Friday, September 24, 2010

Does the early bird really catch the worm?

Well, perhaps not in this case, as our "Safari Side-kick," take a friend for free promo is about to finish. And, while all good things must come to an end, there are still a few days left to get your mate in the mood for an adventure in Africa.  With savings of up to £1,795 (October departures) on the 58-day Ultimate African Overlander it's one travel deal that's simply too good to pass up, but the clock is ticking folks, as the cut off point for booking is the 30th of September.  The good news is that with beers, braais and the Big Five on offer it's not going to be a hard sell, but if you're looking to travel later in the year here's another handy promo to watch out for.  

Starting next Friday we'll be showcasing our "Where R The Wild Tweeps" slots right here on our blog.  The deal?  You guess where the pic is taken, buzz us back on Twitter (using the #acaciawildtweep hashtag), and we'll dole out a 25% overland discount to one random winner. (Terms & conditions below*) Of course, the above would be a dead give-away for any Africa fanatic so we are going to make you flex those visual muscles a little bit more and get creative when it comes to cropping!

All eyes glued to Twitter then "Tweeps," as you could be quids in when it comes to your next adventure in Africa! And don't forget to keep your screens peeled for our new brochure (soon to be available online) as we have lots of tantalising new trips to tickle those travel taste buds!

*"Where R The Wild Tweeps": 25% discount to one random winner. Normal Local payments apply. Subject to availability. Cannot be taken in conjunction with any other discount. Tour must be booked directly with Acacia Africa. For travel before 01 July 2011.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Don't leave home for Madagascar without Sara LeHoullier - a "must have" Travel Companion for the backpack!

If Madagascar is the next destination on your "must go" adventure list, you can always hop on a dhow and sail around the relatively undiscovered eighth continent with us - but here's a tip...  leave room in the backpack for Sara LeHoullier.  Well not literally, as we're referring to her recently released Madagascar (Travel Companion). Published by Other Places Publishing, this is an uncut guide that goes way further than the more usual and endless lists of hotels and attractions, and this is one writer who is simply mad about Madagascar!

Since 2005, Sara, a North Carolina native has been exploring the country from top to bottom as a volunteer, a researcher, and an intrepid explorer. As any true traveller will admit, she enjoys cramming into rickety bush taxis, dining on unfamiliar animal parts, and trekking through untouched rainforests bursting with biodiversity. 

One for the adventurous, her guide is proving to be a perfect tagalong for travellers who appreciate the local side of travel - Sara's first-hand experiences and personal recommendations allowing Madagascar fans to get under the skin of Lemur central. Full of practical, useful information, authentic cross-cultural experiences and meaningful, responsible travel - it offers eye-opening travelbites that will leave you wanting to know more, and let's face it - we never (want to!) stop travelling...

Of course, while most of us are constantly juggling the 9-5 rat race with our insatiable passion for adventure and can't claim to be guide book writers just yet, there is undoubtedly a travel blogger in every nomad.  So, why not follow in Shane Donovan’s fingertips, share the explorer in you, enthuse a bunch of like-minded followers and track down a guest post slot on the net.  True to his word Shane has just been featured on where he dishes out his top twelve tips on showcasing your experiences and getting the travel bug out there, online...

Still undecided on Africa - look out for our new brochure -coming soon!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Travel bloggers we Love...

The Internet is turning into one BIG “love-travel-fest,” which is no bad thing.  What’s on offer these days goes way further than your typical travel blog. You can find people to hook up with out on the road, choose voluntour projects to donate to online, share a few travel twips on Twitter® and even choose where to send people when it comes to their next destination.  Come to think of it, that reminds me of closing my eyes and sticking a pin in a map of Africa – I can feel the excitement building already!

So, in no particular order, we’ve fine-tuned a few of the best bloggers just for you, and if you’d like to add another to the list for future posts, we’ll be all eyes!

We don’t have a specific reason (as there are too many) for nominating these guys, but we have a lot of love for Amateurs Africa.   Self-styled, as two “average lads” they sound like just what Acacia Africa would order on an overland tour, but we’d like to say that they’re somewhat modest, as they’ve travelled (in their own words), “from Berlin to Cape Town, backpacking West Africa to get to the World Cup overland through deserts, jungle and whatever else is out there”. In fact, anyone who can stomach foods that shouldn’t even be looked at, or vomit over three passengers on a packed Portuguese coastal tram in 38 degree heat and get away with it, has our vote. Just your general, more than average, all around nice guys, and they like to tweet too...

The Aussie Nomad is a star guy who’s always up for a bit of #FF banter, and while his recent RTW trip didn’t include Africa – he does offer up some amazing insights on travel in general. Our favourite (re-titled), “How to avoid giving up alcohol and save cash for the big trip without splashing out on that sofa with the built in beer fridge”.  Well, we admit, it does sound tempting!

“Love, love, love all things Africa…I adore a place that can challenge my perceptions and question my understanding of the world”. With a starter for ten like that, we just had to include “Go Erin Go,” but it wasn’t just Erin’s devotion to the continent that inspired us, it was her ethos, “adventures in living and giving” (this girl has philanthropy sussed!) If you’re still saving for that voluntour (and wow do we have some sensational NEW trips coming soon), you can always click through to Erin’s “Donate My Dollars” page to give back.  This year alone, Erin will be donating anywhere close to $10,000, so get involved and vote! 

Cody McKibben is God’s gift to the “location independent”.  Let’s cut to the chase, if you want to throw the towel in when it comes to the 9-5 rat race – this guy is your man! Cody’s already clocked up a fair few awards and even earned himself a notch on the “10 Digital Nomads To Learn From” list, but in a nutshell this is “Zen” for the “corporately challenged”! 

If these guys are thinking of heading to Africa in September 2011, Kenya more specifically, then I’d be up for a meet in Nairobi!  Well, who knows, but until then, the Aussie founders of Globetrooper, Todd & Lauren, have plenty of user generated itineraries covering the entire world of travel.  Of course, there are scores of backpackers and solo travellers who choose to head overland with us part way through their gap year (or much needed break from reality/sabbatical/cubicle crisis), but if you want to add some extra excitement to your trip and extend your journey, your new travel buddy might only be a click away… 

Photography and travel writing sounds like the perfect combination, and the “Globetrotter Girls” are, and I quote “desperate to be out on the road” (where have I heard that before – hmmm?!!!). But they’ve also got gusto, as their plan is, well, “not to have a plan….exactly”.  These travel-istas accept tips from their favorite fellow bloggers, travellers and digital nomads, and while Africa is not on their itinerary (yet!!!) we just had to give the female duo a mention, as adventures on the continent are anything but predictable! 

Looking to hit the road before the end of October - you'll be quids in with our recent BOGOF special, and the Annual Migration, like these blogs is one not to miss!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why overlanding is still the only way to go!

Overlanders are definitely a varied group of travellers, which means no one trip will ever be the same.  In fact, being somewhat unpredictable, this form of travel is a little like Africa itself, and that’s part of the joy of overlanding

Of course, overlanding is not for everyone, and Paul Theroux’s recollection in “Dark Star Safari,” does sound, according to Ben Groundwater (travel writer, blogger, journalist, sub-editor and anything else someone will pay him to be), like a nightmare experience in which he found himself to be poles apart from his fellow travellers. Saying that, with 24 people on an overland tour, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll find a few, if not more amiable adventurers willing to “chew the fat” when it comes to Africa; even if they can’t remember where Kevin barfed!

Subjective experience aside, Mr. Theroux’s “Dark Star Safari” epic is certainly one to read, but if it doesn’t float your boat, why not check out Five Ways To Carry A Goat, a travel memoir of Ben Groundwater’s time touring the globe while staying with the readers of his weekly Fairfax blog, the Backpacker.  During his four-month trip Ben hitch-hiked with a Brazilian sniper, tended to pigs in northern Thailand, got drunk at a wedding in the Czech Republic, and (really did!!!) carry a goat in Ethiopia.

We did test out Ben’s theory before writing this post (although, you’ll have to read his recent article first), and we have to admit, while there may well be a few closet “Bon Jovi” fans residing in the Acacia office, the good news is that overlanding is still an enlightening way to see Africa. And, here’s why…

  • Guidebooks are without a doubt a great starting point when encountering new destinations, and you’ll find a few on the truck. Then again, you can’t beat a bit of real time Africa banter, as reminiscing en route is priceless!

  • According to our resident travel psychologist, Max Tookey, being in a group of people who are relative unknowns can bring out the adventurer in you – especially once you’ve broken the ice over a beer.  Thought you’d never bungy jump? Well, think again… however, we warn you, the adrenaline rush can be addictive.

  • You’ll meet a bunch of new travelling buddies from around the world – your shared experiences breathing life into any blog post…so much so, that any Africa addict will be salivating at the thought of their next jaunt on the continent! Basically, overlanding is a prospective travel writer’s gold mine!

More tour junkie than solo traveller? Check out our current "Safari Sidekick Sale," bring your best mate along for the ride and we'll waive the cost of the tour price for your number one buddy!