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The Wonder of the Galapagos Islands

Nestled in the waters of the Pacific Ocean are the beautiful Galapagos Islands, part of the South American country of Ecuador, which sits around 1,000km away. There are 13 main islands in the group, 5 of which are completely uninhabited, and all of which hold plenty to explore.

If you’ve heard of the Galapagos before, it may be because of Charles Darwin’s famous trip to the Galapagos Islands where he began to work on his theory of evolution. Or, maybe you’re an animal lover and you know about the biodiversity here, or you’re just a keen traveller, and you’ve seen them for yourself!

boobies in Galapagos

Either way, the Galapagos Islands are a wonderful place to visit, and a bucket list destination that we think is incredible!

Why Visit the Galapagos?

There are a ton of reasons to visit the Galapagos Islands. For starters, the incredible abundance of wildlife is like nowhere else. They roam freely, unafraid of humans and not a threat, creating a wonderful feeling of harmony between man and animal.  It’s also one of the remotest groups of islands in the world, meaning that much of the natural life has remained untouched, creating a completely unique experience for visitors.

giant tortoise standing next to human in Galapagos

 

It’s wonderful for snorkelling, has plenty of clear blue ocean, and the beautiful landscapes will certainly take your breath away! Lounge under the sun, and hike up volcanoes, getting to grips with these stunning places that you’ll certainly never forget.

To really experience the Galapagos Islands and get the most out of your trip, why not join Oasis Overland’s 8 Day Cruise? It’s the ideal way to explore the area with an expert guide – and you’ll make plenty of new friends to travel with, too!

tourist cruise on the sea with blue sky

 

Oasis Overland 8 Day Galapagos Island Cruise

 

Spend just over a week travelling around the Islands, taking in all they have to offer. There are lots of action packed and fun activities to do, including:

  • Snorkelling with marine life
  • Travelling by ‘panga’ – a Galapagos amphibious craft, to see sea life such as turtles, penguins, mola-mola, and nazca boobies
  • Encountering lava flows on hikes
  • Visiting the world-renowned Darwin Lake
  • Getting up close to tortoises at Breeding Center Arnaldo Tupiza
  • Taking strolls over sandy beaches at sunset
  • Floating in the hypersalinic lagoon

sea turtle in the Galapagos

 

This trip is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and totally different from your average holiday!

If you’re interested in joining the Galapagos Island group adventure and have any questions, get in touch with our team today.

 large lizard

Posted in All Blogs, South America.

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Did you know that we run a trip from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls?

This action-packed overland adventure travels through South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe; it’s an amazing trip visiting renowned gameparks, enjoying spectacular views and finishing in an adrenalin heaven!

The 19day trip includes 50% accommodation in lodges and hostels and 50% camping so perfect for travellers who want to experience overlanding but don’t have a lot of time to travel and would rather not camp for all of it!

Starting in Johannesburg, South Africa  – you have the option to take a tour down a Goldmine at Gold Reef City, visit Soweto and the former home of Nelson Mandela, local shabeens (bars) or the Apartheid Museum.

Moving onto the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland you will visit Mbabane the capital and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kruger National Park is next where you will go on an afternoon game drive in the overland truck and have the chance to spot some incredible wildlife!

After Kruger, the truck will move onto the Hot Springs of Tshipise where you can swim in the naturally hot swimming pools and take some time out to relax before continuing your adventure!

Crossing into Zimbabwe, you will then stay overnight on the banks of Limpopo River which includes a wildlife drive through bushveld.

Chimanimani National Park in the Eastern Highlands is next. Here you can hike through this vast beautiful mountain wilderness area bordering Mozambique or the chance to visit Bridal Veil falls and enjoy the surrounding scenery from this sleepy village.

The trip then moves onto Great Zimbabwe Ruins – this ancient ruined city, is the largest stone structure ever built south of the Sahara and is where the name ‘Zimbabwe’ comes from which means ‘houses of stone’

Following this you will visit a privately run game reserve, where you have the option to go game viewing on horse back, amongst other activities – which makes for a very different experience!

A safari with a difference at the Matobo National Park comes next! Allowing you to game walk to get up close and see the elusive Black Rhino along with visiting Cecil Rhodes’ Grave and the chance to check out some Ancient Rock Paintings.

At Hwange National Park you will get another chance to do more wildlife spotting on a morning game drive and guided walking safari in search of large elephant herds. You will also be able to visit a Wild Dog Sanctuary.

Finally you will reach Victoria Falls which is one of the most spectacular places to end your trip!

Viewing these spectacular falls from the Zimbabwe or Zambian side is a must. For the more adventurous Victoria Falls is an Adrenaline Heaven  with a number of different activities to try your hand at including; grade 5 whitewater rafting, and kayaking trips or Flight of Angels (microlite or helicopter), sunset cruises, gorge swing, abseil, bungy jump, jet boating and more!

 

This 19day trip can be booked on its own or part of the longer 35day Southern Explorer trip which starts in Cape Town or the 93day Grand Adventurer.  

 

 

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The Best Hikes On Trips with Oasis Overland

Worried about losing your fitness while you’re on holiday? Here’s some of the best ways to get out and about and get that heart racing! 🙂

  1. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

The ancient city of Machu Picchu is one of the biggest draw cards to Peru. There are various routes to get there (including a train option for the non-hikers!) and all of them include stunning vistas through the Andes. The Classic Trail is the most popular, but those in the know also argue for the Salkantay; it really does take you up to the snow capped peaks. Others vote for the Lares trail, where you discover more local villages and get a snapshot of Andean rural life. However you get there, you’ll be following in the footsteps of the Incas, and the site of their ancient community awaits you. It’s a magical place.

 

  1. The W Trek, Chile

Possibly the most famous trek in Patagonia, this trail through Torres del Paine National Park in Chile doesn’t disappoint. With jaw-dropping views at every turn, snow capped peaks and ice blue lakes punctuate every photo. It’s not for the faint hearted, however; there is some serious uphill during the 4 day hike. You can choose one or two of the days hikes, – The Towers is a popular one. It’s tough-going, but the reward of the rock pinnacle “Towers” at the top, reflected in the glacially-cold lake, is definitely worth it. If you’re on the crazy side you could also go for a dip!

 

  1. Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

While not technically during a trip with Oasis, this expedition to the highest mountain in Africa can be added onto your African Adventure before you begin your overland trip. You’ll journey up to 5895m and back over a week, and it most certainly will test you. Rising above the cloud line is an incredible feeling, as is the sight of millions of twinkling stars in the unspoiled night sky. It’s a challenge, but the feeling of accomplishment (and relief!) when you make that signpost is almost impossible to put into words. Until you realise the locals can run up in under 10 hours…then you don’t feel quite so tough!

 

  1. Trail to Mt Fitzroy, Argentina

Walking the trails from the small town of El Chalten to the lake at the base of Mount Fitzroy, while not lauded as one of the “must dos” in Patagonia, remains one of my favourite things to do there. It’s a beautiful and relatively gentle walk, with lovely scenery along the route. If you’re lucky enough to have sunshine when you reach Mt Fitzroy, it’s a stunning scene reminiscent of the Towers in Torres del Paine – rocky outcrops dusted with snow looming over a glacial lake. If you’re lucky enough to trek in autumn, the colours of the trees make for wonderful photos 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. *Chimanimani National Park, Zimbabwe

Not many people dream of travelling to the beautiful country of Zimbabwe, and even those who do have rarely heard of Chimanimani National Park. The East Highlands form the boundary with neighbouring Mozambique, and are home to some incredible formations. A land largely covered in huge boulders, these mountain passes played a significant part in the independence war in Zimbabwe. Many people trek to Bridal Falls, a lovely waterfall and picnic spot; but if you’re up for a bigger adventure, lose yourself in the dramatic, wild landscape of rifted peaks, spectacular gorges and natural pools. Just a word of warning, if you go for a swim, it’s rather chilly…!

*This article was written before the recent Cyclone Idai devastation of the area. Our thoughts are with the people affected by this disaster. We didn’t want to remove this section as we want to keep this are in peoples’ thoughts and to acknowledge that our trips will return there as soon as we can. We are currently looking into ways to support the region during this crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Altyn Arashan, Kyrgyzstan

Another country slowly emerging as a jewel to visit, Kyrgyzstan is filled with mountains to climb and valleys to traverse. There’s rolling green hills dotted with yurts and homesteads, and herds of horses, cows and sheep roaming for the best grazing lands. Few vehicles can successfully travel up to Altyn Arashan, and this makes it extra special – when hiking up here you really do feel as if you’re the only one around. The trek towards Ala Kul lake takes you into the heart of the mountains, although unless you want to set off super early, don’t set the lake as your destination – it’s a loooong round trip! The best thing about any of the hikes here is relaxing in the hot springs by the river at the end of them – bliss!

 

  1. Villarica Volcano, Pucon

You may have seen it on the news; this still-active volcano has exploded a couple of times in the last decade! Hauling yourself up these steep slopes is a fantastic way to earn the views at the top: they are stunning! Those who don’t want to walk the whole way can take the cable car for the first half of the climb, but then everyone has to strap on their crampons and trudge through the snow to the top. The way down, however, is a little more speedy – and tremendous fun! You sit on what is essentially a plastic tray, are handed a pick axe as a ‘brake’, and take off down ice shoots as fast or as slowly as you like! Amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Trekking the Mountain Gorillas, Uganda

This is one trip that nobody ever regrets – however far you’ve had to walk. Everything depends on the apes, and how far they’ve moved through the jungle overnight. Some people find themselves trekking for hours up and down the mountain sides; others are pleasantly surprised with a gentle stroll through the rain forest. Wherever you are on the scale, you’ll have your time with these magnificent animals to treasure forever 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Aksu-Dzhabagly Nature Reserve, Kazakhstan

Travelling East across the ancient Silk Routes, this Nature Reserve is a true gem. You’ve left the desert and the dust behind, and emerged into rolling green hills and mountains covered in horses. This is the oldest nature reserve in Central Asia, and a beautiful place to take a walk. Options include hiking on foot or travelling on horseback, and both are rewarding. It’s a long walk, not particularly challenging in gradient but you’re rewarded by fantastic views and once again, that feeling that no one else is around. You also have the opportunity for some wildlife spotting – we saw ibex last time, and I still hope for a glance of a golden eagle!

 

  1. Table Mountain, South Africa

While most people choose to take the cable car up this iconic mountain, it’s also a great hike up! There are various routes you can take, some more scenic and some more direct – all of them will take you up the kilometre or so to the top. It’s an adventure for those who like to challenge themselves; if you’re content with the circular walk on top of table mountain (yes, there’s still a walk!), which boasts much better views, then the cable car is for you. It is (usually) the end of your trip after all…

 

  1. Cappadocia, Turkey

The various valleys around Cappadocia host fantastic short walks through dramatic, fairytale like rock formations. The Rose Valley is one of my favourites, where you can see fairy chimneys (which change their colour depending on the time of day!), rock churches and mini vineyards along the way. The valleys all lead into one another so you’ll have amazing views wherever you walk, and there are so many ancient caves and rock churches, you’ll never run out of new things to see. Hiking through the Ihlara Valley deserves a mention too – the cave churches are wonderful and walking through the farmers tilling their fields as they’ve done for hundreds of years, you really feel like you’ve stepped back in time!

 

  1. Dune 45, Namibia

I felt this deserves a mention because where else can you hike up a sand dune?! It may only be 170m in height (other sources say 80m; it’s somewhere inbetween!), but treading through sand is hard work – especially when you’re doing in uphill! It’s totally worth it though – watching the sun rise (or set) from the top of the dune is magical. When you realise that the sand grains you’re perched on could be up to 5 million years old, that makes it all the more breathtaking!

 

 

For more information on one or all of these hikes and what trips they feature in, please email info@oasisoverland.co.uk or give us a call. There’s nothing we like more than chatting about our trips – 01963 363400

Happy Travels! 🙂

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Crew Focus: Tour Leader Alexis

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

I’ve been overlanding for almost five years, and I got into it after a passenger trip from Nairobi to Cape Town — a trip I’ve since led many times! During a sunset cruise in Zanzibar, with a cold Safari beer in hand, as palm trees swayed on the Indian Ocean coast and live African drumming filled my ears, I realized life couldn’t get any better. A few months later I was officially Oasis crew! I have led truck trips in Africa and South America and public transport trips through Southeast Asia from China to Singapore.

Where are you now? Next trip?

Having just completed an awesome Xi’an to Singapore trip, I’m taking a couple months off at a ranch in Uruguay, midway between Montevideo and Punta del Este. A lifelong friend has asked me to help turn her family farm into a really special destination. We’re planning to offer campgrounds, hostel space, gaucho day trips and yoga retreats starting in December 2019.

My next Oasis trip is a big one — Cape Town to Cairo from June to October 2019. I am so excited to get back to Africa, get back on a truck and especially to explore Ethiopia and the Sudan for the first time.

What was your first Overland trip? Any particular memories?

My first overland trip was an Istanbul to Cairo trip with Oasis in 2010. It was the midway point of my first round the world trip, and I arrived sorely unprepared. With no sleeping bag or mat, I ended up sleeping on the ground outside during a bush camp at Mt. Nebo, a holy site in Jordan. I woke up to shepherds and a flock of about 200 sheep walking over me!  

Funniest overlanding moment:

I laugh a whole lot on every trip, but unfortunately I’ve been sworn to secrecy about the best moments! One shareable moment was while we were celebrating a birthday on the train from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls. Gloria Estefan’s Conga hit the speakers and the group naturally decided a Conga line through the train was in order. I needn’t have worried about disturbing other passengers, as the whole train joined in and made it party to remember!

Happiest overlanding memory:

Traveling all year long is amazing, but it also means a lot of holidays and birthdays on the road. I wasn’t expecting anything at all for my birthday, which came in the middle of a long drive day and bush camp in Tanzania. Little did I know that the whole truck had worked to find decorations, plan a party and even have a cake and presents! I was so touched I didn’t know what to say. I may or may not have cried, but it’s still my happiest memory.

Favourite places/ activities:

There are just too many, but that Zanzibar sunset cruise that started my tour leader career has a special place in my heart. Some of my other favorites are the hike to see the orangutans in Sumatra, Indonesia, horse riding and asado in Argentina (Gaucho day!) and sleeping under the stars in Spitzkoppe, Namibia.

Where would you like to travel next?

The country that has been on my list for the longest is India. I dream of doing the “Rickshaw Run” one day. I’d also love to explore more of Central America and Central Asia.

Best truck meal:

There are two truck meals I absolutely love:

One is our game meat BBQ in Spitzkoppe with crew and passengers cooking up a storm to enjoy Oryx and Kudu in one of the most incredible and primeval landscapes of the Nairobi to Cape Town trip. 

The other is hog roast day in Kande Beach, Malawi! I call it “Truck Christmas” because it closely resembles the Cuban Christmas, or Noche Buena celebration I grew up with. A whole pig on a spit done to perfection by my friends Banjo and Harrods, always amazing and creative sides by cook group, and of course an immensely entertaining fancy dress party. Great food and a whole lot of fun!

Advice for Oasis travellers:

Come with an open mind and sense of adventure! Every part of the trip is an experience of a lifetime, whether you are staring down a lion in the Serengeti or pitching a tent in the rain!

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10 fun facts about Vietnam!

With a diverse mixture of bustling cities, incredible landscapes, fabulous cuisine, a rich culture and the chance to relax and unwind; Vietnam is a destination travellers should have on their must  visit list!

Here are 10 fun facts about Vietnam:

1 – In many countries around the world, the capital city is usually the largest one in the whole country. Vietnam however breaks away from the norm as Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) has a larger population than Hanoi (the capital)!

2- Halong has over 1500 islands and islets, and Halong Bay is Vietnam’s natural wonder near the Chinese border. It is a UNESCO world heritage site, popular among visitors for its biodiversity and scenery.

3 – The Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s rice bowl, and is popular to visit due to the region’s diversity including a huge maze of rivers, swamps and islands. Home to floating markets and villages surrounded by rice paddies.

4 – Motorbikes are the most common form of transport in Vietnam with over 45 million registered motorbikes.

5 – Vietnamese cuisine combines fragrance, taste, and colour which make it such an exquisite cuisine. Traditionally Vietnamese dishes include the five fundamental taste senses; spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet, corresponding to five organs: gall bladder, small intestine, large intestine, stomach, and urinary bladder.

6 – Vietnamese street food stalls are well known around the world and are a must to visit when there. The food is as authentic as you can get as well as fresh, delicious, atmospheric and adventurous!

7 – The Vietnamese drink snake wine Ruou ran, is made by placing a pickled snake (preferably venomous) in rice wine and is commonly drunk for health, vitality and restorative purposes.

8 – Vietnam is fabulous for coffee lovers as it’s the second largest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil and is a major source of income for the country since the early 20th century.

9 – Vietnamese egg coffee is traditionally prepared with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk and Robusta coffee. It is generally attributed to a bartender working in Hanoi in the 1940’s.The legend goes that fresh milk was in short supply and so whisked egg yolk was used as a replacement.

10 – Lizard fishing is one of Vietnam’s most widespread hobbies. The traditional way of catching the lizards is by setting a hook on a long bamboo fishing pole and dangling bait from the top of a boulder until the reptiles strike.

If these fun facts have tempted you to visit Vietnam check out our

73 day Indochina Encompassed tour or

44 day South East Asia Highlights tour

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Trucking through Tajikistan

Retracing the ancient Silk Road was something I’ve been lucky enough to do a couple of times, but this didn’t do anything to quell the excitement of driving the Pamir Highway.  I’d heard all about the stark beauty of the road across the “Roof of the World”, not to mention tales of the “interesting” road conditions.  I was ready for it all!

The Pamir Highway, named by the Soviets as M41, snakes a path through the high Pamir Mountains.  Due to the impenetrable nature of the terrain it is the most popular route through, and has been used for centuries.   The road rises over 4650m, making it the second highest altitude international highway worldwide.

I was travelling with Oasis Overland, running a private charter trip.  We planned to drive the Pamir Highway from Osh, through Tajikistan, and into Uzbekistan.  We would leave the M41 in Termez, although some argue that the ‘real’ Pamir highway continues to Mazari Sharif in Afghanistan.

Our first glimpses of Tajikistan were incredible: snow capped peaks stiff against a powder blue sky.  Even the grey storm clouds that threatened to crash down on us were broken up with shards of sunshine; a good omen for our early start the next morning. 

 

We left eagerly; the group buoyed with excitement and apprehension about the high pass ahead.  The border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is over 4000m, and begins the start of the weaving mountain pass.  Leaving Kyrgyzstan was simple, and as we started climbing we all added an extra layer of clothing against the sharp chill.  As we drove deeper into No-Man’s land, the landscape changed colour and a deep sienna red marked the beginning of the crazy colours these mountains would display.

The crossing was pleasantly simple, and we were welcomed into the new country by smiling officials.  The locals, it seemed, had a much tougher time than us; we saw land rovers piled high with goods being made to unload each and every item.  We were lucky to only have a brief search, more out of curiosity than anything official.

The views that unfurled over the next 12 hours were breath-taking.  We drove through crimson dusted hills, snow capped peaks, blue sky stretching out from the sandy outcrop beneath – it changed all the time!  We followed the Chinese border for a while, smiling at the strategic holes in the fence where people have obviously sculpted their own short cut.  Evidence of the road’s alter-ego, the “Heroin Highway” perhaps?

Our first section was from the border to Khorog, one of the most popular treks along the highway.  We passed the twinkling jewel of Lake Karakol, and the overlanding-popular stop in Murghab.  Every day we past teams of cyclists, picking their way around the pot holes; sand covering their faces against the dust.  While the road quality varies along the highway, I think all of us agreed it was ‘sub-par’.  We actually preferred the gravel and its dust clouds to the paved-but-pot-holey sections.  Damaged by erosion, earthquakes, avalanches and landslides, this highway suffers, and it’s very evident!  Along the way we saw pockets of civilisation, but it’s a harsh and unforgiving landscape.  The yurt camps were small and sprinkled far off the main road, but their inhabitants were kind and welcoming, and very excited to see us.

Khorog is a charming town nestled in the mountains.  It’s a tourist hub where most people prepare themselves for journeys into the Pamirs.  You also have a direct view into Afghanistan across the river.  We were tempted to dip a toe into this forbidden country, but the Afghan bazaar is unfortunately only on a Saturday.  This bazaar is where both Tajik and Afghan people can come to sell or purchase goods, and tourists can come to watch too – all without a visa.  May be next time….!

Our next step of the journey was 2 days to Dushanbe, following the road as it snakes north along the Panj River.  This part of the highway has been carved out of the sandy-coloured rock, and hugs the river as it twists and bends.  We crawled under overhanging rocks and edged round sharp corners, all the while waving to villagers in neighbouring Afghanistan.  Life across the water looked like it hadn’t changed for millennia, with donkeys loaded up with straw and people on horseback herding their goats.

Dushanbe was our last stop in this beautiful country.  It was a modern and clean capital city, and a world away from the rest of the country.  Eastern Tajikistan, where we’d trundled through, accounts for 45% of the country, but a mere 3% of the country’s population lives there.  This bustling city was a shock, but not an unwelcome one – you could get great coffee 😉

I recently read that the Pamir Highway boasts 1250 kilometres of spectacular landscapes.  Judging by what I saw, I totally agree.

Oasis Overland are running an Exploratory Expedition from London to Istanbul, via Tajikistan and the Pamir Highway in 2020. Click here for more details!

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Colombia: An Overview

Tell anyone you’re travelling to Colombia, and you’ll inevitably get the raised eyebrows, widening of the eyes, and a slight pause, before they respond. Forgive me if you surround yourself by well-travelled/news-clued-up people, but if like me, most of your friends and colleagues don’t travel, or at least not to “dangerous” countries, you should prepare yourself for this type of reaction. Again and again.

What do people imagine when they think of Colombia? Cocaine? Pablo Escobar? Guerrilla warfare? FARC? I suppose this is understandable; these negative media storieImage result for Narcoss are probably all that people have heard about this beautiful country in the North of the South American continent. Netflix has also fuelled the bad reputation with its hit series Narcos, detailing the drug lords of 1980s Colombia and their war with the law. It’s gritty, violent, raw and makes compelling watching. It does not, unfortunately, encourage the audience to visit Colombia.

Let me help you to change your mind. Colombia is now considered a safe country to visit in South America, but not only that, is undoubtedly one of the friendliest. Perhaps it’s because tourists have stayed away so long, or perhaps it’s just their general demeanour, but Colombians are wonderfully hospitable and an incredibly kind people. The country itself is truly beautiful: you’ve got mountains, tropical rainforest, beautiful beaches, and even dive-worthy coral just offshore. Team all that with the vibrant, metropolitan cities of Medellin and Bogota, and you’ve got yourself an adventure-filled destination!

 

I visited Colombia in 2015, and have been extolling its virtues ever since. I LOVE Colombia, and would go so far to say it’s in my top 3 in South America. It’s where I started to like coffee; where I trekked to ancient ruins and came across a still largely undiscovered people, and where I had the best horse ride of my life! Big claims I know, but all true.

 

So where to go? Well, that depends on how much time you have, and also what kind of trip you are looking for. Many people I met spent almost their entire trip in the North, relaxing on the white sand beaches of the Caribbean coast, occasionally taking a dip in the beautiful turquoise water. That’s definitely an option – just make sure you leave a couple of days to explore lovely Cartagena, the colonial town of the North with history and beauty in bounds.  If you need to earn your beach time, you could include a trek to Ciudad Perdida, or “The Lost City”. This 4-7 day trek takes you into the deep (sweaty!) jungle, to one of the most mysterious and one of the largest pre-Columbian towns discovered in the Americas. For me it was more about the journey through the jungle and the Tayrona people I met along the way, but it definitely left a lasting impression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bogota was a highlight for me too, even though I’m not usually a “city person” – I’d definitely recommend the free walking tour you can do of the old part of the city. There are hidden gems of cafes and bars, and the Museo del Oro was stunning. I also loved the Museo Botero which hosts the work of Colombia’s most famous artist Fernando Botero: a celebration of all things chubby! 🙂

And definitely try to include a visit to the Zona Cafetera! Salento remains a jewel of a town in my memory, especially when I walked through the Valle de Cocora. While famous for all the wax palm trees, it was the wonderful hummingbird feeding stations that captured my attention; that and the local “hot chocolate with cheese” delicacy….hmmm.

 

 

 

 

 

I could go on and on. Having mentioned my best ever horse ride, I feel I have to tell you that it was in St Agustin, in the South of the country. This small town is famous for its ancient volcanic statues and all the associated legends.

This country really does have so much to offer every traveller, and while on one hand I’m happy that it’s still off the generic tourist trail, I also feel it deserves so much more than the negative reasons it’s famous for.

Oasis includes trips to Colombia on a few of their South America expeditions; do yourself a favour and sign up! There’s something for everyone, and I promise you won’t regret it!

Happy Travels 🙂

Cartagena – Quito (22 days) Colombian Adventure

Manaus – Quito (50 days) Venezuela and Colombia Overland

Cartagena – Rio (18 weeks) Kingdoms & Carnivals

 

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Make 2019 Amazing with an African Overland Trip

Every year, we all set out to make this one ‘the one’. We want to make it bigger, better, and more memorable than the years before, and we want actually to do something with our time. However, how can you do that? Make 2019 amazing with an African Overland Trip.

Here at Oasis Overland, we have the answer – travel. Travelling is one of the most exceptional experiences you can bring into your life and one that enhances and enriches your year in a way that nothing else does! So, this year, why not pack your bags, pop on some factor 50, and head to Africa for an Oasis Overland tour that’ll make 2019 your year.

Why Visit Africa?

When it comes to reasons to visit Africa, we could go on and on for days, so we’ll try and stick to just a few. From the chance to see some of the most incredible and rare wildlife in the world living in their natural habitat to learning about the many diverse cultures through music, art, and different ways of living, it’s an experience like no other.

The scenery you’ll see is unreal, with dreamy sunsets, clear starry skies, and untouched nature at it’s very best. A vast wealth of possibilities will open themselves up to you, from hiking up mountains to cage diving with sharks. Africa is like a whole other world, and no one should miss out on experiencing everything it has to offer.

Some of Our African Trips

We have many African trips that you can choose from in 2019, so you can find the one that’s perfect for you. From trekking up the world-famous Kilimanjaro in 8 days to exploring national parks, beaches, and local life on a 41-day tour from Nairobi to Harare, each of our trips lets you explore Africa in the way you want to.

For the complete Africa experience to make 2019 one to remember, why not escape normal life for 40 weeks and run away with a group of like-minded people on a once in a lifetime expedition around this beautiful continent. Explore Africa and rediscover what’s important in life on our UK to Cairo Trans Africa adventure.

Why Choose Oasis Overland?

When it comes to uncovering the culture and unique beauty of other countries, an Oasis Overland tour is the ideal way to travel. You’ll have a guide who knows all the secrets of the areas you’re exploring and can give you the best, authentic experience while keeping you safe. You’ll also be travelling with a bunch of awesome people who will soon become your second family, and you’ll be able to connect with people just like you who are seeking adventure and want to get everything they can out of life. Our tours are also managed responsibly, so we ensure the impact we have on local environments and societies is positive.

If you want to take back your life in 2019 and create a year you’ll love, start chatting with our team today about our tours or check out all of our Africa trips. It’s a small way to start something big.

 

Posted in All Blogs.


Discover the Wonders of Peru and Bolivia

South America is a must-see destination on a ton of travellers’ lists, and rightly so! It’s brimming with diverse culture, from the food to the music, and home to some of the most incredible sights on this Earth. Delve deep into the area and explore the countries that make it so special with Oasis Overland.

Some of our South America tours traverse the countries of Peru and Bolivia – two spots that sit side by side that we think every budding adventurer must visit! Discover more about Peru, Bolivia, and our tours with this guide.

Why Visit Peru?

Surround yourself in history and ancient culture in Peru, where the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, the beauty of the Sacred Valley, and the old city of Cuzco – believed to be the oldest continuously lived in city in America – reveal the lives of people who lived long before us.

Peru is also famous for its beautiful beaches – of which there are plenty! – and gorgeous landscape, as well as the friendly people and delicious cuisine. Keep a lookout, too, for the Uru people, who float along Lake Titicaca on towns made entirely from reeds.

Why Visit Bolivia?

Discover the diverse landscape of Bolivia, from the incredible mountains and colourful jungle to the rolling fields and quiet desert. It’s a place full of natural beauty – and plenty of llamas, too! It’s also got a lot of rich traditions kept alive because of its high indigenous population, making its culture vibrant and unique.

There’s tons of wildlife waiting to be spotted in Bolivia, including monkeys and dolphins, and, of course, it’s home to Salar de Uyun, the world’s largest salt flat, which really is quite spectacular!

Our Peru and Bolivia Tours

Make your way through the Inca Trail, walk the cobbled streets of La Paz, and delve deep into the jungle on our Peru and Bolivia tours. Each tour offers something different, letting you choose the right one for you, and helps you to get to grips with the culture and nature of these beautiful countries.

Our Peru & Bolivia 19-day explorer trip is ideal for those looking for a whistle-stop tour around the must-see sights, with a trip to Machu Picchu, a visit to Bolivia’s capital city, and a 5-day trek in the Amazon Jungle all included.

We have a wide range of tours through Peru and Bolivia, however, so be sure to take a look at all of them!

If you have any questions about these trips or any of the other tours we have here at Oasis Overland, ask our team today – we’re always happy to help!

Posted in South America.


5 Tips for Solo Travelling Newbies

For most people, the idea of travelling solo is pretty scary. In fact, pretty much everyone who’s never done it before would be anxious at the idea of jetting off to a foreign country on their own, but it’s those that go anyway that create some of the best experiences. It doesn’t take long for the nerves to go and the fun to start!

If you’re thinking of going solo on your next adventure, or have planned your trip already and need some extra tips and advice to calm any worries, you’re in the right place. At Oasis Overland, our adventurers thrive on travelling solo, and this blog is our advice to you solo travelers.

Travelling Group Africa

Oasis Overland group and truck in Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Don’t Push Yourself Too Far

If you’re feeling nervous about your first solo trip, it’s probably not the best idea to book a year-long around the world adventure – not because it wouldn’t be fun, but because you’d be more likely to get anxious before going. Instead, start with a small trip. Head on a plane to somewhere that’s only a couple of hours away and do a few days or a week there. You’ll be able to see what it’s like, get over your worries, and maybe even make friends you can meet up with for future travels!

 

2) Sort Your Airport to Hotel Transport

For your first-time solo travelling, we’d always recommend booking a car to take you to your accommodation when you land. It just makes things so much simpler!  You won’t have the stress of finding public transport or haggling with a taxi driver, your hired driver will know where to drop you so you don’t have to worry about getting lost, and you’ll have someone waiting for you at the airport if you need any help.

Airport transfer attendant

Airport transfers with a smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Let Someone Know Where You’re Going

Both for your safety and peace of mind, always make sure someone knows where you’re going before you head off exploring – even if it’s not your first trip! Give someone the name of the place your staying, the address, and let them know if you’re going on any group tours and which company you’re going with.

 

4) Plan, But Don’t Over-plan

Sort your travel, first couple nights of accommodation, and maybe make a list of key things you want to do or places you want to see, but don’t over-plan your trip. One of the joys of solo travel is being totally free to do what you want, when you want, but a strict itinerary can definitely get in the way of that! Plan for the essential stuff, always have money for accommodation and food, but let the adventure plan the rest.

John Lennon Wall, Prague

John Lennon Wall, Prague

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) How to Meet People

Just because you’re travelling solo doesn’t mean you have to be alone all the time – far from it! In fact, one of the best things about solo travel is that you get to meet so many new people. The easiest ways to make new friends whilst travelling is by staying in hostels, which are always filled with solo travelers, and going on group tours.

 

If you want to make friends and banish any worries on your first solo travel adventure, why not join one of our Oasis Overland group tours? They’re an awesome way to get the freedom of travelling alone whilst being in the company of people just like you. Whether to kick-start a longer solo trip, or as your preferred method of solo travel, give it a go and see what you think! We’re pretty sure you’re going to love it.

Oasis Overland group and truck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve got any questions about our group tours, get in touch with our team today and we’ll help you out, or you can check out more about our Oasis Overland tours and see if you like the sound of it.

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