Absolute Africa vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
3.0 September 2018
Does Not Recommend
73 days from Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town, South Africa, Jan through MarRead more
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.
Tour Absolute Africa Company Reviews
5.0 August 2017
AA took me from Nairobi to Vic Falls and I really enjoyed the experience. The group had people from different ages and backgrounds, from uni students to retired ladies. After a few days you feel very familiar to your travel buddies and there is a general feeling of cordiality and warmth. The food was great and I could make it healthysh. There is options for vegetarians, lots of fruits and vegetables if you like.Read more
The truck is fine if you keep in mind that an overland camping tour in Africa not supposed to be comfortable. I felt safe all the time and reafirmed my belief that dangerous places are not necessarily those where many people live a very simple life.
The only thing I missed was having contact with local people. But I understand that this is a group tour, and a deeper contact demand a different travel style.
Tour Absolute Africa Company Reviews
5.0 January 2017
Had the time of my life reminded me that I was still young (in mind). V and Kanyo where out of this world made everything really easy for us all (even if I beat Kanyo in the chilli challenge) ok we will call it a draw as we both ate the hottest chilli Africa had to offer raw. I can't recommend the 58 day trip from Cape Town to Nairobi highly enough everything you could wish to do is all there for you my personnel highlights were trekking to see the mountain gorillas, the Ngorongoro crater, trying surfing, white water rafting on the grade 5 Rapids on the Zambize, winning 150 000 in the casino in Uganda ( don't get excited was only enough for 20 beers). Thanks V, every game drive had something new to see. What really made the trip was the like minded people who all went to have great experiences and lots of fun. The 4 day stay on Zanzibar was another highlight, sometimes you need a holiday from your holiday just to relax and recharge the batteries. All in all a great holiday with memories and friends I will remember all my life.Read more
Absolute thanks for a great time, only one downside I had to go back to work after wished I could have stayed forever.
Hope to see you soon
Tour Absolute Africa Company Reviews
5.0 November 2018
Japan Cultural Odyssey
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!Read more
Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews
5.0 July 2018
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.Read more
5.0 July 2017
This trip was really superb, starting with the folks like Alex in the San Diego office to our tour guide in Havana, Orelvis (a perfect gentleman if there ever was one--and he seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Havana), and our driver, Boris (who was an extremely safe driver, and the SUV that was our transportation was a practically new Honda), and our friendly hostess at the casa particular (B&B).Read more
But at breakfast at the casa particular, keep in mind the CDC guidelines for healthy travel: cook it, boil it, peel it (yourself) or FORGET IT. So the bowl of fruit and the fruit juices? Pass them up in favor of coffee and toast. I know that sounds boring, but after I got home, I ended up in the hospital emergency room for dehydration due to e-coli--my fault for not following the CDC guidelines.
Also, to get up to my room at the casa particular, I had to climb a narrow, curved marble staircase--I took extra care not to fall either on the way up or on the way down.
The activities and attractions were first rate (but you must keep in mind that you're on "Cuban time," and not everything runs like a Swiss train). From the Hemingway house to the canon ceremony (which I loved even though it was a substitution for another event that was unexpectedly closed) to the jazz club (again, we went to one jazz club that for some reason didn't work out, but no problem--Orelvis took us to another jazz club recommended by his supervisor in Havana) to the art museum to the Malecon to the outdoor terrace at the Hotel Nacional and more, it was amazing how much we saw of Havana in about 72 hours.
There were only four people on the trip, and that was both a good thing and a bad thing--good because each of us received a great deal of attention from Orelvis and bad because two of the four didn't want to follow the itinerary and often went off on their own and then kept the rest of us waiting for them to return (highly frustrating--finally Boris said, "the schedule is the schedule," and we stopped catering to them). One of them spoke fluent Spanish--good for her--but I did wish that Orelvis had curtailed the lengthy conversations that she initiated with him, which the rest of us could not understand.
Two of my favorite activities were ones that I arranged myself: attending the world-class ballet at the gorgeously restored el Gran Teatro and then taking a yellow 1950 Chevrolet convertible with an Italian driver, who was an absolute hoot, back to the casa particular.
And the food at the private restaurants known as paladars was first rate. We even had lunch at one that Anthony Bourdain recently featured on his CNN travel show "Parts Unknown."
Just a small word of caution: sometimes there wasn't enough bottled water in the SUV in which we were riding, especially when we were dropped off at the casa particular at night. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water with you at all times. (The CDC even recommends that you brush your teeth with bottled water.)
I also wish I had brought another pair of shoes with me because with all of the walking in the heat of the Cuban sun, my feet swelled. Fortunately, I had brought some Band-Aids with me, which helped cushion the sore spots.
I highly recommend this trip--to my way of thinking, it's much better than taking a cruise ship that only docks in Havana for one or two nights--and the "Havana Weekend Getaway" is the most popular trip to Cuba that is offered by Discover Corps, as I learned from Orelvis.
|Tours||2 Trips||28 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 159||$ 399|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Regional Expert||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Chiswick, London, UK||San Diego, California|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||No single supplement|
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.
San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.
What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?
They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.
With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.
Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?
These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.
The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.
Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.
Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Discover Corps Travel Style
Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.
Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?
If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.
Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.
“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.