Overseas Adventure Tours

Aug 17th, 2011, 01:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2
Overseas Adventure Tours

We are thinking of traveling with Overseas Adventure Tours on their Safari Serengeti: Tanzania and Tented Safari on 02/03/2012. Has anyone gone on this trip? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Also, if any one has thoughts on another tour company it would be great. There are so many companies out there any help would be appreciated. We are in our mid 50's and would like a tour that includes hiking rather than just riding.
nance526 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Here are some OAT discussions.

Contains more links about OAT

OAT discussed

Ended up with Good Earth

The basic OAT trip does not do much hiking. The gorilla trek extension would be a lot of hiking. The Kili foothills extension might have some walking, not climbing the mountain.

This trip does more walking.

Green Footprints started out as a walking safari company in Tanzania

Generally a Tanzania safari does not have a lot of walking. Here are some opportunities that most companies could arrange for you.

Arusha National Park--walk and canoe

Tarangire--you can walk outside the park in some spots. Oliver's Camp does walking safaris in Tarangire

Manyara--you can canoe, mountain bike and do some walking near this park

Ngorongoro--You can hike in Olmoti Crater or along the rim of Ngorongoro Crater

Gibb's Farm near crater and Manyara--You can walk on their property, a coffee plantation

Serengeti--There are buffer zones where you can walk with an escort, I think. Not sure just where the actual walking takes place.

Kili--you can climb Kili if you allot several days or do walks on the private concessions in West Kili.

If you'd like a bird walk around camp during down time to stretch your legs, let your agent know in the planning stages and that can be arranged most places.

In general you'll see more wildlife from the vehicle than on foot.

If planning on Feb or March, you'd want to go the Southern Serengeti where the migration should be that time of year. The limited lodging in that region means rooms fill quickly so don't delay for this Feb.

Hard to beat OAT prices, even if they don't do walking.

The places noted for exceptional walking safaris, with opportunities for driving as well, are Zambia and Zimbabwe. Feb not the best time there, though.
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 02:16 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
OAT is grand circle travel no Africa expertise

lots of complaints related to getting refunds

insuremytrip.com always wise if you go with them

giant groups hiking not great

www.porini.com LOCAL expertise lots better

But if on a tight budget

travelzoo.com great sale packages with www.friendlyplanet.com

www.smartours.com NYC based but BBB.org A+ rated

Careful many touts scammers on the boards including your

thread stick with reputable providers always pay with

CC/Paypal and never wire money.

Happy Planning!
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 02:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/grand_circle.html -
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 02:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
www.tucantravel.com small group budget tours #1 in UK for Africa

Happy Travels!
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Qwovadis, your information about OAT is incorrect. To quote from Thomson Safaris website:

"In 1978, Judi Wineland founded Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), one of the nation's pioneering adventure travel companies. She teamed up with Rick in 1981 to form Thomson Safaris, and their safaris became an essential part of OAT's success. Judi sold OAT several years ago to take a more active role in Thomson Safaris and concentrate once again on her first love: Tanzania."

OAT was purchased by Grand Circle, but is run separately. They have a staff "on the ground" in each area where they operate (not the outfitters, which are separate.) The Boston office can be difficult at times, but I've found that everyone on location to be of top quality. That doesn't mean that OAT hasn't had complaints, but any travel organization that large will have its share. If an American is looking to go to Africa on a budget, their trips aren't too bad. They get special rates on airfare which is included in the cost, so that's attractive to budget-minded travelers.

You also keep posting to not wire funds to African outfitters. That's almost impossible, as most don't accept credit cards and there are restrictions on using PayPal for overseas transactions. For instance, Tanzania is not on the list of countries where you can send money. If a person is going to book directly with an outfitter, they should do their homework and determine if the company is legitimate. After that, they should expect to make their payments via wire transfer. If they are uncomfortable doing that, they should use a local safari planner (who will then be making that wire transfer!)

As always, travelers should get travel insurance, especially medevac coverage. I use the website you list... great place to compare policies and make the purchase. Some travel companies such as OAT also sell insurance and may have an added benefit over a "public" policy. It would be good to compare before purchasing.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,466
Thanks ShayTay .

Good info and good correction on qwovadis
Percy is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Ditto! Thanks Sharon!

Gets tiring, reading some of qwovadis' comments.

With few exceptions, payment for safaris to Kenya or Tanzania cannot be done by credit card (or pay a nice fee on top of the base cost); fund are wired to East Africa. And, as far as PayPal... well, that's too long to go into.

So, it's wire transfers or carrying a chunk of cash to pay on site if the outfitter will accept this.
sandi is offline  
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