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obersee1 Aug 7th, 2008 02:07 PM

Who has done an overland tour from Cape Town to V. Falls?
I'm seriously considering an overland tour, camping all nights in 2 person tents, leaving Cape Town, going up through Namibia, Botswana, and ending in Victoria Falls. The more research I do the more confused I become and would greatly appreciate feedback from someone that has done an overland tour on this route, or very similar route. What tour company do you recommend? Go2africa seems like a good tour company. How are tours different across companies (Intrepid, GAP, etc.) that all have similar itineraries and prices? Are you all ultimately placed with the same local outfitter? How hard is this to do as a single female traveler sharing a tent with someone else and being stuck with a group for 3 weeks? What ages and group dynamics have you experienced on this type of tour? I never take tours and always do my own thing. But there doesn't seem to be any other way to have this authentic of an experience at an affordable price and see all these places in 3 weeks. Would greatly appreciate feedback from those that have done it. I am afraid I will go crazy not having a single second of solitude for 3 weeks, but really want to do this. Please advise, thanks!

mkhonzo Aug 8th, 2008 04:58 AM

You ask many questions that only you can answer.
Being couped up in a vehicle for three weeks with thirty strangers is a challenge set aside for a special brand of traveller. The degree of difficulty is only dictated by your personality and ability to cope with myriad personalities and interactions.

Those trucks are cramped, the tents are small and the days are long... I f you can endure that then the places that you pass through will come alive and you will see many sights at a price that many would die for.

Generally these overland trips attract the young at heart. I have seen many come and go and have always felt a pang of jealousy at the truck load of youthful testosterone and excitement of the adventure. There is no luxury, however that is why many choose this method of travel. It is raw, it is rough, it is something of a pioneering experience that will have highs and lows.

If you need names of other outfitters I will be happy to make suggestions, however what you have already causes confusion, so best you muddle through those first. I would suggest isolating the place you want to see and then finding the tour that meets those needs.

Kavey Aug 8th, 2008 05:45 AM

Whether or not overlanding is for you or not is a question only you can answer.

I know that it is not for me but my younger sister did a number of overlanding trips of this nature when she was younger and thoroughly enjoyed them, though she didn't do the route you are considering.

My main comment is that 3 weeks to cover Cape Town through Namibia, Botswana and all the way to Victoria Falls is a tight schedule and it suggests to me that you'll be spending a heck of a lot of time in the truck, driving and not very much time stopping to explore each place on the way. These are some hefty distances we're talking about.

It might be worthwhile to either consider a longer trip covering the same ground or a trip of similar duration concentrating on a smaller area.

As for the mix of people, it's all down to luck. Sometimes you can end up with a great group - my sister has made some lifelong friends on overlanding trips. And other times there can be far too many people who get aggressively on your nerves.

Lynneb Aug 8th, 2008 06:30 AM

I've done a 3 month overlanding trip in South America and I second the points that mkhonzo makes.

With regard to tent sharing, if there's a good leader they usually ensure that people can swap around if there are particularly difficult people.

South America was easier because we stopped in lots of cities or towns where we could take a break from camping and also get away from the group!

The plus side of your planned Africa trip is that it is only 3 weeks of overlanding!

You might also want to look at:

These are small group tours rather than overlanding and will be more comfortable and mixed ages. I've done lots of small group tours and found them a good value way of travelling alone.

Lynneb Aug 8th, 2008 06:35 AM

Just found this one but it's a lot of driving...

Another one here...

I think Kavey is right regarding the distances. The scenery will be great but you are going to be stuck in the vehicle for a lot of the time. I've done a couple of amazing Namibia trips and we did have to cover huge distances. I didn't have the vacation time to go for longer so had no choice but would love to have been able to stop more.

laughternlife Aug 8th, 2008 02:55 PM

Hello, I was in the same postion as you a few months ago (28, single female traveller). There is so much to consider and if the trip and conditions are right for you, well only you will know. I decided this was the only way for me to see part of Africa, both finacially and for the experience.

I ended up booking through Africa Acacia for next January. It is the same route but I have an extra 6 days added from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls. I chose this company because they do run the tour themself instead of contracting it out. As well they showed the trucks and supplies right in the brochure.

My suggestion is to email the company directly and ask all the questions you can think of.

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