What you need to know to manage your expectations
It is very important to separate situations that you control from situations which Nomad controls. It is unreasonable to hold Nomad responsible for things beyond our control. Understanding this will help you get some perspective and to have realistic expectations. This is an adventure tour and we do our best to take you into remote areas and by definition we are attempting to remove ourselves from the world as you know it.
Both crew members have extensive experience in what they do, but only one may be tour leader (either the driver or the courier/cook). Although our guides are equipped for the work they do, please remember they are human too. Adventure tours place enormous demands on our guides due to the nature and duration of the tours. If you are unhappy or have any concerns we ask that you have a quiet conversation with your guide to address these matters. Guides do this job because they love Africa and want to share it with our guests, we request that they are treated with respect as this is how they treat their guests. It should also be noted that guests should not hold guides responsible for things that are out of their control.
On occasion the tour leader and driver will need to make a decision with regards to health, safety, security and circumstances beyond their control. This may not always be a popular decision but as far as possible, your guide will take into account the wishes of the group as a whole, your understanding and patience at these times will be much appreciated. Sometimes both crew members will need to discuss the matter together, this means that you’ll not always have someone in the back of the vehicle to answer questions and remark on certain locations. For anything that you would like to know or have explained, please ask the guides so they may assist.
In terms of the information that is provided on tour, some guests prefer more information, others prefer less, if you feel that you’re not receiving enough information, or that you’re receiving too much, please let the guides know so that they can do something about it. It is always easier to sort this out on tour than to complain about it afterwards. The Tour Leader has complete authority on tour and his/her decision is final however you are free to contact the Nomad office on the emergency contact number if you feel that you’d like to speak to one of our representatives.
Translators / Foreign Language Tours
Camping & accommodated Tours: On some of our tour departures we have German or Italian translators who are there to assist guests who are not confident in speaking English. Please keep in mind that these translators are often foreign students and are sometimes not acquainted with the tour. They are not guides and are only there to assist with the communication between the guides and guests. They are not specialized in tour guiding nor are they professional interpreters. They will not do line by line translations directly from the guide to the guest unless requested to do so by the guests. These tours are still conducted in English by an English speaking guide, however the translator is there to assist with the general translations.
Small Group Tours: On selected departure dates we offer German Guided tours which have a qualified German Guide on board the truck. These tours are different from the German Translated tours as these tours are for guests who don’t speak English.
In general tipping in restaurants is expected and is around 10% for good service, more if you have received exceptional service, and, feel free not to tip at all if you received poor service. Tipping taxi drivers etc is really at your own discretion and not always expected. If in doubt please ask your guides. It is expected to tip porters and car guards. Ask your guides how much is appropriate in local currency.
Our crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty. The best way to arrange tips is to elect one person in the group to collect the money. We recommend USD2-3 per day per person, per guide as a fair tip. So if you have 3-crew on a tour, we would recommend that 3 envelopes are used and each crew member’s name written on one.
Place what you feel is fair into each envelope and the elected person can give these to the crew at the end of the tour. If you do not feel that the crew deserves a tip, please, do not tip them. Please remember that tipping is only for exceptional service and is not at all compulsory or expected.
Travelling in a group offers many advantages and allows you to share the experience with like-minded fun-seekers! It’s also a more affordable and more secure way to explore an unfamiliar continent. Making friends with your fellow travellers will certainly help you make the most of your tour and an open mind may sometimes be necessary as we have a range of cultures and nationalities on our trucks.
The guides are there to ensure that the tour runs smoothly and this includes the group dynamic. If you feel that someone is behaving in an unsociable way the right thing to do would be to mention this in a non-confrontational way to the individual. If you do not feel comfortable with this please speak to our crew. You are travelling in a truck together and the best way to avoid petty conflict is to follow the Guide’s schedule with regards to keeping the truck and environment clean and tidy at all times, the fastest way to lose friends on tour is to leave your smelly hiking boots all over the place.
In all honesty, it is very rare that we have passenger conflict on tour and we feel very lucky that the Nomad guests have always been like-minded and considerate people and we hear far more stories about people making friends for life (as well as meeting future husbands and wives) than we do about the very rare unsociable passenger problem.
An average day on tour
The days usually start early and end late, although a lot of time is spent travelling, we do include a lot into every day. Expect some frustrations, you are in Africa and things don’t work that well sometimes. Coming on tour with an open mind, flexible attitude and realistic expectations will ensure you have a great time.
An average day on tour begins around 6am and departure is after breakfast at around 7am. There are some mornings that need a very early start to reach our next destination, or to photograph a spectacular African sunrise – it’s all part of the adventure. Prepare yourself for the worst, especially in winter when days are shorter. We lose approximately 5 hours of daylight in winter so it may happen that you’re setting up your tent in the dark or that some optional activities are not available then.
Travellers will often request that a guide stops during the day for a bathroom break, shopping stop or photo stop. This means that every couple of hours the guides will stop somewhere for the guests to do this. Often they will choose a shopping mall or a fuel station to do this as these have a good selection of items for people to purchase and they also usually have the best ablution facilities. We usually take a lunch-break en route and depending on the distance to be covered, afternoons are often spent relaxing or exploring the lay of the land. Usually every few days, we will spend a couple of nights at one venue to break the travel routine.