If you’re looking for adventure, an opportunity to travel with like-minded travellers and to get off the beaten track then this type of trip is for you! We will sometimes be covering long distances over a period of a few days but will then most often be camped up for a few days with opportunities for adventure activities, visiting local communities, time in a town or city to chill out or wildlife viewing experiences. The roads are sometimes bumpy and you need to expect the unexpected! This type of travel is through regions where things can change and experiences are more important than luxury – borders sometimes close and there may not always be hot water in the showers! You will generally be camping out under the stars, sometimes out in the bush, but generally more on campsites. (Our South America and Central Asia trips also use small locally-run hostels and guest houses). The trips are fully participative so you will be involved shopping for food in local markets, cooking for your group (on a rota system), collecting water and setting up camp. If you’re not confident about doing any of these things beforehand, don’t worry our crew are there to help you and you’ll be good at it by the time you finish!
You will be travelling on one of our own purpose built overlanding vehicles with up to 24 travellers, many of whom will be travelling on their own. It is a great way for solo travellers to travel. We have lost count of the number of travellers who have met their future spouse on one of our trips! Our vehicles are fully equipped with tents and cooking equipment and are designed for great all-round viewing and a sociable seating plan. You will be accompanied on your trip by a Driver and Tour Leader and, depending on your trip, we often use local guides at sites of specific interest for more detailed information.
This type of travel will provide you with a plethora of memories and stories to tell, new-found travelling companions and friends and a well-exercised spirit of adventure!
Responsible tourism: East Africa family adventure holiday
Wildlife: A major focus of this trip is the wildlife of East Africa where there will be ample opportunity for game viewing. As a company we support Kamboyo, one of the 'not-so-baby-anymore' elephants at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and have been doing so for a number of years. Before leaving on one of our trips our travellers are sent detailed pre-departure information covering all aspects of responsible travel this includes information on responsible game viewing-such as not getting too close to the wildlife, or encouraging your guides to do so, causing the animals' natural behaviour to be affected. We also encourage our travellers to respect local habitats and to dispose of waste appropriately so that wildlife is not adversely affected. This information is reiterated at the start of the trip and when necessary throughout.
Water: Again, our pre-departure information includes advice on using water sparingly. We recognise water to be one of the world's most precious commodities, particularly, in some of the areas this trip travels through. It is partly for this reason that we do not stay at any locations with swimming pools on this trip. We feel that this water could be used more beneficially in another way. Due to the camping nature of this trip we carry a lot of our water for cooking, drinking and washing with us. Filling up heavy jerry cans, we find, helps focus the mind on the importance of water conservation! We also encourage our travellers to bring reusable water bottles from home with them for the trip. These can be filled from the truck's water supplies. This helps to minimise the usage of plastic water bottles.
Volunteering and Charity: As a company we recognise that we are very fortunate to visit the destinations that we do and to be able to introduce these destinations to our travellers. Although we try to spend as much of the trip costs locally as possible and choose to support small suppliers on the way-small locally run campsites, restaurants and suppliers rather than big multi-national chains we know that some local people will rarely benefit from tourist income. To this end, we have a number of charities that we support across our area of operation. In Arusha, for example, we stay at the Meserani Snake Park and Camp site. This campsite has set up a health clinic and school for the local community which it funds from it's income from travellers. We not only stay at the campsite with our travellers but we also make a regular monthly financial contribution towards the running costs of these two community facilities.
Local Crafts and Culture: Again, our detailed pre-departure information includes advice on supporting local enterprises-including local food sellers, artisans and craft makers. We encourage our groups to buy directly from small scale craft/curio sellers whenever possible and to pay what they feel the item is worth-not to bargain, for the sake of it. An extra pound or two to a seller can make a huge difference to the family income. One of our favourite craft places to visit on this trip is Shanga Shangaa Ltd-a craft recycling project, just outside Arusha where artists with disabilities upcycle glass, paper and aluminium into high quality handicrafts. You can watch the artists at work. The project is nestled in the midst of a coffee plantation and has a stunning garden, complete with monkeys and hyrax! It also helps that they also have a beautiful restaurant too!