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So many overland companies! Is there a difference?

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So many overland companies! Is there a difference?

Help! Im planning a 4-5 week trip to Southern Africa in August and as part of that itinerary want to do a 19-20ish day overland trip from Cape Town to Victoria Falls (or reverse). There are so many tour operators that offer very similar itineraries for this route at relatively comparable prices. I've looked at Dragoman, G Adventures, Intrepid, African Overland Tours, among others. I usually travel independently but as this is a solo trip and my first to Africa, I feel more comfortable going with an organized group. Is there a difference with these companies or can I expect similar experience with all of them? Thanks Forum friends!

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1. Re: So many overland companies! Is there a difference?

Im in the same boat - I generally treavel solo too. But have been looking for a company who do small group tours - from Windhoek back to Windhoek. Can anyone help me with this please ? I tried a couple of UK companies too, but if they do one site, they miss the next one.

will keep you posted if I come across something different. have contacted a friend in Jo'burg, to connect me to a tour operator. If i get anything worthwhile - Ill post it on this.

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2. Re: So many overland companies! Is there a difference?

Try also Nomad adventure tours.I think its a lottery situation.They all offer similar tours,but you could be lucky meeting with a lovely travelling companion and coincide with a great guide.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: So many overland companies! Is there a difference?

I think make sure they are licensed and registered businesses with the countries they deal in, check reviews on Trip Adviser and get their terms and conditions policy. If none forthcoming drop them .Of course if a group tour there is no recourse if the members of the group are not to your liking.

Ask for details of the type of vehicle , seating etc. whether Air Con, and accommodation specifics as well. Have seen a few group tour vehicles in Namibia and one in Botswana which look like some monstrosity out of a Mad Max Movie. The group looked decidedly unhappy !

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: So many overland companies! Is there a difference?

Nomad is reasonably priced but you are taking some risks with them. To me, not worth the risk. We followed the tour guides instructions to leave our luggage in locked lockers in the truck. He assured us it would be safe.

Unbeknownst to us there had been previous breakins at this location. Our luggage was stolen. The insurance company claimed the truck had been "abandoned" at the location overnight. Nomad executives were totally indifferent and unhelpful. And reading the reviews, thefts happened again a few months later on a Nomad trip in that area.

So if you use Nomad be careful and don't believe everything they tell you. Our bad experience was in Botswana on the Capetown to Vic Falls trip.

Also our food was poor, very limited quantities and very little protein.

West Kelowna, Canada
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5. Re: So many overland companies! Is there a difference?

I would pay close attention to how many people are on the tour. Also how long do you spend in the parks to see wildlife.

When we did our trip we went with Sunway and they are a South African owned company. They were great but expensive. Most the companies I had looked at had way too many people on them. When we hit Victoria Falls we saw a huge bus with about 40 people on it. When we spoke to some of the people on board they hadn't done much game viewing it was more like a bus trip across Africa.

I would not suggest driving yourself in the game parks. Having a guide is valuable because they are great at spotting wildlife. Also they stay in contact with each other on the radio so if one vehicle spots something interesting they tell everyone else where it is.

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