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The W Trek – A Photo Blog

There are some places on earth where words, however powerful they are, cannot begin to evoke the beauty of the natural world. We think one of these such places in Torres del Paine National Park. The W Trek is a 4 day walk through the incredible mountainous landscape of the park and can be completed during any Oasis trip that travels down to Patagonia. Here’s the trek as a photo journey.

Whichever track you take, you’ll almost definitely be surrounded by jaw-dropping scenes

 

The weather is supremely powerful and unpredictable in Patagonia, and the strong winds sculpt the landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a great park for flower lovers!

 

The Towers, or Torres, are the most iconic image associated with the park. And involve possibly the most demanding hike to get to!

 

While the scrub land is muted in russet colours, the lakes are electric blue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Britannico look out is spectacular

 

360 degrees of amazing views – well worth the hike to get here!

 

 

Another Photo Stop…

 

 

 

 

And another…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful clean water to drink

 

 

 

 

 

Sunrise here is worth getting up for

 

 

You’ve got mountains, you’ve got lakes, and you’ve got Grey’s Glacier

 

 

A moment of reflection

 

 

 

Upon completing the W Trek, you’ll feel on top of the world!

 

The W Trek can be booked as an Add On to the trips detailed below, or as a stand-alone Mini Adventure. Contact our team on southamerica@oasisoverland.co.uk to find out more!

Coast to Coast (51 Days) Santiago to Rio via Patagonia, or vice versa

Patagonian Adventures (31 days) Santiago to Buenos Aires, or vice versa

Kingdoms & Carnivals (15 weeks) Quito to Rio, or vice versa

 

Happy Travels! 🙂

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The Local Tipple

One of my favourite parts of travelling is the weird and wonderful food and drink you “have” to try when visiting a new place – it’s a huge part of the local culture. This means that I have to allow myself the occasional indulgence into the local booze – for research purposes you understand. Learning the proper way to drink Konyagi with our Tanzanain safari guide; that every sip of wine at a meal in Georgia is accompanied by a toast, or that you should always sip rather than down the entire glass of vodka if you’re going to make it all the way through an Uzbeki wedding – these are just some of the fantastic memories I’ve collected from my time travelling with Oasis Overland.  Here’s a few of my favourite tipples that you can check out on our Oasis trips across the world.

Wine 

We are very lucky that our trips travel to some of the most delicious wine regions worldwide! Is it a coincidence that I’ve managed to get to all of them? But of course…! When you are travelling on your Oasis trip through South America, make sure you sample a Malbec from Argentina and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile (NEVER the other way around!). There’s even a “Vinoeria” in El Chalten in Argentina, it’s practically on the itinerary!

South Africa also deserves a mention here – the wine tour through Stellenbosch was one of my favourite ways to end my trips through Southern Africa. I will always associate my first tastes of pinotage and viognier with my time in Stellenbosch, but there’s so many whites and reds that you just have to try!

Georgia is my new go-to for wine, I had NO idea how yummy they are! Make sure you try a Saperavi or a Mukuzani, from various wineries (to make a balanced verdict, right?!). They will become your new favourite!

I suppose I have to mention Rice Wine here, which you can drink in China and at other stops during our trip through South East Asia. It’s an acquired taste – I have only met one person who likes it, and that’s including the locals! China also produces its own red and white wine – you’ll even see the vineyards on your trip! My advice would be, cheap definitely isn’t best here- spend the few extra dollars to get something more palatable 😉

Local Spirits

There are a few countries on Oasis itineraries that celebrate their own individual spirits. Some of these are fantastic, others are, well, interesting! Here’s a few worth mentioning:

Pisco Sour – THE drink to try in Peru and Chile, where this cocktail lords as the National Drink! Pisco is made locally in-country, and while some may not appreciate the spirit straight (I hold my hand up), when mixed with egg white, lime juice and sugar, it truly is delicious. Pace yourself, they go down pretty easily…!

Caipirinha – While we’re thinking of South America, we can’t not mention Brazil’s National Cocktail. Made with the country’s signature rum, Cacacha, it’s served with lime and sugar and ice. Refreshing and potent!

Konyagi – I have to mention this Tanzanian “gin”, which tastes nothing like any other gin I’ve ever tried and is marketed as “the Spirit of the Nation”. The weirdest thing about the spirit is that it comes in plastic pouches which are sold in strips – I don’t think I’ve ever seen alcohol sold like that anywhere else!

Beer

Happily, many of the countries we travel to on our Oasis trips boast their own National Beers. The tricky part is, deciding which is best! Here’s a list of those that deserve a try:

Kenya – Tusker

Tanzania – Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Ndovu or Safari (plenty to choose from here!)

Ethiopia – St Georges

Zimbabwe – Zambezi

Namibia – Windhoek

South Africa – Castle

Democratic Republic of Congo – Primus

Argentina – Quilmas

Peru – Cusquena

There are also a few home brews that I recommend tasting – and passing round! These definitely get better with practice, and really are a part of local culture, so it’s worth volunteering to try them! From banana beer in East Africa (my favourite was in Uganda), to Chicha, or corn beer in Chile, you realise there really are many ways to brew beer!

Cider

I have to mention my favourite cider, because this delicious drink was always waiting for me at various different bars throughout Africa (back when I didn’t drink beer. I am a reformed character now). Savanna. A South African beauty. Try it, and I challenge you not to enjoy it!

 

 

Vodka

I’ve travelled through Central Asia a few times on our Oasis trips, and while there’s many differences within cultures as you travel from country to country, what links them all is their love of vodka! I’ve tried Turkmenistan vodka, Uzbekistan vodka (at a wedding, no less!), Kazakhstan vodka and Kyrgyzstan vodka. There are some that are so smooth you can drink them straight around the campfire; there are others that squeeze your throat and make you feel like you’re sampling paint stripper. Choose with care! I haven’t yet had Russian vodka, or Tajikistan vodka – maybe I need to join our trip travelling there in 2020…?!

Brandy

Armenia deserves a mention here, with its historic Ararat Brandy. You can even do a tour of the distillery in Yerevan – tasters are even more delicious after coming through Iran after a few dry weeks!

Believe it or not, I’m not actually an alcoholic, but often alcohol has a lot of significance within a culture, and learning something about it can really enhance your experience in a country. So when you book your Oasis trip, whether it’s through Africa, South America or Central Asia, do some research about what to try – you’ll give yourself the chance to meet new people, try something new and end up with some great travelling stories! Cheers! 🙂

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Fancy time on the beach during the festive season this year?

Have you ever thought about getting away for Christmas and New Year but have never actually done it?!

We have lots of other options for you to choose from of course check out our Christmas and New Year departures here! But what better way to spend your festive season then on the beach be it for the ultimate relaxation in Zanzibar or to party the night away on Copacabana Beach in Rio!

Zanzibar is the perfect place to escape and get some much needed downtime! First and foremost you won’t be let down by the incredible white sandy beaches and crystal clear water! You can choose to swim with dolphins, sunbathe or indulge in various water sports including snorkelling and scuba diving. The dhow sunset cruise with local musicians is also an activity not to be missed!

The charm of Zanzibar doesn’t stop with the beaches; otherwise known as the ‘Spice Islands’ the farming of spices form a large part of the culture. You can choose to take a spice tour where you get the chance to sample several delicious Zanzibar dishes utilizing the many spices you will learn about. Lunch is included in the cost and this is cooked by the wife of our local operator so you get to meet and spend time with local people, see where they live and sample what they eat all in one!

Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is packed full of history and things to do. It is the old quarter of Zanzibar city, the island’s capital and over the years African, Arabian, Indian, European and Swahili influences have blended to create the way of life here.

The night market showcases fantastic local food, especially fresh seafood for those that want it…there are other options too!

Walking tours immerse you in the history of this Spice island and the history of slavery as well as the maze of narrow alleyways lined by colonial style houses, bazaars and mosques which are fun to explore. Whilst there it is also worth checking out the Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe), the People’s Palace (Beit-el-Sahel), the Old Slave Market which is now a cathedral, the Darajani Bazaar, mosques and Hindu temples and the Persian baths!

Why not soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying a cocktail on one of the roof top terraces or go to the Africa House to overlook the ocean and with a drink in hand see if you can spot any dolphins!

Zanzibar really is the ultimate place to relax, unwind and give you the best chance of starting your 2020 the right way!

Check out these trips that include time in Zanzibar over the festive season:

Nairobi to Harare (22 days) departing on the 14th December
Nairobi to Dar Es Salaam (33 days) departing on the 25th November
Nairobi to Johannesburg (93 days) departing on the 25th November

If celebrating with an incredible party atmosphere is more up your street, how about seeing in the New Year on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? The atmosphere is electric with millions of people joining in. The locals get there earlier in the day to ‘reserve’ their patch for the celebrations and as the day goes on the crowds keep building with the party culminating in a fantastic  firework display over the sea making it a truly unforgettable way to start your South American Adventure!

Whilst in Rio, you could also take the cog train up to Corcovado for stunning views beneath the open – armed Christ the Redeemer, enjoy a cable car ride up to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for breathtaking views over what many describe as the most beautiful city in the world and if you time it right watching the sun set on a clear day is by far the most rewarding from up here.

Sip on one caipirinha (or a few!) whilst watching the sunset over Ipanema beach or for the more energetic find the perfect beat at a samba club in Lapa one of Brazil’s most musically charged neighbourhood and dance the night away or walk up the world famous Selaron steps.

For those interested in the culture and history of Rio a tour of one or more of the favelas should not be missed or for anyone who is football mad, the Maracana Stadium is a must see – you may even be able to catch a game!

The other option is to start your trip in Quito in November or Santiago in early January 2020 giving you the opportunity to finish your South American adventure by experiencing the magnificent Rio Carnival which is said to be the biggest carnival in the world with over two million people per day on the streets! The parade through the Sambadrome features elaborate floats surrounded by dancers and drummers and the local blocos and bandas (street parties) are guaranteed fun!

The choice is yours! Check out the trips below which include the option to do one or the other in Rio:

Rio to Manaus (57 days) departing on the 4th January
Quito to Rio (15 weeks) departing on the 8th November
Santiago to Rio (51 days) departing on the 1st January

We love chatting about all things travel so do get in touch if we can help with any further information or you need some inspiration about where to go next!

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Why I love being an Oasis Tour Leader by Jemma

It’s an amazing feeling when a passion and a career come together!

I have 4 big passions in life; travel, animals, music and helping people.

I fell in love with Africa when I first visited 4 years ago on my first overlanding experience through the Eastern and Southern Africa as a traveller. People say you leave a part of your heart in Africa once you depart and I sure did! So, I spent the best part of the next 4 years trying to get back there!

I remember the day Oasis Overland called me to tell me that they had a position for me and could I be in Africa in 5 days! I was at Reykjavik airport going back home to the UK after working in Finland and travelling to Russia for the winter and I just cried! Of course I jumped at the chance, my dream had come true.

I have my truck licence and have a basic knowledge of mechanics, however I was taken on as a Tour Leader. I joined a trip in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, one of my favourite countries from travelling in Africa previously, met the Driver Often and off we went!

Another Tour Leader taught me all she knew with the time she had and then I was on my own! Having 22 faces stare at you, waiting for you to address the group and tell them tomorrow’s plan and then trying to answer multiple questions, many the same, is quite a daunting thing for a new comer! I however got stuck in and that feeling soon went.

I started to fall in love with Africa all over again; being on the open road, the wind in your hair, music playing, seeing not only sheep and cows which is what I’m used to living in England, but also zebras, giraffe and even elephants! What also amazes me is that there is so much life we see as we pass by small villages made up of mud huts, bustling roads, children playing, lush rainforests, desert lands and busy markets. One of my favourite things to see is all the children waving at us and running by the side of the truck whilst trying to keep up, shouting and laughing. What I like even better is when the adults wave. Sometimes you really do feel like royalty when passing through the towns and villages as you are looked at in wonder.

So, when asked ‘tell me about a typical day in the life of a Tour Leader’ I can’t! Each and every day is different which is what I love about the job. From our travellers who are different ages and nationalities with completely different life experiences, the group size to the countries we go through and the places we visit, the difference in the time of year with the changing seasons and weather patterns, the border crossings, not knowing how the day will pan out, the food we get to try and the food we cook, to the different people we meet and learn about along with their cultures and traditions. Every day is a new day, each unique and exciting. I love the excitement of not knowing what tomorrow may bring!

Sometimes there are challenges but if I’ve learnt anything about the African way of life, it’s that I have had to adopt the ‘Hakuna Matata’ way of life meaning no worries and Pole Pole which means slowly, slowly and I truly believe that everything will be ok in the end and if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end!

One of the most important traits for a Tour Leader to have is to be organised, although from my experience of doing this job so far, I have also become pretty good at trying to be a meteorologist, an agony aunt, an expert of different types of bug bites, a distance and time predictor, a money calculator and converter, a friend, a confidant, a life coach, a drinking buddy, a food tester, an African wildlife spotter and expert and a psychic – to name but a few! All part and parcel of the job I would say!

It’s not just a job though, it’s a lifestyle and working for Oasis Overland in Africa is an incredible experience. With the long drive days, some across hundreds of kilometres of pot holed dusty, bumpy roads comes fantastic views and an exciting journey.

For every cold shower, there are normally 2 hot ones; you just have to be patient. Where there’s no Wi-Fi, there are friends to be made, when it rains there’s rainbow to be seen.

At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty and your hair should be messy but you will have a story to tell.

My 3 favourite experiences if asked right now would be;

  • Bush camping where there are no facilities, but made complete with a camp-fire, toasting marshmallows, friends telling stories and sleeping under the stars.
  • The smiles and glee on my passengers faces when they have had a good day or seen something great and really appreciate the beauty of Africa ❤
  • The anticipation of tomorrow and what may be.

 

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Crew Focus: Driver Often

How long have you been overlanding and how did you get into it? Which Oasis areas have you worked in?

21 years in over landing.

I started out by working in a campsite helping with mechanics on the trucks and was asked if I wanted to work for the overlanding company. I started out with Trek Africa. I was taken on as a general helper, making fires, cooking, general help and then worked up to Driver (as I already had my licence and also had studied mechanics previously) and then Tour Leader. In between trips I studied tourism and got my tour leader qualification.

 

Where are you now? Next trip?

I am now in Tanzania on a  Grand Adventurer (93 days) trip

What was your first Overland trip? Any particular memories?

I started with Trek Africa 1997 doing Nairobi to Cape Town.

Funniest overlanding moment:

Back in the old days when the crew used to play tricks with other crew and have fun at campsites like filling balloons with water and throwing them at each other and other practical jokes.

Happiest overlanding memory:

Whatever I’m doing I’m happy. I was really happy to receive a Tour Leader award with a previous company for 5 years running. I still have the certificates!

Favourite places/ activities:

Maasai mara (Kenya) and Serengeti (Tanzania) as Kenya is my home country and also I love animals so much!

Where would you like to travel next?

I do love the route I do now but I also like the idea of Nairobi to Cairo (9 weeks) Nile Trans

Best truck meal:

BBQ as I love meat and also traditional Ugali.

Advice for Oasis travellers:

Come to Africa to learn about this beautiful continent and the history.

Final words of wisdom:

Take on the African way….pole pole (African saying for slowly slowly).

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5 of the Most Renowned Pieces of Ancient Egyptian Architecture

Egyptian Architecture

Ancient Egypt is well known for its culture and creativity. It’s art dates as far back as 3000BC, and it teaches us a whole lot about the civilisation. Their architecture, is diverse, ranging from pyramids to temples. They are widely considered to be one of the most influential cultures that developed many sciences and arts, including architecture. Many of the more notable structures still stand, even though they were built over 4,000 years ago, with hieroglyphs that tell the story of an empire. While some facts about the structures are really surprising, others are just amazing, and we’ve put together information on 5 of the most renowned pieces of ancient Egyptian architecture for you.

Great Pyramid of Giza

Otherwise known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops, this structure is considered to be the oldest of all the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Of the three pyramids in Giza (Khafra and Menkaure being the other two) it is the only one to have three separate pharaohs command over its construction; Pharaoh Khufu, Khafre then Menkaure.

The construction took almost 20 years, and around two million blocks of stone were used to make it stand a staggering 139 meters into the sky! It is the highest pyramid in Egypt. Its interior contains three chambers, one a beautiful bedrock, the second specifically for the king and queen and the last room – made of granite – is solely for the king.

Valley of the Kings

Containing the tombs constructed for the Pharaohs and most potent Egyptian Nobles, the valley sits on the west banks of the river Nile. Each of the 63 tombs and chambers has a level of remaining decoration which consists of the art and architecture of Egyptian mythology of the time.

Tutankhamun tomb is one of the most famous of all the monuments in the valley. It’s one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the monuments holding some of the most sacred remaining objects.

Colossi of Memnon

A vast structure courtesy of Pharaoh Amenhotep III who ruled in the Dynasty XVII – the structure now sits in the slightly more modernised city Luxor. Unfortunately, the faces of the statues have been victim to erosion and therefore are no longer recognisable. Regardless, the picturesque figures still stand 75 ft high and weigh a modest 750 tonnes.

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Dedicated to the sun god Amon-Ra, the incredible structure was commanded into existence by Hatshepsut who ruled the kingdom from 1479 BC until his death in 1458 BC.

Located on the cliffs at Deir el Bahari and is considered one of the unique monuments in all of Ancient Egypt.

The wall of the temple has been crafted so that the sunlight will come from the rear wall of the chapel. This temple is a unique example of classical Ancient Egyptian architecture.

Pyramid of Djoser

Also known as the step pyramid, the Pyramid of Djoser was the first ever to be ordered by Egyptian Kings. Constructed during the 27th century BC for the purposed of burying the Pharaoh Djoser by Imhotep and his vizier.

With a substantial mortuary complex surrounded by beautiful structures and decorations, the architecture, built in decreasing mastabas, stands 62 meters high and consists of limestone.

See It All for Yourself

If you’ve always had a longing to check out the art and architecture, why not consider a trip with Oasis Overland? Our journey from Cairo to Addis Ababa takes in an incredible culture, and although you won’t be able to see everything on our list, you will be able to take in iconic sights such as the pyramids and sphinx, the moments at Tiya, and so much more.

If you’ve got any questions about our Egyptian adventure, feel free to ask our team – we’re always happy to help!

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Group Travel: The Best Bits

Group Travel; What’s it like?

A lot of people have an opinion on travelling in a group. Some people think it’s the best thing ever; others might worry they’ll be stuck with a group of non like-minded travellers. Why not find out for yourself? Whether you’re a solo traveller, travelling with a partner or wanting to tag along with a friend, our overland group trips enable you to have a fantastic trip! We travel throughout Africa, South America and Central/South East Asia, and truly believe that group travel our way really does mean that everyone comes away with an incredible experience.

Here are eight of the best reasons why we at Oasis Overland think it’s better to travel with a group.

Friends from around the world

How cool is it to start your trip with immediate friends? They might not be the same people you’d hang out with at home, and as time goes on you might find you have more in common with others in the group, but generally speaking everyone on your trip is up for an adventure. This means you all get to have the trip of a lifetime! Then there’s the added bonus that you end up with friends from all over the world – more opportunities for people to visit! I personally have met friends for life on Oasis Overland trips, and have seen relationships blossom into marriages and families. The bonds you develop and the experiences you share are with you for a long time after your trip ends😊

There’s always someone to tag along with

Within any group, there are plenty of individuals who each prefer their own way of travelling. Some people want to tick off everything the Lonely Planet tells them to do; others prefer to seek out lesser visited sites off the tourist trail. Sometimes people like to find a good café for a coffee and a wifi session – everyone’s different and will feel like doing different things each day. The best thing about being in a group is that you can choose who to tag along with on any given day! Perhaps one day you really do want to see every church in Cusco, but then at the next stop you’re happy to chill by the pool and miss the cultural tour. You have company for all activities!

Group Sandboarding Peru

The research is done for you!

When it comes to sky diving over the Namib desert, or mountain biking down Death Road in Bolivia, it can take a lot of time to check out various suppliers and make sure they provide great experiences and importantly, they take responsibility for your safety seriously! Travelling with a company who’s been there before means you can leave the decision making to them and spend your time doing something more fun!

Insider tips for the best coffee/bar/souvenir shop/tourist attraction

Our truck trips at Oasis Overland are run by two crew, a Tour Leader and a Driver/Mechanic, while our regional explorer trips are led by an experienced Tour Leader. These guys have often been to places a LOT of times, and therefore are on hand to advise where you really can get a good coffee in the morning, or where best to watch the sunset from and get a good cocktail! You might want more tailored advice for whatever you’re into, and if they can’t help, I’m sure they’ll know someone who can!

Your day is organised for you

Think of all the time you spend working out what to do in a country, or how long to spend in a place. Pre-planning is a lot of work! During our trips, there is a day by day itinerary for however many weeks you’re on tour. Within this, there are some days set aside for whatever activities you choose to do. Your Tour Leader will try to budget in “down time” in places where there is lots to do, such as Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, or Cusco in Peru. Otherwise, you can just relax and wait to hear when and where you need to be!

Free transport and accommodation

Okay, so it’s not exactly free – you have paid for it! But once you’ve paid for your trip, that’s it! Your accommodation is covered (unless you fancy treating yourself to an upgrade one night), as is your transport in one of Oasis’ expedition vehicles! That leaves you to spend your pennies on other things that might be more fun…!

Someone else can do it first

Not sure you want to sample that mopani worm, or taste the toasted termites? May be holding the tarantula is just a step too far, or perhaps you’re not quite ready to throw yourself off the bungee bridge. Well, let your fellow travellers do it first! See how they get on, decide whether it’s worth it, and then do it! Some activities require a minimum number too – there’s benefits to already having a group behind you!

Borrow anything you’ve forgotten

A big advantage of travelling with others is being able to share. Phone chargers, camera cables – even swapping dollars for local currency; your fellow travellers are available! You can swap books during the trip, pool photos at the end of it; travelling in a group just makes your life easier!

Check out our website now for our many group travel adventures!

Happy Travels! 🙂

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Crew Focus: Tour Leader Ricardo

How long have you been overlanding and how did you get into it? Which Oasis areas have you worked in?

I have been a Tour Leader running Peru and Bolivia trips for almost 9 years.  I decided to stay in South America and become an expert in my area as in my opinion; there is nothing better than showing my own country to all those adventurous travellers who want to explore it. I have also led overlanding trips in Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina and some countries in Central America.

Where are you now? Next trip?

Right now I am visiting family in Arequipa my home town whilst having a one month break. Each time I have the time off, I use it to explore a new part of this planet; it is so big and we have so much to explore. After this break, I will be doing my favourite trip Lima to La Paz

What was your first Overland trip? Any particular memories?

Lima to La Paz was my first Overland trip and I always remember being amazed by the Desert in Ica and riding in buggies over the Sand Dunes was the coolest thing I ever did back in those days.  Many years have now gone by and I am still enjoying every single second of it.

Funniest overlanding moment:

One night the whole group decided to go out for a drink and party, it was so much fun that we didn’t realize what the time was until we walked out of the club to find it was daylight!!! We then went white water rafting that day, and I remember people saying to me the whole day: Ricardo this is the last time we believe your question: SHOULD WE GO OUT FOR ONE DRINK? I guess the water from the river woke everyone up because exactly the same happened again the following night…!

Happiest overlanding memory:

One of the travellers decided that his Peruvian trip was the right time to propose to his now wife and he spent the whole trip deciding where was going be the best place to do this. After 15 days of giving him options he decided it was to be in the Amazon Jungle, so we organized for him to have a private island in the middle of the Amazon River with a fire and nice bottle of champagne.  The couple came back after the magic moment incredibly happy about the engagement! I am so pleased that it all worked out really well! There was a huge Amazon Jungle celebration that night!

Favourite places/ activities:

Camping in Huacachina Desert, the Amazon Jungle, watching the milky way in the Salt Flats in Bolivia, walking the Inca Trail, I could go on as I have such a long list… I also love scuba diving and pretty much all water related activities, sand boarding and martial arts.

Where would you like to travel next?

I have always been fascinated with the northern lights and I want to dive between two continents. Diving Silfra may well be my next new stop as this is the top of my list.

Best meal on a trip:

The best Peruvian meal I probably would have to say “Jalea de Mariscos”; which is a mixture of ceviche and deep-fried seafood.

Advice for Oasis travellers:

“It will never be the same as someone tells you, the best thing is to go and see it yourself”

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South Africa- a fantastic destination even in the winter!

A regular question I get asked is; when is the best time to go on a trip. I totally understand this question, as I would want to know myself.

However this can be hard to answer, mainly because with the current climate this makes the weather not as predictable as it used to be and it depends on where you want to go and what you want to do.

It’s usually all about the sunshine and warmth come July, with the northern hemisphere’s sizzling summer temperatures enticing you to the world’s most popular places.

So when you think about coming out to Africa you are probably not going to think about booking a trip in their winter time even though this is actually our summer time in the UK! However there are definitely pros for travelling to countries in the winter time (as well as the summer) particularly when travelling to Africa and that is exactly what I just did!

Let me dispel a few myths, firstly that it will be cold the whole time….I have pretty much been in shorts daily and enjoying lovely weather with blue skys, which you can see from my pictures that I have been taking whilst on this trip.

I’m not going to lie, it has been getting very cold in certain places at night and once the sun goes down you will need some extra layers and a good sleeping bag for this time of year. What is important to remember is that whatever time of year you come on this trip you will get some cold weather as we visit places that are at high altitudes, such as Lesotho, or being surrounded by the Drakensburg mountains.

I also get asked about the game viewing in the winter and what animals can be seen at this time of the year. From first hand experience on my current trip, this has definitely not been disappointing either; in Addo National Park which is included in the trip, it felt like we almost had the place to ourselves as there were only a few other vehicles, making it brilliant viewing for us! And there were so many elephants that I lost count of how many we saw, as well as spotting lions and rhinos.

Of course wildlife is wild so even hour to hour what one person may be lucky enough to see, you may not, but the animals are all still there whether it is the winter or the summer. Whales are more likely to be spotted in the summer months in South Africa but I saw people taking boats out whilst I was there and they were coming back saying they had seen both whales and pods of dolphins,  so it is definitely not a write off in the winter.

Rain – whenever I think about winter I think about rain! I was on this trip for 15 days and we had one afternoon of heavy rain – not that we minded as we kept ourselves entertained in a bar on the waterfront! Then we had one other morning where there was some light drizzle for about an hour before turning into another glorious hot day!

I shall finish by saying that a winter trip over here has definitely opened my mind up about when is a good time to travel!

Whenever you decide to go I am sure you will have a fantastic time, just make sure you have a big enough SD card for your camera, as if you are anything like me you will be taking hundreds of photos to sort through once you are back home!

I have just completed the Cape Town to Johannesburg (17 days) trip.

If you want to chat about the trip with me, I am more than happy to give you more information and hints and tips of where to go and what to see. You can email me at africa@oasisoverland.co.uk or call +44 (0)1963 363400.

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Top Lakes to See on your Travels

The world is full of natural wonders, and we think it’s a waste never to see at least a few of them. So, why not join us on an Oasis Overland adventure and start viewing more of the spectacular world we live in? As an example of the sights, you could see along the way, check out these top lakes to see on your travels – all of them are included on an Oasis Overland tour!

Sunset at Mwanza on Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria

The largest lake in Africa, this is also the second largest freshwater lake in the world, so if it’s the size you’re looking for then you should check this one out! It’s also the source of the River Nile and sits within three different countries; Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Marvel at the African sunset as it reflects upon the water; explore the surrounding wildlife spots.  See this huge lake on our NAIROBI to NAIROBI (19 days) Gorillas & Gameparks

 

Oasis Overland truck and group at Lake Issyk-kul in Kyrgyzstan

Lake Issyk-Kul

Another impressive lake when it comes to size, Lake Issyk-Kul is the second largest alpine lake in the world. It’s located in eastern Kyrgyzstan in the northern Tian Shan mountains and is also the seventh deepest lake in the world. Hike through the hills and take in all the beautiful lake views.  We travel around Lake Issyk-Kul on our BISHKEK to DUSHANBE (18 Days) Pamir Explorer

 

Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan

Lake Song Kol

Another wonder in Kyrgyzstan, Lake Song Kol sits amongst the high mountain pastures. Explore the surrounding areas where livestock graze and, between June and August, the herdsmen live in little yurts.  You can see this lake on our BISHKEK to BISHKEK (15 days) Kyrgyzstan Overland

 

A reed island on Lake TiticacaLake Titicaca

Delve into the lively culture of South America by heading to Lake Titicaca, which runs between Peru and Bolivia. With deep blue waters surrounded by rugged mountains, this lake is a sight to behold. Travel by boat to the floating islands of the Uru people and enjoy the breath-taking views on one of our Peru & Bolivia small group adventures.

 

Horse riding at Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi

Head to East Africa and Malawi to discover paradise. Lake Malawi is home to a whole variety of unique fish and marine life, and the clear blue waters make them easy to spot.  Dive in to snorkel before heading to one of the sandy beaches for an afternoon sunbathing. Sounds perfect to us!  Experience it for yourself on our NAIROBI to HARARE (22 days) Savanna Dawn

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