Oasis Blog

Half price gorilla permits for May & November trips!

March 28, 2014

Silverback gorilla in AfricaTrek with gorillas in the wild for just £270!! This offer has only been made available for our 24th May & 7th November trips – so don’t miss out and book now before they all get snapped up!

You will get to see the gorillas up close in Uganda in their natural habitat. This incredible opportunity is not to be missed out on.

All you need to do is book on to one of the following trips (starting on the dates mentioned above!):

Gorillas & Gameparks (19 days) Nairobi to Nairobi

Apes & Lakes (40 days) Nairobi to Lilongwe

Apes & Lakes (54 days) Nairobi to Vic Falls 

Grand Adventurer (75 days) Nairobi to Cape Town

And contact us at the time of booking on 01963 363400 or email us at africa@oasisoverland.co.uk

baby gorilla in Africa

 

Posted in Africa, All Blogs.

Oasis Comedy Night Raises £900 for Charities

March 25, 2014

Over the past eight years our UK office staff have been running bi-annual charity comedy nights, raising money for local and overseas good causes. Our last show on 15th March raised just over £900 to be shared between the Sudanese Community Development Project in Cairo  and the Friends of North Dorset Women’s Refuge. These events have now raised over £14,000 for local and overseas good causes. This helps us provide some additional financial support for the overseas projects Oasis already supports as a company.

Thanks to everyone that attended and our next event is on 11th October 2015-four great acts from the national comedy circuit, plus a compere, all for £12 with all proceeds going to good causes! What more could you want!!

 

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Oasis Photo Competition Winners Announced!

March 19, 2014

Finally the wait is over! Here are the winners of the Oasis Photo Competition February 2014!

Congratulations to you all and we look forward to seeing you on another trip with us soon.

Cheetahs in Namibia_Oasis Overland Deserts & Gameparks

1st Prize goes to Natalie who took this fantastic photo of the cheetahs following the truck at cheetah park during her  Deserts & Gameparks (21 days) from Victoria Falls to Cape Town trip. Natalie wins a £200 voucher off any Oasis Overland trip – congratulations!!

 

Time for prayer _ Nile Africa Trans Oasis Overland

 

 

2nd Prize goes to Victoria  – who captured this moment of prayer during her Oasis Cape Town to Cairo (16 weeks) Nile Trans . Victoria wins a £100 voucher off any Oasis Overland trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

zebras fighting_Oasis Overland Coast to Coast Nairobi to Cape Town trip

3rd Prize goes to Sally who snapped this picture of zebras fighting while on her Oasis Coast to Coast (56 days) Nairobi to Cape Town trip. Sally wins a £50 voucher off any Oasis Overland trip!

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to Natalie, Victoria and Sally who are all winners in our Oasis Photo Competition!  We wonder which trips they will choose to go on next?  Thanks to everyone who entered, all the photos we received were fantastic and it was really hard to choose the best ones.  Our next competition closes end of August 2014 so enter your Oasis Overland photos  to be in with a chance of winning money off your next overland adventure! You might see some of your photos on our website too!

 

Posted in All Blogs.

Office staff organise their 14th Charity Comedy Night

March 4, 2014

Over the past eight years our UK office team have been organising and running bi-annual Stand-up Comedy shows to raise money for some of the overseas projects we support as a company and good causes, local to our UK office. So far we have raised over £13,000! On Saturday 15th March we are hosting our 14th show at The Exchange in Sturminster Newton, Dorset. There will be 4 acts, from the national comedy circuit, plus a compere. Our charities for this event are the Sudanese Community Development Project in Cairo-a school for Sudanese refugee children and Friends of North Dorset Women’s Refuge.

If anyone is in the Dorset area we’d love to see you at the event. The show starts at 8pm. Tickets, at just £12 each, are available, on the door, or, in advance from The Exchange 01258 475137. We can even reserve you a table if you’re coming with a group of friends. There will be a bar and bar snacks available. We hope to see you there!

 

Posted in All Blogs.

TNT Travel Show

March 3, 2014

Thank you to all of you that came to see us at the TNT Travel Show this weekend. It was great meeting you all and hearing about your past, present and future travel plans. If anyone has any remaining questions after the show please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Posted in All Blogs.

Its NOT a Holiday! The A – Z Guide to Group Travel

February 26, 2014

Some of you may be familiar with Andy who drove our Istanbul to Beijing overland expedition in 2012.  He and tour leader-extraordinaire Kirsty, have written a book ‘It’s NOT a Holiday!  The A-Z Guide to Group Travel’ based on their years of experience working on the road.

It's NOT a Holiday! A - Z Guide to Group TravelIt’s got some great reviews (including one from Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet).  A couple of us at Oasis HQ have read it (you could hear the chuckles and ‘I can’t believe they actually wrote that!’ during lunch time) and loved it.  It’s laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes quite outrageous and anyone who has done an overland trip or any kind of group travel will be able to relate to some of the stories Andy and Kirsty tell.

The very beginning gives you a handy list of questions to find out if you’re really cut out for group travel and follows to introduce 20 stereotypical characters you might find amongst your group – you’re bound to recognise a few!  The A to Z takes you from Activities and Adaptors to Zebras and Zero with everything you can think of in between.

The authors themselves looking funky in Rio

The authors themselves looking funky in Rio

Andy and Kirsty have kindly provided a special code for Oasis with 15% off either of their books.  Go to www.blackfrogpublishing.com and enter the code OASIS15.

If you read it, we’d love to know what you think!

 

Posted in All Blogs.

Come and see us at the TNT Travel Show on 1st March

February 25, 2014

If you can get to London this weekend why not come and see us at the TNT Travel Show this Saturday, 1st March. We will have some fantastic TNT show-exclusive discounts available on the day and the chance to win a free place on our 14 day London to Istanbul trip, worth £995. (Flights, travel insurance, airport taxes, visas and local payment of 195 Euros not included).

TNT Travel Show

Business Design Centre, Islington, Saturday 1st March 2014 – 9.30am to 5.30pm

We will be exhibiting at Stand Number 42.  The TNT show is a well-known backpacker favourite and there will be lots of seminars and talks. Entrance is free, but you need to pre-register on the website: www.tnttravelshow.com/ 

We hope to see you there!

 

Posted in All Blogs.

Visiting Machu Picchu- How to get there!?

February 17, 2014

 

Even the llamas love Machu Picchu

If you have ever thought about visiting the incredible site of Machu Picchu in your future travels and want to go there via the well-known ‘Classic’ Inca Trail, here is our advice based on what is happening so far in 2014.

First step, BOOK EARLY! Especially for the busy months of April-June. These 3 months are already sold out for 2014. Some of the dates sold out when they first went on sale on the 9th January this year. There are only 500 permits available for the Classic Inca Trail per day and this is to cover not just tourists but the trekking staff as well. If you consider that for a group of say, 14 tourists, there is probably about 20 trekking staff (if not more), that’s 34 permits gone already for just 1 group!

We include the cost of getting to Machu Picchu in all our Regional Explorer and Overland Adventures that visit Peru. Our first aim is to purchase the Classic Inca Trail permits for our clients, unless they have indicated that they would prefer an alternative option at the time of booking. If the Classic Inca Trail permits are sold out when you book your trip with us, then we will offer an alternative trek or the train package option at no extra cost.

Here is some information about the alternatives:

Lares Inca Trail

 

Day 1: Cusco (3,350m) – Lares (3,100m) – Quishuarani (3,700m)
Early morning rise. Our guide will pick you up from your hotel and we drive through the Sacred Valley turning off at the town of Calca to head to Lares village – the drive takes around 3 hours. Once we arrive into the town we go up to the Hot Springs where we can relax and enjoy these beautiful outdoor hot springs. Lunch is provided here. Our bus awaits us during this time and we then continue our journey for around 20mins to the start of the trail known as PASCANA. From here we start our hike to Quishaurani. Here we meet up with our horseman and pack the horses. The trek will take us around 2.5hrs. When we arrive our campsite would have been set up for us. In the free time that we have we can meet some of the locals “campesinos” and see some weaving techniques.This is a lovely day filled with great landscapes and the opportunity to visit several Andean villages. (Lunch, Dinner)

 

Day 2: Quishuarani – Cancha Cancha (3,800m)
This morning we depart early as this is going to be our longest day on the trail. We will hike approx. 7 hours today with a midday lunch break. We start our ascent to the highest point of the trek, Pachacutec Pass (4,450m). From the pass you will be rewarded with superb views of Pachacutec Lake and the snowy peaks of Pitusiray, Sawasiray and Chicon. The path then continues down hill for about 2.5hrs to the village of Cancha Cancha where we have our campsite waiting for us. Today you have a chance to see an abundance of wildlife, fauna and flora.(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

 

Day3: Cancha Cancha – Huaran (2,800m) – Ollantaytambo (2,700m) – Aguas Calientes
After a delicious breakfast we start our easy hike today. We will walk down hill for approx. 5 hours hiking to the village of Huaran. From there we take local transport to the town of Ollantaytambo – a beautiful well preserved Andean town. Depending on your train time, you will have some time to explore before boarding the train to Aguas Calientes. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

 

Day 4: Machu Picchu! – Cusco
A very early start after breakfast in order that we can arrive in time for sunrise at Machu Picchu. We take the first bus up at 5.30am. There will be a 2 hour fully guided tour around the ruins, visiting the main sites and monuments. After the tour you will have free time to wander around and explore by yourself. In the afternoon we take the train back to Cusco, where you will be transferred back to your hotel. (Breakfast)

Salkantay Inca Trail

 

Day 1: Cusco (3,350m) – Mollepata (2,909m) – Soraypampa (4,000m) – Colcapampa (3,200m)

An early rise at around 4.30am! We drive from Cusco by private bus for approximately 4 hours to Mollepata and then up to Soraypampa from where our trek begins. Here we meet up with our wranglers and their horses that will carry our equipment during the trek.We start our climb ascending the mountains until we reach the high pass at 4,800m near the magnificent glacier peaks of Salkantay (6,271m) and Humantay (6,100m) the second highest peak in the Cusco area. After admiring the beautiful landscape, we begin our descent to Wayracmachay (3,800m) where we have our lunch and a good rest. After lunch we continue walking until our campsite at Colcapampa – along the way we find some species of orchids and different kinds of plants, and some cornfields and fruit fields. (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2: Colcapampa – Playa (2,200m)

An early rise at around 6.45am to take our breakfast and continue on our way! Today we head for Lluscamayu where we will take our lunch. We will today again experience a variety of fauna and flora entering into a micro climate zone. We arrive at Playa, a small village, with wonderful hot springs where we will camp tonight.(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Playa- Santa Theresa (2,200m) – Aguas Caliente (1,900m)
We have an early breakfast and take a small truck to Santa Teresa town. The truck journey is approx. 45 minutes to the Hydro-Electric Station. We then continue on our journey towards the town of Aguas Calientes traversing at the bottom of the valley for approximately 3 hours until we reach the town and go to our hostal where we will take our lunch and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

NOTE: IF YOU DONT WANT TO WALK THEN YOU CAN TAKE THE TRAIN FROM HYDROELECTRICA, BUT IT ONLY LEAVES IN THE LATE AFTERNOONS SO ITS A LONG WAIT!

Day 4: Aguas Caliente- Machu Picchu- Cusco
It is an early start to Machu Picchu to see the sunrise over this magnificent ancient city! We take the first bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu and have a fully guided tour of around 2 hours. After the tour you have plenty of time to explore the citadel on your own.. Afterwards it is optional as to whether you walk down to the town of Aguas Calientes or take the bus back (not included in the tour price). Lunch can be taken in Aguas Calientes (not included in tour price). In the afternoon we take the train back to Cusco / Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo we transfer you back to Cusco in Private Transportation leaving you in your hotel. (Breakfast)

The Train Package

Day 1 and 2: Cusco

Whilst your fellow travellers have an early rise to set off on their 4 day/3 night treks, you get to sleep in and then spend the next 2 days exploring Cusco and the surrounding area. Perhaps you might be interested in a Sacred Valley Tour or spending some time in the local San Pedro market and the Plaza de Armas, people watching and souvenir shopping!

Day 3: Cusco- Aguas Caliente

Catch the train from Cusco to Aguas Caliente, a small village just below Machu Picchu and spend the night in a small locally owned hotel.

Day 4: Aguas Caliente- Machu Picchu-Cusco

It is an early start to Machu Picchu to see the sunrise over this magnificent ancient city! We take the first bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu and have a fully guided tour of around 2 hours. After the tour you have plenty of time to explore the citadel on your own.. Afterwards it is optional as to whether you walk down to the town of Aguas Calientes or take the bus back (not included in the tour price). Lunch can be taken in Aguas Calientes (not included in tour price). In the afternoon we take the train back to Cusco / Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo we transfer you back to Cusco in Private Transportation leaving you in your hotel. (Breakfast)

We offer a range of tours that give you the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu, starting from our 12 day Incas & Amazon to our NEW 46 day  Peru, Bolivia & Brazil Explorer options (both Regional Explorers). If you would prefer to travel ‘Overland’ style in one of our purpose built expedition trucks, then we have options from 35 days to 29 weeks.

If you are interested in one of our tours in South America, please contact us via email at southamerica@oasisoverland.co.uk or by phone on +44 (0)1963 363400.

 

Posted in All Blogs.

New Family Overland Adventures for 2015

February 14, 2014

Chris, our Director, has been lucky enough to have travelled extensively in Africa with his family. His two, now teenage sons, first travelled overland in their car seats and nappies and have many happy memories of their experiences, from game viewing in the great East African game parks to swimming in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean, probably some of their best experiences however were making friends with local children on the way. Based on many years of happy travelling experiences we have now launched our own family specific East Africa overland adventures. Journeying in one of our specially designed expedition vehicles and camping out under the stars these trips will give you an opportunity to experience the highlights of Kenya and Tanzania as a family. There will be plenty of options for game viewing and, on the 18 day trip, lots of time to relax by the Indian Ocean as well.

Our 9 day trip includes Nairobi, Lake Naivasha, the western Highlands of Kenya, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park and Arusha.

Our 18 day trip includes the above but it then carries on to Marangu (in the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro), Dar Es Salaam and then the palm-fringed, Indian Ocean beaches of Zanzibar.

The minimum age on these trips is 7 years and an essential requirement for all family members is a sense of adventure!

If you have any questions about these tours don’t hesitate to contact us here at the office.

 

Posted in All Blogs.

The ‘Trans Africa’ from Ishi (our tour leader’s) POV…

February 12, 2014

Thinking of joining us on an epic journey from the UK to Gibraltar and then down into Morocco and the less explored regions of West Africa?  39 weeks later ending the tour in Cairo, via CapeTown. Check out our Trans Africa expedition.

Below is what our wonderful tour leader Ishi (currently in Nigeria) has to say about it so far. You can also view her blog ZebraPartyPants online and keep up to date with her journey.

T.I.O Baby (THIS is Overlanding)

So…. You’re looking thirty square between the eyes, it’s happening, you’re getting old and it’s time to evaluate your life. Wasn’t that hard when I actually got down to it. Single, sharing flats with anyone who thought they could manage living with me, squandering my meager earnings on second-hand clothes and cheap travel and owning nothing more valuable than an iPad and a beat up road bike called Jean-Claude. Time for a change I hear you thinking? Indeed… Which is probably why I found my way into the madcap, utterly ridiculous world only occupied by overland crew. If Oasis Overland deemed me suitable for the road and were willing to put 18 tonnes of yellow metal and 24 mental backpackers at a time into my capable (sic) hands then who was I to argue?

That was about 18 months ago. In that time I’ve somehow earned the stripes (or perhaps the mental instability, drinking prowess and generall don’t give a rats ass attitude) that miraculously landed me the mutha of all trips… The Western Trans or in layman’s terms ‘The Crazy-Stupid-Whatthehell-38week-26country Trip that will take us round the African Continent – London-Cape Town-Cairo. I’m now going to turn thirty single, sharing a truck with 25 people never previously met, squandering my earnings on African print fabric and beer and owning nothing more valuable than several packs of baby wipes (a overlanders gold nugget) and so I think that I can safely say that progress has indeed been made! Yay for me!

Nala... The latest in yellow wheeled homes...

Nala… The latest in yellow wheeled homes…

Back I flew from East Africa, where I had been treading the boards on the infamous Nairobi to Cape Town circuit, fully clad in my African print onesie (I kid thee not – please refer to the photographic evidence) a head full of dreads and full of a special kind of vim and vigour only found in those who have led an existence based on 10 o clock beers and a good old barter for a tomato in a bustling market. Strange things began to happen… I found myself wearing jeans… Ugg boots… Make-up. The dreads were unpicked (a tedious, time-consuming, painful procedure that will ensure that I never get wasted enough to agree to getting them put in EVER AGAIN) and poor vim and vigour looked like they were being swallowed up in a potent combo of post-road blues and British Winter.

The African onesie... A trend that's sure to go global!

The African onesie… A trend that’s sure to go global!

Luckily for old V&V and the bank balance I was throwing at new and wholly impractical clothes, I had another trip to prepare for so off I popped to Oasis HQ to meet my new yellow home on wheels and the man who was to steer her (and me) in the right direction. Now, I’ve never been good at lying (there’s a reason I had to bail on law school) and so I’m not going to lie to you now – I freaked the heck out. This shit was real. I was supposed to be in charge of the year’s only trans-continental expedition, through desert and rainforest and FCO ‘are you mad’ zones? To top it all my partner in crime was to be none other than living legend, king of the overland track, Steve Newsway, a man who could recall the 1976 trans with such clarity that I felt I was reliving the endless days of chewing river water, manioc leaf dinners and rebuilding roads in order to actually go overland just by being within a 10m radius of his beard. Cripes! This was to be no ordinary undertaking… And I used to think life was tough if the kuche kuche (the finest beer Malawi will ever produce) wasn’t cold by 10am…!

Myself and Mr Newsway prepare to hit the long road round

Myself and Mr Newsway prepare to hit the long road round

 

Posted in All Blogs.

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