WHY CHOOSE DRAGOMAN?
Experience, quality, range, award winners, sustainable tourism, independently owned, responsible tourism... read more at the why choose Dragoman page.
I'VE NEVER CAMPED BEFORE, IS THIS FOR ME?
It doesn't matter if you've never been camping before, what's more important is your attitude. On some of our overland tours you'll be camping pretty much every night, on others there are just a few nights camping out, with the rest of the time spent staying in local guest houses, hostels and hotels. Check out the detailed accommodation information for the trip you're interested in to see how many nights you'll spend under canvas. Each trip also has a comfort rating, you can use this to pick the trip that best suits what you are looking for. Our overland trucks come fully equipped with sturdy tents that are easy to erect, and your crew will help you out and show you how to put them up. The only thing you'll need to bring along is a sleeping bagand ground mat.
WILL YOUR TRIPS SUIT ME?
We want you to enjoy your trip to the fullest extent possible, so we ask you to take a moment to read through the following information and make sure you’re fully aware of the kind of trip you will be joining.
Dragoman trips and adventure travel in general can be quite demanding and there are risks and hazards that are inherent in such trips. Long driving days can sometimes be uncomfortable and tiring. Many of the places we visit are off the beaten track and so do not have the infrastructure that we are accustomed to in western society. Accommodation can vary greatly in standards and when wild camping on an Overland trip we rely entirely on our own provisions.
You will have the opportunity to take part in many exciting activities and excursions, some of which are included whilst others are optional (i.e. Hiking The Inca Trail, trekking to see Mountain Gorillas) these require a certain level of fitness, so it’s important that you read through the trip notes thoroughly and make your own conclusions as to whether you feel that you are fit and healthy enough to enjoy this trip to its fullest. Some activities may have higher risks than you are used to and you must judge whether or not you wish to, or have the physical ability to take part.
All travellers are also required to carry their own bag and lift it into storage areas, get on and off public transport or if on an Overland trip - be able to manage the 2 foot step on and off the Overland truck.
Weather conditions in certain areas can also make physical activity more challenging. This also applies to our trips that travel at altitude.
It is extremely rare for us to have to refuse anyone a space on our trips for medical reasons. However, for the benefit of yourself and your fellow travellers, it is vital that you inform us about any pre-existing medical conditions that you have and any medication that you’re currently taking so in the unlikely event of a medical emergency we’ll be able to provide you with as much assistance as possible.
Whilst we don’t want to put anyone off experiencing one of our trips, we ask that you read through the trip notes for the trip you have selected carefully and realistically self assess your ability to complete the trip as described.
Please consult with your doctor and/or us if you have any doubts.
A positive attitude and an open mind is just as important as your ability to get involved and fully participate on your group trip.
PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS & FITNESS/ABILITY
Make sure you declare any pre existing medical conditions for yourself, others travelling with you or anyone else who will affect your travel plans, to your travel insurance company when you purchase the policy. Failure to do so may invalidate your insurance of any associated claim. (Your declaration should include anyone whose illness or death will mean you having to cancel or curtail your trip).
All our trips require some level of active participation from all group members, particularly on our Overlanding trips where it is a case of what you put in, you get out.
Please be aware that should you not be sufficiently, fit, healthy or able to participate in your trip we may have to request that you leave the trip. Please see the Terms and Conditions for further details.
To make sure you choose a trip that meets your fitness levels please make sure you look carefully at the Comfort and Adventure ratings on our trips and make your choice accordingly. If you have any questions about your ability to travel on the trip please discuss it with your sales agent before booking. At the time of booking or before your departure we request that details of any medical condition that may affect you on your trip be provided to us in full. Please see the Terms and Conditions.
If your trip travels to altitude (as stated on the trip notes) please make sure you read the advice concerning high altitude and if you have any doubts make sure you consult a medical professional for advice.
PRICING & WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY?
All prices in the brochure are correct at the time of printing, but may vary during the year. Up to date prices can be found on the website.
Prices shown in this brochure are based on a per person basis, based on shared accommodation where applicable.
Many of our trips involve two payments:
1. Trip Price which is payable to Dragoman or your Travel Agent before departure
2. Kitty payment which is payable to your Tour Leader when you join your trip. Please note on a combination trip where your trip is made up of several trips, you will need to pay the kitty in installments.
What is a kitty?
The kitty is a group fund, paid separately from the trip price at the start of your trip, which covers all things that the whole group does, such as:
- Hotel accommodation and campsite fees
- Meals whilst camping (not in hotels)
- Activities listed as included (e.g. National Park entrances, excursions and local guides).
Each passenger pays into a central fund, monitored by the Dragoman crew. It’s payable in full at the start of your trip, and in instalments at the start of each individual trip on combination trips
The kitty system is very unique to overlanding to provide maximum flexibility and best value on the road. You can see exactly what is being paid for, you get everything at cost price, it keeps costs competitive buying as a group and saves on administrative costs.
Kitty prices are estimated in USD when we print the brochure then reviewed monthly because local costs and exchange rates vary throughout the year. It's therefore important once you book your trip you check the website regularly and just before departure for any changes to the amount.
Your kitty can be paid in a mixture of US Dollar cash and local currency. Most travellers choose to bring a cash passport (www.cashpassport.com) with them for withdrawing local currency, as it's very secure, working like an ATM card drawing out local currency from ATMs within each country you travel. Please note we no longer accept Travellers Cheques on our trips, because our passengers and leaders have found it increasingly difficult to find banks which change change them throughout the world.
HOW DO I BOOK AN OPTIONAL ACTIVITY?
In the brochure, trip notes and on the website we give an indication of optional activities that you may wish to do whilst on your trip. These activities can be arranged whilst you are on your trip and the Dragoman crew may be able to assist you in arranging these. All payments for these activities are made whilst you are overseas, usually directly with the activity supplier.
Optional activities mentioned by Dragoman but not included in the trip price do not form part of your contract with Dragoman. As such you accept that any assistance given by Dragoman crew members or local representatives in arranging optional activities does not render us liable for them in any way. The Dragoman crew are assisting you in arranging these activities for your added enjoyment whilst on your trip.
This is up to you! It depends on how many extra activities you want to do. All hotel food, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, taxis and restaurants are part of your personal spending. You may also want to include some money for local tips. Good local guides and crew members can transform your trip experience from just good to exceptional and where this is the case a tip (even a modest one!) is always hugely appreciated.
A rough spending guide is included in the ‘trip notes’ on the website.
ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?
No, you will need to allow for flights. If you are based in the UK or Europe our sales team can also help you with booking your flights. For a quote you can phone or email our reservation team.
By booking your flight with Dragoman you will have support in the case of problems with your flight, there is also the added protection of our ATOL bonding… think ash cloud and strikes! In the UK Dragoman have access to some excellent fares with many different airlines to all continents. Please contact our sales team for a quote.
If you choose to book your flights independently, please bear in mind that by its very nature adventure travel on occasions needs to be flexible. Should we have to change the itinerary or cancel a trip you may need to amend or cancel your flights, therefore we strongly recommend that you check the charges for making amendments to your flights. We regret that we cannot accept liability for your connecting travel arrangements in the event of changes or cancellation to our trip.
WHO ELSE WILL BE ON MY TRIP?
At Dragoman you can find fellow passengers from all backgrounds, nationalities, and of all ages too. A good way to see who else is on your trip is to join our community at our website 'Dragoland'. If you call our sales team we can tell you the mix of sexes and ages on any tours your are interested in.
SOME TRIPS HAVE RTHE GUARANTEED SYMBOL BUT OTHERS DON'T. WHY AREN'T ALL TRIPS GUARANTEED?
We offer guarantees on a number of our most popular trips so that as a passenger you can be sure that if you book a seat on the truck we can guarantee you that your trip will run (so long as there are 4 people booked on the trip).
At Dragoman we're a caring responsible bunch and that counts for the environment as a whole just as much as the places we travel through. Due to our commitment to responsible tourism we won't run trips with less than 4 people booked on, even guaranteed trips. We try to run trips with full trucks rather than ones with empty seats this helps us be kind to the environment.
If you are booked on a trip that needs to be cancelled our reservations team will get in touch with you and try to find an alternative date/trip that suits you.
CAN I TALK TO OTHER TRAVELLERS BEFORE I BOOK OR TRAVEL?
Yes. We have a community area called Dragoland where you can You can ask questions about trips and talk with potential passengers of your next Drago trip or just share travel stories and information with loads of like minded travellers just like yourself. You can always use our Facebook group to see what others are saying or post your own questions.
WHOSE TRAVEL ADVICE DO YOU ACT ON?
THE UK FOREIGN OFFICE'S TRAVEL ADVICE
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) www.fco.gov.uk/travel provides destinational travel advice for UK nationals. Dragoman monitors the advice from the FCO and any decisions taken regarding a trips safety and security will use the vast experience of the company’s 30 years of operating as well as the FCO advice.
We strongly recommend that you read the information about the country you are planning to visit – each country has a summary and general information as well as advice on safety & security, local laws & customs, entry requirements and health.
If you are not a UK national please make sure you have checked your own country’s travel advice for your destination(s).
DO I NEED TO GET VACCINATIONS? & WHAT ABOUT MALARIA?
Recommended vaccinationsand other health protection measures vary according to region and recent bulletins issued by health authorities. It’s essential to get the latest advice on the region(s) you’re planning to travel in, and that you check with either your doctor or a travel clinic in good time before you leave. As a tour operator we’re unable to give medical advice so refer you instead to either the World Health Organisation www.who.int or National Travel Health Network & Centre www.nathnac.org for further details or to contact a professional medical travel clinic.
We’ve been working with Nomad Travel in the UK for years, and Dragoman customers are entitled to 10% off all Nomad vaccinations at any Nomad Travel Clinic as well as 15% off kit and equipment purchased at Nomad online or instore. Their website also has comprehensive, up to date vaccination and health information.
WHAT FIRST AID EQUIPMENT AND HELP IS THERE?
All of our trucks are equipped with a first aid kit which is stocked with everything you are likely to need on the road. Our crew have all completed a first aid course and are able to help when necessary. We recommend that you bring your own first aid kit and use the group kit if you are short of something. If you do need to use something from the group kit we do ask for it to be replaced. As a reminder you should also bring any personal medication you require for the whole duration of the trip.
WHAT VISAS DO I NEED?
Most countries we visit on our travels will require visas. Some are best obtained before you leave home and others can be obtained en-route. Whilst the ultimate responsibility for obtaining visas is yours, we will endeavour to assist you wherever possible.
The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. The information provided is given in good faith and we do try to keep the visa information as up to date as possible. Please be aware though that rules do change, often without prior warning, which is why it is important that you check for yourself.
For visas that are needed in advance you can choose to submit the applications directly to the relevant embassy /consulate. However our recommendation is that you use a visa agent to assist you with your applications. While this does increase the cost it will make the process much easier for you. Dragoman have teamed up with ‘The Visa Machine’ to create a safe, secure, hassle-free way of obtaining visas and visa advice. Our unique link within their website is designed to make the visa process as straightforward as possible. Simply go to https://dragoman.thevisamachine.com and click on your region of travel followed by your trip route and ‘The Visa Machine’ will advise you about not only the required visas but also the dates by which you should apply. ‘The Visa Machine’ can then assist you in the actual visa application thus taking all the worry and hassle out of the process. This should apply for ALL nationalities and countries of residence.
As you will need to submit your passport together with your applications, we recommend that you avoid making any travel plans in the weeks leading up to your departure. However if you do need to travel in this period please let us know as soon as possible so that we can help you work out the options for your visa application process.
If you book a tour with Dragoman that requires invitation letters we will supply these at no extra cost.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
It is a condition of booking that you have comprehensive travel insurance. Without evidence of valid travel insurance you will not be allowed to start the trip.
We can arrange insurance for travellers from the UK, please call us on +44(0)1728 861133 for a price. People from countries other than the UK will need to arrange your own insurance with other providers.
See our Worldwide Travel Insurance sample certificate for both Annual Multi Trip and Single Trip travel: Dragoman_Travel_Insurance_Policy_2012.pdf
Whatever policy you choose, you must ensure that it is designed for adventure/overland travel. As such it must cover you for adventure activities such as white water rafting, trekking, horse-riding and that the 24 Hour Emergency Assistance Company must be experienced in handling situations in developing countries – for example they have the ability to arrange repatriation from remote areas such as the Sahara or if you were trekking in the Andes. Please double check if you have annual travel and/or credit card policies to ensure they have the cover you require, as many of these policies are not able to cope with adventure travel to remote areas. We recommend that any policy has the following minimum levels of cover: Medical (incl. repatriation) £5,000,000 Personal Liability £2,000,000 Cancellation and Curtailment £5,000 Loss of Baggage, personal effects, money and other inclusions are down to personal choice.
WILL I HAVE 'FREE' TIME WHILST ON TOUR?
Yes, our trips are designed to give you the best of both worlds and combine organised activities, with enough free time to take in your surroundings. Trips can at times be intense, action packed, adventures which keep you busy. There is a balance with free time to wander the streets of a city, enjoy time at stunning remote beaches, take in a beautiful view...
I ONLY HAVE A SUITCASE, DO I NEED A RUCKSACK?
Although you will not have to carry your main bag long distances you will need to help load and unload them onto the truck. For this reason we recommend that you use a backpack or soft bag rather than a heavy suitcase. During your trip your main luggage will be kept in the back locker so you will also need a small daypack. This can be used to carry your camera, water bottle and other personal effects for daily use.
The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. Different trucks have different-sized lockers however to be safe we recommend that your bag be no larger than 66cm deep, 30cm wide, and 30cm high. The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. Backpacks should not have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.
Your clothes and equipment should be appropriate for the conditions you are travelling in. On overland trips Dragoman will provide all camping equipment apart from sleeping bags and ground mats (except on routes between Nairobi and Cape Town where ground mats are provided).
For a comprehensive kit lists take a look at the Dragoman kit list that Nomad Travel have created. Dragoman customers will receive a 15% discount on all equipment purchased either online or in store. Click to see the kit lists nomadtravel.co.uk/pages/dragoman
I HAVE SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS, IS THIS A PROBLEM?
You will need to inform us of your dietary requirements and any allergies when you book (add this in the medical conditions box), there will generally always be a vegetarian option available. Your group will be divided into smaller cook groups who will cook for everyone on a rota basis. If you are vegetarian and do not wish to handle meat you will need to be in a group where there are others that are happy to do this. In East and Southern Africa there is a camp master in charge of the cooking and the group will help with preparation and shopping etc. If you have a specific allergy or intolerance and are concerned that suitable foodstuffs may not be available en-route please bring these along with you.
WHAT CHARGING FACILITIES WILL BE AVAILABLE?
Our trucks vary and some will have charging facilities for the group to use, worse case scenario there is a 12v cigarette lighter on the truck which will be available to you. Please be aware that this will need to be used by all of the group so many of our passengers find “solar monkey” type chargers helpful. There will be charging facilities at campsites and hotels.
ACCOMMODATION: WILL I HAVE TO SHARE?
Dragoman trips are run on a shared accommodation basis, from the first night at your joining hotel, to the nights under canvas camping you will be sharing with another traveller. If you are a single traveller you will be paired with a person of the same sex. Depending on the area and the style of trip you are on it will be ‘rougher’ on trips with a lot of camping and bush camps (such as some Africa trips), but more comfortable on trips where there are more hotels used on trip (such as some South American trips). The trip overview page and your trip notes give you a break down of the amount of camping and hotel stays there are on each trip and the level of comfort and physical challenge you can expect on trip. Your trip notes have details of the accommodation used day by day on your trip and give an indication of the standard of the Hotel. Read more about Trip Ratings here.
HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
Everyone spends different amounts depending on how many souvenirs you buy, or how much you like to spend at a bar or cafe. However a good rule of thumb is around 10 – 15 USD per day. Once you're on the road on a Dragoman trip you will find that you won’t need much money and many things are already included in your kitty (such as: food when cooking on the truck, accommodation, some activities, etc.).
Should you want to get money out on the road you’ll find that ATM’s are available in most countries en-route but do read your trip notes thoroughly as it does vary in the best ways to get money for each country. Travellers Cheques are one way to get money but not all banks exchange them and when they do it is often not at a particularly good exchange rate.
CAN I TRAVEL ON MY OWN IF I'M UNDER 18?
Sorry, but to travel on your own you have to be 18 years old on the day you start to travel with us.
WHAT KIT DO I NEED TO BRING?
Your clothes and equipment should be appropriate for the conditions you’ll be travelling in, which will vary depending on which part of the world you're heading to, and when. Dragoman will provide all camping equipment though you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bags and ground mats (except on our “In Depth” overland trips in Southern & Eastern Africa between Nairobi and Cape Town, which have ground mats already provided). Think about the climate and altitude of the areas you'll be travelling to, there's nothing worse than being cold at night so it's worth investing in a decent sleeping bag if it's likely to get cold. And remember even when it's warm during the day, it can often get cold at night, particularly in desert regions.
We’ve been working with Nomad Travel in the UK for years, and Dragoman customers are entitled 15% off kit and equipment purchased at Nomad online or instore as well as 10% off all Nomad vaccinations at any Nomad Travel Clinic.
Nomad’s website includes their comprehensive overlanding kit list (as well as comprehensive, up to date vaccinations and health information) but here’s what we recommend as a guide:
- Sleeping bag - Check the expected climate en route. Nights in desert and mountain regions can be very cold in winter months
- Mattress or compressed foam
- A day pack is useful for short hikes in the countryside, wandering around cities, etc and also for keeping inside the vehicle for items used during the day
- 2 sets of comfortable travelling clothes (light, easily washable cotton clothes are best)
- 1 set of casual but smart clothes for evenings out. Women should bring a skirt that covers their knees and a scarf for visiting places of worship
- 2 pairs of shorts
- Sun hat or warm hat if trekking
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- Warm sweater/fleeces
- 1 waterproof jacket with hood
- 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes/boots (or ankle height canvas jungle boots)
- 1 pair of sandals or flip-flops
- Underwear and socks (thermals are also a good idea if you are travelling to altitude or to the desert as it can get very cold at night)
- 2 small towels
- Washing kit, including a small mirror
- Clothes washing detergent, small scrubbing brush & washing line (just a length of cord)
- Head torch/flashlight with spare batteries & bulbs (only the 3 standard sizes of round 1.5v batteries are widely available en route)
- Passport photos (average of 2 per country for which visas will be applied for en route)
- Good water bottle at least 1 litre
- A pouch or money belt worn inside your clothing, or unobtrusive pocket sewn into the inside of a pair of loose fitting trousers, is a must.
- Alarm clock
- Pocket calculator (useful when exchanging money)
- Writing materials & notebook/diary
- Multi purpose knife
- Cotton sheet sleeping bag (or sheet folded and sewn up on 2 sides). It will help keep your sleeping bag clean, and can be used on its own on warm nights.
- Mosquito net - The tents supplied by us have mosquito netting and you will only need a net if you think you will sleep out under the stars a lot of the time.
- "Wet Ones" (moistened tissues) and hand gel
- Toilet paper – this can be purchased almost everywhere en-route but one roll is worth packing
- Assorted sized plastic bags - protects clothing and equipment from dust and damp