Travelling in a converted truck with a handful other audacious travellers is surely a unique way to go exploring the world. Some tours lasts a week, others months - as you travel across deserts, savannas, remote lands and even continents. Camp under the stars and challenge yourself by going on a real adventure!
Go overlanding on a truck tour
How about driving the Nile route between Cairo and Cape Town? Or going on an all-American adventure all the way from Alaskan fjords to Cuzco, capital of the Inca empire? Of course, if you're not up for a 160-day adventure then a week-long tour across Kenya might tickle your fancy. Whatever you're game for, we take you on the overlanding tour of a life-time.
Why overlanding is the ultimate way to travel
Overland travel is all about – you guessed it – travelling over land. Rather than flying between countries, you’ll join a group of fellow passengers on a purpose-built passenger vehicle for the ultimate road-trip. Here are five reasons why overlanding is the best way to truly experience a destination.
1. Get off the beaten trail
Overlanding is all about getting away from the well-worn tourist trails, and seeing the real country rather than just the highlights. You’ll still see the sights, whether that’s the spectacular Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China, the mighty Iguazu Falls between Argentina and Brazil, or the hilltop Incan ruins of Machu Picchu – but you’ll also travel through remote locations and interact with local cultures. You’ll stay as guests of the gauchos on an Argentinean estancia and learn to throw a lasso; you’ll meet tribespeople in the rarely-visited Odisha region in eastern India; and you’ll witness incredible voodoo displays in the villages of West Africa. For many people, these unique experiences are the most memorable part of their overland adventure.
2. Embrace "slow travel"
Have you ever come home from a holiday feeling more exhausted than when you left? Overland travel is all about enjoying the journey as well as the destination. Travelling in a purpose-built overland vehicle encourages you to slow down and take notice of the world around you; it gives you the time, freedom and flexibility to savour the act of travelling itself.
Imagine taking the time to enjoy a guided tour of the Tata Somba villages of northern Benin, learning to put up a traditional felt yurt from Kyrgyz mountain shepherds, or stopping to watch the sunset in the extraordinary Moon Valley of San Pedo de Atacama. There’s no better way to get a real feel for a country, and it’s the perfect antidote to our increasingly fast-paced lifestyles.
3. Travel with like-minded people
When travelling overland, your fellow passengers are as much a part of the adventure as the destination itself. The beauty of this kind of travel is that it attracts people from all walks of life – groups are often made up of the young and old, solo travellers, couples, groups of friends, and people of various nationalities, backgrounds and world-views. But you’ll have in common a curiosity about the world, and as you share in unique and incredible experiences, you’ll develop a strong sense of camaraderie among the group. Life-long friendships are often formed this way.
4. Take as long as you want
There are loads of different overlanding routes, starting from just a few days to weeks to months and sometimes even years. You can fit an overland adventure into a week or two of annual leave, or, if you’re feeling more ambitious, you can take six months or a year out to deeply immerse yourself in the experience.
Most overland tours are broken down into individual legs (which are trips in their own right), so you could follow one particular route over a number of years if you wanted to, simply rejoining the tour each time at the point at which you left it. For example, one year you might explore the wilds of Alaska & Canada; the next you’ll get to grips with the US’s incredible national parks, like Zion and Yellowstone; and finally you’ll encounter the volcanoes of Central America and the unrivalled wilderness of South America, such as Bolivia’s Altiplano.
5. Follow epic and iconic routes
Whether it’s following in the footsteps of the early merchants and traders who travelled the Silk Road, carving a path down the spine of the Americas from Anchorage to Ushuaia, or meeting the many faces of Africa on a mammoth journey from Dakar to Cape Town, travelling overland allows you to recreate the old ways of travelling, and to fully appreciate how the land changes from country to country and continent and continent, in a way that’s just not possible when travelling on trains and planes.