An epic 11 month Trans-Africa overland expedition which starts in Morocco and travels down the remote west coast of Africa all the way to Cape Town before turning around and heading up the east side of Africa all the way to Cairo. This expedition is not for the faint-hearted, it is a tough trip, but the rewards are incredible!
In total you will visit 39 countries on this madventure including Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt.
Price: £8995 Expedition Payment + $4250 Local Payment
Length: 11 months
Accommodation: 80% camping, 20% hotels/guest houses/hostels
Transport: 100% custom-built Madventure overland truck
Age restrictions: none, all ages are welcome
Group size: 25 is average, minimum is 20, maximum is 40
NEW MAP COMING SOON
Our proposed itinerary is here to give you an idea of where we will be going and what we will be doing during this expedition. This itinerary is the ideal route we would like to take providing all political and natural situations are acceptable during the time of our travels. Situations sometimes change during an expedition so please be prepared to take an alternative route in the event we encounter any problems. It’s all part of the adventure!
After meeting in Gibraltar we take a short ferry ride to Morocco where our first 2 days in Africa are spent in the charming town of Chefchaouen situated beneath the peaks of the striking Rif mountains. The old medina, bright-blue buildings and narrow alleyways make this one of Morocco’s prettiest towns.
We continue south to Fez, the largest living medieval Islamic city in the world, and it is here that we will spend a couple of days exploring the city’s famous covered markets, leather tanneries, winding alleys and beautiful mosques.
Entering central Morocco we are now in the High Atlas mountains where we travel along the Draa valley, an area of earth-red Kasbahs and stunning Berber villages where we visit the spectacular pink canyons of the Todra Gorge.
Our next stop is Marrakesh, an ancient caravan town that today offers fantastic souqs and the awesome Djemaa el-Fna, a nightly spectacle in the old medina where you can wander streets full of acrobats, snake-charmers, food stalls and musicians – amazing!
On the coast we now visit the laid-back fishing port town of Essaouira where you have the opportunity to relax and just soak up the Moroccan atmosphere.
Our final few days here are spent travelling down the rugged coast of Western Sahara where we will be wild camping on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
We now enter the Sahara proper where the desert camping is fantastic and reveals a night-sky that is probably one of the clearest in the world and littered with stars.
In Nouadhibou we restock our supplies before heading into The Adrar, a spectacular Saharan jewel in Mauritania’s crown. From our base in Atar you have the option to explore the ancient caravan towns of Chinguetti & Ouadane, steeped in history in a vast sand ocean of magnificent dunes.
Mauritania’s young and unassuming capital city, Nouakchott, is our last stop where the highlight is the colourful and frantic fish market.
We spend our first couple of days in a National Park offering great kayaking and bird-watching opportunities. With its crumbling architecture and peaceful ambience the nearby town of St. Louis is also a great day out.
At our next stop we camp at beautiful Lac Rose which is a short drive away from the lively Senegalese capital Dakar. Here we spend a few days exploring the city and applying for visas.
Further south we get the chance to relax on the tranquil beaches of Palmarin with it’s soft lagoons and tall palm groves.
The sliver of land known as The Gambia is a tranquil place where our first experience is to catch a ferry over the Gambia River to reach the country’s island capital Banjul. This is a laid-back city where the highlights include visiting the local markets and wandering the back streets just soaking up the atmosphere.
A real highlight of our visit to The Gambia is visiting the Tumani Tenda Eco Lodge, a self-sustaining local community where the villagers are happy to teach you about their daily lives which include oyster collecting, soap making, bee keeping, fishing & farming.
Back in Senegal we visit one of West Africa’s finest beaches at Cap Skirring where great seafood & live music is the order of the day.
Entering the friendly country Guinea-Bissau we head straight for the capital city Bissau. Don’t let the crumbling colonial buildings fool you, when the sun goes down the stylish restaurants and bars open and offer great evenings out on the town.
From Bissau we head east through some lush countryside and eerie ghost-towns on our route to Guinea where out first stop is at the Fouta Djalon region where the area’s rolling green hills and waterfalls make for great trekking from our bases in Labe & Dalaba.
The beautiful Bride’s Veil waterfalls are our final stop on our route through Guinea towards Sierra Leone.
Our first stop is at the white sand beaches south of Freetown form where you can enjoy the sand & surf, explore the relaxed capital and visit the nearby Tacugama Chimpanzee Reserve.
We continue to the friendly village of Kambama where we stay at an eco-camp and have the option to visit the Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary. An afternoon river cruise or evening nature walk will reveal the island’s high concentration of primates as well as pygmy hippopotamuses and river otters.
Having only recently opened its doors to tourists Liberia is fresh and exciting and our first port of call is the marvellous beach town of Robertsport, a little slice of heaven for surfers and sun-worshippers.
Monrovia is the capital where we base ourselves on a beach just outside of town allowing you the chance to explore sites such as the abandoned Ducor Hotel and the National Museum, both offering great insights into this once war-torn city.
In the interior we wild camp at the beautiful Kpatwe Falls where you can either laze in the rock pools or hike up to the falls, one of Liberia’s most picturesque spots.
We first visit the sleepy town of Man where a succession of green-clad mountains rise out of the dusty earth giving our trekkers the option to hike up Mt. Tonkoui, the second highest peak in the country affording awesome views over 3 countries at the summit.
Inland we arrive at the capital city of Yamoussoukro where the absolute highlight is a visit to the spectacular Basilica Of Our Lady Of Peace with it’s stained glass windows and towering dome.
Down on the coast we base ourselves at a beach resort between the modern city of Abidjan and the colonial town of Grand Bassam allowing you the chance to enjoy the old & the new side of Cote d’Ivoire.
Arriving in the west we camp on a spectacular beach near the town of Axim where you can enjoy a lazy day in the sun or explore the Portuguese Fort Santo Antonio.
Further along the Gold Coast we visit the historical Cape Coast Castle, once the largest slave-trading centre in Africa.
In Kakum NP you have the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view over the forest from a canopy walkway where if you are lucky you have the chance of spotting elephants, flying squirrels, colobus monkeys & antelopes, as well as over 300 species of birds and 600 species of butterfly.
The capital city of Accra offers us a taste of big city life with shopping malls & cafes and the old district of Jamestown’s dishevelled colonial buildings and fishing port are well worth a visit.
Heading inland we visit the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary where you have the chance to get up close & personal with Mona monkeys that will gladly sit on your shoulder as you feed them bananas.
Our last stop is at the beautiful Wli Waterfalls, the tallest in West Africa, where you have the day to hike to the falls and enjoy one of Ghana’s best natural sites.
Togo is only 50 km wide and on our first day we will visit the artistic town of Kpalime which is famous for its traditional crafts of woodcarving & batik.
We continue to the capital Lome where a day out can include visiting the bizarre fetish markets, marvelling at the displays in the Museum of West African Arts and exploring the labyrinths of the colourful Grand Market.
Across the border is Benin, the birthplace of voodoo. Here our first day is spent camping on the shores of Lake Aheme and if our luck is in we will get the opportunity to watch the locals perform the traditional Zangbeto voodoo dance for us.
The remarkable town of Abomey is our next stop where you can explore the ruined temples and palaces of the Dahomeyan empire.
At Lake Ganvie you have the option to take a boat out to a village in the middle of the lake that is home to 30 000 Tofinu people who reside here in stilted bamboo huts.
Passing through Cotonou for a brief stop we now head for the Nigerian border.
Abeokuta is our first destination in Nigeria where we visit the Olumo Rock formation, an historic natural fortress used during inter-tribal warfare in the 19th century.
In Osogbo we visit the Sacred Grove Forest to explore the sanctuaries, shrines, sculptures & artworks created in honour of Osun, the Goddess of Fertility.
In Benin City the national museum offers us an insight into the Benin Empire with a significant amount of ancient artefacts. For those more interested in modern art a walk down Bronze Casters Street will show you some fine bronze works of art.
Our last stop here is the lively colonial port town of Calabar where highlights include a visit to the Slave Trade Museum, National Museum and Drill Monkey Ranch.
Our first stop here is at the relaxed beach town of Limbe where you have the option to either take the 3 day trek up Mt. Cameroon (4095m), visit the local primate reserves or just relax on the beach.
We continue inland to the capital Yaounde where you can visit the local markets & monasteries and enjoy one of West Africa’s most pleasant cities
Equatorial Guinea is a little-known gem that has only recently opened its doors to tourism but obtaining the Letters of Invitation from the government to allow us entry is still a bit of an uncertainty so please be aware that if we do not obtain permission we would have to skip this country and continue straight to Gabon. After much discussion with their government in 2019 we were assured that the process would be made easier in the coming years but there is still no guarantee.
Providing all goes well and we get permission to enter our main objective for visiting is to look for gorillas in the Monte Alen NP. This is one of the cheapest places to see the incredible gentle giants and the park is also home to chimpanzees, elephants, mandrills and crocodiles.
Situated on the equator we get a real taste of Africa at the Reserve de la Lope where we spend a couple of days in the reserve with the option of game drives or trekking through the forest in search of mandrills, forest elephants and buffalo.
In the capital Libreville the National Museum of Arts & Tradition will give you a good insight into local culture. If you are feeling more adventurous you can take a boat over to Pongara National Park, a beautiful mangrove reserve and favorite spot for nesting turtles where you also have the chance of spotting elephants, chimpanzees & buffalo.
In Lamberene we visit Dr Albert Schweitzer’s hospital which is now a museum where we can get an understanding of the Nobel Prize winning work he done here for the African community.
Our first 2 days in the friendly Congo are spent on dirt tracks which often turn into thick mud and test our vehicles off-road ability.
The small town of Dolisie is a welcome relief where we have a couple of days to get a feel for the local culture and sample the delicious street food.
On the coast we visit the red Gorges of Diosso which are referred to as Congo’s Grand Canyon. The local museum is a quaint place that explains the areas history.
Conkouati-Douli National Park is a highlight of the Congo where you have a good chance of seeing the thriving chimpanzee population that inhabit the areas islands. The park is also home to elephants, leopards, turtles & gorillas.
A brief stop in the town of Pointe Noire will give you the chance to visit the African Circle Museum and also stock up on goods at a rare supermarket.
We have a short day’s travel through the oil rich Angolan exclave of Cabinda before we reach the DRC and encounter more mud tracks on our way to the mighty Congo River.
Boma is a bustling little port where you will have the chance to get out and visit a true Congolese river town.
We cross over the Congo River via the huge Matadi suspension bridge and spend a day in Matadi town to sample the local fare and explore the bustling markets.
The town of Mbanza Kongo is the first Kingdom the original Portuguese navigators discovered and here today you can visit one of the oldest churches in sub-Saharan Africa as well as explore the Royal Museum.
Travelling through scenic landscapes we arrive at the impressive Kalandula Falls. These falls are one of Africa’s largest waterfalls but because they are so remote they are also rarely visited by tourists so we will most likely have the place to ourselves.
The capital city of Luanda offers us some modern convenience as well as a step back in time with wonderful colonial architecture and fabulous historical museums.
On our route south we visit the Miradouro de Lua where bizarre rock formations form a sort of mini Grand Canyon stretching out into the Atlantic.
A brief stop in the town of Benguela will give you enough time to get a feel for this ancient slave port.
Our last stop here is at the cool & picturesque Lubango where Christ the King Statue overlooks the town and the surrounding mountains offer us spectacular views from the Tundavala Gap.
Our first stop in Namibia is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife viewing venues, Etosha National Park, where we spend a couple of days driving through the parks desert & bushveld landscapes in search of lions, buffalo, elephant & giraffe, plus many of Africa’s other great mammals.
After exiting the park we will then visit a traditional Himba village and get an insight into these indigenous nomads way of life.
Near Kamanjab we will be visiting a Cheetah Park where we get to see these incredible animals up close and watch them feeding.
On our route to the coast you will have the option to visit a petrified forest with 45m long trunks and also take a guided tour around the bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein.
The Skeleton Coast is a desolate place and a drive through this wilderness will allow us to see an abandoned oil rig, numerous shipwrecks & a noisey seal colony.
Spitzkoppe is ‘Namibia’s Matterhorn’ and the sight of these bold granite outcrops rising dramatically out of the flat surrounding plains make it an awesome spectacle.
The adventure sports capital Swakopmund is where you will have the opportunity to go deep-sea fishing, quad-biking, sand-boarding, camel riding & skydiving, or just relax on the deserted beaches and enjoy the German influenced resort towns hospitality.
We now head to the iconic towering red sand dunes of the Namib Desert at Sossusvlei where you will have the option to climb the famous Dune 45 for sunrise. The more spirited ones can attempt the climb up the much more arduous Big Daddy dune to get a view over one of the driest landscapes on earth.
Our last stop in Namibia is at the awesome Fish River Canyon NP where you will be amazed by one of Africa’s most incredible natural rifts
The Cape West Coast offers us a beautiful introduction to South Africa and we get our first taste of this country at Highlanders Vineyard where we sample a few of SA’s famous wines and enjoy a traditional dinner.
We continue south to Cape Town, one of the world’s most incredible cities dramatically set beneath Table Mountain. Upon arrival here we will have a one week break from the trip to give you time to relax and enjoy the area’s attractions such as the nearby penguin colonies, Robben Island, cage diving with sharks and brilliant V&A Waterfront. Not to be missed is a day trip around the Stellenbosch wineries, a must-do for any wine lovers.
Once we regroup we now head east along the Whale Route, a stunning drive, where we will be visiting the famous whale-watching area of Hermanus as well as the penguins at Stony Point before setting up camp Cape Agulhas, Africa’s most southerly point.
On the Garden Route we now arrive at the lagoon town of Knysna where we will base ourselves for a couple of days to explore the wonderful forests and beaches of this area.
As we travel towards the Sunshine Coast we stop off at Bloukrans River Bridge, the world’s highest bungee jump at 216m, giving our adrenalin-junkies the chance to get their fix before continuing to the surfing mecca of Jeffrey’s bay.
Heading inland we enter the mountain kingdom of Lesotho where you will have the chance to explore dinosaur footprints at Quthing, towering peaks at Malealea, dramatic waterfalls at Maletsunyane and historic cultural villages at Thaba Bosiu during our 4 day visit.
Back in South Africa we spend a couple of nights in the beach resort town of Durban where you have the chance to visit Ushaka Marine World, one of the best oceanariums in the world.
We continue our journey to the kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) where you will get to experience walking amongst wildlife such as giraffes, warthogs, kudu, zebra, hartebeest & impala during our visits to Nisela Lodge & Mlilwane Sanctuary.
In Eswatini you also have the option to climb Sibebe Rock, the world’s largest granite dome.
We re-enter South Africa and head straight into the incredible Kruger National Park where we spend 2 days in the southern section of the park searching for the big 5. This is one of the world’s best game viewing experiences!
Our last couple of days in SA are spent in a beautiful area known as the Panorama Route where we visit sites such as the Maholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre, Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window & Pilgrims Rest.
In the town of Nelspruit we have the opportunity to restock our supplies before heading to Mozambique.
With its flame-tree-lined streets, sidewalk cafes, pumping salsa bars and Mediterranean-style architecture, the capital Maputo is easily one of Africa’s most attractive cities and our first taste of this beautiful country.
A little further north we reach the legendary white-sand-beaches of Tofo, a great stop with its azure waters, rolling breakers and party atmosphere.
Our last stop is at the resort town of Vilanculos, the gateway to the beautiful Bazaruto archipelago, an area with pristine coral reefs and turquoise waters making for excellent sailing, snorkelling & diving.
We enter Zimbabwe in the rarely visited Eastern Highlands, an area of outstanding natural beauty with forested mountains, lush valleys and rushing rivers where we have a day to trek into the mountains and visit the Bridal Veil Falls & an Eland sanctuary.
We continue on to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, once the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. The ancient site provides evidence that this was home to a very advanced society.
In Gweru we visit Antelope Park where you have the opportunity to meet elephants, join lions on an evening hunt and even take a morning walk with lion cubs!
In Bulawayo we visit the gravesite of Cecil John Rhodes before spending an afternoon in Matobo NP, home of balancing boulders, ancient rock art and the rare black rhino.
Our first stop in Botswana is at the world’s largest inland river delta, Okavango, where you will have the option to take a trip on a mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) through the vast waterways of the delta in search of crocodiles, hippos & elephants that make this park so special.
Namibia’s Caprivi Strip is a wild area well off the tourist trail where we have a few days to explore the regions abundant wildlife.
Back in Botswana we visit Chobe National Park where you have the opportunity to take a sunset cruise with a front row seat to one of Africa’s finest wildlife settings. With herds of elephants crossing rivers using their trunks as snorkels, pods of hippos wallowing in the pools & the rare puku munching on the wetland grass this is a memory that will stay with you forever.
Crossing back into Zimbabwe the highlight of the country is surely the incredible Victoria Falls where we will spend a few days allowing you time to explore the falls and take part in the adventure activities that abound including grade 5 rafting on the Zambezi River, abseiling, bungee jumping and gorge swinging.
After a visit to the Zambian side of Victoria Falls we head towards Lake Kariba, one of the world’s largest artificial dams, where upon arrival in Siavonga you have the option to overnight in a houseboat with a great view over the hippos & crocs that inhabit the lake. Tiger fishing is also a popular sport here.
The South Luangwa National park is our next stop, an area of majestic beauty with a high concentration of animals along the banks of the Luangwa River where our camp is perfectly set up for wildlife viewing. Those wishing to venture deeper into the park have the option to join the famous ‘walking safari’ in search of lions, leopards, buffalo and whatever else may cross your path!
Our first stop here is in Malawi’s chaotic capital Lilongwe where you will get the chance to explore the sprawling city’s modern malls & sample the local fare.
Following Lake Malawi north we reach Nkhata Bay and camp on the lakeshore to enjoy the natural beauty of one of Africa’s friendliest nations. Boat trips to the beautiful islands are a popular outing and for those who want to learn how to dive this is a cheap place to do it. The lake is also home to colourful tropical fish that are found nowhere else in the world.
A little further along the lakeshore we camp on the golden sands of Chitimba Beach from where you also have the option of doing a short trip into the mountains to visit Livingstonia, a quaint colonial town built by Scottish missionaries in 1894.
Our first stop here is at Lake Ngozi, Africa’s 2nd largest crater lake, where you will have the option to take a short hike up to the caldera for stunning views of the emerald-green lake.
Passing through the Mikumi NP area you have the chance to see zebra, giraffe & elephant crossing the main roads before we arrive at Dar es Salaam and base ourselves on a beach close to town while we apply for a couple of visas.
While we wait you will have the option to visit Zanzibar, a beautiful island where you can discover the slave-trading history in the winding alleys of Stone Town and relax on the palm-fringed beaches of this idyllic paradise.
On our journey to Arusha we pass close by Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, where weather permitting you will get a good view of this immense mountain.
From our base at Arusha’s Snake Park you now have the option to visit 2 of Africa’s most iconic wildlife areas, Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater, where you are likely to see the big 5 along with cheetahs, wild dogs & flamingos.
From here you will also have the option to visit a Maasai village to get an insight into their traditional way of life.
We now travel west breaking new ground as we head towards Tanzania’s recently opened border with Burundi.
Burundi has only recently opened its borders to tourism and we intend to be the first overland vehicle to visit this little-known African country. Please be aware that although the borders of Burundi are currently open and we have been given assurances that we may enter with a foreign vehicle we have not actually done the crossing before so this section of the tour will be exploratory and if we are refused entry we will have to travel directly to Rwanda, but all being well we will have 3 days in Burundi where we will base ourselves in the capital Bujumbura on the shores of Lake Tanganyika from where we can explore the quirky museums, beautiful beaches and languid villages dotted around the lake.
From Burundi we cross into Rwanda, heading straight for the attractive capital Kigali where we have the opportunity to visit the Memorial Centre, a sombre reminder of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
A short drive away we reach the sleepy town of Musanze from where you can visit the Karisoke Exhibit, a small museum explaining the conservation efforts of Dian Fossey who studied & protected the gorillas in the nearby Virunga massif.
From here you also have the option to trek to Dian Fossey’s gravesite where her and a few of her beloved gorillas are buried. Along the way you have a good chance of encountering gorillas & golden monkeys, all for a much smaller fee than a dedicated gorilla trek.
For those who want a guaranteed gorilla experience you can arrange a trek into the beautiful rainforest covered slopes of the Volcanoes NP where you will get to spend an hour with these gentle giants in the Virunga mountains – a truly moving experience! Please note that gorilla trekking in Uganda is much cheaper so most people choose to do it there and opt to do the Dian Fossey gravesite hike here instead.
Our first stop in Uganda is at the magical Lake Bunyoni where it is possible to take a sunset cruise amongst the lakes 29 islands. From here you also have the option to go gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and spend an hour with these amazing creatures.
Crossing over the equator we head for the relaxed capital Kampala where you have a day to explore the Hindu Temple & Uganda Museum as well as enjoy the great restaurants and wonderful nightlife the city has to offer.
Our final stop in Uganda is at Jinja, the source of the Nile River, where we base ourselves near the Bujagali Falls giving you the opportunity to raft the grade 5 White Nile, go fishing for Nile perch and take a sunset booze cruise!
Our first destination in Kenya is perfectly timed for us to witness one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles – the annual Masai Mara migration. Here you will see huge herds of wildebeest & zebra waiting to cross the Mara River in search of greener pastures. Once they start crossing the river becomes chaotic with thousands of desperate animals swimming for their lives, crocodiles feasting on any stragglers and predators waiting on the opposite river bank. You will not forget this experience!
We continue to Lake Naivasha where you have the opportunity to visit Elsamere, the home of the late Joy Adamson of Born Free fame. Close by you also have the option to cycle or walk unguided through Hell’s Gate National Park, a unique experience especially considering buffalo & leopards inhabit the park!
We now head for the bustling capital Nairobi where we camp in a quiet neighbourhood just outside the city centre. Popular day outings include the local giraffe centre and elephant orphanage. The modern shopping malls are a pleasant retreat after a hard day’s sightseeing and Carnivore Restaurant is a must-do for any meat-lovers.
Driving north we pass by Mt. Kenya, Africa’s 2nd highest peak, and continue into the remote northern part of the country where you will have the option to take a safari into Samburu National Reserve, famous for its array of rare species such as Grevy zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and Beisa oryx. The park is also home to predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah & wild dogs as well as having over 450 species of birds.
Travelling along dusty gravel tracks we now head on an exploratory leg of this tour towards the crocodile infested Lake Turkana and get to meet remote indigenous tribes on our way to Ethiopia. This route may involve crossing soft river beds so be prepared for sand-matting & digging!
Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley is a true African gem with a real ethnic diversity that will fascinate you. Here you will have the opportunity to meet the Karo tribe with their intricate body painting, the Hamer tribe with their ‘Jumping of the Bulls’ ceremony and the Mursi tribe with their mind-blowing lip plates!
Following the spectacular Rift Valley we pass by numerous crocodile-filled lakes with great camps on our way to the capital Addis Ababa where we will base ourselves for a few days to obtain visas required for onward travel. While we wait you can explore the city’s famous Merkato (Africa’s largest open air market) and enjoy the convenience of a modern city.
From Addis we now head east to Awash National Park where you have the option to take a safari in search of Beisa oryx, Soemmering’s gazelles, greater & lesser kudus, defassa waterbuck and colobus monkeys. Keep an eye out as other mammals such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, black-backed jackals, caracals, servals, wildcats and aardwolves as they are also found in the park, but are rarely seen.
With its crumbling walls and animated markets Harar is a travelers delight where during the day you have the opportunity to visit Ras Tafari’s house, the Smugglers Market & Jamia mosque while in the evening on the outskirts of town you can see locals feeding wild hyenas sticks of meat by hand, and even by mouth!
From Harar we continue on a real adventure into Somaliland.
This will be an exploratory section of the tour. In 2019 we were given assurances from both the Somaliland & Djibouti consulates that their borders with Ethiopia were open and we could enter with a foreign registered vehicle so if all goes to plan in 2020 we will be the first ever overland truck to pioneer this route. In the unlikely event we are prevented from entering with our own vehicle we will conduct this section of the tour on local transport.
Hargeisa is the slightly odd capital of Somaliland where we have a couple of days to explore this friendly city and get a feel for a place that is undergoing a rapid transformation after a long civil war.
We continue to Laas Geel where you have the opportunity to view hundreds of ancient rock art paintings in perfect condition adorning the walls of a series of interconnected caves. One of Africa’s best-kept secrets!
The coastal town of Berbera is an eerily quiet & brightly colored slice of heaven where we have a day to enjoy the areas superb beaches and sample fresh seafood.
Crossing into Djibouti we first visit the busy port of Djibouti City where highlights include a visit to the imposing Hamoudi mosque, a stroll through the colourful Les Caisses market & wreck diving off the islands of Maskali.
We continue to Lac Assal situated 155m below sea level, a spectacular crater lake encircled by dark, dormant volcanoes. The aquamarine water is ringed by a white salt field which contrasts starkly with the black lava fields surrounding it, an incredible sight!
Our last stop here is at Lac Abbe you will get to see an eerie plain dotted with limestone chimneys belching out puffs of steam making for sensational photos.
Crossing back into Ethiopia we now visit Lalibela where you have the option to visit the areas fabulous 12th century rock hewn churches originally built to give Christanians a place of worship and spare them the dangerous journey to Jerusalem.
Further north we visit the laid-back town of Mekele from where we take a newly built road out to the active Erta Ale volcano. Providing the volcano is not too active you will have the opportunity to hike to the rim and get a view over an incredible lake of bubbling lava.
We continue into the Danakil Depression, one of the hottest, lowest & driest places on earth, where you will have the option to take a 4×4 over salt flats dotted with warts of twisted orange sulphur, take a dip in a natural spa pool and watch the Afar people hack blocks of salt out of the ground to be loaded onto the famous camel caravans.
We now start an exploratory leg of this tour as we aim to be the first ever overland truck to enter Eritrea. The country’s border has only recently opened and no official customs office has been opened yet but with the assistance of our agent in Eritrea we aim to get permission from the government to enter with a foreign vehicle. Should we however be denied entry with our vehicle we will have to conduct this part of the tour on local transport.
Our first visit will be to the impressive Qohaito ruins near Adi Keih, where a few hours can be spent exploring the areas tombs, temples & rock art sites.
Winding our way through a series of canyons we reach Massawa, a beach town displaying historic whitewashed Ottoman, Italian & Egyptian architecture. The nearby Dahlak islands can be visited by boat and are a great day out for any beach lovers.
Back inland we travel through villages displaying traditional round thatched huts on our way to the historic market town of Keren where you will have the chance to visit the Mariam Dearit Shrine, a Catholic place of worship built into a 500 year old baobab tree.
In the delightful capital city of Asmara we have a couple of days to explore highlights such as the Opera House, tank graveyard & central market, as well as hang out at the authentic coffee houses where locals will gladly give you an insight into the country’s recent turbid history.
Back in Ethiopia we travel to Aksum, famed home of the Queen of Sheba and supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. The area is also filled with ancient tombs making this an explorer’s dream.
Travelling along a snaking mountain road of switchbacks we now head into the Simien Mountains where you have the option to trek into the beautiful national park famous for its incredible scenery and grass-eating Gelada baboons.
Once out of the Ethiopian Highlands we visit Gondar where you have the option to visit the castle and discover the history behind the huge stone walls that stand proudly as this intriguing town’s centrepiece.
From Gondar you have the option to do a day trip to Lake Tana to explore the monasteries on the islands within the lake as well as visit the Blue Nile Falls along the way.
The Sudanese are perhaps the most hospitable & friendly people in Africa and our first destination is the surprisingly modern capital city of Khartoum. Here we camp near the confluence of the Blue & White Niles where highlights include a visit to the National Museum, a wander around the camel market and lunch at the R2D2 building.
We continue into the red sands of the Nubian desert and visit the spectacular Pyramids of Meroe where we will probably have the site to ourselves. The pyramids also house some well-preserved hieroglyphics and the ruins of the ancient Royal City are nearby.
Travelling north we get to see more Pyramids near the town of Merowe before camping at a petrified forest in the Nubian desert.
Our final stop in Sudan is at the small Nubian village of Abri situated on the banks of the Nile from where you have the option of visiting historic Sai Island as well as the Temple of Soleb, a clear indication that we are now close to the land of the Pharaohs.
A short ferry ride across Lake Nasser brings us to the iconic temple of Abu Simbel, a colossal monument to the Pharaoh King Ramses II and perhaps Egypt’s most impressive site.
We continue to the town of Aswan which lies on a particularly beautiful stretch of the Nile with palm-fringed islands and flotillas of white sailed feluccas. Highlights here include the botanical gardens, the craft market & high tea at the Old Cataract Hotel.
From Aswan you now have the option to travel for 2 days on a traditional felucca boat which will take you down the Nile and stop off at the spectacular temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu. Those who opt not to do the felucca trip will have extra time in Aswan and Luxor.
In Luxor you will have the opportunity to visit the temples of Hatshepsut, Luxor & Karnak, as well take a trip to the incredible Valley of the Kings where you will be amazed by the well-preserved ancient tombs filled with hieroglyphics.
Hugging the Nile River we now travel north to Cairo where you will get to see 2 of Egypt’s most iconic sites, the Sphinx & Pyramids of Giza. A trip to the Cairo Museum is also a must-do and houses over 100 000 ancient artefacts including the golden treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamen, a magnificent ending to an incredible overland journey around Africa!
How to Book
To make a booking please fill in our online booking form and then pay a £300 deposit by direct transfer or Paypal, or call us to pay using your credit or debit card over the phone. Once we receive your online booking form and deposit we will confirm your booking by email and send you all relevant information necessary for your expedition preparations.
The Expedition Payment of £7995 is the main bulk payment for your expedition and is payable in the U.K. in GBP (£ Sterling). In order to reserve a place on this expedition you must pay £300 as a deposit. Eight months prior to departure a further payment of £3000 must be paid to secure your booking. The final balance of your Expedition Payment £4695 must then be paid in full at least four months prior to the expedition start date. If you book between 4 to 8 months prior to the departure date a deposit of £3300 should be paid upon booking. If you book within 4 months of the departure date the full Expedition Payment of £7995 should be paid upon booking. The Expedition Payment can be paid by direct transfer or via Paypal.
Bank Details for Direct Transfers
NOTE: Please use your full name as a reference when paying by direct transfer.
Account name: Madventure Ltd.
Sort code: 400810
Account number: 91618415
IBAN : GB14HBUK40081091618415
Swift/Bank BIC: HBUKGB4B
Branch BIC: HBUKGB4116A
Bank address: HSBC Bank, 6 High Street, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 5AZ, United Kingdom
Paypal account name: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a cash payment of USD $3500 that must be paid to your expedition leader at the beginning of your trip and will be used to pay for all expenses while you are on the road.
Please bear in mind that this is not a kitty and is not refundable. The local payment is simply a way for us to get cash to the expedition leaders so they can run the trip.
Please bring your local payment in new unmarked $100 bills if possible.
Although all local payment amounts are advertised in USD you may be asked to bring the equivalent amount in either Euros or GBP.
We realise that not everyone is going to visit every site or partake in every activity along the way so we have left most of these activities as optional and therefore kept the expedition payment to a minimum.
Below is a list of the most popular optional excursions along with the most recent prices. Prices can of course change and are not controlled in any way by Madventure so please use the list below as an approximate guide only.
Fez guided walk £5
Marrakesh guided walk £5
Todra gorge Free
Kayaking in NP £10
Tacugama Chimpanzee Reserve £15
Tiwai Island wildlife sanctuary £15
Parc National de Tai day walk £20
Kakum NP canopy walk £25
Cape Coast slave fort guided tour £10
Museum of West African Arts £4
Lake Ganvie canoe trip £12
Mt. Cameroon 3 day trek £120
Gorilla trekking £70
Reserve de la Lope guided walk £35
Reserve de la Lope river safari £35
Game fishing £100
Hot air ballooning £300
Scenic flight, Sossusvlei £250
2 day Okavango Delta Mokoro trip £120
Okavango Delta scenic flight £80
Cable car to Table Mountain £15
Abseil Table Mountain £60
Cage diving with Great White sharks £150
Robben Island guided tour £20
Stellenbosch wine tour £40
Bloukrans bungee jump £60
Basotho pony trek £30
Diving in Bazaruto archipelago, per dive £35
Bridal Veil Falls £8
Lion walk £120
Great Zimbabwe ruins £15
Matobo NP tour £70
Zambezi rafting £90
Abseil, gorge swing & highwire day £120
Bungee jump off Victoria Falls £110
Flight over Victoria Falls £120
Victoria Falls entrance fee £20
Lake Kariba 2 day houseboat trip £100
Open water dive course £220
Horse riding £40
Village tour & dinner £5
Zanzibar Island ferry £50
Zanzibar accommodation, approx. per night £20
Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater 3 day tour £450
Maasai Village tour £5
Genocide memorial £10
Gorilla trek £800
White-water rafting on Nile £100
Source of the Nile sunset cruise £30
Pygmy Island day trip £20
Lake Nakuru NP £35
Hell’s Gate NP £40
Giraffe centre £7
Elephant orphanage £5
Elsamere trip £10
Crater Lake tour £35
Aksum day trip £150
Blue Nile Falls £10
Lake Tana boat trip £15
Omo Valley village tour £50
Simien Mountain trek £40
Meroe pyramids £15
Nile boat trip £10
Abu Simbel day trip £40
2 day Felucca boat trip on Nile £40
Valley of the Kings & Queens by donkey, Luxor £40
Balloon flight over Luxor £70
Luxor Temple £8
Karnak Temple £8
Cairo museum £10
Pyramids & Sphinx £12
We will be travelling in a purpose-built Madventure overland vehicle 100% of the time on this expedition. A standard bus simply wouldn’t be able to tackle many of the roads we travel on.
The overland vehicle we use is a custom-built expedition truck which can accommodate up to 40 people although most of our expeditions travel with approximately 25 people.
Comfort and safety is of course a big factor during expeditions of this length and nature so all our vehicles have high-backed coach seats with safety belts. The seating is on the upper level of the vehicle giving you an almost 360° view of the surrounding scenery.
Our vehicles are designed to allow sufficient luggage storage and are also equipped with lockers to keep all your all your gear safe.
Our long range diesel and water tanks ensure our self sufficiency in remote areas and the equipment we take with us is also of vital importance. In case of a breakdown we are equipped with a good selection of spare parts as well as a comprehensive tool kit to undertake any necessary repairs on our own as and when we need to.
There may also be times when we get stuck in the sand or mud when travelling off road so all necessary recovery equipment such as sand mats, cables, ropes, shovels and pickaxes are also on board.
We spend a lot of nights around the campfire so we take along good axes and saws for the times when we have to replenish our wood supply.
We usually carry 500 litres of treated drinking water and we are equipped with a good kitchen which includes all cutlery, plates, cups, pots and pans, utensils, gas cooker, BBQ grate, etc.
Comfortable fold up chairs are provided for outdoor seating and we also have a large tarpaulin to keep us dry on those rainy days.
Our vehicles have a 12V and a 240V power supply for charging any of your personal travel equipment such as cameras, laptops, batteries, etc.
We carry solar showers and a toilet tent with us for those times when we are bush camping without amenities.
We carry a comprehensive first aid kit for emergencies but we do recommend you bring your own for general use.
+ FOOD & COOKING
Eating well is a very important factor on our expeditions and good food is vital for everyone’s health and well-being so we always strive to prepare healthy, wholesome and plentiful meals.
We will be cooking a lot of meals from our own kitchen on the truck. When we are camping we usually eat breakfast and the evening meal from the truck. For lunch we usually stop at a cheap local restaurant giving you a chance to taste the local fare too. Lunches are at your own expense. When we are staying in hotels/guest houses/hostels (usually in cities) it is often impractical to cook on the truck so we do not provide any meals at these times.
When it comes to shopping and cooking we will divide ourselves up into groups of 3 or 4 people (depending on group size) who will shop for and prepare the day’s meals and clean up at the end. This will work out that you roughly get to cook once a week (depending on numbers).
Fresh food is generally available daily so we try and eat meat and vegetables for every main evening meal. We do also cater for vegetarians but we cannot cater for fussiness. In these group situations everybody must appreciate we cannot cater for individual likes and dislikes.
Don’t worry if you are not a gourmet cook as your crew are also always there to give advice.
Cleanliness plays an important role throughout this expedition and your crew will make sure an acceptable level of general hygiene is maintained throughout your journey to ensure the wellbeing of the group.
You will spend 95% of your time on this expedition in your tent camping and 5% of your time staying in local hotels, guest houses and hostels.
Quite often we will camp by ourselves out in the bush or in the desert and other times we will use designated campsites with amenities. The majority of our bush camp locations are usually very scenic and we always strive to find the perfect spot on the banks of a river, overlooking a canyon, behind a dune in the desert, etc. but sometimes we just have to camp wherever we can find a spot.
From past experience on expeditions of this length and nature we have found that people prefer to supply their own tents as they are then not forced to share and they can pick a tent that suits their needs. As a general rule, try and choose a good quality lightweight and waterproof free-standing tent that is easy to erect, take down and carry.
When we are not camping (usually in cities) we always try to use decent, clean budget hotels, guest houses and hostels, however, taking into consideration the sometimes unpredictable nature of this expedition and the remoteness of some of the areas we visit, please be aware that in some circumstances we just have to take what we can get – good or bad. When staying in hotels/guest houses/hostels you can expect to share your room with other expedition members of both sexes.
1. A deposit of £300 is payable at the time of booking. The deposit is non-refundable unless Madventure is unable to offer you a place or you cancel within 14 days of the initial booking date. Madventure guarantees not to increase the trip price once the deposit has been received.
2. A booking is made in the name of the client and is not transferable to another person. You are only permitted to transfer your deposit once to a future expedition, after that a further £300 non-refundable deposit will be required. Please note that you will be affected if you have transferred and there is a price increase as you will have to pay the ‘current expedition price’ at the time that the expedition balance payment is due.
3. Eight months prior to departure a further payment of £3000 must be paid to secure your booking at which time the tour will be confirmed. Once the tour is confirmed to run you will not receive any refunds of any monies paid. The final balance of your Expedition Payment £4695 must then be paid in full at least four months prior to the expedition start date. If the full payment is not received 4 months prior to departure Madventure may deem the booking cancelled and all monies paid will be forfeited. If you book within the 4 to 8 month period prior to departure a non-refundable deposit of £3300 should be paid upon booking. If you book within the 4 month period prior to departure the full non-refundable Expedition Payment of £7995 must be paid upon booking.
4. Cancellation policy – cancellation of a booking must be notified in writing and when received by Madventure the deposit is forfeited (unless you cancel within 14 days of the initial booking date when the deposit is fully refundable). You acknowledge that payment for the trip is an intrinsic part of the trips income and contributes towards the overall costs of equipment, vehicle running costs, staff administration etc. and Madventure will have incurred a large part of its costs before the actual departure date. You will not receive a refund of any amount after the tour has been confirmed to run (which will happen no later than 8 months prior to the expedition departing), nor are you able to transfer to another expedition therefore we recommend you take out your travel insurance from the date you make your final expedition balance payment, 4 months prior to departure, so you are insured if you have to withdraw off the trip. If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy you may be able to reclaim these charges but it is your sole responsibility to do so and we accept no liability for any acts or omissions of your insurance company.
5. It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your trip, but we do plan all trips many months in advance. Occasionally, we may have to make changes and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most of these changes will be minor and we will advise you of them at the earliest possible date. We also reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your trip. For example, if the minimum number of clients required for a particular trip is not reached, we may have to cancel it. However, we will not cancel your trip less than 60 days before your departure date, except for reasons of Force Majeure or failure by you to pay the final balance. If we are unable to provide the trip, you can either have a refund of all monies paid or accept an offer of an alternative trip of comparable standard from us, if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). It is understood that a minimum of 20 expedition members are required to run this Madventure expedition and less than that may result in the cancellation of the expedition. In the event of this happening, all monies paid by you towards the expedition cost only will be refunded. Madventure is not responsible for reimbursing equipment, flights, cost of visas, vaccinations and medication etc. purchased by yourself in the event of a cancellation.
6. We reserve the right at any time prior to the departure date, without prior consultation with yourself, to merge your trip with one or more other trips travelling at the same time. This will not constitute a major change and would usually just mean swapping vehicles.
7. In the unlikely event of Force Majeure we will not pay you compensation if we have to cancel or change your trip in any way because of unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control. These can include, for example, war, riot, industrial dispute, terrorist activity and its consequences, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, epidemics or health risks, closed or congested airports, ports or stations, poor local infrastructure, changes imposed by re-scheduling or cancellation of transport by the transport supplier such as flights by airlines or main charterer, the alteration of transport or transport types, adverse weather conditions (actual or threatened), avalanche and technical failure with transport, Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice changing and advising against travel to the trip destination.
8. The expedition payment and local payment cover transport, accommodation, some relating ferry and train tickets, meals and national park entry fees as specified on the website as well as the repair and replacement of camping equipment including stools, cooking equipment & utensils.
9. The expedition leader has sole responsibility for the local payment. Any local payment monies or stock remaining at the trip end are non-refundable.
10. You undertake to comply with the laws and regulations, whether in respect of health, immigration, currency exchange control or any other matter of all the countries visited during the expedition.
11. You undertake to obtain a valid passport and have enough blank pages in the passport for the trip and your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates. We do not accept any responsibility and shall not be liable if you cannot travel or cannot participate in any part of the trip because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. You are responsible for obtaining and having available the necessary documents (including but not limited to full, current passport with enough blank pages to complete the trip and valid for at least 9 months from the last day of the trip and visas for all periods, countries and territories within the trip) enabling you to participate in the trip and shall comply with all local legislation and regulations of the countries in which the trip takes place (including immigration requirements, customs regulations and currency exchange). You shall indemnify us against any loss or expense that we may incur or suffer as a result of breach of this condition by you. We cannot guarantee visa prices and availability of visas. Ultimately visas are your own responsibility to obtain.
12. Madventure reserves the right to deviate from the advertised expedition route if in their reasonable opinion such deviation is necessary for the safety or wellbeing of any or any one of the members of the expedition or for the satisfactory progress of the expedition. In the event of it becoming necessary to fly over a country or countries in order to satisfactorily and safely continue the expedition, all costs of your flights will be borne by yourself.
13. Madventure accepts no responsibility for matters arising out of political disputes, border closures, epidemics, natural disasters, climate, armed robbery, terrorism, etc. Should it become necessary to abandon an expedition because of such an event Madventure will be entitled to retain such monies received as is necessary to cover costs incurred.
14. You accept that owing to the nature of countries visited, all expeditions involve an element of personal risk and are of a potentially hazardous and unpredictable nature. In many countries visited the basic infrastructure, such as roads, is very poor and therefore less safe than that familiar to people from many western countries. In particular, lack of road markings or warning signs, unmarked speed bumps, seasonal flooding of roads and bridges, local vehicles which are poorly maintained and driven and which are hazardous to other road users etc. are factors beyond the control of Madventure. You accept that in some areas we drive off-road and that this involves personal risk when the expedition vehicle can be negotiating rough terrain. Madventure owns and operates many of its own expedition vehicles and employs its own crew. Where stated, locally arranged transport and crew, including trains, ferries, buses or coaches are used. Where Madventure’s own vehicles and/or crew are not used for the above services, you agree that the obligation of Madventure to yourself is to select normally competent, independent sub-contractors to provide the necessary services related to the trip and to exercise reasonable care in selecting such suppliers to provide these. You also accept that you undertake this expedition at your own risk and your participation is your own decision and does not form any part of your contract with Madventure. Madventure does not take responsibility for cancellations, unreliability of services or safety of operators, agents or contractors.
15. You accept that local emergency facilities are usually of a very limited nature. Hospitals outside of large cities often have no accident and emergency facilities and emergency transport facilities can be non-existent.
16. If you have a problem during your trip please inform the expedition leader immediately who will endeavour to put things right. If your complaint is not resolved locally please follow this up by writing to our registered office giving all other relevant information and, where possible, evidence. We must receive any such complaint not later than 28 days from the date of completion of your trip. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. This will assist us to quickly identify your concerns and speed up our response to you. We do not accept any liability or responsibility for any personal possessions (including but not limited to cameras, jewellery, valuables and money) which is carried on or in our vehicles, carried on public transport or transport supplied by independent subcontractors, left in accommodation provided by us or our suppliers during a trip or left in our care during a trip. Such items are carried and/or left at your own risk.
17. Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on a trip are not part of your trip arrangements provided by us. For any excursion or other tour that you book your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator. You accept that the prices quoted for optional activities are approximate as local prices can and do change. Any of the optional activities listed are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by Madventure. You also accept that you undertake any activity at your own risk and your participation is your own decision and does not form any part of your contract with Madventure. Madventure does not take responsibility for cancellations, unreliability of services or safety of operators, agents or contractors.
18. Whilst a trip is in progress you will at all times be expected to act in accordance with all reasonable instructions from us and/or the expedition leader. We may exclude you from the trip or any part thereof at any time (including during the trip itself) if we are of the opinion that you are likely to prejudice the good order, discipline or safety of the trip, including as a result of failing to comply with the expedition leader’s instructions, breaking any law or regulation of any country where the trip takes place or failing to adhere to the trip code of conduct, provided that we exercise our discretion reasonably in this regard. In such an event you shall reimburse to us any reasonable costs, losses or expenses which we incur or suffer as a result of our decision to exclude you from the trip, and Madventure shall cease to have any responsibility to/for you. No refund will be given for any unused services.
19. By completing the declaration on the booking form you confirm that you appreciate the risks involved in the trip and that you do not suffer (or have ever suffered) from any pre – existing medical condition that may actively prevent you from actively participating in the trip other than those that have been declared to us. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are medically fit enough to undertake the trip and to ensure that you have received the necessary inoculations and medications (and taken them as prescribed by your doctor) relevant to the destination country. Unless informed otherwise in writing we will assume that you are in good health and are not aware of any reason why you may be unsuited to taking part in the trip. We recommend that you consult your doctor before making a booking to ensure that you are medically fit and are fully aware regarding the immunizations and medical issues related to your destination countries. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, illness or disability, are undergoing medical treatment or, since entering into the contract, develop any medical condition, illness or disability or undergo any medical treatment; you will give us full particulars at the earliest opportunity and at the latest sixty (60) days before the departure date. If it is later discovered that a pre-existing condition was not declared within the specified time, and such condition would, if we had knowledge of it, have led to our refusal to accept or to cancel your booking, we reserve the right to withdraw you from the trip without any refund or recompense. In such event, you shall reimburse to us any reasonable costs, losses or expenses which we incur or suffer as a result. In the event of you being withdrawn from a trip, no refunds will be given and we will not be responsible for (and you agree to indemnify us against) any costs, claims, losses and expenses arising including costs of repatriation e.g. flights and legal expenses. By agreeing to these conditions, you provide your consent to us and our insurers obtaining your medical records should we consider it necessary. You will be responsible for any charges for the provision of the information. We reserve the right to inspect your vaccination book at any time and to withdraw you from the trip in the event that you have not received and/or taken all the requisite inoculations and/or medication. If the information provided by you is incorrect and we discover that the correct information affects your suitability to take part in the trip, we may terminate the contract and withdraw you from the trip without refund or recompense, including during the trip. You agree and acknowledge that certain activities undertaken whilst you are on the trip may be inherently hazardous and have risks associated with them. You agree to abide by all instructions given to you whilst you are on the trip and you acknowledge that we cannot be held responsible for any injuries that may arise as a result of you failing to comply with such instructions.
20. You must be covered by personal travel insurance. This must cover you fully against the cost of cancellation by you, medical care and repatriation should you become too ill to continue and must above all cover you against the cost of air evacuation should sickness or injury necessitate such a course of action. You should also note that passenger liability insurance covering vehicles, particularly in third world countries, may be inadequate. It is therefore important that your insurance cover makes sufficient provision for your dependants in the event of an accident. Please note however that we have no control over the availability or standard of medical and repatriation services and facilities in the areas we visit and these do not form any part of our contract with you. Please remember that many of the areas we visit are not as developed as the UK and the availability and standard of such services may well be lower. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you when you travel. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check individual insurance policies for suitability.
21. In many countries we visit, the local vehicle accident insurance includes either very limited passenger liability or none at all. Madventure has passenger liability insurance for some countries through which we travel but the client acknowledges that in many countries the expedition vehicle does not have the benefit of passenger liability insurance. The client agrees to indemnify Madventure against any claim or demand made in respect of any accident, personal injury or loss of life caused to, contracted or suffered by the client during the course of the expedition.
22. Privacy & Data Protection – we shall ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to protect your personal data (as defined in the European GDPR act 2018 and the UK Data Protection Act 2018) and we do not store our customers financial details. When you make a booking, you do however consent to all the information you provide being passed on to our suppliers, agents, subcontractors, employees or volunteers whether based inside or outside of Europe for the purposes of us providing you with the trip.
23. By agreeing to these terms and conditions you consent (unless otherwise stated on your application form) to our staff taking photographs and or video footage of you during the trip and that these images may be used by us for publicity and training purposes including, but not limited to, brochures, websites, marketing material and in the media.
24. We shall be entitled to novate or assign the contract or any part of it to any third party. You shall not be entitled to assign the contract or any part of it. This contract is made on the terms of these conditions, which are governed by English law, and subject to the provisions of condition you agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. If any of these conditions is found by any court or other competent authority to be wholly or partly unfair or unenforceable the validity of the rest of the booking conditions and the rest of the condition in question shall not be affected and shall remain valid and enforceable to the extent permitted by law. A reference in these conditions to a statute, convention or regulation shall be as a reference to that statute convention or regulation as amended, re-enacted or extended at the relevant time. The headings in these conditions are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation. Where the context otherwise requires, words importing the singular meaning shall include the plural meaning and vice versa and words denoting the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter genders. Where the context so admits, words denoting persons shall include natural persons, companies, corporations, firms, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, joint trips, trusts, voluntary associations and other incorporated and/or unincorporated bodies or other entities (in each case, whether or not having separate legal personality) and all such words shall be construed interchangeably in that manner.
25. The information given in the brochure and other literature supplied is given in good faith but no warranty is given that it is correct.
26. No servant, agent or authorized representative of Madventure has authority to commit Madventure to any liability whatsoever and Madventure will not be bound by any statement or representation unless it is in writing and signed by one of the directors.
27. Your contract is with Madventure Limited, a company registered in England and Wales whose registered office is at 93 Lashford Lane, Dry Sandford, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX136EB (Company No. 6809461 ).
We recommend a budget of £80 – £100 per person per week to live comfortably during this expedition. This budget should cover day to day things like lunches, snacks, soft drinks, meals when not camping, the odd few beers, etc.
Budget approximately £1500 for your visas, security clearances and letters of invitation.
Souvenirs are something that can be very cheap or very expensive so if you are going to be buying things like silk carpets you should budget for it.
Please also have a look at our Optional Excursions list as you may want to budget for a few of those activities too.
We recommend you bring 1/3 of your money in cash US Dollars and the rest of your money on your Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card.
They generally accept all major currencies for exchange but US Dollars are accepted everywhere.
ATM’s are widely available for you to draw local currency using your Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card except in a few countries in west and north Africa where it is recommended you have US Dollars available for exchange.
To keep your money/credit cards/ipod/camera/laptop safe we recommend you purchase a ‘Pacsafe Travelsafe’ product. They offer various size portable anti-theft bags that can be attached to the vehicle when travelling and also attached to the toilet/bed/closet in your hotel room when off the vehicle.
Below is general information and recommendations regarding visas and passports. Visas are ultimately your own responsibility to obtain and visa requirements may vary according to your nationality and place of application, so use the information below as a guide only. Madventure is in no way responsible for obtaining your visas or passports.
We recommend you obtain the following visas in your passport before departure – Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria.
All other visas can be obtained en-route.
You can either obtain visas yourself or use the services of a visa agency such as www.thevisamachine.com
Those who are travelling on non-European passports may require additional visas to travel to Gibraltar/Spain so please check your requirements with the relevant embassies.
Some nationalities may also require a Letter of Invitation in order to apply for certain visas such as Sudan. We can provide these for you for a fee.
Approximately 3 months prior to departure you will be sent the information required in order to complete your applications and apply for your visas (there are often time restrictions on visas so you can not apply earlier). We recommend that you make your passport available 2 months before departure in order to obtain your visas comfortably.
Budget approximately £1500 for all your visas and letters of invitation.
Please ensure you have 40 free pages in your passport in order to accommodate all the visas and ensure your passport is valid for at least 18 months after your departure date.
You will need approximately 12 passport photos for the duration of the expedition. Female travelers will need an additional 6 passport photos wearing a headscarf covering their hair in order to obtain a few visas.
Vaccination requirements are constantly changing so we recommend you seek the latest professional medical advice at least 8 weeks before departure to ensure you allow yourself enough time to obtain all necessary vaccinations. Nomad Travel’s website has up-to-date information on vaccinations, malaria and other general medical advice for all the countries we will be visiting and they also administer vaccinations at their Travel Clinics in various locations within UK.
Alternatively speak with your local Health Professionals for current accurate information. You will need to make an appointment with your GP or Travel Clinic and take a list of the countries you are visiting and the approximate dates when you will be there.
Medically Fit & Able
You need to be in good general health for this expedition and be reasonably fit and able. The main concern is that everyone is able to pitch in equally and do their fair share when it comes to group activities like the communal cooking and cleaning up, packing gear in and out of the truck, erecting your own tent, etc. You do not need to be super-fit by any means and all ages are welcome. We always attract a very broad age range on these expeditions, from people in their 20’s through to people in their 70’s.
Please inform us of any medical conditions that you have before departure so that your crew know how to deal with a medical situation if it should arise. All information will be kept confidential unless you request us to inform your fellow travelers. For example, it may be wise to inform fellow travelers if you are allergic to something like bee-stings so they know what to do if you get stung.
First Aid Kit
We carry a comprehensive first aid kit aboard the vehicle but it is recommended that you bring your own basic first aid kit for general use.
It is compulsory that every person who travels with Madventure obtain travel insurance for the complete duration of the expedition. Proof of travel insurance must be shown before joining an expedition.
There are various travel insurance companies to choose from and a Google search will bring up a vast selection but for clients who are resident in UK we recommend a London based company named Campbell Irvine, www.campbellirvine.com, tel. 020 7938 1734. They are familiar with what we do, so mention our name and the expedition you are travelling on and they will provide excellent cover for you.
If you choose to obtain your travel insurance through another company please ensure you read the small-print and make sure you are covered for Medical Repatriation.
Tent: A good quality lightweight and compact waterproof free standing tent is recommended for this expedition. A removable fly-sheet will help you stay cool on hot dry nights. If you are travelling on your own you are restricted to a 1-2 man sized tent. If you are sharing a tent, you are restricted to a 2-3 man sized tent.
Sleeping bag: Any good quality 2/3 season sleeping bag will be fine but one with a ‘Mummy Hood’ is a good idea for the times that it will be cold. Please make sure that your sleeping bag has a ‘crush bag’ so it can be compacted down.
Sleeping bag liner: A Thermal Fleece or Silk Liner will bring your sleeping bag up a season when it’s cold and they are good to use on their own when it’s too hot for your sleeping bag.
Roll Mat: A compact inflatable Thermarest roll mat is recommended. A non-compact mat will not be permitted as they take up too much room.
Pillow: If you do wish to take a pillow (although most just bring a pillow case and stuff their fleece in it at night) then Thermarest do a good stuff pillow that compacts down small.
Backpack/sports bag/suitcase: We recommend you carry your luggage in a backpack but irrespective if you prefer a sports bag or a suitcase you are restricted to a maximum 100 liter volume.
Day bag: You are also permitted to bring a day bag with a maximum 40 liter volume that you can carry in the overhead luggage rack on the back of the truck with you.
Pacsafe: in order to keep your valuables safe we recommend a Pacsafe product. They make a range of anti-theft bags which vary in sizes and can accommodate your money, credit cards, passport, camera, laptop, etc. They can be attached to the overhead luggage rack on the back of the vehicle when travelling and/or to a fixed item in your hotel.
Headtorch: an invaluable investment! Check out the Petzl Tika Plus.
Water purifier – quite a handy thing to have to purify contaminated water and avoid ‘Delhi Belly’. Check out the range of Lifestraw products.
Kindle: optional but great to keep all your travel guides and books in 1 place.
Laptop: certainly not necessary but many places have wifi available these days so having your own laptop will save you hanging around internet cafes.
Camera: completely up to you but most people bring one.
Toiletries: available everywhere but start with some toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, deodorant, soap and shampoo.
Towel: a microfiber travel towel is a good option as it dries quickly and packs down small.
First aid kit: only a basic one is recommended but should include plasters, antiseptic cream, bandage, pain relief tablets, scissors and safety pins.
Passport photos: please bring along 12 passport photos for the duration of the expedition. Female travelers will need an additional 6 passport photos wearing a headscarf covering their hair in order to obtain a few visas.
Clothes & shoes:
1 pair of flip flops
1 pair of walking shoes, trainers or boots
4 pairs of socks
4 pairs of undies
4 t-shirts and/or vest tops
2 pairs of zip-off trousers which can be worn long or short
1 swimming trunks/bikini
1 lightweight long sleeve top
1 decent fleece top or fleece jacket
1 beanie/woolly hat for the cold days
1 wet weather jacket
1 light-weight dress/skirt for the ladies
1 collared shirt for the blokes
A pair of thermal gloves
As our expeditions are not your average run of the mill overland tours we would like to go through every aspect of the trip with you to ensure that you are as informed and prepared as possible. At Madventure we believe in giving you the nitty-gritty details as well as the obvious highlights, as in our opinion these are just as important and we want to explain the expedition in as much detail as possible so you can be sure you are suited and prepared for one of our overland adventures. If after reading this, you decide that this expedition is not for you then, as long as it is within 14 days of your initial booking, you can cancel off the expedition and receive a full refund of your deposit.
The following may sound a little negative at times, but it’s just so we are secure in the knowledge that we have provided you with as much information as possible, the good and the bad, to ensure everybody is completely aware exactly what type of trips we run for the benefit of you, us and your fellow expedition members as there is nothing worse than getting someone booking on the trip when it is not what they actually wanted or expected as our expeditions are too long and too full on. You need to know what you are in for and be able to handle it!
At times you will be exposed to all the elements, from extreme cold to intense humid heat and high altitude. And, for example, as wonderful as places like Sierra Leone and Tanzania are, they do not have a western infrastructure and their acceptable level of hygiene standards are very different to ours.
Mucking In: This is a full participation expedition so you need to be able to participate fully in all aspects of the trip including cooking, cleaning, truck security, carrying water, collecting firewood, digging your vehicle out of bogs and clearing and rebuilding roads – sometimes for several days at a time! (It’s not ‘planned’ to happen but if it does then it’s all hands on deck).
We get everyone to agree that you are medically fit and able and can physically participate fully in all aspects required. Don’t worry, you don’t need any prior experience or knowledge or to be a fitness freak, just to be happy to do your share and have a willingness to get stuck in when necessary.
When things go wrong: The only thing we can guarantee is that at some point things will not go according to plan! We have to follow the legislation of each individual country and they may all have different regulations and attitudes towards us. Generally everyone is always friendly and it’s usually obstacles such as breakdowns, bad roads and natural disasters that have a bearing on the expedition. Everything changes from trip to trip depending on what the current situation or problem is, so it’s not ‘if’ something goes wrong, it’s ‘when’.
Please be prepared to expect the unexpected and accept that things will go wrong from time to time. These instances are usually the stories that remain with everyone so enjoy the experience. An easy-going approach will help the situation immensely. Moaning about every little thing that doesn’t go our way will not!
Attitude & Group Living: A good, easy-going attitude will help you get through this trip and ensure you are liked by your fellow travelers as well as the locals. The one thing that is extremely detrimental to an expedition such as this is your common ‘moaner’. It has nothing to do with age, sex or nationality, it just matters that although they signed up for this ‘in theory’ they can’t cope ‘in practice’ and it’s always got to be someone’s fault. It sounds a bit harsh but by weeding out any moaners early on we can have a chat with them and ensure your expedition is as good as it can be. It’s hard enough at the best of times without in-house problems so by ensuring everyone is on the same page from the get go will start us off in good stead.
We have no age restrictions and if there is one thing we have come to realize, through experience, is that it’s the mental attitude that counts the most and a broader age range is better on a long trip as it stops the stereotyping – the more in the mix the better.
There will be parties and there will be quiet nights. There are no set rules and it always sorts itself out depending on the individual personalities of who’s on board.
Laziness and selfishness will also be spotted early on so we advise everyone to pull their weight. We can guarantee that at some stage during the expedition you will have to just fit in and go with the flow when it’s not what you personally wanted to do. When situations arise where we can’t please everybody we always aim to please the ‘majority of the group’ not the individual.
Please be aware that if any particular person is constantly causing the rest of the group (or the crew) grief due to their behavior they will be warned and then asked to leave the expedition if nothing improves and no refund will be given. This is obviously the most extreme situation but we will not let one or two lazy or selfish individuals spoil it for everybody else. Everybody knows the score from the start and this is for everyone’s benefit. Usually everybody who does our trips has a relaxed approach and everybody gets on very well and any unsuitable people do not last long and leave on their own accord.
This is a once in a lifetime experience so let’s all enjoy it!
Drive times, routes and proposed itineraries: We are driving a long way across Africa in a restricted time frame, so yes, there are going to a lot of drive days and some of them will be long. This is where you have to be able to take pleasure in the scenery or a good book from time to time.
As a general rule on a drive day we leave in the morning around 7-8am (after breakfast) and pull up just before dusk in order to set up camp in the daylight, but this really depends on the distance between destinations.
Sometimes it will be a full day’s drive between destinations and you’ll have the following day free. On rare occasions it will be a 3-4 day long drive where you’ll leave early, stop late and bush camp in-between, then have a few free days at your destination. Sometimes it’s only a few hours between locations. Driving is a huge part of the trip so be prepared for a lot of it and expect the odd long drive into the night.
Please note: At times we may placed under military or police escort when travelling through troubled areas. If this occurs then we are at their mercy and they make the decisions with regard to driving hours and routes. We do not argue with those who are trusted to ensure our safety so please be aware that sometimes the pace will be much faster than we would personally choose and the route they pick will be the one we follow, regardless of our proposed itinerary.
Delays: We always strive to arrive at our destinations on time but if we experience any delays we will adjust our itinerary accordingly. If we experience any major delays our end date can be extended to suit our needs.
The proposed itinerary is just that, ‘proposed’, and can and will change at the crew’s discretion if need be.
Drugs: In a lot of the countries we travel through drugs such as marijuana and hashish are in abundance and readily available. Please be aware that they are still illegal and some countries hold the Death Penalty as punishment for being caught in possession. Obviously you are free to do whatever you want to do in your own free time but there is NEVER to be any illegal drugs onboard the expedition vehicle at any time.
If you are caught with any kind of illegal drugs on the expedition vehicle, regardless of the amount, you will be asked to leave the expedition immediately and no refund will be given. This is a very serious rule as any inconsideration can lead to the vehicle being impounded, the expedition cancelled and other innocent party’s arrested. We will not hesitate to remove someone if we have to so please respect your other expedition members.
Your Crew: You will normally have a crew of 1 experienced person who fills the role of being the driver/expedition leader. Sometimes our crew prefer to work with a partner so there may occasionally be 2 crew who share the roles of driver and expedition leader. On some expeditions we may also have a cameraman who is there to help market our tours and update our social media accounts.
Your crew member will drive and maintain the vehicle as well as sort out all the accommodation, permits, border crossings and generally ensure the smooth running of the expedition. Your crew member is not a tour guide and will not be giving you the history and facts of every country you travel through. Apart from the odd optional extra that needs to be organized in advance, we leave most of that stuff to you guys, this way ensuring you get to do what you want, at the price you are happy to pay.
You do the reading up on the places we are going to in advance and decide how you want to spend your time and what activities you want to do. Apart from some basic truck rules this is not a trip where we hold your hand, it’s an expedition and we expect that you will want to be as independent as possible when it comes to your free time.
Your crew will be hand-picked and trained by Madventure and will have experience of overland travel but they may or may not have done this expedition before. They will however have detailed notes from previous expeditions and backup from the office in UK.
Tipping: Tipping the crew at the end of your expedition is always appreciated. As this is a long expedition, but also a budget one, we recommend you tip your driver/expedition leader a minimum of £150 at the end of the trip. Thank you.
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