Find Your Ideal Tour

Africa is alive and waiting for you to discover her magic so come and explore with us.  Forever changing, shifting and reinventing herself, Africa continues to inspire, impress and amaze travellers.  If you dream of having an authentic African adventure, a Nomad tour is one of the best ways to achieve it.  We organise and plan everything for you, leaving you free to relax and really enjoy your African experience.

All Nomad adventures are ‘off the beaten track’ and the emphasis is on the journey, as well as the destination.  Unexpected events are part of the package and often add to your real-Africa experience.

What are adventure tours?

An adventure tour is a journey along a suggested route, which is aimed at the more adventurous and budget conscious traveller.  It is an off the beaten track adventure and many of the areas that we visit will not have the infrastructure that the “package holiday tourist” may require.  The route taken may also change from time to time due to unforeseen circumstances as conditions change on the road very quickly and Nomad will always do what is in the best interest of the tour in these instances.

An adventure tour is different from a package holiday (on a bus / coach liner for example).  Instead of limiting the experience by providing transport and accommodation only, an adventure tour aims to provide a more inclusive experience. We include cultural interaction, game viewing, social interaction and the opportunity to book more adrenaline based experiences such as white water rafting, skydiving, walking with lions and even swimming with dolphins.

Our belief is that it’s not about the arrival at a destination, but the total experience of the adventure tour that is important.  We travel together, eat together, learn from each other’s cultures and form a strong, supportive team. Although our guides are professionals, they are not “heroes” and won’t pamper you.  Our guides are passionate about Africa, enthusiastic and will always do their best to get you through any challenges with a smile.

For a successful expedition, all we need is space under the stars and your willingness to join in and expect the unexpected!

A typical day on tour starts when the sun comes up – we live by nature’s timetable and use as many daylight hours as possible.  If you are camping, tents are set up by nightfall in most cases, kettles are boiled, the smell of cooking is in the air and we sit around the camp, enjoying one another’s company and chatting about Africa. For those on the accommodated tours, the only difference is that you sleep in a bed. Every single trip is different – we like it that way!

One of the few things we can guarantee about Africa is that not everything is going to run perfectly.  Along the way there are sure to be a few unexpected surprises! These include road closures due to weather conditions, mechanical failure (it happens, but not often) or having wild animals in the campsite!  Anything can happen, the main thing to remember is that whatever happens, we are experienced enough to handle the situation and make sure that you still have a fantastic holiday with Nomad!

Who is suited to go on an adventure tour?

Almost anyone can go on an adventure tour these days. In the past, the groups tended to be very young as the majority of travellers to Africa were backpackers.  As Africa has become a progressively more mainstream destination (i.e. Africa today is far more accessible than 15 years ago) our guests have also changed. 15 years ago the average age of our travellers was around 23-27 years old and now we have anyone from 8 – 80 years of age.  Use this opportunity to slip out of your comfort zone and learn about the people on your tour with you – there are so few opportunities in life that we have to do this, take advantage of it!

The average age of our campers is approximately 20 – 45 and our accommodated guests is more variable between 35 – 60 years of age.  However, these indications are very general as each and every tour is different and campers and accommodated guests travel together.  When the University semesters end we do get younger travellers making up the majority of certain tours.  Outside of traditional holiday periods the age groups can be very diverse.  Part of experiencing the tour is about meeting new people and what we can confirm is that 99% of our travellers find that they get along very well.  This is because the people that book an adventure holiday in Africa have similar values and interests.

All of our tours, except the Cape To Vic Falls camping tour (including shorter sections of the tour and the opposite direction), have a maximum of 18 guests on our 24 seater trucks. Our small groups have a maximum of 12 guests on board a 24 seater vehicle (double seats and your own window for each guest – this concept is unique to Nomad and is the “business class” of adventure touring).

We have a large range of nationalities on our tours but about 50% of our travellers come from English speaking countries and the other 50% come from Europe and Asia. Because of history there is a high percentage of Dutch and German travellers to Africa, but we also get people from the Nordic countries and Asia.  Although there are often couples and groups of friends who have booked together, many travellers are single and the male / female ratio generally evens out. The nature of an adventure tour tends to attract a certain age group, and experience has shown us that our adventure tours are best suited for the majority of travellers between the 18 to 60 age bracket.  East Africa tours require a hardier and more intrepid attitude to touring and is suited to a younger traveller and if you are planning on trekking with the Mountain Gorillas or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, you will need to have a higher level of fitness.

We do however accept people older than 60 years on trips because we believe it’s about being willing and able to join in.  Suitability for our trips is not just about fitness, it’s about being able to take the rough with the smooth – whether you’re up to your elbows in mud rescuing your sinking truck, climbing the nearest tree in an attempt to escape from charging buffaloes or searching for the only bush in the desert to squat behind – keep an open mind and remember that this is all part of being on an adventure in Africa!

Children between the ages of 16 – 18 are welcome to travel with Nomad and must be accompanied by an adult.  Children between the ages of 8 – 16 years old are welcome to travel with us on a request basis.  We put this request out to the other guests on tour and everyone has 48 hours to respond.  If there is no response or a positive response, the kids are welcome to travel.  If however there is a negative response, we will have to find an alternative tour or departure date.  On some tours there are age limits on activities for example Mokoro trips in the Delta and gorilla trekking in Uganda.

When requesting that a child joins a tour, please ensure that you provide us with as much information as possible about the suitability of the child for the tour.  This will vastly improve the chances of the child being accepted by the other guests on the tour.

Camping or Accommodated?

Our accommodated tours are here to fill the gap between a camping experience and an expensive lodge-tour while our camping tours allow you to have a truly African experience.  On all of our tours (excluding the Cape Town to Victoria Falls, sections of this tour and opposite direction) we have both camping and accommodated guests travelling together.  Other than the tent that you pitch or the bed that you sleep in, everything else about these tours is exactly the same.  All meals are prepared at the truck, you have the same guides and the travel times are all the same so that literally is the only decision that you have to make – a bed or a tent.

Camping gives you the freedom to build your own little home every evening. We provide you with heavy duty canvas dome tents which are standing height (unless you’re over 6 foot) and approximately 2.5 x 2.5m across the base. On a camping tour, you need to provide your own pillow, sleeping bag and towel.  The tents are easy to put up and have flexible self-supporting poles and there are no unnecessary pegs to fight with.  There is a fly-sheet provided for rainy weather and a built-in mosquito net which should be kept closed at all times.  Please make sure that you pay attention when the guides explain the correct way of putting up and taking down your tent as the incorrect use can cause problems with the tent.  We also provide everyone with a sleeping mattress.

Camping is more affordable and you don’t have to rely on anyone for anything – only on the heavens when you ask them very kindly not to open up on your tent!  If you choose the camping option, when the tour gets to a major city, we will put you up in twin accommodation so that you can have the comfort of a bed for the evening.  At most places we visit, there is the opportunity to upgrade to accommodation if you’d like, but it is subject to availability.  Please be sure to check the seasonal weather conditions when booking your camping tour as we can’t be responsible for mother nature (tents that get put up and taken down in the rain have a bad habit of being wet).  The tents handle a fair amount of rain but if there is a consistent downpour, the likelihood is that you will get wet.

Most of the camp sites we visit have good toilet and shower facilities, but hot water is sometimes a luxury.  Fortunately, most places we visit on tour are warm!  Some places that we visit are bush camps where there are no facilities (for example, the Okavango Delta).

On Accommodated tours, we have done all that we can to keep our fantastic low prices on these tours so the accommodation is not luxury but you can expect 2 – 4 star twin / double accommodation and the majority of it is en-suite.  In some places, we also make use of permanent safari tents which are considered “accommodation”.  We have selected accommodation that is inkeeping with the areas we visit so there is a good variety.  It is important to note that general accommodation standards are higher in Southern Africa than they are in East Africa.  Please bring along your own towel as these are not always provided.  The truck will remain in the area where the campers are and one of the guides will take you over to your accommodation – so please remember to pack light!

On camping tours, single supplements are optional however on accommodated tours, single supplements are compulsory if you are travelling on your own.

Flexible Itineraries

Although we intend to stick to the published itineraries it is critical to understand that the routing can and does change from time to time. Africa is unpredictable and many variables may require changes to the itinerary, this cannot be stressed enough. If we are forced to make a change to a tour we will ensure that we still provide what we specified in our brochure. If we can no longer provide what is published in the brochure we will provide a comparable experience of the same value. We will of course inform you as soon as we can about any changes.

 

What’s included and what’s excluded

There is no such thing as an all inclusive tour, ever.  We provide you with a great tour however there are always additional activities that you can do en-route so in your tour dossier you are provided with a full list of all the Optional Activities that can be booked on the tour you have chosen.  Please keep in mind that in the winter months, we lose five daylight hours, so it may happen that not all optional activity are available during these months.  Also, if there are unforeseen circumstances that mean we arrive later at camp than expected, an optional activity may not be available.  The reason that these activities are optional is because they can not be guaranteed.

There are many activities available and your guide will help you choose what is best for you.  If you want to go white water rafting or bungee jumping we will make sure you book this with the safest and most professional operator.

On tour there are also other expenses such as dinners at local restaurants, tips and shopping.  The dinners and tips we have tried to cover in detail, but other expenses such as snacks, drinks and water you have to budget for yourself.

Do What You Can Afford To

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to do all of the activities on offer.  We keep our tour price as low as possible without compromising the quality of the tour so that you have choices as to what you’d like to do.  The optional experiences and activities are carefully and strategically selected to give you a break from the routine of travelling adventure tour style.  They enhance your holiday and give you an adrenaline rush when you need one!  These are selected for their value for money, enjoyment factor and feedback from our guests.

Optional activities are not included in the price of the tour for a few reasons:

  • Not everyone can afford to do them all
  • Not everyone wants to do them all! (No point in throwing you out of a plane if you can’t bear heights!)
  • Optional Activities are not always available, depending on time available
  • We leave the running and safety of these specialised activities to the people who do them best. We take you there and then let the professionals take care of you in pursuit of your thrills and spills!

Please keep in mind that the prices that we display in the tour dossiers for these optional activities, can change from time to time as we do not control the pricing of the operators who run these activities.  We do our best to ensure that we give you accurate figures so that you can budget accordingly.

If you are doing a tour that goes through the Serengeti National Park, some tours include this in the Activity Package, while others include this as an Optional Activity.  Please familiarise yourself with your tour dossier to ensure that you are aware of all costs.  You need to prebook the Serengeti Experience if you would like to do this activity as we need to ensure that there is availability for you.

If you are trekking with gorillas, please be aware that there is an additional payment required for the Gorilla Permit.  This is a conservation fee and prepayment in US$s as well as your passport details is required in order to confirm your payment.

Activity Packages

The activity package is an optional payment (optional 98% of the time) that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours.  Ideally, we would include all of these in the tour cost however this would exclude some people from being able to afford to come on tour.  This payment is 100% transparent and the cost of each activity is listed in your tour dossier.  The Activity Package can be prepaid and prebooked prior to your arrival or you can pay your guide on the first day of your tour (in South African Rand or by credit card (5% fee) if departing from Cape Town or Johannesburg).

If you choose not to take the Activity Package, you can still book these activities while you are on tour, however they are then subject to availability and you may be disappointed if you are not able to partake in a particular activity so we do strongly recommend that you prebook the package.  Also, as we set our rates for the year and our suppliers may have seasonal rates, or price their activities in US$ that we convert to ZAR, you may find small discrepancies between the the prices on tour vs prepaid (sometimes in your favour and sometimes not).

Your Money

Money can make or break a tour so make sure you have enough and tailor your trip to fit your pocket.  Africa is not cheap so spend wisely and note the prices of the optional activities in your tour dossier when planning for your tour.

How to Decide Which Tour

Often people who are not experienced with Africa and/or Adventure tours find the amount of information and choices confusing. To simplify matters we suggest the following : Decide on whether you want to visit East or Southern Africa. Simply put, the South is ideal for first time visitors to Africa as it is generally an easier journey with better infrastructure. Check our highlights pages to help make your decision. Then decide between camping or accommodated options and finally, the duration of your trip. One week, two weeks, three weeks or longer. Although Nomad offers over 100 different tours by following these steps your choices will be reduced to around 6 or 7 options.

Transit

We offer one of the most affordable ways to get from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg with our 2-day Journey to Johannesburg transit. Or Chat we us for more information!

Flights between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg are expensive so if you’d like to save your hard earned cash, join us on our two day truck transit.

  • Duration
    2 Days
  • From
      Camping R1,550 NTVJ
      Accommodated R1,950 NATVJ

 

Foreign Language Tours

Nomad has always been the premier foreign language tour operator. All our scheduled tours are conducted in English but on selected departures we offer a German (G) speaking crew member to act as translator.

 

Books, Maps, DVD’s and Game Record

Many people like to read up on an area before visiting it.  We have compiled a selection of books and maps which we feel will reflect much of what you are going to experience and see on tour

These books are among many that are worth looking out for and should be available at any good book store or library:

The Scramble For Africa – Thomas Pakenham
Venture Into The Interior – Laurens Van der Post
Out Of Africa and Letters From Africa – Karen Blixen
Green Hills Of Africa –  Ernest Hemingway
The Power Of One – Bryce Courtney
The Serengeti Shall Not Die – B&M Grzimek
The Flame Trees Of Thika – Elspeth Huxley
The Africans – David Lamb
Facing Mount Kenya – Jomo Kenyatta
A Field Guide To The Mammals Of Africa – T.Holtenorth & H.Diller
A Field Guide To The Larger Mammals Of Africa – J.Dorset, P.Dandelot
A Field Guide To The Birds Of East Africa – J.Williams & N.Arlott
Africa’s Top Wildlife Countries – Mark Nolting
Dark Star Safari – Paul Theroux
Long Walk To Freedom – Nelson Mandela

The Wilbur Smith novels set in Africa will definitely bring these settings to life.  Perhaps follow your route with a good map – the Michelin 955 is a good option which covers both East and Southern Africa.  There is also Bartholomew’s ‘Africa World Travel Map’  which covers the whole continent on one map.

Movies Worth Seeing:

Out Of Africa – The adaptation of the life of Karen Blixen
Gorillas In The Mist – The story of Dian Fossey’s work with the Mountain Gorillas.
White Mischief – The true story of the unsolved murder in Kenya in the early 1940’s of Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl Of Errol.
I Dreamed Of Africa – The story of an Italian family settling in Kenya, from the book of the same name.
The Granada Survival Series – The National Geographic Society’s collection of wildlife videos.
Cry The Beloved Country – An moving story set in South Africa
The White Masaai – The true story of a Swiss woman’s marriage to a Masaai warrior.
Tsotsi – 6 days in the violent life of a Johannesburg gang leader
Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela’s life story from boyhood to president
Hotel Rwanda – A story about the genocide in Rwanda and a very brave hotel manager
Invictus – Rugby World Cup and the Mandela story
The Gods Must Be Crazy – A humorous story of Bushmen ridding the world of a Coke bottle.
District Nine – Science fiction action thriller, inspired by South Africa’s history
Sarafina – A South African musical depicting students in Soweto against the apartheid education system.

Game Record

It’s very important to keep in mind when you go on a game drive or walk that you are not in a zoo and no one can ever guarantee which animals we will see and how many animals we will see.  All our Nomad guides and all our local partners know where to best spot animals and do have an extensive knowledge about where and when to see wildlife however there is simply no way anyone can ever guarantee to see animals.

When Game Driving

When you are on a game drive, no matter if it is our Nomad truck or an open 4×4 vehicle, please be as quiet as possible at all times and don’t make sudden movements – this will ensure the biggest success on your game drive.  Also, bring along some binoculars if you can.

Tour Feedback

We would be most grateful if you would help us by completing the questionnaire provided at the end of your holiday or write to us with your comments.  The constructive views of previous guests have helped us to refine our itineraries and maintain high operating standards.  If you are not given a feedback form at the end of the tour all comments can be sent to ops@nomadtours.co.za.