Discover the best of Africa, from Kenya to South Africa

Want Africa with the lot? That's exactly what you'll get on this epic adventure across ten countries. Get breathtakingly close to animals more often seen in zoos and nature documentaries, from endangered mountain gorillas and lumbering elephants to ferocious lions and tiny dik-dik antelope. Along the way, meet people from a range of cultures and communities: Zanzibar spice growers, friendly Lake Malawi fishermen and fascinating San Bushmen. This trip will leave you humbled and amazed by the breadth of life and culture, and the beauty of nature, on this ancient and spectacular continent.

Start
Nairobi, Kenya
Finish
Cape Town, South Africa
Countries
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YXOEC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 22
Carbon offset
3 011kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • The Masai Mara National Reserve is filled with iconic vistas and animals – safari through it with an early morning and late afternoon game drive in our overland vehicle
  • The chance to spot and get close to all of the Big Five in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Rwanda's steamy forests and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence
  • Experience the two sides of Jinja, a riverside retreat at the source of the Nile but also the adventure capital of Uganda
  • Explore the stunning Serengeti and discover animals unlike any you have ever seen
  • Embark on a safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open roof safari 4x4 for a chance to see a Black Rhino.
  • Chill out on the northern beaches of Zanzibar enjoying white sand and sparkling blue sea of the Indian Ocean
  • Discover the largest ruins in sub-Saharan Africa. A Unesco World Heritage site, the ruined city was first constructed in the 11th century and is thought to be a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch.
  • Feel the power of mighty Victoria Falls as view them from the Zimbabwe side
  • Camp out in the lush Okavango Delta and enjoy mokoro rides and bushwalks
  • Learn about the hunter-gatherer traditions of the San Bushmen outside of Grootfontein
  • Slide down a hot sand dune in Sesriem

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your Africa adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Have your insurance details and next of kin information available for collection at this meeting. If you have the time, soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Nairobi. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region. There's also the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa), or Bomas of Kenya (displays of traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes) open for exploration.

Notes: Unfortunately petty crime has become fairly common in Nairobi and recently arrived visitors to the capital can often make for tempting targets. Your trip leader will verse you in a few worthwhile precautions at the welcome meeting. Some top tips are to get local advice on where to walk, keep valuables in a neck wallet or money belt or leave them secure in your hotel, and to not leave belongings unattended on chairs or the floor. Stay aware even when inside, as thieves and pickpockets have been know to operate indoors as well. There's no need to be paranoid, but appearing vigilant is a great deterrent to would-be thieves.
Today you will leave the city behind and head out into a quintessential image of Africa - the Masai Mara National Reserve (approximately 6 hours). The view of sparse open plains, dramatic skies and iconic animals grazing within the reserve's boundaries is unforgettable. The road is smooth for the first half of the drive, the rest dusty when dry and possibly slippery and soft when wet. This huge area of woodlands and open plains, backed by the striking Esoit Oloololo Escarpment, is home to all of the Big Five and in the rainy season is flooded by over a million wildebeest on their annual migration. Tonight's campground is located outside of the national reserve and has flush toilets and showers. There is an option to upgrade tonight (depending on availability) however there is no WiFi available.
Today we wake before dawn to start a morning game drive when the sun comes up. You’ll discover the reserve’s rich concentration of animal life, and hopefully catch them at their most active. Keep an eye out for prides of lions, herds of elephants and, if you are lucky, a stealthy cheetah or leopard. Beat the heat back at camp to relax and have lunch, then look out for animals like buffaloes, zebras, hyenas and giraffe as the sun sets over the grasslands. Depending on wildlife movements, you may on occasion do a full day's game drive and stop en-route for a picnic lunch.

There’s also the chance to get an unforgettably different perspective with a sunrise balloon ride high over the park. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see 'Important Notes') you will be picked up and driven to the launch site and receive a safety briefing from your pilot. You then glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, providing amazing wildlife photography opportunities; sometimes ascending to get an overview of the enormity of the Masai Mara plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. Upon landing you'll be treated to a bush breakfast before being returned to your vehicle.
Notes: If you are taking a balloon ride over the Mara you will be taken to the launch place from our campsite before dawn and returned to the group when you have finished your ride. We offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited.
This morning you will head north towards Eldoret. It's a scenic drive through tea plantations to one of Kenya's fastest growing towns (approximately 8 hours). Due to its high altitude, the town is an ideal training ground for middle and long distance athletes and is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners. Your campsite tonight has basic facilities with upgrades available. The Naiberi River campsite is located on hilly tribal land, once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe. Preserved on the site are excavations with stone sides, commonly called Sirikwa holes, which are believed to have been roofed and occupied by the inhabitants of the time. The campsite is Indian owned so tonight you will feast on an included Indian banquet.
Today you will leave Kenya behind and cross the border into landlocked Uganda, travelling on to its capital city, Kampala (approximately 8 hours, though it could take longer depending on border crossings). With a population of over 30 million, Uganda is one of the five countries that make up the East African Community. It's a country of great cultural diversity and in recent years has been one of the most progressive in the region in terms of health education relating to HIV. Your camp tonight is on the outskirts of the city and has flush toilets, showers and upgrades possible (subject to availability).
Travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park (380 km, approx 8-9 hrs). Queen Elizabeth National Park is beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Edward and George. During your time in the park it's hoped you'll see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks. You'll stay at a campsite with basic toilets and showers. However, upgrades are sometimes possible.
Perhaps wake up early to take an optional hike to see the chimps. More closely related to humans than any other living creature, the chimpanzees are a delight to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. If you take this option, you'll then meet back up with the rest of your group and join a game drive through Queen Elizabeth National Park. This afternoon there's an option to take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for pelicans, eagles and other wonderful birdlife, as well as its healthy population of hippos.
Today travel south to Lake Bunyonyi on the border with Rwanda (approximately 7 hours), with a stop along the way to stock up on supplies at a shop/market and ATM. Located in the south-west of Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi - meaning 'place of many little birds' - is home to some of the most picturesque scenery in the country. If time allows, explore the hilly, terraced shores of the lake. One of the best ways to admire the landscape is from the lake itself; hire a traditional dugout canoe (mokoro) and glide across the water, hopping between the little islands dotted around. They can be hard to master at first but great fun. Your campground has flush toilets, basic showers, WiFi access and upgrades possible.
Cross the boarder into Rwanda and set up camp at Ruhengeri, the gateway to the land of the gorillas (approximately 7 hours). You'll make a stop en route at Kigali and visit the very moving genocide memorial. There is also the option to hire an audio guide at the memorial to learn more about this dark part of recent history. Continue on to Ruhengeri, the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, the oldest national park in Africa which was created to protect the habitat of the gorillas. There are two days allowed for gorilla visits as you are assigned a trekking group/time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day, or even over two days, depending on the time of permit issue and group size. There is a maximum group size of eight on each gorilla visit. Depending on availability, you will stay in dormitories at a local church mission. If the dormitories are not available you will camp for these 3 nights.
Joined by a local guide and trackers, climb through rugged mountain terrain to meet the eyes of these rare animals. This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than eight per day can visit any one habituated family and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals. Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid, but the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. You can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Be mesmerised as you watch them eat, sleep, groom and play – the giant silverback surveying the scene as the smaller ones laze in the trees or play like children. Your visit with the gorillas will last one unforgettable hour.
When you are waiting for, or have completed, your gorilla visit, your leader will provide you with options and ideas on how you can spend your free day in the area around Ruhengeri. You can head out on more rainforest hikes to see monkeys, on nature walks, a hike up Mt Bisoke or a walk to the memorial for naturalist Dian Fossey.

Alternatively, you can arrange to partake in an additional gorilla trek on your free day. If you wish to trek on both days, we highly recommend pre-purchasing the additional permit well in advance. Gorilla permits often sell out, so to avoid disappointment on the ground, please speak to your booking agent about arranging this.

Please note the prices of these optionals are not inclusive of transport costs to and from the activity. Your guide will organise transport for you to be paid locally.
Much of today will be spend travelling as you return to Uganda and complete border formalities. It's possible for most nationalities to purchase a re-entry visa at this land crossing but please check before travelling. Then it's on to the pit-stop town of Masaka near the shores of Lake Victoria for the night (approximately 11 hours including border crossings).
Today you'll continue your journey inland, travelling to Jinja via Kampala. Stop at the equator and then at Kampala - a great place to wander around on foot, exploring its markets and shops (approx 5 hrs).

Jinja is one of the highlights of any visit to Uganda, a riverside retreat at the source of the Nile but also the adventure capital of Uganda. Camp at a scenic riverside site with showers, flush toilets, WiFi and ATM access, and upgrades possible.
Located at the source of the Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria, Jinja is a place for the adventurer, the adrenaline junkie and the eco-traveller who wants to do something really worthwhile in a beautiful area. Maybe get active with some excellent white water rafting.
Today you'll begin the journey back to Nairobi, dropping by the town of Eldoret once again for an overnight stop along the way (approximately 8 hours). Tonight's camp has basic facilities with upgrades available.
Continue on to Nairobi for a night in a hotel with ensuite, bar, pool and WiFi (310kms, approx. 6-7hrs).
Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.
While here you can head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet your new fellow travellers.
While brazen crime is thankfully fairly uncommon in Nairobi, petty theft unfortunately is not and recently arrived visitors to the capital can often make for tempting targets. Your trip leader will verse you in a few worthwhile precautions at the welcome meeting, but if you are arriving early please heed a few simple safeguards.

As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have safes in which it would be advisable to store things if you're wanting to head out. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk - particularly when it's getting on in the day. Thieves and pickpockets have also been known to operate in bars and restaurants, so don't let up keeping your wits about you once you're inside somewhere. Don't leave day packs or handbags unattended on chairs or the floor. There's no need to be paranoid, but appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Finally, make colour scans of any important travel documents before you leave and email them to yourself: in the event that you are the unlucky victim of a theft, this will save you hours of police, embassy and travel insurance hassles.
Depart early for Mto Wa Mbu on our overland truck, a drive of about 8-9 hours (370 km). The trip includes a border crossing from Kenya into Tanzania so be sure to have your passport handy.
While on the road there will be a stop at an ATM and market/shop to stock up on any forgotten supplies.
A small village community, Mto Wa Mbu offers an excellent way to get a close-up look at life in an African town away from the main tourist trail.
Stay at a campsite with flush toilets,showers and optional upgrades (subject to availability).
Rise early and leave the truck behind, putting our camping and personal gear into six-person jeeps and heading out for our excursion into the Serengeti.
The wide, open plains of the Serengeti - green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season, and home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators - are perhaps the quintessential image of Africa. Flat and rolling with long grasses and dotted with acacia trees, the plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet - 'the place where the land moves on forever'.
Game viewing in the Serengeti is amazing and as you camp out at night, don't be surprised to hear lions in the distance as you recount your wildlife sightings from the day. In normal circumstances, we would expect to see 4 out of Big Five during our stay in the Serengeti - Rhino's are often hard to find.
Our campsite is within the Serengeti itself so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep. No upgrades or WiFi are available tonight.
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives with a chance to relax at camp during the warmer part of the day.
For an unforgettable experience, you might like to do an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and it is recommended you book this activity in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to secure this optional activity.
If you have pre-booked this activity, you'll be picked up and driven to the launch site where you receive a safety briefing from your pilot. You'll then float over the Serengeti as the sun comes up gaining an overview of the immensity of the Serengeti, seeing the abundance of wildlife in their early morning activity and sometimes descending to tree height for amazing wildlife photography opportunities. Upon landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast before being returned to your truck and leader.

Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.
Rise with the sun as we make an early start, exiting the Serengeti and heading for the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater (approx 3 hrs drive). After a picnic lunch, we descend onto the floor of the crater.
Make the most of our safari in the crater, spending between four and five hours exploring this area. A huge, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals including endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round and the photographic opportunities here are unrivalled.
Departing the Crater late in the afternoon, we return to our campsite at Karatu for an evening relaxing at the campsite's bar reliving our safari experience. With red dirt streets, green hills in the distance and plenty of smiling children, Karatu is a small town near the gateway to the Ngorongoro Crater.
Our campsite tonight has flush toilets, showers and optional upgrades.
Back on board our truck, we make our way towards to the village of Marangu, via Mto Wa Mbu (230 km, approx 4-5 hrs).
Join the local community of Mto Wa Mbu with a guided stroll around the farming areas - including visits to a kindergarten, milling machine, local homes and farmlands. This is a great way to have fun and find out more about the life of the locals. You'll also have the chance to look around the town and visit the local market. You may wish to indulge in a spot of shopping - wood carvings and local artworks are the specialities of this area.
We then drive on to the village of Marangu where we set up camp for the night. Our camp ground is basic with flush toilets and showers situated on the lush green slopes of Kilimanjaro.
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, long established as crop-growers on the fertile slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Walk around their shamba (farm) and have the chance to sample the local Chagga food, which is very filling. For more information on the Village Education Project visit www.kiliproject.org.

Visit nearby waterfalls and stop to admire the view of the plains below. If the weather is clear, get a view of Kilimanjaro - the magnificent snow-capped mountain and Africa's highest peak at 5,895 m (19,340 ft).
It's time to get off the well-beaten track and head into the remote Tanzanian mountains (265 km, approx 7 hrs).
The Usambara Mountains are a lovely unspoilt area of Tanzania. Unlike the coast and the north, very few tourists visit this area so it has a freshness that can be hard to find elsewhere. The mountains are located in the north-east of Tanzania, between Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean, and overlook the vast Masai steppe. They are wonderfully lush and green and the area has been dubbed the Galapagos of the plant world. The forests stretch across the mountains and are ideal for easy hikes and guided walks. As beautiful as the place is, its real jewels are the local people and villages.
Our base is the old German colony of Lushoto where we stay in the grounds of one of the earliest hotels in Africa. Our campsite has flush toilets, showers, WiFi and upgrades possible.
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. We recommend you pack some water and snacks in a day pack for the trip. On our way back, visit a local cultural project based at Irente farm and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Leaving the mountains behind, a long travel day takes us further south towards the coastal town of Bagamoyo (380 km, approx 9-10 hrs).

Our camp at Bagamoyo is by the beach. Upgrades are available, however there is no Wi-Fi and only cold showers.
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.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet your new fellow travellers. Please note the Zanzibar portion of your itinerary may have more passengers than the maximum group size of 22 as we have a crossover of trips starting and finishing in Zanzibar.
Check out of your Stone Town hotel and 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.
Today we 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.
Hop on the ferry to the mainland and makes tracks for the Mikumi National Park.
Pass by Mikumi National Park - home to large herds of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and leopards.
Although we don't take an off-road safari into the depths of the park, a good selection of the wildlife that resides in Mikumi can usually be seen on our way through to the southern Tanzanian highland town of Iringa.
Set up camp in beautiful surroundings at Mikumi Town.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location.
Our drive today covers 240km and will take 5-6 hours.
Set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement. Perhaps go for a walk around the old farm house to welcome the evening. Camp facilities, WiFi and upgrades are available.
Enter Malawi, the 'warm heart of Africa', on the way to our campsite at Chitimba (510 km, approx 10-12 hrs).
Malawi is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, canoe and net makers, and fish traders all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is of a fisherman in his bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day.
The next night camp will be set up on the northern shores of Lake Malawi. Camp facilities, WiFi and upgrades are available.
Travel from Chitimba to Kande Beach on the shore of Lake Malawi (230 km, approx 6 hrs). There will be a chance to stop at a shop/market for any supplies.
Get away from the commercialism and crowds and enjoy a few days on the lake's more peaceful beaches.
Our campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of Lake Malawi. For those after a bit more comfort upgrades are again possible (subject to availability). There is no access to WiFi.
As well as chilling on the beach and participating in the many optional water activities on offer, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians, easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Today we make our way through southern Malawi and enter Zambia. After border crossing formalities we proceed to South Luangwa National Park.

Distance travelled is approximately 9-10 hours (560 Kms) from Lake Malawi to South Luangwa National Park. You have a chance to stop at a shop/market and ATM.
The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa. The River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of this 9059 square km Park. South Luangwa is noted for its beautiful scenery and abundance of game, particularly large herds of elephant, buffalo, leopard, Thornicroft’s giraffe and lion. There and over 400 species of birds recorded in the area.
The camp has flush toilets, showers, upgrades available and WiFi.
Today you have the opportunity to enjoy many optional activities. You can opt to rise early for a morning game drive in 4X4’s, then head back to the camp for lunch, as this is the hottest part of the day, and then return to the park later for a night game drive.
A once off payment covering entrance into the park (25USD) is payable in addition to the optional activity prices listed below.
Travel to the banks of the Luangwa River to Changa Changa camp (470 km, approx 7-8 hours). Sit back and relax or keep an eye out for crocs and hippo swimming through the waters.
An easy drive day as we head for our camp just south Lusaka city. Travel for the day is 250 kms – approx 5-6 hours.
One of the fastest-developing cities in southern Africa, Lusaka is cosmopolitan but still retains a traditional African feel with its busy markets and friendly people.
Our camp tonight has facilities and upgrades available. WiFi is not available.
Leaving the camp early, we drive for approx 3 hours to the border with Zimbabwe. After formalities, we enjoy a 60Km scenic drive before covering the rest of the distance to Harare. Total distance covered today is 495 kms – approx 8-9hrs. While on the road there will be time to stop at a shop/market and ATM.
Harare is Zimbabwe's capital city and also its largest.
The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own or relax at our campground. There is plenty to see and do however you will only have an hour or two to explore. You might want to head to the National Gallery, the museum, the botanical gardens or simply wander the city centre and explore the shops and markets. Upgrades are again available at camp however WiFi is not.
Take a short drive to Masvingo (320 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
Masvingo is the oldest colonial settlement in Zimbabwe and the perfect base to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
Great Zimbabwe is the national monument the country is named after. A Unesco World Heritage site, the ruined city was first constructed in the 11th century and is thought to be a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch.
Spend the afternoon exploring the ruins.
Our campground in Masvingo has shared facilities, with upgrades and WiFi available
Travel to Bulawayo (310 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city and has a very interesting historical past.
The afternoon is free to explore the city, giving you plenty of opportunity to browse local markets, chat with a local or perhaps find a game of football or rugby to watch.
In Bulawayo, stay in a campground with shared facilities. Upgrades and WiFi are available.
Get up early and take the option to venture out to explore the Matobo National Park.
Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.
Depart Bulawayo and travel toward Victoria Falls (440 km, approx 6-7 hrs).
Our campground is centrally located in the town of Victoria Falls, the perfect place to use as a base for the vast array of activities on offer in the area. Upgraded accommodation is available, please ask at reception or speak to your leader. WiFi is also available.
Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure please check with your leader.
Please note that it is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.
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.
If you are interested in the Optional Helicopter flight (12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we endorse the following operator only: Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe. Your leader can help you arrange this activity.

Responsible Travel Note:
During your visit to the Victoria Falls area you may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We recommend that Intrepid travellers bypass this activity as it is contrary to Intrepid's Responsible Travel guideline stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of Intrepid groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic.' Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards lion research, we feel that the negative impacts on the lions' rehabilitation far outweigh this.

Safety Note:
While at Victoria Falls you may hear about Devils Pool. Intrepid does not recommend this activity due to the high risk involved. Our leaders cannot assist in organising this activity.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet your new fellow travellers.
Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities on offer.
This morning is free for you to continue enjoying all that Vic Falls has to offer.
Travel to Chobe National Park in Botswana (90 km, approx 2-3 hrs).
Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink.
Take an optional cruise down the Chobe River - one of the best ways to enjoy the park's animals.
Our camp is outside of Chobe National Park and has flush toilets, showers, WiFi, ATM and upgrades available.
Enjoy an early morning game drive and get up close to the wildlife, hopefully spotting lions, buffaloes, birds and of course elephants.
Drive from Kasane to Ngoma Bridge and our camp at Bagani in Namibia. (430km, approx 7 hrs). You will have the opportunity to stop at an ATM and a market/shop.
In Bagani, take time to relax from the rigours of the road a little and take part in the various activities that are available at this charming place. Various boat trips, fishing or hikes are possible from Bagani, as well as the chance to play soccer with the locals.
Our camp has flush toilets, showers, Wifi and upgrades available.
Drive across the border into Botswana and head south along the Okavango Panhandle (the narrowest part of the delta) to Seronga, where we leave our vehicle and join our transport for the journey into the delta (140 km, approx 4 hrs).
Formed by the Okavango River as it flows from the highlands of Angola down to a basin on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is unlike anything else in the world. The river has no outlet from the desert and spreads out into thousands of small streams to form a wilderness that is totally unspoilt. The 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands is a wonderland of clear meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and the big cats. However, it's not for the game that we come as it can't always be found. The delta is about exploring one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems.
Boarding boats out into the swamps, travel to Gao Island to meet our mokoro team and to begin exploring the Okavango Delta. Each mokoro (small dugout canoe) takes two people and is poled along through the meandering waterways by a local tribesman. Reeds and lily pads line the streams, and birds startled by the mokoros rise out of the long grasses. Punting along, the peace of the delta may be shattered by the deep grunting of hippos.
Out in the middle of a wilderness area, on the first night you'll camp on an island away from civilisation.
There is no WiFi or upgrades available during these nights.
Continue our trip around the delta and then return to Gao Island before heading to the relative civilisation of Umvuvu Camp with its (usually) hot showers and small bar.
Today there is an option to take a nature walk with your guide.
Return to Bagani to camp for the night.
Drive to our camp outside Grootfontein for the night (420kms, approx. 7hrs). There is the possibility of an upgrade however WiFi is not available.
Today we do a round trip to visit the Bushmen (180kms). We will go out walking 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.
Travel to Etosha National Park (220km, approx 5 hrs).
Etosha National Park is home to a wide range of Southern Africa's wildlife, including all the big carnivores and five rare or endangered species: black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The wildlife is prolific and Etosha has every right to proclaim itself as one of the world's pre-eminent wildlife areas. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is difficult to see through but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to usually allow for some sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores.
Tonight we have an evening game drive before spending the night at Namutoni (with the option to upgrade - subject to availability).
Enjoy a full day game drive in Etosha National Park.
Tonight we stay at the particularly spectacular Okaukuejo Camp. The camp overlooks a floodlit waterhole visited by many different species throughout the day and night. Upgrades are not available.
Travel to Spitzkoppe (490km, approx 9 hours)
Visit one of the most stunning areas of Namibia, the wild lands around the mountain of Spitzkoppe - 'the Matterhorn of Namibia'. The mountain, which is 700 million years old, is 1987 metres (5857 ft) high. Although you shouldn't attempt climbing to the top, there are some excellent hikes and guided walks throughout the area, rich in plant life and with some amazing bush paintings. This is a place to get away from it all and to appreciate the stunning harsh beauty of this sparsely populated country.
Bush camp for the night in the midst of this remote region and have the chance to witness the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises as the landscape takes on remarkable oranges and reds.
Experience the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shores of Cape Cross while travelling up the eerie Atlantic Coast.
Continue on to the town of Swakopmund (290 km, approx 5-6 hrs). There will be access to an ATM and market/shop if required.
Our accommodation for these nights is in a simple lodge with no WiFi available.
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.
It's an all-day drive from Swakopmund to Sesriem, our base for exploring the incredible Namib Desert region (350 km, approx 6-7 hrs).
The most famous part of the Namib Desert is its vast dune fields, the most spectacular of which are found near the Sesriem Canyon. This canyon was formed when the Tsauchab River carved a gorge 30 metres into the gravel deposits about 15 million years ago. It's thought that this river once flowed to the Atlantic Ocean but its course was blocked by the encroaching sand dunes. Now the river flows out to the dune fields that stretch for hundreds of miles up the coast, and dries up in a clay pan at Sossusvlei. The dunes are stunning, with magnificent red/orange tones from the brightly coloured sands. They are the highest in the world and home to a plethora of animal life.
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.
Jump in the back of a pickup truck for a trip to Sossusvlei (approx 30 minutes each way). Here you'll experience the hidden and amazing mysteries this area contains.
Travel on to the small town of Bethanie (300 km, approx 6 hrs), arriving in the afternoon. Our camp has basic facilities with showers and flush toilets. Upgrades and WiFi are possible on site.
Heading further south in the desert lands of Namibia, drive towards Fish River Canyon (200 km, approx 3-4 hrs).
At 500 metres deep and over 160 km long, Fish River Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. There are remarkable photographic opportunities here.
Upgrades and WiFi are not available at our camp tonight.
Departing Fish River Canyon, it's a 5 hour transit (275 km) to Noordoewer.
Pitch the tents on the scenic banks of the Gariep (Orange) River. Upgrades are possible (subject to availability) although there is no WiFi
Traditionally known as the Gariep River, the Orange River is the longest in South Africa (2200 km). Its source is high up in the Drakensberg mountain range in Lesotho and it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay in South Africa. The Orange River is responsible for transporting diamonds and creating the deposits that can be found along the Namibian coast.
Depart first thing the following morning to Klawer. If there's time we will have the opportunity to take mountain walks around the surrounding countryside and farms.
Our safari comes to an end in charming Cape Town (290 km, approx 5 hrs).
With its stunning coastline, dominating mountain and modern cityscape, Cape Town is one of Africa's most appealing cities. With vineyards on its doorstep, adventure activities around every other corner and plenty of restaurants and cafes to while away the time, Cape Town is a very easy city to spend some extra time in.
There's no accommodation provided for tonight but we are able to organise additional nights. Please request at the time of booking. We recommend you do stay longer as there is plenty to see and do in Cape Town.

Please don't book international departure flights until after 7pm on departure day.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
60 breakfasts, 54 lunches, 53 dinners
Transport
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Ferry, Mokoro, Overland vehicle, Taxi
Accommodation
Bungalow (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nights), Camping (with facilities) (47 nights), Chalet (3 nights), Dormitory (3 nights), Hotel (3 nights)
Included activities
  • Masai Mara - Game drive
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park Game Drive
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial
  • Mountain gorilla trek & permit
  • Serengeti - Game drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive
  • Village Education Project (Marangu) visit, village walk & lunch
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village Walk & market Visit
  • Irente - walk & local lunch
  • Zanzibar Spice tour
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins
  • Visit Victoria Falls
  • Chobe - Dawn game drive
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro trips & bushwalks
  • Nature Walk
  • San Bushman cultural experience
  • Full Day Game Drive
  • Cape Cross seal colony
  • Village Visit - Swakopmund ( Township tour)
  • Sossusvlei 4x4 Tour
  • Sesriem - Sand dunes visit
  • Fish River Canyon

Dates

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Important notes

1. This trip requires an additional non-refundable deposit ( AUD1000, USD1000, EUR650, NZD1000, GBP500, CAD1000, ZAR6500, CHF900 ) in order to secure a gorilla permit. We also require full passport details at time of booking. Please see trip notes (Important notes) for more details.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip. The Single Supplement doesn't apply to nights 9-11 spent in a dormitory. Please see trip notes for more information.
3. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Serengeti National Park is possible on this itinerary. Please see the itinerary above for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.
4. This is a combination trip made up of 4 shorter trips. This means the composition of your group may change in Nairobi, Stone Town and Victoria Falls as some group members leave and new ones join you.
5. The Zanzibar portion of your itinerary may have a few more passengers than the maximum group size of 22 as we have a crossover of trips starting and finishing in Zanzibar.
6. This trip finishes upon arrival at our finish point hotel in Cape Town on Day 63. Please do not book any flights until after 7pm this evening.

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 Africa Encompassed Southbound trips score an average of 4.33 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Africa Encompassed Southbound , February 2016

Africa Encompassed Southbound , September 2015

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