Overland travel is the perfect way to get away from the tourist-trodden trails and see the real country, rather than just the highlights. Travelling in a purpose-built passenger truck with a group of like-minded people, you’ll travel through remote locations and interact with local cultures. Although you’ll still visit the attractions – the Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Wall of China – you might also stay as guests of the gauchos on an Argentinean estancia, learning their skills and way of life; trek through dense Ugandan jungle in search of endangered mountain gorillas; or meet inquisitive local villagers in the remote villages of West Africa. For many people, these unique experiences are the most memorable parts of their overland adventure.
Dragoman has a proud history, standing at the forefront of the overlanding industry for nearly 40 years. Overlanding is all about taking the road less travelled, seeing the real country as well as the highlights, and getting away from the tourist trail. By travelling in one of our purpose-built overland trucks, we’ll get you well off the beaten track and into the heart of every country we travel to. You’ll really get under the skin of the places you’re visiting. Trips can last a week or two, months, or even years, and the people you share your journey with come from all walks of life and can often become lifelong friends.
Whetted your appetite? Here are some of the very best overlanding routes to get you started.
The backroads of Patagonia
Patagonia is perfect for lovers of the outdoors. Carve a route from Santiago to Ushuaia, along Argentina’s route 40 and Chile’s Carretera Austral, wildcamping in the most remote parts of the region along the way. You’ll have plenty of opportunity for horse-riding, rafting, biking, and ice-climbing, as well as trekking the famous W-Walk through the stunning valleys and forests of the Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most beautiful parks in South America. For those willing to sacrifice a few home comforts, this is a quintessential overlanding journey.
The mountains of Kyrgyzstan
Nestled in the heart of the Tian Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan is a spectacularly scenic country – it’s 90% unspoiled mountainscapes – and many people’s favourite part of Central Asia. Many of its inhabitants still live a nomadic or semi-nomadic way of life, dominated by animal herding and felt-making. What it lacks in a settled history, it makes up for in opportunities for outdoor exploration and wild camping amongst shimmering lakes and stunning valleys. Travelling from Tashkent to Bishkek, you’ll stay in traditional felt yurts, learn how Kyrgyz carpets and hats are made, and see a demonstration from a traditional eagle hunter.
The Inca Heartland
With stunning drives across Andean scenery and a mix of camping and colourful hotels, overlanding through Bolivia and Peru provides a good balance of culture and outdoor adventure. Peru is home to some of South America’s most glorious landmarks, including the mysterious Nazca Lines, the colossal city of Chan Chan, and the Sacred Valley, a cradle of the Inca Empire; while the salt pans, lakes, mountains, and jungles of Bolivia have much to offer in terms of hiking, horse-riding, and mountain biking.
When making your way to the ancient hilltop city of Machu Picchu, you can trek the Classic Inca Trail, or take the Wild Andes Trek for a truly unique perspective.
Dunes & the Victoria Falls
Family overlanding is the perfect way to introduce your kids to adventure travel, and what better place to start than Southern Africa? It’s one of the most popular regions for overland travel, probably because of its wonderful atmosphere, incredible landscapes, and iconic wildlife. Spend three weeks exploring Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, enjoying wildlife safari in the National Parks, visiting local village community projects, and finally marvelling at the magnificent Victoria Falls, also known as “The Smoke that Thunders”.
South East Asia Overland
An overland tour through South East Asia encapsulates all the best that adventure travel has to offer, from welcoming people to stunning scenery to exhilarating activities to great food. Encounter the colourful cultures of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, touring temples and palaces, travelling spectacular mountain roads, and enjoying traditional home-cooked food with local families.
The Maasai Mara
The Maasai Mari National Reserve in southern Kenya is a vast savanna, one of the greatest places in the world to spot African wildlife, and an essential stop on any overland tour in East Africa. Spend a couple of nights on jeep safari here, looking out for the huge populations of lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, antelope, wildebeest, hippo, and many more iconic animals; you’ll also have opportunities for white-water rafting, bungee jumping, quad biking, and Mountain Gorilla trekking.
The Wilds of Mongolia
The birthplace of Genghis Khan and one of the world’s last frontiers of overland travel, Mongolia is a rugged wilderness of pine forests, deserts, mountains and desolate plains. From the phenomenal traditional ‘throat-singing’ to the country’s interesting cuisine (including fermented horse’s milk) to Buddhist temples to stays with the nomadic locals in traditional gers (yurts), you’ll get up close and personal with a unique and enchanting culture.
Dragoman Overland – It’s the journey, not just the destination
Dragoman has a huge range of overland trips, from 9 days through to 235 days. Last year, 2,500 travellers joined Dragoman on a life changing overland adventure last year, visiting 55 different countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Visit www.dragoman.com to learn more.