Africa Overland travel is in our blood. In 1988, two starry-eyed young backpackers gathered some friends and set off across the continent in a modified ex-council truck. They must have had fun, because when they got home they started a little company called Intrepid (that’s us). These days, our itineraries are more polished, our vehicles are custom-built for overlanding and our leaders are travel experts and passionate locals, but we’ve still got that same old sense of adventure.

Whether you’re on the road for seven days or 70, you’ll get off the beaten track, connect with local people, support local communities and see more animals than you can poke your (respectfully distant) binoculars at. It’s not every day you watch a fat sunrise douse the Serengeti in orange light, or wake to see that zebras have strolled through your campsite in the night. An African Overland tour is truly a drive on the wild side. And drives like that you never forget.

Our Overland tours in Africa

10 Days From $1,190

Tour through Johannesburg, Maun and Victoria Falls on this trip through South Africa,...

8 Days From $1,690

Roam the vast Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, camp beside Lake Victoria...

13 Days From $2,318

Experience the beauty of the Serengeti before taking to the Usambara Mountains and then...

18 Days From $2,220

Travel to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and uncover their natural wonders. From...

16 Days From $3,173

The ultimate African adventure tour. See lions in Kenya's Lake Nakuru National Park,...

9 Days From $1,125

Travel from Zimbabwe to Botswana and South Africa on a real African adventure. Visit...

28 Days From $5,272

Get closer to Africa’s incredible wildlife on this journey through Kenya, Uganda,...

15 Days From $2,700

The wonders of Kenya and Tanzania unfold on this African adventure tour. Enjoy...

8 Days From $1,083

Travel to Africa and visit Kenya, where an Intrepid wildlife safari awaits. From...

22 Days From $2,397

Travel to Africa and discover the unique, contrasting lands of Zimbabwe, Botswana,...

22 Days From $2,169

Embark on an African odyssey! Visit South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. This tour...

10 Days From $3,410

Visit Africa and travel through Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe on a tour from Windhoek...

14 Days From $4,555

Travel to Africa and visit the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro. From Nairobi in Kenya to the...

28 Days From $4,458

Get closer to Africa’s incredible wildlife on this journey through Kenya, Uganda,...

9 Days From $985

Travel to Kruger National Park on an out-of-this-world African safari, visit Swaziland,...

22 Days From $2,533

Take a wild African adventure from South Africa to Zimbabwe. Travel north from Cape...

64 Days From $8,585

Jump aboard this epic tour from Cape Town to Nairobi. From safaris in Tanzania and...

14 Days From $1,280

Visit Africa and travel from Durban to Cape Town. Tour the Hermanus Wine Region, the...

22 Days From $7,590

Jump onboard an exhilarating journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls through the...

21 Days From $3,755

Step out onto the Serengeti and keep your eyes out for rhinos, lions, leopards and a...

16 Days From $2,725

Visit Africa and travel through southern Africa's beautiful regions. Visit South Africa...

13 Days From $3,430

Crossing the border from Cape Town, South Africa, head towards Windhoek to encounter...

4 Days From $2,060

Travel to Africa to meet some of Uganda's rare and beautiful mountain gorillas. Visit...

27 Days From $3,930

Explore the wilds of Africa on this action-packed adventure from the busy streets of...

9 Days From $1,570

Travel from Zimbabwe to South Africa via Botswana. The Okavango and Beyond trip is the...

8 Days From $1,305

Travel from South Africa's capital to Botswana and Zimbabwe, visiting two of southern...

15 Days From $8,565

Experience the wild wonders of Kenya and Tanzania on this trip that delivers adventure...

48 Days From $6,436

Explore Africa as you travel from Kenya to Cape Town through Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi...

18 Days From $1,540

Explore the best of south and east Africa with this adventure from the spicy beaches of...

15 Days From $4,965

Travel to Africa and visit the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro. From Nairobi in Kenya to the...

63 Days From $9,535

See Africa encompassed on a tour through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi,...

28 Days From $3,775

Experience the exhilarating wild of Africa as you travel from Victoria Falls through...

19 Days From $1,517

Travel from thundering Victoria Falls to the fragrant spice plantations of Zanzibar...

8 Days From $3,271

Visit Africa and forge into the heart of Kenya’s finest game parks on a overland lodge...

40 Days From $4,081

See Africa on this incredible overland adventure from South Africa to Tanzania. Soak up...

39 Days From $3,978

Explore Africa on this wildlife-rich adventure from Tanzania to South Africa. Explore...

49 Days From $6,505

Explore Africa as you wind your way up from South Africa, through Namibia, Botswana,...

42 Days From $7,020

Take an epic East African adventure from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Safari in the Serengeti, go...

13 Days From $2,205

Experience the best of East Africa on this road adventure. From Zanzibar to Nairobi,...

8 Days From $4,427

Bursting with wildlife, the national parks of Tanzania will have you continually...

15 Days From $1,166

Embrace the sights, sounds and culture of Africa on this eye-opening adventure from...

10 Days From $1,872

The pristine beaches of Zanzibar, the lush slopes of the Usambara Mountains, and the...

17 Days From $5,720

Travel to Africa and visit the Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. From Nairobi in...

37 Days From $17,340

Jump onboard an exhilarating journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls and then onto...

30 Days From $3,298

Take a wild African adventure from South Africa to Zimbabwe. Travel north from Cape...

43 Days From $5,953

This East Africa adventure tour travels from Zimbabwe to Kenya. Visit Zanzibar beaches,...

11 Days From $4,215

Travel from Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park, cross the Makgadikgadi Pans to Maun,...

28 Days From $2,945

Travel through Botswana to the thundering Victoria Falls and on to to the fragrant...

16 Days From $1,132

Spot a host wildlife at the Luangwa River, gape at the mighty Victoria Falls, explore...

52 Days From $8,050

Experience Africa travelling through the waterways of Botswana, the beaches of Zanzibar...

37 Days From $4,845

Experience Africa travelling through the waterways of Botswana, the beaches of Zanzibar...

21 Days From $2,210

Discover the delights of Ethiopia from the natural beauty of the Simien Mountains to...

16 Days From $1,760

Travel to Africa and tour Kenya and Ethiopia on a trip from Nairobi to Arba Minch....

21 Days From $2,140

Travel to Africa and tour Ethiopia on a trip from Addis Ababa to Gonder. Discover...

15 Days From $1,810

Go off the beaten track on this immersive Ethiopian adventure, visiting remote tribes...

15 Days From $1,840

Travel to Africa and be immersed in traditional cultures on journey through changing...

16 Days From $1,520

Travel from Arba Minch to Nairobi, via Ethiopia's remote Omo Valley and some of Kenya's...

23 Days From $2,750

Discover the best of West Africa on this journey through Senegal, Guinea and Sierra...

23 Days From $2,750

Join a journey across West Africa and discover the stunning beaches, densely jungled...

19 Days From $4,320

Take your tribe to explore the wilds of Southern Africa. Travel through Zimbabwe,...

21 Days From $3,675

Visit Africa and travel to Kenya for an overland tour to spot gorillas and rhinos in...

50 Days From $6,060

Travel from Dakar to Ghana on a road trip across this unspoilt and fascinating region...

17 Days From $4,810

Visit Kenya, tour Tanzania and relax on Zanzibar beaches. Spot wildlife on the...

44 Days From $5,565

Travel to Ethiopia and visit the unique landscapes and cultures of this almost...

28 Days From $3,450

Explore the mysteries of West Africa on this extensive journey from Ghana to Sierra...

21 Days From $2,355

Explore an unspoilt region of West Africa on a tour departing from Ghana that travels...

44 Days From $4,915

Tour Kenya and Ethiopia on a trip from Nairobi to Gonder. Visit the Samburu Reserve,...

70 Days From $8,240

Travel from Dakar to Ghana on a road trip across this unspoilt and fascinating region...

Meet your Overland leaders

If you're thinking of travelling on an overland safari through Africa with Intrepid Travel, but you're not entirely sure what it will be like – then take a look behind the scenes of a real overland experience and meet our leaders.

Florence

Timon

Podcast – East Africa Overland with Intrepid

Intrepid Overland truck in Tanzania

We chat through everything you need to know about camping and overlanding through Kenya and Tanzania.

Download the podcast here or Download the Intrepid East Africa Overland podcast on iTunes

 

Africa Overland FAQs

Good things come in threes, right? On most Overland tours in Africa, you don’t just get one local leader, but a crew of three – a leader, driver and a cook! The leader is there to organise logistics, keep you safe and ensure the trip runs smoothly. While not being guides in the traditional sense, our African leaders – many of them hailing from Kenya and South Africa – have a broad knowledge of their destinations, a keen eye for wildlife-spotting and a passion for their homeland. At some points, we may also use specialist local guides to give you deeper insight into a place, especially when tracking and identifying game.

It’s the cook’s job to shop, oversee meal preparation and ensure the group keeps a high standard of hygiene. Your driver’s responsibility is to maintain the truck and get you from A to B safely. By the end of the trip, the trio of leader, driver and cook often feel like new friends. 

Some Overland trips in Southern Africa have a smaller group size of maximum 16 people. On these tours, you'll only have two crew members with you – a leader and a driver. In these instances, the leader will help prepare meals. Check out the ‘Group Leader’ section of the Essential Trip Information to find out how many crew you’ll have on your trip.

You’ll be part of a group of maximum 22 people of all ages and nationalities, from all walks of life. That’s what overland travel is all about: sharing experiences with like-minded adventurers from around the world. On our longer combination trips, your crew and group may change halfway through. Be prepared to spend a lot of time with each other and to make some new friends; it happens a lot.

Intrepid’s fleet of Overland safari trucks are custom-built for wildlife viewing and off-track adventure. The vehicle used depends on your group size and tour route; in South Africa, for example, we sometimes use vans instead of trucks. All vehicles are designed to be self-sufficient, carrying everything you need right down to the folding chairs for your campsite.

In the expedition trucks there’s no air-conditioning, so it’s often hot and dusty, but the windows can be opened for fresh air. While the seats are comfortable, the ride can be pretty bumpy at times. Most trucks have electrical plugs for charging phones and cameras, but we’ve made a conscious decision not to have wifi on-board (who needs the internet when you’ve got Africa outside your window?)

Overlanding is not your typical touring experience; the best thing is to treat it all as part of the adventure. Sometimes conditions can be tough on vehicles, and while we fastidiously service our trucks, the occasional breakdown may happen (don’t worry, your leader is well trained to deal with these situations). Also, in wet weather, there may be times when we have to take alternative routes, which can mean longer travel times.

Africa Overland tours involve a lot of time on the road covering long distances, and many early morning starts. Some days we’ll drive for five, six, even nine hours at a time, although we take regular breaks. One of the beauties of overlanding is seeing changing landscapes and local village life roll by right outside your window, but not every traveller is comfortable with so much driving. Changes in weather, road conditions and traffic (or unexpected border and national park closures) can throw drive times out by hours, so it's important to have an open mind and a degree of flexibility. If you’re the kind of traveller who prefers a strict, set schedule, you might be better suited to one of our destination-based shortbreak adventures. Check the itineraries on our website for an approximate breakdown of drive times for each trip. 

 

Most Africa Overland tours are geared around wildlife viewing. We often stay a few days in each national park, giving us plenty of opportunity to encounter a wide variety of animals. On these days, you’ll usually do two game drives a day – one in the early morning when wildlife is most active, and one in the early afternoon after lunch. Game drives often last 2-4 hours.   

While we do use open-roof 4x4 safari vehicles on occasion (like in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater), most game drives are done in the Overland truck, which is specially built for safe wildlife viewing with big sliding windows. When we come across an animal, the driver will stop and you’ll be able to get out of your seat and move around the interior of the truck.

It’s important to know that an African safari is not a David Attenborough documentary. There’s no guarantee you’ll see every member of the ‘Big Five’, and we never veer off the marked trails to get a closer look at an animal. When we’re in their territory, wildlife comes to us. Whatever happens, you’re sure to experience some pretty mind-blowing stuff.

The style of accommodation depends on the adventure you choose. When in cities and towns we often stay in hotels, but on the majority of Africa Overland tours you’ll be camping – sometimes in campsites that you’ll share with other tour groups, and sometimes in the middle of the wilderness with no perimeter fence. Waking up to find fresh zebra footprints through your campsite is a pretty amazing experience (don’t worry, our leaders are well trained to protect you and it’s very safe!).

Campsites facilities can be basic. Sometimes the showers are cold, and some toilets are of the squat or hole-in-the-ground variety. You’ll be expected to pitch your own tent each night; the two-person canvas tents provided are easy to set up and come with built-in mosquito screens. Those travelling solo will share with someone of the same gender, although single supplements are available if you’d prefer your own space. At some campsites, you might be able to upgrade to a cabin or twin room at an extra cost, subject to availability, although this can’t be pre-booked.

On most Overland tours, you’re more than just a passenger – you’re part of a team. Your leader may split you into smaller groups and draw up a daily roster. You’ll then take it in turns to help with tasks such as cooking, shopping, washing up and cleaning the truck, although it’s not difficult work. Please come prepared to roll up your sleeves and pull your weight – it’s all part of the fun!

When camping, breakfasts and most lunches and dinners are included. While at times you’ll be required to help out with basic cooking – chopping vegies, kneading dough – the cook overseas all meal preparations. Meals are tasty yet simple, made using local ingredients your crew will pick up along the way. Dinner might be pasta or a BBQ, but we also throw in some local specialties. Breakfasts often involve toast, spreads, eggs and tea/coffee, while lunch is usually a sandwich and some fruit; sometimes you’ll need to prepare a packed lunch if we’re going to be out on a game drive all day. If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and remind your crew at the welcome meeting.

On drive days, we’ll usually make a stop at a market or shopping centre, giving you the chance to stock up on snacks and supplies. When heading into national parks for a few days we often take an esky with ice, so you can pick up some local beers or South African wine to enjoy by the campfire. We start each day with a supply of clean, filtered water for you to fill up your drink bottle. When staying in hotels, meals aren’t included, but your leader will recommend some affordable and delicious local restaurants.

While we stick to the planned itineraries where we can, overland travel – especially in remote parts of Africa – is unpredictable. Closed roads, inclement weather or mechanical issues can affect the running of your trip. In those cases, there are plenty of other tried-and-true routes we can take. An open mind and sense of flexibility are key to enjoying your adventure.

Optional activities – such as bike rides, hot air ballooning and walking safaris –  are dispersed throughout the itinerary. Please note that these are subject to availability, and that the prices listed are merely an indication. Ask your leader for more information.

One of the great things about an Overland tour is that many things are built into the cost of the trip – accommodation, transport, game drives, activities, community visits and most meals. You will, however, need your own financial supply for tipping, visas, personal shopping, drinks, laundry, meals when staying in hotels, optional activities and snacks for the road, so please factor this into your budget. We make regular stops at ATMs along the way so you don’t have to carry too much cash with you. Make sure you read your Essential Trip Information carefully so you know what’s included.

Many of the countries visited on our Africa Overland tours require visas for entry. Some are best obtained before you leave home, and others can be obtained en-route. Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller, although we’re happy to help with any questions. Entry requirements can change at any time, so check out the relevant consular websites for up-to-date information specific to your nationality. Visas can take several weeks to process, so it’s best to apply as soon as you’ve booked your trip.

When crossing the border between countries, your leader will explain what you need to do and will walk and talk you through the whole process, so there’s no need to feel nervous. Along with your passport, you may also need to present proof of your Yellow Fever vaccination (your doctor or nurse should give you a small booklet after having the immunisation), so make sure you bring it with you. If you’re purchasing a visa at the border, you’ll often need cash (in the local currency or in USD). Your leader will be able to give you all this information on the ground so you’re well prepared.

To fully participate in an Africa Overland tour, you’ll need to have at least a basic level of fitness. Long travel days, hot and dusty conditions, bumpy roads – overland travel can be challenging on the body. You’ll need to be physically able to help with camp chores and to climb up and down the steps of the truck 8-10 times a day. To choose a trip that suits your fitness level, please look carefully at the physical rating on our website.

It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor to see if any pre-existing medical conditions will affect your ability to participate in the trip, as we won’t have immediate access to doctors or medical facilities in some of the more remote parts of Africa. You’ll also need certain vaccinations, so make an appointment to see a travel doctor as soon as you’ve booked your trip. See the Essential Trip Information for more information about health.

When overlanding, it’s best to pack as lightly as possible. Although you won’t have to carry your bag over long distances, you’ll need to help load and unload it from the truck. On most trucks, your main luggage will be stored in a personal locker at the back of the vehicle, but in some cases bags are stored together in one communal compartment. Either way, we strongly recommend a backpack or duffel bag instead of a hard-framed suitcase. Lockers usually measure 26 inches long, 18 inches wide and 10 inches high, so keep your bag within those dimensions, and make sure it weighs no more than 20 kilograms.

You’ll also need a daypack to keep your water bottle, camera and other personal items (this is stored at your feet or in the overhead shelf of the truck). You can stock up on basics – toilet paper, soap, batteries, a small lock for your locker – when we stop at supermarkets along the way.

The clothing and equipment required will depend on your destination and the time of year. Even in summer it can get cold at night, especially when camping, so layers are always a good idea. Bring comfortable, durable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty (because they will get dirty!). We’ll supply the camping gear, including a basic ground mat, but you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. For more information about what to bring, check the Essential Trip Information.

While most Africa Overland tours are run by Intrepid, some are operated through our expert friends at Dragoman. We teamed up with Drago a few years ago because they share our philosophy of responsible, adventurous overland travel. On Dragoman-operated trips most of the above FAQs still apply, but with a few vital differences:

  • Rather than a local leader, driver and cook, you’ll be accompanied by two Western leaders. They’re responsible for the overall organisation of the group, but will also spend time driving and maintaining the truck. So you get loads of local insight: local guides will jump on board at various points along the way.
  • Because there’s no cook, when camping you’ll be divided into smaller groups and take it in turns to plan a meal, shop for ingredients and cook for the whole group (with your leaders’ help, of course).
  • Dragoman use their own trucks, which are purpose-built for overlanding and camping just like the Intrepid trucks. Most vehicles even have roof seats!
  • No single supplements are available on Dragoman trips.
  • On Dragoman trips the whole group contributes to a kitty, which forms part of the total cost of the tour. You can either pay your contribution 3-4 weeks before your depart, or during the welcome meeting at the start of the tour. The kitty is monitored by the Dragoman crew and covers the cost of accommodation, all meals while camping, and everything the group does as a whole (included activities, entrance to national parks, local guide fees etc). You’ll also need your own financial supply for personal spending, optional activities, tips, and meals while staying in hotels and hostels.

When an Africa Overland tour is operated by Dragoman, it’s listed in the Essential Trip Information on our website.  

Comfort Overland trips

While most Africa Overland tours are classified as Basix, for those less inclined to rough it (and more inclined to kick their heels back) there’s always our Comfort range. On a Comfort trip you’ll still need to be prepared for long, hot, bumpy drives in the truck, but you’ll rest your weary head in lodges and permanent tented camps instead of campsites, and you won’t have to help out with meal preparation or cleaning along the way. Most meals are included and provided by the lodge, so you won’t have a cook with you – just a local leader and driver. Basically, you get all the excitement and wild adventure of any Overland departure, but with a few extra comforts thrown in. Sound more your speed? Check out our Comfort trips in Africa below.

10 Days From $3,410

Visit Africa and travel through Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe on a tour from Windhoek...

22 Days From $7,590

Jump onboard an exhilarating journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls through the...

13 Days From $3,430

Crossing the border from Cape Town, South Africa, head towards Windhoek to encounter...

15 Days From $8,565

Experience the wild wonders of Kenya and Tanzania on this trip that delivers adventure...

8 Days From $3,271

Visit Africa and forge into the heart of Kenya’s finest game parks on a overland lodge...

8 Days From $4,427

Bursting with wildlife, the national parks of Tanzania will have you continually...

37 Days From $17,340

Jump onboard an exhilarating journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls and then onto...

11 Days From $4,215

Travel from Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park, cross the Makgadikgadi Pans to Maun,...

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Serengeti Trail, July 2017

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Kenya Wildlife Safari, August 2017

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Road to Zanzibar, July 2017

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Okavango Experience, July 2017

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Okavango Experience, July 2017

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Namibia Discovery, July 2017

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Botswana Adventure, August 2017

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Road to Zanzibar, July 2017

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Road to Zanzibar, July 2017

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Kenya to Cape Town, June 2017

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Road to Zanzibar, July 2017

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Gorillas & Game Parks, July 2017

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Kruger to Vic Falls, July 2017

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Cape Town to Vic Falls, July 2017

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Vic Falls to Kruger, July 2017

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Kenya Wildlife Safari, July 2017

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Garden Route Adventure, July 2017

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Cape Town to Vic Falls, July 2017

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Kenya Wildlife Safari, July 2017

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Vic Falls to Cape Town, July 2017

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The Masai Heartlands, July 2017

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