Tour group make up Basic v. Classic

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Re: Tour group make up Basic v. Classic

Postby bushkid » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:23 pm

Hi Heredog,

I'll try give you some perspectives from an ex-G-Adventures guide. I specialised in their comfort tours (Dunes Delta Falls) several years ago.

You'll generally find that the groups form quite a cross-section of ages, and anything from early 20's to 70's is quite usual. Sometimes groups tend to trend younger or older, but there is no rule. Mainly luck of the draw. However, in your 40's, you'll fit in pretty well to any group.

The classic trips tend to attract slightly more "sedate" folk (no negative inference intended), and the additional comfort can be worthwhile if you can afford it. Having done 100+ overland safaris in my time, I get a little ragged setting and breaking up camp, and prefer a little more relaxed leisure time on trips, but for occasional safari trips, there's nothing quite like being really close to nature (btw, I now specialise in 4X4 trips to Botswana with rooftop tents, so I have the best of both worlds).

However, the camping trips attract more folk (hence bigger and more diverse groups), and you'll have a better chance of finding a niche. I understand G-Adventures classic trips on that route are not that well subscribed (but my info is sketchy these days).

The busses on classic trips are usually more comfortable than the trucks, but that's also a cost vs. value factor. You've got some long drives, irrespective of what level you opt for.

The only decision that you may regret is not to do the trip. Dunes Delta Falls is probably the most spectacular route you can imagine, and May/June is one of the best times of the year to do it. You'll be blown away by the sheer beauty of Namibia, the raw wildlife of Botswana, and the awesome power of Vic Falls.

Btw, you might find that the routing Cape to Vic tends to be the more rewarding direction, particularly at that time of the year.

These are just a few "quickie" comments.

Enjoy your trip!
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Re: Tour group make up Basic v. Classic

Postby gaja » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:53 pm

Hello!

Last year in December, I did the Cape Town to Windhoek part of this trip classic style (Capes and Dunes Discoverer). I'm not really a friend of camping, so I decided to treat myself with some real-house accomodation. That did not involve the two nights in Etosha though which were spent in pitched tents, but I really enjoyed it. We had braai in our campsite and at night, you could hear the lions scream.
Our group consisted of just 5 people, one around 50 and the others from their early twenies to the early thirties. The age was not an issue at all, just when we went out having a drink in Swakopmund, he decided not to join us.
I can't speak for the Botsuana & Zambia part of the trip (which is most certainly a blast), but I can tell you that the South African and Namibian part of it was really amazing!
All my posts and recommendations just represent my personal opinion and experience.
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Re: Tour group make up Basic v. Classic

Postby heredog919 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:15 pm

@gaja & @bushkid

Thank you for all of your input and advice.

We've decided to jump in with both feet and do the basic overland Livingstone to Cape Town in May- June!!!

We've booked our flights, picked up some really decent sleeping mats and are will be hoping with all of our fingers crossed that it won't rain a drop while we're outside.
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Re: Tour group make up Basic v. Classic

Postby bushkid » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:50 pm

Lol Heredog,

That's awesome! You'll fall in love with Africa, and you'll be back! I'm so jealous!

I'll be back in Botswana in 12 weeks time, but my True Love lies in Namibia. It's been about 12 months since I've been, and the Nam-bug is biting seriously! :D

Remember to use the Departure Lounge to hook up with other travellers before you go, and try to allow an extra day in Livingstone if you can. Vic Falls is too fantastic at time of year to miss out on everything you can do!

Enjoy! You're going to have a ball.
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Re: Tour group make up Basic v. Classic

Postby jessiainscough » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:10 am

I also did the Dunes Deltas and Falls trip in the summer (although I did it the other way round to what you are going to do) - and it's brilliant, you will not regret it! I was with such a great group of people ranging from ages 19-70 and we got along great. You have to go in with the right kind of attitude as things do regularly going wrong (on our trip the truck had issues on an almost daily basis and one girl and medical issues) but for me it all added to the fun of the trip. The only regret I had was that I wished I had booked the trip that went all the way up to nairobi!
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