It's the journey not just the destination
Original overland adventures
Journey across: Americas | Asia | Africa

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All About our family overland trips

Frequently asked questions

WHY CHOOSE DRAGOMAN?

Dragoman has the experience of running pioneering overland tours across the world since 1981, and remains the world’s best operator at this exciting style of travel. We always get to the major highlights of a region and also genuinely get you off the beaten track and into the local communities. Our trips have been carefully designed to offer freedom, flexibility and time to explore. Dragoman is independently owned by the original founders of the company - we also have some of the best staff in the industry, from our expert sales and operations teams to our extensively-trained crew.

Read more at the Why Choose Dragoman page.

We'VE NEVER CAMPED BEFORE, IS THIS FOR us?

If you've or your family have never been camping before, then coming on a Dragoman Family Overland Adventure is a great introduction! All of our trucks are fully equipped with sturdy tents and a full compliment of cooking and camping equipment. Your leaders will give you a full briefing about setting up on the first camping night, so it couldn’t be easier.

On our African Family Trips you'll be camping out most nights, but on some nights you'll be staying in local guesthouses and hotels - we will try to accommodate you in triples/quads or family suites where possible. Check out the accommodation icons for the trip you're interested in to see how many nights you'll spend under canvas.

How long will we be travelling for each day?

Travelling overland is what our adventures are all about, and we think the journey is a massive part of the adventure. There will be some days where we spend a bit of time travelling, but those journeys are often great fun and a fantastic chance to bond with the other families and see the scenery that you're travelling through. That said, we design our family itineraries with children in mind - we don't travel every day, and when we do we try to minimise the amount of time we spend getting from A to B, generally never being more than a few hours on the road at any one time. Our overland expedition vehicles come fully equipped with comfy coach seating, tables, a music system and fridge – and most travellers use the time we spend driving to read, sleep, play games with other families, or watch the scenery pass by our the window!

Are there age limits for Children?

We do have restrictions on the ages of children that we take on our Family Trips. Children must be between 7 and 17 years old (inclusive), and accompanied by at least 1 parent or guardian.

CAN I TRAVEL ON MY OWN IF I'M UNDER 18?

Sorry, but our Family Trips are for families only, not for unaccompanied children. A family must be at least 1 child between 7-17 accompanied at least 1 parent or guardian. For our wide range regular overlanding trips, we have a minimum age of 18 years old on the day that you would start to travel with us.

WHAT DO we GET FOR our MONEY?

You’ll get places for your family on one of our fantastic Family Overlanding Adventures, and together you'll have the experience of a lifetime! The total price includes all the accommodation, transport, use of the truck and its camping equipment, library, etc., camping meals, and all activities listed as included.

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. All prices are listed on a per person basis - please note that the child price is the same as the adult price, due to the lack of discounts for most entrances and activities on the ground in Africa.

Please note that our Family Trips do not have a kitty, as our regular overlanding journeys do - everything above is covered by the trip price.

What isn’t included?

Our trip price does not include optional activities, travel insurance, connecting flights, airport transfers, border taxes or charges, transportation while not on the trip or while freely exploring a city, passports, visas, vaccinations, first aid kits or medicines, extra accommodation, upgrades, contingency route expenses in case of emergency or natural disaster, meals at restaurants or cafes or whilst staying in hotels, drinks, tips, or personal spending money.

How much will we spend?

How much you’ll spend is up to you! This really depends on how many extra activities you want to do. Please remember that hotel food, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, taxis and restaurants are part of your personal spending. You may also want to include some money for tips for your local guides and Dragoman crew. Good local guides and overland crew 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. However, with so much already included in our carefully crafted itineraries, many customers find they spend a very minimal amount of additional money.

How do we get money whilst on the trip?

Most travellers choose to bring a cash passport (www.cashpassport.com). This is very secure, and works just like a VISA card to allow you to draw out local currency from ATMs within each country you travel. Others simply bring their regular VISA credit or debit cards to withdraw cash – if you plan to do this, it is best to inform your bank where you are travelling so that they do not security-block your card. There are usually plenty of ATMs to withdraw money throughout East and Southern Africa.

It is also a good idea to bring a reserve fund in US Dollars cash, as this is easily changed into local currency throughout the world. In emergencies, it is possible to send money to yourself via a money transfer service such as Western Union or Moneygram.

Please note that we do not advise bringing Travellers Cheques, because our passengers and leaders have found it increasingly difficult to find banks which change them.

HOW DO we BOOK OPTIONAL ACTIVITies?

We give a good indication in our trip notes of what optional activities may be available in each place. These are regularly updated with the latest prices that are reported back to the office from our on-road crew, although prices are always subject to change. Your Dragoman crew will be able to give more information about any activity listed in the notes, and there are also good suggestions in the guidebooks for that region and online. All activities can be arranged whilst you are on your trip, and our 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.

How do we arrange our flights?

Flights are not included in our trip prices. However, our sales team can help you with booking your flights and can search for the most competitive fares that fit around your travel plans, no matter where you are in the world!

By booking your flight with Dragoman you will have support in the case of any problems (such as volcanic eruptions, strikes, etc!), and there is also the added protection of our ATOL bonding.

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 our TRIP?

On our Family Trips, you'll find fellow passengers from all backgrounds and nationalities. 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 number of other families currently booked on the trip you are interested in.

WHY AREN'T ALL TRIPS GUARANTEED?

We prefer to run trips with full trucks as this helps us be kind to the environment and is more efficient operationally. We generally look to depart with a minimum of 5 passengers.. Once we have reached this number we would generally ‘guarantee’ the trip, so that you can be certain that it will run.

If you are booked on a trip that needs to be cancelled for any reason, our reservations team will get in touch with you and try to find an alternative date/trip that suits you.

CAN we TALK TO OTHER TRAVELLERS BEFORE we BOOK OR TRAVEL?

We have a community area called Dragoland where you can ask questions about trips, talk with potential passengers on your next Dragoman trip, or just share travel stories and information with other like-minded travellers! You can also see our Facebook page to see what others are saying or post your own questions.

WHOSE TRAVEL ADVICE DO YOU ACT ON?

The UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides invaluable travel advice. As a UK operator, Dragoman monitors and follows the advice from the FCO in all the regions we travel through. We also monitor advice of other governments’ travel advice and news from various travel security organisations. Our crew also constantly monitor and report any news from local sources on the road regarding any safety issues, and liaise with our operations team at the office if there any issues. Any decisions taken regarding a trip’s safety and security will use the vast experience of the company’s 30+ years of operations, in conjunction with the advice and information sources above.

We strongly recommend that you read the UK FCO information about the countries you are planning to visit – each country has a summary and general information as well as advice on safety and security, local laws and 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 destinations.

DO we NEED TO GET VACCINATIONS or Malaria tablets?

Recommended vaccinations and 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 regions you’re planning to travel to, 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 or National Travel Health Network & Centre for further details or to contact a professional medical travel clinic.

Malarone Paediatric, the world’s first anti-malarial developed specifically for children was recently launched, and whilst they are quite expensive, they have proved to be 98% effective in preventing the most serious forms of malaria in clinical trials. We would definitely recommend you discussing this medication for your children with your GP if you are booking a trip that travels through malaria risk areas. Of course the other important thing to remember is to cover up well and use plenty of insect repellent, so as to avoid being bitten!

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 20% off kit and equipment purchased at Nomad online or in-store. Their website also has comprehensive, up-to-date vaccination and health information.

Please see here for more information.

WHAT FIRST AID EQUIPMENT AND HELP IS THERE?

All of our trucks are equipped with an emergency first aid kit, which is stocked with many items that may be needed in a medical emergency on the road. Our crew have all completed a first aid course and will be able to help when necessary. We recommend that you bring your own personal first aid kit, especially if you expect to use any items in a non-emergency situation, and if you do need to use something from the group first aid kit, we do ask for it to be replaced. As a reminder, you should also bring any personal medication and medicines that you require for the whole duration of the trip.

Local health facilities vary greatly in their frequency and quality depending on the region you are travelling in, but if there is a medical emergency during your trip the crew will make it a priority for the affected person to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible (this is one of the reasons we always have 2 crew on board our trucks). In this situation, the crew can also liaise with the operations team at the Dragoman head office and the affected person’s insurance company to find the best solution for the situation.

WHAT VISAS DO I NEED?

Although many countries in East and Southern Africa require visas, they are generally readily available at the borders and best obtained there rather than in advance. The exact requirements for each country are detailed on our regularly-updated notes for every trip that we offer. Please consult these notes for details about the visas needed for your trip, and contact us if you have any questions regarding visas. Whilst the ultimate responsibility for obtaining visas is yours, we will endeavour to assist you wherever possible and inform you of any relevant changes to the regulations that we are aware of.

Please note that as of May 2015, the Republic of South Africa will require to see the original birth certificates of any children that enter or exit the country. Children will also need to be accompanied by both parents or guardians, or have the written permission of any absent parents or guardians for that child to enter or exit the country. Although our Family Trips do not enter South Africa, this is important to bear in mind if you plan to travel there after your Dragoman trip.

DO we NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

It is a condition of booking that you have comprehensive medical travel insurance. Without evidence of valid travel insurance, you will not be allowed to start the trip.

We can arrange insurance for EU residents created specifically for our type of adventure travel - please contact us or visit our insurance page here for a quote! If you are not EU residents, you will need to arrange your own insurance with other providers.

Whatever policy you choose, you must ensure that it is designed for adventure/overland travel, and that the 24-hour emergency assistance company is experienced in handling situations in developing countries. Please also make especially sure that the insurance is valid for both adults and children.

Please see here for more information.

WILL we HAVE 'FREE' TIME WHILST ON TOUR?

Yes, our trips are designed to give you the best of both worlds – with plenty of organised activities to do as a group and free time for people to explore places or to do their own optional activities!

We ONLY HAVE SUITCASEs, DO we NEED rUCKSACKs?

Although you will not have to carry your main bags for long distances, you will need to help load and unload your luggage 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, which is inaccessible when the truck is in motion, so you will also need a small daypack which 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. We recommend that your bag be approximately 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.

WHAT SHOULD we PACK?

Please see here for our general guide on packing, and here for a comprehensive kit list put together by our partners Nomad Travel.

One of us HAs SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS, IS THIS A PROBLEM?

You will need to inform us of your dietary requirements and any allergies when you book (please add this in the medical conditions box on the booking page). There will generally always be a vegetarian option available in local restaurants and when we have meals from the truck on the road or at campsites.

On our Family Trips, there is a camp master in charge of the cooking, who is masterful at creating varied and delicious meals! There are well stocked supermarkets and markets throughout East and Southern Africa. 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?

The charging facilities on our trucks vary - some will have charging facilities for the group to use, although this is not fitted as standard. In the worst case scenario, all of our trucks have a 12v ‘cigarette lighter’ socket which will be available to use if you bring the necessary adapter. 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 almost always be charging facilities at most campsites and hotels.

Why are there other similar trips that cost less or are shorter in time?

Dragoman have unrivalled experience in designing and creating trips that allow you to get the most out of your adventure. We include more, see more, and interact more than any other operator. Many similar looking trips reduce cost and time by rushing or excluding many of the key highlights that we consider essential. When you carefully compare what we offer and include against trips from other operators, it's easy to see the great value for money that a Dragoman overland trip is.

What if overlanding is not for us?

As much as we love overlanding and are sure you and your family will too, we do know that it's not for everyone. Our sister company Imaginative Traveller has hundreds of adventure trips and family trips all over the world - there really is something for everyone!

If you are looking for a customised bespoke itinerary that you can design youself, or are interested in privately chartering one of our overland trucks for a customised adventure for your family, then our tailor-made division at Imaginative Adventures can you help you put together the perfect trip.

What are the risks associated with children and Malaria?

This is a serious problem world-wide and you should seek expert advice before travelling. Malarone Paediatric, the world’s first anti-malarial developed specifically for children was recently launched, and whilst they are quite expensive, they have proved to be 98% effective in preventing the most serious forms of malaria in clinical trials. We would definitely recommend you discussing this medication for your children with your GP if you are booking a trip that travels through malaria risk areas. Of course the other important thing to remember is to cover up well and use plenty of insect repellent, so as to avoid being bitten in the first case.