After spending a wonderful time on the Tanzanian archipelago, we went back to the mainland to continue our journey through world’s second largest continent: Africa. We planned to travel through seven countries in total: Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. The moment we made our travel plans, we were informed that the roads in East Africa are very bad and that border-crossing could be a challenge from time to time. This was one of the main reasons why we decided to travel together with Nomad Adventure Tours – Africa.
We have always traveled by ourselves, so we didn’t really know what to expect and how it would be to travel with a group. We were very excited to experience a new way of traveling together with Nomad Tours, and so we went to the hotel in Dar Es Salaam where we were supposed to meet with the group that started their journey in Kenia. The moment before arriving we started to feel a bit nervous, because we had absolute no idea what to expect. We didn’t know how big the group was, the average age of the travelers, where the travelers came from. As soon as we saw the group and the tour guides, all the nerves disappeared and they all gave us a warm welcome. The number of people joining the tour was not so high, we traveled together with 9 other people and 2 tour guides in total! The travelers all came from different countries: the Netherlands, China, Germany, and many more – it was a good mix of different cultures and nationalities. We stayed in the hotel for 1 night, and the next morning we headed off to Mikumi National Park, Tanzania.
Traveling overland with Nomad, was a unique experience. The vehicle that brought us everywhere, was a big truck. Don’t expect it to be a luxurious travel bus with air-conditioning, toilets, and TV screens. No. African roads aren’t made for those buses. We traveled in a big truck all the way from Tanzania to Namibia and it was simply amazing! You could create your own Air-conditioning by putting down your window and to let the African wind blow in your face. And who needs a TV screen when you can enjoy the most beautiful views right outside the window?!
A couple of hours later, we arrived at the first campsite in Mikumi National Park. Prior to the journey, you can choose if you want to go camping in tents or if you want to have accommodated stays. We choose to stay in tents. Little side note: the last time we camped, was about 20 years ago, and we have never put up our own tents before. But again, we like to treat ourselves with complete new situations every now and then. So, why go for the more luxurious option if you can set up your own tent and sleep right next to the hippos and crocodiles? Anyways, the moment we arrived, our lovely guide showed us how to set up the tent. We have to say, the Nomad tents are quite big and very easy to put up. It took us about 10 minutes to set up a complete tent! And again, we are not the most advanced campers.
So what are our experiences of the first night in a tent? The first night was a bit challenging, and we woke up a couple of times. But this had actually more to do with the fact that we didn’t prepare for it so well, as you can read in our article ‘Camping in Africa – be prepared and learn from our mistakes! However, after the first night we slept like babies, so it was all a matter of getting used to new environments. Some nights we slept in the middle of a national park, next to a river with no fences around us. We were told not to go to the toilets at nights, as you might bump into a hippo or step on a crocodile. This is not the kind of adventure you’re looking for when going to the loo… But even knowing being in the territory of wild (little dangerous) animals, didn’t disturb our sleep. It is actually quite relaxing to listen to the sounds of mother earth, while trying to fall asleep.
Traveling with Nomad was very comfortable, every day one of the guides prepared breakfast, a fresh healthy lunch and dinner. Even if you are a vegetarian or if you have any allergies, the guides will ensure to serve you a delicious meal.
After traveling through Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia, we arrived in Zimbabwe. Here, we had to say goodbye to our first travel group and got onto a new truck with a new group and tour guides. The second tour with Nomads Tours was from the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Windhoek, Namibia (via Botswana). The roads on this part of the continent are quite well, so we had to miss our African massage and enjoy a steady ride. And again, the guides were amazing on this tour as well. They made sure everybody was enjoying their time and the meals that they prepare were all very delicious and nutritious. There was one traveler in the group with an gluten intolerance, and the guides could even manage to give her nutritious and tasty meals during the trip. Some nights the guides cooked African meals for us, so we could not only see Africa, but also taste it.
Another big advantage of traveling with Nomad Africa Adventure Tours is that you can learn a lot about each country you visit. The guides could tell us everything about the histories and cultures in a very passionate story telling way. This was something we really enjoyed as every country has such a deep and interesting background. It also gives you a different perspective and better understanding to know the story behind everything you see during the trip.
When we arrived in Windhoek, it was time to say goodbye again. We left the group behind and rented a car for about three weeks to travel through Namibia by ourselves. Our journey from Dar Es Salaam to Windhoek took about 21 days, and within that period we have seen a lot of Africa. Nomad Tours makes sure you will experience all the highlights a country has to offer; from wild animals, to unique landscapes, old tribes, authentic villages and delicious food, everything was included. If you consider to travel to Africa and want to make sure you will experiece the most you can in a relatively short period of time, we would definitely recommend to take an overland tour with Nomad. We enjoyed it very much, and are thankful for the (wild) experiences we gained. You can find a complete overview of the tours on their website, but you can also customize your tour like we did via Kukummi Safaris. Ingrid is the owner of Kukummi Safaris, living in Cape Town. She is a born traveler and gave us lots of advice on places to visit during the travel we are doing by ourselves. She knows everything about the best car rentals, places to sleep, things to do, and things you have to take into account.
If you will visit Africa as well, and you’re planning to go camping, you might find it useful to read our article about how you can prepare youserlf for a camping trip in Africa!
Watch our video to get an impression of what a day of traveling with Nomad Adventure looks like!