Absolute Africa vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

Race to the bottom

3.0 September 2018
D
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
73 days from Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town, South Africa, Jan through Mar
Do you enjoy people not following rules that affect you directly?
Disregard of 10pm curfew, smoking and noise restrictions, or environmental welfare?
Recurring theft of your well-marked belongings (food, drinks, power cords, etc.)?
Repeat damages to your stuff due to negligence (sleeping bag, backpacks, etc.)?
Incessant juvenile jokes about farts, vomit, drunkenness, burps, sex, or making fun of others?
Constant loud music rather than enjoyment of nature?
Purposeful ignoring of guide’s requests to the extent that it may endanger you…
Person buying drugs in broad daylight and near cop – you could be made guilty by association
Person drinking while driving, guilty by association if open container found by authorities
Lack of food because some people abuse how much they take or stash away
Waiting for the people who are not prepared, not following the schedule or could care less that they are enjoying themselves while you WAIT – hey you paid the same price, but they enjoy while you WAIT
People not sharing the workload saying they have more important things to do like washing hair, downloading pictures, making phone calls. Once again you paid the same price, but they enjoy while you WORK
People who make you miss optional events you sign up for because they came back too late or crossed your name out of events you have signed up for replacing it with their own?
People claiming that they don’t have money to give tips (the way many survive in Africa) while they carry thousands of dollars of equipment, have money for drinks every night, buy drugs, give each other’s birthday gifts, etc. Embarrassing to be associated with these uncaring people. What bad reputation!
People pushing elder of a village out of the way to take picture? Others entering locals’ homes without asking? Clearly invading their privacy, acting as if these people don’t matter.
People refusing to share tents, storage areas, workload, space to take pictures, etc. The me, me, me syndrome leading to people being hurt due to pushing to be there first, etc.
Most of this could have been address by the guide but he chose not to be involved so it festered for 73 days, making the bullies get all they wanted and the non-bullies, second citizens – incredibly sad.
THANKFULLY, Africa, its people and nature are AMAZING, and you push that aside long enough to enjoy it until you return to the bus and face the sad reality of your tour cohorts.
Overall, this felt like a race to the bottom or the lowest common denominator instead of an uplifting experience.
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Tour Absolute Africa Company Reviews

Amazing

5.0 August 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I did the Wildlife Journey, about 2 months from Kampala to Cape Town. It was an amazing itinerary and exceeded my expectations in terms of animal sightings, scenery, campsites, etc. Our guide Peter was absolutely 5 star!! He was extremely knowledgeable about the animals, history, local culture, etc. He was the best guide I've ever encountered on any tour anywhere, bar none.
The truck and camping equipment were excellent. The cooking teams did a wonderful job and the food was excellent throughout the trip.
My only suggestion would be to add another transit camp between Zanzibar and Lake Malawi because there were several very long travel days in that section. Either make the trip a day longer or spend two nights instead of three at Kande Beach.
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Tour Absolute Africa Company Reviews

Had a blast!!

5.0 January 2018
N
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Myself and my husband recently finished the 18 day Kenya/ Tanzania Safari and had a blast!! We seen the big 5 on multiple occasions and got so close we could almost touch the animals (not literally but it felt that way). Shout out to our tour leader Emily who was full of energy 100% of the time (even when we were not). She made sure all our needs were catered too and cooked some pretty amazing meals for us. Second shout out to our driver Rob whom was an amazing driver and also socialite in the night. We definitely look to return in the future to finish off the southern end through Vic Falls and South Africa.
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Tour Absolute Africa Company Reviews

Fabulous trip and company enough!

5.0 August 2019
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just got back from our Mull Odyssey cruise. An amazing, truly special holiday. So many highlights to pick from but the amazing columnar basalt rock formations on Staffa; Lochbuie Standing Stone Circle; dolphins bow riding; huge jellyfish; 'helping' crew the ship; Tobermory; sunsets & rainbows; Iona and the fabulous scenery are a good start. Special thanks to Christophe and Amy for going above and beyond being the crew. I cannot recommend this fabulous trip and company enough!
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Excellent crew

5.0 June 2019
L
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
St Hilda - a little gem of a sailboat - great holiday. Excellent crew - thanks to skipper Christophe and cook Kerry . Arnamurchan distillery - fascinating tour - a real find. Loved the island of Egg - hike to Kildonan followed by fresh mussels and chips at the pub in the sun - bliss! And then she sped, bonnie boat, over the sea to Skye.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Wonderful, memorable cruise

5.0 June 2019
D
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Wonderful, memorable cruise of the Inner Hebrides. The staff was far above any expectations I may have had. Great communication and assistance with the office prior to the trip. The crew on board took wonderful care of us, and were always responsive to our needs and preferences. Seamanship was clearly superior. Food was outstanding!! The ship is small enough that you really get a sense of being on the water and in the islands. It is also large enough to have resources and comforts. I am happy to recommend it.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Tours 2 Trips 7 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 159 $ 172
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Regional Expert Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • Africa
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Oban, Scotland
Year Established N/A N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
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    About Absolute Africa

    Founded in 1979, Absolute Africa has been operating expertly led overland tours throughout Africa for over twenty five years.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    They are staffed by an entirely local crew, letting you see a different side of Africa through local eyes. Apart from their popular overland tours, they also offer gorilla treks, Kilimanjaro climbs, and add-ons such as a beach stay on Zanzibar Island.

    Who Travels With Them?

    Typically younger travelers take these tours - though there is no age limit. Do be prepared to chip in and help with setting up camp, cleaning, and cooking. Overland tours involve some camping, and days can be long and not always comfortable - so go with an adventurous spirit!  

    Where Do They Operate?

    They focus exclusively in Africa, with tours ranging from 9-11 weeks to 1-3 weeks.

    Why Travel With Them?

    If you’re itching for an adventure, and are looking for a completely unique experience, Absolute Africa is sure to deliver. You’ll meet like-minded adventurous travelers who enjoy overland travel, and get to truly be a part of making the trip meaningful as you contribute to all aspects of the journey.

    About St Hilda Sea Adventures

    St. Hilda Sea Adventures provide the unique experience to see Scotland from the sea. They offer many activities and private excursions - a perfect travel experience for families, older travellers, and small multi-gen groups.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    Taking only up to 11 guests (6 on St Hilda and 11 on Seahorse II), their tours are incredibly unique, as you cruise aboard a classic ex-tall ship (St Hilda) or a proper small ship (Seahorse II). Activities include sailing, swimming, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, rock pooling, and lobster potting. Or, you can simply choose to just relax and watch the spectacular wildlife and scenery float by.

    Who Travels With Them?

    All ages and all types enjoy traveling with St. Hilda Sea Adventures. Families, couples, and solo passengers are all welcome. Passengers can choose to do as much or as little as they like. This is a great trip for young kids to enjoy as well, for the thrill of hoisting the sails like a true sailor.

    Where Do They Operate?

    The West Coast of Scotland is where they specialize, the Outer and Inner Hebrides specifically. Such a niche focus is a huge positive for those interested in getting a unique view of this part of the world.

    Why Travel With Them?

    Their Scottish cruises give you the opportunity to see extraordinary wildlife and to cruise aboard a small ship with skipper and chef and a small group of passengers. All food is included, and there are many opportunities for interesting excursions. Some excursions are included in the price however, you can also arrange excursions based on your interests. These are not included but allow for a wonderful amount of personalization to your travel experience with St. Hilda Sea Adventures.

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