Skip to Content

Life on an Overland Safari

Life on an Overland Safari

Most days overlanding Africa start early to pack up camp and make breakfast so we can get on the road and on to our next destination.

There are no clouds in Namibia - Africa-10

First things first the tent comes down and get packed under the truck. The tents go down easier than they go up, and even that part isn’t too bad. Once your tent and poles are packed away it’s time for breakfast.

Most days, breakfast is continental with cereals, toast, jams, muesli, and the standard fixings. On days where we had shorter drives, we have time to make a cooked breakfast with eggs, sausages, and beans.

African Massage - African Overland Safari Trucks-2

After breakfast, it’s time to jump on the truck and get on the road. Most days on the overland safari involve a fair amount of driving where you are on the road from early morning until the mid to late afternoon. We see lots of highlights on an overland safari and things in Africa can be very spread out and roads can be bad. The drive time is a good place to talk with fellow safari mates, read a book, go through pictures, or Hannah’s favorite activity, sleep.

On long drive days, we make lunch on the side of the road or in the truck while we are driving. Lunches on the truck are simple, but tasty usually sandwiches with fresh veggies and meat or pasta salads. Everyone helps to get the food ready and clean up. Every few days we have a chance to stop at a shop or supermarket to buy water and snacks for the between-meal munchies that are almost unavoidable while in the truck.

Namibia Cheetah farm RTW african safari-12

When we arrive at camp we either have one of our many activities or we are getting ready for one in the morning. An overland safari is jam-packed with things to keep us busy like trekking with mountain gorillas in Uganda, watching lions in the Serengeti, petting rescued cheetahs in Namibia, diving in Zanzibar, sleeping under the stars, poling through the delta in Botswana, wine tasting in South Africa, and so much more. To see what other highlights there are on a safari check out our Overland Africa page for all the stories.

Back at camp, it’s time to set up camp for the night. Tents go up quickly once you have the hang of it, and after a 43-day safari and a 58-day Ultimate Overland Safari, we are pretty much experts. Inside the tent, we have sleeping mat provided and our own sleeping bags and pillows. Camping on an overland safari is more comfortable than you think as long as you pack right. See our what to pack for an overland safari packing list.

After the tents are up its time to help with truck duties. Overland safaris are participation based, meaning every night we have duties to help our tour leaders with dinner, dishes, and clean up. Duties are pretty easy and rotate every day. One day we might be chopping vegetables, the next night we might be sweeping the truck or washing dishes.

Dinner on safari is the big meal of the day and is pretty tasty for being prepared around a campsite in the middle of Africa. Dinner is cooked on either a camp stove with some seasoned camp pans that kept under the truck or in cast iron pots called porkies over hot coals. They are much bigger than what is in your kitchen, and the might not have the Tefal reviews like the ones at home, but they make a pretty good camp meal. There is usually a main of beef, pork, or chicken with a side of rice, pasta, or potatoes. On cold nights, we sometimes have a pumpkin or vegetable soup. Everything is seasoned nicely and the meal is a time to come together as a group and eat and talk.

After dinner, it’s time for a campfire. Everyone gathers for a few beers or some wine and talks over the fire. On any given safari you have people from around the world who are generally like-minded and always good to talk to. Most nights aren’t too late because there is so much to do and see. However, whenever there is a break in the action or a day to sleep in the fire burns longer and everybody has a few extra beers. Most campsites have a fun bar and a place to hang out for those who want to stay up after the fire goes out.

The next morning it starts all over again with another African adventure to be had.

If you are looking at taking a safari on your own, we cannot recommend Acacia Africa enough.