DCN: Cape Town to Nairobi Tour Options

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DCN: Cape Town to Nairobi Tour Options

Postby peter5232 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:15 pm

Hi,
I am researching overland trips and am trying to compare the DCN 40 day trip offered by Gadventures and the 42 Day Southern Explorer trip offered by Africa Travel Co. Has anyone had experience travelling with ATC and how does it contrast with Gadventures? I'm assuming the extra couple days would make for some slightly less crazy travel days, but I'm not sure if it is worth it. Of course, the price is much less but there's also less included with the ATC trip. What were the best excursions not included in the Gadventures trips and how much did they cost?
Any opinions anyone has on this would be welcome, I am still just in the planning stages.
Cheers,
Peter
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Re: DCN: Cape Town to Nairobi Tour Options

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:29 am

I don't know Africa Travel Co. but I looked carefully at the other trucks doing the same route from Nairobi to Jo'burg when I did it 4 years ago and none of the other trucks were as good as G Adventures. Some of them were downright awful -- tops were nothing but canvas tie-down covers with plastic (read scratched and clouded) windows.

Let's see ... best options not included with the trip ... IMO they were:

- rhino walk/elephant ride/helicopter at Victoria Falls
- evening safari at Khama Rhino Sanctuary (don't think this is on the itinerary anymore)
- mokoro ride in Okavango

YMMV.
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
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Re: DCN: Cape Town to Nairobi Tour Options

Postby laura1989 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:58 am

Hi,

I am looking to do this trip next year and was wondering if anyone did the optional Balloon ride?
Is it worth the price for an hours trip?

Laura
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Re: DCN: Cape Town to Nairobi Tour Options

Postby peter5232 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:46 pm

Thanks for the responses.

After some more research it seems the ATC trucks have sliding windows (not the crappy canvas/plastic ones), but the max capacity is 30 versus 22 for G Adventures. The ATC tour also has a driver/leader/cook (3 people) vs. driver and "CEO/cook" (2 people) for Gadv. The latter difference doesn't bother me, but the larger truck turns me off for some reason.

As far as I can see the inclusions of the G Adventures tours over some comparable ones are the Okavango Delta, Serengeti, and Zanzibar experiences, but the increase in price exceeds the add-on price for them. Where else is the value-added from a G Adventures tour?

Happy to hear from anyone weighing in with their opinions either way.
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Re: DCN: Cape Town to Nairobi Tour Options

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:53 pm

peter5232 wrote:As far as I can see the inclusions of the G Adventures tours over some comparable ones are the Okavango Delta, Serengeti, and Zanzibar experiences, but the increase in price exceeds the add-on price for them. Where else is the value-added from a G Adventures tour?

Happy to hear from anyone weighing in with their opinions either way.


I think one of the values added from G Adventures are the quality of their staff. I was quite impressed with the G Adventures staff on this trip and the subcontractors they hire. You also may want to check on the quality of the food provided by ATC -- I can say we never went hungry and the CEOs planned their menus and grocery shopping to cater to the travelers. Of course, every trip is different but we managed to fit in a pig roast in Malawi and kudu in South Africa.

Our CEO, Elbie, also seemed very good at getting us additional upgrades (e.g., bungalows on the beach in Malawi or in the mountains of Tanzania for $10/nt if we preferred them to the normal tents) and was VERY good at getting us through administrative lines extremely quickly. She seemed to be very well known in various areas -- the normal crowd of merchants getting in our faces in Zanzibar cleared out pretty quickly when they saw we were with her.

Another intangible is that I enjoy the company I'm with on G Adventures trips. There were a couple of other companies on the road who seemed to cater to college-age kids whose major desire was to get drunk and have sex across the continent -- I don't know if ATC is one of those. Our crew ranged from 18 to 40-something with people who wanted to enjoy themselves but were interested in the world at large.
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
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Re: DCN: Cape Town to Nairobi Tour Options

Postby peter5232 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:06 pm

Thanks again. My only other concern, and it's minor, is doing the trip in January. It will be rainy season in most of the countries in the middle of the trip (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi), does that take away from the experience with any opportunities for activities lost? If anyone has been travelling around that time and has any tips I'd be happy to listen.
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