For many independent travelers, the idea of a guided tour anywhere in the world is not the most attractive of ideas. Group tours get a bad rap for a lot of reasons, and many people assume that they are all created equal.
But as someone who has traveled in all sorts of ways to all sorts of places, I can tell you with certainty that you shouldn’t paint all group tours with a single brush. There are many cases (and places) where a guided tour is actually one of the best ways to travel.
And Africa is one of those places.
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t completely write off that overland group tour in Africa:
You’ll see the “real” Africa
When you’re traveling on an overland tour like the ones Acacia Africa offers, it means you’re seeing Africa – all of it – from the ground. You’re traversing the bumpy roads and vast deserts and seeing the country with your own eyes. You’re stopping at gas stations and supermarkets in small villages and camping out under the stars. You’re watching lions and giraffes and real-life zebra crossings right in front of your truck. And you’re seeing how Africa really is, beyond what you’ve watched on TV.
One major benefit to traveling on any sort of guided tour is the fact that you have a guide (or two). On Acacia’s overland trips, you have one dedicated guide along with a driver. These two take all of the stress out of traveling around Africa – they know where to go and when; they help you navigate chaotic border crossings; they watch out for your safety; and they know a heck of a lot about the areas you’re traveling through.
It’s the safest way to go for solo travelers
I’m not saying that you couldn’t rent a car on your own and take off across Africa – you absolutely can, and some people do. But traveling with a group like this is definitely the safest way to travel around Africa, especially if you’re traveling solo. You won’t have to worry about break-downs in the middle of nowhere, the stress of border crossings, or what to do when you get lost.
Perhaps the top argument for traveling Africa on an overland tour is that it’s one of the most affordable ways to see so much of the continent. You could book yourself into a bunch of fancy safari lodges with private plane transfer between each one, but that’s not an option that’s affordable for the average traveler. Overlanding, in my opinion, is the most cost-effective way to see Africa since everything from your food to your transport is already included.
You have someone to share the experience with
Lastly, Africa is an epic, life-altering travel experience, whether you’re visiting just one country or going all the way from Cape Town to Cairo. Even though it would still be amazing on your own, there’s no denying that it’s extra special when you have people to share all those memorable moments with. Someone to snap a photo of you at the top of a sand dune in Namibia; someone to squeal with as you spot lions in the wild; someone to share a drink with as the sun sets over the savannah. You’ll be thankful for those moments and friendships once you get home.
Blog by: Amanda Williams – A Dangerous Business Travel Blogger