Absolute Africa

DanielaLeSueur“My husband and are did the 23 day safari around lake Victoria and absolutely loved it. Definitely best value and liked that we were in charge of what we ate instead of being given premade meals like some other tours. Wycliffe, our tour guide, and our driv...“

Absolute Africa

Absolute Africa

4.6/5 - Excellent
Headquarters in Waters Upton, Telford, England
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Absolute Africa Guides

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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.

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145 Absolute Africa Reviews

Rather Poor
4.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
Value for money
5 / 5
5 / 5
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  • LC
    Maasai and Migration (Reverse)
    4.5 - Excellent
    Written on November 25, 2018
    Well organized tour.
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thanks for your feedback Leticia!
  • QY
    The Southern Safari
    3.5 - Good
    Written on November 25, 2018
    I did the 52 day Southern Safari trip with Absolute Africa traveling from Nairobi to Cape Town. Highlights include rafting along the Zambezi river, Spitzkoppe a…
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    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you for leaving your feedback. We are glad to hear that overall you had an enjoyable tour and got to see all the fantastic wildlife and more that you would hope to see in Africa. At the same time we are disappointed to read your assessment of aspects of your tour and experience overall. The staff of Absolute Africa are a small team that do all work around the clock endeavouring to deliver tours that enable our clients to enjoy and appreciate all the wonderful highlights on the overland route in Africa. In regard to Martin, your tour leader, he has been working for us for a long time. We know that he does care very much about how his trips go and that each client gets the very most from their trip. He can bring a lot to a trip having such an extensive knowledge and experience developed over years. We know that during your tour he was endeavouring to work through some issues arising with the group dynamics on tour, and he was doing what he could to encourage teamwork and good relations. Staff were also looking to support him with this as well. Tour leading though is a very demanding job and we are concerned where his manners and demeanour on tour may not have been as a mature professional tour leader should be. Where Martin’s actions didn’t reflect the caring professional tour leader he can be, this is a real disappointment, and we are looking at how this came about and where we can learn lessons. We continually need to assess how our team are supporting each other to ensure all are able to work to their best ability at all times and to help each other as much as we all can to meet the challenges that arise on tour. You also mentioned your issues with some optionals. We provide a list of optional activities in the pre departure information and depending on the length of the tour the list usually provides a good number of choices. The same list is on display in the vehicles tour after tour. As explained with each list, the lists are a guide only, there being many reasons why an excursion may not be available or have changed. We endeavour to keep our information as up to date as possible. Particularly in regard to the core big highlights as well as the pricing we know accuracy is very important for our travellers to really enjoy their trips. Given the number of options that are available en route and the very changeable nature of the places that we visit it is though always a challenge to stay up to date with every option that can arise. To this end we receive reports back from each trip and are in constant contact with each trip as it progresses as well as maintaining regular contact with our operators.That being said, we are looking at instances where there has been some mixed/conflicting information about optionals and/or a serious lag in information coming through or information being assessed after the office receives it, resulting in some changes having slipped through unnoticed. Clearly then we need to work harder to keep communication lines open with operators, and ensure crew and office staff get the time needed to provide detailed feedback after the tours, as well as time to accurately inform clients where changes have occurred where possible. And we do apologise if there was an activity you were considering doing that was not available on your tour. We appreciate this would be disappointing. As mentioned also we are making itinerary changes for 2019. Currently exploratory visits are being conducted to alternative destinations including to replace the visit to Antelope Park. Changes involve taking a fresh look at different aspects of overlanding, with itinerary adjustments being made in direct response to feedback we receive from our clients. These reflect our commitment to creating itineraries that allow clients to get the very most from their tour in Africa. We are sorry if our last email was wanting and if you felt we weren’t wanting to be accountable following your feedback email at the end of the tour. We did attempt to speak to you by phone several times last week, leaving messages to invite you to come back to us to discuss your concerns directly. We do take our obligations as an African tour operator very seriously and wanted to take the time to discuss with you the elements of the tour you were unhappy with in person rather than via emails. Please feel free to get back to us if you would like us to follow up with a call about any aspect of your tour.
  • GA
    Maasai and Migration
    5.0 - Excellent
    Written on October 29, 2018
    It was fantastic! Highly recommended for people who loves some adventure
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thanks for your feedback Glenn! Hopefully we can take you on another tour sometime Kind regards, Absolute Africa
  • RK
    Maasai and Migration
    4.0 - Good
    Written on October 2, 2018
    Overall a very well organized tour and excellent, experienced guides. Room for improvement at the Ngorongoro/Serengeti tour as this is lead by a different opera…
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    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you for your review Rene. It’s great to hear you had a good time on your tour. We have had discussions with the local operator about your Serengeti tour. Sadly your game drive time was unfortunately cut short due to some poor management decisions over the period of your safari. The local operator we use in the Serengeti is usually very good and well respected. Usually everyone is very happy with their services. We have informed them of your comments and emphasised the need for better servicing and organisation to ensure such shouldn't happen again. We know the operator is looking at all appropriate actions to ensure such is the case. Thanks again for your feedback and we hope to see you on another one of our tours in the future.
  •  reviewer 5
    African Drums
    5.0 - Excellent
    Written on September 30, 2018
    I was on a solo travel adventure for 8 month and this 56 day african drums tour was the absolute highlight of my time away. First things first... my guide Pete …
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    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you, Amber, for leaving a review of your African Drums tour. Pete and Mugo will love to hear your comments and we are really glad that you had such a good time. If you ever fancy another trip with us, Kenya will be waiting for you!
  • A
    African Adventurer
    1.5 - Rather poor
    Written on September 23, 2018
    It was obvious on my tour that Absolute Africa cares very little for Africa. This tour rarely involved local experiences- not because it was a group tour but be…
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  • D
    East Africa Encounter
    5.0 - Excellent
    Written on September 12, 2018
    My husband and are did the 23 day safari around lake Victoria and absolutely loved it. Definitely best value and liked that we were in charge of what we ate ins…
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  • JA
    The Absolute Safari
    4.5 - Excellent
    Written on September 10, 2018
    Fantastic tour with lots of activities included. Very nice and helpful crew all the from Nairobi to Johannesburg. It´s definitely worth the money all the way th…
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    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you for taking the time to review your tour with us, Jonas, and we are glad to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your adventure! Happy future travels :)
  •  reviewer 9
    Kenya & Tanzania
    3.0 - Average
    Written on September 1, 2018
    Overall, I was pretty happy with the trip, I saw all the things that I wanted to including trekking gorillas and see the big five as well as five hunting cheeta…
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    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Hi Stine, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip overall and saw all the fantastic wildlife for which Africa is so famous. Our tours do cover a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time in order to get our groups to the key highlights in a region, which are often a fair distance apart. As you mention, drive times can really vary depending on road conditions, time spent at border crossings etc, and so they are only given as a general guide. We appreciate the frustration that is caused when there is a big discrepancy between the estimates and reality. There have been some quite significant changes recently partly due to visa changes, new road laws, and some roads being in very poor condition or dotted with seemingly endless road works. On the rare times that delays do actually upset excursions and/or tour highlights we always look to ensure arrangements are shifted so you can still get to do what you came to Africa to do. And where there have been consistent changes for some period of time we update our estimates as quickly as we can. As is the nature and tradition of overlanding, our tours are made up of components. Many of our customers find this format particularly useful as they are able to pick and choose the highlights and options they want to see and just do that section if they don’t have time to do the full route. It is also helpful for many of our passengers who want to travel with friends or family but who have different periods of leave from work or have separate commitments, so they can choose to do shorter or longer tours but both travel together on one truck. A further bonus is that we are able to guarantee to all of our customers that their tour will not be cancelled regardless of the numbers booked, unlike some other travel companies. In general we find in our feedback from passengers that the mix of nationalities and personalities joining throughout a tour is very much considered a positive part of the experience. Our tour leaders are usually very adept at introducing newcomers to the group and organising rostas and groups for cooking and cleaning often really helps to integrate those joining later on in the trip. With regard to extra activities, we have over time developed relationships with certain local operators who we feel offer the best activity options, taking into account safety and security as well as value for money. It may not always be the cheapest operator, but we feel that the safety of our clients is paramount and so we do tend to encourage our groups to do activities with the companies we feel we have “vetted” to a certain point, rather than go with a company of which we have no concrete information regarding their operation. In the rare event there was ever an issue with any activity we are able to step in and assist if this occurs with our known operator due to our close working relationship. If other operators are used, our ability to intervene and assist is limited. Our tour leaders do aim to give as much information as possible during your tour but we would always say that if there are ever any points that are unclear, please do speak to your tour leader as first port of call. We will also speak to your crew to ensure that they understand the importance of keeping everyone fully informed of the activities day to day. The Serengeti campsite is the only campsite available to us in the park and all the overlanding companies use this site so, particularly in high season when you travelled, it can become busy. We don’t have another option to camp within the park and as this is a public campsite, the numbers staying here are unfortunately out of our control. There are no trucks with 50% backward facing seats in our fleet. Where there are seats facing reverse they create social areas which are usually very popular so clients can chat to each other and use the tables for cards, use laptops etc. In general the trucks are very large and open and it is very rare that anyone suffers from motion sickness. Where they do we ask that you let us know so we can prioritise your seating arrangements. Overlanding itself is advantageous in that you see day to day life as you travel - not solely the key highlights listed on the itinerary but the ordinary, everyday goings on by the side of the road. Travel is fluid as you see one country become another rather than flying from one point to another. Overlanding is not a style of travel for everyone and as with any group travel, there is a need to be flexible and open minded to the fact that there will be people from all walks of life travelling together. Having said that, we do not run party tours and the majority of people who travel with us are in Africa to experience the amazing wildlife, scenery and culture, similar to the independent travellers, albeit with the security and convenience of a travel group. We work hard to create itineraries which allow you to see the main highlights at a reasonable pace and also allow some time to absorb local life and enjoy cultural experiences. We hope that you will take with you many great memories of your time in Africa and best wishes for your future travels.
  • BC
    Rainforests and Reefs
    3.5 - Good
    Written on August 6, 2018
    The itinerary covered an interesting variety of places and activities, but 1 or 2 days longer would be better, to shorten the long driving days. It was frustrat…
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    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are glad to hear you enjoyed the selection of highlights and options on your Rainforests and Reefs tour. The itinerary on this tour takes you from the forest home of the mountain gorillas, through Rwanda and the city of Kigali, before heading through rural Tanzania including the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater; then heading to the Indian Ocean coast and Zanzibar. This 17 day itinerary does suit many of our customers and there are inevitable long drive days required to link up the key places on this trip. There are also not many options for accommodation in the rural sections of this trip and so however long we made the trip, there would still be the need to have some long drives in certain sections. That being the case some of the camps we use are still quite basic as you experienced, and occasionally there can be power cuts or lack of water especially in remote areas like Kisoro. The roads too can present issues at times on an overland trip of this nature. Whilst our crew are experienced and well trained in mechanics, and the trucks are purpose built and always checked and maintained at our workshop prior to heading out on a trip, there will be unavoidable times when issues arise due to the poor road conditions on parts of the route, which are often off the beaten track, such as where your truck was in the Serengeti. At those times, we aways aim to resolve the issue as soon as possible in order to continue with the itinerary with as little interruption as possible, and on this trip we were able to provide a replacement truck as soon as your group came out of the parks to ensure there would be no further issues experienced on your trip. Thank you again for leaving your review and we will be sure to pass on your comments to Patrick and Nash who are always very pleased to hear of positive feedback from their passengers.

About Absolute Africa

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.

Absolute Africa Guides

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Questions & Answers

Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions.

  • Is my departure guaranteed?

    All our 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 us.

    Can you help with travel and accommodation arrangements before and after the tour?
    We can book airport transfers and accommodation for you both before and after the tour. This is booked in advance by us with trusted, reliable operators whom we regularly use and is then payable out in Africa direct to the local operator. There is no extra charge by booking through us, it just helps in making your trip planning easier!

  • 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.

    Southern Africa
    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.