An epic northbound journey in search of Africa’s wildest wildlife
Africa’s all about the outdoors – rainforest, national parks, waterways, coastlines and a whole load of savanna. See the best of Africa’s natural attractions on a 52-day Lonely Planet Experience from Johannesburg to Nairobi. Witness the power of Victoria Falls and the sprawling plains of the Serengeti, have close encounters with mountain gorillas and be warmed by the welcoming hospitality of locals in Malawi. Camp on balmy beaches in Tanzania, trek through steamy rainforests and mokoro down the Okavango in search of unique wildlife. Whether you’re spotting the Big Five, lazing on Zanzibar’s idyllic shores or interacting with Maasai warriors, this all-encompassing African journey will immerse you into the wild lands of Africa.
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Support local conservation efforts by visiting the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the only place left in Botswana where both black and white rhinos reside.
Go wildlife-spotting with your small group and expert guides in Chobe National Park, South Luangwa National Park, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. The Big Five have never been so close!
Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you’ll never forget. As the sun sets and night falls, the sounds of Africa come alive.
Journey from the interior plains out to some idyllic Indian Ocean hotspots. Take a stroll along the shores in Dar es Salaam and consider strolling through spice plantations in Zanzibar.
With permits included in the price of the trip, take a trek through Uganda's steamy forests to seek out rare mountain gorillas and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence.
This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent, occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the Big Five. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/africa/overland
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. A top tip is to pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs. See https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/gorilla-trekking for more information.
We use mokoros (small dugout canoes) to pass through the shallow waterways of the Okavango Delta to get to our campsite for the night.
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.
At Usambara Mountains, you'll hike to the beautiful Irente viewpoint. It's not overly strenuous, but a reasonable level of fitness is required.
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. You will be briefed as a group on arrival.
1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2.This trip requires a higher non-refundable deposit (AUD 1000, USD 1000, EUR 800, NZD 1250, GBP 650, CAD 1000, ZAR 8000, CHF 900) in order to secure the included gorilla permit. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 45 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking.
3. Optional sunrise balloon rides in the Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve are 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 trip is a combination of UBOO,YXOS,YXON,YXOQ and YXOG our most popular itineraries. As such the make up of your group and your leader may change on days 10,26,29 and 37.
5. 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.
6. This trip finishes upon arrival in Nairobi on Day 52. Please do not book any flights until after 10 pm this evening.
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.View Essential Trip Information