Travel through Botswana to Zimbabwe’s magnificent Victoria Falls and then towards spicy Zanzibar

Marvel at the crashing white water of Victoria Falls, the unique, sprawling Okavango Delta and the tranquillity of the natural waterholes in the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Then travel through Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania towards Zanzibar, East Africa’s famed Spice Island. From verdant national parks and remote highland villages, to savannas stretching towards the horizon and roaming herds of elephants, Africa never fails to delight, inspire and move. Come face-to-face with wild animals, explore landscapes rich in natural beauty and meet some of the friendliest people you’ve ever come across on this memorable journey across Africa’s south to the eastern plains.


Start
Johannesburg, South Africa
Finish
Stone Town, Tanzania
Countries
Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland, Wildlife
Code
UBOBC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

Why we love this trip

  • Support local conservation by visiting the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the only place left in Botswana where both black and white rhinos reside

  • Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you’ll never forget. As night falls, the sounds of the African bush are like nothing else

  • Go wildlife-spotting along the river at Chobe National Park, home of the world's highest concentration of African elephants

  • Experience the rumble and roar of Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side, which gives you the broadest view

  • Discover the magic of South Luangwa National Park, a highly concentrated arena of noble beasts and exotic wildflowers, on a dawn game drive

  • Chill out on the northern beaches of Zanzibar enjoying white sand and sparkling blue sea of the Indian Ocean

Is this trip right for you?

  • Camping out in the Okavango wilderness means digging a bush toilet and going without a shower. For most travellers this is a small price to pay for such a gorgeous remote island location.

  • The African wild comes alive at sunrise, so there will be some early starts. The thrill of spotting your first lion or rhino is well worth any loss of sleep.

  • 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.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. 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, get out and explore Johannesburg, a city of remarkable contrasts. Perhaps visit the culturally rich areas of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng. The eye-opening Apartheid Museum is well worth your time.

Notes: Please make sure that if you explore Johannesburg on your own that you get local advice as to where it is safe to walk, especially in the evening. The level of crime here may be higher than what you are used to.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Johannesburg - Apartheid Museum - ZAR80
  • Johannesburg - Gold Reef City And Heritage Mine Tour - ZAR360
  • Johannesburg - Museum Africa - ZAR40
  • Johannesburg - Art Gallery - ZAR60
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leaving South Africa behind, cross the border into Botswana and travel toward the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 8–10 hours). Situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a conversion of a former hunting area into a conservation project. Built to protect Botswana's only remaining populations of both black and white rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to other wildlife including zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, all of which can be seen around the many natural waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities and contributes to the protection of the highly endangered white rhinoceros. Later, head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are at their most active. At your camp there will be the option to upgrade to a room for an additional cost (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Jump aboard the truck and head to Maun (approximately 8–9 hours). Here there will be an opportunity to stock up on any supplies you might need for the journey ahead. Maun is the gateway to one of the world's most renowned and complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. This place is unlike anything in the world – a 16,000 square kilometre maze of wetlands made up of meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. You might see hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats. But it's not the animals that are the main attraction – it's the incrediblly diverse ecosystem and atmospheric waterscapes. Tonight you'll stay on the outskirts of Maun at a simple campsite with shared facilities, WiFi and optional upgrades.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Traverse the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'. With some luck, you might spot some of the delta's unusual wildlife and exotic birdlife. Spend time exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot, led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Tonight you will camp on a remote island in the heart of the wilderness. In this far-out spot, facilities are non-existent, so you will dig a bush toilet and go without a shower. It's all part of the Okavango experience. At night, fall asleep to the humming and buzzing of the African wilderness.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up early and venture out for a sunrise walk. Along the way, keep watch for some elephants. You might also come across some Cape buffalo, if the timing is right. These rather noble-looking creatures are more dangerous than they look, and their horns make for a kind of bone shield that's fittingly known as a 'boss'. Returning to camp for breakfast, take the rest of the day to relax. A refreshing swim, or perhaps a nap, is a good idea in the warmer part of the day. Alternatively, take another mokoro trip to soak up more of that delightful river atmosphere.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Sunrise Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After taking down your camp, take the mokoro back to the poling station and then travel once again to Maun (approximately 2–3 hours). Today you'll visit a rural village and interact with some of the locals. This will give you an insight into daily life on the Okavango Delta and perhaps some background history on these awesome sprawling waterways that are the lifeblood of many. Tonight you will camp on the outskirts of Maun at a simple campsite which has shared facilities. WiFi and optional upgrades are available.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
Optional Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Plane Scenic Flight - From USD75 - USD390
  • Okavango Delta - Helicopter Scenic Flight - From USD150 - USD450
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Get up early and hit the road for Nata (approximately 6–7 hours). This small town is situated just near the stunning Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, which are some of the largest salt flats on earth, covering some 12,000 square kilometres. This afternoon you will have the opportunity to explore the pans in an open vehicle. The pans are naturally dry and salty for a large part of the year. During this time the arid landscape has an eerie feel to it as heat mirages disorientate the senses. At other times they take on a layer of grass, and as soon as the rains hit they become a refuge for migratory birds and animals. Your campsite tonight is situated on the edge of the pans. It has a restaurant, swimming pool, gift shop, ATM and bar/lounge area. Upgrades are also offered.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nata - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Hit the road for Chobe National Park (approximately 6–7 hours). Botswana's first national park 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. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River, a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Your camp tonight has WiFi access and optional upgrades. It's also close to a supermarket, so you can stock up on supplies while you're here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chobe National Park - River Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Perhaps wake up early and see the Chobe National park from a different perspective, on an optional morning game drive.
Travel on to Victoria Falls today (approximately 2–3 hours). You will cross the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi. Then it's time to experience the sight and sound of the mighty falls. This thundering curtain of water is about a mile wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 metres and the falls become an impressive raging torrent. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and you can see little islets in the river below. Your campsite tonight has WiFi, an ATM and optional upgrades.

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. 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Entrance Fee
Optional Activities
  • Chobe National Park - Morning Game Drive in 4X4 vehicle - BWP225
  • Victoria Falls - Sunset Cruise - USD57
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
You may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We ask all Intrepid travellers to avoid this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel policy. While wildlife viewing is a big part of many of our itineraries, we strive to only view animals in their natural habitats and to do so with the greatest level of respect. The lion walking industry directly contributes to the captive breeding and canned hunting of lions.

Read more about animal welfare and our ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge here:
http://www.intrepidtravel.com/animal-welfare
Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities on offer. 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (full day) - USD185
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (half day) - USD100
  • Victoria Falls - Flying fox - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD175
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD334
  • Victoria Falls - Rafting & river boarding (half day) - USD218
  • Victoria Falls - Village & township tour - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail wine route - USD55
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will 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 another free day to enjoy the many activities on offer. Or perhaps you may like to visit the falls again with your new group members.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Victoria Falls and travel toward Bulawayo (approximately 6–7 hours). Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, has an interesting history and some impeccable colonial architecture. You will have the afternoon free to explore, so take the opportunity to visit local markets, chat with locals or perhaps find a game of football or rugby to watch. In Bulawayo you will stay in a campground with shared facilities and WiFi. Upgrades are also available (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Balawayo - Natural History Museum - USD10
  • Bulawayo - Railway Museum - USD2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Perhaps get up early and take the option to go to Matobo National Park. Home to a significant 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari - USD95
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Drive the short stretch to Masvingo (approximately 5–6 hours). This colonial settlement – the oldest in Zimbabwe – makes for the perfect base from which to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. The ruined city, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, was first constructed in the 11th century. It's thought to be the former royal palace of the Zimbabwean monarch. Spend a few hours exploring this intriguing site before heading off to camp. Your campground in Masvingo has shared facilities, and upgrades and WiFi are available.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masvingo - Great Zimbabwe Ruins guided visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel to Harare today (approximately 5–6 hours). You will arrive at your destination in time for lunch. You only have an hour or two to explore Zimbabwe's capital city, so if you're feeling active and up for a stroll, get out and make the most of it. Perhaps head to the National Gallery, the museum, the botanical gardens or simply wander the city centre and visit the colourful markets. Accomodation upgrades are offered at your camp (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Harare - National Archives - USD3
  • Harare - National Botanical Gardens - USD5
  • Harare - National Gallery - USD1
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will cross into Zambia and drive to your campsite just outside Lusaka, Zambia's capital (approximately 8 hours). Your journey begins with a nice scenic drive to the border. At some point during the day there will be an opportunity to stop at an ATM and stock up on any supplies you might need at a shop or market. Your camp has shared facilities, and upgrades are available.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend some time checking out one of the fastest-developing cities in southern Africa. You'll see that it's a modern city but still retains a traditional African feel, with its busy markets and friendly people. Afterwards, travel on to Petauke (approximately 8 hours). The camp tonight has facilities, WiFi and upgrades (availability dependent).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Make your way through the heartland to South Luangwa National Park (approximately 6 hours). The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River and its lagoons is among the highest in Africa. Many elephants, buffaloes, leopards, Thornicroft’s giraffes and lions are known to roam here. There are also some 400 species of birds inhabiting the area. A great way to experience South Luangwa and its beautiful scenery is to take an optional river trip – ask your leader for more details. Your camp tonight has basic facilities.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Rise early for an exhilirating morning game drive in a 4X4, then head back to the camp for lunch (as this is the hottest part of the day) and then perhaps return to the park for an optional game drive at night. A village walk is another good option, if you'd like a snapshot of daily life in the local community.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • South Luangwa National Park - 4x4 Dawn Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • South Luangwa National Park - Night Game Drive - USD40
  • South Luangwa National Park - Game Walk - USD50
  • South Luangwa National Park - Village Walk - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After crossing the border into Malawi, head straight to your camp on the shore of Lake Malawi (approximately 9–10 hours). Malawi is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, fish traders and canoe and net makers all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is that of a fisherman in a bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day. Your campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of the lake. Upgrades are offered here, but there is no WiFi available.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy free time to soak up your idyllic surrounds. You might like to participate in one of the many water-based activities on offer – ask your leader for a recommendation. As well as chilling out on the beach, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians – easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Malawi - Bike Hire - USD25
  • Lake Malawi - Canoe Hire - USD10
  • Lake Malawi - Guided village walks - USD10
  • Lake Malawi - Pedalos - USD25
  • Lake Malawi - Snorkelling - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Drive to your camp in Chitimba (approximately 5–6 hours). Chitimba lies along the coast of Lake Malawi and has lovely beaches, friendly locals and a laid-back atmosphere. When you arrive, perhaps take a stroll and acquaint yourself with this different part of the lake. Enjoy the scenery of banana palms, papaya trees and the Livingstonia and Nyika mountains looming nearby. Camp facilities, WiFi and upgrades are available here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is a long travel day into Tanzania and its southern highlands (approximately 9–10 hours). Sit back, relax and watch as the countryside passes by. On arrival you will set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse situated on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement. Perhaps go for a walk around the old farmhouse to welcome the evening. Camp facilities, WiFi and upgrades are available.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel to Kipepeo Beach just south of Dar es Salaam (approximately 13 hours). Throughout this long drive you will travel through the lovely Mikumi National Park. Situated at the foot of the thickly wooded Uluguru Mountains, Mikumi is Tanzania's fourth largest national park. Although you won't take a safari into the depths of the park, a good selection of the wildlife that resides in Mikumi can usually be seen on the way. The camp is on the grounds of a hotel with upgrades usually possible and situated next to the beach.
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
After checking out this morning, you will make your way back to Stone Town, arriving at the Safari Lodge before 10am. Your trip comes to an end here. Ferries depart Zanzibar for Dar es Salaam daily at 7.30 am, 9.30 am, 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm. It's important to allow enough time to get back to the mainland if you need to catch your departing flight from Dar es Salaam. Speak to your leader about the best way to do this.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you wish to stay on in Zanzibar, post trip accommodation can be pre-booked at the Northern Beaches beach resort or in Stone Town.

Meals

27 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 20 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Ferry, Mokoro

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (21 nights), Bungalow (2 nights), Hotel (2 nights), Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Game drive
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
  • Okavango Delta - Sunrise Walk
  • Nata - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
  • Chobe National Park - River Cruise
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Entrance Fee
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls entrance
  • Masvingo - Great Zimbabwe Ruins guided visit
  • South Luangwa National Park - 4x4 Dawn Game Drive
  • Zanzibar - Spice tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This is a combination trip made up of 3 shorter trips. This means your crew and the composition of your group may change in Victoria Falls and Stone Town.
3. 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.
4. This trip finishes upon arrival at our finish point hotel in Stone Town on Day 28. Please do not book any flights until after 2pm this afternoon.

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.