See the best of Tanzania on a combined overland and sailing adventure.

From the Usambara Mountains to the blue waters of the Zanzibar archipelago, discover the remarkable diversity of Tanzania’s landscape on this wide-ranging tour. Kicking off in neighbouring Kenya, track lions in the brush of Ngorongoro Crater, mingle with the local Chagga people in Mshiri and camp out under the stars in Tanzania’s remote mountain range. Then swap jeeps for yachts near Stone Town and be carried away on an idyllic sailing trip through the Spice Islands. Equal parts adventure and luxury escape, be seduced by Tanzania’s unspoiled beauty.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Nairobi, Kenya
Finish
Zanzibar North Coast, Tanzania
Countries
Kenya, Tanzania
Style
Original
Theme
Sailing
Code
YXSSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 8

Why we love this trip

  • Explore the Serengeti, a wildlife arena like no other. You're bound to spot most of Africa's iconic Big Five game on your adventures here

  • Partake in community activities in Mto wa Mbu with a guided stroll around the farming areas

  • Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open-roof 4X4 for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros

  • Wander around Stone Town’s bustling bazaars and fragrant spice markets and receive a guided tour of the spice plantations

  • Accompanied by a local crew — a leader, driver and cook – you'll be in excellent hands for the duration of your adventure

Is this trip right for you?

  • Camping in the Serengeti National Park with no barriers between you and the animals is amazing, but it's important to heed the safety advice of your leader.

  • At Usambara Mountains, you'll hike to the beautiful Irente viewpoint. The walk is not overly strenuous, but you'll need to be reasonably fit.

  • Our purpose-built overland vehicles allow for excellent game viewing, equipped with large sliding windows. They have no air-conditioning, however, so they can get dusty and hot at times.

  • The going can be slow over the long distances and often bumpy roads. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful land!

  • This is a participatory camping trip, so team spirit is key. You'll be expected to help out with camp setup, food preparation and cleaning.

  • As part of this trip takes place on a sailing boat, you’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the vessel, including the use of stairs. With that said, sea legs come naturally to some but not so much for others. Your friendly crew will be able to help with the effects of sea sickness if needed.

  • A zodiac is used to transport passengers from the boat to the mainland, with landings taking place at piers (dry landings) as well as on beaches (wet landings). Zodiacs can sometimes be awkward to climb in and out of, but a sense of humour and can-do attitude is all you need.

  • This is an adventure on board a real yacht, which means living spaces, cabins, bathrooms and showers need to be shared with other passengers. Sleeping quarters can be quite compact, but you will be spending the majority of your time above board in the open air.

  • Time on the water also means time in the sun. Remember to pack sun protection, such as sun screen and a hat, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. See ‘Essential Trip Information’ below for a full packing list.

  • Please note that smooth sailing is dependent on the weather, so itinerary changes may occur at the last minute if the weather becomes unfavourable. If any changes are made, you can trust in your knowledgeable skipper to choose an alternative route or activity.

  • Due to the size of the yachts, sound carries easily from one side to the other and can wake your fellow travellers. If you’re planning to have a late night, it’s a good idea to head into town and experience the local night life.

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting. If you arrive early, perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.

Notes: Petty theft is common in Nairobi. 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 a safe in which to store things. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly for later in the day. Be careful not to leave bags unattended on chairs or on the floor when in bars or restaurants. Without being paranoid, appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Also, make scans of important travel documents and email them to yourself – this will save you hours of time in paperwork if anything does happen.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD12
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi - Langata Giraffe Sanctuary - KES1200
  • Nairobi - National Park safari walk - USD30
  • Nairobi - Carnivore Restaurant - KES3600
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Depart early for Mto Wa Mbu in your overland truck (approximately 8–9 hours). The trip includes a border crossing from Kenya into Tanzania, so be sure to have your passport handy. While you're on the road, there will be a stop at an ATM and a market or shop to stock up on any supplies you might need for the coming days. Arrive in Mto Wa Mbu and acquaint yourself with this delightful small village – it's a fascinating snapshot of small-town African life, situated well off the tourist trail. Tonight you'll stay at a campsite with flush toilets, showers and optional upgrades (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Rise early and leave the truck behind, putting your camping and personal gear into a six-person jeep. Head out for an excursion into the marvellous Serengeti. These wide open plains – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – are home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators. Flat and rolling, with long grass and acacia trees, the plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet – 'The place where the land moves on forever'. Your campsite is right in the action, within the park itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep. There are no upgrades or WiFi available here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives, with a chance to relax at camp during the warmer part of the day. Your chances of seeing four of the Big Five game (African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo and African leopard) are excellent. The endangered black rhino is much harder to come across. There's also the option of a balloon ride over the park today. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast, then be returned to your camp.

Notes: The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and try to get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD546
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Rise with the sun and make an early start, exiting the Serengeti and heading for the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater (approximately 3 hours). After a picnic lunch, descend onto the floor of the crater. 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 top-notch game viewing all year round and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. You'll have around four to five hours to explore the area. Departing the crater late in the afternoon, return to your camp at Mto Wa Mbu for a relaxing evening.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you will join the local community for a guided stroll around the farming areas, milling machine, and local homes and farmlands. 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 the area. Continue your drive to the village of Marangu (approximately 4–5 hours) and set up camp for the night. The camp is basic, with flush toilets and showers, situated on the lush green slopes of Kilimanjaro.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village walk & market visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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, who are long established as crop-growers on the fertile slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Walk around their shamba (farm) and perhaps sample the local Chagga food. Visit nearby waterfalls and stop to admire the view of the plains below. If the weather is clear, you can get a glimpse of the magnificent, snow-capped Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak (5,895 m). Then it's time to venture well off the beaten path and into the remote Tanzanian mountains (approximately 7 hours). Your base is the old German colony of Lushoto, and you'll stay in the grounds of one of the oldest hotels in Africa. The camp has flush toilets, showers, WiFi optional upgrades.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Marangu - Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore the beautiful Usambara Mountains, a lovely unspoilt area of Tanzania. Unlike the coast and the north, very few tourists visit this part of the country, so it has a freshness that can be hard to find elsewhere. As beautiful as the surrounding mountains and rainforests are, however, the real jewels here are the local people and villages. You'll experience some gentle hospitality on a visit to some of the small local communities. From your base, you will take a walk out to the gorgeous Irente viewpoint. It's best to pack some water and snacks in a day pack for this trip. On your way back, visit a local cultural project based at Irente farm and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Irente - Lushoto hike & local lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leaving the mountains behind, travel still further south to the coastal town of Kipepeo Beach in Dar es Salaam (380km, approximately 9-10 hours). Your camp at Kipepeo is by the beach, so make the most of it – perhaps take a stroll along the shore after you arrive and settle in. The camp is on the grounds of a hotel with upgrades usually possible
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar. Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar has a colourful history – everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast evokes what the island must have been like in Livingstone's day. 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 markets, shops, mosques, palaces and courtyards. When the sun is setting, perhaps enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront, and a seafood curry at a local restaurant. Spend a night in Stone Town at a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms and access to WiFi.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Stone Town Tour - Dharajani Market, Joseph's Cathederal, Palace Museum, Forodhani Food Market - USD20
  • Zanzibar - Prison Island Tour - USD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip 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. Here you will receive a guided tour, during which you can learn all about the history of this town's renowned spice trade. You will also have the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger. Sample some teas made with these spices too. After lunch you will head to the northern beaches, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await. This is the Indian Ocean at its best.
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Zanzibar - Spice tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy free time in this beautiful archipelago today. There are many ways you can spend your day – perhaps talk to your leader for any recommendations they might have. Snorkelling in search of exotic fish is an excellent option. You might also like to feast on a sumptuous lunch of grilled local seafood, or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Zanzibar - Dhow Trip - USD60
  • Zanzibar - Snorkelling - USD60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your morning and early afternoon are free with the sailing briefing commencing at 2p at the Sunset Bungalows.

The catamaran will be moored just off the beach near the Bungalows and you will be collected by a crew member and taken to the boat by dinghy. Once on board formal introductions will take place and we’ll meet the skipper, and the cook - who will constantly surprise you with amazing delights whipped up from the small galley kitchen.

After a thorough briefing and safety demonstration you’ll set sail and drop anchor between Kendwa and Nungwi for your first night.

Over the next 7 days we’ll head north to swim, snorkel and paddle our way through waters teeming with marine life, wander through the rainforest and visit sleepy villages and have tea with the locals.

Notes: The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on weather and berth availability. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Transport and accommodation
Please note you will be travelling on a real sailing catamaran which are big on deck space however the cabins are made for sleeping and that’s about it. This means there’s limited space so we highly recommend travelling with a backpack or soft sided back, both of which can fit in the small cupboards provided in each cabin. Remember the bigger the bag the smaller the space for you in the cabin!

Yellow fever vaccination
A yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers who are arriving from, or have transited through, countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Set sail this morning for Mnemba. Mnemba Island is located 3km off the north east coast of Unguja – which is better known as the island of Zanzibar. Only 500 metres in diameter the island is completely surrounded by reefs and is privately owned. Only those staying at the exclusive, and very expensive resort, are permitted to set foot on the island, however the reefs surrounding the island are a Marine Conservation area and the waters are known for excellent snorkelling with a wide variety of corals and marine life.

Have an early breakfast and set sail north into the Zanzibar Archipelago. There is a very strong chance of seeing bottlenose dolphins and large pods of spinner dolphins and from July through to September [peak time is August] the Pemba Channel is on migration route of the Humpback whales so you may also catch a glimpse of these majestic and gentle animals. The channel is also known for it's fishing so you can cast out a fishing line and hope to catch tonight’s dinner.

We should arrive mid-afternoon and anchor in the Njao Gap, an absolutely stunning destination and the perfect place for a kayak or paddle in the mangrove. Tonight will be spent on the flat waters of the lagoon where you will hear the bush babies in the distance and the flying foxes can be seen at sunset. The flying foxes were once close to extinction however in recent years, thanks to an effective protection program, numbers are now estimated to be 20,000.

After breakfast we’ll head ashore to Pemba Island or Green Island as it was known by the first Arab settlers from Oman. Collectively Pemba, Unguja [Zanzibar] and Mafia Islands are known as the Spice Islands. Pemba is famous for its cloves, which are farmed in large scale, as well as smaller farming of coconuts, rice and bananas. We set off on a hike (approx. 40 minutes) through the Ngezi Rainforest [closed in shoes recommended] in the hope of spotting vervet monkeys. After the hike we can also visit the local fishing village of Mkia Ya Ngombe (Tail of the Cow) by taxi, for some cultural interaction. Then head back to the yacht for lunch.

Then sail south from Pemba towards Uvinje Gap. We anchor in a calm lagoon between two small islands called Pembe and Funzi where we spend the rest of the day kayaking, paddling to the beach and through coastal mangroves or just relaxing on board. The day is finished with a sundowner and a well-earned dinner on board.

The next stop is Mesali Island. Mesali Island is part of a conservation area with only a restricted number of local fisherman permitted to fish the waters for limited time periods. As a result the marine life is abundant and untouched coral reefs. It is thought that there is more variety of coral here than any other location in Tanzania. Hawksbill turtles nest on the beaches, dolphins, tuna, wahoo, rays, parrotfish, cuttlefish, and kingfish populate the waters. Home to pristine white beaches we’ll anchor here and enjoy a full day relaxing, snorkelling, a forest walk to Turtle Beach or visit two sacred caves in the forest that are also poplular with the locals. End the day with a beach side BBQ of fresh fish.

We start early today to begin the crossing of the channel on our way, sadly, back to Nungwi. We should arrive by mid to late afternoon. For our last night our cook will create something special which will be eaten on board or on shore and as we watch the sunset we’ll toast to an amazing sailing adventure.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (5 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (5)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
This exotic adventure comes to an end after breakfast. If you are catching a flight ex Zanzibar we recommend you do not book a flight before 5pm and if you are flying ex Dar es Salaam 7pm.

Mpaka tukutane tena.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners

Transport

4x4 Safari Vehicle, Overland vehicle

Accommodation

Bungalow (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with facilities) (6 nights), Hotel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village walk & market visit
  • Marangu - Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch
  • Irente - Lushoto hike & local lunch
  • Zanzibar - Spice tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single Supplement is available on this trip. Please see the trip notes for more information.
2. 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.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.