeping Bag & Sleeping Mat on tour?

YES! We provide 2 man tents and camping equipment, but you need to bring along your own Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Mat. These are not provided for health reasons.

Q. I enjoy walking/hiking, where will I have an opportunity to hike on tour?

A. There will be opportunity along the way to do walking and hiking as follows:

Namibia - Sossusvlei: Walking up the sand dune - Dune 45 over 100metres high.

Malawi - Livingstonia Mission - (a Mission village 600m above Lake Malawi) is about a 10-hour hike for those eager feet who would rather be active than relax on the shores of Lake Malawi.

Gorilla Trekking: - for overland safaris that include this option - trek ranges from 2 hours to 8 hours depending on location of Gorillas and fitness.

Q. Must I get a Yellow Fever Vaccinnation?

A. YES if you are visiting Kenya, Tanzania or Zambia, or have recently visited an Yellow Fever region in the world. You will not be allowed on the ferry to Zanzibar if you don't have a Yellow Fever Vaccination card and some of the countries in Southern Africa will not let you in without a card if you are coming from a Yellow Fever endemic area. It is strongly advised to have a Yellow Fever Vaccinnation if you are visiting any East African countries. Remember to bring along your International Vaccinnation card as proof of your vaccinnations.

Q. Who is responsible for my visas?

A. You are responsible for your own visa's. Please take note that if you require visa's for South Africa, Namibia or Botswana then we often enter these countries more than once on a tour. Check the itinerary of your tour carefully and if you need a multiple entry visa be sure to get one.

Q. How do I charge my batteries for my camera/ipod/laptop?

A. We recommend you bring along 2 sets of rechargeable batteries + 2 sets of normal batteries, so you can be guaranteed of having working batteries at all times. Some of the campsites will have electricity points (bring along an international converter plug) where you can recharge your batteries. If you know you take alot of photos, then rather spend a bit more on buying an extra card with a high storage capacity and bring along extra batteries.

Q. Will there be Internet access on the road?

A. Internet access in Africa is slowly increasing, however intenet access speed can still be very slow. Remember to tell those at home eagerly awaiting emails, that you might often be on the road 5-7 days between emailing! There are not going to be many places where you can download photos, as this is normally only possible in big cities at Internet cafes with fast connections, so bring along an extra card for your digital camera if you like taking lots of photos! Internet Cafes can be found in Nairobi, Arusha, Zanzibar, Victoria Falls, Maun, Swakopmund and Cape Town.