This epic expedition through Africa encompasses all the incredible landscapes, culture & wildlife you could imagine. From the harshness of the Sahara desert, the dense jungles of central Africa and the amazing wildlife of East Africa, the varied landscapes and cultures that make up this continent will leave an indelible mark on you forever. There will be times when it will be extremely tough - harsh terrains, bad roads and extremes of weather, but it will all be worth it! You will discover a continent most travellers only dream of - whilst having the experience of a lifetime!
DAY 1-9: UK TO FES
We begin our journey from the UK in Gibraltar or southern Spain where you're Trans Africa Crew will greet you. We will have a free day here so that you have time to explore the Rock of Gibraltar, you will also have time to stock up on any supplies for our Expedition not forgetting Xmas and New Year's are just over a month away.
We will then cross the Straits of Gibraltar by ferry to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on the North African Coast.
In Morocco, we visit Chefchaouen - set in a fertile valley of the surrounding Rif Mountains - where we will camp on a ridge overlooking this picturesque town with its white roofs, blue alleyways and narrow streets. You can wander around this relaxed town and even visit one of the old hammam bathhouses.
We will visit the Roman City of Volubilis, a remarkably well-kept reminder of the Roman presence in North Africa 2000 years ago. You will have time to walk around the ancient streets and monuments before we continue to the fortress city of Fes, known for its huge covered bazaar with narrow winding alleys, crammed with craft workshops, restaurants, food stalls, mosques, dye pits and tanneries.
DAY 9-24: FES TO WESTERN SAHARA
Our few days in the capital Rabat are spent organising visas before travelling onto the old capital of Marrakech, our base for the next few days of our Trans Africa overland adventure - allowing you the chance to wander around Djemâa-el-Fna. This square is alive with activity through the day - from storytellers, snake charmers, water sellers and musicians. A nightly ritual sees hundreds of food stalls transform the square into one of Africa's largest local eating areas - the aromatic smells of fresh local food is fit for locals and tourists alike. The fishing port of Essaouira is our last major stop in Morocco before we head south following the rugged Atlantic coastline towards Mauritania and the Sahara Desert. This journey will take a few days where we will be camping in the wild, and with no light pollution, an abundance of stars can be seen in the night skies.
DAY 25-34: WESTERN SAHARA TO DAKAR
On this leg of the overland Africa trip, after crossing into Mauritania we will travel to the desert city of Nouadhibou.
From Nouadhibou will see us drive south. Passing small isolated villages surrounded by vast desert, we will also see herdsmen migrating with their camels in search of water, before reaching the capital, Nouakchott. With very infrequent traffic on the roads, no food crops being grown leaves one wondering how tough it is to live in such harsh desert conditions.
At Nouakchott, we spend a couple of days re-organising the truck and life in general after our dusty desert travels. It is quite incredible to think that slavery was only abolished here in 1980 and it is rumoured that it continues in some outlying areas.
South of Nouakchott, we will take 1 of 2 borders crossing into Senegal, the infamous and hectic Rosso border, crossing the Senegalese river by boat, or travel through a remote border - Diama, passing along the piste through Diawling National park (weather permitting).
We enter sub-Saharan Africa by crossing the Senegal River and continue into St Louis, West Africa's first French settlement and from where French colonialists conquered the interior. Senegal has a very different feel from the west Saharan countries we have just come from. We begin to be exposed to West Africa's vibrant food and music culture, colourful fashion and markets. We will start getting used to bad roads, 'interesting' local driving styles and a mixture of modern West African cities as well as some fly blown and remote border posts and villages.
The city of St Louis is located at the mouth of the Senegal River and is an interesting place to visit. We will spend a couple of nights near town camping within the national park 'Langue de Barbarie', well known for its fauna rich with various species of birds. You can take a pirogue trip and bird watch, relax and swim on the sandy beach, try your hand at fishing and much more.
On our Overland route through Senegal, we will visit Lake Retba (or Lac Rose as it is known by locals) where you can float in the pink lake. Its salinity content compares to that of the Dead Sea and during the dry season, it exceeds it. From here you may have the opportunity to visit Dakar. Like any large city in the world, Dakar has its undesirables so compared to the laid back countryside and small towns that we are more familiar with, in large cities we learn to take care and go out and explore in pairs.
DAY 35-56: DAKAR TO TIWAI ISLAND WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Continuing south, we will visit The Gambia - the smallest country on the continent (mainland) of Africa. We will take the truck across the Gambia River by ferry and base ourselves near the capital city Banjul. Banjul sits on an island where the Gambia River meets the Atlantic Ocean, you can visit the open-air lively street market, wander the streets passing colonial buildings, visit nearby beaches or take a riverboat trip.
Re-entering Senegal, we will cross into the southern Casamance region and will stop at the town of Ziguinchor to obtain a visa for Guinea-Bissau, before spending a day on the pristine coastal beaches of Senegal. Here you have the opportunity to swim, take a bike ride, fish or wandering through the nearby villages.
Guinea-Bissau considered one of the world's poorest and most fragile countries, has a population of less than 2 million. In the 19th century, it was colonized as Portuguese Guinea, and the official language is Portuguese. Still bearing the scars of the civil wars of 1997-8, Bissau is an interesting city to explore, less frequented by tourists the people are very welcoming and intrigued by our presence.
Leaving Guinea-Bissau, we travel east towards the Guinean border and will start to encounter challenging roads. Guinea Conakry (as it is usually called in West Africa) is a country that very few travellers ever visit, and is one of the proudest in West Africa. Its people have stood together and survived the always difficult post-colonial era of independence without resorting to tribal conflicts or civil war. The first colony to gain Independence from France they stated they preferred & freedom in poverty, then prosperity in chains.
We can appreciate Guinea&rsquo's spectacular tropical forests and waterfalls as we cross Fouta Djallon plateau and the beautiful hilly hinterland over the next few days.
We will enter Sierra Leone - Famous for its diamonds, fortunately, Sierra Leone recovered from its disastrous civil war and became one of the safest countries in which to travel. However, its roads are still abysmal so it can be slow going on our drive to the coast, camping on the coast south of Freetown, we can enjoy its serene palm-fringed beaches and remoteness. You will have time to explore the city markets and museums, take a trip to the nearby Tacugama Chimpanzee Reserve or a boat trip out to the nearby Banana Islands, we will also be obtaining visa’s here.
Travelling further south towards Liberia you have the option to visit the Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary home to 11 species of primates as well as the rare and elusive pygmy hippo. This reserve is home to 11 species of primates as well as the rare and elusive pygmy hippo. You can explore the island by foot or dugout canoe, enjoying the river and forest wildlife.
DAY 57-78: TIWAI ISLAND WILDLIFE SANCTUARY TO ACCRA
The roads from the east of Sierra Leone to the border of Liberia are generally in a poor state. Passing through the jungle and continuing our journey that few other travellers get to take, we make our way to Monrovia. Despite the ravages of the past, Liberia is full of hope and energy, and the city is becoming the thriving capital and moving on. Entering Liberia we notice another change in people and culture - especially the language! For the first time in two months of our overland Africa travels, we are in a country where English is the main language. The people in Monrovia are welcoming and pleased to see tourists coming to explore their city. We may have to apply for a visa here, so will be situated in and around the area for a couple of days.
The scenic drive northeast takes us toward Guinea, passing Kpatawee waterfalls, considered one of Liberia's most beautiful spots.
Crossing back into Guinea we make our way towards Bossou where we have the unique opportunity to trek to see wild chimpanzees.
Reaching the border with Ivory Coast, more commonly known in its French form we then continue our adventure towards the city of Yamoussoukro. Built by President Boigny, one of the classic ‘ Big Man’ dictators it was an expensive and vane project to glorify himself with six-lane highways leading nowhere and a huge Basilica built to copy St. Peter&rsquo's in Rome.
A further day’s drive away in Abidjan, one of West Africa&rsquo's modern cities with skyscrapers and flashy restaurants. However, it very much has the feel of having seen better days and as with so many cities, ostentatious wealth mixes side by side with abject poverty.
Our Africa Overland Adventure now heads east to the frontier with Ghana, and back to English again. Making our way towards the coastline of Ghana we will spend a couple of days relaxing on the palm-fringed beaches near Cape Coast. From here we will visit the castles of Elmina and Cape Coast, where thousands of slaves passed through the ‘ Door of no Return&rsquo. We will also stop at Kakum National Park where you have the opportunity to embark on a canopy walk or walk through the nature trails in the forest.
Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti Region and our next stop. You will have the opportunity to visit one of the largest markets in West Africa - Kejetia Market, stalls sell everything from glass beads, live chickens to Ashanti sandals. Kumasi is also known as a centre for an Ashanti culture where you can visit the National Cultural Centre offering craft workshops and dance performances.
A day’s drive takes us to the capital Accra.
DAY 79-86: ACCRA TO LOME
We will spend several days on the beaches near Accra where you can indulge in great seafood, and cold drinks. We will need to obtain several visas in Accra before travelling to Togo.
DAY 87-107: LOME TO LIMBE
Travelling through Togo and Benin doesn't take long as they are only 50 miles wide. Voodoo is the main religion here, basing its beliefs in the power of the dead. You can visit an interesting fetish market, take a boat ride on lake Togo to Togoville, as well as sample good African restaurants in Lome the capital of Togo. We will be applying for some further visas for our onward travel to the capital.
In Benin, you can take local canoes out to Ganvie village - built on bamboo stilts on Lake Nakoue. Next, we enter Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with well over 100 million people. The pace of life here tends to be more hectic than we have become used to on our overland adventure, full of hustle and bustle. We will have the opportunity to visit a Drill Monkey and Chimpanzee rehabilitation centre. A project dedicated to rehabilitating and breeding drills to be released back into the wild. Drills are a primate closely related to baboons and mandrills.
After our time in Nigeria, we will be moving through the mountainous and lush jungle toward Cameroon. Arriving at the foothills of Mount Cameroon, we spend a few days camping near Limbe and 6 Mile Beach - where you can choose to trek up Mount Cameroon, visit a chimpanzee orphanage or relax on the beach.
DAY 108-124: LIMBE TO CONGO
After chilling out on the beach, or if you were brave enough to tackle the mountain, we head inland to the capital city of Yaounde, where we may apply for a couple more visas. You can sample fresh bread and amazing pastries from the countless bakeries, admire the roadside fresh flower stalls, or stock up on some supermarket treats! Bursting with art galleries, museums and various markets, this is an ideal place to restock your snack store and prepare for the demands of central Africa.
When we depart city life, to travel south on the more rugged roads! We drive through lush jungle scenery, passing the occasional waterfall, before eventually reaching the lively market town of Ambam. Here we can replenish our food supplies before crossing the Ntem River into Gabon, a country that consists mostly of the tropical rain forest. Our next stop is the beautiful Lope National Park, home to a population of elephants, buffalo and the famous central Africa drill monkeys. After a safari through the savanna lands, we continue south along with dirt and mud roads toward the Republic of Congo. Along this leg of the Trans Africa overland trip, we may encounter some challenging road conditions and situations on the whole of the route. Teamwork will be needed if we are to tackle what may lay ahead - from clearing paths through waterlogged potholes the size of the truck to only travelling a couple of miles in a day over wet and unkempt mud roads. These are some of the best memories you will take away with you.
DAY 125-133: CONGO TO MITADI
One of the main highlights for most people who visit Congo is the friendliness of the people, particularly in the countryside. The open delight and welcome we receive while driving through these remote villages are touching. While the first section of roads is rough dirt, once we reach the sealed roads it's a fast run towards the town of Dolisie.
From Dolisie we will make our way west towards the ocean city of Pointe Noire. Two contrasting areas, the African quarter - where we see traffic jams, crowded streets and a bustling Grand Marche (market), the European Quarter quite the contrast with beachside bars and restaurants, noticeably oil is the source of the wealth. You will have time to explore the cities museums, railways and cathedrals or relax on the beaches. Departing Congo a transit through Cabinda, an exclave and province of Angola will bring us into the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire). Sandy tracks will eventually lead us into Muanda. Again tourists are foreign to this region and we attract attention everywhere we travel, dirt roads and potholes will direct us over the Congo River to the city of Mitadi and the gateway to Angola.
DAY 134-144: MITADI TO NAMIBIAN BORDER
Angola is still recovering from over two decades of civil war. As we travel south through the many small villages and communities - local people - especially children may never have seen a foreigner before. Military tanks litter the side of many roads in places. The country is slowly rebuilding its infrastructure and basic needs - with the capital of Luanda showing full sign of this slow progression. As Portuguese is the preferred language and hardly anyone we encounter will speak English - a lot of humorous improvisations with hands, face and voice are usually needed by all of us. After the southern town of Lubango and home to 'Christo Rei' a shrine overlooking the city as Christ the Redeemer looks over Rio, we head to the Namibian border for the next instalment of our Trans Africa overland adventure.
DAY 145-164: NAMIBIA TO CAPE TOWN
Crossing into Namibia and the region of the Owambo people - we pass through the country's second-largest town - Ondangwa. This town is one of the main suppliers of beer to Northern Namibia - hopefully, there will be enough left for us!
We continue towards Etosha National Park - recognised as one of the world's greatest wildlife viewing areas. The semi-desert is quite a contrast to the more fertile terrain we have been used to. Besides game drives, we can also game watch by night at one of the floodlit water holes where we may well spot Rhino, Elephant and Giraffe among a host of other wildlife. From Etosha, we visit a local Cheetah park before continuing to the Brandberg Mountains in Damaraland.
We then travel to the stunning Spitzkoppe Rock formations. Known as the Matterhorn of Namibia, the Spitzkoppe is part of the Erongo Mt range and was formed over 100 million years ago after the collapse of a gigantic volcano. The scenery is striking from every angle - even more, stunning as the granite massifs turn red at sunset.
The next stop is the world-famous Cape Cross Seal Colony, where the sight of thousands of these mammals, as well as their accompanying pungent odour, is remembered by all! The Cool Atlantic Ocean and the prominent Benguela current provide a perfect location for feeding and breeding for the Cape Fur Seal.
For the next three days, our Africa overland trip will be based in Swakopmund - Namibia's adventure gateway. You can choose between a variety of activities and excursions here: spend a day deep sea fishing for shark and other game fish or head out to the desert and try quad biking and dune sledging. You can also go horse riding or get a bird's eye view of the dramatic coastline - either by Sky diving from 10,000 feet or take a flight over the towering dunes in the area. In Swakopmund itself, you can walk along miles of deserted beaches, visit the museum or relax in a cafe.
A one day drive takes us to the Namib-Naukluft Park, a vast expanse of desert that contains some of the highest dunes in the world. At Sossusvlei, we stop and explore this spectacular area and red dunes. Continuing south we enter the semi-desert, and wide-open countryside of cattle ranching until we arrive at one of Africa's most sensational natural features, Fish River Canyon. We stop here for a couple of hours to take in the awesome scenery.
A couple of hours drive away we enter South Africa and across the Orange River - a rich source of diamonds. We travel south through the Cederberg Wilderness Area, an area of rugged valleys and peaks - before getting to our final destination on this African adventure; the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. Our accommodation here will be in a backpackers hostel.
Explore the many medinas, souks and kasbahs throughout Morocco
Cross the vast Sahara Desert
Enjoy Senegalese food and some of the best music in West Africa
Trek wild chimpanzees in Bossou near the Liberia border
Discover Africa's best kept secrets and pristine beaches in Sierra Leone
Relax on palm-fringed beaches along the Coastline
Navigating Keijetia in Kumasi, the largest market in West Africa
Visit a fetish market to see the still thriving religion of Voodoo
Travel through some of the densest jungles and toughest terrains
Climb the active volcano - Mount Cameroon
Game drive by day and relax at floodlit water holes by night in Et
- Accommodation - approx. 95% camping & 5% simple hostel/hotels
- Guided tour of Fes
- Guided tour of Volubilis
- Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary
- Trek to see wild Chimpanzees in Guinea
- Entry into Yamoussoukro's Notre-Dame de la Paix, the world's largest basilica
- Entry into Cape Coast Castle
- Kakum National Park canopy walk
- Boat trip to Ganvie Stilt Village
- Etosha National Park
- Cape Cross Seal Colony
- Cheetah Park
- Spitzkoppe Rock formations
- Sossusvlei Sand Dunes
- Fish River Canyon
- Stony Point Penguin Colony
- Cape Agulhas
- Cango Calcite Caves
- Ostrich farm
- Garden Route
- Addo Elephant National Park - Game drive
- Drakensburg Mountains
- Royal Natal National Park
- Meals - approx. 65%
- All transport on Oasis Expedition Truck
- All road tolls and ferry crossings
- Camping and Cooking equipment
- Services of Oasis Crew
- Local Payment of USD 1900 (2022), USD2000 (2023) or USD 2200 (2024) payable at the start of the trip
- Flight from UK to Gibraltar/Malaga
- Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information
- Airport Taxes & Transfers
- Travel Insurance
- Meals - approx. 35%
- Drinks, snacks and personal expenses