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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Rock My Adventure travel style like?

Rock My Adventure runs group flashpacking trips. We have an organised itinerary with tons of wonderful things included, but our trips are informal and not like a traditional tour.

At Rock My Adventure, we are laid-back adventurers and backpackers at heart, however we do like comfort and luxury too, so our style is what you would call ‘flashpacking’ aka fancy backpacking.

After years of experience travelling through Africa we feel that this is the BEST way to travel. 

We want to show you the REAL Africa – the highs, the lows and everything in between. If you’re expecting 5-star luxury this probably isn’t the trip for you (although the places we stay are really nice and comfortable). But if you’re looking for an incredible adventure, to make new friends and to get a well-rounded portrayal of the countries we visit, staying in comfort with a few luxuries thrown in, then you’ve come to the right place.

One day we might eat at a small local restaurant and the next we might go for cocktails at the nicest hotel in town. Sometimes we take public transport and but mostly we have our own private vehicle. We mix it up so you get the best of both worlds.

There are planned activities most days, although we also like to build in ‘free’ time where you can have time to yourself too away from the group (if you wish).

Occasionally we’ll have long travel days, this is Africa (and all part of the experience), but we try to keep these to a minimum and make them as fun and bearable as possible.

Sometimes we’ll have quiet nights around the campfire and sometimes we’ll go out dancing on the town (we know all the best places to go)! But really the choice is yours and you can do as you wish.

You will have a Group Leader who will be part of the group but who will manage the logistics on the ground (so you don’t have to), as well as lots of Local Tour Guides & Experts who will show you around and give you an insight into their wonderful countries.

Why choose Rock My Adventure?

We live and breathe Africa travel and want you to have an amazing African adventure that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Helen started the Helen in Wonderlust blog to dispel the myths about Africa travel and help others to see the wild, wonderful and colourful Africa she loves. Taking her passion and knowledge of Africa travel she created the Rock My Adventure tours.

Each tour is created by Helen and completely unique, combining safari, nature, wildlife, fun activities, culture, nightlife, food and interaction with local people.

We work with the best local suppliers and guides to provide you with the African adventure you’ve always dreamed of, whilst supporting lots of great local businesses and social enterprises. 

Our aim is to literally rock your adventure and make sure you have an amazing experience on your trip to Africa by organising an epic and culturally immersive itinerary, at an affordable price but without the stress of planning and booking everything yourself. Plus you get the support of an awesome Rock My Adventure group leader and pre-departure support from Helen.

Rock My Adventure tours are fun, laid-back group trips for those who want an authentic Africa backpacking/flashpacking experience but with a group of friends built in to help you make the most of your limited and precious time. Our groups are limited to 8 – 12 people to ensure that the trips don’t feel too ‘tour’ like and allows us to get to know each other properly and make friends as we go.

Want to hear what past participants have to say? Check out the Rock My Adventure Testimonials page.

I’ve never been flashpacking before, what can I expect?

We mix it up between backpacking and flashpacking (fancy backpacking) with occasional luxury so you get the best of both worlds but at an affordable price.

This can mean travelling on public transport (occasionally – mostly we have private transport), eating at local restaurants, meeting other travellers, meeting locals and being out of your comfort zone every now and again.

But sometimes we’ll also stay in comfortable lodges, eat in fancy restaurants and treat ourselves!

These trips combine all the best bits of Africa travel. Every day will be an adventure and you will go home with the best stories to tell your friends!

How many people will be in the group?

Our groups will usually consist of 8 people (sometimes 10 – 12) to provide you with an intimate and authentic backpacking travel experience. Keeping numbers low ensures that the trips don’t feel too ‘tour’ like and allows us to get to know each other properly and make new friends as we go too.

What does the Group Leader do?

Your Group Leader is there to facilitate the tour and ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and hassle-free trip.

They will travel with the group throughout the trip, manage the logistics on the ground and will give you day to day assistance when needed.

They are the point of contact for our Local Tour Guides.

What do the Local Tour Guides do?

We work with lots of Local Tour Guides in each of the areas we visit.

The Local Tour Guides have been chosen by Helen because they are awesome and experts in their field.

We work this way because our aim is to support lots of local businesses and it gives us lots of interaction with local people from different areas of the countries we visit.

Your Group Leader will liaise with the Local Guides on the trip.

 

Who will be the Group Leader?

Sometimes Helen will lead the tours, sometimes it will be another of our awesome Group Leaders – depending on our availability.

But one thing’s for sure – we’re all passionate about Africa travel and can’t wait to share our love of this continent with you!

If you are hoping to travel with a particular Group Leader, please enquire upon booking!

What type of people come of your trips?

Cool people, obviously!

In all seriousness, there are a real mix of ages, nationalities and personalities!

We’ve hosted people from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Croatia, Romania, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, France, South Africa, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Switzerland, Brazil, Greece, The Netherlands, Albania, Germany, Spain, Argentina, the Netherlands… so far!

Most people are solo travellers but sometimes we get couples or friends joining the group too. Everyone is welcome!

The youngest person on our trips has been 20 and the oldest, 71.

We just ask that you are open, laid-back and up for an adventure.

We have a Facebook group for those who have joined the trips so you will be able to meet, interact and ask questions before you go.

Is this trip for me?

I guess that’s up to you!

We’re sure you’ve read the above, and so you will have a good idea of what to expect.

Lots of people love Rock My Adventure tours (see the Testimonial page) and we get tons of repeaters, but they aren’t for everyone, so you need to ensure that you are comfortable with our style of travel and being in a group.

Read the itinerary carefully to get an understanding of what the trip involves and if it’s suitable.

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like other people, or likes ultimate luxury, or wants a very formal trip or likes to moan a lot/be negative, then this probably isn’t the trip for you! 🙂 

If you’re laid-back, fun, a team player and adventurous – then the trips probably are for you!

You know yourself, so you decide! 

Am I too old to come on one of your trips?

There is no upper age limit for the trips.

The average age is mid-twenties to mid-forties, however the youngest has been 20 and the oldest 71, so as long as you are laid-back, in generally good health, happy with the backpacker/flashpacker style of travel and able to get along with people of different ages, then you are not too old. 🙂 

What’s the minimum age for your trips?

At the moment it’s 18. This is because many of the trips are designed to be backpacker /flashpacker style and not child-friendly.

However I am looking to start doing some family trips in the near future.

Please feel free to contact me if you want to come with children/teenagers and we can discuss!

How fit do I have to be to go on one of your trips?

Each trip has a physical rating listed in the Essential Info section.

Some of the trips are more physically demanding, so you need to be able to cope with the level of physically required.

The most physically demanding trip is the Rwanda, Uganda and DRC trip and you need to be in pretty good health to come on this trip to climb Mount Nyiragongo and do the gorilla trekking.

Most other trips only need a moderate to good level of fitness. You don’ have to be an athlete (I’m not) but we do some walking and hiking on most trips and travelling in Africa can be both physically and mentally tough, with the heat, the bad roads, the crowds and the general chaos, so if you think any of those things may affect you physically or mentally, please feel free to discuss with me before you book.

Can I do my own thing sometimes?

Of course!

If there are any of the activities you don’t want to do, you don’t have to! The trips are designed to be pretty flexible, so if you decide you want a day off from the group or you want to do something different or you want to stay in when others go out, that’s cool!

This is your holiday!

We also have a number of free days and evenings so that you can do what you want!

What types of transport do you use?

Anyone who knows Africa will tell you that the journey is all part of the adventure!

Why fly when you can go overland, stopping in random places and meeting local people!

Between the main destinations on the trip, we usually use private minibusses, coaches, taxis, safari vehicles or trains.

But we also sometimes use public mini buses, ferries, boats and tuk tuks depending on what’s available.

Please note that air conditioning isn’t always available but we try where possible.

Do you work with local companies?

Yes! All the time.

At Rock My Adventure we are passionate about working with and supporting great local tour companies, tour guides, activity providers and social enterprises/charities to give you the highly personalised African adventure you’ve always dreamed of.

Is there much interaction with local people?

Yes of course.

Throughout the trip we’ll interact wth lots of local people – our guides, out and about in towns and villages, with the tribes we meet and with our local friends.

Having spent a lot of time on the African continent, between us we’ve been fortunate enough to make a lot of local friends in all the places we go and they always want to come and hang out with our groups when we’re in town!

Do you help me prepare for the trip?

Yes of course! We send comprehensive pre-departure information to each participant before the trip.

This includes all the information you need on:

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Visas
  • Health & Safety
  • Money & Budgeting
  • What to Pack

If you need any support with your pre or post-tour Africa travels, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s all part of the Rock My Adventure service! 

This is an exclusive offer to anyone who books a Rock My Adventure trip.

Do you include or book flights?

Currently no.

However, we can help look for flights and advise on which flights to book!

Are you ATOL protected?

No we’re not, but we don’t have to be. ATOL stands for Air Travel Organisers Licence.

We are a ground tour operator and do not provide flights so we do not need to hold an ATOL licence.

ATOL applies to companies selling air travel packages.

Is my money protected?

Yes! Rock My Adventure is a member of Protected Trust Services who are similar to ABTA (who you will probably have heard of as they are the biggest company of that type).

In the unlikely event of the Rock My Adventure going bust, Protected Trust Services provides you with complete protection against us and the suppliers we use as per the Package Travel Regulations.

So you can be assured that your money is fully protected at all times.

 

Do you have any independent reviews?

Most of our feedback can be found on our Testimonials page. This is the feedback taken from the feedback forms that we send out at the end of the trip.

Alternatively, you can find feedback on Tripadvisor and on our Facebook page.

You can also join the Rock My Adventure Community on Facebook to ask questions or get feedback from previous travellers.

We don’t yet have reviews on other sites like FEEFO as they are very expensive to join, so this helps us be a little bit cheaper than most other tour companies of a similar nature. 🙂

 

What type of accommodation do you use?

It depends on the trip!

But generally, we can stay in a mix of mid-range lodges, flackpacker hostels, hotels, eco-lodges, tented camps (glamping) and on some safaris, safari tents (usually with foldable camping beds unless stated otherwise).

We try and choose eco-friendly, unique and interesting places to stay where available!

Most rooms are ensuite, but due to the unique nature of the places we stay, occasionally there will be shared facilities. 

However, there is usually an option to upgrade if this is an issue for you.

We will pair you up with a same-sex room mate and you will mostly sleep in twin rooms.

Occasionally the room split may be different, depending on the availability in the accommodation we use. If you are a couple, we will ensure you always have your own room.

You will find more information about the accommodation used on each specific trip on the itinerary.

If you have any questions or concerns about the accommodation on any particular trip, feel free to ask.

What if I want my own room?

As this is a group trip, most of the accommodation (and cost) is based around shared rooms, however, if you want your own room we can look into this for you.

If you are a couple, we will always ensure you have your own room.

Specific room requests may come at an extra cost.

Is there a single supplement?

No. These trips are designed for solo travellers (although it’s perfectly fine if you come with a partner/friend/group) and based on shared rooms, so there is no single supplement for regular bookings. Single supplements suck!

The only time we will need charge a single supplement is if you specifically request your own single room.

What are the bathrooms and toilets like?

Sometimes we will have ensuite bathrooms and sometimes we will use shared facilities.

If having your own bathroom is a must, please let us know at the time of booking and we will try to accommodate your needs where physically possible. Having your own bathroom may be at additional cost.

Pretty much all of the accommodations will have the western-style toilets (you sit on them, rather than squat) that you are used to. 

Occasionally they will have compost or eco-toilets, which are pretty much like western-style toilets but they are a long drop and they don’t flush. You do your business and then put some sawdust down the loo.

They’re really not bad at all.

However, on the trip you may come across other types of toilet, especially when we are on the move. The different types of toilet you usually find are:

  1. Western-Style: Toilets that you probably have at home.
  2. Flushing Squat: Ceramic squat toilet. It they aren’t the flushing type, they’ll probably have a bucket of water that you can use for flushing. Most of the service stations have these but they vary in standard!
  3. Hole in the Ground: This is usually a long drop squat toilet in an outhouse. The state of these vary greatly. You fusually in rural areas but sometimes in towns too, especially in petrol stations.
  4. Compost Toilet: A long drop toilet, but seated rather than squat. Usually found at eco-lodges.
  5. Bush Toilet: Find a bush, squat behind it and do your business. Usually happens on safari or on long road journeys.

 

Can you help me book the optional activities?

Yes of course, we’ll help you book pretty much any activity you want to do on the tours, but…

…we won’t book elephant back rides as these are damaging for the elephant and usually the elephants have been tortured into submission.

And we won’t book lion walks, as lion breeding in Africa is big business and often the lions are not going to be released back into the wild as you are told, they are being bred to be sold to hunting farms so people can shoot them – not cool.

Feel free to send us a message if you want more information.

 

What type of food will we eat?

We’ll mix it up!

For some meals, we’ll eat very local foods, like maize porridge (ugali/nsima/nshima), goat, chapatis, rice and beans, greens and fish. We tend to usually do this once or twice on a trip, but if you love the African food, you can eat more of it obviously!

Then other times we’ll go for pizza, burgers, curries or salads or whatever else we can find. A lot of the places we eat have a mix of options (both African and non-African dishes), so you’ll usually find something you like!

Some of the meals are set, but most are not, so you’ll be able to choose for yourself. Just don’t always expect the variety of food you have at home.

If there’s something you really don’t like or can’t eat, just let us know at the time of booking and we’ll do our utmost to accommodate you.

Do you cater for special diets?

Of course!

We’ve had vegans, vegetarians, lactose intolerants, celiacs, seafood allergies, nut allergies, chilli allergies, tomato allergies, you name it!

We always make the lodges/restaurants aware of any dietary requirements and it’s generally fine to avoid certain foods, but in some of the restaurants we go to, it is difficult to make sure your dietary requirement is met 100%. But usually you can avoid food that you can’t or don’t want to eat.

The most difficult is where people have severe food allergies, as you cannot always guarantee that your food will be kept separate from everything else. We do inform the restaurants, but the understanding of allergies in some of the smaller restaurants especially is not great.

if you are worried, we can chat this through before you book.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, to come on any of my trips you need your own travel insurance. If you get sick or injured whilst on the trip, many of the hospitals won’t treat you until they see that you either have the money to pay for your treatment or that you have the insurance to cover it.

We will ask you for your travel insurance details at the beginning of the trip and if you don’t have it you will not be able to join the trip.

Travel insurance doesn’t cost that much, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!

You can find more info on the Insurance tab of the individual tour pages.

Do I need malaria tablets for the trip?

Whether you take the tablets is entirely up to you and your Doctor. Some people prefer to take them, some people don’t.

Malaria is prevalent in some of the areas we visit on the trips, but not all, so we would advise that you speak to a licensed health professional to discuss your needs and then take the necessary action.

Do I need a Yellow Fever certificate for the trip?

It depends on the trip! Some do and some don’t! And it can also depend on where you are coming from and what you’ve had before!

For some trips, Yellow Fever certificates are mandatory (ie. Kenya & Tanzania) and others not.

We will advise in the pre-departure information and feel free to ask about the individual trip you are interested in and we can advise on the country regulations, however, we advise you to speak to a trained medical professional as well.

How do I join a trip?

You can either:

A) Book via the Book Now on our website.

B) Email us to check on the availability of the trip. We will then send you the info on how to join and pay your deposit for the tour.

Once you’ve done that, we’ll send you your invoice/receipt and your pre-departure information and give you all the support you need to prepare for your trip.

How do I pay for a trip?

You can either pay by:

A) Credit or debit card via the website.

B) Direct bank transfer or by a transfer company such as Transferwise (where you can use credit/debit cards). We will email you the details.

The money you pay goes to a trust account as required by UK law. This keeps your money safe until your holiday is completed.

When is the balance due?

The balance is due 62 days (approx 2 months) prior to departure, except if you book later than 62 days from departure.

In that case, the full balance is required when booking or asap!

Can I pay you in installments?

Yes of course you can.

As long as you have paid the balance 62 days before the start of the trip, we don’t mind how you pay. 🙂 

What do I need to pack?

We will send you a packing list with the pre-departure information, but you can also find the Helen in Wonderlust African packing list here.

Can I bring sweets for the kids?

No, please don’t. Not all of the kids we’ll meet will have access to dental care and it also encourages them to beg.

If you want to bring anything, please check with us first. Clothes, pens and charitable donations are all good, as long as they are distributed via the proper channels.

ROCK MY ADVENTURE

Experience the magic of Africa on one of our small group African adventure tours!

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