Journey from South Africa to Kenya

Travel from coast to coast and through the heart of southern Africa on an epic overland journey that will show you iconic sights and hidden gems as you travel through African nations rich in natural beauty, history, culture and tradition. Begin in beautiful Cape Town and voyage through desert landscapes, rolling savannas and lush mountainscapes; cruise lakes, delta waterways and feel the spray of massive waterfalls; spend time getting to know locals in rural villages and enjoying the rhythms of buzzing cities. From game drives in national parks full of iconic African animals to enjoying the simple pleasure of lying on a pristine beach, this grand journey though Africa is the perfect way to discover everything that makes this part of the world so special.

Start
Cape Town, South Africa
Finish
Nairobi, Kenya
Countries
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
UXOAC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 22
Carbon offset
2 258kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Soak up the cosmopolitan vibes of Cape Town
  • Uncover Namibia’s spectacular landscape of deserts and sand dunes
  • Trek around the surrounds of the stunning Spitzkoppe
  • Learn the ways of the San Bushmen in Grootfontein
  • Cruise the waterways of Okavango Delta in a traditional canoe
  • Feel the power of mighty Victoria Falls
  • Discover the largest ruins in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Visit Zimbabwe's bustling capital, Harare
  • Watch out for hippos in South Luangwa
  • Soak up the sun on Zanzibar's spectacular beaches
  • Discover rural village life in the lush Usambara Mountains
  • Go in search of the Big Five in the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park

Itinerary

Boasting vineyards, adventure activities, restaurants and attractions both in and around the city, Cape Town is a delight. It is also the perfect place to kick off the ultimate overland tour of Africa.
Spend a night on a farm in the Western Cape.
Pass through Namaqualand, famous for its wildflowers that spring up from the end of July to mid-September. Arrive at the beautiful Orange River, the natural border between South Africa and Namibia.
Travel to Fish River Canyon in time for a spectacular sunset over the surrounding region.
This is a long driving day towards the fabled dunes of Namibia.
Wake before dawn and scramble to the top of these dunes for a dramatic sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. The colour changes are just incredible and provide a spectacular setting for our brunch.
Enjoy adventure activities in Swakopmund, an oasis between the desert and the beach.
Surrounded by the massive dune fields of the Namib Desert on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Swakopmund is an example of the extraordinary German culture that's found in all major settlements in Namibia. It's worth wandering around the town to admire the beauty of the Germanic architecture and take advantage of some excellent souvenir shopping.
Today is another free day to enjoy this interesting beach side town.
View thousands of seals basking on the shores of Cape Cross before gazing at the wonder of the rocky Spitzkoppe.
From big carnivores to over 340 bird species, there's plenty to spot on this adventure into vast Etosha park, one of the largest national parks in Africa.
Enjoy a full day game drive in Etosha National Park.
Head out tracking and gathering with the San Bushmen, perhaps picking up a few words of their local 'clicking' language.
Today we do a round trip to visit the Bushmen. We will go out tracking and gathering with the San Bushmen. Spend some time with them and listen to the stories and songs of these fascinating people, presented in their unique "clicking language". The Bushmen are the oldest ethnic group in Namibia having inhabited Southern Africa for an estimated 20,000 years. Around 30,000 San live in Namibia, but only 2,000 of them still follow a traditional way of life. The San have a deep understanding of nature and ecology, living in harmony with their environment.
Head to Bagani where we set up camp for the night.
Make tracks for the expansive Okavango Delta in Botswana. Explore the maze of reed beds and waterways onboard a mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe.
Continue our trip around the delta and take an optional nature walk with your guide.
Relax in laidback Bagani and perhaps enjoy some of the optional activities, including boat tours, fishing and hiking.
Try to spy swimming elephants, wallowing hippos or sun-loving crocs on a optional cruise along the Chobe River.
Enjoy an early morning game drive and get up close to the wildlife, hopefully spotting lions, buffaloes, birds and of course elephants.
Travel on to Victoria Falls, crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi (115 km, approx 3 hrs).
Our camp has flush toilets, showers, WiFi and upgrades available.
Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.
The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.
Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities on offer.
Set off from Victoria Falls and make tracks to the second largest city in Zimbabwe: Bulawayo. Take a free afternoon to explore the city, perhaps heading to the Natural History Museum or the Bulawayo Railway Museum.
Get up early and take the option to venture out to explore the Matobo National Park.
Motor on to the oldest colonial settlement in Zimbabwe this morning and spend an afternoon exploring the World-Heritage listed Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This site was a royal palace and served as the seat of political power in the area. Spend an evening in Masvingo.
Take a train to the capital city of Zimbabwe today. You have a bit of time to explore, so perhaps head to the National Gallery or the botanical garden, or just explore the shops and markets.
A full day of driving today sees the group move on to Lusaka, a place that is becoming one of the fastest developing cities in Zambia. Experience a mish-mash of culture in Zambia’s capital.
This small town is home to a community school, a women’s project and a beautiful safari area, so spend some time here exploring the local places of interest.
Settle in with a good book or make sure your e-reader is all charged up – today is mainly spent on the road headed to the South Luangwa National Park.
Take the chance to go on a dawn game drive and, uniquely, at night with spotlights when many of the big animals are at their most active.
Head on to Malawi and go straight to camp on the southern shores of Lake Malawi. Here you can relax or get involved with some of the optional activities on the lake’s waters.
Look out for the fisherman in his bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at dawn and make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians, easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Travel north to Chitimba today, a simple but comfortable camp on the northern shores of Lake Malawi. Spend an evening enjoying the lush green surrounds and natural beaches.
Overlooking the Ruaha River, Iringa is a picturesque town with a relaxed vibe, some good places to eat and a wonderful crafts centre.
Turn to the coast today and on the way pass through Mikumi National Park. It’s a full day of driving so take the time to flick through your pictures or catch up on your reading. Spend the evening camped near the ocean, perhaps enjoy a refreshing dip after a long day on the road.
Drive to Dar es Salaam and then catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar.
Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar's rich history involves everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast invokes images of what the island was like back in the days of Livingstone.
The old part of Zanzibar's main city is known as Stone Town. The best way to see this exotic port town is on foot, exploring the bazaars, shops, mosques, palaces, courtyards and myriad intricate alleyways. When the sun is setting, why not enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront before trying one of the island's local seafood curries at one of the town's many restaurants.
Spend a night in Stone Town at a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms and access to WiFi.
Drive to the spice plantations where you'll receive a guided tour and the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger, as well as teas made with these spices. We then head to the northern beaches and enjoy white sand and sparkling blue sea - the Indian Ocean at its best.
Try snorkeling, eat sumptuous seafood or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
Catch the midday ferry to Dar es Salaam with your leader and group, then join the overland vehicle, driver and cook and take the short drive to Bagamoyo.
Our camp at Bagamoyo is by the beach. Upgrades are available, however there is no Wi-Fi and only cold showers.
Perhaps wake early and visit the old slave trade markets. It's then time to get off the well-beaten track and head into the remote Tanzanian mountains.
Explore the beautiful Usambara Mountains and experience this area's gentle hospitality on a visit to some of its small communities. From our base, we'll organise a walking trip out to the beautiful Irente viewpoint.
Spend time in the small village of Moshi and be inspired by the efforts of the Amani Children’s Home, an Intrepid Foundation-supported project that houses and educates street kids. Spend the night on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro in Marangu.
Take a walking tour of Mshiri Village, the base for the Village Education Project, and witness the day-to-day life of the Chagga people. Visit a nearby waterfall before continuing on to Karatu.
The Ngorongoro Crater is a perfect natural enclosure that houses thousands of different types of African wildlife and will overwhelm with photo opportunities. From panoramic views at the rim, descent down to get up-close to huge herds of wildlife – the rare black rhino might even make an appearance if you’re lucky. Continue on to the Serengeti and search the savanna for the Big Five. The Serengeti is home to the annual great migration of millions of animals, and there’s great wildlife spotting year-round. Spend the night camping deep in the bush and try to identify the different animals calls that punctuate the night. For truly unforgettable views perhaps take a sunrise balloon ride over the plains.
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives with a chance to relax at camp during the warmer part of the day. For a real treat, take an optional sunrise balloon ride over the plains.
Soak up the feeling of African village life with a walk through the community of Mto wa Mbu. Pass a marketplace full of locally grown and handmade produce and learn how tribes from all over the region are represented in this farmer and artisan co-op as you take a guided tour around the village.
Enjoy the small-town vibe of Arusha, where the streets are lined with Jacaranda trees and busy street vendors. Take time to explore the city – maybe visit the vibrant craft market or check out the Natural History Museum.
This East African adventure comes to an end in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Perhaps join your group for one last meal and compare your best wildlife shots.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
45 breakfasts, 41 lunches, 47 dinners
Transport
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Mokoro, Overland vehicle
Accommodation
Bungalow (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (5 nights), Camping (with facilities) (36 nights), Chalet (3 nights), Hotel (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Cape Cross seal colony
  • Chobe - Dawn game drive
  • Evening Game Drive
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins
  • Irente - walk & local lunch
  • Nature Walk
  • San Bushman cultural experience
  • Serengeti - Game drive
  • Sesriem - Sand dunes visit
  • Sossusvlei 4x4 Tour
  • Swakopmund Museum
  • Village Education Project (Marangu) visit, village walk & lunch
  • Village Visit - Swakopmund ( Township tour)
  • Visit Victoria Falls
  • Zanzibar Spice tour

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Important notes

1. This is a combination trip. Please see trip notes (Important notes) for more details.
2. This trip finishes upon arrival at our finish point hotel in Nairobi on Day 49. Please do not book any flights until after 7pm this evening.
3. A single supplement is available on this trip.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Cape Town to Kenya trips score an average of 4.75 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.

Cape Town to Kenya , September 2015

Cape Town to Kenya , March 2015