5th September 2023

My Review of Intrepid’s Africa Overland Tours

A girl posing with one arm raised in front of a mountainous valley in Namibia.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post (however affiliate links may be used, including Amazon Associates, which mean I earn commissions on purchases at no extra cost to you) and all thoughts are my own.

Africa overland tours are truly unique experiences. Of course, group tours exist all over the world but few involve a huge overland truck where you spend hours of time traversing long distances, sleeping in a tent with a stranger (if you’re travelling solo!) and helping out with “chores” such as washing dishes, cleaning the truck etc. Most people recoiled in horror when I told them I’d be spending 9 weeks travelling from Cape Town to Nairobi with Intrepid on their “Africa Encompassed Northbound” overland tour, wondering why I hadn’t picked a relaxing holiday instead.

I’d never been on a group tour before, so I was super hesitant to make a booking given 9 weeks is a long time to travel with strangers, Intrepid tours aren’t cheap and Africa overland tours famously aren’t glamorous. I was wondering whether it would be worth it; so if you’re like me and wondering whether Intrepid’s overland Africa tours are worthwhile, you’re in the right place!

Please note that Intrepid react to their customer’s feedback regularly and are constantly changing/updating itineraries for maximum enjoyment – the below is correct for my tour (May to July 2023) but some elements of the tour may change.

Who are Intrepid?

Intrepid Travel is an Australian company which has been organising group travel tours for over 30 years across all 7 continents, focusing on responsible and sustainable travel, educating tourists and funding local initiatives.

You might have seen “tour groups” around the world – generally they’re an older crowd being herded around crowded destinations by an tour guide who’s powering ahead while waving a flag and hoping the slow group is still following them. It’s safe to say that an Intrepid Africa overland tour isn’t anything like that! Instead, you can expect adventure, off-the-beaten-track destinations and small group sizes filled with like-minded individuals.

What Other Africa Overland Tour Companies are Available?

Of course, Intrepid aren’t the only company offering Africa overland tours. There are plenty of others on the market. The main differences (that I am aware of) compared to Intrepid are:

G Adventures – Intrepid and G Adventures are the two “big hitters” when it comes to worldwide travel experiences. These were the two companies I researched the most when booking my trip (mostly because I had an extremely limited time frame to travel, and these companies have the most frequent departures, hence they were the only companies who’s dates worked for me). The main difference between the two is that G Adventures limits it’s Africa overland tours to those between the ages of 18 and 39. For a short trip, I’m sure that it’s great to be surrounded by (hopefully) likeminded individuals who are a similar age to you. However, I’m glad that there were a real range of ages on my 9 week tour. There were a number of travellers on my tour who were in their 60s – not only were they just as (or more!) capable than those of us who were in our 20s, part of the joy of travelling is meeting people that you wouldn’t necessarily socalise with in real life. The conversations and life stories shared within our group were always super interesting given the range of ages, nationalities and life experiences.

Acacia AfricaWe bumped into the Acacia Africa truck a few times along our journey. They seemed like a great company but there were a few differences to Intrepid. I spent a few days in Zimbabwe (and had some incredible experiences which I wouldn’t want to have missed), whereas Acacia’s longest route doesn’t touch Zimbabwe. In addition to this, their tours are joint camping and accommodated (this means that some of the people on your tour will be camping and others will have paid extra to sleep in “proper” accommodation); as a result, some incredible opportunities (such as sleeping under the stars in Spitzkoppe) may not be included in your itinerary as these campsites don’t have available non-camping accommodation. It also could lead to the social aspect of the tour being slightly stunted – we noticed that the more people who upgraded to accommodation (an option if you are on an Intrepid camping tour), the less social our group became as people would relax in their rooms rather than socalise together in the campsite bar/social area. While Acacia used to be the biggest African overland tour company prior to COVID-19, they seemed to be struggling more so than Intrepid in 2023. For at least 4 weeks of the tour, the group that we kept bumping into was made up of one young solo female traveller (who was camping) and a 70 year old couple (who were accommodated). Hopefully this is a pre-COVID slump and their bookings will increase very soon!

Oasis Overland – The truck we saw most frequently was Oasis. We really enjoyed our time with the travellers on this truck, so I know I would have had a great experience with them. However, you’ll notice that Oasis’ tours are far cheaper than that of Intrepid or G Adventures and there’s a good reason for this. Intrepid trucks have 3 crew members (a guide, a chef and a driver) whereas Oasis trucks have 2 (a guide and a driver). The travellers are expected to go food shopping and prepare all meals (different travellers will have this duty each day). While this is great if you’re travelling on a budget or if you want more control about what you are eating during your trip, I personally wouldn’t want to waste that much time on shopping/cooking. Because of long driving days, you often arrive to a campsite late in the afternoon/evening, having time to set up your tents, get showered and relax for a short while can’t be underestimated. We also witnessed one case of the Intrepid guide being far superior to that of Oasis – a girl on the Oasis tour was stung by an unknown insect/wasp/bee, she was in a lot of pain and her arm was extremely swollen. The Oasis tour guide told her to rest and let it go away by itself whereas our Intrepid guide later heard of the incident and immediately took the first aid kit to her and helped her massively (despite the fact she wasn’t part of our tour group). However, if budget is your priority, Oasis seems like a great option. They also have the widest range of Africa itineraries including a 42 week option (a whopping 293 days!) travelling from Gibraltar down the West coast of Africa and back up the East Coast to Egypt!

Nomad – While we didn’t bump into any Nomad trucks along the way, my tent mate had just finished a Nomad tour in South Africa and only had good things to say about them, other than they share the same issue as Acacia Africa with regards to the joint camping / accommodated tours. I also love that Nomad is a South African company and therefore your money is hopefully staying within Africa rather than the big-wigs in Australia (Intrepid) or Canada (G Adventures) reaping the profits!

A small lion cub cuddles up to it's older brother, they are laying on the floor with their heads are pushed together in the Masai Mara, Kenya.

Who Joins an Intrepid Africa Overland Tour?

The short answer is “everyone”!

Unlike other Africa overland tour companies who limit the age range of their tours (I’m looking at you G Adventures), Intrepid attracts people of all ages which I personally loved. Our group changed slightly over the course of the 9 weeks but our youngest traveller was 23 and our eldest turned 69 whilst on the tour. We had a fair number of travellers between the ages of 23 and 33 and also between 55 and 65 with a few sprinkled in the middle for good measure! Our guide suggested that this was relatively normal, with those in their 20s/30s enjoying long trips before the responsibility of kids/careers/home ownership/etc. kicks in and those in their 50s/60s were enjoying the fruits of their labour after retiring/their kids flying the nest/etc. Age really didn’t matter on our tour, we all got along extremely well.

In terms of nationalities, most travellers were from the UK, Australia and Canada with a few from New Zealand, the USA, Switzerland, Finland and Kenya also joining us along the way.

Our tour was made up entirely of either solo travellers or people travelling in pairs (either with their partner/spouse or a friend). I imagine that a whole family or a larger group of friends joining a tour would change the dynamic significantly.

For a few people on the tour, this was their first big trip abroad without their parents. For some (including me), this was just one stage of a year-long career break spent travelling the world. For others, this was their regular life, taking long trips every year after retiring. And of course several people were enjoying a “normal” 2-3 week holiday from work.

Despite the range of ages, nationalities and travel experience, we all had one uniting bond – our love travel.  People in my home-life aren’t necessarily interested in travel (hence I started this blog as a way to discuss my travel experiences!) and it was so lovely to meet such like-minded people. This really resonated with me when I realised that I’d never met anybody in “real life” who had travelled to Easter Island (one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands in the world which I visited in 2018 on my 3 month trip through South America); on the tour, a whopping 6 of us had visited! You can read all about my time on Easter Island by clicking here.

This was my first ever group tour and I was extremely daunted at the idea of travelling for 9 weeks with people that I’d never met. The first leg of our trip had an older demographic than later stages of the tour, so when I stepped onto the truck for the first time in Cape Town, I was suddenly wondering what on earth I’d signed up to. It turns out that I had absolutely no reason to be worried. Our group’s chemistry was instantaneous and you couldn’t get us to shut up half the time and I have definitely made friends for life!

A wet antelope in the river in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Structure of my Overland Tour

My “Africa Encompassed Northbound” tour was made up of 4 shorter back-to-back tours which could all be booked individually or in combination:

This means that the group dynamic changed every 2-3 weeks in some way or another. The first 3 weeks of our tour (Cape Town to Victoria Falls) was fully booked (i.e. we had the maximum 22 travellers) and the minimum number of travellers we had at any given time was 16.

While the change-up of the group kept things interesting and always gave you new people to talk to, it also led to some extremely difficult goodbyes along the way! Changeover days were always extremely conflicting – I’d feel sad because we’d said goodbye to new friends but also excited for the next leg of the trip.

A rhino walking in front of two safari jeeps in Zimbabwe.


Intrepid tend to send one set of crew (a leader/guide, a chef and a driver) on a tour from Nairobi to Cape Town over the course of 7 weeks where they get a short break before travelling back up to Nairobi (another 7 week tour) with a new group of tourists.

If you book the full “Africa Encompassed Northbound” overland tour, it’s therefore likely that you’ll have the same crew for the first 7 weeks of the tour. The final 2 weeks (a round trip from Nairobi to Nairobi, passing through Kenya and Uganda) of my tour was serviced by a different crew and truck.

The crew for the first 7 weeks of our tour were absolutely incredible. We had an unusually high number of people (10) who were booked onto the entire trip, so it really felt like we were a little family by the end of those 7 weeks. When we had to say goodbye to the crew in Nairobi, many tears were shed but we were extremely excited for them to be reunited with their families after such a long time on the road.

Our first crew definitely deserve a shout out:

Charlo has informed me that a whopping number of Escaping Essex readers have mentioned my blog posts to the above mentioned crew! If you are lucky enough to join a tour with Mambo, Charlo or Kawaya, tell them I say hi!

After such an incredible first crew, the second crew had a lot to live up to! Sadly, the overall organisation of the tour went slightly downhill under our new leader’s reign. I won’t dwell on this too much as our group gave extensive feedback to Intrepid (you are required to fill in a feedback form at the end of each section of the tour) and I know that Intrepid are constantly improving the quality of their tours so I hope that these slight organisational issues have been rectified.

Overall, the final 2 weeks of our tour had a much wider gap between the crew and the tourists. Most of the crew couldn’t name more than 3 or 4 travellers within the group and didn’t show any desire to learn names or get to know everyone. While there are potential reasons for this (1. The trip is only 2 weeks long and these guides must meet hundreds of tourists every year doing such short tours; and 2. We had a trainee chef and trainee guide with us too, meaning our crew were more potentially pre-occupied with training), it felt disappointing after such a great first 7 weeks.

View of the sandy road behind the Intrepid Africa overland tour truck.


Each of the overland trucks is slightly different but all are perfectly comfortable for the journey. As the layout/configuration of each truck is slightly different, it’s hard to say exactly what you might have in store for your journey, but here’s a general indication:

One dark tree against the bright orange sand dunes and blue sky in Deadvlei, Namibia.

Time Spent Driving

There’s no beating around the bush on this one, you will have to spend a significant amount of time in the truck travelling long distances. Sometimes you’ll wake up super early and jump in the truck after taking down your tent and eating breakfast and then not reach your next campsite until early evening where you’re ready to re-set up your tent, eat dinner, shower and go to bed.

I thought that I’d hate the drive days, but I actually found them to be a breeze. Of course, not everybody felt the same way about them (particularly those who are extremely active – I am quite happy sitting down)!

Our group would plan in advance for super long drive days by having a few activities ready to go. I was the nominated music quiz master and would hook my phone up to a speaker for 30-60 minutes to play songs chosen by the group (we had a few categories along the way such as “one of your favourite songs”, “a song that reminds you of this trip”, “your favourite song from a movie/TV show”, “best song you’ve seen live” etc.) and everyone had to guess the name of the song, artist and who in the group picked that tune.

The people sat in the table seats would usually have a card game or two to play – Uno is always a big hit (no matter your age or nationality!) – but card games were difficult on bumpy roads/windy days as the cards would fly down the truck!

I found it quite easy to pass the time by chatting to my fellow travellers, staring out the window (the scenery is often absolutely gorgeous), writing my daily travel journal, listening to an audiobook (which is great as it allows you to stare out the window still, but cuts you off from the group’s conversations), reading a real book (usually my preference as it meant I could still hear and join in with the group’s conversations) or playing a game on my phone (prepare to get addicted to Candy Crush again)!

Our first leader made sure that we stopped every 2ish hours for a toilet break, of course most of these were “bushy bushy” toilet breaks (i.e. you squat behind a bush) but it’s still nice to have the option to stretch your legs every 2 hours or so.

By the end of the trip, you’ll be calling a 7 hour drive a “short drive” and will be completely unphased by it!

Our tents provided by Intrepid at Boseman Overland Camp overlooking fields and mountains.

Accommodation & Facilities

I was expecting the worst when it came to accommodation and facilities. Famously, I left a family camping trip as a teenager on day 1 (before I even had to sleep in the tent…), so I had low expectations for camping life. Thankfullyl, I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried.

At the beginning of our trip in particular (South Africa and Namibia), the campsites were incredible – beautiful views, pools, WiFi, fully stocked bars, clean bathroom facilities etc. Of course, not every campsite was top-notch; the more rural locations obviously lacked the luxuries of WiFi/pools/bars and campsites near big cities were often sub-par (particularly in Harare, Zimbabwe) but I can count the worse campsites on my fingers (not bad for a 9 week long trip)!

Intrepid provide you with a great quality tent (it was clear that the tents were relatively new during my tour in 2023) and a roll mat to sleep on. The roll mats were generally good, although some were thicker than others depending on usage. What I liked about Intrepid is that I could rent a sleeping bag from for a small fee. This meant I didn’t need to buy one in the UK and lug it halfway across the world with me. My sleeping bag for the first 7 weeks was brand new with the tags on, so I was extremely happy! For the final 2 weeks (after a crew and truck change), I clearly had an older sleeping bag but it was still clean and more than adequate.

If the camping all becomes too much, you can opt to “upgrade” at most campsites (subject to availability), meaning you pay to stay in permanent accommodation rather than pitch your tent. Some of the campsites had incredible upgrades – particularly in Etosha National Park (Namibia) where the luxurious lodges overlooked a busy watering hole where we saw 8 rhinos(!) and South Luwanga National Park (Zambia) where the boujie cabins overlooked a river with hippos and elephants walking right past your room.

There are a few “bushcamps” along the way which means you don’t have any facilities or the option to upgrade, but you are always pre-warned so can shower accordingly (bring a can of dry shampoo with you – we struggled to find it in the supermarkets there!) and even the long-drop toilets at bushcamps aren’t bad. I’ve definitely used much worse toilets elsewhere in the world!

The one thing I can’t deal with is cold showers. This is the thing I was most nervous about before the trip. Thankfully, I only had one freezing cold shower and this was due to a plumbing issue, we returned to the same campsite a few days later after returning from the Okavango Delta and were pleased to hear that the problem had been fixed and the showers were gloriously hot! There were definitely a few lukewarm showers along the way, but they really weren’t that bad – especially on super hot days. If I can deal with them, I can assure you that you can too!

I think there is a knack to showering at the right time. While every campsite was different, generally you wanted to be within the middle of the showering timeline. Those who went to the showers first sometimes struggled as the hot water took a little while to come through. Those who went last sometimes also struggled if the hot water had run out by that point. Some campsites also heated their water using solar, so you want to shower before sunset.

Two elephants fighting on the road, with tourists videoing the fight from the Intrepid Africa Overland Truck in the foreground.


The food we were given was definitely plentiful and varied enough that I personally didn’t get bored. There are obviously a limited number of dishes that the chef can make in very basic campsite kitchens but they do a fantastic job. Regular dishes included pasta, various stews and curries, rice, vegetables, potatoes, soups (which were so delicious!), salads etc.

My favourite nights were when the crew treated us to a Kenyan feast – handmade delicious chapatis (a slightly thicker and flakier version of the Indian bread by the same name which you’re probably more familiar with), ugali (a spongy side dish made from cornmeal), a stew and vegetables.

Allergies and dietary requirements were catered for well within the first 7 weeks of our tour. However, the standards slipped with our new crew who seemingly didn’t prepare enough food for vegetarians and struggled with the concept of a vegan diet. If you have dietary requirements, definitely include these on your booking form and then have a chat with the chef when you first join the tour.

Hot air balloons floating over the Serengeti National Park at sunrise

Included Activities

Intrepid’s tour price covers a fair number of “included activities” with additional “optional activities” available for a fee.

When considering the value for money of Intrepid’s tour compared to other tour companies, the included activities are something you definitely want to pay attention to. The most expensive item is definitely the Mountain Gorilla Permit & Trek (which would cost you $800+ if booked independently in Uganda, even more in Rwanda). My Intrepid tour also included a whopping twelve safaris, and lets be honest, if you’re signing up to an Africa overland tour, you love wildlife and safaris!

Aside from the above, some of my favourite inclusions were:

Girl in a red dress standing in front of Dune 45 at sunrise in Namibia.


One of the biggest “pros” of a group tour with Intrepid is that someone has expertly curated an itinerary for you and you don’t need to exert any effort! However, that’s also one of the biggest “cons” if you’re a little bit “Type A” like me and have usually done realms of research and planning to create the perfect trip for you.

Overall, I was happy with the itinerary provided by Intrepid, other than a few points:

The benefit of travelling with Intrepid is that you get to experience some off-the-beaten track destinations that would be difficult to access (or you wouldn’t know exist!) if you were travelling by yourself.

Girl sitting on a wall admiring the view of Fish River Canyon, Namibia.

Health & Safety

Your health and safety is your tour leader’s main priority – just think of the amount of admin they need to complete if something goes wrong… nobody wants that! 😉

I never felt like my health or safety were compromised in any way shape or form during the first 7 weeks of our tour as:

Sadly, during our final 2 weeks with a different crew, the standards slipped slightly. We had a nasty stomach bug making its way around the group and the crew didn’t seem particularly interested in trying to help us stop it spreading. We had to buy our own big sanitising spray for people to use and we had many duplicate numbers on tents and roll mats meaning people were accidentally swapping sleeping equipment. When I fell ill at the Ugandan border (due to heat stroke), my fellow travellers looked after me as the guide was no where to be seen (in her defense, we did have some major truck/logistics issues that day that she needed to sort). Of course, none of this was too big of an issue as we’re all adults and know how to look after ourselves/sort out issues!

A group of 5 travellers riding quad bikes in the sand dunes near Swakopmund, Namibia.

Customer Service

I found Intrepid’s customer service to be extremely hit and miss. In this section, I’m referring to the booking process and the ability to contact Intrepid before your trip rather than the crew leading the tour on the ground.

If there was one thing I could do to improve Intrepid’s service for Africa overland tours, it would be for a package of invitation / host letters to be automatically generated and issued to everyone upon booking which cover all countries visited on your tour. While visas are absolutely the responsibility of the traveller, it would be so much easier and more convenient if the relevant documentation was provided in advance to save any confusion. The letters follow a very simple template which are currently subject to human error, an automated process which produces letters for all countries would then give the traveller the ability to filter through what they do or don’t need (as not all nationalities will need visas for all countries).

I had a few interactions with Intrepid’s “Live Chat” feature, all with varying degrees of success:

Bungalows overlooking the beach and ocean on Zanzibar.

Value for Money

It goes without saying that Intrepid Africa overland tours aren’t cheap but I do think they are absolutely worth the money if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, aren’t looking for a luxurious trip and want to experience off-the-beaten-path destinations!

Other Articles About Africa Overland Tours

If you’re considering booking an Africa overland tour, you should read my other posts too (especially if you’re looking to book with Intrepid!):

  • My experience and review of an Intrepid Africa overland tour – CLICK HERE
  • Is an Africa overland tour right for you? CLICK HERE
  • Everything you need to know about an Africa overland tour [COMING SOON]
  • What to pack for an Africa overland tour CLICK HERE
  • How much does an Africa overland tour actually cost? CLICK HERE
  • What can go wrong on an Africa overland tour? CLICK HERE
  • My Africa Overland Tour Diaries – Cape Town to Victoria Falls [COMING SOON]
  • My Africa Overland Tour Diaries – Victoria Falls to Zanzibar [COMING SOON]
  • My Africa Overland Tour Diaries – Zanzibar to Nairobi [COMING SOON]
  • My Africa Overland Tour Diaries – Kenya and Uganda [COMING SOON]
  • Is gorilla trekking in Uganda ethical? CLICK HERE
  • Which national park is better? The Masai Mara or The Serengeti? CLICK HERE
  • Where is the best place in East Africa to take a hot air balloon ride? [COMING SOON]

If you found this post helpful, be sure to pin it for later!

20 responses to “My Review of Intrepid’s Africa Overland Tours”

  1. Tony Moore says:

    This is an excellent post and contains some very useful information for prospective travellers. I am seriously considering an overland tour of some sort next year so I will definitely be reading your other articles on this site. Sounds like you had an amazing experience despite the long travel days.
    Thank you for taking the time to do this.

  2. Tony Moore says:

    You’re welcome, Danielle. Your post has inspired me to look further into this tour. BTW I did 7 weeks in S. America with Intrepid just recently. Amazing trip.

  3. Tony Moore says:

    Hi Danielle, I have a couple of questions, if you wouldn’t mind, regarding items to bring. Would you recommend bringing a sleeping mat to supplement the one provided by Intrepid? And would you recommend bringing a power bank for charging laptop, phone, camera batteries etc?
    Thanks in anticipation,

    • Hi Tony – of course, always feel free to ask questions! 🙂

      I didn’t bring an additional sleeping mat and I was absolutely fine. For reference, I’m 28 and have regular back issues in cold weather. Intrepid’s mats were comfortable enough for me, although some mats did look thinner than others.

      Some of the older travellers/people with known back/hip issues on my tour opted to bring their own additional sleeping mats. While I’m sure they were extremely comfortable, I know I’d be too lazy when packing the tent up each morning to deal with an additional mat! So I think this item depends solely on your personal preference.

      Yes definitely bring a power bank. You’ll only be able to charge gadgets using the plugs on the truck while the truck is running, so being able to charge via a powerbank overnight is extremely helpful. Also I’d recommend bringing a short extension cable that you can plug in on the truck so you can charge multiple gadgets at once.

      You can read my full packing list and recommendations here – https://escapingessex.com/packing-for-an-intrepid-africa-overland-tour/

  4. Tony Moore says:

    Great, thank you so much for the prompt reply, Danielle,

  5. Dom says:

    Hi Danielle – I love your blog, I’m planning a similar trip and it’s great to get an insiders view. I’m very much about the journey and not just the destination, but am interested to know where the campsites were? I know to get decent facilities means established campsites but are these busy with other tour groups, in the grounds of hotels or more scenic and remote locations, decided at the time or pre-planned to a strict itinerary and so on? I’m happy to sleep in a tent if it’s a worthwhile effort to do so but the lure of the luxury of a proper bathroom and a room you don’t have to erect every night is starting to outweigh a roadside car-park at this point…

    • Hi Dom, thanks so much for your comment! I will be writing more posts soon (probably in February/March) about the campsites, but hopefully this comment will suffice for now 🙂

      The campsites used on my tour were a real mix of styles.

      While there are usually very decent facilities available (showers/toilets/often a bar/sometimes a pool) and usually upgrades available to non-camping accommodation (although this varies in price and quality throughout the trip), sometimes the tour takes you to rural areas that don’t have many facilities (if any at all).

      The campsites are all preplanned by Intrepid, although I’m sure contingencies are in place in case things don’t go to plan! They are continually adapting their routes and campsites, so there’s no guarantee that the campsites I used will be the same as used by another tour.

      I travelled from May to July and the campsites were never busy. However, I can’t speak for other times of the year. We were usually the only big overlanding tour bus at each campsite, but sometimes another 1 or 2 were there too. We were the biggest group by far (at the beginning of our tour, there were 22 of us) and the campsites were always so spacious that it never felt busy.

      I’d never camped before this trip, and I found the 9 weeks to be far easier than anticipated!

      Just a few examples of the campsites we used:

      – Campsites attached to super luxurious safari lodges that you could upgrade to (especially the safari lodges at Etosha, Chobe and South Luwanga National Parks) – the Etosha lodges even had views over a huge and very active watering hole, we had 8 rhino’s at the watering hole one night!

      – Campsites attached to beautiful chalet or small hotel style accommodation that you could upgrade to – this was more regular further South (SA, Namibia, Botswana), usually with beautiful views over a river/valley.

      – Some standard campsites that had acceptable (but not great) upgrade options that are cheap and cheerful for the nights you decide you don’t want to sleep on the floor but don’t want to spend a lot! These were available throughout the trip.

      – Some very basic campsites with nothing to get excited about. This was more common up North (Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya).

      – Some no-facilities campsites but set in incredible one-of-a-kind locations that make the lack of facilities worthwhile. For example – two nights camping in the Serengeti (they had toilets, but no working showers and no fences, you’re out with the lions!), one night on a small island in the Okavango Delta that you reach by traditional mokorro boat (no toilets or showers), a night under the stars in Spitzkoppe (for this night, it’s advised to ditch your tents completely and put your sleeping bag in a crater on the top of a boulder for some of the best stargazing possible in an extremely beautiful location)!

      I hope that helps somewhat, please let me know if you have any further questions!

  6. Dakota says:

    I’m considering doing the 63 day o4 40 day Africa Intrepid trip, so your artciles have been super helpful! I’m just worried about the 63 days being too much. I’m used to trips about 6 weeks long, and by the end of them I’m usually pretty tired of travelling (constantly unpacking and repacking bags) and I miss my dogs lol. So I’m just worried about the 63 day trip. But it sounds like you really liked the last part of your trip, which is the part I would miss out on if I do the 40 days. Were you ever just super tired and was like “Ugh another safari?” Africa has been a dream of mine, and I’m a wildlife person (my degree was Wildlife Science) but I’m concerned doing it all at once like this is going to make it exhausting and maybe not as great of an expereince… but I also don’t know if I’ll have another chance to go back on a long trip like this!

    • Hi Dakota, thank you for your message!

      As alluded to in some of my posts, the only section of the 63 day tour that dragged a little (due to the extremely long travel days with very few proper stops/activities) was the section between Victoria Falls and Zanzibar. Otherwise, I loved every minute of it.

      If you wanted to reduce your time spent travelling, you could therefore look at booking the Cape Town to Victoria Falls tour, then independently travelling (flying?) to Zanzibar where you could explore for a little while (I felt like the tour didn’t have enough time in Zanzibar) before joining a new tour group to finish the rest of the tour to Nairobi.

      I personally never felt tired by the safaris. I love wildlife and found that each safari experience offered something different.

      Of course, only you are able to decide whether a 63 day trip is right for your personal circumstances. I absolutely love long trips and had spent 7 months away from home prior to this tour, so that wasn’t an issue for me! Your enjoyment levels are likely to also be influenced by your guides and fellow travellers – I got extremely lucky and couldn’t have picked a better bunch of people to spend 9 weeks with!

      I also hate packing and unpacking bags regularly, but I didn’t find this task too arduous on this trip! I explain how I organised my bags in my “what to pack” post.

  7. Jenny says:

    Hi Dakota,
    This is the best review I’ve ever read. Now I will seriously consider Interpid.
    Would you mind telling me how much the tips need to pay for three crews? It will help me for my budget.
    Thank you so much,

  8. Sue Graham says:

    Loved reading your review and look forward to your future posts. We are doing The beast of east Africa trip followed by cape Town to Johannesburg trip. We are staying a few more nights in Zanzibar Northern beaches and I wondered if you stayed at Intrepids accommodation Sunst Kendwa Beach Bungalows. If so would you have extended your stay there or move to better graded accommodation?

    • Hi Sue,

      Wow that’s so exciting! I hope you have the best time! Spending a few extra days in Zanzibar is a great decision.

      Intrepid use a few different accommodations options which vary from trip to trip. During my Intrepid trip, we stayed at Amaan Beach Bungalows in Nungwi on Zanzibar.

      Amaan Beach Bungalows were basic but perfectly pleasant. I could have easily stayed there for longer.

      It depends on what your preferences are:

      – If you book extra nights in Intrepid’s accommodation, you won’t have to re-pack or move your luggage around (other than potentially moving rooms within the hotel when Intrepid’s booking ceases and your personal booking begins). You may also find that some of your tour mates are booked into the same hotel for a few nights extra too (if the bond between your group is anywhere near as strong as the bong between mine, you’ll be sad to leave your new found friends!)

      – If you book your own accommodation, I’m sure that you will find a more luxurious option than offered by Intrepid. Zanzibar is gorgeous and I imagine staying in a luxury hotel would be an incredible experience. Plus, after weeks of camping, you deserve the indulgence!

      It may well be that you don’t exactly know what you want yet (as you haven’t met your fellow tourmates and you haven’t started camping yet – you may find the camping to be extremely comfortable!). If you are certain that your tour will be staying at Sunset Kendwa Beach Bungalows, I would use Booking.com to book two rooms for your desired dates (one set at Sunset Kendwa and one set in a more luxurious accommodation), both with free cancellation. You can then decide closer to the time (when you are actually on the tour) and cancel without any payment needed, provided you cancel within the time limits set by each hotel.

      • Sue Graham says:

        Thanks Danielle. I have noted that booking.com etc have rates considerably cheaper than what Intrepid offer. Great suggestion to book and confirm later.

  9. Tony Moore says:

    Hi Danielle, I have a question about the balloon ride over the Serengeti NP. You wrote in your blog that you could have booked the day before and at a lower cost. Was it possible to book from the campsite or would it have involved travelling to the place where the rides commence? Also, how much would you have saved? Currently, the cost of pre-booking via Intrepid is USD745.
    I hope to be there in June with Intrepid and I’m interested in the balloon ride. I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on this.
    Thanks in anticipation and I love reading your blogs, they are so useful.
    Tony M.

    • Hi Tony,

      Great questions.

      As we drove into the Serengeti, the whole truck stopped at an information centre. Everyone that had pre-booked was required to sign safety waivers and pick up their tickets. Those who had not pre-booked were given the opportunity to purchase tickets (subject to availability). Everyone else used the toilet or had a look around the shop. I imagine this is standard practice for any tour where at least 1 person has pre-booked.

      Two members of our group bought tickets at that stage. In all honesty, I can’t remember exactly how much they paid. Various providers online state that the standard cost is $599 (USD).

      I looked at pre-booking online directly with the provider, but didn’t want to accidentally book the wrong thing (there are multiple pick up points, balloon routes and balloon companies, and there’s no guarantee as to exactly which campsites Intrepid will use on each tour). I also wanted to make sure I was booked on a balloon with my tour mates. I could have tried to get more info from the Intrepid online chat box, but I had lost faith in their abilities by that point.

      I think it’s a case of weighing up what’s more important to you – the experience or the money.

      If you would be devestated to miss out on the experience, I’d pay the premium and book in advance via Intrepid.

      If you’re not going to be disappointed if the balloon is sold out, and you want to pay a lower rate, I’d wait. You might get lucky, I was there in June and they had availability.

      • Tony Moore says:

        Thank you for such a prompt reply, Danielle. I’ll give it some thought but might hold out until June.
        Keep on blogging.

  10. Julie Newth says:

    Thanks so much for your comprehensive blog – I am heading off from New Zealand for Capetown to Nairobi overland in 3 weeks time. You have answered many of my queries around the trip and can now feel the excitement building.
    Once again – thanks for all the details – especially the packing tips.


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