11 Day Kruger and Sharks adventure

Start Point

Johannesburg start of the tour

End Point

Durban end of the tour

Days

11 days & 10 nights

Price Per Person

USD 0.00 Twin/USD 0.00 Single

Tour Description

NOTE : DUE TO CORONA ALL OUR ADVENTURE TOURS ARE CURRENTLY ON REQUEST PLEASE FOR MORE INFORMATIONS OR DEPARTURES PLEASE  CONTACT US ON CONCIERGE@ABOVE-5.COM OR CONCIERGE@ABOVE5STARS.COM

Combine an African safari with our fantastic shark tour and experience the best of Africa land and sea. The Kruger National Park is one of the most renowned game parks in Africa and one can experience the wonder of seeing wild animals in their natural environment. After your search for the Big 5 animals of the land, head down to Durban and dive the world famous Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. Your 10 dives will give you ample opportunity to immerse yourself in the underwater world of South Africa and it’s many shark, ray and dolphin species. This tour will tick a lot of boxes and leave you wanting more.

 

This 11 day adventure combines the highlights of South African diving with the quintessential African Safari. Departing from Johannesburg this tour takes in some of the most famous South African scenery and visits the Kruger National Park and the Protea Banks Reef.

  •   Vehicle Adventure Truck
  •   Duration 11 Days    10 Nights
  •   From / To Johannesburg to Durban
  •   Meals 9 Breakfast   8 Lunch   8 Dinner
  •   Countries South Africa

Our tours come with an "Optional Activity Package".  You will need to purchase this package if you would like to partake in what we consider to be "essential activities" on our tours.  The Activity Package has been written into the itinerary of the tour so please keep this in mind as if you don't book the package, the activities won't be included.  We suggest that you prebook and prepay for your Activity Package to ensure availability.

NOTE FOR ABOVE-5 GUEST THE OPTIONAL ACTIVITY PACKAGE AND EQUIPMENT RENTAL IS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Tour code: NADJD

Day 1 Johannesburg to Kruger National Park

Place visiting
Johannesburg , Kruger park
Description

Please note that during the next few days (while we are visiting Kruger National Park), the order of activities could change without prior notice and a degree of flexibility is needed.  This is to allow for maximum game viewing opportunities and experiences.  Leaving the city of Johannesburg behind us we make our way east through the coalfields of Mpumalanga. Our journey today follows in the footsteps of the old trade-routes to the Lowveld and the Kruger National Park. We set up camp at our base for the next three nights and enjoy a lovely sundowner drive.

 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 2 Kruger National Park

Place visiting
Kruger National Park for a full-day of game viewing in open gaming verhicles
Description

This morning we enter the Kruger National Park for a full-day of game viewing. Our activity package offers you the opportunity to explore the park in open game viewing vehicles, giving you access to areas our truck can’t always go.

 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 3 Kruger National Park – Panorama Route

Place visiting
After our walk, we exit the park and journey along the scenic Panorama Route where we will visit God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels
Description

As is customary when on safari, we rise early this morning to enjoy a guided bush walk. Being in the bush on foot offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the smaller details of this great wilderness area.  After our walk, we exit the park and journey along the scenic Panorama Route where we will visit God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels. We return to camp in the evening to enjoy a lovely local dinner and dance.

 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 4 Kruger National Park to Johannesburg

Place visiting
Enjoy our last drive through the park before setting off to Belvedere Estate
Description

We enjoy our last drive through the park before setting off to Belvedere Estate. We arrive at Belvedere Estate in the late afternoon and all travellers are invited to join us for a traditional meal tonight, this can be booked with your guide on the day before arrival. Many great tales are shared and tonight presents an opportunity to join fellow travellers in celebrating the many wonders of African travel.

 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 5 Durban to Margate

Place visiting
About 2 hours north of Durban is the launch site for both Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, home to some of the best Apex Predator shark diving
Description

Please note that during the next few days (while we are visiting Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal), the order of activities could change without prior notice and a degree of flexibility is needed.  This is to allow for maximum dive opportunities and experiences based on conditions and weather. Please also note that should conditions prevent diving we will substitute an alternative activity. 

This morning we will fly from Johannesburg to the coastal town of Durban where we will meet our new Nomad truck and crew.  Leaving the city of Durban behind us we make our way south along the dolphin coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. About 2 hours north of Durban is the launch site for both Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, home to some of the best Apex Predator shark diving. We arrive at the Dive House and settle in for our stay. This afternoon we will check all dive equipment, ensure the correct gear is allocated and have a dive briefing for the following days.

 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 6 Protea Banks Diving

Place visiting
Protea Banks Reef where we see some of the worlds largest marine predators
Description

Over the next three days we will have 5 dives on the Protea Banks Reef where we hope to see some of the worlds largest marine predators. During these three days you will also be offered a baited shark dive. Diving both North and South Pinnacles we will have the chance to collect Sand Tiger Shark teeth and explore caves, swim-throughs and tunnels. An optional Tiger and Bull Shark baited dive at Protea Banks will be offered during our stay. This dive takes place in open water, hanging in the blue whilst possible Tiger, Bull, Hammerhead and Oceanic Black-Tip sharks come in to investigate the scent trail around us. A full safety briefing and training session is included and this is a breathtaking experience.

 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 7 Protea Banks Diving

Place visiting
Dive on the Protea Banks Reef
Description

Today we will enjoy 1 Dive on the Protea Banks Reef, allowing for us to have the afternoon at Leisure and be fully rested for our 2 x Dives tomorrow.

Day 8 Protea Banks Diving

Place visiting
Protea Banks Reef , see some of the world’s largest marine predators.
Description

Today we will have our last 2 dives on the Protea Banks Reef, with this being our last chance to possibly see some of the world’s largest marine predators.

 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 9 Aliwal Shoal

Place visiting
Raggie Tooth Sharks congregating in their hundreds, dolphins and the baited shark dive
Description

The following two days we spend diving the equally famous Aliwal Shoal. Renowned for Raggie Tooth Sharks congregating in their hundreds, dolphins and the baited shark dive. Each morning we will travel the hour from our Dive House in Margate to the launch site for Aliwal Shoal. Over the two days we will do 3 recreational dives on the Aliwal Shoal, including the famous “Raggie Cave”. The optional baited shark dive is well worth it, with Oceanic Black-Tip Sharks gathering in large numbers and possibly Tiger Sharks investigating the bait.

 

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 10 Aliwal Shoal

Place visiting
Today will be the last chance to dive with the Raggie Tooth Sharks.
Description

Today will be our last diving day and also our last night in South Africa. Please make sure to make the most of your 1 Diving activity today as this will be the last chance to spot the Raggie Tooth Sharks.

Day 11 Durban

Place visiting
Tour ends upon arrival at the King Shaka International Airport.
Description

We travel this morning to the Durban airport where our tour ends upon arrival at the King Shaka International Airport.

 

WE FROM ABOVE-5.COM HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED YOUR HOLIDAY AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOME AND TO SERVE YOU AGAIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

 

 

IMPORTANT DIVE AND STAY INFORMATION

Place visiting
Be prepared
Description

All information provided in this tour dossier is subject to change without prior notice, changes would always be in consideration of your safety first and a better quality experience. This would be where we are able to make improvements, sometimes last minute decisions due to the nature of the tour/event. Overnight accommodation stops can change depending on road or weather conditions or any unforeseen circumstances. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the properties listed in this dossier, these are to be used as a guideline only. We recommend that you download the most up to date version of this tour dossier one week prior to your tour departure date. Partaking in an adventure tour in Africa involves covering hundreds if not thousands of kilometres and our tours are as much about this journey as they are about the destinations we visit. Use your time during these drives to talk to your fellow travellers, have a drink and take note of the world passing by your window. Some roads you travel on will be smooth and easy while others could take up to an hour to cover 1 kilometre. There is just no telling what could happen with road, weather, traffic and other conditions that may exist that will either increase or decrease the amount of time you spend on the road so take your watch off, put your iPad away, turn off your phone and just relax. An average day could take anything from 5 to 14 hours, it all depends on the day... and that’s only an “average”! Please ensure that you have downloaded and read a copy of the PRE DEPARTURE INFORMATION booklet as this document contains important information (e.g travel insurance, visas, your money, health etc) you need to know before you depart on tour.

Departure Information will be send to you before departure in pdf format 

Activity Package There is no Activity Package on this tour.

Maximum Number of Passengers 20

After hours emergency contact Our reservations staff are available to receive emergency calls. We would like to request that you respect this emergency number and use it only in the event of emergencies. Please only contact this number if, for example, you have missed your incoming flight, you cannot find your airport transfer or you are running late for your tour departure.

If calling from outside South Africa: 0027 82 578 2199

If calling within South Africa: 082578 2199

Arrival / Departure Please be sure to arrive 1 day before your tour is due to depart. This will avoid any unforeseen problems.

As the activities on your tour can be moved to any day during your tour, we also highly recommend that you book your flights to depart the day after the tour officially ends. Pre and Post Tour AccommodationIf you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you. We can also arrange airport transfers contact your travel agent or Nomad to make these bookings. Your tour will be departing from the following location East London Airport Your tour will be ending at the following location East London Airport

Countries Visited South Africa

What’s included

Meals (Breakfast x 10 / Lunch x 10 / Dinner x 10 ) (unless otherwise specified, all meals are prepared and served at the Nomad truck), accommodation, guides and transport. Your marine park entry permit will also be included in this tour. We also include some of the highlights. These highlights are listed below in the day by day descriptions as “included highlights”. What’s excluded Items of a personal nature (snacks, alcohol, bottled water, soft drinks, tips) / entrance fees (associated with optional activities / souvenirs / activity packages and optional activities.Insurance (Compulsory) Please also note that for this tour you will require a diving insurance policy that permits multiple dives and dives to a depth of 30m (we recommend DAN divers insurance). Diving insurance can be purchased from the DAN website, Travel insurance can be purchased by CLICKING HERE 

or more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

LIFE ON A DIVE TOUR

Place visiting
Be prepared
Description

Southern Africa

Southern Africa has adapted to its visitors needs and most who are involved in the tourism industry put a lot of effort into ensuring that guests have an incredible all-round experience while visiting.  You will find most of your home comforts here and be very surprised at how easy it is to find your way around – especially with English being widely spoken throughout all Southern African countries.  The infrastructure is sound and traveling in these areas is “comfortable”.

The Guides

Both crew members are trained and qualified guides, but only one may be tour leader (either the driver or the courier/cook).  Although our guides are qualified for the work they do, please remember they are human too.  Adventure tours place enormous demands on our guides due to the nature and duration of the tours.  Working 18 hours a day, week after week would place a strain on anyone so please don’t be quick to judge them and rather have a quiet conversation with them if you feel that there is an issue.  Guides do this job because they love Africa and want to share it with our guests so please treat them with respect and decency and you will get the same in return.

It should also be noted that guests often hold guides responsible for things that are out of their control, so please be fair to them, the guides are not personal servants, butlers or maids and may be handling a lot more than you are aware of.

Sometimes our tour leaders and drivers have to make a decision with regards to health, safety, security and circumstances beyond their control.  This may not always be a popular decision but as far as possible, your guide will take into account the wishes of the group as a whole, but your understanding and patience at these times will be much appreciated.  Sometimes both crew members will need to discuss the matter together, this means that you’ll not always have someone in the back of the vehicle to answer questions and remark on certain locations.  For anything that you would like to know or have explained, please ask the guides so they may assist.

In terms of the information that is provided on tour, some guests prefer more information, others prefer less so if you feel that you’re not receiving enough information, or that you’re receiving too much, please let the guides know so that they can do something about it.  It is always easier to sort this out on tour than to complain about it afterwards.

The Tour Leader has complete authority on tour and his/her decision is final however you do have our emergency contact number if you feel that you’d like to speak to someone in the office too.

Translators

On some of our tour departures we have German translators who are there to help guests who are not confident in speaking English.  Please keep in mind that these translators are often foreign students and are sometimes not acquainted with the tour.  They are not guides and are only there to help along with the communication between the guides and guests.  They are not specialized in tour guiding nor are they professional interpreters.  They will do line by line translations directly from the guide to the guest.

Tipping

In Africa tipping is not compulsory.  Tipping in restaurants is usually 10% for good service and more if you feel that you received exceptional service.  You do not normally tip taxi’s and we provide specific information with regards to tipping certain groups.  This information is in your tour dossier under “Optional Activities” or under “Tipping on Tour”.

Our guides do work hard, but they are also paid industry standards for this work.  Our Crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty.

If you feel pressured by a crew member to tip please do not hesitate to report this to us at ops@nomadtours.co.za.  Please use this address for any other feedback you have from your tour with us.  At the end of the tour you will be provided with a confidential feedback form where you are encouraged to rate the tour, service, and experience with Nomad. We use this feedback extensively in our efforts to improve our tours and we really do appreciate receiving this information from you at the end of the tour.  You’re more than welcome to email it to us if you’d prefer not to hand it to your guide, however please do let them know that you’ll be emailing it if you intend on doing this.

The Group

Travelling in a group offers many advantages and allows you to share the experience with like-minded fun-seekers!  It’s also a cheaper and more secure way to explore an unfamiliar continent.  Making friends with your fellow travellers will certainly help you make the most of your tour and an open mind may sometimes be necessary as we have a range of cultures and nationalities on our trucks.

The guides are there to ensure that the tour runs smoothly and this includes the group dynamic.  If you feel that someone is behaving in an unsociable way the mature thing to do would be to mention this in a non-confrontational way to the individual.  If you do not feel comfortable with this please speak to our crew.

You are travelling in a truck together and the best way to avoid petty conflict is to follow the Guide’s schedule with regards to keeping the truck and environment clean and tidy at all times, the fastest way to lose friends on tour is to leave your smelly hiking boots all over the place.

In all honesty, it is very rare that we have passenger conflict on tour and we feel very lucky that the Nomad guests have always been like-minded and considerate people and we hear far more stories about people making friends for life (as well as meeting future husbands and wives) than we do about the very rare unsociable passenger problem.

An average day on tour

The days usually start early and end late, although a lot of time is spent travelling, we do cram a lot into every day.  Expect some frustrations, you are in Africa and things don’t work that well sometimes.  Coming on tour with an open mind, flexible attitude and realistic expectations will ensure you have a great time.

An average day on tour begins around 6am and departure is after breakfast at around 7am.  There are some mornings that need a very early start to reach our next destination, or to photograph a spectacular African sunrise – it’s all part of the adventure.  Prepare yourself for the worst, especially in winter when days are shorter.  We lose approximately 5 hours of daylight in Winter so it may happen that you’re setting up your tent in the dark or that some optional activities are not available then.

We usually take a lunch-break en-route and depending on the distance to be covered, afternoons are often spent relaxing or exploring the lay of the land.  Usually every few days, we will spend a couple of nights at one venue to break the travel routine.

Travelling in our purpose built Trucks

The transportation on tour is a major component of all adventure tours. These tours are road trips and incorporate long drives, bumpy roads and possible mechanical problems, also, digging your truck out of mud is sometimes a considered a highlight.  These setbacks are what you make of them so please be prepared and note that we have trucks and not buses.  Your Crew will be very unhappy if you call them bus-drivers.

Nomad vehicles are amongst some of the finest on the road however do not forget the nature of an adventure tour, it is not a city to city coach liner trip and there is no airconditioning or toilets on the truck.  We also don’t provide up-market tours, our tours are still budget tours aimed at the adventurous traveller.

No bus or other vehicle is designed out the box to operate under the conditions in which our trucks run and this is why we build them ourselves.  We run a strict maintenance program and all of the trucks are on a permanent rotation schedule.  Unfortunately break-downs are not uncommon so if a problem occurs, please be patient as it can take time to resolve mechanical problems in Africa so make the best of the situation.  I can guarantee you that your guides and our operations team will have any situation like this as their top priority and will do all in their power to ensure that you get back on the road as soon as possible.

Distances and road conditions

All of our tours cover long distances on the roads of Africa as our passion is to show you the magnificent sights of this continent. This means that there will be many hours spent driving which cannot be rushed for the following reasons:

You are in a truck and not a sports car so expect average speeds of approximately 80kph, however there are roads where we are forced to reduce to speeds of 30kph due to bad roads conditions or safety concerns.  The guides will always have your safety as their first concern.

Distances between highlights are often on a bigger scale than those at home.  Often there is absolutely nothing between focal points except vast open deserts.  Most tours average approximately 350 km per day however there can be stretches of up to 650km in a single day and that’s a long way in a truck so be prepared.

We will be travelling along winding dirt roads and your safety is of paramount importance, please keep this in mind when you are tired, hot and irritable.

Communication

An enjoyable trip depends heavily on open and honest communication between yourself, the guides and your fellow passengers.  Many problems have their root in a lack of communication, misjudgements and assumptions.  Essentially, you have people from all over the world, taken out of their comfort zone, put in a box in the middle of Africa, shaken around and then expected to all get along.. it requires a positive attitude because essentially, you are all there for the same reason!

On Tour

When on tour be sure to keep the communication channels open with your fellow passengers and the guides.  This is the key to a successful trip.  If you are unhappy, please discuss it because problems cannot be resolved if no one knows that there is a problem. Feel free to approach your guides at any time because the smallest problems can turn into big ones very quickly!

How others can reach you

The easiest option to keep in touch with your loved ones at home is to buy a SIM card of the respective country you are travelling in. Usually you can get sim cards rather easily in major cities and in some instances vendors might even sell them at border posts.  The cost for a sim card is usually rather low (often between ZAR 20 and ZAR 30).  Please keep in mind though that this is an adventure tour and that there still might not be reception in a lot of the areas we travel through.

Although you may not be able to contact the outside world easily while you’re on tour, we track you constantly and are always able to find you.  Feel free to provide your family with our contact details and should there be an emergency of any kind at home we will be able to contact you almost anywhere.  Please bear in mind that in certain instances there may be a charge for this (in some areas there are not even radio facilities) should we have to physically send someone by boat, road or air to your camp site, the person we send will expect to be compensated.  Please inform your families that although we can find you – it must be a real emergency – as we will not be sending one of our local contacts 500km over terrible roads to remind you to change your underwear regularly!

In an emergency your family can contact us on nomad@nomadtours.co.za or by calling our offices on +27 21 845 7400 and if the call is outside of office hours the emergency contact number is +27 82 578 2199.

We advise that you should also contact family and friends before leaving and tell them that you are on an adventure tour and that you will probably be out of contact for that time.

There are telephones in some places but do not count on these being all that reliable!  E-mail facilities can be found in major towns and city centres, but it is often very slow and expensive.

Climate and weather conditions

Please ensure that you are familiar with the exact weather conditions to be expected on your particular tour and be prepared because the weather in Africa can be extreme.  In the rainy season, prepare to get wet and in the dry season, prepare to bake, the weather is part of an African adventure but it can be a tough taskmaster.

The African sun is fierce and we suggest a factor 50 sunscreen and that you wear a hat.  From October until April you can experience extremely hot temperatures and during the winter months the nights can be extremely cold, even dropping down to below zero, but the days are generally warm to hot.

In Southern Africa, the short rains are from October to December, but the main rainy season begins in February and can last until April, Cape Town on the other hand experiences a cold winter with lots of rainfall from April to September.

Please note that this is only a general indication and the weather is not within our control and sometimes the rains start earlier or finish later, or don’t come at all. Local conditions also prevail, for example if your accommodation is on the rim of a crater or close to the seaside, conditions can be affected by the geography of the area so prepare for all seasons.

Included on your tour are three meals a day (unless otherwise specified in your tour dossier). We are able to cater for specific dietary requirements to a degree, however please keep in mind that you are traveling with a group and the guides generally prepare meals on two gas burners so it may not always be possible for them to prepare regular, gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant and vegetarian meals all at the same time.

If you are vegan, the guides will provide you with salads, vegetables, fruits, rice, beans, pasta, cereals and breads however their budget and time does not allow them to shop for quinoa, seeds, nuts, tofu, soy milk and other protein substitutes. Please keep this in mind when going to the supermarket so that you can supplement these foods for yourself, it will be at your own expense, the guides will however store it for you in their fridge.

Please also discuss your dietary requirements with your guides and let them know if you’re not getting the correct food as everyone has different requirements and levels of intolerance. Our guides can produce miracles on a camp-stove however in today’s environment there are more of our guests who have specific requirements when it comes to their dietary concerns so please do help us with this where possible. In East Africa it is more difficult to cater to certain requirements as there is not always accessibility to a large variety of food types.

When traveling through Africa, the guides are briefed to shop at supermarkets as far as possible, as shopping at street vendors could be a health risk to the guests as there is no indication as to where or how the vendors grow, harvest and transport their produce. Guides have to be responsible and ensure that their produce comes from reliable sources and this can generally only be done by shopping at the supermarkets. The prevalence of street vendors also means that there is thieving from local farms who support the local industry, and this in turn means that the farms become unsustainable, leaving the community in a worse off position.

Breakfast:

As breakfast is served very early in the morning (if there is driving or activities to be done) it is a simple but filling breakfast: Tea and coffee, breads and spreads, cereals, yogurts, fruits and on occasion, when there is time for a later breakfast, guides will serve a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, porridge, bacon or beans. when staying in hotel accommodation the breakfast will be taken in the hotel.

Lunch:

Lunch is generally served at a picnic spot next to the road en route to a destination. As the guides only have approximately 45 minutes to get everyone off the truck, prepare lunch and then get everyone back on the truck again, lunches consist of sandwiches and salads (rice salad, pasta salad, tuna salad or green salad) which are quick and easy to prepare but which are quite filling. They do have meal plans which they should stick to, to ensure that there is variety on a day to day basis.

Dinner:
This is when the guides get time to prepare a delicious meal and they focus on a substantial protein, vegetable and carbohydrate dinner. We serve traditional cuisine consisting of braais (BBQ), potjie (stew), bobotie (mince), spaghetti and fish and chicken dishes.

All meals (on both accommodated and camping tours) that are included as per the dossier are prepared at the full service adventure truck. This is a unique adventure in itself where you get to dine under the stars with your new found friends and experience the real sights and sounds of Africa!

Most evenings are spent at camp talking about Africa. Your tour dossier will have details of where you will be each night and the prices of meals if we are spending an evening at leisure in a city or town.

After or during dinner, guides will do briefings, please use this opportunity to discuss things with them.

Standards of food in East Africa are not as high as they are in Southern Africa as there is much less time for preparation (the days on the road are longer in East Africa), food is a lot more expensive and there is not as much variety available.

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

WHAT TO PACK AND WHAT TO BRING

Place visiting
Be prepared
Description

Southern Africa

Southern Africa has adapted to its visitors needs and most who are involved in the tourism industry put a lot of effort into ensuring that guests have an incredible all-round experience while visiting.  You will find most of your home comforts here and be very surprised at how easy it is to find your way around – especially with English being widely spoken throughout all Southern African countries.  The infrastructure is sound and traveling in these areas is “comfortable”.

The Guides

Both crew members are trained and qualified guides, but only one may be tour leader (either the driver or the courier/cook).  Although our guides are qualified for the work they do, please remember they are human too.  Adventure tours place enormous demands on our guides due to the nature and duration of the tours.  Working 18 hours a day, week after week would place a strain on anyone so please don’t be quick to judge them and rather have a quiet conversation with them if you feel that there is an issue.  Guides do this job because they love Africa and want to share it with our guests so please treat them with respect and decency and you will get the same in return.

It should also be noted that guests often hold guides responsible for things that are out of their control, so please be fair to them, the guides are not personal servants, butlers or maids and may be handling a lot more than you are aware of.

Sometimes our tour leaders and drivers have to make a decision with regards to health, safety, security and circumstances beyond their control.  This may not always be a popular decision but as far as possible, your guide will take into account the wishes of the group as a whole, but your understanding and patience at these times will be much appreciated.  Sometimes both crew members will need to discuss the matter together, this means that you’ll not always have someone in the back of the vehicle to answer questions and remark on certain locations.  For anything that you would like to know or have explained, please ask the guides so they may assist.

In terms of the information that is provided on tour, some guests prefer more information, others prefer less so if you feel that you’re not receiving enough information, or that you’re receiving too much, please let the guides know so that they can do something about it.  It is always easier to sort this out on tour than to complain about it afterwards.

The Tour Leader has complete authority on tour and his/her decision is final however you do have our emergency contact number if you feel that you’d like to speak to someone in the office too.

Translators

On some of our tour departures we have German translators who are there to help guests who are not confident in speaking English.  Please keep in mind that these translators are often foreign students and are sometimes not acquainted with the tour.  They are not guides and are only there to help along with the communication between the guides and guests.  They are not specialized in tour guiding nor are they professional interpreters.  They will do line by line translations directly from the guide to the guest.

Tipping

In Africa tipping is not compulsory.  Tipping in restaurants is usually 10% for good service and more if you feel that you received exceptional service.  You do not normally tip taxi’s and we provide specific information with regards to tipping certain groups.  This information is in your tour dossier under “Optional Activities” or under “Tipping on Tour”.

Our guides do work hard, but they are also paid industry standards for this work.  Our Crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty.

If you feel pressured by a crew member to tip please do not hesitate to report this to us at ops@nomadtours.co.za.  Please use this address for any other feedback you have from your tour with us.  At the end of the tour you will be provided with a confidential feedback form where you are encouraged to rate the tour, service, and experience with Nomad. We use this feedback extensively in our efforts to improve our tours and we really do appreciate receiving this information from you at the end of the tour.  You’re more than welcome to email it to us if you’d prefer not to hand it to your guide, however please do let them know that you’ll be emailing it if you intend on doing this.

The Group

Travelling in a group offers many advantages and allows you to share the experience with like-minded fun-seekers!  It’s also a cheaper and more secure way to explore an unfamiliar continent.  Making friends with your fellow travellers will certainly help you make the most of your tour and an open mind may sometimes be necessary as we have a range of cultures and nationalities on our trucks.

The guides are there to ensure that the tour runs smoothly and this includes the group dynamic.  If you feel that someone is behaving in an unsociable way the mature thing to do would be to mention this in a non-confrontational way to the individual.  If you do not feel comfortable with this please speak to our crew.

You are travelling in a truck together and the best way to avoid petty conflict is to follow the Guide’s schedule with regards to keeping the truck and environment clean and tidy at all times, the fastest way to lose friends on tour is to leave your smelly hiking boots all over the place.

In all honesty, it is very rare that we have passenger conflict on tour and we feel very lucky that the Nomad guests have always been like-minded and considerate people and we hear far more stories about people making friends for life (as well as meeting future husbands and wives) than we do about the very rare unsociable passenger problem.

An average day on tour

The days usually start early and end late, although a lot of time is spent travelling, we do cram a lot into every day.  Expect some frustrations, you are in Africa and things don’t work that well sometimes.  Coming on tour with an open mind, flexible attitude and realistic expectations will ensure you have a great time.

An average day on tour begins around 6am and departure is after breakfast at around 7am.  There are some mornings that need a very early start to reach our next destination, or to photograph a spectacular African sunrise – it’s all part of the adventure.  Prepare yourself for the worst, especially in winter when days are shorter.  We lose approximately 5 hours of daylight in Winter so it may happen that you’re setting up your tent in the dark or that some optional activities are not available then.

We usually take a lunch-break en-route and depending on the distance to be covered, afternoons are often spent relaxing or exploring the lay of the land.  Usually every few days, we will spend a couple of nights at one venue to break the travel routine.

Travelling in our purpose built Trucks

The transportation on tour is a major component of all adventure tours. These tours are road trips and incorporate long drives, bumpy roads and possible mechanical problems, also, digging your truck out of mud is sometimes a considered a highlight.  These setbacks are what you make of them so please be prepared and note that we have trucks and not buses.  Your Crew will be very unhappy if you call them bus-drivers.

Nomad vehicles are amongst some of the finest on the road however do not forget the nature of an adventure tour, it is not a city to city coach liner trip and there is no airconditioning or toilets on the truck.  We also don’t provide up-market tours, our tours are still budget tours aimed at the adventurous traveller.

No bus or other vehicle is designed out the box to operate under the conditions in which our trucks run and this is why we build them ourselves.  We run a strict maintenance program and all of the trucks are on a permanent rotation schedule.  Unfortunately break-downs are not uncommon so if a problem occurs, please be patient as it can take time to resolve mechanical problems in Africa so make the best of the situation.  I can guarantee you that your guides and our operations team will have any situation like this as their top priority and will do all in their power to ensure that you get back on the road as soon as possible.

Distances and road conditions

All of our tours cover long distances on the roads of Africa as our passion is to show you the magnificent sights of this continent. This means that there will be many hours spent driving which cannot be rushed for the following reasons:

You are in a truck and not a sports car so expect average speeds of approximately 80kph, however there are roads where we are forced to reduce to speeds of 30kph due to bad roads conditions or safety concerns.  The guides will always have your safety as their first concern.

Distances between highlights are often on a bigger scale than those at home.  Often there is absolutely nothing between focal points except vast open deserts.  Most tours average approximately 350 km per day however there can be stretches of up to 650km in a single day and that’s a long way in a truck so be prepared.

We will be travelling along winding dirt roads and your safety is of paramount importance, please keep this in mind when you are tired, hot and irritable.

Communication

An enjoyable trip depends heavily on open and honest communication between yourself, the guides and your fellow passengers.  Many problems have their root in a lack of communication, misjudgements and assumptions.  Essentially, you have people from all over the world, taken out of their comfort zone, put in a box in the middle of Africa, shaken around and then expected to all get along.. it requires a positive attitude because essentially, you are all there for the same reason!

On Tour

When on tour be sure to keep the communication channels open with your fellow passengers and the guides.  This is the key to a successful trip.  If you are unhappy, please discuss it because problems cannot be resolved if no one knows that there is a problem. Feel free to approach your guides at any time because the smallest problems can turn into big ones very quickly!

How others can reach you

The easiest option to keep in touch with your loved ones at home is to buy a SIM card of the respective country you are travelling in. Usually you can get sim cards rather easily in major cities and in some instances vendors might even sell them at border posts.  The cost for a sim card is usually rather low (often between ZAR 20 and ZAR 30).  Please keep in mind though that this is an adventure tour and that there still might not be reception in a lot of the areas we travel through.

Although you may not be able to contact the outside world easily while you’re on tour, we track you constantly and are always able to find you.  Feel free to provide your family with our contact details and should there be an emergency of any kind at home we will be able to contact you almost anywhere.  Please bear in mind that in certain instances there may be a charge for this (in some areas there are not even radio facilities) should we have to physically send someone by boat, road or air to your camp site, the person we send will expect to be compensated.  Please inform your families that although we can find you – it must be a real emergency – as we will not be sending one of our local contacts 500km over terrible roads to remind you to change your underwear regularly!

In an emergency your family can contact us on nomad@nomadtours.co.za or by calling our offices on +27 21 845 7400 and if the call is outside of office hours the emergency contact number is +27 82 578 2199.

We advise that you should also contact family and friends before leaving and tell them that you are on an adventure tour and that you will probably be out of contact for that time.

There are telephones in some places but do not count on these being all that reliable!  E-mail facilities can be found in major towns and city centres, but it is often very slow and expensive.

Climate and weather conditions

Please ensure that you are familiar with the exact weather conditions to be expected on your particular tour and be prepared because the weather in Africa can be extreme.  In the rainy season, prepare to get wet and in the dry season, prepare to bake, the weather is part of an African adventure but it can be a tough taskmaster.

The African sun is fierce and we suggest a factor 50 sunscreen and that you wear a hat.  From October until April you can experience extremely hot temperatures and during the winter months the nights can be extremely cold, even dropping down to below zero, but the days are generally warm to hot.

In Southern Africa, the short rains are from October to December, but the main rainy season begins in February and can last until April, Cape Town on the other hand experiences a cold winter with lots of rainfall from April to September.

Please note that this is only a general indication and the weather is not within our control and sometimes the rains start earlier or finish later, or don’t come at all. Local conditions also prevail, for example if your accommodation is on the rim of a crater or close to the seaside, conditions can be affected by the geography of the area so prepare for all seasons.

Included on your tour are three meals a day (unless otherwise specified in your tour dossier). We are able to cater for specific dietary requirements to a degree, however please keep in mind that you are traveling with a group and the guides generally prepare meals on two gas burners so it may not always be possible for them to prepare regular, gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant and vegetarian meals all at the same time.

If you are vegan, the guides will provide you with salads, vegetables, fruits, rice, beans, pasta, cereals and breads however their budget and time does not allow them to shop for quinoa, seeds, nuts, tofu, soy milk and other protein substitutes. Please keep this in mind when going to the supermarket so that you can supplement these foods for yourself, it will be at your own expense, the guides will however store it for you in their fridge.

Please also discuss your dietary requirements with your guides and let them know if you’re not getting the correct food as everyone has different requirements and levels of intolerance. Our guides can produce miracles on a camp-stove however in today’s environment there are more of our guests who have specific requirements when it comes to their dietary concerns so please do help us with this where possible. In East Africa it is more difficult to cater to certain requirements as there is not always accessibility to a large variety of food types.

When traveling through Africa, the guides are briefed to shop at supermarkets as far as possible, as shopping at street vendors could be a health risk to the guests as there is no indication as to where or how the vendors grow, harvest and transport their produce. Guides have to be responsible and ensure that their produce comes from reliable sources and this can generally only be done by shopping at the supermarkets. The prevalence of street vendors also means that there is thieving from local farms who support the local industry, and this in turn means that the farms become unsustainable, leaving the community in a worse off position.

Breakfast:

As breakfast is served very early in the morning (if there is driving or activities to be done) it is a simple but filling breakfast: Tea and coffee, breads and spreads, cereals, yogurts, fruits and on occasion, when there is time for a later breakfast, guides will serve a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, porridge, bacon or beans. when staying in hotel accommodation the breakfast will be taken in the hotel.

Lunch:

Lunch is generally served at a picnic spot next to the road en route to a destination. As the guides only have approximately 45 minutes to get everyone off the truck, prepare lunch and then get everyone back on the truck again, lunches consist of sandwiches and salads (rice salad, pasta salad, tuna salad or green salad) which are quick and easy to prepare but which are quite filling. They do have meal plans which they should stick to, to ensure that there is variety on a day to day basis.

Dinner:
This is when the guides get time to prepare a delicious meal and they focus on a substantial protein, vegetable and carbohydrate dinner. We serve traditional cuisine consisting of braais (BBQ), potjie (stew), bobotie (mince), spaghetti and fish and chicken dishes.

All meals (on both accommodated and camping tours) that are included as per the dossier are prepared at the full service adventure truck. This is a unique adventure in itself where you get to dine under the stars with your new found friends and experience the real sights and sounds of Africa!

Most evenings are spent at camp talking about Africa. Your tour dossier will have details of where you will be each night and the prices of meals if we are spending an evening at leisure in a city or town.

After or during dinner, guides will do briefings, please use this opportunity to discuss things with them.

Standards of food in East Africa are not as high as they are in Southern Africa as there is much less time for preparation (the days on the road are longer in East Africa), food is a lot more expensive and there is not as much variety available.

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!


Start Date End Date Availability Book
2020-05-14 2021-03-30 Available