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Christmas Trip for Zimbabwean Children

Looking at Ostrich

For the last 10 years Oasis Overland have been using our Overland trucks and crew to take all the children and staff from a Zimbabwean Children’s Home out on a day trip. Generally this trip involves over 100 children and staff, a similar number of packed lunches and a lot of fun! This year is no exception. A few days before Christmas 2017, we will use three of our trucks to take all the children to the Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservancy in Zimbabwe.  The children will have a guided Game Drive, lunch in the Reserve and a fun journey there and back in one of our trucks. Usually we finish the event with a big party back at the Home too. This year we have teamed up with responsible travel.com to help fund the event under their Trip for a Trip scheme.

We usually accompany the event with a donation of sports equipment, gardening tools /seeds, or educational materials too. This year however the Home have requested school shoes for all the children as their priority so we are looking at how to go about this. Watch this space for details on how you can assist with this request! 

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Do Something Different this Christmas

We know it might seem like a long way off  but Christmas is only just over 3 months away. If the prospect is leaving you feeling uninspired, or, worse still, full of dread, then why not think about getting away from it all completely this year. You could be wandering through the souks of Marrakech,  camel trekking and camping under a star-filled Saharan sky, marvelling at the sight of Victoria Falls, or immersing yourselves in the wonders of Jordan.

We have Christmas departures that range from 5 days in Morocco to 51 days in South America. Here’s a small selection of our Festive Season departures

To see our full range of Christmas and New Year departures click here

5 days Morocco Express – Christmas in the Sahara Desert

8 days Simply Morocco – camel trek and Christmas in the Sahara Desert

15 days Morocco Encompassed  –  New Years Eve in Todra Gorge

6 days in Jordan – Christmas Day in Amman

22 days Deserts and Gameparks (Victoria Falls to Cape Town) –  New Year’s Eve in Victoria Falls

51 Days Coast to Coast Santiago to Rio – Christmas and New Year in Argentina

 

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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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Rumble through the Jungle reaches Cameroon!

This year we ran a one off exploratory ‘Rumble Through the Jungle’ expedition through the heart of Africa to celebrate our 20th year of running overland tours and expeditions.

Travelling through Eastern Cameroon

Travelling through Eastern Cameroon

Setting off from Arusha, Tanzania near Mount Kilimanjaro on 15th May, our adventurous travellers led by legendary crew Andi and Grant, finally reached their end destination, Buea at the foot of Mount Cameroon in West Africa earlier this month.

Kapiysha Hot Springs

Kapiysha Hot Springs

Arusha, the start point, is a tourist hotspot but the expedition soon headed well off the beaten track to Western Tanzania and the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s longest freshwater lake. Tucked in the north west corner of Tanzania, the lake is home to Gombe Stream National Park, set up by Jane Goodall in the 60’s and where our group tracked chimpanzees, followed by Katavi National Park where hippo and crocodiles were spotted.

Oasis Overland group getting the truck across the Zambian/Angolan wetlands

Oasis Overland group getting the truck across the Zambian/Angolan wetlands

Our group travelled south along the lake, stopping in small towns and villages to shop at local markets before crossing into Zambia and taking a break at Kapishya Hot Springs and finally arriving in the capital Lusaka to obtain Angola visas.

Remote Angola border post

Remote Angola border post

Visas in hand, Andi, Grant and the group set off via Kafue National Park to Western Zambia and the border with Angola. From the town of Mongu the terrain of the Zambezi river floodplain was challenging, using shovels to dig the truck out of bog holes and using sandmats to drive across wet or sandy ground. It took one and half days to travel across no mans land from the Zambian border post to that of Angola and they were the first tourists to cross this border in two years. Days of driving through remote villages, passing abandoned tanks from the civil war and camping out in the bush ensued before reaching the stunning Calandula Falls in a forest setting. Finally our group hit the west coast and travelled north. The road conditions were so bad that the truck travelled at an average of 6km per hour but eventually reached the border with DRC at Matadi and a few days more brought them to the capital of DRC, Kinshasa.

Oasis visits the Primus brewery in Kinshasa

Oasis visits the Primus brewery in Kinshasa

Kinshasa lies on the southern banks of the Congo River which is also the border between DRC and the Republic of Congo. The city looks across to Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo’s capital and the group’s next destination.  However, it was not possible to cross the river with our truck at this point so after a few days in the city, the group journeyed south following the Congo River before crossing this vast waterway and the border into the Republic of Congo.  Backtracking up river to Brazzaville, the two countries and their capital cities appeared to be very different, Brazzaville being much more relaxed and friendly with some great places to pass the time – fancy drinks and beach volleyball on a sandbar in the river anyone? Meeting another traveller coming from the north, Andi, Grant and the group were informed they would see a change in the weather and extra shovels were bought in anticipation of the rainy season and the resulting bog-holed roads that lay ahead.

Crossing the Congo River

Crossing the Congo River

Lowland Gorilla Sanctuary in Congo

Lowland Gorilla Sanctuary in Congo

Travelling north our group had some fantastic experiences including viewing Lowland Gorillas in the wild along the banks of the Lefini River, not at all like the Mountain Gorilla trek in East Africa as the gorillas are not used to seeing humans and the riverine landscape is so different. Further north near the town of Ouesso, some of the group met families from Baka Pygmy villages on the Sangha River which forms the border with Cameroon.  The truck and group were loaded onto a ferry to cross the Sangha and take them to Cameroon and headed to Lobeke National Park for a fantastic trekking and wildlife experience, hiking through swamps and forests to see Lowland Gorillas, antelope, forest buffalo and incredible birdlife and sleeping in remote camps.

Bridge crossing

Bridge crossing

From here slow progress was made as the rain set in and road conditions deteriorated. After a few days tough travelling north and west through small villages and lush rainforest, Cameroon’s capital Yaounde was reached for some rest and recuperation before the expedition’s final drive to Buea.

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5 Ways Oasis Overland is Different to Other Overland Tours

To us, Oasis Overland is the obvious choice for all your overland adventures, but we sometimes forget that not everyone knows that.  With so many companies all telling you the same thing, it’s hard to know who really is the best and what actually makes all of these overland tours different! So, we thought it was about time we said why we stand out from other companies. Here are 5 of our overland tour attributes that put us at the top of the game.  Bush camping in Namibia1) Camp on the Wild Side If you really want to experience the bush, overnight camping is the best solution. We really value the experience of wild bush camping here at Oasis Overland, and to confine your adventures in this beautiful place to daylight is such a waste.  The bush at night transforms completely and is utterly unmissable! This is why we offer far more overnight bush camping experiences than any other overland tour, so if you want an authentic, unforgettable trip, we’re the company for you! Oasis Overland truck - custom built!2) Our Trucks When the majority of your travel will be done by truck, you want it to be comfortable. Our trucks are custom designed to deal with different and difficult types of terrain and climates that may otherwise cause a bit of trouble along the way.  Our Africa overland trucks have a raised beach area in the front of the truck and an open roof, for amazing views of the African landscape! All our trucks are custom built and they are maintained regularly on the road by our awesome drivers.  3) Money, Money, Money Of course, a large factor in deciding which overland tour you will pick is money.  Here at Oasis Overland, we believe that our tours are excellent value for what you pay, packed with exciting excursions, great accommodation and all-round unforgettable experiences! We also invest your money responsibly, giving it back to the local communities we visit by buying everything from gear to food locally. Some of these communities rely on people like us to survive so this should be a very important factor when picking your overland tour. 4) South America Circuits Our new South America circuit is a reason in itself to choose Oasis Overland! Going from Quito to Quito, this 31-week expedition does a full circuit of South America, exploring the Guyanas, Suriname, Argentina, Brazil and countless other incredible places. It’s a completely unique trip and the most comprehensive of this area, where you’ll explore rainforest, deserts, coastline and all the other wonders this continent has to offer! Trans Africa Expedition 5) 40 Week Expedition Amongst all of the overland tour companies, Oasis Overland are the only one to offer the adventure from UK to Cairo via South Africa.  You’ll visit 27 incredible countries over the course of 40 weeks, making you a well-seasoned traveller in just one trip! This is one of our most adventurous expeditions and one we believe can never be beaten by another company.  Well, there you have it! Five things that make us at Oasis Overland different from all the other overland tour companies.

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5 Incredible Things Oasis Overland Can Show You Whilst Overlanding in Africa

Home to a great kingdom of wildlife, deserts that seem to whisper in the dry winds and forests filled with more species of animal and plant than we can even imagine; this is Africa.

A continent like no other on the planet.  There is so much that this great land has to offer us and a lifetime of wonders to explore! We at Oasis Overland consider Africa to be one of the most extraordinary places for a traveller to visit and here are just 5 things that we can show you on our tours.  Mountain Gorillas As an incredibly endangered species with unfortunately less than 1,000 currently in existence, the chance to spot a mountain gorilla is not one to be taken lightly! The majestic mammals occupy four national parks in East Africa and currently we offer the opportunity to trek to see them in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.  You can take part in the trek on several of our overland tours including Nairobi to Nairobi (19 days) Gorillas and Gameparks and Nairobi to Kigali (13 days)

Tribes of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is home to numerous and diverse tribes who still remain largely untouched by western civilisation, even though the threat of globalisation looms ever closer. On our overland expeditions you can meet people from the Hamar and Mursi tribes in the Omo Valley, noted for their ornate hairstyles and clay lip plates respectfully. We explore Ethiopia in several of our tours including Nairobi to Cairo (9 weeks) and Cairo to Cape Town (17 weeks) Nile Trans.   Rhino Walk in Zimbabwe Rhino walks aren’t for the faint hearted but they are an incredible way to get up close to the wildlife and nature of the African landscape. You can have the opportunity to track Black Rhinos in Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe as well as see ancient rock paintings, to really get to grips with the origins of the continent! We visit Zimbabwe on trips such as Victoria Falls to Cape Town and Cape Town to Cairo. Namibia Sand Dunes For the largest sand dunes in the world, we’ll take you on an adventure in the Namibian desert.  Standing 100 metres higher than those claiming second position, these dunes soar out of the ground in orange towers, sloping across the landscape.  If you’re a lover of dunes and deserts, this is truly a dream! Explore the sand dunes on our Nairobi to Cape Town overland adventure and others featured on our Africa tour page   Sudan Pyramids When it comes to pyramids, Egypt is your first port of call, though you may be interested to hear that Sudan actually has double the amount that Egypt boasts! Not only is their number a reason to visit, so is their relatively unknown status. Well, not unknown, but far less busy. Tourism hasn’t hit these pyramids and temples quite as it has those in Egypt, making it feel far more authentic and allowing much more public access. Trips visiting Sudan include Cairo to Addis Ababa and our Cairo to Cape Town overland expedition.  Africa is a vast continent home to many wonders that are just waiting to be explored! By taking on the wilderness and traversing the busy cities with Oasis Overland, you’re guaranteeing yourself the best chance to see unmissable sights.

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What To Read?

If you’re anything like me (a wannabe geek who is easily distracted from “clever people” books, but still loves to learn about the world), then you also search for a “reading list” about the places you’re travelling to. Whether nonfiction or fiction, sometimes it’s nice to delve into stories and facts that can help you understand more about the history or culture in a new continent.  I decided to put this list together because I have worked for Oasis for a while, and within that time, I’ve done a lot of reading! I’m sure there are other lists out there to cross reference with, but I’ve enjoyed learning and escaping within all of these books.  Some of them have made me angry, some of them have inspired me, some of them have bored me (sorry, I have to be honest!), and some of them have made me so excited I want everyone to read them! So wherever you’re looking to travel, or perhaps you’ve been and want to return there, take a look at the list and see if anything tickles your fancy….. Happy Reading! 🙂

AFRICA – I worked here the longest, so this is perhaps the most comprehensive list.

It’s mostly nonfiction because I became fascinated with how complex this continent is.  There are some older books about the whole continent, which I still love, and others which concentrate on one country. Colour Bar – Susan Williams (I have loved Seretse Khama since this book, and now the movie United Kingdom is giving others the opportunity to do the same!) The Power Of One – Bryce Courtney (A fictional story that I’ve read again and again, about one boy’s struggle through apartheid South Africa ) The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (A story about a missionary family who move from the USA to Congo…and all that they learn and endure) Mukiwa; When a Crocodile Eats the Sun – both by Peter Godwin (both these books helped fuel my fascination for Zimbabwe and where it’s heading.  He’s got another book out now too). Whatever you do, Don’t Run – Peter Allison (this will have you in stitches; a fun collection of tales about working as a safari guide) The Africans – David Lamb (a very old book but still admirably relevant and interesting) King Leopald’s Ghost – Adam Hochschild (to remind you how cruel colonialisation really was) Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela (it’s a classic!) Dark Star Safari – Paul Theroux (almost a “must-read” if you’re travelling from Cairo to Cape Town) Blood River; Chasing The Devil – both by Tim Butcher (great expeditionary tales with historical updates along the way) Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles – Richard Dowden (factual but readable; it’ll teach you about this crazy continent) Emma’s War – Deborah Scroggins (The love story of an aid worker and a War Lord…. great read!) Out of Africa – Karen Blixon (An old-school classic!) Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (This is on “Books you must read” list all around the world) Cry the Beloved Country – Alan Paton (An oldie but an interesting book written about apartheid South Africa)

SOUTH AMERICA – There are so many books for this list, and so many written by South American authors that I haven’t yet gotten round to reading! But these are all ones that I have enjoyed, so hopefully you will too….

Open Veins of Latin America – Eduardo Galeano (a must read for anyone interested in the history of this continent) The Motorcyle Diaries – Che Guevara (a classic – and a great movie too!) Viva South America: A Journey through a Restless Continent – Oliver Balch (Another “learning” book, but again, really interesting) Marching Powder – Rusty Young (Given that you could visit Thomas in La Paz’s iconic prison, as suggested by The Lonely Planet years ago, this is a very topical book!) One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera; The General in His Labyrinth – anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (The legend of Colombian Literarture) The Gringo Trail – Mark Mann (Dark and funny, but also sad – readable because of the places it covers, but shows you why drugs are a bad idea!) The Alchemist – Paul Coelho (he’s Brazilian so it fits…and this a travellers’ favourite!) The Candy Machine: How Cocaine took over the World – Tom Feiling (The go-to account of why this drug industry is so entrenched in South America) Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time – Mark Adams (because it’s one of the jewels of this continent!) In Patagonia –Bruce Chatwin (a travel book about this stunning part of the world) The House of Spirits & My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey through Chile – both by Isabel Allende (Another epic writer of South America, she loves her continent!)

CENTRAL ASIA: I ran the trips along the ancient Silk Roads in 2016, and the reading I did before the trip really helped me understand more about this incredible part of the world.  It’s still much less explored than the other continents Oasis travels to, but no less amazing.

The Great Game – Peter Hopkirk (The go-to book of Central Asia: How Russia and the British battled it out for additions to their Empires.  Easy to read and inspiring!) Foreign Devils on the Silk Road – Peter Hopkirk (Another interesting book about how the treasure along the ancient Trade Routes found their way to European holdings) On the Trail of Genghis Khan – Tim Cope (one of my favourite books I read – it’s an incredible true story of this man’s journey following the trail of the Mongols) City of Lies – Ramita Navai (A eye-opening book about life in Tehran.  Really good!) Empire of the Mind; Revolutionary Iran – both by Michael Axworthy (For a great history of the country, or an update since the revolution; both are good and detailed) Out of Steppe – Daniel Metcalfe (This book will teach you how many different groups of people live in Central Asia, and what has happened to them) Apples are from Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared – Christopher Robbins (So you can learn that this country isn’t only famous for Borat!) 1421: The Year That China Discovered the World – Gavin Menzies (A book that challenges world history as we know it, really interesting!) Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi (A look at how women live and want to learn in this crazy city) Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran – Azadeh Moaveni (This gives you a great insight to a Tehran you wouldn’t realise existed) A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road – Christopher Aslan Alexander (He went to write a travel book, but ended up wanting to live there.

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RAW TALKS: PLASTIC

We took RAW Foundation on a bespoke journey across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town in their mission to track disposable plastic waste.  Find out more about it at Raw Talks: Plastic at the Royal Geographical Society on May 31st. Raw Talks Plastic RGS London There will be inspiring talks,

panel discussions and a photographic exhibition. Find out more about the journey across Africa, the causes of the proliferation of disposable plastics, and what we could and should be doing about it. Inspirational speakers include Jeremy Irons, who will talk about the film ‘Trashed’. RAW Foundation’s campaign,  to eliminate single-use plastics by 2030,  is part of a global campaign and growing global alliance of organizations,  businesses,  and thought leaders working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, and the environment. The evening at RGS is a ‘collaborative event showcasing plastic-free solutions,  to inspire and challenge EVERY one, EVERY where to drastically reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste they generate and make plastic-free part of EVERY day!’ Raw Talks: Plastic takes place on 31st May 2017 at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. It is hosted and coordinated by Raw Foundation,  supported by a number of organisations and NGOs worldwide,  and backed by Natracare. RAW and Oasis Overland in Cape Town Read more about RAW Foundation here and if you’re interested in supporting them,

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Three New Southern Africa Trips

Southern Africa has always been one of Oasis’ favourite travel destinations and one that we have been involved in throughout our 20 year history.  As such,  we have put together three new trips in Southern Africa encompassing South Africa,  Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. These overland adventures are slightly different to our other African adventures in that the trip is 50% accommodated in simple lodges and hostels and 50% camping – on camp sites

For those of you that prefer slightly less camping these are the ideal trip! Check out our new adventures here 17 Days Cape Town to Johannesburg- encompassing South Africa and the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho -highlights include the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town,

Whale watching and the option to Shark Cave dive; the picturesque Garden Route; Tsitsikamma Forest; Addo Elephant Park; the Wild Coast; Aliwal Hot Springs; Lesotho- ‘kingdom in the sky’ and finishing in the busy city of Johannesburg- where you will have the opportunity to visit the Apartheid Museum and the former home of Nelson Mandela.  19 Days Johannesburg to Victoria Falls – Johannesburg, Swaziland and Zimbabwe – starting in Johannesburg with opportunities to visit the Apartheid Museum and the former home of Nelson Mandela we travel eastwards to the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland,

with it’s myriad African landscapes. Pony trekking,  hiking and mountain bike options are available here. Kruger National Park and the Hot Springs of Tshipise are highlights before we enter Zimbabwe.  Here we visit ‘Great Zimbabwe’; a private Game Reserve; Matobo National Park-where we have the opportunity to trek rhinos on foot; Hwange National Park and the spectacular Victoria Falls with it’s abundance of adrenaline activities. 35 Days Cape Town to Victoria Falls -Southern Explorer – South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe – highlights include the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town; Whale watching and options to Shark Cave dive; the picturesque Garden Route; Tsitsikamma Forest; Addo Elephant Park; the Wild Coast; Aliwal Hot Springs; Lesotho- ‘kingdom in the sky’; Johannesburg- where you will have the opportunity to visit the Apartheid Museum and the former home of Nelson Mandela; Swaziland,

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