Absolute Africa Guides
With over thirty years of experience running safaris from London to Cape Town and living and working on the Continent, enjoy the thrills, laughs, smiles and challenges of Africa with us, knowing that our crew, staff and management are doing all possible to make your...
With over thirty years of experience running safaris from London to Cape Town and living and working on the Continent, enjoy the thrills, laughs, smiles and challenges of Africa with us, knowing that our crew, staff and management are doing all possible to make your safari memorable. In 1979 we crossed the Sahara Desert in a London taxi from Britain to Kenya. The company has grown from there and now operates 10 overland trucks in East and Southern Africa. Our choice of vehicle has changed whilst we retain the core idea of enabling passengers to experience Africa at an affordable price.Read more
160 Absolute Africa Reviews
- Rather Poor
- 4.5 / 5
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- Value for money
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- 5 / 5
- PMPrateekMaasai and Migration3.0 - AverageWritten on October 12, 2019The trip curation and itinerary was really good. Pre and Post sale service by Natasja was absolutely amazing - she is a superstar and super helpful. Her advice …Read moreAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewThank you for leaving a review, Prateek. We are glad to hear that you found the support of our team really helpful and that you felt you had all the information you needed for your trip. It's good to also hear that you were pleased with the accommodation and enjoyed tasty meals throughout the tour. In terms of the truck seats, we fit our trucks with coach seats which most people tend to find well-suited and comfortable for the long drives, in contrast to the often-used bench-style seats on other overland vehicles. We also have our own workshop in Tanzania and each truck is checked and maintained prior to every trip to ensure it is well prepared for the journey. We are sorry to hear that you were not so keen on Safari Lodge on Zanzibar Island. This is a hotel we have been using for many years and we have booked many passengers in here over that time. It is a simple lodge but is clean and well-located in the centre of Stone Town, and has always seemed to suit our passengers well for this reason. We're glad to hear that Jonasmus was helpful and friendly and we will pass on your comments to him. With regard to Joe, it is often the case that tour leaders do need to be more strict especially when groups merge and become larger. Whilst all passengers are adults, overseeing a large group - including many different backgrounds, opinions and personalities - is not always an easy task. It is often preferable to be proactive in ensuring the rules are laid out from the start rather than having to remind the group at a later point. There is though a way in which this can be done without patronising anyone and we will speak to Joe to ensure that he understands how his trip briefing may be received so he can make any necessary adjustments in the future. As you mention, tour leaders do generally tend to assess each group as to how much help they offer in areas such as cooking, or putting tents up and down, for example. Where the group is very capable, the tour leader will usually stand back and allow the group to take control, however if anyone is struggling then this is the tour leader's role to step in and assist in any way they can. Tour leaders do often get very involved in the food shopping, meal planning and cooking - they know what works well for group meals cooked on a campfire, and what foods are readily available as well, so are at an advantage here. I hope that overall you have come away with good memories from your tour and thanks again for taking the time to leave your comments.
- PaulDunmoreAfrican Sky4.5 - ExcellentWritten on October 6, 2019I am an older person(60) and I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. I was worried about the camping as I did not want to share a tent. I had my own tent for the entire…Read moreAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewThank you for your review, Paul, and great to hear that you have come away with great memories and experiences from your time in Africa. Some great tips there too! As we always say, age is just a number and if you are happy with the style of trip and the fact there will generally be more passengers in their twenties and thirties (as you were), then this trip can cater for any age. We look forward to welcoming you back on the truck in the future, should you wish to see some more of this great continent!
- JDJuliaThe Absolute Safari4.5 - ExcellentWritten on September 23, 2019Amazing! My husband and I just returned from the 73 day Absolute Safari. The tour was incredible! 1. The itinerary is fantastic. Each day is unique fascinatin…Read moreAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewHi Julia, Thank you very much for your review. We are so happy to hear you had such a good experience and took away so much from your trip to Africa. We have now in fact extended the tour to 77 days, allowing us to visit Ziwa rhino sanctuary, stay by Mount Kilimanjaro for a couple of days, safari in South Luangwa National Park and marvel at the Great Zimbabwe Ruins - so the Absolute Safari does now offer even more! We will let Peter and Steve know of your comments and best of luck with all your future travels.
- OngZanzibar to Gorillas4.0 - GoodWritten on September 17, 2019A very different experience! If you are looking for luxury, this is not for you! We had a wonderful guide Martin and the driver Steve who were really good cooks…Read moreAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewThank you for taking the time to leave your review. That's great to hear that you really enjoyed your tour. We will pass your comments to your crew and thank you too for the fabulous photos you've posted!
- KDKylieNorthern Star3.5 - GoodWritten on September 14, 2019I have mixed feelings about this tour. I loved the overlanding and camping aspect, and parts of the itinerary were really well executed. But if I were to do thi…Read moreAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewThank you for taking the time to leave your review, Kylie. We are disappointed to hear you feel we haven’t been transparent with our costing, as this is something we do pride ourselves on. We’ve taken a lot of time over the years to prepare detailed pre departure packs specific to each tour we offer and this includes a wealth of information such as suggested vaccinations, budgeting advice, lists and prices of all optional excursions. We also include the number of days that are included camping with the truck in the Money and Budgeting section, and also make it clear here that personal spending money is calculated to cover those times when you don’t eat and sleep on the truck. This document is sent out upon booking and we can see you received this after your booking came through from Tour Radar. With regard to Yellow Fever and other vaccinations, we do always recommend you seek the advice of a travel health professional when doing your trip planning as they should have the most up to date information as to what is necessary world wide. However, Yellow Fever does top the list of our “Suggested Immunisations” in the Health section of the information pack we send out and so we are surprised you only noticed this in the final letter which is just designed to go over important points and to confirm pre tour accommodation and transfer bookings. Zambia is considered a country “at risk” of yellow fever and so other countries you travel to afterwards may well ask for a vaccination or exemption certificate. We are sorry that you were not aware that the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater tour had to be paid in USD cash - again we do emphasise in the initial pre departure information that the majority of optional activities are payable in USD cash and we also recommend that clients take a considerable amount of USD cash with them to cover visas, local payment and optional activities. On the matter of your crew, we are concerned by your feedback regarding your tour leader for the last section of your trip and will be talking to him in this regard for further information. All staff have undergone thorough training and the tour leader has been in our employment for a number of years, so we are unsure of why he was not clear on the itinerary. Please be assured we will be following this up. The need to change your crew was partly due to a new regulation that Namibia has just introduced regarding work permits. We do ensure our crew have the correct visas where necessary, but immigration departments can and do change their rules with very little warning and unfortunately this impacted on your trip, as we needed to reallocate crew so that all trips could continue on their routes. We understand that it can be disrupting to have a change to your crew and we always try to keep this to a minimum. We do though have to be flexible and accommodating when it comes to working with the authorities and keeping trips running smoothly. Absolute does brand itself as an affordable overland company, but it is important to note that all overland companies operate within the same framework. The background of overlanding is that you work as part of a team with your co-travellers and the crew to create your own journey through a number of countries. As well as having key highlights included in the tour price, additional optional activities are an aspect of all overlanding trips - whether “budget” or more upmarket - and this allows individuals to pick and choose from the highlights they are most interested in. It also means that more money from travellers is put straight back into the local economy and to those working on the ground in Africa. We are glad to hear that you did enjoy the overlanding and camping aspects of your tour of this fascinating continent and trust that Africa has given you some great memories to take away.
- KathyMaasai and Migration5.0 - ExcellentWritten on August 6, 2019Perfect, perfect, perfect in every way - superb and everything I imagined and then some .....already planning my next trip with Absolute Africa. Excellent custo…Read moreAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewHi Kathy, thank you very much for your review, we are happy to hear you had such a great time and look forward to welcoming you back on one of our trips soon!
- MargotKenya & Tanzania4.0 - GoodWritten on August 3, 2019Martin and Joseph our cook made the first week of the trip very memorable because of the great leadership good spirit and great food they providedAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewThank you for your comments, Margot, and very glad to hear that you enjoyed your tour with us :)
- EmilyGorillas and Game Parks4.5 - ExcellentWritten on August 1, 2019Well organised, fantastic trip of a lifetime! We had the best crew with Nash as guide and Steve as driver. Both so helpful, attentive, we felt safe, had so much…Read moreAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewThanks you for leaving a review of your tour, Emily! And great to hear you had such a wonderful time. We will pass on your comments to Nash and Steve for you too :)
- KatharimaA Week In Gorilla Lands2.5 - AverageWritten on July 10, 2019When we booked our tour it stated on the website that there would be a maximum of 16 people joining the trip, so we were surprised to find ourselves in a group …Read moreAbsolute Africa commented on this reviewHi Katharina, Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback on your tour and great to hear you really enjoyed your gorilla trek! We are sorry to hear you were surprised by the number of people on your tour as we do always aim to be very transparent and the Week in Gorilla Lands page on the Tour Radar website does state Max Group Size as 28. In the same way, we specifically detail in the predeparture information you receive upon booking that our overland safaris are comprised of components and you will find other travellers on the truck that will just travel with us to see the gorillas, as well as others who joined earlier to spend time by the White Nile or in Kenya and others who will stay on to travel into Tanzania and further afield. By operating in this way we can guarantee that we will never cancel a trip for our clients due to lower numbers as it will always be necessary for the truck to travel the full route. It also enables friends and family members who can't always commit the same amount of time or money to their trip, to travel together for a section of the tour. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed the camping which makes up the majority of the accommodation on this tour. The dorm accommodation in Kisoro is in a local guesthouse where standards are not the same as in the west and options are limited, although we find our clients are usually very happy based here whilst they explore the local town and partake in the exciting activities in the area. In light of your comments though, we will address your concerns with the guesthouse managers. In terms of food, we are able to cater to all dietary types but do point out in our tour information packs that it is often difficult to access a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on the road as these are seasonal, as well as fresh meat which can be hard to source, and the diversity we are exposed to in the west is just not available in the areas through which we travel. The tour leader will always listen to clients' preferences and try their best to provide varied and interesting meals for the duration of the tour. Thank you again for your comments.
- VickiSouthern Explorer5.0 - ExcellentWritten on June 3, 2019Just one word: Fabulous!Absolute Africa commented on this reviewThank you for leaving a review, Vicki. We are glad to hear you thoroughly enjoyed your time in southern Africa :)
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Questions & Answers
Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions.
Why choose Absolute Africa for your Kilimanjaro Trek?
At 5,895 metres Kilimanjaro is a really exciting venture and for Absolute’s climbs our team is led by our chief guide, Samson Lauwo. Samson is the grandson of the famous Kinyala ' Mzee Lauwo'' who led Hans Mayer, the first European to summit in Kilimanjaro in 1889, so we bring a proud history, dedication and great amount of experience to your trek. This is our own local Tanzanian team, organised and overseen by Samson and our Tanzanian sister company based in Arusha, Tanzania, who arrange treks solely for Absolute Africa
Having our own team we can easily make arrangements at short notice and catering to specific requirements. We have a range of routes from which to choose with the actual typical trekking time varying in length from 6 to 8 days. The routes vary in difficulty, comfort and in regards to the amenities available, as well as the scenery through which we trek.
Are your departures guaranteed?
All of the published departures are guaranteed and there is no minimum passenger number required in order for the tour to go ahead, so you can feel safe to go ahead with flight bookings and other travel arrangements when booking with Absolute Africa.
When is the best time to go?
Any time of year you are guaranteed to have the time of your life travelling in Africa. However it is worth knowing what sort of weather to expect and what you are more likely to see at certain times of the year.
East Africa has two rainy seasons - long rains from mid March through to the end of May and a short rains in November/December characterised by brief showers. East Africa doesn't have a summer or winter. That being said, the hottest months in East Africa are from December to March. June to August can get cooler, particularly at altitude.
Zanzibar's weather is similar to the mainland. Water temperatures average around 27 degrees all year. For water clarity July through to November, and January to April are usually best. The western side of the island particularly is well protected, making diving enjoyable for most of the year.
Kilimanjaro creates its own weather. Mid January through to mid March can have superb conditions with little cloud prior to the arrival of the rains. From there there is an increased chance of rain, snow and a lot of cloud. From mid June the rains ease and visibility improves whilst it is very cold. Temperatures remain very cold through to the end of August. Temperatures improve again September to October and this is the driest time on the mountain, making for very good conditions trekking during this time. From mid October through to the end of December there can be rain, temperatures dropping on the mountain with the risk of snow from November onwards, through December.
The rains come during the hot summer months from November to March in much of southern Africa, often experienced as afternoon thunderstorms making for spectacular skies. Cape Town and the Western Cape have a separate pattern with winter rains from June to August, and the Eastern Cape and along the Garden route receive rains on a lot less predictable pattern.
Winter is from May to September. This is prime time for safaris with animals congregating around water holes, making them easier to spot as it is dry season.
Remember weather in Africa, as everywhere, can never be guaranteed. Each country and regions within countries has its own variables as well. The above is provided as a general guide. Note weather can always surprise so be prepared for anything!
Why choose Absolute Africa?
We offer a wealth of experience, having a long history of over 35 years operations on the Continent, with an office in both the UK and Africa. We also have our own workshop and fleet of 10 overland trucks in Arusha, Tanzania, and our knowledgeable, experienced staff and crew will support and back you up all the way. Focusing solely on Africa we are able to offer some original routes on what is a well-carved overland trail, and we are able to do so at very affordable prices.
Knowing you are travelling with a company that has a reliable overland fleet, plus the experience and knowledge-base to deliver all the great highlights - the wildlife, culture, landscapes and fun adventure activities that bring clients to Africa - is essential.
What are the trucks like?
Our trucks are specialised overland adventure trucks which are serviced and maintained in our own workshop in Arusha, Tanzania. They have all the essential features needed to maximise your viewing from the truck, as well as your comfort and security. Truck features include: forward facing coach seats with head rests and seat belts; large viewing spaces for unimpeded panoramic views from the side and front of the truck; an on-board fridge; resource library; personal lockup for your valuables, easily accessible under your seat; fire extinguisher & First Aid kit; and charge points, including UK power sockets to charge your camera and other electrical items, plus additional 12V sockets.
The trucks are also equipped with an all-weather awning, a kitchen area with gas cooker and BBQ grill, trestle tables, camping stools and outside lighting. There are lockers to store your main backpack, tents and the high-density roll mats we provide.
Do I need to get visas prior to going?
Most visas are easily obtained while on tour and are payable on the borders in USD cash, so it is not necessary to get them prior to your trip. This advice applies to most passports including Australians, New Zealanders, British, US, Canadian and most European passport holders.
Feel free to check with us if you are unsure about the visa requirements for your particular passport.