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An epic overland journey from Kenya to Cape Town covering scenic game parks, the worlds largest inland delta, tropical Zanzibar Island, the third largest lake in Africa, the worlds oldest desert and the Smoke That Thunders over the dramatic Victoria Falls. See Africas best highlights on this comprehensive tour.
Day 1. Nairobi to Maasai Mara National ReserveDeparting the city early, we make our way across the Great Rift Valley to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, enjoying views of the vast vista en route. We travel in small specialized safari vehicles that enable us to have a more intimate view of wildlife.
Day 2. Maasai Mara National Reserve Highlights. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.The sweeping plains, distant horizons, low slung acacia trees, and plentiful wildlife ensure a deeply evocative few days. The ‘Mara’ is crossed every year between July and October by great herds of wildebeest, zebra and other grazing animals in their migration from the adjoining Serengeti plains to the south (in Tanzania), however game viewing is spectacular at any time of year.
We spend the day out on game drive seeking the wildlife in their natural habitat and enjoy the open wild experience. 9 images Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Day 3. Maasai Mara to Nairobi Highlights. Great Rift Valley.Heading back through the Maasai town of Narok we make our way back up the Great Rift Valley and stop off at the viewpoint to see how the continent has shifted in this area. 3 images Great Rift Valley
Day 4. Nairobi to Arusha, Tanzania Highlights. Meserani Snake Park, Tanzania.We leave lovely Kenya and cross the border over to Tanzania today where we pass through the safari capital Arusha. The half-way mark on the old Cape to Cairo trade route is now most famous as the place to start your Serengeti Safari from despite a healthy and growing coffee farming plantations in the area. Stop off for a cup in one of the Cafe's and see what you think?
Our camp at Meserani offers a reptile park and Masai cultural museum to visit this afternoon. 2 images Meserani Snake Park, Tanzania
Day 5. Arusha to Serengeti National Park Highlights. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.We gather our backpacks and pile into the specialised safari vehicles with our resident guides and head out on the road via Karatu and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the Serengeti.
We enter at Naabi Hills with a view over the great plains and make our way across the savannah in search of wildlife. With a bit of luck you may encounter the migration with herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle grazing or making their way forward in search of greener pastures. The Serengeti has an abundance of wildlife offering one of the most memorable safari experiences in Africa. 5 images Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Day 6. Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Crater Highlights. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.Waking early we head out in search of the night's wildlife activity before heading back to camp to pack up, and continue on over the plains and on to the Ngorongoro Crater.
We spend the night camping on the rim where wildlife also roams free. At 326 square kilometres, the Ngorongoro is Africa’s largest intact caldera and a World Heritage Site. If the view from the rim (2400 metres above sea level) is spectacular, the site from the Crater floor (some 600 metres below) is equally enjoyable. 7 images Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Day 7. Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha Highlights. Maasai Village Walk, Arusha, Tanzania.This morning it's all about game viewing - heading down the steep crater walls you'll see the herds from a distance and know where to head on reaching it's base.
From here you criss-cross the various habitats - from marsh to savannah and forests to mountainous terrain. Keep you eyes pealed for the large packs of hyena, prides of lion and the elusive black rhino.
We head back to camp for lunch and down the crater back to our truck at Arusha where we spend the evening recounting our marvelous wildlife tales. 3 images Maasai Village Walk, Arusha, Tanzania
Day 8. Arusha to Bagamoyo Highlights. Bagamoyo, Tanzania.Today our journey takes us along the base of the magnificent Mount Kilimajaro. At 5895m high, the summit is often shrouded in cloud in the early morning so we hope to catch a glimpse of it as we travel on through the day.
Our camp at Bagamoyo is located on a stretch of coast outside the city and it is here that we get our first taste of the warm Indian Ocean. 3 images Bagamoyo, Tanzania
Day 9. Bagamoyo to Dar es Salaam Highlights. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.We continue along the coast to the bustling city of Dar es Salaam. As we near the city there's much to see with the increase in traffic, roadside businesses and housing.
Our camp to the south of the city is located on the beach and we'll have the opportunity to cool off and enjoy a swim, or a sundowner cocktail this evening while we prepare for our trip across to Zanzibar in the morning. 3 images Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Day 10. Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar Highlights. Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Zanzibar, Tanzania.We leave our truck at camp and make our way to the ferry terminal where we board the ferry across the channel to Stone Town - the Capital of Zanzibar.
Zanzibar was the base of the great 19th century explorers such as John Hanning Speke, Richard Burton and David Livingstone and once was a major trading centre of spices. Indeed the spice trade here is centuries old: Zanzibarians have traded with the people of the Arabian peninsula for many generations, navigating the ocean in simple dhow sailboats, relying on the annual trade winds for passage.
7 images Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania 3 images Zanzibar, Tanzania
Day 11-12. Zanzibar Highlights. Zanzibar, Northern Beaches, Tanzania.Time on Zanzibar is spent at leisure enjoying the many sights and experiences on offer. Most groups will spend the first night in Stone Town and then head up to the northern beaches for the remainder of their stay.
Enjoy the winding alleyways of Stone Town's local shops or head out on to a spice plantation on a tour. In the north there are scuba dives, snorkelling tours and dhow trips to enjoy - or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the tropical breeze. 5 images Zanzibar, Northern Beaches, Tanzania
Day 13. Zanzibar to Dar es SalaamAfter picking up some last minute supplies and saying our farewells to the white sand beaches, we head back via the ferry to the mainland and our truck waiting for us in Dar.
Day 14. Dar es Salaam to Mikumi Highlights. Mikumi National Park, Tanzania.Making our way back through the bustling city we drive west as we make our way through the Tanzanian countryside. Our drive takes us through the Mikumi National Park where we arrive to our camp in the afternoon on the outskirts of the park. Time allowing, there is an opportunity to enjoy an optional game drive in the park this evening.
Alternatively, enjoy an evening our under the starry African night.
Day 15. Mikumi to IringaDriving up into the Tanzanian highlands we first pass through the aptly named Baobab Valley before making our way up onto the higher plateau.
The Farmhouse in Iringa is a well loved stop along the way. The evening is brisk and cool - perfect for a hot shower and their trademark 'Amarula coffee' to warm you up for the night.
Day 16. Iringa to Chitimba Beach, Malawi Highlights. Lake Malawi, Malawi.Waking early we head further west to the mining town of Mbeya before taking a 'left' on our way to Malawi.
After border formalities we continue on to our camp on the banks of the shimmering Lake Malawi where we spend the next two nights. 4 images Lake Malawi, Malawi
Day 17. Chitimba BeachToday is free to relax, enjoy browsing the local woodworkers market, visit the nearby village or take a hike up the nearby mountains to the Livingstonia Mission.
Either way - you can be as busy or relaxed as you desire.
Day 18. Chitimba to Kande BeachDiscovering more of the Malawian countryside, today we travel via the town of Mzuzu - a main trading and shopping post for the north. After stocking up on supplies and surveying the local markets, we continue on via the forests of rubber plantations back to the lakeside and our camp at Kande Beach.
Day 19. Kande Beach Highlights. Kande Beach Activities, Malawi.Spend the day chilling on the beach, take a dive to see the diversity of the freshwater Cichlids in the lake, go horseback riding - today is all yours to fill doing whatever takes your fancy. 4 images Kande Beach Activities, Malawi
Day 20. Kande Beach to Chipata, ZambiaBidding our farewells to the blue waters of the lake, we travel via the Capital city Lilongwe stopping off for supplies before making our way to the border with Zambia.
Along the way you'll see many small villages, and plenty of Malawians on their bikes as they commute to work or school and back.
Once we've crossed over into Zambia we continue to our camp at Chipata.
Day 21. Chipata to Lusaka Highlights. Lusaka, Zambia.Journeying through Zambia along the Great East road our drive takes us across the bridge at the Luangwa River. We travel through many smaller towns and see how Zambians live in their villages and around the farming towns.
This afternoon we arrive to the Capital city Lusaka where we spend the night at our camp outside the city.
Day 22. Lusaka to LivingstoneWinding our way through southern Zambia we arrive to Livingstone - a stone's throw from the border to Zimbabwe and our base for the next few nights.
Our camp is located on the banks of the mighty Zambezi and is the perfect place from which to enjoy the many activities in the area. With a viewing deck facing the river, a vibrant bar and restaurant - we're set for entertainment and meals between exploring the area.
Day 23-25. Livingstone Highlights. Livingstone Activities, Zambia.The next days are spent at leisure taking advantage of the many activities on offer around Livingstone. Our camp has a booking office for scenic flights, rafting, canoe trips, fishing, bungee jumping and various other activities making it easy to choose how to fill our free time.
Alternatively relax at the pool, or head to town to see the local shops for some souvenirs. 5 images Livingstone Activities, Zambia
Day 26. Livingstone to Kasane, Botswana Highlights. Chobe Fish Eagle Cruise, Botswana.Jumping back on the truck we drive to the border of Botswana and cross via the quirky Kazangula ferry. From here it's a short drive to our camp at Kasane on the outskirts of the Chobe National Park.
This afternoon we head out onto the water on the Fish Eagle boat cruise and seek the wildlife that comes to the waterside to slake their thirst. This is also a phenomenal place to see birdlife including Bee-Eaters, Kingfishers and the iconic African Fish Eagle. 7 images Chobe Fish Eagle Cruise, Botswana
Day 27. Kasane to Nata Highlights. Chobe National Park Game Drive, Botswana. Chobe National Park, Botswana.This morning we rise early and board our game viewing vehicle to head into the famed Chobe National Park. Making up the northern wilderness adjacent to the Moremi & Savute, the Chobe National Park is most well known for the abundant herds of elephant that are found here.
Keep an eye out for the regal Sable and Roan antelope too, as well as buffallo, impala and a variety of predators.
After our game drive we continue on to Nata. 5 images Chobe National Park Game Drive, Botswana 4 images Chobe National Park, Botswana
Day 28. Nata to Maun Highlights. Maun, Botswana.We cross the north-south migration route between the Makgadikgadi Pans and the southern Nxai Pans en-route to the gateway to the Okavango Delta at Maun.
Once a small frontier town, Maun has grown in size to accommodate the tourism trade that passes through here en-route to the delta. We stock up on provisions and head to our camp outside of the town where we prepare for our night out in the wilderness tomorrow.
Day 29. Maun to Okavango Delta Highlights. Okavango Delta, Botswana.We pack our backpacks and board the 4x4 transfer and head off into the wilderness this morning.
Travelling through the surrounding settlements you'll get to see how the locals live in an around Maun. As the settlements open to natural bushveld, we cross over into the wilds. Once we reach the water's edge at the poler's station, we'll move our gear into the dug-out canoes and meet our local guides. They then steer their mokoro's out into the shallow water channels and on to our camp.
We enjoy an afternoon at leisure before heading out in the cooler hours for our nature walk and wilderness experience. 4 images Okavango Delta, Botswana
Day 30. Okavango Delta to MaunWaking with the sun, we head out once more and see what the bushveld holds in store this morning. The Delta area is an open wilderness with free roaming wildlife.
Once we return to camp we pack up and retrace our path down the watery channel to the poling station where we once again meet our 4x4 transfer.
This afternoon we'll have some free time to enjoy the pool or volleyball court at camp, or take an optional scenic flight out over the delta to see the watery wilderness from above.
Day 31. Maun to Ghanzi Highlights. Kalahari Bushman Walk, Botswana.Today we head west to the northern Kalahari town of Ghanzi where we have the opportunity to meet with and learn about the indigenous Kalahari San people. 3 images Kalahari Bushman Walk, Botswana
Day 32. Ghanzi to Windhoek, Namibia Highlights. Windhoek, Namibia.From Ghanzi we continue to the border and cross over into the second-last country on our tour - Namibia.
We drive through the countryside and head to the Capital city Windhoek where we spend the night at our camp in the city. Enjoy a night out at the best known local eatery - Joe's Beerhouse, for an unforgettable meal.
Day 33. Windhoek to Etosha National Park Highlights. Etosha National Park, Namibia.Starting early we make our way north through the Namibian towns and on to the famed Etosha National Park. Our game drive starts on entering the park as we make our way through to the fenced camp within.
Game viewing before sunset, avid wildlife enthusiasts can spend the evening at the camp's waterhole observing the animals as they come throughout the evening to drink. It is not uncommon to have elephant or even rhino spotted at the waterhole at night. 7 images Etosha National Park, Namibia
Day 34. Etosha National ParkToday is a dedicated game viewing day and we head out early to catch the action from the night before.
Etosha is a desert National Park set around a large flat 'salt' pan. You won't find animals like crocodiles, hippos or buffalo as you would in Chobe or the Delta. However there are other rewards including the majestic Oryx, the quirky springbok and a number of other animals more common to drier areas.
Day 35. Etosha National Park to Spitzkoppe Highlights. Spitzkoppe, Namibia.Leaving the 'ghosts of Etosha' behind, we make our way south again and on to the Spitzkoppe. An unusual looking mountain feature set in the plains of central Namibia. A sacred place to the San tribes of old, there are a number of rock-art sites depicting the histories and journeys made by these ancient people thousands of years ago.
We spend the afternoon exploring the massive boulder-like mountain outcrops and have the opportunity to spend the night out under the stars 4 images Spitzkoppe, Namibia
Day 36. Spitzkoppe to Swakopmund Highlights. Swakopmund, Namibia.Leaving the sacred mountains we head to the Atlantic coast and the seaside town of Swakopmund. Here you'll have the opportunity to go out and explore the surrounding desert landscapes on a variety of excursions. 4 images Swakopmund, Namibia
Day 37. SwakopmundToday is free to enjoy adventure activities like quad biking on the sand dunes, gliding down the mountainous dunes on a sand-boarding adventure and even tandem-skydiving over the desert for a birds-eye view and ultimate adrenaline experience.
For those wishing for some off-time, the town has many cafes and shops to explore and a lovely beach promenade to walk. There are also a number of museums and places of interest to explore.
Day 38. Swakopmund to Sossus On Foot camp, Khomas Region Highlights. Sossus On Foot Camp, Khomas Region, Namibia. The Tropic of Capricorn.Crossing the dune-belt back inland we journey up the escarpment and through the Kuiseb Canyon rock formations to our desert camp in the Khomas Region.
We'll also cross the tropic of Capricorn today - the southernmost point of direct sun for the southern hemisphere. 1 images Sossus On Foot Camp, Khomas Region, Namibia 2 images The Tropic of Capricorn
Day 39. Sossus On Foot Camp, Khomas Region to Sesriem Area Highlights. Dune 45, Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia. Sesriem Canyon, Namibia. Sossusvlei, Namibia.Today we explore the desert. Heading into the Namib Naukluft National Park, we make our way first to the towering Dune 45 where we'll have the opportunity to scale the dune for views of the surrounds.
From here it's on to the 4x4 shuttle into Sossusvlei to see the odd-looking dead-vlei. We finish off with a trip to Sesriem Canyon to see the various layers this part of the desert is composed of. 3 images Dune 45, Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia 1 images Sesriem Canyon, Namibia 4 images Sossusvlei, Namibia
Day 40. Sesriem Area to Fish River Canyon Highlights. Fish River Canyon, Namibia.Travelling further south through the arid desert we make our way to the second largest canyon in the world - the Fish River Canyon.
Take a walk along the rim and feel the solitude of the area and see how the various rock layers change shades as the sun moves over them. A truly tranquil and peaceful place. 4 images Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Day 41. Fish River Canyon to Orange River, South Africa Highlights. Orange (Gariep) River, Namibia.Driving further on through the Mars-like landscapes we make our way to the Orange River and our camp on the banks of the river where we'll have the opportunity to enjoy an optional canoe trip this afternoon to further explore the diverse landscapes and unusual scenery of the Richtersveld. 3 images Orange (Gariep) River, Namibia
Day 42. Orange River to Cederberg Area Highlights. Cederberg, South Africa.We cross the border to South Africa and travel the arid northern Cape to the Cederberg area where our last night 'on the road' is spent.
Our camp is situated on the outskirts of the berg with beautiful views onto the mountain range and amidst the growing wine farms of the region. This evening we'll have the opportunity to savour the flavours of the local wines. 1 images Cederberg, South Africa
Day 43. Cederberg Area to Cape Town Highlights. Cape Town, South Africa.Our final journey takes us into the Western Cape and to South Africa's mother city - Cape Town where this magical journey ends.
2 images Cape Town, South Africa Show more...
Hotel Boulevard, Nairobi
Conveniently located on Nairobi's Harry Thuku Road and set in manicured gardens, this hotel offers a peaceful oasis in the centre of town. Walking distance to shops and craft markets. Rooms – single, twin, double en suite rooms with balcony and satellite TV. Facilities – restaurant, bar, swimming pool, internet, laundry. Transfers are available from the Airport by pre-arrangement
* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.Suggested Post-Tour Accommodation. Ashanti Lodge Greenpoint/ Ashanti Lodge, Gardens, Cape Town
Please note: As from 1st May 2018, we will change our accommodation from Ashanti Lodge in Greenpoint to Ashanti Lodge in Gardens. Please check your tour voucher to confirm that your tour starting and ending point is correct before departing. Situated at the foot of Table Mountain and in walking distances to the city centre, Ashanti Lodge Backpackers in Gardens is your gateway to Cape Town. This gorgeous Victorian Mansion offers backpacker dormitories to single, double and twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Chill next to the stunning pool, join the party in the legendary Kumasi Café/Bar with its cool cocktails, tasty food and fabulous mountain views or go explore the city's highlights close by.
* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.
PRE TOUR ACCOMMODATION:
This tour departs Nairobi early on day 1; we strongly recommend therefore that you plan to arrive the day before departure to overcome any jet-lag and acclimatise to Africa. We would be happy to book pre-tour accommodation for you – please call or email us (or speak to your agent) with your arrival details and accommodation requirements. However please book early to avoid disappointment and the risk of having to find more expensive (or less convenient) lodgings.
If time allows, we also suggest planning a night or two extra (after your tour) to make the most of Cape Town and the surrounding area.
ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS:
These are optional activities that are booked during your holiday and paid directly to the provider while on tour. These options offer a variety of experiences and allow you the freedom to decide what activities you would like to do.
We use 2-person dome tents with fly sheets, sewn-in groundsheets, zip-up insect screens and foam mattresses. We mainly use campsites, which usually have reasonable wash and shower facilities, electricity points and sometimes even a small shop, bar or swimming pool. In Maasai Mara we use multi shared tented camp with en-suite facilities. In the Okavango Delta we use twin share pre-erected tents with basic en-suite facilities. In the Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater there are basic facilities. On Zanzibar we use basic tourist class local hotels. In Swakopmund we use multi shared accommodation (dorm).
24-seater, self-contained, custom-built safari truck with on-board tables, plug sockets, freezer, water tank, library, i-pod jack, safety features and 70-litre individual lockers, mokoro (dugout canoe), river boat, 4x4 safari vehicle and fast ferry.
GAME PARK VISITS:
In order to maximise the quality of game driving and to comply with local authority rulings, some of our National Park visits and game viewing is carried out using services provided by local African ground handlers. As well as enhancing our experience using local guides and smaller vehicles it also allows us to contribute at a ‘grassroots’ level to local economies from which local people benefit.
This is a participation tour and your help will be needed in assisting with the various day to day duties, such as shopping, cooking and keeping the truck tidy (usually on a rota basis). But don’t worry it’s not all hard work and it’s a great way to meet the local people and get to know your fellow travellers. Your contribution benefits the success of the tour - most people find the greater their involvement, the greater their enjoyment of the whole trip.
42 Breakfasts, 33 Lunches, 32 Dinners
Camping in 2-person dome tents
Fully equipped safari vehicle
Camping and cooking equipment
All road tolls and vehicle taxes
All ground transportation
Meals as indicated
Services of two crew
Maasai Mara excursion with small vehicle*
Maasai Village Walk with Resident Guide
Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater Excursion in Purpose Built Vehicles, Game Drives with Resident Guide*
Zanzibar, Return Ferry & Accommodation
Mosi Oa Tunya NP, Victoria Falls Visit
Chobe NP, Fish Eagle Boat Cruise*
Chobe NP Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*
Okavango Delta Wilderness Excursion, Mokoro/Walking Safari*
Kalahari Bushman Walk
Etosha NP, Game Drives
Spitzkoppe, Bushman Paintings
Sossusvlei shuttle & guided walk*
*Highlights are included in the Adventure Pass
Items of a personal nature
Meals on Zanzibar (Lunches x 3, Dinners x3)