Why group overland is better than self-drive in Africa

Going on a trip to Africa can be a mind-blowing experience. There are so many cultures to learn about, animals to spot, and landscapes to enjoy. Planning your trip to Africa means you need to make a choice: Are you doing a self-drive… or a group overland?

In this blog post, I discuss the advantages of doing a group overland over doing a self-drive. Now, I wrote this specifically for Africa. However, I can imagine lots of these points are applicable to a lot of other continents too.

1. You meet new people

People you otherwise wouldn’t meet. Chances are they are just like you. Either first timers in Africa or just solo-travelers. People that love to travel, just like you.

You will be spending some time together. So in the end, it will feel like you’ve all been friends for so long! It’s awesome.

2. Most of the things are arranged and thus faster and cheaper.

Crossing borders are one of those tedious activities you have to do when traveling. Sometimes it’s not even country borders, but just provinces or regions. It’s a bit of a hassle. Same goes with checking in and out of national parks.

Luckily, the guides do this all the time. Often they know the people working there making it a faster and more pleasant experience. Of course, it’s not a guarantee, but it does work.

3. You don’t have to worry about food and accommodation

Going abroad means you have to look into good accommodation and places to eat. Especially when going to wildlife reserves, as you are probably planning on in Africa, it’s best to bring food.

Doing so takes a lot of time on the destination. You have to buy it, keep it fresh, and cook it. Doing an overland tour with a group cuts down in those time as it will be done for you. Sometimes you cook together, but that’s better than doing it alone! Or with lions.

4. Better chance of seeing animals with experienced guides

Having people with experience with you helps on a lot of things. One of those is finding and spotting animals. Do you know how to track a lion? Or see a leopard hiding in the dense bushes. Exactly.

On top of that, a lot of guides often communicate with each other. Meaning that if one of them finds something special, others will too. This way your chances of seeing something grow a lot.

5. Knowledge about all the animals

Seeing the animals is one thing. The most interesting part is knowing what they are doing and how they live. Of course, you can read a book. I just think it’s more fun to hear it from a person that actually knows a lot about the animals himself. Usually, they throw in a couple of fun local stories.

6. You create new memories with new people

Meeting new people means you will also make new memories with them. Watching elephants together is a nice way to create those memories. It’s also handy to ask others to make a photo of you with a landscape or animal in the background. Otherwise, it’s constantly selfie time.

7. You don’t have to drive yourself

Maps are very deceitful. Africa looks like a normal-sized continent. The thing is… it isn’t. It’s huge. It amazingly big. This means there is a lot of time driving from national park to national park to highlight to highlight.

Taking into consideration that the roads often aren’t in good shape, driving is annoying. Unless of course you can just sit in the back, catch up on some sleep or talk to your fellow adventurers.

8. Local people often respond better if someone speaks their language

In Africa, like everywhere, people respond better if you speak their local language. Most guides speak a handful of the languages you might encounter on their tours. This is the same reason it’s easier to check-in in the national parks and at borders.

9. Lazy advantage: you don’t have to plan and research everything

This one is pretty lazy, but it’s a good one though. You don’t have to plan. Overland tours have an itinerary planned. Usually, it’s well balanced to make sure you have plenty of time looking for animals without staying at the same places for too long. A great way to just go on your vacation and enjoy it to the fullest.

Do you prefer group or self-drive? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: There is none, I just really wanted to write this piece of content for you. <3

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8 thoughts on “Why group overland is better than self-drive in Africa”

  1. We did our Kenya trip through kiboko Kenya safaris. It was a great experience. We didn’t have to worry about anything. Everything was smooth and taken care of. Also, we didn’t do a group travel. It was just the 2 of us. So, more expensive but also more peaceful, given that I’m an introvert.

    1. Oh that’s great. Well yeah I did it in Botswana and Namibia with Drifters. It was a full group tour. But booking a tour in the park is great too. Those drivers actually now the reserve the best, so you will have the most chances. What animals did you see?

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