Africa's amazing culture, geography and wildlife are the major highlights of the many countries we travel through. This 32-day overland tour takes us to some of Africa's top game parks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Kruger, and to its best natural beauty at Lake Malawi and Victoria Falls. The beaches of Zanzibar and Malawi are a welcome addition to sit back and relax in true African style.
Day 1: Johannesburg to Hazyview (L / D)
Leaving Johannesburg we head towards the Lowveld and the famous Kruger National Park. On our way we pass through the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route - famous for its breathtaking vistas. Our camp for the next two nights is just 8 km from the Kruger's Numbi Gate. We spend a relaxing evening around the camp fire before our game drive tomorrow.
Day 2: Hazyview (B / L / D)
Today we explore the amazing Kruger National Park. Covering 21 497 km2 - 60 km wide and over 350 km long, this conservation area has more than 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian & 49 fish species. 23 000 different types of plants have been recorded. We spend the day driving around the park looking for a few of these. There is the option of doing a night drive looking for a few of the nocturnal inhabitants.
Day 3: Hazyview to Graskop (B / L / D)
After a quick replenishing of our stocks we leave the Lowveld and head up to the beautiful small town of Graskop. It is from this gateway in Mpumulanga that we explore some of the best scenery in South Africa, including the ever striking Blyde River Canyon and God's Window. The many viewpoints of the Canyon, afford us excellent photo opportunities. We set up our tents on the lush green grass of our camp before enjoying a dip in the lovely swimming pool. Graskop's night life is something to be enjoyed and those that want will have the opportunity to experience it.
Day 4: Graskop to Musina (B / L / D)
Today we begin our journey to Zimbabwe. We have a long, relaxing drive where we get to sit back and enjoy the ever changing scenery. Tonight we'll camp in one of the hottest towns in South Africa, Musina. Born in the copper mining era, it withered into a ghost town after the closing of these mines. However, the resurgence of the mining industry has seen it flourish once more and today it is an interesting town steeped in history.
Day 5: Musina to Masvingo (Zimbabwe) (B / L / D)
Today we enter Zimbabwe - a beautiful country rich in soul, culture and tradition. We make our way to the town of Masvingo - on the outskirts of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This was the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa, built by an ancient highly skilled civilization. The name Zimbabwe is derived from this ancient city and means 'great stone houses' in Shona. Wander around these amazing ruins, before setting up camp.
Day 6: Masvingo to Gweru (B / L / D)
Leaving Masvingo, we continue our journey north to Gweru, in Zimbabwe's Midlands. Here we stop over at The Antelope Park. It is said 'you have not been to Zimbabwe until you have visited the Victoria Falls ... and the Antelope Park'. A wide variety of game viewing opportunities are available in this area inhabited by lion, elephant, giraffe and obviously numerous antelope! We have the unique option to walk with lions, ride or swim with elephants, view game from horse back or from the back of a vehicle.
Day 7: Gweru (B / L / D)
Today is spent enjoying personal encounters with Africa's wildlife.
Days 8: Gweru to Bulawayo (B / L / D)
Leaving Gweru, we head to Bulawayo - Zimbabwe's second largest city. Bulawayo is noted for its exceptionally wide streets, which were originally designed to accommodate a full span ox wagon. The city also still retains much of its British Colonial character, evident by the many buildings maintained as heritage sites by the Bulawayo City Council. Interesting places to visit are the Natural History Museum, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, which employs over 70 people.
Day 9: Bulawayo (B / L / D)
Today we visit Matobo National Park, one of the last strongholds of both the black and the white rhino. This park is also well known for its high concentration of the elusive leopard and majestic black eagle. Rock paintings are to be found too, providing evidence of the ancient San inhabitants of this area. Cecil John Rhodes (after whom Rhodesia was named) asked to be buried at the top of one of the sacred hills, (although there is some controversy over whether he will stay!) We spend the day exploring this unique geological, ecological and historic area.
Day 10: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (B / L)
Leaving Bulawayo, we head to Victoria Falls. Here in Africa's adventure capital, we set up camp in the town's centrally located campsite. The afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite's swimming pool or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!
Days 11 & 12: Victoria Falls (B on both days)
Today is spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. AT 1700 metres wide and around 100 metres high, Victoria Falls are one of the most memorable sights on this African safari. All year round, flights can be taken in fixed wing planes, micro lights or helicopters. Back on the ground, the falls can be seen from the Victoria Falls National Park with its many viewing points or from the Zambian side. All offer fantastic photographic opportunities.
Optional excursions include trips into the Zambezi or Hwange National Parks, elephant back safaris, horse back safaris, a visit to the crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at The Elephant Hills Resort. Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint hearted! All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site. White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Beside the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the 'floats', where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.
Day 13: Victoria Falls to Livingstone (Zambia) (B / L / D)
We leave Zimbabwe and cross the Victoria Falls Bridge and the Zambezi River, entering into Zambia at the town of Livingstone. We have the opportunity to view The Falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia. Another fantastic photo opportunity. The day affords us the opportunity to participate in the activities available in Zambia we weren't able to do on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls. Tonight we have the option of enjoying a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi.
Day 14: Livingstone to Lusaka (B / L / D)
An early morning start sees us head north through southern Zambia to our campsite on the outskirts of Zambia's capital city, Lusaka. The campsite is home to some local wildlife including the largest antelope - Eland.
Day 15: Lusaka to Chipata (B / L / D)
From Lusaka we head north east to a beautiful little campsite just 10 km before the Zambia/Malawi border. Here we spend the night before heading into Malawi.
Days 16 to 20: Chipata to Lake Malawi Beaches (Malawi) (B / L / D)
Leaving Zambia we cross into Malawi, the 'Warm Heart of Africa'. We stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre. Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. We travel the full length of the western side of the lake, stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next 5 days.
Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax on the pristine beaches. Malawi's temperate climate allows for swimming in the clear blue fresh-water lake all year round. Explore the beautiful shore where you'll happen upon the local fishermen sorting their catch. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced and to appreciate their boating skills, try to paddle a dug out canoe yourself! The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi's shores offer many optional Excursions including a variety of water sports, horse back rides and a visit to the local village and school.
Day 21: Lake Malawi to Iringa (Tanzania) (B / L / D)
After a relaxing 5 days, we leave Malawi, entering Tanzania through the border post at Songwe. Taking in the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we head towards Iringa where we spend the night in the beautiful rustic 'Farmhouse' campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!
Day 22: Iringa to Dar es Salaam (B / L / D)
The next morning we make our way to Dar es Salaam. We pass through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. On arrival in Dar es Salaam, we make our way to our lovely seaside campsite and prepare for our departure to Zanzibar the next morning.
Day 23: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (B)
A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the 'Spice Island', where we have the option to spend the next 3 nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join us to replace those that'll leave us at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.
Please note: Accommodation and Meals are for your own account whilst on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own. The Trip Leader joins you and can arrange your accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants. *For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam.
Days 24 & 25: Zanzibar
History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire if you'd like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover's paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.
Day 26: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (D)
Leaving Zanzibar, we return to the mainland in the late afternoon and another night in Dar es Salaam.
Day 27: Dar es Salaam to Arusha (B / L / D)
From Dar es Salaam we travel through vast sisal plantations to Arusha. On the way, we pass The Pare and Usambara Mountain ranges before driving through the town of Moshi. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions and weather permitting; we may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain's snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! Tonight we stay in a lovely campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on our Optional Excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
Days 28 to 30: Arusha / Optional Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti NP Excursion (B / L / D)
Arusha is a pleasant town situated at the base of Mount Meru and is the starting point for the optional excursions to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti. We conduct these excursions in locally operated 4WD vehicles, which are adapted for safari use.
For those not opting to visit the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park, the next days are spent at leisure enjoying the Meserani reptile park, Masai Cultural Museum and the surrounding villages and craft markets. Alternatively the town of Arusha is close by to explore.
The Optional Ngorongoro/Serengeti excursion takes us via the Maasai town of Mto Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. We spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu. The following morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa - including the elusive Black Rhino.
After our game drive in the Crater, we head down the Crater rim and past the 'Cradle of Mankind' on our way to the Serengeti National Park. We cross the vast plains as we game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight we camp in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident game. With some luck, we may see some of Africa's 'Big 5'!
After our morning drive, we head back across the plains and the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.
Day 31: Arusha to Namanga (Kenya) (B / L / D)
After a morning spent exploring Arusha's city centre and vibrant craft markets, we head to lunch just outside of town. After lunch, we travel 120 km to the Tanzania / Kenya border. Once the border formalities are complete, we camp at Namanga just over the Kenyan border.
Day 32: Namanga to Nairobi (B)
This morning we travel 180 km north to the capital city, Nairobi. On arrival, we head to the Hotel Boulevard, where we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced an overland safari of a lifetime!
|START: Johannesburg||END: Nairobi|
|30 September 2015||31 October 2015|
|28 October 2015||28 November 2015|
|25 November 2015||26 December 2015|
|23 December 2015||23 January 2016|
The following Optional Activities are available on this overland safari.
Please Note: Prices are approximate and can change at any given time. Please use as a guideline only.
|Nairobi National Park (half day tour)||USD 125|
|Giraffe Centre||USD 15|
|Serengeti / Ngorongoro Excursion (2 nights)||from USD 500|
|Olduvai Gorge||USD 10|
|Zanzibar Accommodation (p/p/p/n)||USD 40-60|
|Zanzibar Spice Tour||USD 40|
|Stone Town Tour||USD 50|
|Prison Island Snorkelling Trip||USD 30|
|Dhow Sunset Cruise||USD 40|
|Dhow Fishing Trip||USD 40|
|Dolphin Trip||USD 40|
|Nungwe Snorkel Trip (half day)||USD 40|
|Scuba Diving||from USD 100|
|Fresh Water Diving (Kande Beach)||from USD 55|
|Snorkelling (full day)||USD 30|
|Village Walk and Meal||USD 20|
|Traditional Healer Visit||USD 10|
|Livingstonia Mission Hike (30km return)||USD 10|
|Zambezi Sunset Dinner Cruise||USD 80|
|Entry to Vic Falls National Park||USD 35|
|Microlight over the Falls (15 mins)||USD 170|
|Helicopter over the Falls (15 mins)||USD 155|
|Zambezi River Rafting (full day)||USD 140|
|Full Day Adrenaline (min 10 pax)||USD 160|
|Rafting and Boarding Combo||USD 180|
|Bungee Jumping (111m)||USD 150|
|Elephant Back Safari||USD 150|
|Gweru - Game Drive (min 6)||USD 30|
|Gweru - Walk with Lions||USD 90|
|Chobe National Park Game Drive||USD 70|
|Kruger Park Night Drive||USD 170|
|Kruger Park open vehicle Game Drive||USD 80|
|Soweto Tour (Joburg / Pretoria)||from USD 80|