Isak Dinesen wrote, ‘When you have caught the rhythm of Africa, you find that it is the same in all her music.’ And it's not just the tribal drums, but the rhythms of the land: the sound the Serengeti makes as it wakes each morning, a mountain gorilla rustling through the Rwandan jungle or the thunder of wildebeest hooves across the Masai Mara. Kick back on the chalk-white beaches of Zanzibar, chat with vendors in the spice-filled souqs of Marrakech and watch plodding elephants from the snowy summit of Kilimanjaro. Africa is calling. Come and get rhythm.
Reflections from the road: Kenya and Tanzania Overland
Travelling overland through East Africa is something special. There’s very little between you and the world – and on safari, that world is pretty wild. Lucky you’ve got an expert local crew and small group of fellow travellers to share in the experience. Across the plains of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, through corn fields, mountains and remote villages, one traveller reflects on her trip through Kenya and Tanzania. This is overland adventure – Intrepid style.
Highlights of Africa
See the Big 5 on an African safari
In some destinations, you’ll want to hit the tourist hot-spots, like the Eifel Tower, Angkor Wat or the Pyramids of Giza. On an African safari, it’s all about getting up close and personal (from a respectable distance, that is) with the Big 5 animals – the African elephant, the black rhino, the Cape buffalo, the African lion and the Africa leopard. Don’t forget your camera as you hop aboard one of our custom-built Overland vehicles.
Towering mountains, changing cityscapes, twisting coastal roads and heritage vineyards. A cycling trip in South Africa covers a lot of ground (both literally and metaphorically), but it’s undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience this amazing destination. Cross nature reserves, spot whales in Hermanus and explore the Cape Peninsula, wind through mountain ranges from the bike saddle, before stopping to sip local wines guilt-free. Bliss!
Wrap up your headscarf or turban for sun-protection, put on your loosest, most colourful desert clothes and mount your camel for the ride of a lifetime. With the sun setting behind you, you’ll be amazed by the seemingly endless crests and valleys of the Erg Chebbi dunes. Your camel and local leader will guide you through the sand to the desert camp where you’ll spend the night with local guides and fellow adventurers.
The Masai Mara’s wide-open plains, clear blue skies and herds of wild animals are almost too picturesque to be real. But it’s also home to the Maasai people, one of Kenya’s most famous tribes. You might have seen photos of these red-clad warriors taking part in jumping dances – they’ve maintained a traditional way of life and welcome everyone to come and learn about their vibrant culture.
If you want to see a different, more tropical side of Africa, it’s hard to go past Madagascar’s golden beaches, idyllic islands and quirky wildlife. Explore lush rainforests in Ranomafana National Park and encounter local flora and fauna – including 33 species of lemurs, one of which is the famous golden bamboo lemur. Round it out with a refreshing dip in the Indian Ocean from the relatively untouched Ill Sainte Marie.
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls are the world’s largest waterfall thanks to their huge flow rate (despite not being the highest or the widest falls). You can soak up the spray from the edge, take part in active adventures like canoeing or rafting or simply stroll around and admire the stunning views. Who would have thought that a trip to Africa would involve so much water?
What should I pack for a safari? What are the toilet facilities like? What do you do if there’s a lion in your campsite? Two Intrepid travellers answer the big questions about East Africa overland travel in this 30-minute podcast, recorded in a tent in the heart of the Masai Mara. They discuss how to prepare for a trip (packing, visas, health) and what to expect on the ground (camping, game drives, life in the truck) – plus run through their personal highlights of two Intrepid Basix tours: the 8-day Serengeti Trails tour in Tanzania, and the 8-day Kenya Wildlife Safari. It’s kind of like a chat with your most helpful friends.
This trip was amazing and showed how vast and diverse the African landscape and wildlife is. Camping in the Serengeti was the highlight for me and I would recommend it to anyone that longs to see animals in their natural environment.
The South Discovery trip was better than I expected. The itinerary while fast past allows you to see many different aspects of the country and it’s people. The highlight was sleeping under the stars in the Sahara. Absolutely loved it!
This was a magical and phenomenal trip; HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! All of the day guides in the cities were incredibly kind and knowledgeable and provided an amazing immersive experience.
If you’re worried about the camping- they have western toilets. Make sure you have toilet paper with you at all times because many times you need your own. During the long drives you stop 1x hour for tea and bathroom break. This trip will make you want to go back for a second visit to Morocco.
From Joburg to Zimbabwe, or from Johannesburg to Victoria Fall is an extraordinary journey. The beauty of the Okavanga Delta, the vastness of Chobe Park and everything in between is a world that often resembles a dream, a film like the Lion King when on an early evening you witness the amazing sky and only the sounds of nature, and animals waking from their daylong rest. I loved Botswana, and was very impressed by Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. We basically crossed the entire (northern?) part of Botswana with a specially equipped Intrepid bus which carried all of our luggage, tents, cooking materials and food, and spend nights in camps and sanctuaries along the way. Probably the two night stay on an island in the Okavanga Delta surrounded and assisted by local villagers was the most dramatic, and fun. We trekked through the bush spotting animals guided by a village guide, riding the makoro, a traditional dugout canoe I adored, ate delicious food, sang songs, laughed and danced with our village hosts and used a bush toilet without a fuss. It was amazing, beyond description, beautiful especially the views afforded while floating on a makoro guided by our village poler witnessing amazing sunsets, a family of hippos and African animal life awakening to their evening's routines. This was just one of the many experiences that will stay in my heart and mind for a very long time. To the guides, and people of Botswana and Zimbabwe, thank you!
Amazing experience! One of the toughest things you will ever do, but the amazing guides and porters will help you every step of the way. If you have ever wanted to climb Mt Kilimanjaro then book this trip now!