Overland vs Specific area of Africa

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Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby worldtraveller » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:53 pm

Ok I was looking at G adventures Trips in Africa

so many to choose from.

I really like feedback from people who have done both aspects

G adventures does those Overland trips where u live in the truck and camp and travel all over and cover a huge area, but lots of sitting on truck just driving

eg Dunes, Deltas and Falls

and i was looking at just specific trips like Tanzania Encompassed that narrows it down to one specific region.

For people who have done the overland trips, did u see lots? was it fulfilling?
did u find your travel days very very long? on the travel days do they stop at places to sight see etc?
or just grinding on the road all day?

As i am looking at best bang for buck

Tanzania, encompassed looks amazing but its like $$$, where the overlands are less money and more days, so like feedback of people who have done both
your suggestions
thanks
JR
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby tletter » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:43 am

worldtraveller wrote:i was looking at just specific trips like Tanzania Encompassed that narrows it down to one specific region.

You are still covering a wide area but you are only covering part of the classic Nairobi to Cape Town overland route.

worldtraveller wrote:For people who have done the overland trips, did u see lots? was it fulfilling? did u find your travel days very very long? on the travel days do they stop at places to sight see etc? or just grinding on the road all day?

I enjoyed sitting in the truck watching the countryside pass by. I also liked the ability to move around in the truck vice the fixed in-place seating in a minibus/minivan. On days when the distances to be covered are long, generally there is little time to stop for sightseeing. However on other days you do stop if sightseeing is part of the day's itinerary.

worldtraveller wrote:Tanzania, encompassed looks amazing but its like $$$, where the overlands are less money and more days

It is expensive since you are climbing Kilimanjaro, driving to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro and finally flying to Zanzibar. By flying from Arusha to Zanzibar, you are avoiding several days of driving and the ferry trip to Zanzibar, i.e. you are paying more for this convenience.

worldtraveller wrote:i am looking at best bang for buck

Aren't we all but you must compare apples to apples. The DTTE trip speeds up part of the classic route by flying.

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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby AdamfromCanada » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:59 am

worldtraveller wrote:Ok I was looking at G adventures Trips in Africa

so many to choose from.

I really like feedback from people who have done both aspects

G adventures does those Overland trips where u live in the truck and camp and travel all over and cover a huge area, but lots of sitting on truck just driving

eg Dunes, Deltas and Falls

and i was looking at just specific trips like Tanzania Encompassed that narrows it down to one specific region.

For people who have done the overland trips, did u see lots? was it fulfilling?
did u find your travel days very very long? on the travel days do they stop at places to sight see etc?
or just grinding on the road all day?

As i am looking at best bang for buck

Tanzania, encompassed looks amazing but its like $$$, where the overlands are less money and more days, so like feedback of people who have done both
your suggestions
thanks


I've been to Africa three times, once the Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Adventure - where we were in small vehicles, the second time Dunes, Delta & Falls in the Overlander and then an overland trip mostly in Tanzania to Serengeti and Ngorongoro last year with a different tour operator.

For the long roads, the overlander is decent, because you are with the whole group and get to know most of the people on the tour. Dunes, Delta & Falls stops at some incredible places (Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Etosha, Okavango Delta, Chobe, Vic Falls...) and those places are absolutely worth seeing. Just amazing.

That said, I do not like the Overlander for wildlife viewing. It's big, awkward and loud and animals don't tend to love that. Many animals, especially antelope, run away. I found that small vehicles were much much better for wildlife and really, for any photography from the vehicle. When you have up to four people sharing a window trying to look at a lion or giraffe or elephant, it's not quite the same as a vehicle with a pop-top where you can swivel around 360 degrees.

I'm arranging to go on another East Africa safari this spring, and I'm making certain that it will be in a smaller vehicle, but then this trip will be very wildlife focussed.

In the end, the vehicle of choice should really depend what you are hoping to see and do. If you are looking to see and take pictures of animals first and foremost, then spend the extra money and avoid the Overlander. If animals are an interest, but you're more looking for some adventure, then something like DD&F is a good choice...you'll have lots more time outside the vehicle doing things like hiking Dune 45, adventure sports at Swakopmund, meeting San Bushmen in the Kalahari, and the wildlife will come at the watering holes in Etosha and from boats in the Okavango and Chobe.
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby collywobbles » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:39 pm

:D hey worldtraveller

i also did dunes deltas falls trip in the overlander and it was fab granted some days were long on the road but we did make some pitstops i agree with adamfromcanada post regarding the dune delta falls trip alot of travelling cover miles and miles but what you see it is worth it the trucks you can move around in ok it was big and noisey for the game drive but i did get quiet alot of photos from it and okay the smaller trucks are ideal for travelling on safarai for smaller wildlife but as was posted the delta is a must see the falls dune 45 fish river caynon amazing

hope this helps
cheers :)
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby DanielBMe » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:57 pm

I'm arranging to go on another East Africa safari this spring, and I'm making certain that it will be in a smaller vehicle, but then this trip will be very wildlife focussed.


Care to join me on a 4x4 self drive safari thru Botswana in July? We have room.
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby tletter » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:25 pm

I've been to Africa four times, with a 5th trip scheduled for this summer. You should be wary to the overland truck vs. small vehicle debate since there are pros and cons to both.

AdamfromCanada wrote:If you are looking to see and take pictures of animals first and foremost, then spend the extra money and avoid the Overlander


In fact, you may not always be travelling in the truck during an overland truck trip. For example, during two of our overland truck trips, we transferred to 4x4 Land Cruisers for the Serengeti/Ngorongoro visit and to a game viewing truck for Chobe. Hence you need to check out all the means of transport used during any overland trip.

Sitting in the middle seat of a three person bench in a small vehicle is not a good way to see anything. In general, it is more comfortable with the extra space that a truck provides during the inevitable long distance legs.
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby AdamfromCanada » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:02 pm

DanielBMe wrote:
I'm arranging to go on another East Africa safari this spring, and I'm making certain that it will be in a smaller vehicle, but then this trip will be very wildlife focussed.


Care to join me on a 4x4 self drive safari thru Botswana in July? We have room.


Thanks! Sounds awesome...but we're going to be in Kenya in May. Trying to set up my own itinerary there and possibly see Amboseli National Park, which I haven't visited in either of my trips and Lake Nakuru, which I did visit the first time I was there. Looking forward to returning and seeing how much better photos I can get than in 2007 when I was just starting out with my first DSLR.

Botswana is a country I'd love to get back to and see more of though...Ahhh...next time.
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby worldtraveller » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:46 pm

When all of your did your overland trip, what was the demographic of passengers, age and type

was the camping by the truck every night a good way to experience africa?

What overland trips combine safaris with them as well.

What was the highlight of your overland trip?

this is a tough decision as africa has so much to see and so big, i am nervous to make a decision on this or where to start
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby AdamfromCanada » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:04 pm

worldtraveller wrote:When all of your did your overland trip, what was the demographic of passengers, age and type

was the camping by the truck every night a good way to experience africa?

What overland trips combine safaris with them as well.

What was the highlight of your overland trip?

this is a tough decision as africa has so much to see and so big, i am nervous to make a decision on this or where to start


For what overland trips combine safaris, you'd really have to read the trip notes on the tours that catch your interest. There's just too many to count.

As I said, I've done two overland trips, one with GAP - Dunes, Delta & Falls.

Camping is a great way to experience Africa, especially since the hotels in a lot of the remote areas aren't exactly going to be luxurious, and the tents are quick, easy and inexpensive (if you choose a comfort level trip, you'll stay in hotels more often, but pay a lot more).

Africa is very big, so the best question for you is what are you interested in seeing and doing most? What's the important things on your tour? Are their specific animals you want to see (as there are many that are only found in one region)? Specific sites?

Both the overland trips I've been on have had a good mix when it comes to demographics, with everything from an 18-year old from the UK to a 76-year old New Zealander. On the four group tours I've done, 3 with G Adventures, there has been all of one person I didn't get along very well with, and it was easy enough to avoid confrontation. I didn't add him or his girlfriend to Facebook when I got home, but I'm in contact with a large number of the people I've travelled with to this day, including having one couple that I travelled in Africa with in 2007 attend my wedding this past summer. Group travel tends to bring together a lot of people who have at least a couple interests in common and who are sharing a pretty spectacular experience, which really helps everyone bond pretty quickly. This coming spring, we're having a reunion with several of the people from our Dunes, Delta & Falls tour, since we'll be in England where a bunch of them live.

The highlights of Dunes, Delta & Falls are almost too many to list. Seeing desert elephants near Twyfelfontein, Fish River Canyon, hiking Dune 45 and walking to Dead Vlei, staying up exceptionally late watching the waterholes in Etosha, EVERYTHING about the Okavango River Delta including walks where we were within a short distance from giraffes, zebras and elephants, hiking Waterberg Plateau and worrying that there might be snakes with every step. Seeing two sable antelope in Chobe, riding elephants at Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Victoria Falls...it is an incredible trip.

And as tletter says, there are times where you aren't in the big vehicle. We did an optional game drive in Chobe where we were in an open-top vehicle. This was much better than the Overlander in my opinion. I didn't think it was a very good safari vehicle in Etosha NP, or in Serengeti (where my other Overland trip went), but even on that second trip, we had pop-top jeeps for the Ngorongoro Crater (because the Overlanders can't take the steep roads in and out of the Crater and aren't allowed down!)

I hope that's helpful.
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby worldtraveller » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:43 pm

Thanks all for your feedback, Well your right Africa is big. I think i will start with the Tanzania encompassed and do the traditional safari, and climb kilimanjaro

i might reconsider zanzibar.

but i will look into doing maybe time in other country afterwards
such as Gorillas in Rwanda, or fly to Victoria falls.

however i will look at Overland trip as well, as the cost is more bang for buck, but different trip all together

The dunes trip u all mentioned looks amazing, looks like i might be doing several trips to africa over next few years. to be fulfilled.
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby worldtraveller » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:48 pm

Just for everyones opinion for the Tanzania Encompassed code is DTTE

I like your opinions on the safari portion of it.

Do you think that would be a fulfilling enough time for a safari in that area. Enough time to see some of the main animals? as a bare minimum?

Suggestions please
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby IncaTrail50 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:00 pm

Just my opinion but this past July my husband and I did DKTW and found the Kenya portion to be far superior in terms of game viewing. We chose that trip because we felt we had to see Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge, and Serengeti in Tanzania, and also wanted to see Kenya, but the comparison to Kenya was profound. Although Lake Manyara had blue monkeys not found in the other parks, that was about all we saw there. The Serengeti had lots of herds of animals but we felt it was a long time (15-20 minutes) between animal sightings. Ngorongoro also had lots of animals but a lot of time between sightings. We did see a few animals and birds there that we had not seen elsewhere. By contrast, in the Masai Mara we were less than five minutes between animals. Samburu in Kenya had loads of animals including the "Northern Five" that are only found in northern Kenya. Lake Nakuru in Kenya had hundreds of birds and we were able to walk quite close to them, whereas the water at Lake Manyara was too far away to even see let alone walk anywhere near. We also saw lions in trees at Lake Nakuru although that park is not known for them! In Kenya we saw four leopards and only one in Tanzania.
My opinion might be to take in the Kenya portion and add a Kili climb, but only if you can go to Samburu, it was an awesome park!
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby markmol » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:52 am

hi, i just got back from Tanzania & the serengiti is teaming with animals at the moment, we saw 6 leopards, heards of 150 to 200 elephants, wilderbeast & Zebra as far as the eye could see, loins cub walking down the road, many hippos & lots of birds. Ngorongoro we saw 8 Rhinos, bull elephants fighting, lots of buffalo, hippos the list goes on, yet in the parks in Kenya we did not see much at all, so do your research on the migration & find out what is the best area to travel to o when you are planning your trip. We also went to Uganda & went to the gorillas, highly recommend you go & see them
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby AdamfromCanada » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:26 pm

markmol wrote:hi, i just got back from Tanzania & the serengiti is teaming with animals at the moment, we saw 6 leopards, heards of 150 to 200 elephants, wilderbeast & Zebra as far as the eye could see, loins cub walking down the road, many hippos & lots of birds. Ngorongoro we saw 8 Rhinos, bull elephants fighting, lots of buffalo, hippos the list goes on, yet in the parks in Kenya we did not see much at all, so do your research on the migration & find out what is the best area to travel to o when you are planning your trip. We also went to Uganda & went to the gorillas, highly recommend you go & see them


I think wildlife viewing is part timing (at certain points in the year, there's more in some areas - for example the wildebeest migration is in Masai Mara in August-October, in the southern Serengeti in February) and part sheer luck.

On my first trip to Africa, I saw several cheetahs, including a mom who'd just killed a gazelle calling her cub out to her. We saw a few in Masai Mara, and then several more in Serengeti. However, in my next two trips, I didn't see a single one. Leopards are notoriously hard to find, but I've seen 8 in my three trips.

I'm surprised to hear that anyone had much time between animals in Ngorongoro, as the Crater is such a small space that the two times I've visited, it's been pretty much constant that there's animals around. The animals seem almost too accustomed to cars and people (lions moving to sit in the shade from vehicles), as compared to some of the other parks. Serengeti is massive, so it can be a bit between wildlife sightings at times, but it's a pretty spectacular place. Having a quick look at the DTTE itinerary, I think you'd likely see most of the big animals between Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Definitely look up things like the wildebeest migration when you know what time you want to travel, because it will make a difference as to the amount of wildlife you see. While there's resident animals in most spots, the wildebeest bring out the predators, since there's such a huge amount of readily available food.

http://www.ultimateafrica.com/travel/Wildebeest_migration.html

Unless you're pretty unlucky, whenever you go, you'll see elephants, giraffes, zebra, buffalo, and most other large grazers. Lions are pretty likely as well, while the other cats are a little harder to find. Crocs and hippos are pretty predictable as to where they're found so you should see them too. Hyenas, jackals are pretty plentiful. Rhinos are only in certain spots - Ngorongoro has black rhinos. Lake Nakuru in Kenya has white rhinos. I don't think there are any in Serengeti or Masai Mara.
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Re: Overland vs Specific area of Africa

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:21 pm

I loved the overland trip I took in June 2009. It's a great way to cover a lot of ground and see a wide variety of Africa but as Adam says, the overland truck is not what you want to view wildlife from. OTOH, the overland trips shift you to 8-person safari vehicles for most of the safaris (Serengeti/Ngorongoro, Zambia, Botswana, etc.).

We had a wide variety of ages on our overland tour from a few 18- and 19-year olds to half a dozen that were 22 or 23 to one or two of us that were 40+. The vast majority were late 20s to early 30s.

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