Africa Overland Tours

The Only Overland Tour Operators in Africa You Should Consider

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Overland Tour Operators in Africa are resilient to say the least. After all, in the wake of an economic down turn in 2008, most overland companies in Africa disappeared off the face of the earth.

But how were some able to remain?

These companies were savvy when it came to budgeting, online marketing and listening to their customers.

As you may know, I have spent quite a long time on the road and encountered almost every company in the market. With this in mind, the following is a list of the overland tour operators in Africa and some statistics according to Tourradar :

Quick Answer: Top Overland Companies in Africa

G Adventures

Nomad

Acacia

Oasis Overland

Absolute Africa

Africa Travel Company

Dragoman

Needless to say, this is not every single overland tour operator in Africa. However, these are certainly the main players on the scene:

Top Overland Tour Operators in Africa

Overland Tour Operators in Africa

Nomad Tours Review

Rating: 4.3 /5 Stars

Accommodation: 3/5

Transportation 4/5

Meals 4/5

Guide 5/5

Nomad was formed in the aftermath of an epic adventure. You will find this is often the case with overland tour operators in Africa. Anyway, they have quite a big reputation around the globe and are now one of the biggest overland tour operators in the world.In fact, they have more than forty trucks and forty monthly departures in Africa alone. I would agree that Nomad is a great company which is suited to those aged 30 upwards.

My Rating – 8/10


G Adventures

G Adventures Review

Rating: 4.2 / 5 Stars

Accommodation 4/ 5

Transportation 4/ 5

Meals 4/ 5

Value for money 4/ 5

Guide 4.5 / 5

G Adventures are the largest tour company on the planet. But don’t let that put you off, they are also the small group tours specialists for overland tours in Africa. You can see from their ratings that customers are most often happy with the overland tours and their new “Lando” is pretty impressive. I was unsure about this overland vehicle at first but having set foot on the lando, it really is a game changer. You will find USB slots on every seat, excellent views through every window and a lot more really cool features that the other overland trucks simply do not have. I believe G Adventures is most suited to people aged 18 – 35 but to be honest, there are always a few more experienced people on board between 35 – 50.
My Rating – 9/10

Oasis Overland

Oasis Overland Review

Rating – 4.2 / 5 Stars

Number of Reviews – 97

Accommodation 4/ 5

Transportation 4 / 5

Meals 4 / 5

Value for money 4.5 / 5

Guide 4.5 / 5

Oasis are another international company with a base of operations in the UK. The company was started by two overland crew who had been working for another company. Oasis are a great company and they get a lot of business through referrals and word of mouth. You will find many trip options and some of them are immense such as the Trans Africa which takes 40 weeks to travel around the continent. In my opinion, this company is more for the party crowd and budget minded peeps aged between 18 – 30.

My Rating – 7.8/10


Absolute Africa

Absolute Africa Review

Tourradar Rating: 4.6 / 5 Stars

Accommodation 4.5/ 5

Transportation 4.5 / 5

Meals 4.5 / 5

Value for money 5 / 5

Guide5 / 5

Another company that started after the owner took a mega trip from Cairo to Cape Town. Absolute Africa is the budget tour company. They receive a lot of reviews online which has really put them to the fore in recent years. However, the rating for transportation seems a little exaggerated. While the trips run just fine, some of the equipment leaves a lot to be desired and the trucks are a lot more jaded next to competitors. That being said, if you are on a budget and it’s this or nothing – you will still have an awesome time. In my opinion, Absolute Africa is suited for the super budget minded peeps who do not expect any kind of luxury.

My Rating – 7.5/10


Acacia Africa Overland Truck

Acacia Review

Tourradar Rating: 4.6 / 5 Stars

Number of Reviews – 197

Accommodation 4.5 / 5

Transportation 4.5 / 5

Meals 5 / 5

Value for money 4.5 / 5

Guide 5 / 5

Acacia have been around for a long time and seem to fall in the middle of the overland tour operators in Africa. That is to say, they are not super budget minded but they are certainly not luxury either. Acacia also have a wide range of options for their tours and plenty of monthly departures. In my experience, the passengers are usually aged between 23 – 35. As for the trucks and equipment, I would rate this as being average. As with most overland tour operators in Africa, the trucks are pretty jaded and could do with a little TLC. Otherwise, great company and relatively affordable.

My Rating – 7.5/10


Dragoman

Dragoman

Tourradar Rating: 4.5/ 5 Stars

Number of Reviews – 65

Accommodation 4.5 / 5

Transportation 4.5 / 5

Meals 4.5 / 5

Value for money 3.5 / 5

Guide 4.5 / 5

Dragoman are huge worldwide and I must say, they do a great job with marketing and getting people excited. They also go to a lot of effort to train their crew and lay out their itineraries. However, they seem to focus on the awesomeness of their trucks quite a lot and I’m not sure this is wise anymore. In other words, the trucks are super worn and while I think this looks awesome, I can see how they might be uncomfortable over long distances. Another thing I never quite liked about Dragoman was the pricing. It would be okay nowadays but back when overlanding was super cheap, Dragoman were charging huge prices for their trips. Passengers of all ages here but sadly, not for me.

My Rating – 6.8/10

Africa Travel Company

ATC (Africa Travel Company)

No Reviews or Ratings on Tourradar

I travelled with this company back in 2008 and it was a life changing trip. In fact, it was the best part of my one year backpacking around the world. However, I have since spent 5 years in Africa and realize that there was nothing to compare back then. Having led countless trips for two different overland tours operators in Africa, I now know that they are not very well organized. I say this because the trucks are often decrepit and unfortunately, the staff seem disinterested in a company that appears to have no culture. Sadly, I cannot recommend ATC.
My Rating – 5.5/10

Which one of these overland tour companies in Africa would you most like to travel with? Please let me know in the comments!

PS. If you need help choosing a specific tour, I also wrote a post about about the best overland tours in Africa.

PPS. If you need any help choosing the right tour for your trip to Africa, hit me up in the Live Chat >>>

Derek Cullen is an experienced overland tour leader in Africa. He is best known for cycling across Africa and writing about travel in Africa for many online media publications. If you would like advice or information for your trip to Africa, you can speak with him directly through the LiveChat box!

8 Comments

  1. Pau

    October 24, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Wow what a thorough analysis of overland operators in Africa. If I have to be honest, I don’t know what overland operators are. Maybe because I’m not an English speaker. How is it different from tour operator?

  2. Richa

    October 24, 2018 at 6:51 am

    The overland tour is for anyone who enjoys camping, being outdoors and has a sense of adventure. I like the way you have graded making it easier to decide which operator is better on what basis. An Interesting post 🙂

  3. Chris

    October 24, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Good piece on a rather difficult subject Derek. Africa has a travel market that is far from easy to deal with, and you seem pretty knowledgeable. If I ever manage to put my Africa plan into motion, you’ll definitely be one of the people I will reach for advice.

  4. Naddya from NTripping

    October 24, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Hey Derek,

    your reviews are really helpful! I’ve never even heard of all but two of the companies.

    I was wondering, what is the typical accommodation on overland tours, especially in Africa? Is it camping, hostels, something else, a mixture…?

    Cheers!
    Naddya from NTripping recently posted…Cyprus Beaches: The Best 12 Spots For Your Sun-thirsty TushyMy Profile

  5. Jimmy & Sarah

    October 24, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    This is great having this all in one place. I often feel overwhelmed when trying to select a tour operator. Thanks for putting this together! We sure love camping, hiking and overnight adventure as a whole. This sounds right up our alley.
    Jimmy & Sarah recently posted…Sawtooth Lake — A Quintessential Idaho Mountain HikeMy Profile

  6. Rajat Chakraborty

    October 26, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Hi Derek

    I wish I had this list before I took my trip to Cape Town, but anyways, it is never the last time. I took the City Bus Tours to explore the major points of Cape Town but I also wanted to venture out a little farther. This post will be of immense help for me on my next trip. Thanks a lot for sharing… 🙂
    Rajat Chakraborty recently posted…10 Ways To Grab The Cheapest Hotel DealsMy Profile

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  8. Medha

    October 28, 2018 at 4:23 am

    I usually do all bookings on my own and don’t go with tour operators but going to Africa and especially on a safari will definitely need me to book through a tour operator and this is a fantastic list that needs to be bookmarked! I am yet to plan my first ever trip to Africa (I have only been to Zanzibar but that doesn’t count!) and maybe in 2019 I’ll finally make it. Thanks for this useful list!

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