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Adventure Travel Show, London 2017

Come and see us at the Adventure Travel Show this weekend!  A few of us from the UK office and overseas crew will be at Stand E25.  If you would like to speak to a ‘real’ person about your upcoming travels then please come along for a chat!

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Our very own Chris and his two sons will be giving a talk about their Mount Kilimanjaro trek on Sunday in the Incredible Journeys Theatre at 11.15am.  If you’re interested in hiking up Kilimanjaro with your family, come and listen to Chris’s talk and take a look at our Family Kilimanjaro climbs online.

There’s something for every adventurer at the Adventure Travel Show, an array of inspiring talks, lots of travel companies to talk to and an Evening with: The Adventure Travel Film Festival on Saturday night.

Sunset in the Namib Desert

Get your tickets for only £4 when booking in advance! Just quote OASISOVERLAND when booking tickets online at www.adventureshow.com or when calling 0871 230 7159. (Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras.)

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Finding Love on the Big Yellow Truck

“So how did you guys meet?” It’s a question I’ve always wanted to answer with a fun, exciting story: how we abseiled down a gorge in Zambia and bonded over the shared terror; how we paddled the rivers in the Amazon Rainforest and he looked hot in his life jacket (hmmm…); or even, how we trekked through the Zimbabwean bush in search of the magnificent white rhino and he promised to push me up the tree first! It’s an answer, that, while being elusive for me (the question begs some sort of partner first), is one that many of my colleagues and friends can answer with a broad smile, a casual shrug of their shoulders, and a “Well, it all began in Botswana, where we….”

Holiday friendships and romances are (usually) a bonus to anyone’s vacation, and always a wonderful source of gossip at the end! Everyone enjoys a love story, or a steamy flirtation at least. And everyone loves to make new friends, especially ones that span the globe. There are countless magazine articles and romantic novels about people who have met their dream man or woman while away, generally involving an intoxicating cocktail of sand, sea and hot sweaty..errm…moments! There are less graphic tales of friendship found abroad, but it’s no less special or happy.

Come the end of the holiday, many of these liaisons fizzle out; people return to their respective homes, possibly in different countries, and life goes on. But sometimes, these relationships, be it romantic or otherwise, last, and then love really does mean a happy ending. These are the relationships that I value: the ones that endure; the ones that begin on holiday, sometimes on a “trip of a lifetime”, and that render the trip, well, life-changing!

Overlanding strips away a lot of barriers, I believe. I guess travelling does in general; people let down their guard, they become more open to making friends and entertaining new experiences. There’s no one from home to remind you of your normal routine, or of what your character is, and you can be who you really want to be. Brought together by a love of travel, people join our trips solo or in pairs/couples, but often finish with a new family of friends and, occasionally, a new love.

The expeditions can be extremely challenging. You push your physical limits with simple but demanding activities like chopping wood or digging out the truck; you might push your hygiene limits by only being able to shower once in 4 days (although this does help you discover all manners of coping strategies; did you know how effective campfire smoke is at disguising smelly clothes?!); and you can also push your “personal space” boundaries, by constantly being together with fellow travellers in the small living space that is the truck. But for all of these semi-hardships, there comes something more fantastic: an incredible bond with people that no one else will understand.

Shared toilet experienceIt’s horrible being ill when you’re away, when all you want is your own bed and instead you have to make do with a lumpy roll mat and a sweatbox of a tent. But when you have new friends looking after you, running over with yet another loo roll, or forming a barrier where there’s no tree to hide behind and talking loudly to disguise any “noise”, it becomes a chapter in your travels; an event to laugh about together afterwards. No one at home will understand the magic of cuddling up around the campfire and gazing up at the stars, and then waking up all together sandy and dishevelled, ready to put the kettle on last nights embers and toast some bread. It’s hard to convey the real fear of watching rapids approach as your rafting guide screams at you to “Paddle!”, your silent scream as you propel overboard, and the sweet relief of being pulled back into the raft. It’s tougher still, to communicate the pure childish delight at seeing an elephant in real life, or the majestic giraffe – may be even one of the big cats patrolling the savannah. And it’s more impossible to relate all the shared jokes, the banter that flies back and forth between the group, the new snacks to discover and enjoy (or not!), and the sights to gaze and marvel at as the truck drives through new and wonderful countries.

IMG_2926You end up spending hours and hours with these new friends: playtimes, activity times, beer times and down times, where you really get to know one another. You share things about yourself that you wouldn’t dream of sharing with just anyone at home: ambitions, feelings, opinions, even emotions. They see you at your happiest, they might also see you at your worst – they almost definitely see you at your most “unwashed”! And these special connections are so incredibly good for your soul that it’s only natural when people find a kindred spirit amongst their group, someone to seek out and establish a deeper relationship with.

There have been a few Oasis weddings – some between crew, some between travellers, and some between crew and travellers. There are even now Oasis babies (though none have yet been named after a truck or even me – I live in hope!). But perhaps more special to me are all the interconnecting webs of friendship that spider across the world – strands linking the UK, Australia, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan…and that’s only a few of my passengers-come-friends home countries! These friendships are relived through photographs, through reunions, through Facebook reminders (!) and they are the sort of relationships that literally can change the way you live your life.

It’s a busy world we live in, one currently not seductive to establishing meaningful relationships from scratch. Sometimes we need to escape just to be the version of ourselves we want, away from all the craziness, the stress and pressure to conform. Sometimes we go away to find a totally new world, live a different life, and sometimes we simply just want a holiday. But when these breaks throw up new friendships, new experiences and new loves, well, then I reckon it’s worth jumping aboard that big yellow truck and seeing what it has in store for you!

Happy Travels! :)My kinda love...

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From Poshy La La Princess to Overlanding Pro: Life-changing travels on the Big Yellow Truck

“Euuuuwwww”, she exclaimed, as Amazonian Jungle mud oozed through her toes, marring the pretty purple design.  Suddenly she started madly flapping her hands about her head, desperately trying to persuade the oversized fly that she wasn’t a suitable enough perch to land on.   After a pause to make sure the bug had definitely moved on to the next person in line, Lauren finally stumbled out of the boat and started trudging up the hill into our Jungle Camp.

“Wow” my driver Kyle murmured under his breath, “this might be a long 4 months…!”

And a long four months it was; it was an absolutely brilliant trip through South America, one that I’ll never forget.  Because I met and got to know Lauren; a girl who’d never camped before in her life, didn’t particularly like getting dirty, had (and still has) issues with shower curtains that left me in fits of laughter, and has a not so small terror of flying things (I won’t even go into her fear of the dark!).  Yet, despite all of this, she’d decided to embark on a 15 week journey from Quito to Rio de Janeiro, on a truck, where half her nights were under canvas.  It was her first foray into the world of “Adventure Travel”, and she was jumping in at the deep end.1452358_10152022634580733_1310999367_n

Overlanding attracts a whole demographic of people from all over the world.  Generally speaking, they like the outdoors: they have camped before; they might enjoy trekking, and like cooking over the fire.  They’re sometimes even used to rolling out a sleeping bag and brushing the bugs away before putting their head down for the night.

Occasionally, (and thankfully it’s happening more and more), you get people who have no idea what they’ve let themselves in for.  Sure, they’ve read that they will be spending most of their nights sleeping in a tent (yes, that means on the ground!), have glanced at the temperature chart to check if they really need that woolly hat when they’re also packing their bikini; they might even have thought to bring a car charger that means they can fire up their smart phone while the truck is driving!  But the idea that they won’t be able to have a lie in on every morning of their “holiday”, or that they will have to cook outside for the entire group even when it’s raining, or they might have to help dig out the truck and then not shower for 3 more days…that’s all new.  And not always exciting.

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Lauren was a complete newbie.  Her first time putting up her tent was her first night sleeping under canvas ever.  Her first cook group was the first time she’d ever cooked outside, and for a big group of people (she later admitted to going out to eat almost every night of the week at home, because that’s what people in the city do).  And, just to help set the scene, I should also let you know that Lauren is very pretty, very blonde, speaks in a wonderfully posh accent, and at first glance, could be assumed to be – in overlanding terms of course – a  “Princess”.  But she’s also a person who gets involved, who always wants to help, who loves to start the party, and who endears herself to everyone because she’s a great person to be around.  The perfect person to have on an overland truck, and very much not a princess! (Well, until there’s mud…and bugs…)

And get stuck in she did!  She tackled and completed the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (and the mandatory 24 hour challenge afterwards!); she survived three days in the Amazon Jungle; she pitched and took down her tent about 100 times; prepared not only her own cook groups’ meals but helped out with almost all of the others, and wasn’t even the first in the shower queue after not washing for 4 nights!!  And to think that at the very start of the expedition, she’d never done anything like this before!

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Overlanding is a “different” way to travel.  It challenges you; it takes you so roughly out of your comfort zone that often you have to redefine the boundaries.  It will probably make you sweatier, dirtier, and more dishevelled than you’ve ever been before.  You will learn that pooing in a hole you dug yourself is nearly always preferable to every other option; that t-shirts really can endure 5 days in a row without disintegrating (and that you smell yourself before others do…usually), and that talk of bowel movements is perfectly acceptable at breakfast time.  You will also realise that drinking beer around the campfire is the best way to enjoy them (as long as there’s ice in the esky!); you really don’t need to care about what you look like (an incredible relief!) and you will probably make some of the best friends you’ve ever had on your trip, as a result of the amazing (and some not so amazing and way more personal) experiences you’ll share.

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Lauren, in fact, enjoyed her first Oasis trip with me so much that when she saw I was later running trips through Central Asia, she was the first to book! And this time she came armed with knowledge about the sh*t shovels, how best to roast marshmallows around the fire, how long her hair can last before she really does need to wash it, and when to party and when not to risk that hangover at altitude again!  She also arrived with bucket loads of enthusiasm and “getting involved” vibes, which infected everyone and helped us all have an incredible few months. And, I think she’d agree that her trip also gave her the confidence to start travelling all over the world.

So if you’ve always thought overlanding wasn’t your thing; that you couldn’t handle it, or you’re scared, think again.  It takes all sorts to travel on a big yellow truck, and as long as you want a challenge; fancy travelling off the beaten track; want to meet new people; can enjoy dinner around the campfire; and don’t mind missing out on a shower or two, you might just be missing out on the trip of a lifetime.]

See ya on the road….!!

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12 Days of Christmas Day 12: 20% off South America overland tours

Day 12: 20% off Andes and Amazon Santiago to Quito/Quito to Santiago 53 days

Save £357 when you book a 53-day Santiago to Quito or Quito to Santiago overland adventure, departing Santiago on 25 February 2017 or departing Quito on 17 September or 27 October 2017.

Llama overlooking Machu Picchu

Trip Highlights

The Amazon jungle, rafting and canyoning options in Ecuador, beach life in northern Peru, ascending into the Andes, hiking to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail, stay with a local family on Lake Titicaca, explore the bustling streets of La Paz, optional excursion across the majestic Salt Flats, northern Argentina’s wine region, Santiago, Chile’s modern and cosmopolitan capital.

 

To Book

Please click on the following link: Andes and Amazon (53 days)

Go through the online booking process as usual and use voucher code: OAS12DC

 

Terms & Conditions

This amazing offer is valid until midnight (UK time) on 28th Dec 2016.

All bookings are non-transferable

This offer is only valid for the 23 February 2017 departure from Santiago and 17 September and 27 October departure from Quito.

Subject to availability.

All travellers must pay full local payment.

 

Any Questions

Contact us at info@oasisoverland.co.uk or call us on 01963 363400

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12 Days of Christmas Day 11: 20% off Nairobi to Cape Town trips!

Day 11: 20% off Coast to Coast overland trips!

Worth £279 when you book 10th Sept, 19th Oct & 26th Nov 2017 departures.

Crocodile - look for these beasts on the Nairobi to Cape Town overland tour

Trip Highlights

4 nights on Zanzibar, a private game ranch, relaxing on the shores of lake Malawi, Chimanimani National Park, Chobe river cruise, flood lit watering holes in Etosha National Park and a chance to enjoy adrenaline activities in Swakopmund.

 

To Book

Please click on the following link: Nairobi to Cape Town, Coast to Coast

Go through the online booking process as usual and use voucher code: OAS11DC

Also available on Cape Town to Nairobi, Coast to Coast on the 25th June 2017 departure

 

Terms & Conditions

This amazing offer is valid until midnight (UK time) on 28th Dec 2016.

All bookings are non-transferable

Local payment is not affected

This offer is only valid for 10th Sept, 19th Oct & 26th Nov 2017, as well as the Northbound 25th June 2017 departure dates

 

Any Questions

Contact us at info@oasisoverland.co.uk or call us on 01963 363400

 

 

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12 Days of Christmas Day 10: 25% off our new Tbilisi to Bishkek overland trip

25% off our new Caucasus to Kyrgyzstan overland trip!

Tbilisi to Bishkek overland trip

Save £437.50 when you book a 42-day Tbilisi to Bishkek or Bishkek to Tbilisi overland adventure, departing Tbilisi on 14 June or departing Bishkek on 11 August 2017.

Trip Highlights

The Caucasus republics of Georgia and Armenia, wine growing regions and rich history, stunning mountain scenery and ancient monasteries, the chaotic streets of Tehran, Imam Square in Esfahan, the ruins at Persepolis, crossing the Iranian desert and Yazd, the pilgrimage sites of Masshad, Ashgabat, the Darvaza Gas Crater in Turkmenistan, camp by the Aral Sea, historic Silk Road cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, hike in the mountains of Kazakhstan and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s chilled capital city.

 

To Book

Please click on the following link: Caucasus to Kyrgyzstan

Go through the online booking process as usual and use voucher code: OAS10DC

 

Terms & Conditions

This amazing offer is valid until midnight (UK time) on 28th Dec 2016.

All bookings are non-transferable

This offer is only valid for the 14 June Tbilisi to Bishkek and 11 August Bishkek to Tbilisi trips.

Subject to availability.

All travellers must pay full local payment.

 

Any Questions

Contact us at info@oasisoverland.co.uk or call us on 01963 363400

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12 Days of Christmas Day 9: 30% off Gorillas & Gameparks trips!

Mountain Gorilla in Uganda

Day 9: 30% off Gorillas & Gameparks trips!

Worth £163 when you book 25th April, 21st May, 30th June, 29th July & 30th Sept 2017 departures.

 

 

 

Trip Highlights

Wildlife in Nakuru National Park and Lake Naivasha, the chance to whitewater raft the Nile, Lake Bunyonyi, opportunity to trek to see mountain gorillas in the wild and the Virunga Mountains.

 

To Book

Please click on the following link: Gorillas & Gameparks

Go through the online booking process as usual and use voucher code: OAS9DC

 

Terms & Conditions

This amazing offer is valid until midnight (UK time) on 28th Dec 2016.

All bookings are non-transferable

Local payment is not affected

This offer is only valid for 25th April, 21st May, 30th June, 29th July & 30th Sept 2017 departure dates

 

 

Any Questions

Contact us at info@oasisoverland.co.uk or call us on 01963 363400

 

 

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12 Days of Christmas Day 8: 20% off Nairobi to Dar es Salaam trips!

Day 8: 20% off Nairobi to Dar es Salaam trips!

Worth £198 when you book 6th Feb, 25th April, 29th July, 30th Sept and 7th Nov 2017 departure dates.

 

Trip Highlights

Wildlife in Nakuru National Park and Lake Naivasha, the chance to whitewater raft the Nile, Lake Bunyonyi, opportunity to trek to see mountain gorillas in the wild, Virunga Mountains and 4 nights on Zanzibar.

 

To Book

Please click on the following link: Gorillas, Gameparks & Zanzibar

Go through the online booking process as usual and use voucher code: OAS8DC

 

Terms & Conditions

This amazing offer is valid until midnight (UK time) on 28th Dec 2016

All bookings are non-transferable

Local payment is not affected

This offer is only valid for 6th Feb, 25th April, 29th July, 30th Sept and 7th Nov 2017 departure dates

 

Any Questions?

Contact us at info@oasisoverland.co.uk or call us on 01963 363400

 

Pic Day 8

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12 Days of Christmas Day 6: Book Deserts & Gameparks Trip& 1 friend gets the trip cost free!

Worth £625 when you book 18th May, 22nd Aug, 20th Sept, 14th Oct and 30th Dec 2017 departures.

(They will still need to pay the local payment which is currently $445)

Trip Highlights

Chobe River Cruise, a chance to take a mokoro in to the Okavango Delta, Etosha National Park, Skeleton Coast, spectacular scenery in Spitzkoppe, climbing Dune 45 in the Namib Desert and adrenaline activities in Swakopmund.

 

To Book

Please click on the following link: Deserts & Gameparks

Go through the online booking process as usual and use voucher code: OAS6DC

 

Terms & Conditions

This amazing offer is valid until midnight (UK time) on 28th Dec 2016

All bookings are non-transferable

Local payment is not affected – each person must pay US$445 Local Payment

The booking for the 2 people must be made at the same time on one booking form.

This offer is only valid for 18th May, 22nd Aug, 20th Sept, 14th Oct and 30th Dec 2017 departure dates

 

Any Questions

Contact us at info@oasisoverland.co.uk or call us on 01963 363400

 

Pic Day 6

 

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12 Days of Christmas Day 5: 20% Off Kyrgyzstan Overland Bishkek to Bishkek

Save £113 when you book our Kyrgyzstan Overland adventure departing Bishkek on 25 July 2017

 

Trip Highlights

An outdoor lover’s dream!  Explore the high mountains of Kyrgyzstan with hiking Alryn Arashan and Jeti Orguz, stay with a local family in a yurt alongside Lake Song Kol, camp in the wilderness in Tash Rabat, and meet the friendly locals in this unknown corner of Asia!

 

To Book

Please click on the following link: Kyrgyzstan Overland

Go through the online booking process as usual and use voucher code: OAS5DC

 

Terms & Conditions

This amazing offer is valid until midnight (UK time) on 28th Dec 2016.

All bookings are non-transferable

This offer is only valid for our 25th July 2017 departure.

Subject to availability.

All travellers must pay full local payment.

 

Any Questions

Contact us at info@oasisoverland.co.uk or call us on 01963 363400

 

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