Absolute Africa vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - 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 — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
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

Tours 2 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 159 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Regional Expert Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • Africa
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • Budget
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Year Established N/A N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
    Similar Companies
      Countries
      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 Signature Collection by Gate 1

      A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.

      What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?

      These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.

      They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.

      The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.

      Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

      Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.  

      Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.

      While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.  

      Top Destinations

      They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

      Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style

      Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.

      Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.

      Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

      If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.

      All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.

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