Safari through East Africa to the shores of the Indian Ocean

Travel with Lonely Planet and Intrepid – from the mighty Victoria Falls through Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania – to experience all the incredible sights, sounds and cultures Eastern Africa has to offer. Head on overland game drives in search of lions, leopards and, if you’re lucky, rare black rhinos. Explore World Heritage-listed sites like the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Swim and snorkel in the clear, fresh waters of Lake Malawi. Meet locals to gain insight into the enduring cultures of these communities. Wind up on the shores of the Indian Ocean in Zanzibar after an unforgettable 17-day journey full of local knowledge and epic adventures.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Finish
Stone Town, Tanzania
Destinations
Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience, Overland, Wildlife
Code
YXOS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

  • The cascades and evaporating mist of Victoria Falls are a wondrous sight. Have the opportunity to see the falls at multiple angles, perhaps with a bird’s eye view in a helicopter!

  • Visit the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust to learn about the rehabilitation of wildlife from poaching and get the chance to meet some rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.

  • Discover the magic of South Luangwa National Park on a morning safari game drive. This park is a highly concentrated arena of noble African beasts and exotic wildflowers.

  • The east of Africa isn’t all just roaming wildlife and open plains. Along the way, get to know some of the vibrant cities of the region, including Lusaka, Harare and Bulawayo.

  • Journey from the interior plains out to some idyllic Indian Ocean hotspots. Take a stroll along the shores in Dar es Salaam and consider extending your stay in paradisiacal Zanzibar.

Is this trip right for you?

  • 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 (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), 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/au/africa/overland

  • There are many excellent optional activities on this trip. We recommend taking this into consideration when budgeting for your adventure.

  • As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

  • Please note that some passengers on this trip will have been travelling together prior to the start of your trip. To see what you're missing out on check out our Cape Town to Zanzibar trip – search trip code UXOBC on the Intrepid website for more information and how to book.

Itinerary

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Your campground is centrally located in the town of Victoria Falls. After this important meeting, your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer, and you can consider booking experiences for tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (full day) - USD185
  • Victoria Falls - Flying fox - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD165
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD299
  • Victoria Falls - Rafting & river boarding (half day) - USD218
  • Victoria Falls - Village & township tour - USD61
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail wine route - USD55
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent know. Ask reception or look for a note for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you 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).

Accommodation upgrades and wi-fi are available.

Intrepid has not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in Optional Activities are recommended. It is against policy for leaders to help book any activities that do not adhere to our Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to these activities. 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.
Use your free time to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls. This thundering curtain of water is one-and-a-half kilometres 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 a 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. Be sure to check your Lonely Planet app for all of the hottest tips and advice on what to do in Victoria Falls, or ask your local leader for their recommendations.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls entrance - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The Victoria Falls entrance fee is not included in the price of the trip as groups are required to have a local guide and we feel that seeing these waterfalls for the first time should be an uninterrupted sensory experience.

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.
Depart Victoria Falls and travel toward Bulawayo (approximately 7 hours) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust – one of The Intrepid Foundation’s projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and the trusts role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. Onwards to Bulawayo – known locally as the 'City of Kings', Zimbabwe's second-largest city has an interesting history and some impeccable colonial architecture. You will have the late afternoon free to explore, so maybe take the opportunity to visit some shops and chat with locals.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
In Bulawayo you will stay in a campground with shared facilities and wi-fi. Upgrades are also available (subject to availability).
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. This optional activity is highly recommended, otherwise you could head into town to check out the local museums or take the opportunity for some down time.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Matobo National Park - Rhino Tracking, Park Visit & San Rock Paintings - USD100
  • Bulawayo - Railway Museum - USD5
  • Balawayo - Natural History Museum - USD10
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 World Heritage-listed 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 for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masvingo - Great Zimbabwe Ruins guided visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your campground in Masvingo has shared facilities. Accommodation upgrades and wi-fi are available.
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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Harare - National Archives - USD3
  • Harare - National Botanical Gardens - USD5
  • Harare - National Gallery - USD1
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight, accommodation upgrades are offered at your camp (subject to availability).
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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight’s camp has shared facilities. Accommodation upgrades are available (subject to availability).
Spend some time checking out Lusaka before a long day of travel. You'll see that it's a modern city but still retains a traditional African feel. Afterwards, travel on to Petauke (approximately 8 hours).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight’s camp tonight has facilities, wi-fi and accommodation upgrades possible (subject to availability).
After breakfast, make a visit to a workshop where local craftswomen make all the jewellery by hand using natural materials from the South Luangwa valley. The project is set primarily to empower women and raise awareness against poaching. Afterwards, 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 group leader for more details.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Petauke - Jewellery workshop project
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your camp tonight has basic facilities.
Rise early for an exhilarating morning game drive in a 4WD vehicle. Enjoy classic savanna scenery while keeping your eyes peeled the parks abundance of wildlife. There’s every chance you may spot a herd of zebra grazing on parched grass or a pride of lions passing by. Midday is the hottest part of the day here, so seek refuge from the sun and return to the camp for lunch. Afterwards, perhaps head out on a village walk for a snapshot of daily life in the local community. An optional game drive at night is also a good option to see wildlife when they are most active.
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 - USD50
  • South Luangwa National Park - Game Walk - USD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cross the border into Malawi and continue straight to your camp on the shores 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 local people. Fishermen, fish traders and canoe and net makers all ply their trade on the lake. 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, so take some time to rest and relax.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
There are upgrades available at tonight’s campsite, but there is no wi-fi available.
Enjoy free time to soak up your idyllic surrounds. If you're feeling active, your leader can recommend some thrilling water-based activities. Otherwise, enjoy the opportunity to chill out on the beach or perhaps get to know some local Malawians.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Malawi - Pedalos - USD25
  • Lake Malawi - Snorkelling - USD20
  • Lake Malawi - Guided village walks - USD10
  • Lake Malawi - Bike Hire - USD25
  • Lake Malawi - Canoe Hire - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Drive to your camp in Chitimba (approximately 8 hours). Chitimba lies along the coast of Lake Malawi and has lovely beaches, friendly locals and a laidback 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight’s camp has facilities and wi-fi. Accommodation upgrades are available.
Today is a long travel day into Tanzania and its southern highlands (approximately 11 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight’s camp has facilities and wi-fi. Accommodation upgrades are available.
Set out on a short drive to the edge of Mikumi National Park. Situated at the foot of the thickly wooded Uluguru Mountains, Mikumi is Tanzania's fourth-largest national park and an important educational and research centre. It’s grassy plains host elephants, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, giraffes and lions among other wildlife. You’re almost guaranteed to see a number of these incredible creatures on an optional afternoon 4WD game drive. Also notice the baobabs, unusual trees with exceptionally thick trunks commonly referred to as the 'Tree of Life' for its many useful properties.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Mikumi National Park - Afternoon 4x4 Game Drive - From USD80 - USD230
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The optional 4WD game drive price will depend on the number of travellers joining in on the safari.
Settle in for a 7-hour drive to Kipepeo Beach, just south of Dar es Salaam. Be sure to make the most of it – perhaps take a stroll along the shore after you arrive and settle in. Your camp today is on the grounds of a hotel situated next to the beach.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
At tonight’s campsite, upgrades are usually possible (subject to availability).
Catch a ferry to Africa’s 'Spice Island' – Zanzibar. Filled with pristine white-sand shores, 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 suggests what the island must have been like in Livingstone's day. The best way to see this exotic port town and its old city (Stone Town) is on foot. When the sun is setting, perhaps enjoy a drink at a nearby bar overlooking the seafront, then a seafood curry at a local restaurant. With no further activities planned on arrival, this trip comes to an end in Stone Town.
Optional Activities
  • Stone Town - Culinary Urban Adventure - USD29
  • Stone Town - Handicraft & Music Urban Adventure - USD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

16 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 14 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, 4WD Safari Vehicle, Ferry

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (16 nights)

Included activities

  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
  • Masvingo - Great Zimbabwe Ruins guided visit
  • Petauke - Jewellery workshop project
  • South Luangwa National Park - 4x4 Dawn Game Drive

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Vic Falls to Stone Town trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on all nights of this trip, subject to availability.
2. This trip finishes upon arrival at our finish point hotel in Stone Town on Day 17. While this itinerary finishes in Stone Town it does not spend any further time in Zanzibar. For an itinerary that includes Zanzibar please see our Vic Falls to Zanzibar (YXOSC) itinerary.

Essential trip information

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