Overland tours & travel explained
Overlanding, as the name would suggest, is about exploring the world whilst crossing as little water as possible.
But it is so much more than that – overlanding is a travel philosophy where the journey is the focus, not the destination.
It is about travelling with a group of like-minded people, with the freedom to explore in your own way while enjoying the camaraderie of a group. It’s about the people you meet, the places you explore, the things you eat and the random occurrences that leave you wondering whether that really just happened. It is stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things you never thought you could, or would get the chance to do. It is the stories, memories and photos that you will never forget, and the friendships forged through shared experiences.
The overland journeys you will find on our site are mainly expedition truck based, though expeditions will use all sorts of transport to make the journey possible. Overland trucks are unique in their ability to support the group as you travel, they are safe and comfortable and have everything onboard including the kitchen sink and can work as an independent unit away from all infrastructure for a number of days allowing you to really head off and explore.
You will find that you are travelling with people from all over the world, from all walks of life, all nationalities and all ages. What they all have in common is the desire to explore distant lands and a sense of adventure. They enjoy being part of a group of like-minded travellers and really experiencing the countries they visit.
Group size is normally 16 -24 people and everybody is involved as an expedition member with the leadership of normally two crew, assisted in some countries by local guides.
The first thing to get used to when you are overlanding is that every day is different! You might be heading off as a group to do a city tour, or more likely heading off in smaller groups to do the things that most interest you, whether that be walking on a glacier, visiting a museum, hiking to the top of the nearest hill, chatting with locals over a cup of tea or two, heading of into the wild looking for the local wildlife or wandering through a market in search of a bargain or a tasty treat.
You will stay in all sorts of interesting places, from remote wild camps, organised campsites, local home stays, small hotels or even a yurt/ger or a cave depending on where you are in the world. All part of the experience of trying to get under the skin of the countries visited.
Are you :
- Excited about getting out and seeing the world, experiencing cultures and places that are off the beaten track?
- Equipped with a sense of adventure and a sense of humour?
- Up for anything and willing to get involved?
- Reasonably fit and healthy?
- Willing to endure the occasional hardship in the pursuit of experiences you will never forget?
- Looking for a great value-for-money style of travel?
- Looking forward to travelling with other people who can also say Yes to all of the above?
If so, overlanding sounds like it might be for you!
We love overlanding, and we love the countries through which we offer travel. But overlanding in less developed countries isn’t for everyone, so here are some things to consider before you join an expedition:
Medical– are you reasonably fit and healthy? Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions? If so chat to us and we can advise you, we also recommend that if you have serious concerns you talk to your doctor about the journey that you want to embark upon.
Dietary– in most of the countries these expeditions travel through, you will have access to a wonderful range and quality of fresh produce for camp cooking, and also great restaurants or market stalls to choose from when you are eating out. That said, if you do have specific dietary requirements such as allergies or intolerances, it is worth having a chat to us before you book so that we can let you know if there are any potential issues.
Roads and driving– travelling through less developed countries can often mean that the roads are in poor condition and the standard of driving is not what we expect from drivers in our own countries. You need to consider the fact that there will be some long drive days on an extended overland expedition – while all operators try to limit these, there are times where there is simply nothing worth stopping for along the way!
Accommodation– all our operators work very hard to find great accommodation that meets our requirements for location, facilities and cleanliness on all expeditions. The standard of accommodation that you can expect on the expedition is in line with the kitty that you have paid, if you expect the Hilton you will be sorely disappointed, but most people are very pleasantly surprised.
Camping– All expeditions involve some camping and if done right camping is a great way to get out and really explore the countries along the way. Each journey on the website has a break down of the mix of accommodation supplied so that you will have a clear idea before joining. Bush camps (also known as wild or free camps) are also used and offer a huge amount of freedom to go off and explore. Even if you have not done a lot of camping before (or even none for that matter!) you will find that done right, camping can be comfortable, and many overlanders have found it to be a highlight of the journey as you get away from the crowds, enjoy amazing meals cooked over an open fire or the gas cooker, and have the chance to sit around and relax.
Weather conditions– on all expeditions you can expect a range of weather conditions, from hot to cold, wet to dry, and everything in between. Due to the duration of these journeys you can often expect to see a change of seasons.Wherever possible we have chosen expeditions that travel through the best weather
Altitude– for the expeditions that travel to high altitude (above 3,500m), coping with altitude is a consideration. You should have a chat to your doctor, or better still, travel clinic, about the potential effects of altitude and preventative measures.
Participation– All expeditions are participatory and you will be expected to contribute to the journey. This means that about once a week you will be part of the “cook group” that prepares truck meals, and that you will have a “truck job” which will be allocated based on the ability of each expedition member but which may be cleaning the truck, loading the tents or wood locker, setting up the truck kitchen or putting away the camp chairs. Nothing onerous, but all part of making the expedition a success. We have absolutely no doubt that the people who participate most in the expedition get the most out of their journey.
Fitness and ability– At the most basic level, you must be able to carry your own bag, and be able to walk up the stairs in and out of the truck. A reasonable level of fitness will allow you to get the most out of your expedition as it will enable you to do and experience more along the way including adventure activities if those appeal to you.
Overlanding is a fantastic way to travel and enjoy a hugely diverse range of sights experiences. With the support of your overland crew to sort out all the logistics of travel, it leaves you free to explore the destinations along the way, and to share those experiences with a group who will start as strangers and often end as lifelong friends.
If you would like any further information about which expedition we think will suit you, what you can expect and whether overlanding is for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can also find out more on the FAQ page.
So go Overlanding for an incredible journey of discovery!
"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey."