Since returning home from my three week overland tour with Nomad Adventure Tours I figured those who are considering traveling to Africa in the same manner I did may benefit from a short guide to overlanding in Africa. The following fifteen points are things that the brochure or pre-departure guide don’t tell you about overlanding in Africa, but are really helpful tips or things to consider before committing to a lengthy trip on the road with any overland tour company.
1. Waking up at 7:00am is considered sleeping in – and after a few days you won’t be able to sleep past 6am.
3. Speaking of dust- your nose will become so sore from the dust drying it out- you’ll be sniffling all day and night. Tiger balm will become your friend.
4. Also on the topic of dust- your skin will become stupidly dry. Moisturizer will become your best friend.
5. On the first few days seeing springbok, ostrich and oryx is really cool and you’ll ask the driver to stop the truck so you can get 20 more pictures of them. After a few days you won’t even care and you’ll be deleting hundreds of pictures you have of them to make room for new sights.
7. At meal time, make sure everyone (including guides and drivers) has gone up for food before you go for seconds. Common courtesy.
8. Even if you’ve never camped before, within a few days you will be able to put up and take down your tent in less than 5min.
9. Bring your own toilet paper– helps with peeing in bushes and at many of the toilet stops along the way that don’t provide any.
11. Walking barefoot is not advisable– there are thorns, scorpions, snakes and more things that can hurt.
12. If anyone asks you if you’d like an African massage – they’re referring to the ridiculously bumpy roads.
13. When you reach a stop that has WIFI (particularly if it’s free) don’t be surprised if everyone whips out their smartphones, tablets and laptops quicker than a junkie getting his heroin fix! At these times your entire tour group will be sitting together all in their own technological worlds.
15. Be prepared to help out! Sign up for a tour that will suit your needs. If you don’t like helping out with meal preparations or cleaning up afterward, don’t go on a camping tour!
Have you been overlanding in Africa? Do you have any tips that could be helpful to future overland travellers?