How Oasis Overland was born...
In 1997, myself (Chris Wrede) and Steve Crowhurst, both having worked for other overland and adventure tour operators, decided the time was ripe to start our own overland venture. Between us we managed to scrape together enough money to fund the building and equipping of one and a half overland trucks. So we bought our first truck, D650 NOX (affectionately known as ‘Noxy’ among other names, by over 1000 travellers before we retired her in 2009) and completed building her in an old WW2 aircraft hanger near Cirencester in March 1998 I drove her out to Turkey to start her first trip in April that year, a 5 week ‘Oasis Caravan’ overland tour from Istanbul to Cairo. Noxy remained in the Middle East doing return trips for many years.
Back in the UK, Steve had purchased our second truck. By re-investing all the money we had earned from our first few Caravan trips in the Middle East, we had completed building it by June 1998 and had our first Africa overland truck. This ran a Nairobi to Cape Town overland trip and in March 1999 our next new truck ran our first Trans Africa Expedition. From here on we slowly built the company, putting ‘Frida’ our first overland vehicle into South America in 2001.
Since those early days we have continued to grow and find new areas to take intrepid travellers, with Central Asia being the latest region on the Oasis map. Now based in Henstridge on the Somerset/Dorset border, we have a streamlined office with a small team of dedicated, knowledgeable staff consisting of past travellers and crew. We continue to build our own custom built overland trucks in our workshops and maintain them to high standards of safety and quality both here in the UK, whilst out on the road and at our base in Harare, Zimbabwe.
In addition to overland truck trips, our range of tours now include Regional Explorers which use local transport and minibuses and local hotel accommodation as well as Family Adventures - so adventure travel does not have to be limited to grownups!
Our friendly UK team and overseas crew are committed to providing you with a high level of service. They have considerable knowledge and experience of travelling and a passion and enthusiasm for their work and for the countries and places we visit.
I hope you enjoy looking around our website and hope to see you on board one day soon!
Our crew have gained considerable knowledge and experience of travelling even before they join us. They have a passion and an enthusiasm for their work and for the countries and places we visit.
Except in exceptional circumstances, on our Overland Adventures & Ultimate Expedition trips, all vehicles have a crew of two (Driver and Tour Leader). Our Regional Explorer trips are run with one Tour Leader.
Their experience and knowledge will enable you to get the most out of your trip and to have an unforgettable experience. Their roles are many and varied and include amongst other things, maintaining the truck throughout the trip, organising group activities and bookings, managing trip funds, overseeing group rosters, organising border crossings and permits, organising the day to day running of the trip and passing on general information to the group. However, Oasis crew are not guides as such, so do not expect them to hold your hand every step of the way - get out and experience things for yourself, read the guide books, get lost in markets, meet the local people and talk to them - it’s all part of the experience!
Peace of mind & security
When you book directly with Oasis Overland you will have the security and peace of mind in knowing that we own and operate all of our own expedition vehicles, employ and train our own crew and will be the actual company running the trip. We have 24hr office backup & support as well as having full liability insurance and are bonded for your financial protection.
As part of our good management practice, and as a duty to our travellers and our team, Oasis Overland have put into place Crisis Management plans and procedures. In the unlikely event of a major incident involving one of our trips, from earthquakes to road accidents, we can respond with the support of our Crisis Management specialists.
Whatever trip you book with us you can rest assured that is is financially protected under either of our two financial protection schemes. Trips that include a flight are covered under ATOL and non-flight trips are covered under ABTOT.
Oasis Overland is bonded through ABTO Trust (Bond number 5262). This is the wording we are required by them to tell you!:
'As a member of the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), Oasis Overland has provided a bond to meet the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.
In the event of Oasis Overland’s insolvency, protection is provided for non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK and other non-flight packages excluding pre arranged travel to and from your destination. Please note that packages booked outside the UK are only protected when purchased directly with Oasis Overland.
In the above circumstances, if you have not yet travelled you may claim a refund, or if you have already travelled, you may claim repatriation to the starting point of your non-flight package'.
Our trips that include a flight are financially protected under our ATOL Bond. This is the wording we are required by them to tell you!:
'Many of the flight-inclusive trips on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected'.
Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate see the ATOL website.
Value for Money
By remaining small and independant we keep our UK overheads to a minimum. We do not waste money on high street offices or have a large team of administrative, marketing and advertising staff. We also take most of our bookings direct thus reducing commissions to travel agents. All this contributes to considerable cost savings which are passed on to you, but in no way do they detract from the quality of your travelling experience with Oasis.
At Oasis Overland we concentrate our financial resources where we believe it matters most; building quality overland vehicles and maintaining these and the equipment carried to a high standard, as well as employing and training our enthusiastic and dedicated team of expedition crew. By doing this we can ensure that we run excellent value for money trips for budget-conscious travellers, whilst still using quality vehicles, equipment and crew.