This tour gives the adventurous traveller 36 days from Cape Town, South Africa to Nairobi, Kenya. A mix of Cape Town's city streets, Namibia's vast desert landscapes, the rugged Okavango Delta and breath-taking views of the Victoria Falls, show you the many sides of this captivating Southern Africa region, where lions, elephants and rhinos roam. Watch a traditional San Bushman dance, do a Mokoro excursion in the Okavango Delta, spot wildlife in Chobe National Park, soak up the incredible views of Victoria Falls. Travel further north to Eastern Africa. Visit natural landmarks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Malawi, South Luangwa. Experience the best of Kenya with visits to Lake Naivasha and the Masai Mara. Track the Big Five and numerous other animals during several game drives.
Bungalow/Lodges (21 nts), Tented Rooms (6 nts), Comfort Hotel (4 nts), Basic Hotel (1 nts), Participation Basic Camping (3 nts).
Price £5540 per person based on 2 people sharing
Pre/Post Tour Accommodation and transfers £249 (£349 single)
Single Supplement £1425
Dates 2018 - Northbound (Cape Town - Nairobi)
Dates 2018 - Sorthbound (Nairobi - Cape Town)
Explore the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town during the day and meet your group and your Tour Leader in the evening at 18:00 to get acquainted and review your trip details. Cape Town offers an unbelievable variety of experiences, tastes and sightseeing. Try a variety of exotic tastes, like some of the delicious Cape Malay curries, the famous local dish Bobotie, or the freshest seafood at one of exquisite seafood restaurants at the V&A Waterfront. Make sure to arrive a day early to go to the world-famous Robben Island where former President Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, visit Cape Point or go with a cable car up Table Mountain to enjoy a panoramic view of Cape Town from the top.
After breakfast, you depart for the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of the Cape Peninsula. Rugged rocks and sheer cliffs tower more than 200m above sea level. The natural vegetation of the area, fynbos, comprises the smallest but richest of the world’s six floral kingdoms. After lunch, you visit the endangered Boulders African Penguin Colony in Simonstown.
Today you head north to the West Coast of South Africa. Strandfontein, a popular tourist attraction with a picturesque shoreline, offers tranquility and have a pleasant and carefree nature. Watch as Sandpipers, Gulls and Oystercatchers scavenge for food. Please do not collect any mussel or other sea creatures – special licenses are required. On the way to Strandfontein, you will stop to do a short walk to the Heerenlogement Cave close to the small town Graafwater. This shelter has earned itself the name of “Holiday Inn of the 17th century” due to all the people who took refuge there on a temporary basis.
Your next stop is the Augrabies National Park. This place was named by the local Khoi residents “Aukoerebis” – meaning “Place of big noise” in Nama. The most spectacular feature of this National Park is the Augrabies Falls, after which the park was named. Here the Orange River, when in flood, thunders 56 meters down over rocks and then continue in a narrow gorge for another 18 kilometres before spreading out and continuing its journey to the coast. As this is a very arid environment, vegetation is hardy and includes succulents, aloes, acacias and the Namaqua fig. Augrabies is ideal for self-hikes, birdwatching and is also home to 46 mammal species. Animals and birds to look out for are Broadley’s flat lizard known as the Augrabies flat lizard, rock hyrax (dassie), klipspringer, Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle and the Hartmann's mountain zebra.
This unique park is an amalgamation of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, bordering Namibia on the west. The park comprises an area of over 3.6 million hectares – one of very few conservation areas of this magnitude left in the world. Red sand dunes, sparse vegetation and the dry riverbeds show antelope and predators off to spectacular advantage and provide excellent photographic opportunities. Our accommodation is just outside the park.
A day for photo opportunities, we visit the park for the day for a full day’s game drive with our Premium Overland Safari Vehicle. This is a land of contrast and unique beauty, red sand dunes with a backdrop of deep blue sky. Here you find straight-horned oryx wandering in the waving yellow-gold dune bushman grass. Majestic camel thorn trees on open plains give home and shade to many of the Kalahari's dwellers. The sparse vegetation and the dry riverbeds show antelope and predators off to spectacular advantage and provide excellent photographic opportunities. Keep cameras ready for the famous black-maned Kalahari lions.
Today you cross the South African / Namibian border and travel to Seeheim. Early in the 20th century, the sole purpose of this small town was that of a junction station between Keetmanshoop, Lüderitz and Karasburg. This rustic oasis in the desert built from stone is where you will be spending your first night under the Namibian starlit sky.
Sesriem is a small settlement located in the Namib Desert. The name Sesriem means “six belts’ and was named by the Dorsland Trekkers, a group of Afrikaans-speaking settlers. It is said that they had to tie together 6 belts (made of oryx hide) to reach buckets down into the Sesriem Canyon to scoop up water. The Sesriem Canyon is a natural canyon carved in the sedimentary rock.
An early departure will give you the opportunity to climb the majestic Dune 45 during the cooler time of the day. Dune 45 was named for its proximity to Sesriem gate before continuing to the entrance of Sossusvlei, a seemingly endless expanse of sand dunes. Sand that was carried to the west coast by the Orange River is blown back again inland by winds and formed the dunes of the Namib Desert. The Namib, a minimum of 55 million years old, is regarded as the oldest desert in the world. The sand here is coloured red due to the high levels of iron oxide. These dunes are known as star dunes, created by winds blowing from all directions and is also known as the highest sand dunes in the world. In the afternoon, you will visit the Sesriem Canyon, a miniature canyon by world standards but beautiful to walk around in and appreciate the distinctive sedimentary rocks and conglomerate that line the canyon walls.
Travel to Windhoek, Namibia's capital. Spend the last few hours of the day exploring Windhoek and its strong German influence. You'll have the option to celebrate your last night and your new friendships at one of Windhoek’s famous restaurants. Book a day or two extra in Windhoek to make the most of your stay. This tiny capital town has loads of interesting things to offer. One of the most famous is the display of 33 meteorites, the Gibeon Meteorites in the Post Street Mall. Here you can take pictures of and touch these extra-terrestrial bodies that are corrosive resistant due to the high amount of nickel in them. Shopping opportunities abound and for the historically inclined there are many museums and historical buildings within walking distance to the town centre. One of the most widely photographed and a historical landmark is the Christ Church, a Lutheran church, built in the Gothic revival style.
Depart Windhoek early for a long drive through the eastern part of Namibia, crossing the border into Botswana and travelling into the heart of the Kalahari Desert. Ghanzi is the area where San (Bushmen) live who still have the knowledge of an ancient lifestyle and who are eager to welcome visitors into their almost forgotten world. In the evening enjoy an optional ancient dance ritual performed around a campfire by the San and if the night is clear, enjoy the sparkling, starry skies for which Ghanzi is famous.
Enjoy a morning walk with the San (Bushmen) as they display their survival skill’s that’s been passed on from generation to generation before departing Ghanzi and arriving in Maun, Botswana's fifth largest town, after lunchtime. Once you arrive in Maun you will have the option to get a spectacular birds-eye view of the Okavango Delta from above in a small fixed wing aircraft (weather permitting). Looking down on the Delta from the aircraft, you will get a fair idea of the magnitude of this massive mix of land and water with its intricate system of channels and islands. You might also see families of elephant, giraffe, and herds of buffalo or even hippos from the air. If you skip the flight, you'll have the chance to kick back and relax at the lodge.
Today you will experience a new way of travelling – to go into the Okavango Delta with a mokoro, the same way as the local people do. You will be transferred to the ‘’polling’’ station either with a motorized boat or a 4x4 vehicle depending on the water levels of the Delta. A mokoro is a traditional dug-out canoe that seats two people. The mokoro is steered by a ‘’poler” standing at the back, manoeuvring the mokoro downstream with a pole, very much like the gondoliers in Venice. Once you are comfortable and laid back in your mokoro, the slow and tranquil journey into The Delta begins. Gliding along on the quiet water you will have an unlimited source of opportunities to take exquisite photos of your surroundings. The duration of the mokoro trail depends on the time of year and water levels of the Delta. You will stop for lunch at an island and enjoy a nature walk of a few hours. Then you head back to Maun, again in your mokoro enjoying the last hour or two on the water while the late afternoon sun starts heading for the horizon.
Set out for Elephant Sands, which is close to the Botswanan village of Nata. Elephant Sands is famous for its watering hole, voted as one of the top ten watering holes in Africa. At this watering hole, you can expect to see animals such as wild dogs, different antelope species and of course elephants that walk through the campsite searching for fresh water. This will probably be the closest you will get to these wild animals on foot. With luck on your side, you may have the wonderful and unique experience of sitting in front of your tented room, watching elephants and other animals come and go to quench their thirst at the watering hole while you sip on a sundowner yourself.
Continue to the small town of Kasane, which is adjacent to the Chobe National Park & Chobe River. Relish the views during your included afternoon sunset boat cruise. Take your own sundowner with you as you look for wildlife on the banks of the Chobe River. Game such as elephant, buffalo, kudu, bushbuck, hippo, giraffe and sable are commonly seen along the river edge, and it's a birdwatcher’s paradise during the summer months. (You have an opportunity to go on an optional photo safari at your own expense, however, you would forfeit the included afternoon sunset boat cruise).
You can’t ask for a better way to start your day in search of wild animals on your included game drive in Chobe National Park. Afterwards, cross into Zambia and enjoy a short drive to the magnificent Victoria Falls and its charming little town, Livingstone. This is your home base for the next two nights. The Victoria Falls is not the widest or highest falls but is regarded as the world's biggest. It produces a breath-taking curtain of falling water as it drops into the gorge below. See why it's considered among one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Today you will have time to do some of the action-filled activities that the area offers. Bungee jump or gorge swing off the Victoria Falls Bridge that links Zambia and Zimbabwe and have a different view of the Victoria Falls at the same time. This bridge is constructed to carry railway, road and foot traffic. For an adrenaline activity, closer to the Zambezi River, choose a half day or full day white water rafting adventure. Many of our groups opt to book their final evening together aboard a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River with game-viewing, beautiful scenery and an open bar.
A long day’s drive to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. You have ample time to relax and soak up the scenery of unspoiled nature and traditional settlements en route. Your rest camp is just outside the capital situated on a private game farm, where you can linger in the swimming pool or enjoy refreshments in the bar.
Another long, but worthwhile drive in a north-east direction to the jewel of Zambia, South Luangwa National Park. Savour Africa's natural beauty from the comfort of your Adventure Overland Safari Vehicle. You will cross an important landmark about halfway, namely the Luangwa Bridge across the Luangwa River. If time allows you might make a quick stop at the market town straddling the highway and taste dried fish or buy a straw hat for the sunny days ahead. You will overnight next to the Luangwa River on the border of South Luangwa National Park. A brave night guard will be on the look-out for hippo, elephant or lion that might wander into the camp. You will truly feel part of Africa at Luangwa.
We do a morning game drive with 4x4 safari vehicles to see how many of the 60 different animal species in the park we can find. South Luangwa is the southernmost national park in the valley of the Luangwa River and regarded by many experts as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Be on the lookout for elephant lazily going about finding food, search for the well-known red lion nicknamed Ginger by the Rangers, stop at towering Thornicroft giraffe, the tallest animals in the world, great herds of buffalo, puku, zebra, pods of hippos and much, much more. Get lost in a spectacular world with majestic trees such as mopane, tamarind, sausage tree and marula tree and watch the rising sun turning the morning dust into swirling red-golden clouds. You also have the option to book an afternoon or night game drive as an optional activity.
The next few days will offer a total change of scenery and a new country when you camp right next to Lake Malawi, also named The Lake of Stars by explorer David Livingstone because of the lights of fishermen on the lake at night. Nestled between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, this great body of water is lined with picturesque thatched-roofed huts and colourful washing fluttering on washing lines. You will drive past self-sufficient crops of maize, banana and pawpaw trees, racks loaded with small fish drying in the sun, chicken and piglets scattering across the road, women in brightly coloured wrapped skirts with buckets balanced on their heads and waving children. After a long day’s driving, you will finally be able to plunge down in a hammock in the characterful bar of Kande Beach or sit in the early evening on the beach to enjoy the cool breeze blowing from the lake.
The day begins with a taste of local life when you go on a village tour after breakfast with one of the local guides. You will learn more about the culture and daily life of the local people on this tour and soon you will be surrounded by children eager to show off their English and speak with a foreigner. During your stay at Kande Beach, you can experience the novelty of diving in fresh water with a PADI accredited diving centre. Or just bask in the sun on the beach, take a swim in the fresh water, or take a kayak or pedal boat out on the water. For horse lovers, there is an opportunity to do some horse riding and take your horse for a swim in the lake at the end of your ride.
En route to Chitimba, you will drive through a rubber tree forest. Your adventure crew will show you the process of rubber tree tapping and how the farmers collect the latex from these trees. Stop for shopping in Mzuzu which is the third largest city in Malawi and the centre of the agricultural region. When arriving at Chitimba camp after lunch, you have the afternoon free to relax on the beach or visit the market just outside the camp. Test your negotiation skills and bargain for that perfect souvenir, that is often made right there on the spot. Marvel at the craftsmanship needed to carve the intricate designs out of wood to decorate everything from three-legged Malawi chairs and tables, wooden bowls, chess boards, wall decorations and hundreds of other things big and small.
Today is a relaxing day on which you can take an optional hike to the Livingstonia Museum or try your hand at wood crafting lessons, go on a guided hike, optional village tours or challenge one of the locals at one of their most popular games called Bao which is the Swahili name for a board game.
Today the journey continues to Iringa, a region famous for its baskets woven from reeds which are not only used locally but also exported internationally. We overnight at Kizolanza Farmhouse, a working farm with sheep, cattle and a variety of crops of vegetables, herbs and flowers. Kisolanza is the perfect halfway haven on the long journey from Chitimba to Dar es Salaam. It will be hard to find a place where elegance, ambience and practicality meet in a more charming way. Old ruins of the farm had been converted into The Mud Ruins Bar and Restaurant while keeping the original 70-year-old structures intact. Enjoy a hearty dinner prepared with produce from the farm while candles and lanterns lit up this charismatic ruin with natural ambience and rustic elegance.
Rise early for a long drive to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city. Although the journey is long, you will drive through incredibly beautiful scenery, for example, the winding road through Baobab Valley - which is exactly what the name promises – a valley filled with baobab trees of all shapes and ages. Closer to Dar the population becomes denser and although Dar es Salaam is no more the capital of Tanzania it remains to be a very important economic centre. Driving through the chaotic streets of Dar es Salaam your senses will experience an onslaught of colours, smells and noises. Buy an ice cream, peanuts or charcoal grilled maize through the windows of the truck while it crawls through the insane traffic. This evening you can have a good night's rest in a comfortable bed or have a night out exploring.
Today you have a short ferry trip on the ocean from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar. On arrival at the harbour, you will hop into a private transfer vehicle that will first take you on a spice tour before continuing to Nungwi Beach. On the spice tour, you will come to understand why Zanzibar is also named the Spice Island. On this guided tour, you will learn how spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg vanilla and peppercorns are grown and harvested. Inhale deeply the fragrance of a fresh piece of cinnamon bark or an open vanilla pod while wandering through the crops. After a tasty Swahili lunch, you continue to the holiday resort of Nungwi Beach.
Enjoy a relaxed day exploring this historic town or simply relax at your hotel next to the pool. Explore Nungwi Beach's white sandy beaches, stage-set palm trees, turquoise sea and the sunshine. Take part in activities like snorkelling, scuba diving or guided walks. Your Tour Leader will assist with bookings if needed.
Enjoy a private transfer back to Stone Town, and explore this historic town with its maze of alleys lined with houses, shops, bazaars and mosques. Wander through the narrow streets filled with the fragrance of incense and spices, and add the distinct “Zanzibar smell” to your memories. The incredible architecture and enormous brass-studded wooden doors offer endless photo opportunities and although the Zanzibarians in their long, elegantly flowing garments are tempting to take pictures of, please be sensitive to the fact that they don’t like to be photographed. If you don’t want to walk the streets on your own you can go on a guided city tour and if towns are not your thing, you can always go on a boat trip to a nearby island like Prison Island. For lunch and dinner, the opportunities available will make it very hard to choose. Be adventurous at the evening food market and try a Zanzibar pizza or have a spicy meal at one of the many Indian restaurants.
Leave Stone Town via ferry early morning, where your overland safari vehicle will meet you for the transfer to Bagamoyo. Situated approximately 80km north of Dar es Salaam. Bagamoyo was the most important trading post of Eastern Africa in the 19th century. A small fishing village, Bagamoyo is rich in history. Ruins of German-era colonial buildings and alleyways with a beautiful beachside backdrop of the Indian Ocean make this small village well worth a visit. Enjoy some freshly caught fish cooked to your delight at the fish market situated on the beach.
Depart early for Arusha, a bustling city located on the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley. If you are lucky you might just get a glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro, usually veiled behind clouds. Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano and the highest free-standing mountain in Africa. This is another day where you will enjoy the journey just as much as the destination, if not more. Watch how the landscapes change from tropical palm trees, banana and pawpaw trees to open savannah and acacia trees. You will see true Masai minding their cattle, void of the bling of the flashy Zanzibar Masai. You will drive along the beautiful Usambara mountain range and past vast fields of sisal, one of Tanzania’s largest export products. Your overnight stay will be at Meserani Snake Park, a true community orientated campsite. All the proceeds of the bar and campsite go towards the free clinic for the Masai and to take care of snakes, birds and other animals that are injured or would have been killed. Drink an ice-cold Kilimanjaro beer or soda with the knowledge that you are contributing to the community.
Enjoy a long scenic drive to the Serengeti. The Serengeti Migration was officially declared as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa February 11, 2013, in Arusha, Tanzania. Votes were cast by experts from around the world who noted the key statistical significance. Serengeti National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We use 4x4 safari vehicles for the duration of the Serengeti / Crater excursion, as they are better adapted to the terrain. The Serengeti is one of the best places to observe a lion pride in a natural environment. You might also spot blue wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and buffalo. Spend one night, camping in the central Seronera area. Tonight, you will be sleeping in the wild in an unfenced camp in the middle of the Serengeti. Listen to all the sounds the night offers while you doze off. You might just fall asleep to the sound of a lion roaring, calling for his females, the haunting call of the hyena or the lonely cry of the jackal.
Enjoy an early breakfast before your safari begins. We will do game drives in the Serengeti until around lunchtime, before crossing over to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest inactive, unfilled and intact volcanic caldera. The crater is home to roughly 25,000 large animals, of which you will try to find some on your morning game drive the next day. On the way to your campsite on the crater rim, you will stop for a panoramic view of the whole crater below. Put up your tent under the enormous sausage tree in the middle of the camp and be on the lookout for buffalo, zebra, or elephant which might just wander into the campsite looking for the soft, juicy grass you are camping on. On a lucky evening, you will wake up to the sound of zebra or buffalo chomping away on the grass around your tent.
Enjoy a final early morning game drive into the Crater in search of that perfect photo shoot. Descending 600 metres from the crater rim to the bottom of the crater will feel like entering an ancient world. Massive candelabra cacti stand watch along the slopes and inside the crater, you will find a mini-world with a lake, a swamp, a river, grassland and forest. Have cameras ready for endangered black rhino, elephants with long, white, curved tusks, spotted hyena, herds of wildebeest clowning around, skittish zebra or the jackpot of any game drive, the big cats - lion, leopard and cheetah. Return to Karatu and the comfort of your Adventure Overland Safari Vehicle around lunchtime. You have the afternoon free to enjoy some cocktails next to the swimming pool or go on a village walk.
Relax during the drive, but keep your eyes open for Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro en route before crossing the Tanzania / Kenya border. Explore the city of Nairobi, which highlights include Nairobi National Museum, Railway Museum, Karen Blixen Museum, The Village Market, Giraffe Centre, Bomas of Kenya and much more. But perhaps the most famous tourist attraction is Carnivore, an open-air restaurant featuring an all-you-can-eat meat buffet.
A last goodbye, a healthy breakfast and the end of another successful tour.