Victoria Falls Rafting

CAPE TOWN to VICTORIA FALLS (36 days) Southern Explorer


Southern Explorer

Experience stunning scenery, vibrant cities and abundant wildlife on this overland journey from Cape Town through South Africa to Victoria Falls. View the big five in some of Southern Africa's most renowned national parks, including Addo, Kruger, Matobo and Hwange. Take in swathes of deserted beaches, dense forests and seaside towns in South Africa. Travel through the mountainous kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland, trek the wilderness areas of Chimanimani, explore the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe, visit private game reserves and what better way to finish the trip than the adventure and adrenaline mecca of Victoria Falls.

Highlights

  • Visit Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa, the point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet
  • Take a tour through the vast halls, and towering limestone formations of Cango Caves
  • Travel along the Garden Route and enjoy the vibrant coastal towns
  • Hike through the dramatic coastal scenery, reefs, rivers and lush forest Tsitsikamma National Park
  • Game drives in search of the Big 5 in Addo Elephant National Park
  • Driving past deserted beaches, rugged coastline and awesome scenery to the Wild Coast
  • Enjoy exploring waterfalls, rock pools, hiking or pony trekking, in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho
  • Explore Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland's kingdom's popular eco-destination
  • Game drives in our Overland truck through Kruger National Park
  • Overnight on banks of the Limpopo River in search of wildlife
  • Game drive and guided walking safaris in search of elephant herds in Hwange National park

Includes

  • Accommodation - approx. 50% camping & 50% simple hostels/hotels
  • Stony Point Penguin Colony
  • Cango Calcite Caves
  • Ostrich farm
  • Addo Elephant National Park - Game drive
  • Royal Natal National Park
  • Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - Swaziland
  • Kruger National Park - game drives in overland truck
  • Tshipise Hot Springs
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins – guided walk
  • Matobo National Park - walking safari 
  • Hwange National Park – game drive
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • All transport on Oasis Expedition Truck
  • Camping and Cooking equipment
  • Services of Oasis Crew

Excludes

  • Visas
  • Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information
  • Flights
  • Airport Taxes & Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals – approx. 50%
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Trip Itinerary

We depart from Cape Town taking a leisurely drive along the coastal roads to the Cape of Good Hope, a rocky headland at the southern end of the Cape peninsula. Here you have a chance to walk up to the upper lighthouse, or take a ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular for some spectacular views. After visiting the Cape we follow the coastline on to our next stop.

We overnight in Hermanus/Gansbaai and the next day there are a number of marine options - Whale watching, Shark Cave Diving and Dyer Island Nature Reserve. From here we will head for the most southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas - which is the dividing line between the warm Indian Ocean and the cooler Atlantic Ocean. The seas around Cape Agulhas are very treacherous and have caused numerous shipwrecks, to help reduce fatalities the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse was built in 1848 and is the 2nd oldest working lighthouse in South Africa. From August to December Southern Right and Humpback Whales may be spotted along the coast - as they feed in the nutrient rich waters off the southern coast.

From Cape Agulhas we pass through the Outeniqua Mountains to the Little Karoo - we will visit an Ostrich farm to learn more about the worlds largest bird. The Ostrich has been around for 8 million years and a feather was actually discovered in King Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt. 97% of the world's population of Ostriches lives in the Karoo.

We will also explore Cango Calcite Caves recognised as one of the world's finest network of Calcite caves. The bizarre formations of Stalagmites and Stalactites represent over a million years of slow formation.

We spend two days winding our way along South Africa's famous Garden Route where there is a wealth of things to see and do. We travel through the popular resort of Knysna, located on a tranquil lagoon that is protected from the sea by two enormous cliffs known as 'the heads'. We visit the Tsitsikamma Forest, where you will be able to hike along the coast and view the crashing waves at the mouth of the scenic Storms River, and maybe spot dolphins and whales in the ocean. Optional excursions in this region include mountain biking, black water tubing, and the mother of all bungee jumps at Bloakrans Bridge - the highest jump in the world at 216 metres.

From the Garden Route we continue along the coast and in the summer months (October to March) there will be an opportunity to stop at one of the beaches we pass before we head inland to Addo Elephant National Park which has recently been extended to include part of the coast and is now home to the BIG 7 - lion, rhino, elephant, leopard, buffalo, whale and shark! On our game drive we hope to spot some of the many elephant that the park is famous for, which are the most southerly population in Africa.

We then drive to the beautiful, rugged and remote Wild Coast to the quaint little seaside village of Cintsa. Situated on the banks of the Cintsa River and estuary - Cintsa offers a haven in a tranquil setting, surrounded by lush indigenous forest and thicket, and an amazing bird life. You will have a fee day to enjoy the unspoiled stretches of white sandy beaches, take a canoe ride up the river, many hikes in the area, horse riding and so much more.

We will then make our way towards the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho overnighting on route.

Lesotho, often referred to as 'the kingdom in the sky'. This little country is completely surrounded by South Africa and is covered by mountains from 1000m to 3000m high. The scenery here is tremendous and the mountain air crisp and fresh. Here we will see Lesotho's horsemen dressed in their blankets and gumboots trotting around the hillsides. We spend a couple of nights at Malealea Lodge, Lesotho's most famous countryside retreat tucked up high in the mountains. Here there are isolated waterfalls, cool rock pools ideal for swimming, and peaceful hikes in the surrounding hills. This is also a great place to try pony trekking - one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery is atop a sure footed Lesotho pony.

We drive through the lowlands of Lesotho and visit Thabo Bosiu or Mt. Moorosi with a local guide (time & weather permitting). This mountain stronghold was the home of Chief Moshoeshoe, the founder of the Basotho nation. We continue through Lesotho's tiny capital Maseru, and re-enter South Africa.

The Royal Natal National Park on the edge of the Drakensburg Mountains has an impressive natural Amphitheatre of massive rock walls.  The Tugela River plunges spectacularly over the edge of the Amphitheatre wall, dropping around 800m through a series of five falls. There are over 130km of walking trails around the park-many of which are easy, half day strolls, through beautiful countryside of grassland dotted with patches of yellowwood forest and proteas set against the stunning backdrop of the Amphitheatre.

Heading north we pass through small towns and villages, through Afrikaaner heartland, making our way to South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. Built as a result of the gold rush, the city has grown into one of the wealthiest cities in the world. We will be staying at a laid back backpackers in a suburb of Johannesburg, where you can relax by the pool.

Departing Johannesburg this morning, we head east to the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland. We enter this, the smallest country in the southern hemisphere and visit the capital Mbabane, where, in the colourful markets, you can purchase some of the best quality carvings and crafts in Africa. From here, we visit Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, a hugely successful conservation project that has reintroduced many species of wildlife back into Swaziland. there are opportunities here for pony trekking, self-guided walking and mountain bike trails through the varied and rich landscape.

Leaving Swaziland we travel north passing many farming towns known for citrus farming, and head towards the Kruger National Park for an afternoon of game driving. The Kruger National Park covers about 24,000 sq km, with a huge variety of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species as well as the BIG 5 - leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino. We explore the Skukuza and Lower Sabie area of the park which claims to have more leopard per square km than anywhere else in Africa. We camp inside the park for the evening. There is also the option to join a night game drive with Kruger’s rangers to view the shyer nocturnal creatures. If you are lucky you may spot leopard!

We awake early and start our morning game dive winding along beaten tracks and marked routes in search of wildlife. On leaving Kruger we're north bound and into the Limpopo province of South Africa. The journey takes us through lush countryside and our overnight stop at the Hot Springs of Tshipise surrounded by dense woodland where giant baobabs dot the landscape allows us an opportunity to end the day with a swim in the naturally hot swimming pools.

A relatively short drive brings us to the border with Zimbabwe. Once we complete the formalities we stay at a Lodge on the banks of the Limpopo River. Here we include a safari through the thornveld to a look-out, where we have a braai or potjiekos for dinner, overlooking a water hole. Hopefully we will see elephant, troops of monkeys and other game.

Our journey continues north to Masvingo province and into the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, where we visit Chimanimani, where you have the opportunity to take a hike through the mountain wilderness area, walk to the nearby Bridal Veil Falls, or simply enjoy the stunning surroundings of this sleepy village.

Great Zimbabwe Ruins which was once the greatest medieval city in Sub Saharan Africa and where the name Zimbabwe is derivedliterally meaning house of stone is where we stop next to view this ancient city. A guided walk of the historic site will allow you to experience the heritage of this monument to early Zimbabwean civilisation.

We drive across Mashonaland to Gweru, here we visit a privately run Game Reserve, specialising in lion conservation where you can go game viewing on horseback amongst other activities. It's our destination for the next couple of days and always a highlight!

We continue south west towards Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe, and will camp on the edge of Matobo National Park with inspirational views across the surrounding area.  We include a unique opportunity to get out on foot, with an experienced guide and tracker, to hopefully spot the endangered rhino in its natural habitat, amongst hordes of other game.  Here offers another excellent chance to spot the elusive leopard, if we are lucky.  There is also the opportunity to visit Cecil Rhodes's grave and Ancient Rock Paintings.

We make the journey west to Hwange National Park, the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. This is one of the few locations in the world where thousands of species still co-exist in their natural habitat, unrestrained by fences or the imposing threat of human activity, including Zimbabwe’s unique herd of Presidential Elephants. A morning game drive is included using a local safari company where you will head out through the acacia-fringed grassy vleis and through the teak forests in search of Hwange’s Big Five. Game drives are the best way to see the variety of wildlife and scenery of the park and they almost always yield unexpected sightings. Returning back to camp you have the afternoon free and have the opportunity to visit the Painted Dog Conservation Centre, embark on a walking safari or go for an evening game drive.

Our journey this morning will take us to the mighty Victoria Falls. For some, Mosi oa Tunya - The Smoke That Thunders, is the highlight of their African safari. From the main road, in the bush 20kms away, a cloud of mist and spray can be seen against the blue sky. As you get closer, a low rumble like thunder can be heard. When you arrive it is a surprise to discover the enormity of Victoria Falls. One mile wide and hurling over 5 million cubic metres of water a minute into the Zambezi Gorge this site is breathtaking at any time of year.  The Gorge is the setting for one of the most adrenaline fuelled grade 5 white water rafting in the world. There is something here for everyone to end off this Kenya to Zimbabwe safari.  Why not take a day trip over the Victoria Falls bridge to view the falls from Zambia, take the Flight of Angels - a great way to get a birds eye view of the falls in a microlite or helicopter, enjoy a civilised afternoon tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel, join a Sunset Boat Cruise or a more sedate Canoe trip.  For those who want to make the most of the adrenaline activities, get your fix with the Gorge Swing, Abseil or 'enjoy'  one of the highest commercial Bungee Jumps in the world - a perfect way to end your stay in this fun-filled town!


There will be a pre-departure meeting in the starting hotel the night before the start of the trip, usually around 6:00pm.  There will be a notice in reception advising the exact time and here your crew will explain how the day to day running of the trip works. Your Tour Leader will collect your Local Payment money as well as 2 photocopies of your passport information pageinsurance policy details with policy number and confirmation that the duration will cover you for the entire trip and a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. It is essential that you attend this meeting - please let the UK office or your tour leader know if you are unable to do so.

Post-trip accommodation can be arranged with your tour leader during the trip or directly with the hotel on arrival. The return airport transfer can be arranged through your hotel / hostel and is not included, it is at your own expense. We regret these services cannot be arranged via the Oasis office before departure.

You need to arrive at your departure city at least the day before your trip begins. Return flights must be booked for at least the day AFTER the trip is due to end. You may wish to allow some extra time to explore your arrival and departure cities (if you are joining in Victoria Falls - we suggest arriving at least 2 days before if you wish to partake in the many adrenaline activities on offer).

There are many online flight search engines such as www.skyscanner.net or www.ebookers.co.ukflights can also be booked direct with airline websites or through travel agencies. Please inform us of your flight details through your online account, as airport transfers can be arranged for various trips.

One way ticket: If you intend to travel on a one way ticket to meet up with one of our trips, without possessing an onward flight ticket - we recommend that you  have a copy of your payment confirmation/receipt (that you will be sent at time of your balance payment) available at immigration to assist easy entry.

Departure Taxes: Please check with your Travel Agent or Airline if your flight ticket already includes a departure tax payment out of the country. If it does not - please budget for approx US$30 to $70 USD - to be paid in US$ only.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your trip finishes. This is a general requirement for all of the countries we travel to on our trips.
 
If you have dual nationality you can only use one passport for the entire trip. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.
 
Please bring 2 photocopies of your passport details to give to your tour leader.
 
Number of blank pages required for the trip, please use this as an approximate guide:
 
  • Zimbabwe - 2 blank pages
  • Botswana - 1/2 blank page
  • Namibia - 1/2 blank page
  • South Africa - 1 blank page
  • Lesotho - 1/2 blank page

The information below is to be used only as a guide and may change without prior notice. It is advisable to contact the relevant embassy in plenty of time before the trip departs to check the current visa requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

Visas must be paid for in USD cash ONLY.

Country

  British  

 Irish 

  Aust  

NZ

 S.Africa 

USA

 Canadian 

 Zimbabwe

US$55

US$55

US$30

US$30

Free

 US$30 

US$75

Botswana

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Namibia

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

South Africa  

Free

 Free 

 Free 

 e-visa 

Free

 Free 

Free

Lesotho

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Swaziland

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free


For more information on other nationalities & visas checkout www.projectvisa.com

It is possible that you may require some vaccinations for your trip, depending on the areas that you are visiting. As we are not medically trained, we are unable to give detailed advice on vaccination requirements, so please use the information below as a guide only.  We have worked closely with Nomad Travel Clinics for many years and they offer Oasis travellers a 10% discount on vaccinations, anti- malarial drugs, first aid items, clothing and equipment, just enter discount code OASIS1000 at Nomad Travel. Alternatively you can check out the fit for travel website for more travel health information or consult a reputable travel clinic or your GP for information and advice. We suggest that you allow at least 8 weeks to get all your vaccinations.

Yellow Fever - Being vaccinated against Yellow Fever and having a valid certificate and a photocopy is deemed compulsory in nearly all the countries we visit in Africa, especially at certain borders and are needed if you are entering from an infected country. You can view a list of countries requiring a certificate through the World Health organisation

Rabies - Vaccinations are regularly advised for all countries that we travel through in Africa - especially if time and money are not a deterrent.

Malaria - In some of the areas we visit there is a risk of contracting Malaria. You must be aware that whatever malaria prophylactics you are taking, they only offer partial protection. They must be coupled with your own physical efforts against being bitten - which is the best prevention. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes come out at sunset so from this time you should wear long sleeves and trousers. Exposed skin, especially ankles, should have insect repellent containing 'Deet' applied to them. Your crew will advise on where the worst affected areas are on the trip. There are a number of prophylactic malaria treatments on the market & requirements change.  It is also wise to take a sample of whichever prophylactic you choose, a few weeks before you leave. This way you may determine early on if you have any adverse reactions so you can change the regimen if necessary. Please consult a reputable travel clinic or GP for advice. For more information visit www.nomadtravel.co.uk or www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk

Dengue - Unlike the malaria mosquito, which bites at night, the dengue carrying mosquito bites during the day. Some areas we travel to do have occasional outbreaks & it is therefore advised that you take care not to be bitten during the day as well as at night.  There is no vaccine available.

Health - To join our trips you should be in good general health. Your medical insurance company must be told if you have any pre-existing medical condition / allergy or if you are on any regular medication, otherwise you may not be covered under your policies for these. Our crew will need to know of any medication or conditions you may have. For general health advice log onto www.nathnac.org/travel/.

It is a compulsory requirement that you have adequate travel insurance before you join any Oasis Trip & at the very least are insured for all necessary medical & repatriation costs incurred.

You will be asked to provide the following details in My Oasis Account if you have not already done so: travel insurance name, insurance policy number & insurance emergency telephone number. You will also be required to give a copy of your policy with this information to your Tour Leader on arrival with confirmation that the policy duration is sufficient to cover you for the entire duration of your trip.  It is also wise to leave a copy of your insurance policy with a friend or relative for safe keeping.

We believe that your safety and holiday enjoyment are very important. It is a mistake to think that "it will never happen to me". It is also very important that you are covered for all the activities that you may wish to undertake while on our trip. It is extremely important that you check the full extent of your cover related to 24 hour Medical Emergency Assistance. In the event of you needing medical treatment you want to know that you have the best cover available to you. Your policy should include adequate Medical Emergency and Repatriation cover as well as Cancellation, Baggage and Personal Liability cover. You need to be aware of EXACTLY what activities your policy covers you for. Please note that skiing is not usually covered in most insurance policies. 

We offer tailor made Overland Adventure Travel Insurance that covers most of the adventure and sporting activities on our trips.

For further information on the insurance we offer, the activities covered and costs, check out the Travel Insurance section of our website. You can purchase our insurance by logging into My Oasis Account and click 'Buy Insurance' or through the following link.

Local Payment (LP)

LP is part of your overall trip payment and is the most cost effective and practical way to get hard currency to Africa to pay for a variety of your day to day local costs (i.e. all meals prepared by the group, campsite/hostel fees, gas, and certain activities listed on the trip page) which cannot be pre-paid from the UK. It is a guaranteed amount, set before your trip departs, and unlike 'group kitty' systems we will not ask you to contribute more once the trip is underway.

Please note: Your LP is payable to your Tour Leader on the morning of departure in US$ Dollars CASH ONLY. Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and we will therefore be unable to accept them either. Please do not bring all of your Local Payment in US$100 notes and also make sure that they are post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB.

How to bring your currency?

Past Oasis travellers have fed back that, as a general rule it is best to bring your money in US$ dollars cash, although you could also bring a combination of US$ & £GB if British pounds are your home currency. It will depend on the exchange rate at the time of your trip as to which currency is better, but we suggest that US$ are the preferred option for East Africa, whilst £GB can also be easily exchanged in Kenya, Tanzania and Southern Africa. PLEASE NOTE YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY BRING AT LEAST 50% of your money in cash. You will need to pay for your visas and many of the optional excursions using cash and there will be times when you need cash to change into local currency. Some travellers worry about carrying so much cash with them, however all Oasis Overland trucks are equipped with an onboard safe for the security of your money and passport.

We also advise to bring £50 worth of SA Rand in Cash, as this may be needed if we arrive into Namibia or South Africa on a weekend & the banks/ATMs are closed (only if you are travelling to these countries).

Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and shops. Please ensure your notes are dated post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB. Scottish pounds are also not accepted. 

Please remember that Visas need to be paid for in US$ CASH ONLY!

Spending Money

From past trips and traveller feedback £100 to £145 per week should cover costs such as some meals out (on average 2 per day are supplied), soft drinks and beers, email & communications, souvenirs and other general spending. Personal spending habits & budgets differ greatly from person to person. Budget on visa costs (see visa section above) and optional activities separately (see optional excursions page) & allow extra for your Local Payment contribution.

Changing money

Change your money only at banks, hotels, airports or forex bureaus. It is illegal to change money on the street, as these people will normally be opportunistic thieves or undercover police. Your crew will advise you where & when you can change money & with what means. It is also a good idea to have a small CASH emergency fund, to allow for the unexpected.

Credit & Debit Cards 

If you are intending using your credit or debit card, we suggest taking more than one card with you as you may find that your card is not accepted in the first ATM you try. Visa and Maestro cards are best. We do not recommend using MasterCard based cards in Africa as they have very limited access through large parts of Africa. Please note that usually you will be given local currency and NOT US$ or £GB. We recommend that you inform your bank that you will be using your card abroad to avoid it being blocked. Please see the optional excursions page for activities that can be paid for using a Credit or Debit Card. Commission rates vary between 2-8%.

Pre-Paid Travel Currency Cards

These cards are similar to normal Credit and Debit cards but they can be pre loaded with cash before you travel with a set amount allowing you to withdraw this cash using the card at normal ATMs. It is a more secure way to access cash on your trip, but again do not rely on these as your sole means of funds on a trip - (please refer to the ATM section). Several banks and companies now offer these cards, but be sure to look into the rates for withdrawing cash when making your decision. When using these cards abroad you will use them to withdraw the local currency from an ATM and not the currency that you loaded onto the card.

ATMs 

These are available in most major cities along our route and allow you to withdraw local currency only. We discourage you from relying on your ATM card as a primary source of funds in case it is lost/stolen/swallowed, or the machine isn't working. In some destinations we probably won't even see a bank or ATM for days on end so having hard currency to exchange is essential. Besides memorising your PIN, it is also important to be aware of your daily withdrawal limit and bank withdrawal costs. Please note that although Zimbabwe’s currency is US Dollars it is not currently possible to obtain USD cash from ATMs or banks due to the country’s cash shortage.

Tipping 

Is often expected and relied upon. It is often more than a reward for services well done, but, as wages are extremely low, it is an accepted means of supplementing an income. If you would like to leave a tip for any activity/individual, you could organize this as a group and give a tip at the end. A recommended amount for restaurants is usually 10% of your total bill and similar for activities. Some countries also add an extra Government tax on restaurant bills.

Because it can be difficult to know what to tip, and because it has such importance in some areas both economically and culturally, there may be times and activities for which your crew will make it clear what level of tipping is 'customary/expected'. They may also be quite enthusiastic or assertive in encouraging you to take account of these suggestions. This is motivated by the knowledge of how important tipping can be, and the offence or confusion that can be caused when local people are tipped poorly. In the end, tipping remains at the discretion of the individual, but our crew will continue to advise on normal or average rates, and we would ask you to carefully consider the economic or personal impact of being seen as 'under tipping'. We know that many who travel with us are on a tight budget, but ask you to consider that those we work with locally may also face financial hardship, and also work very hard to try to give you unrivalled service/ experiences.

As a very rough guide, we would suggest that you budget for an amount equal to 10% of the local payment for your trip, plus 10% of the cost of any of the listed optional excursions that you wish to do. The amounts you end up tipping may vary from a rigid 10%, but hopefully this will help you budget in general.

In the past we have been asked by travellers about tipping your Oasis Crew. If you choose to do this, it would be budgeted separately from the above. Our guys work very hard at making your trip a great travel experience. Working overseas can often be challenging and they are pretty much on call for you 24 hours a day, so it's appreciated as a thank you for hard work and good service, but of course not mandatory. Our suggestion is to budget around US$1 a day.

In East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) the year is loosely divided into the 'short' rains (November) and the 'long' rains (March to May). The 'rains' usually last for one or two hours each day followed by hot sunny weather. Nights can be surprisingly cold at higher altitude in western Uganda, Ngorongoro Crater & The Rift Valley.

In Southern Africa (Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa) the 'dry' season is April to October when the nights can be quite cold, particularly in June and July when it is very cold at night. Day temperatures are very pleasant at this time, usually mid 20s (°C). From November to March the weather is hotter and there is summer rainfall, although this is very intermittent when it may not rain for months, or it can rain for a day at a time. View African Climate Chart

The less you take the less you have to pack, wash & lug home & you can always pick up extras along the way. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much. Clothes washing or laundry facilities will be available at least once a week. You will be travelling in the heat & camping in the cold, so bring clothes for all climates; rough stuff is best. Pack according to season: summer is very hot in places & winter can be very cold with occasional frost overnight in the south. (May to Aug can be very cold in Southern Africa). Make sure that you bring your gear in a 70-90L rucksack or holdall - suitcases are not suitable.



Equipment Toiletries - Most available to buy on trip
  • Sleeping Bag - 3 to 4 season bag, depending on season, & sleep sheet
  • Foam sleeping mat or thermarest & repair kit
  • Small day-pack or small bag to carry daily items
  • Soft rucksack or holdall (NOT rigid suitcase)
  • Water bottle - for personal use - we recommend Water-to-Go (see below Responsible Travel)

  • Soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, antibacterial hand wash, lip balm & moisturiser
  • Sun block 35 + after sun, hat & sun glasses
  • Tampons (can buy in most places)
  • Contraception
Clothes Personal Effects
  • One pair of trainers or boots
  • Sandals/flip flops/jandals/thongs
  • Underwear/socks
  • T shirts/shirts
  • Shorts/swimwear
  • Jeans/trousers/jog pants/leggings
  • Skirt or dress
  • Sweat shirt/jumper
  • Jacket/fleece & waterproof jacket
  • Camera with protective case, spare batteries, film/memory card
  • Torch & spare batteries (head torch is best)
  • Travel adaptor plug/charger (for cameras & mobile phone batteries)
  • Money belt
  • Personal stereo - there is a stereo on the truck with iPod/MP3 adaptors
  • Towel &/or sarong

Recommended Medical Kit List
  • Antiseptic ointment/Antihistamine cream & tablets
  • Nurofen or equivalent pain-killer
  • Eye-drops/bath
  • Anti-diarrhoea treatment
  • A couple of bandages (elasticated & triangular)
  • Medication for personal allergies/asthma etc
  • Insect repellent containing Deet
  • Some suitable antibiotics as recommended by your doctor for infected cuts or to treat severe dysentery
  • Rehydration sachets/vitamin tablets
  • Assorted plasters
  • 1 Course of malaria treatment
  • Malaria Tablets - see Vaccinations & Health section


Even though our trucks are equipped with a comprehensive medical kit, we advise you to bring a small personal medical kit as our truck kit is not for general everyday use. It will also be your responsibility to carry your kit on included excursions and optional activities as some local operators may not have medical kits to hand.

Cameras (incl. Digital & Video Cameras) - An easy to use 'point and shoot' will get you some good photos. For memorable shots, it may be worthwhile investing in an SLR camera, but be sure to get some practice in before the trip! Most towns and cities have internet cafes where you can download onto CD/internet sites - but don't rely on it.  Internet speeds can be slow for uploading photos to social media or the Cloud.

Photography - Be aware of your surroundings when taking photographs and filming. Some locations will be sensitive or have local laws banning photography. For example it is usually forbidden to use cameras at borders or around government buildings, military installations, bridges and airports or to take photos of local officials. If you do take photos or film where it is not permitted you may find yourself being questioned by irate officials who may decide to confiscate your camera or instruct you to delete all the images/footage on your device. If in doubt ask for permission, or if there is no-one to ask use some common sense.

Drones - As the use of drones becomes more common, countries throughout the world are gradually updating their laws and restrictions on usage. The specific regulations will vary from one country to another, so do check the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for the latest information. As with cameras, use your common sense if you do use a drone and avoid operation in sensitive areas. If you plan to bring a drone on your trip with us please contact us first to ensure there will be a suitable place to store it while on your trip.

Electrical charging & power supply - It may be difficult to find a power source for charging at times, so a spare battery is a must.

Consider a 12V in-car charger (our vehicles are equipped with a couple of 12 volt cigarette lighter charger sockets - truck trips only) or bring along your 230V mains charger and travel adaptor plug for use at some of the hotels, hostels and campsites we stay at.

NOTE: 12V - 230V inverters cannot be used on our vehicles because of the power drain they cause.

Log onto www.whatplug.net for information regarding the different electrical plugs and voltage used in each country.

The internet and WiFi are available in many towns / cities you will visit. Do bear in mind that the connections can be unreliable and will not always be as fast as you are used to at home.  If a lot of people try to use the internet at the same time the speed will be slower still, especially if trying to make Skype calls or upload photos / videos.  During periods of the trip where we are wild camping, internet will be less common.

Some travellers choose to take an unlocked mobile phone with them and buy local SIM cards in each country, allowing them to use mobile data.  If you particularly want or need regular internet access this may be a good option. Telephone calls can be expensive usually £1 to £5 for a three minute call.

Online Diaries - A great variety of free "travel blogs" are now available online, they are a good way of keeping relatives and friend up to date with what you are doing and a good place to upload photos, collecting messages as well as keeping a record for yourself.

Before you go

  • Remove unnecessary packaging before you go - waste disposal facilities are often stretched or non existent in the places we visit. To avoid unnecessary pollution of local water supplies take environmentally friendly toiletries with you.
  • Why not invest in a wind-up or solar-powered torch or media player before you travel or at least rechargeable batteries.
  • Learn some of the local language and read up on the local history/culture before you go. You'll get so much more out of your trip.
  • Why not pack some pens/pencils exercise books in your rucksack and they can be donated to a local school or project while you're away. You can also purchase these items cheaply, locally which will help local businesses.
  • Take a sturdy water bottle with you from home that you can re-use throughout your trip. We carry large quantities of purified water with us on our Expedition vehicles and it is much better for the environment if you drink this, rather than purchase bottled water along the way. (It also saves you money).
  • Water-to-Go: Oasis Overland have partnered with Water-to-Go to help reduce the number of plastic water bottles consumed during a trip. Water-to-Go is a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source. Click here and enter the code OASIS15 to purchase your Water-to-Go products at 15% discount. Water-to-Go will then donate a further 15% to Oasis Overland Charity projects.
 
While you're travelling

From experience gained in running trips, we have developed our own practical and manageable environmental policy which all of our crew practice on the trips we operate, and they will share this information with you at the start of your trip. We welcome your input on this, plus any new ideas you may have, to improve our existing procedures. As a guide here's a few tips to bear in mind.

  • Don't waste water. It is a scarce resource in many of the places our trips visit. On all our Ultimate and Overland Expeditions we carry large quantities of purified water with us. We encourage you to refill your own water bottles from this supply, rather than purchase bottled water along the way-much more environmentally friendly and saves you money.
  • Never buy endangered species or endangered habitat products. Apart from the fact of it being illegal it also encourages the trade to continue.
  • Look after and preserve the areas we visit. Be careful about stepping on coral reefs or trekking on undesignated tracks.
  • Buy locally made crafts and products helping to support the local economy.
  • Don't feel when bargaining that you have to get the cheapest price possible just for the sake of it. Pay what the item is worth to you & don't worry about what someone else has paid.
  • Try the local food and drinks - this will help to support local farmers and food sellers. Sitting in a local cafe is also a great way to meet local people.
  • Dispose of litter appropriately on your trip. This includes cigarette butts. Not only does litter look unsightly it can be lethal to wildlife.
  • Where any toilet facilities exist, however unsavoury they might seem to you, they should be used. Where they do not, always bury your waste and make sure it is never near (at least 30m) a water source.
  • When game viewing do not encourage your guides to get too close to the wildlife so that their natural behaviour is impeded.
  • Respect local customs, traditions and beliefs of the people in the different regions that you travel through.
  • Do not take photos of people, ritual events or special places unless you have asked first. Dress appropriately according to local codes and show respect around religious festivals.
  • Recycling is almost non-existent in many of the areas and countries we visit - we do the best we can with limited resources & space on our vehicles.
  • For books dedicated to travelling more responsibly & ethically see: www.tourismconcern.org.uk
 
Community Projects - Oasis are active in raising awareness and providing support to a number of projects and local schools where we believe we can make a positive difference. More information on the projects we support.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) offer country-specific advice, regarding not only security but also entry regulations, local laws and customs and health. We strongly recommend all travellers visit the FCO website, or the equivalent in their home country, to familiarise themselves with local conditions and issues in the countries they plan to visit before committing to a trip with us. You can view their website here.

If you have any questions at all about the safety or security of your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to discuss your trip in more detail.

In cities - All major cities have their share of petty crime (just like our cities) and sensible precautions need to be taken. Wearing expensive looking jewellery or watches and carrying cameras will draw unnecessary attention to you. Leave valuables such as passports and excess money in your hotel safe or truck safe (we recommend carrying a copy of your passport details page at all times). You may find a simple money belt is more discreet than a bag. Always be aware of your surroundings and when approached by people you do not know, use your common sense. At night in cities it's best to use a taxi, rather than walking around the streets, single women in particular need to be careful and we would suggest that it is safer to be in a group.

On board the truck - Each vehicle is fitted with a hidden, lockable safe to be used for money, passports and important documents. Group members will be responsible for the safe and Oasis Overland cannot accept any liability for clients' personal or monetary contents kept in the safe or on board the truck. We advise you to not take items of value that are not essential for the journey. In certain areas a roster may be drawn up for the group to share the task of guarding and keeping the vehicle secure.


The Oasis truck will be your new home giving you a comfortable, secure base with which to experience your trip. As part of the adventure you will be expected to have an active involvement in the day to day running of the trip, be part of the group and get stuck in and help with various tasks, whether it's cooking meals over open fires, pitching your tent or keeping the truck clean and tidy.

Seatbelts

All Oasis Overland trucks are fitted with seatbelts. For your own safety and security we recommend that travellers wear these at all times whilst the vehicle is moving. Our overland trucks in Africa also have a ‘beach area’ which is a chill out zone to be used when the truck is not moving.

Accommodation

Camping - Oasis uses roomy three-person tents but only for two people. They are specially made for us to meet the tougher conditions of an overland trip and have mosquito netting sewn into the door and windows. Tents are shared (between two people of the same sex from your group unless you are a couple). We spend some nights bush or desert camping and the rest of the time in campsites. Facilities and standards at campsites vary, some are well equipped and managed and some are very basic. At bush camps you will be living off the truck, so there will be no showers or en-suite facilities! At certain campsites there is the opportunity to upgrade to a private room at your own expense if you are missing your bed.

Lodges / Hostels - At some locations we will stay in lodges and hostels that are small, locally run establishments. The accommodation will vary depending on the rooming available, from dormitory style rooms, to twins/doubles or triple rooms. Upgrades may be available on arrival, but cannot be reliably pre-booked. Please refer to the individual trip inclusions for the percentage break up of your accommodation. 

During the day

As a guide, driving days normally start at about 8am and finish at about 5pm, with stops for lunch and buying food, seeing local sights etc. We won't be driving every day, although there are times when we will drive for two, but we will then stop for a few days and you will have free time to explore, meet local people, do some optional activities or just relax and do your own thing. Expect to sometimes get dusty & dishevelled during the day and although you will be able to shower most nights (except at bush camps), not all camps will have hot showers.

Meals & cook groups

When 'on the road' or camping, we usually cook using gas or over open fires in a rota system and you can expect to cook in a group of two or three people approximately once every ten days depending on the number of people on trip and whereabouts you are. Your cook group will have to decide on what to cook, utilise stocks from the truck stores and locally obtain ingredients from markets, shops etc. and rustle up a meal. But don't worry if you're not a Gordon Ramsay as the rest of the group and the Tour leader usually lend a helping hand. Here is an idea of what to expect at meal times:

Breakfasts:  Usually simple - we help ourselves to cereal, toast, hot drinks and on occasion we will splurge with a cooked breakfast.  

Lunch:  Cold and usually quick. The cook group will put out bread, tinned supplies and maybe make a salad.

Dinner:  Cooks come into their own in the evening, and will always attempt to cook up some delights. When the truck is parked up for a few days in a town or city most people usually like the option to eat out at local restaurants - so we often don't cook all meals when at these locations.

Vegetarians / Vegans / Coeliacs / Gluten & Lactose intolerance - Our Tour Leaders will always do their best to cater for any dietary requirement or intolerance whenever possible. However we do not cater for fussy eaters. It must be remembered that the variety of dishes available may not be the same as available to meat eaters. If there is anything in particular you require in your diet or because of an allergy or would miss from home, it would be best to bring these with you, as these cannot be purchased with normal Local Payment funds due to the high cost of these specialised and often imported foods.

Remember that when eating out in local restaurants & hotels that vegetarianism or food allergies / intolerances, are still not widely known about or understood by many local people. i.e Vegetarians or Vegans will often be offered fish or chicken in error. Most large towns and cities, or areas used to tourists, will often have more choice but please be aware that it will probably not be as varied as you are used to when eating out at home.

In the evenings

When at a bushcamp or campsite where you and your tent buddy will put up the tent, and then lend a hand with getting out the tables, stools, firewood and water containers. The fire grates need to be taken out, the fire lit and someone can fill the kettle and make hot drinks while the cook group prepares the evening meal. Then just sit back & chill and enjoy the rest of your evening!

Oasis Crew

We usually have two crew whose duties are extensive and quite demanding, with challenges ranging from driving and maintaining the expedition vehicle to a high standard, to organising visas and border crossings, arranging accommodation, pre-booking some excursions and guides, helping with shopping and cooking as well as finding the best deals, socializing and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. While our crew are usually experienced and knowledgeable they are not tour guides as such. Our trips pass through many countries and our tour leaders cannot be expected to have detailed knowledge of each country's history, flora and fauna and archaeological sites. Even so - they will be more than willing to pass on any interesting and useful information that they have acquired whilst on the road. A rewarding way to gain a better insight into the wildlife, cultural and historical diversity of the countries we travel through is by reading guide books as well as talking to the local people and using local guides.

Adventure travel can be unpredictable and occasionally our crew may have to amend the itinerary to take into account changing local circumstances or because of a delay at a border or because of circumstances outside our control. This can all lead to additional work and commitment for our crew who will do all they can to minimize any disruption to the trip. While our crew are essentially on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week, it has to be remembered that no one is actually expected to work these hours, so at Oasis we are realistic that within a trip there will be times when our crew need 'down time' and a chance to relax and 'let their hair down' as well. They are only human!

Itinerary

Because Oasis Overland do not operate normal 'package holidays' the itineraries given cannot be guaranteed to run exactly as outlined. However, it is rare that we have to make major changes and in the event that we do this will be discussed with you either before or during the trip. It is important to bear in mind that should it not be possible to enter a certain country due to safety concerns, visa problems or political turmoil etc, and it becomes necessary to fly over a country in order to continue a trip, that all costs for flights will be borne by you and not Oasis. Should it not be possible for an Oasis trip to begin from a scheduled starting city due to border closures, civil unrest etc,  Oasis will make all reasonable efforts to begin the trip from an alternative location. However, all additional costs that you may incur in travelling to the alternative location will be paid by you or your insurance company and not Oasis.


Optional Excursions are paid for on the day and organised during your trip, so you can decide whilst travelling which activity you may want to do. Prices listed are only a guide and may be dependant on fluctuating exchange rates and minimum numbers. Please see below for more details.

 

South Africa

Title From Price
Black Water Tubing 1/2 day US$50
Cango Caves Adventure tour upgrade US$6
Gold Reef City Tour US$55
Guided Bridge Walk US$15
Highest Bungee in the World - Bloukrans Bridge US$85
Horse Ride - Royal Natal National Park - from US$22
Local Township Tours US$35
Quad Biking 2 hours - Tsitsikama US$55
Scuba Dive - Incl. 2 Dives, Hire of Wetsuit & Equipment - Cape Town US$100
Sea Kayaking US$24
Tree Top Canopy Walk US$50
Tsitsikama National Park Entrance US$16
Waterfall Zip Lining in Tsitsikamma Forest US$40
Apartheid Museum - Johannesburg US$7
Soweto Township Tour US$40
Kruger National Park Night Drive US$28

Lesotho

Title From Price
Malealea Village Choir US$7
Overnight Hikes with packhorses from US$70
Overnight Pony Treks from US$100
Pony Trekking - Lesotho, various rides available per hour from, US$25
Various Guided Walks - per hour US$5

Swaziland

Title From Price
Esitjeni Village Walk US$15
Horse Riding - various rides available per hour from, US$21
Mountain Biking - per hour, from US$10
Sunrise / Sunset Game drives 2 hours US$28

Zimbabwe

Title From Price
Afternoon / Evening Game drive Hwange National Park US$50
Bridge Slide - Victoria Falls (solo/tandem), from US$70
Bungee Jump off Victoria Falls Bridge (111m) US$160
Entrance to Victoria Falls - Zambia US$30
Entrance to Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe US$30
Game Drive - Gweru US$25
Gorge Swing (solo/tandem), from US$100
Helicopter Flight over Victoria Falls - 15/30 mins, from US$170
Horse Riding - Victoria Falls, from US$100
Jet Boating US$115
Horseback - Game Ride - Gweru, from US$30
Microlite Flight over Victoria Falls - 15/30 mins (takes place in Zambia), from US$185
Mule Drawn Carriage ride US$30
Photos on CD / Video of Bungee, from US$20
Raft & Riverboard Combo - Zambezi US$190
Souvenir Trip T-Shirt, from US$20
Sundowner Cruise incl. Drinks & snacks, from US$65
Tandem Kayaking US$185
White Water Rafting - High water (1/2 day) US$120
White Water Rafting - Low Water (mid July to mid Dec) US$120
Zipline - Victoria Falls (solo/tandem), from US$74
Zambezi Canoe Trip - Full Day US$150
Chimanimani National Park - entrance fee, guide & transport, from US$30
Bridal Veil Falls, entry US$10
Great Zimbabwe Ruins US$20

We feel that having optional excursions gives a greater degree of flexibility and independence to our group members; independence to decide how much your spending budget can afford; flexibility to decide when and what time of day or with whom to visit a particular site, rather than for example, with the whole group at a pre-ordained time. If you decide not to join a popular excursion, you will have free time to relax or wander off to a market, village or beach, depending on where we are.

You pay for the optional excursions to the local operator, ensuring the money stays with that operator in the local community and this ensures as well, that you are paying the true price for any optional excursions you want to do. This also applies to accommodation costs before and after the trip. Please note that the prices of optional excursions quoted are approximate as local prices can and do change. Please see the relevant trip page for the Optional excursions you can do on that trip and a list of prices.


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  • Start Location
    Cape Town
  • End Location
    Victoria Falls

Add Ons and Volunteer Projects

African Wildlife Conservation and Photography Project - South Africa

£2295

Volunteer - African Wildlife Conservation and Photography Project

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