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Discovering Africa with Oasis Overland

Today I embark on an incredible overland journey of discovering Africa with Oasis Overland from Nairobi to Cape Town. Find out how to follow along.

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Africa has been on my destination dream wishlist for a long time now, like most travellers. However I didn’t think there was any chance I was going to get there in the next few years until just recently.

Oasis Overland 75 Day Grand Adventurer Tour

Photo Credit: Mariana Matos

Discovering Africa with Oasis Overland

When Adela and I decided to take a break, because of my visa expiring and her not wanting to leave Edinburgh, I knew I needed to travel. But after nearly 4 years of travelling as a couple, solo travel terrified me. The only option in my mind was to join a group trip to alleviate some of those fears.

With a group trip to Africa I knew I could make friends while maintaining some independence, much easier than jumping from Hostel to Hostel through Europe. After a week of research I settled on booking with Oasis Overland, who we were actually meant to travel with through Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt with last year before the Arab Spring uprising pulled the pin on that.

The trip I am booked on starts today and I couldn’t be more excited. For 75 days I will travel overland from Nairobi to Cape Town with approximately 20 other like-minded travellers in an expedition truck that is suited to the raw continent of Africa.

Oasis Overland Africa Truck

My new home away from home – Oasis Overland Africa Truck

On my journey we will pass through the countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa. Each one unique with their own amazing experiences to discover including; trekking to see the mountain gorillas, swimming with sharks, walking with lions or just relaxing under the setting sun.

Not to mention a load of extra adventure activities right up my alley like white water rafting, bungee jumping (terrified but will attempt it), quad biking and of course the unforgettable Gameparks such as the Serengeti, Etosha and Ngorongoro Crater.

Oasis Overland 75 Day Grand Adventurer Route Map

Oasis Overland 75 Day Grand Adventurer Route Map

Life On The Road

Travel is unpredictable at the best of times. When that travel is 2.5 months overland across Africa, I really have no idea what to expect.

The Oasis Overland crew also made it quite clear that there are so many circumstances outside of their control. But that is what excites and appeals to me the most about this trip.

Day-to-Day

I have been told that driving days start around 8am and finish at about 5pm, with stops for lunch and buying food, seeing local sights etc. Luckily we won’t be driving every day, although there are times when we will drive for two, but will then stop for a few days with free time to explore, meet local people, do some of the many optional adventure activities.

Oasis Overland Truck in Africa

In my opinion, the best part is that I am expected to have an active involvement in the day to day running of our overland experience. Whether it’s cooking meals over open fires, pitching tents or keeping the truck clean and tidy, I will be getting my hands dirty.

Once we have stopped at a bushcamp or campsite, we will put up the tents and lend a hand with getting out the tables, stools, firewood and water containers. As some of us sit back and relax, the designated cook group for that day will prepare the evening meal.

This means we only have to demonstrate our prowess in the kitchen, or lack thereof, in a group of two or three people once every ten days or so.

But it is all meant to be fairly basic. For breakfasts, it is kept simple with cereal, toast, hot drinks and on occasion there will be a splurge with a cooked breakfast. While lunch, will be eaten usually on the road. So it’s likely to be eating sandwiches and anything else quick to assemble.

Oasis Overland African Gorillas

There is no doubt that this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Yet it is one that would not have come about without one negative change in my life which has created this amazing opportunity. And I plan to grab it with both hands, and share it with you.

So make sure you follow along with me on this Oasis Overland Grand Adventurer tour by following the Hashtag #fjAfrica on Twitter and Instagram where I will be updating my journey whenever we have Internet access. Not to mention right here on my travel blog and via Facebook.

Oasis Overland have provided me with a small discount off the price of the trip. However, as always, my thoughts on telling it how it is are never influenced by anyone. The photos in this post are also courtesy of Oasis Overland 😉

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. The World or Bust

    April 30, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    Holy crap, those lions are diesel! better do some extra push ups with all that driving time!

  2. Michael Hodson

    April 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I did about 3 weeks with Oasis in Ethiopia, Sudan and part of Egypt. Really good company. Hope you have a good crew on the truck — you will have a blast.

  3. Geoff Billing

    April 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Awesome, I’ll be 2 months behind you on this exact same trip! So I’ll be following your updates closely 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      May 3, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      You will love it Geoff! First photos will be up next week too 😉

  4. Moss Burmester

    April 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Mega jealous of your trip! Can’t wait to get your updates!

  5. Alissa

    May 1, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Excited to hear about your adventure, we choose Oasis Overland also for our trip in January, a very similar route to yours. Have a great time, can’t wait to read about your favorite stops!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 3, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      Been absolutely amazing so far Alissa and only on day 5! Can’t recommend Oasis Overland enough 🙂

  6. Charli l Wanderlusters

    May 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    What a fantastic adventure! Food for the soul I’ve no doubt. We’re hoping to exploring Africa one day, until now I’ve your updates to feed my imagination! Thanks Cole!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      Really hope you cone one day as your photos will be amazing I bet!

  7. Sarah P | The Travel Spotlight

    May 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    That baby gorilla is adorable!! I dream of visiting Africa someday too! All the best and have a lovely trip, I’ll be following along! 😀

  8. Johan Horak

    May 7, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Really cool trip. Being in Cape Town this is one of my must do trips. I have been in the southern parts of Africa but never as far north as you were. Great to see you did Namibia. It’s one of my favourite places.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 8, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Would love a personal tour guide in Cape Town Johan! Let me know if you guys are keen 🙂

      • Johan Horak

        May 8, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        Anytime. We take nothing serious. Or we try not to. And we don’t really care about time. If you are in a hurry then I need to find you another guide. Ha ha 😉

        • Cole Burmester

          May 8, 2013 at 5:39 PM

          Sounds perfect for me haha. Will be there in mid-July 😉

      • Johan Horak

        May 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        Keep me posted. And ask any questions you may have. I would love to give you good advice 😉

  9. Kristy of Family Visa

    May 8, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Hi Cole, did you see the big five animals already? How’s your experience so far? Anyway, the baby gorillas is so cute!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      I spotted an Elephant on our Gorilla trekking actually so that finished it off 😉

  10. Ashely

    May 8, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Wow, great post! I would love to be on this trip with you right now. I have always wanted to travel but I have never even left the states (yet). I can’t wait to see more pictures! I hope you have an amazing trip!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Thanks Ashely 🙂 I hope you get to travel soon too and definitely recommend travelling with Oasis Overland!

  11. Lydia Patel

    May 10, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    Haha I love the photo of the lioness smacking the lion, you go girl!

  12. Aaron Douglas

    May 10, 2013 at 6:15 AM

    This looks like such an incredible trip!

  13. K.T.

    May 15, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    We did an overland from Cape Town to Nairobi – and threw a Kilimanjaro trek in there while we were at it. It is still our most favourite thing we have done so far – not to mention how CHEAP overlanding is compared to independent travel in Africa.

    Hope you enjoy your time- We weren’t able to blog for 2.5 months while in africa due to lack of wifi!!! Hopefully you find it easier than we did!

    cheers!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 17, 2013 at 5:45 AM

      So far the WiFi has been patchy at best but seem to get hold of it every few days. Not too worried though as quite enjoying being away from technology haha. Sounds like I am doing the trip in reverse to you too!

  14. Chelsea

    October 30, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Hi Cole, I just came across this post now when I was searching for other travel bloggers who have done over-landing trips in Africa. I’m taking one with Nomad Tours throughout South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho in December-January. I’m so excited, but a little nervous! How did you enjoy being with the tour group all the time? Another random question – did you happen to get a rabies vaccine before you went? Looks like you had a great time!

    • Cole Burmester

      November 3, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      Hey Chelsea,
      Thanks for your post! You definitely should be excited as it will be one of the best things you could ever do. It was great being with our group but it can be tough as it is 24/7. Luckily everyone in my group was amazing although there was times when people bickered. It happens when you have 24+ people travelling together 🙂 It is quite easy to have alone time on the overland trips by just chucking on your iPod or reading your book though. Everyone did it all the time.
      And nope I didn’t get a rabies shot although it was recommended. No one on my trip did. Basically it only gives you an additional 24 hours to seek medical attention. I won’t recommend whether you should or not, but they seem very expensive… 😀
      Enjoy it and safe travels!
      Cheers,
      Cole

      • Chelsea

        November 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        Thanks Cole! You’re right, I suppose it should be expected that people will bicker a bit on that long of a trip. I did some more research and it looks like the rabies shot isn’t even available near me – I was recommended to get Typhoid and Hepatitis A shots though.

  15. Dee

    June 9, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    That sounds like a wonderful and brave adventure to our side of the globe (South Africa).

    I really enjoy reading travel blogs featuring South Africa,and as for Wifi, turn off the phones and breathe in the African air!

    Thanks for a great blog, Im glad you found a nice group to travel with, my company offers the same services and it is always heartwarming to hear a story of an an enjoyed trip to SA.

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Adventure Travel

Explore Auckland’s Coasts With One Exquisite Walking Hike

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There is a wonderful place found in the far southwest of the Pacific Ocean. It is a place called Auckland, and it is found in the amazing terrain of New Zealand. It is a place that commands the attention of over 1 million people who prefer to live and reside in this majestic city.

Did you know that Auckland claims the top spot in New Zealand with its wide range of people and the most concentrated number of people within a city in New Zealand?

But why do so many people come to Auckland, New Zealand, and live there? What do they appreciate the most?

The truth is that the answer may vary, and it may differ from person to person, but it is hard to deny that nature is not a crucial part of their decision making. The beautiful city has fantastic places that offer great adventure and recreational activity.

You can take advantage of the diverse coasts, hidden coves, and more of the northern area in the North Island. It is known for its various boats, and some believe that it has more ships than any other city in the entire world.

It is a city that resides between two large fantastic natural harbors.

Let us find out more about how you can explore this majestic city with one fantastic walking hike.

The Auckland Coast

For those who want to stay near to Auckland’s city and travel well, it is necessary to start your journey with the Auckland Coast’s breathtaking area.

Did you know that Auckland’s coast ranges over 15km, will take over four hours to traverse, and is somewhat challenging to navigate? But the truth is that it is worth it. Why is it worth it? Well, you can seemingly walk the length of an entire nation within the span of a few hours. If you wake up early in the morning and go on this journey, you can finish your hike by noon or an hour past noon.

But in that brief timeframe, you can experience several oceans, notice a slew of volcanoes, and have a glimpse into people’s regular lives in the New Zealand area.

This fantastic walk is excellent because of its duration and because you are able to experience lush greenery and park settings over 30% of the time. It is a great way to clear your head, get to know more about the people you are traveling with, and experience the refreshing Auckland air.

Experts suggest beginning your journey at the less intriguing Onehunga area and then moving forward with public transportation at the Britomart stop. You will find that you can travel east to take in the water sights with a bit of work.

When your walk is over, you can grab a fresh beverage at the Waitemata Harbour, a premium harbor.

You will want to make sure to bring some healthy snacks along for the walk because you may not notice different places to eat as you go on this part of the hike.

It is best to ensure that you understand that you must input the Ferry Building into your mobile device or ensure to use the local municipal iSITE for further guidance.

If you are limited on time, I would suggest that you go on this route because it lets you take in the entire area and understand this excellent place.

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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