Oasis Blog

Best Destinations for Overland Travel: From East Africa to the Silk Road

August 26, 2015

If you’ve never heard much about Overlanding, or you’re unsure about whether to go on an Overlanding adventure, Nellie Huang from Wildjunket has written an inspiring blog about some amazing Overlanding destinations. Below are a few of the destinations that we have to offer here are Oasis Overland, but the blog continues, and can be read here.

Traveling overland is a fantastic way to really get to know a region. Watch the world fly by and sample every bit of it as you slowly weave your way through the back roads of a country. See what exists between the large towns and cities and the tourist traps and you’ll often be surprised and discover incredible gems that you would not normally be aware of if you flew direct into the places you were visiting. Below are a few fantastic places to head out on an overland journey where every inch of land will thrill and entertain.

AFRICA
If you are looking for a wild ride, there’s no better place than Africa. The continent is packed with adventurous routes, whichever part of it you choose: a wild safari in the East African savannas, meeting Masai tribes in Kenya, climbing sand dunes in Namibia, floating on a wooden canoe in the Okavango Delta, doing extreme sports in Zimbabwe, trekking in Madagascar, desert trips in the Sahara up North. Alternatively, if you have enough time, why not just take it all in with one long and crazy overland tour through the continent. It will take you anywhere between 17-25 weeks to enjoy a Cape to Cairo experience, the best way to experience Africa overland.

lions

SOUTH AMERICA
If you are intrigued by unspoilt natural scenes and exotic tribal cultures, then following in Che Guevara’s steps in South America will seduce you. Choose from exciting cities and rugged nature as you chart your journey through the continent, from the southern tip of Argentina to the northern end of Colombia. This is the perfect continent for those who are looking for outdoor activities, horse riding, treks, camping, kayaking, and other blood pumping activities like desert safaris and glacier hikes. Head into the fabled Amazon forest for a taste of unadulterated nature, walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, or cruise to the Galapagos Islands, or camp in the stunning Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. For those who like to get a taste of local culture, the time your trip to coincide with the world’s biggest carnival: the Rio Carnival!

south america

CENTRAL ASIA
The Silk Road is the greatest travel route of all time, spanning 8,000km across continents, weaving through deserts, mountains and grasslands. For centuries, caravans of over 1,000 camels trekked through Central Asia – from Turkey and Iran to Kyrgyzstan and China – bringing traders from East to West and vice versa. The original overland odyssey has long lured travelers, the likes of the world’s first professional traveler, Marco Polo. Today, only adventurous travelers head this way for a taste of exotic flavors and historical legends. Expect to find epic sights like the Darvaza gas craters in Turkmenistan, animal markets in Kazakhstan, the stunning architecture of the Registan in Samarkand, and the deserts of Iran. While this is a less-trodden path, it’s a great region to enjoy the fusion of culture, history, with a huge amount of stunning scenery.

central asia

Many thanks to Nellie for allowing us to reproduce her blog.
Happy travelling!

 

Posted in All Blogs.

THANK YOU for an epically awesome trip!

August 21, 2015

Having just completed the 2014-2015 Trans Africa trip with Oasis Overland I’d like to say a big THANK YOU for an epically awesome trip! I’d like to give special individual thanks to the following people.

Stuck in the mud
To Natalie in the Oasis office for doing a great job in the office pre-trip on planning, assisting and problem solving in order to kick start this trip off with smoothest start possible. She was exceptional in returning emails, providing information and most importantly reassuring passengers that everything was in fact going to work out just fine!

To Katie in the Oasis office ongoing support throughout the trip, it was valued and appreciated by all.

To various other Oasis crew we met along the way who provided inter-truck entertainment and company (apologies if I forget names here, I blame the whisky and tequila provided): Pete & Tabitha, Mick & Alan, Mark D. & Liam, Chris and Mark.

To Mr Steve Newsway on the West Coast for his undeniable fountain of wisdom, noble integrity, sense of calmness, and most of all his wealth of experience that truly helped us all in so many ways throughout our journey.

To Mr Steve Lloyde on the West Coast for his undoubtable craziness, undeniable young at heart attitude, immaculate knack to lighten a Trans group mood, and most of all his wild sense of adventure and need to forever try to get lost, taking with him those crazy enough to volunteer… or more often those who just happened to be in the back of the truck at the time!

To Mr Gareth Redington on the East coast for his excellent driving skills, laid back positive attitude, “creatively” memorable history lessons, generous displays of party mood, and most of all for his hard work in consistently never pulling short on going out of his way for his passengers to ensure they have the best trip they can have.

To Mr Joseph Kennedy, the man crazy or stupid enough to take on an outrageous Trans Group the whole way – UK to Cairo via Capetown! For all his well appreciated, often understated hard work, his careful planning to make things run smoothly and help pax get the absolute most out of their trip, and most of all for his get-on-with-it T.I.A. attitude that pulled the Trans all the way across 27 countries of the African Continent on an epic adventure never to be forgotten!

And finally to the incredible passengers who took on the journey in all stages. A unique diverse group who never failed to pull together and get on with it as a team. Couldn’t have asked for a truly better group!

With these staff, crew and passengers the 2014-2015 Trans Africa was certainly a life changing experience I recommend for anyone keen on adventure!

Shared toilet experience

Cheers, Martha

 

Posted in Africa, All Blogs. Tagged with , .

Jumping through hoops; travel in Central Asia

August 12, 2015

If you have ever travelled in Central Asia, or even looked into one day maybe heading out there, I’m sure you would have heard about the visas. It’s often said that nothing in life worth having comes easy and nothing portrays is better than travelling the old Silk Road.

The 5 ex-soviet states of Central Asia have each carved out their own unique identities since their independence in 1991. From the welcoming mountains of Kyrgyzstan to the deserts of Turkmenistan, which is such a state-controlled approach that it has been nicknamed ‘the other North Korea’, with these personalities comes a unique set of hoops to jump through when it comes to obtaining visas, which all depend on where you come from and what you want to do.

Last Saturday, we started our Silk Road journey beginning in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Although, most people can get their visas on arrival at the airport (with only minimal fuss), we were taking our truck Habibi across the Caspian Sea from Baku, therefore needing visas in advance. It all looked to be sorted until a simple mistake by the London Embassy (which they refused to acknowledge…but I’m not holding a grudge) lead to weeks of stress, multiple embassy visits in multiple countries, endless emails and phone calls, and culminated in getting a rather simple process of getting a visa extension at the 11th hour in Ashgabat the day before the trip started.

But we are here, and so far travelling in Turkmenistan has been like nothing I have experienced. Although I have been to neither Pyongyang nor Las Vegas, I’ve heard it mentioned that Ashgabat is some sort of strange hybrid of the 2, and I can see why. We spent the first part of our trip exploring the city and it seems almost every block has a monument to this country or one of its 2 presidents. Most recent of which is one in the shape of rocket ship, to commemorate the launch of Turkmenistan’s first satellite into space (sent by the USA), which has a thermometer on the side of it to constantly remind you that it’s not going to get below 40degrees any time soon.

It was hot, but nothing prepared for the heat of the Karakum desert, or the furnace that is the Darwerze Gas Craters, where we spent our first night camping. When viewed from a distance, there is no doubt about why it is called the ‘Door to Hell’. Over the next few days the onslaught of heat and rough roads continued as we made our way into northern Turkmenistan, and then Uzbekistan, we have arrived in the Silk Road city of Khiva. After the much needed shower and beer, an explore around this historic walled city, with its many minarets, mausoleums, medressas and mosques, makes all those visa headaches all so worth it.

Turkmenistan bush camp

Turkmenistan bush camp

 

Posted in All Blogs, Central Asia. Tagged with , , .

The Oasis Trans Africa Expedition finally reaches Cairo

August 7, 2015

Congratulations to our crew and travellers on completing our Trans Africa Expedition 2014/15

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last week our group of tenacious travellers crossed their final frontier from Sudan into Egypt 9 months and 27 Countries after departing UK. Tomorrow this successful Trans Africa group will complete their journey in Cairo. This mammoth trip, as with all our trans-continental expeditions, has not been without its trials, tribulations, risks, border and visa issues, illness, massive highs and lows and a huge sense of achievement.Our Trans Africa expedition is not for the faint hearted. Our group who have completed this trip have shown tenacity, guts, ingenuity and have had to be compromising, patient and willing to help out in all sorts of ways.
From our Oasis Overland HQ in Somerset, we would like to extend our thanks and congratulations to our team who have lead this trip, Joe, Gareth, Steve and Steve as well as our travelling group who have made this trip possible. I believe Oasis Overland are the only overland company to undertake the Trans Africa expedition as most shy away from the huge undertaking of planning, back up, uncertainty and resources needed to operate a successful trip of this nature. But most of all, I’d like to thank our clients who choose to travel with us on this expedition and trust us to get them across Africa safely.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thank you and Well Done to all of you!

 

Posted in Africa, All Blogs. Tagged with , , .

VENEZUELA – South America’s best!!

August 5, 2015

Our tour leader, Danny, recently returned from our Trans South America 29 week trip. Here’s what he has to say about Venezuela…

Truck Gran Sabana 15

Earlier this year, DiDingo the truck, Kyle the driver, our awesome group and I had a truly amazing experience in my new favourite country in South America!

Sun Set Lightning lake

Rare Cox of the rock bird Bush Camp

Waterfall Gran Savana

 

 

 

 

I feel that Venezuela gave a different experience compared to the rest of our trip. Off the usual tourist trail we rarely ever saw another “gringo” (in fact, I think we met one at the beach) which I think added to the beautiful country! Crossing the border, we spent a couple of days in Santa Elena where we got ourselves sorted with the currency and had our first experience of cook group shopping which was a welcome change to the supermarkets of Brazil. We headed off into the Gran Sabana where we spent a few days exploring the hidden waterfalls and taking dirt tracks to rusty bridges to remote villages with stunning views.

waterfall 2 Gran Sabana

waterfall bushcamp Gran Sabana

Lunch stop on a road. This was bridge 3 of 4.

Lunch stop on a road. This was bridge 3 of 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was an amazing time only really do-able overland style as all tourist buses just drive through here – CRAZY and to make this even more of an adventure, we obviously we had a bit of digging and pushing of DiDingo to get us through the soft sand!

bogged in the sand Sand matts Gran Sabana

 

 

 

 

At this point the guys had started to notice the lack of beers and ice to buy, but we found our new Rum so life was all good again :-p. From here, we headed to Cuidad Bolivar and the group took off on their adventure to Angel Falls; stunning even in low water resulting in pushing the boats up stream on their hike to their jungle camp.

Angel Falls flight Angel Falls trip Angel Falls view

 

 

 

 

From here we thought we’d check out what the coast had to offer us. We spent a few nights on a quiet beach east of Caracas camping in a local celebrity’s garden – a bit random! Then we headed to Henry Pittier National Park and Choroni. Getting there took team work and ever centimetre of Kyle’s precision driving as we navigated the narrow tiled roofs of various little villages, the guys in the back of the truck shutting if we got too close or about to hit but we managed it finally and for this.

Coroni Beach HP NP

The tropical beaches of the Caribbean were lined with coconut trees and warm waters. Here we made loads of new friends with Venezuelan holiday makers, who showed us the parties later that night.
The night life was unique and indescribable – you are just going to have to experience it for yourself!! Other than beaches and parties with locals, we caught small boats to another beach where we went on a small hike with our friend from the campsite through the famous cocoa plantations of the area. This is where a few of us came down with a new condition we named Estomacha calliente (sweaty belly) and the cure is to roll up your t-shirt we saw a lot of this around South America -nice hey?

Group on the Beach Choroni

Estomacha Caliente

Narrow streets of Choroni Henry Pittier NP

 

 

 

 

Our next stop was Los Llanos where we were accompanied by Anaconda Alan, our guide for the next few places! His excitement and genuine love of the area made our trip into the wetlands wicked with giant anteaters, caiman, anacondas and the thousands of types of birds in the area.

Mother and baby Giant Anteater Los Llanos

We tried out hand at piranha fishing but not as good as this guy

We tried out hand at piranha fishing but not as good as this guy

Anaconda Los Llanos

We also found ourselves a prehistoric stoned turtle check out his smile..

We also found ourselves a prehistoric stoned turtle check out his smile..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite the flies at night, we all had a great time and were looking forward to civilisation in Merida; a student town along with the adrenaline Capitol of Venezuela with horse riding, cannoning and paragliding at silly prices everything $30 each.

Paraglidding Merida $30Canyoning group Merida Canyoning group 2 merida

 

 

 

 

Near to the end of our time in Venezuela, we went off to the lightning lakes which was awesome again. With Alan again and his library of jokes, we navigated across the lake to our hammocks and waited for the lightening, a strange phenomenon which means there is a nightly display of lightning across the lake. We also visited some communities on the river.

group on boat lightning lake kid on Lightning lake

Guys Chilling at home Group girls lightning lake

Poser lighning lake

 

Spiderman on boat

 

 

 

 

Catatumbo Lightnig Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We watched Alan catching butterflies with his net and almost falling in haha. Our last and probably one of the funniest things to watch was our unplanned bush camp on the way to the border with Colombia, which ended up being a sex motel mirrored ceilings, wipe down walls and 3 channels on TV 2 of which were porn (to be fair it was probably one of the cleanest rooms we had seen in a while) but great watching everyone’s reactions! Overall, it was amazing in Venezuela! Get there if you can and enjoy the beauty of the country, the people and all that it has to offer!

Danny Taylor Tour Leader

Danny Taylor, Tour Leader, in his usual attire

Kyle the driver and his new friend

Kyle the driver and his new friend

 

 

 

 

Posted in All Blogs, South America. Tagged with , , .

Travel Photographer of the Year Exhibition, London

August 4, 2015

Zebra Photo comp 01Just been having a sneaky preview of photos from the Travel Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington, London, running until 5 September 2015.  There are some stunning photos, which unfortunately I cannot show you due to copyright. However, there are some incredible images and the exhibition looks well worth a visit!

Don’t forget our Photo Competition. We can’t exhibit your photo at the Royal Geographical Society but the winner will receive £200 off their next Oasis trip (2nd prize-£100 off; 3rd prize-£50 off). Check out our recent winners here. The closing date for our next competition is 31st, August 2015. If you don’t enter you definitely won’t win! Submit your entries here.Sunset at Uyuni Salt Flats324-l

134-l

 

Posted in All Blogs.

‘IRAN HERE WE COME’

July 31, 2015

Iran is now Green for Go on the British Govt Foreign Office website after decades of advice against travel. Although at Oasis Overland we and our travelling groups have been enjoying Iranian hospitality for a few years now we are still incredibly excited at this positive news. We hope that more people will now be encouraged to visit this extraordinarily interesting country and have the opportunity to engage with Iranian people we meet on our trips and experience Iran’s diverse culture, history, sites, sounds and food…yummmmm. Oasis next trip through Iran starts from Ashgabat on 24 Sept so why not join our crew Colioni and Kim? We are planning further trips in 2016. What are your thoughts on travel to Iran? Does it scare you after reading western media reports? Or does the thought of visiting Iran excite you?

Check out all our Central Asia trips here at: http://www.oasisoverland.co.uk/trips/central-asia/list/

Truck Iran DSC_0124 Baking Bread in IranPicture 213 DSC_0340 DSC_0322

 

Posted in All Blogs, Central Asia.

Another New Trip-Quito to Lima 18 days Surf and Turf!!

July 21, 2015

Huaorani JungleNot everyone has months to spare for one of our longer expeditions, so how about 18 days travelling in Ecuador and Peru. This 18 day adventure begins in Quito, set in the hollow at the foot of the volcano, Pichincha. The Old City-a UNESCO World Heritage Site with it’s steep, cobbled streets is a pleasant place to stroll around and admire the architecture, monuments and art. At night the illuminated places and churches are a beautiful sight.

During this trip you will experience the Amazon rainforest and it’s wonders at first-hand, with three nights in a jungle lodge; immerse yourself in some adrenaline activities in Banos-canyoning, mountain biking, bridge swinging; visit the beautiful city of Cuenca with it’s cobblestone streets, flowering plazas and whitewashed buildings with old wooden doors and ironwork balconies; explore the vast, decorated, ruins of Chan Chan-the largest adobe city in the world; check out the surf in northern Peru and bask on its relaxed beaches. Your trip will end in Peru’s vibrant, sprawling capital. The city’s fine museums, colonial buildingVolcano TungurahuaMud brick walls of the Chan Chan Ruinss aBanos (Bridge Swing) M Blomqvistnd world famous dining will entertain, excite and inform.

 

 

Our first departure of this trip is on the 22nd October 2015. Thanks to Danny our ace South American Tour Leader for naming this trip!

 

 

Posted in All Blogs.

New Exploratory 21 Week Cape Town to UK Expedition

July 13, 2015
River crossing, Sierra Leone

River crossing, Sierra Leone

We are very excited about our new 21 week Exploratory Expedition from Cape Town to UK, leaving Cape Town on 30 April, 2016. For any of you that have undertaken our 17 week Cairo to Cape Town Expedition this trip will complete the African coastal route. This really is a trip for those with an adventurous spirit, travelling from Cape Town through Angola, West Africa and Mauritania-about 18 countries in total. If you’re up for travelling far off the beaten track, lots of bush camping, washing in rivers and streams and digging the truck out of mud or sand then this is the trip for you! In return, you will be rewarded by stunning scenery-jungles, deserts, mountains and beaches; vibrant, diverse cultures; encounters with wildlife; fetish and voodoo; music and more!

01b Western Sahara 02 a Big Sand Dune day1_015If you don’t have 21 weeks available, have a look at our

12 week Cape Town to Accra Expedition

9 week Accra to UK ExpeditionAnia Nigeria - Drill monkey CSC_4939 (5)

Truck on way to Cocobeach, Gabon

IMG_2367

 

Posted in All Blogs. Tagged with , , , , , .

La Paz and what makes it so awesome!

June 22, 2015

La Paz is often thought of as somewhere that could be rather dangerous to visit and not high on everyone’s travel wish list but personally, it’s one of my most favourite cities in the world.

For a start, how many cities have this kind of setting?:

La PazWow!

Where else do young people dressed up as zebras regularly patrol the streets, promoting road safety?:

Wildlife in La Paz!

 A somewhat unexpected sight when you first see them!  This is a brilliant project set up 14 years ago to encourage safety awareness amongst both drivers and pedestrians.  Many of the stripey participants are ‘at risk’ youths who benefit hugely from taking part.

If you really want to, you can launch yourself from  the 17th floor of the Hotel Presidente, right in the city centre (preferably dressed as a super hero) and abseil or rap jump for 50 metres. 

Here’s our tour leader Danny and two intrepid Oasis travellers (Superman and… is that Bob the Builder? aka Gemma and Ryan!).

Abseil instructionDon't look down...DannyWell done guys!

 

There are some very nice restaurants in La Paz but I prefer to head to the indoor market for a fresh fruit juice made on the spot and a fried trout meal for under five bucks.

Juice stall in the indoor market in La Paz


After trawling the shops for alpaca wool ponchos and tiny knitted llama-topped pens (a classy gift for my office colleagues), I love strolling the odd shops and market stalls where you really have no idea what you might be buying. La Paz shop and street stall

And top of my list for my next visit, the terrific Telerifico that Chris told us about recently:

La Paz Cable Car

La Paz is not like anywhere else I know with its high-altitude, mountain setting, its mixture of colonial streets and more modern concrete structures, great little bars to find and quirky markets and alleys to explore and ladies in their typical bowler hats, huge skirts and long plaits.

You can see Bolivia’s capital on our South America Overland Adventures and our Regional Explorer trips to Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.

 

Posted in All Blogs, South America. Tagged with , , .

Narrow your search here:

View or order our latest Overland Travel brochure

Get all our latest trips, in our latest brochure. Order or view now.

Click here

Stay up to date. Sign up to our newsletter

Name:
Email address:

Overland Adventure Travel Insurance

Our tailor made overland adventure travel insurance can be purchased online when booking a trip or at a later date in your account.

Click here for more details