The Only Excursions Company That Owns Its Own Lodges.
Someday is not a day of the week. If you want an outrageous Southern Africa adventure you have to get out on the highway, and in the case of Drifters Adventures Overland Tours, you will get out in the bush.
Drifters Adventures Overland Tours was established in South Africa in 1982 and in the new Millennium the company has expanded their tour roster with over 60 excursion trucks bringing adventures to travelers in not only South Africa, but in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya, and even remote Lesotho on occasions. The company is considering other adventure destinations such as Angola.
The large excursion trucks holds 17 passengers.
Excursions with Drifters range from a five days or so, to a week to three weeks, or more, and once a booking is made, all departures are guaranteed to run on pre-set schedules. Drifters also provides a self-drive program with car rentals, and stays in its destination lodges.
Check around, and you will find that Drifters Adventures offers the best prices for lengthy discovery tours in Africa.
Drifters custom builds its own Excursion Trucks, but it also owns their own game viewing trucks for close ups with the wildlife. One tour aspect I appreciated about Drifters was that they own their own lodges, except for accommodations in a few national park lodges or country hotels. On the 18-day South Africa and Swaziland tour it was great to have new-found adventure companions in our own lodges, without sharing with any other outside tour groups. It made the experience more cohesive.
Drifters owns its own game viewing trucks.
The 18-day South Africa tour included all lodging facilities, including Kruger National Park, and a private hotel, but other tours, such as the 24-day Cape Town to Joburg tour via Victoria Falls also included unique and wild area Drifters Bush Camps along with lodge stays. Even though this tour had a camping aspect, each camp had running showers and flush toilets, except for the Okavango Delta. All National Park entrance fees are included in all tours, but country visa fees are not.
Most Drifters Lodges are based on a twin shared basis, but singles are also encouraged to join the tours. Some lodges are duplex arrangements, but all have either private or shared (usually for each duplex cabin) showers and toilets. The Joburg and Cape Town, and recently renovated Wild Coast Lodge, and a few other lodges have private rooms.
The Drifters Johannesburg Lodge is also the HQ.
At the beginning of each tour guests first dine in Drifters’ Joburg main lodge for dinner to get acquainted. Often the tours end with an outstanding and unique dining experience at a fine restaurant. Occasionally, a restaurant is picked while on tour for its uniqueness. You may dine on oryx or zebra steaks, ostrich burgers, or other wild game. All other meals are included in the tours except for a few lunch stops. If the tour begins in Cape Town the first night dinner is at the beautiful Quay restaurant in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Try the Kingclip special here.
We all help in the chores.
The drivers act also as your personal guide and camp chef. I certainly enjoyed the roadside lunch breaks where everyone pitched in to make it an enjoyable meal, including slicing the veggies, or setting up the camp chairs. The food was always plentiful and satisfying.
On a Drifters tour you may share in the cooking, kitchen duties, or even help change a tire as we did in the Western Cape. But you also will share a memorable and unforgettable adventure with photos downloaded with others after the end of the tour.
The Excursion Trucks – don’t call them a bus – can carry 14-17 guests, plus the driver. You may get bounced around on the back roads, you may sway in your seat as you watch nature glide by. All trucks have A/C but the big and wide windows pull down for fresh air and photo shots.
The big Excursion Trucks are actually flat beds, but Drifters has customized the seating and main cabin pod to their own specifications in their maintenance yard in Joburg. Each guest has a private and lockable locker in the back of the bus for luggage and backpacks, and the bins are large.
Bags are stored in large bins.
Passengers ride high, with views over other vehicles, and for fantastic photo pops of the wildlife, which Africa is famous for. The trucks also have mobile phone, iPad, and laptop charging stations, and also a CD deck for music, with speakers about every couple of seats. The driver can communicate via an intercom with the passengers. There is also a personal Velcro pouch in front of each seat for suntan lotion, sunglasses, water, and other amenities you bring along.
Drifters is a huge company that brings a strong value to your travel dollar on these tours. Drifters also owns its own boats, game reserves, bush camps, tour operations, canoes, and adventure equipment, thus keeping their prices low. At the main lodge in Joburg, or at other lodges, such as in Cape Town, you can purchase sleeping bags, pads, safari clothing, sunglasses, mosquito repellant, backpacks, and other essentials. I suggest you purchase a blanket and pillow at any of the numerous PEP stores. A blanket is comfy in the cool morning hours of the day.
Drifters also gives back to the local communities and economies with training programs, employment opportunities, building schools, and wildlife and environmental programs.
Eve enjoys the serenity of The Bush Lodge.
The tours are geared toward the adventure-minded, with guests coming from all over the world. From children to seniors, all will enjoy the Drifters experience on a mobile safari. I truly appreciated the generational age mix that kept the conversation lively. The young folks had never heard my jokes before, and the seniors bought the best wine and spirits for the sundowners! The trucks have their own refrigerators and ice coolers on board. Hey grab me a cold one! Alcohol is purchased on your own, but can be imbibed on board.
The drivers/guides/chefs are fully accredited and trained in life-saving, and survival tactics, and all are certified by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa and South African Tourism. All the drivers I met said Drifters was their dream job, and it showed in their enthusiasm and friendly relationships with the passengers. Everyone was on a first name basis.
Griffiths was guide, driver and chef on our tour.
Drifters has many types of excursion trucks in its fleet, including:
The 4×4 Truck, which is a standard truck but specifically modified and adapted for rough terrain. This truck can tow a trailer for one-off tours, such as hauling bicycles for bike groups pedaling the Garden Route of South Africa. These trucks can also go on game drives, or camp is set with camp stools, and tents, and cots, with a fold down kitchen built in, with gas burners, and stainless steel wash facilities, and a 300 liter water tank. The drivers keep the cooking facilities spic and span. There is also a small library on board, with maps and guide books on loan. This style of truck holds 14 or 17 passengers.
The 14 passenger excursion truck with luggage trailer.
The 4×4 Landcruisers are essentially the same as above, but are for smaller groups. They are more like a traditional safari truck, but are enclosed, but also have wide windows. The type of truck used on your tour depends on the group size. You can form your own group with family and friends, or meet some new characters that will be part of the overland adventure.
Get off the couch and head out into the bush on an adventure seat on a Drifters Adventures Overland Tour.
This is an exclusive Jetsetters Magazine serial feature by Editor, Kriss Hammond. Photos by Kriss Hammond, and Peter Manig.
Let’s go now, read on, click the signs to read two separate 5 part serials about road adventures with Drifters Adventures Overland Tours, and watch the videos below or from Jetsetters.TV.
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