A traveler torn between choosing to self-drive OR take an escorted tour once said, “My only concern is we would be driving and passing by points of interest and not even know that we should stop and take a look.”
Yes, that is true.
The highly acclaimed travel writer Paul Theroux distinguished travelers and tourists by saying, “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.”
In today’s world, most people are forced to be “simple” tourists because of time constraints. I say “simple” because without a brilliant guide and local connections you’re a fish out of water that may, or may never, swim in the pool of great memories.
The new age of escorted tours, groups are much smaller than the traditional motorcoach filled with forty camera toting tourists.
Today, a great escorted tour averages in size (between 2-6 travelers) meaning a more intimate and exhilarating experience you desired!
Also, expect to be chauffeured around -and in places like Africa where animals (you want to take memory cards worth of photos of) run wild, and destinations are of great distance between each other, trust me…
You want to be chauffeured!
On the other hand, self-drive tours require more time than most people are willing to give up and that can mean you might miss things.
One way to counter the possibility of missing points of interest, purchase a country specific guidebook.
And of course a map.
Between the two, you’ll minimize your chances of missing key attractions -assuming you spend hours in preparation.
Don’t be the one returning home only to realize you should have gone there! Or done that!
A finely polished “local” escort will provide a more enriching travel experience – the kind that only an insider can offer. You may be a tourist, but the “local” escort eliminates your ignorance.
If you are absolutely content on a self-drive tour, it is essential to work with an operator to aid in the planning your route, help you decide on lodges within your budget, “guide” you to must see places of interest, etc…
When all said in done,
You will receive a personally prepared set of documents bound together in a folder, including your itinerary, short biography of the creator, a customized travel guide, and examples of the activities/wildlife you may encounter, passport/visa information, suggested clothing and equipment, health issues, cultural considerations, and a list of suggested reading.