Arrive in Cape Town and make your way to the hotel. Attend a pre-departure group meeting with your CEO scheduled for the evening.
*Please note: if you have pre-booked the Okavango Delta Flight and the Serengeti Balloon Safari your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity throughout your tour, days are subject to change: Okavango Delta Flight (Day 15 - Okavango Delta), Serengeti Balloon Safari (Day 38 - Serengeti). With the Serengeti Balloon you will miss the included morning game drive with the group, but you will have a much better view from above! For more information on the Extra see the Optional Activities section.
Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the Visa section in our trip details to make sure which visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border in South Africa. Please also note that no visa can be obtained at the border to Namibia.
Cape Town offers many different activities – something for everyone. Visit Robben Island, Table Mountain, explore Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope), embark on a wine tour in and around Stellenbosch (45min drive). Visit the old French Hugonaut town of Franschoek and surroundings (1h drive). For the not so faint-hearted, there are numerous adrenaline activities in the surrounding areas, from skydiving to abseiling to cage diving and having a close encounter with the great white sharks. Or wander through the city centre with some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa (Botanical Gardens and Parliament Gardens). Do not miss the wonderful Cultural Historical Museum, Planetarium and numerous other small museums and theatres.
Cape Town is the third most populous city in South Africa, with over 3 million inhabitants and is the provincial capital of the Western Cape. It is also the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located.
For shopping, dining and entertainment the V&A Waterfront is a hotspot for foreigners and locals alike. Still a working harbour, the waterfront is an example of creative architecture and restoration and has become South Africa's most visited tourist attraction. The Waterfront offers over 250 shops from designer boutiques to craft stalls, a host of restaurants and coffee shops and plenty of other activities.
Head out of the city to begin your overland journey with a lunch stop by the coast. We arrive to our first campsite in the afternoon. The campsite is in the Cederberg area on a local vineyard farm. Here you will have free time to sample and buy some local wine, kick a footy around with the local kids, or explore the area near the camp in this beautiful part of South Africa. Or just chill at campsite’s swimming pool overlooking the vineyards.
The next day, travel north to the South Africa/Namibia border and stop on the South Africa side of the Gariep River. We will leave early to ensure enough time for an optional canoe drive. After setting up camp in the late afternoon, enjoy swimming, relaxing, or possibly even canoeing on the river. Enjoy a quiet afternoon on the banks of the Orange River (formerly Gariep River). Otherwise go for a hike, and enjoy a spectacular sunset from a nearby hill. Our campsite is located along the river banks and provides a very tranquil setting for our stay.
Cape Town to Cederberg
Approximate Distance: 300 km, estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
Cederberg to Gariep River
Approximate Distance: 350 km, estimated Travel Time: 6.5 hrs
Cross the border from South Africa to Namibia.
We have encountered some problems with travellers that need visas for Namibia. Namibian visas are not available at the border, so please be very sure of the rules and regulations applying to your passport. See our visa section for further information.
We will make our way to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa and arguably the second largest in the world. Watch as a spectacular sunset slips over the canyon's rim in the early evening. Permits are required to descend into the crater; we will have access to the rim only, but the views are spectacular. We camp in the surrounding area. The campground offers a small bar and a pool.
Approximate Distance: 180 km
Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs (with border crossing)
Passing the small and desolate towns of Bethanien and Helmeringhausen, we continue north along long and bumpy roads, en route to the Namib Desert. Arrive in the area in the late afternoon, where the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei form the gateway into the Namib Desert. Here you really feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere.
Our first campsite is one of the most beautiful campsites in Namibia including a bar, restaurant, shop and swimming pool. We arrive in the early evening, set up our camp, then continue driving for a short stop at Sesriem Canyon, a small canyon typical of the area.
The following day is spent exploring the natural wonders of this bizarre desert environment. Wake up and set off for a pre-dawn climb of the mighty Dune 45, aiming to reach the top just before the sunrise. Watching the dunes come to life and display their amazing orange and yellow hues, and views for miles of surrounding desert is an unforgettable sight.
After the sunrise from atop Dune 45, enjoy a hot breakfast by the dunes. Visit Sossusvlei - a clay pan, enclosed by the world’s largest sand dunes and enclosing ancient dead trees. Here you can take a guided walk at the sand dunes, and enjoy some free time to enjoy them on your own. We arrive back at our campsite around lunch time with time to take down tents, pack up the truck and drive to the next desert campsite. Don’t miss out on the optional famous Boesman dune walk. Boesman is famous for his excellent explanation to the ins and out of the dunes.
Day 5 Approximate Distance: 560km
Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs
Day 6 (excluding the drive to Dune 45 and Sossuvlei)
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours
Today we will really get a feeling for the Namib Desert, as we cross through this void region and a few dry mountain passes.
After arriving to Swakopmund around midday, we will meet our local friends and explore the back streets and local culture on a guided interpretive walk. During the walk, we will learn about the history of the town, housing and other various topics to give us a better understanding of local life. We visit a woman from the Herero ethnic group and also a Nama Medicine Woman, who will host a “click” lesson in the local Daman language. We finish our cultural walk at a local pub called a “shebeen” with the opportunity to try the local bush delicacy of Mopani worms and a drink.
Swakopmund is one of the adventure capitals of Africa. Enjoy a free day to relax or get the adrenaline pumping. Choose from sky diving, dune boarding or a 4x4 safaris, just to name a few.
Meals are not included while we are in Swakopmund in order to give our travellers the freedom to try out the many restaurants and bars in town.
We will stay in a hostel or small guest house while in Swakopmund to give us a break from camping and be more centrally located than the local campsites. We stay in dormitory-style rooms with up to 6 or 8 people sharing a room. We will strive to divide the group based on gender, but this cannot always be guaranteed. As such, males and females may have to share the same sleeping quarters for these two nights. The bathrooms and showers are private though used by both men and women. Nice shared areas at the hostel round out our accommodation and are great for socializing.
Approximate Distance: 300km
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
Depart early in the morning around 7am and stop for a roadside breakfast along the way. Look out over beautiful desert landscapes as far as the eye can see. There are Himba, Herero and Damara people along the way selling local arts and minerals, and we’ll be sure to make a few stops to find out more about their products and offerings.
Pass into more stony desert landscapes, and arrive to camp near Twyfelfontein by mid-afternoon.
Just a short drive away, we can check out some prehistoric rock engravings made during the early Stone Age. Opt to explore the area, which is adorned with rock engravings and petrified fossil forests. You will have free time in the area and can opt for a guided walk along the rock engravings. This area is a famous for the paintings which are found in the region. Their origin is uncertain, but they are probably the work of Bushmen or Nama artists and are estimated to have lived in the area 5,000 years ago.
Tonight, experience a truly “out in the bush” night of camping at a rustic campsite with basic facilities.
Approximate Distance: 325 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
As one of Africa’s highlights, the Etosha National Park offers a variety of wildlife and phenomenal natural beauty.
Upon arrival to the park in the afternoon, we will head out for a game drive in our overland truck to find the elephants, herds of antelope and lions around the watering holes.
After sunset you can watch some animals at the watering holes near the camping area, which is safe, being well lit with flood lights. Free time at night allows for the option of a night game drives in an open vehicles. We will go for another game drive in our overland vehicle during our second day in the park.
Our campsites in Etosha are comfortable with amenities such as a bar, restaurant and swimming pool. Spend at least one evening at a campground overlooking a permanent waterhole, which is illuminated by floodlight at night, allowing for better viewing of wildlife.
A brief animal count of Etosha National Park: 30 000 Blue Wildebeest; 25000 Springbok; 23000 Zebra; 5000 Kudu; 3000 Hartebeest; 3000 Gemsbok; 2600 Eland; 450 Giraffe; 2000 Elephant; 260 Lions; 20 Black Rhino; 325 Bird species.
Etosha National Park in Namibia was first established in 1907. At the time, the park’s original 100,000 sq km made it the largest game reserve in the world. Due to political changes since its original establishment, the park is now a bit less than a quarter of its original size but still remains a very large and significant area in which wildlife is protected.
The Etosha Pan dominates the park. The salt pan desert is roughly 130km long and in places as wide as 50km; it is usually dry but fills with water briefly in the summer months when it attracts pelicans and flamingos in particular. Periannual springs attract a variety of game and birds throughout the year, including the endangered black rhinoceros and the endemic black face Impala.
Approximate Distance: 300km
Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs
Enjoy one last morning game drive in search of the Etosha's incredible wildlife before leaving the park mid-morning, then travel south to the Waterberg Plateau Game Park, arriving mid-afternoon.
In the afternoon, opt to take a self-guided scenic forest walk to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Those who are up for a couple hours of hiking can do a self-guided hike up to the Waterberg Plateau with its magnificent view over the plains of Namibia. It takes about 2 hours roundtrip.
Our usual campsite has a pool and a bar to relax at.
Approximate Distance: 380 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs (excluding game drive out of Etosha)
Leave Waterberg Plateau Game Park and head south through the Namibian countryside to Windhoek. With a population of 230,000 and an altitude of 1654m, Windhoek is the capital of Namibia. We will arrive around lunchtime, so you will have free time to explore the city, go shopping or just relax at your accommodation.
Please note that this is a combination tour. Some of group members may be departing the tour in Windhoek and some new group members may be joining. Enjoy an optional group dinner with both old and new travellers.
Trade in your sleeping bag for a proper bed in a hotel tonight.
Approximate Distance: 280 km
Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
Leave in the morning and continue through the eastern part of Namibia and cross into Botswana, travelling into the heart of the Kalahari.
Botswana visas are not available at the border. See our visa section for further information.
We arrive at our campsite that is approximately 10km outside Ghanzi in the early evening, just in time for an optional “Bushman Walk.” On this walk, get a glimpse of how the San tribe adapted to the Kalahari Desert, and learn fascinating wilderness survival skills the local people use. The gatherer life of the San/Bushmen has all but disappeared. There are few remaining Bushmen who still retain the survival skills of their ancient way of life. During the walk, your San/Bushmen guides will share through an interpreter their rich heritage of accumulated knowledge that make the them masters of this harsh environment, helping us to learn about the botany of our surroundings. The walk is a slow hour and a half meander through about 4km of bushveld.
Around the campfire at night, you can experience the ancient dance rituals of the San/Bushmen. On special occasions, this is be a healing or trance dance that can continue all night and is an intense spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike.
Our accommodation provider for the night offer a number of activities to interact with the San/Bushmen, and to discover how they survived in the Kalahari. Opt to upgrade your tent and stay in a recreated San/Bushman grass hut for the night, space-permitting. Each hut has stretchers with mattresses, lights and mosquito nets. The campground has a bar and small gift shop.
Approximate Distance: 580 km
Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs
Drive across Botswana and travel from the Kalahari towards Maun. We leave Ghanzi in the morning and arrive to Maun around lunch time. After arrival, you can pick up any supplies and prepare for the 1 night/2-day excursion into the Okavango Delta. We recommend each person brings a 5 litre bottle of water to take into the Delta; this should be sufficient for both drinking water and cleaning purposes.
In the afternoon, opt to get a sneak peak of the delta from above on an hour-long flight over the delta in a very small plane. See various groups of wildlife from above and get a feel for the vastness of the delta.
Those not opting for the flight can kick back and relax at the campsite set next to a river and with a pool, bar and restaurant facilities.
Approximate Distance: 280 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs
After leaving some luggage in Maun, we hop into motor boats and travel along a river for about an hour before pairing off and sitting down in mokoros, traditional dug-out canoes, that take us deep into the delta. Each boat is pushed forward by a poler from a local community who stands at the back with a long bamboo pole that reaches the bottom of the waterways.
After a couple hours in the mokoro, we arrive to our basic bush camp in time for lunch. Set up tents and get used to the surroundings. Please note that there is no shower and only a dig-out bush toilet, as our camp is very basic and in the wild – but it is all worth it due to the incredible landscape and wildlife! In the afternoon, set off on a game walk to enjoy birdlife and game viewing in the pristine wilderness area of the Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta. In the evening, count the shooting stars, sing with the locals or just unwind with a sundowner around the campfire. The polers will join us around the campfire tonight and usually love to sing and dance… join in!
Enjoy the sunrise on an early game walk then return to Maun, first by mokoro, then motor boat, and arrive around lunch time. Pack up the truck, then hit the road to ancient baobab trees of Gweta. We will arrive to our campsite mid- to late afternoon. Have a walk around, take pictures of the baobabs, swim in the pool and enjoy a proper shower after the night in the bush.
Approximate Distance: 240 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs
Journey to the area of Chobe National Park, home to the largest elephant population in Southern Africa. The best way to appreciate the area’s thousands of resident elephants, crocodiles and hippos, is with an optional sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. You may instead opt to embark on a game drive in search of lions, antelope, and of course, elephants. We arrive to Kasane around lunchtime and the optional sunset cruise starts in the late afternoon. It’s best to book the optional sunset cruise on the day of our arrival to the area and then save the optional game drive for the morning of the following day.
Kasane is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, near its mouth. This is where the Chobe and Zambezi rivers meet, creating a border area of four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Chobe National Park was Botswana’s first national park, and it is situated along the Chobe River. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. By size, this is the third largest park (11,000 sq km) in the country, but it is definitely the most diverse and spectacular. The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: with over 120,000 elephants, it has the highest concentration of the animal of Africa. Our campsite has a pool, bar and restaurant area.
Approximate Distance: 420 km
Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs
Kasane is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, near its mouth. This is where the Chobe and Zambezi rivers meet, creating a border area of four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Chobe National Park is Botswana’s first national park, and is situated along the Chobe River. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa and one of the world's last remaining sizeable wilderness areas. By size, this is the third largest park (11,000 sq km) of the country, though it is definitely the most diverse and spectacular.
The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: with over 120,000 it has the highest elephant concentration of Africa. Moreover, most of them are probably part of the largest continuous surviving elephant population on Earth. The elephant population seems to have solidly built up since 1990, from the few initial thousands. By chance, they have not been affected by the massive illicit exploitation of the 1970's and 1980's. Elephants living here are Kalahari elephants, the largest in size of all known elephant species. Yet they are characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks. Damage caused by the high numbers of elephants is rife in some areas. In fact, concentration is so high throughout Chobe that culls have been considered, but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected. During the dry season, these elephants sojourn in Chobe River and the Linyanti River areas. During the rain season, they make a 200 km migration to the south-east region of the park. Their distribution zone however outreaches the park and spreads to north-western Zimbabwe.
Cross the border from Botswana to Zambia at the Kazungula border post. Some nationalities do require a visa for Zambia, and many visas are available for purchase right at the border. See our visa section for further information.
Cross the Zambezi River by ferry to enter into Zambia and continue on to Livingstone. Livingstone is a great base to see both natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities. We’ve included a full day without any planned activities so each person can do what most interests. The most popular activities include visiting Victoria Falls to feel the immense falls up close and personal, rafting the Zambezi River (water levels-permitting), bungee jumping off a bridge in between Zambia and Zimbabwe or seeing the king of the jungle up close and personal on a lion encounter.
Note that this trip combine with other tours, and some tours will be finishing in Livingstone, while others will be continuing on. Many of our groups opt to book their final evening together aboard a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River with game-viewing, great scenery and an open bar.
Approximate Distance: 100 km
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs
Approximate Distance: 543km
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
Today’s long journey across rough and bumpy roads takes us to a private game farm 20km's outside of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Here you can marvel at the Zebras, Buffalos, and the Boks that roam the property, or relax by the pool or at the rest camp’s bar.
Lusaka, like many African capitals, is a bustling metropolis developing around its colonial roots, its socialist history, and nowadays its drive for independence. It’s an example of how many African cities are trying to find their “independent” way in a world that’s surging ahead. Situated in the southern part of the country, Lusaka is considered one of the fastest growing populations in Africa, and is the governmental and administrative centre of Zambia.
Please note that as today and tomorrow is long drives we will not be able no visit the city of Lusaka.
Approximate Distance: 544 km
Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs
Travel north east up through the Zambian country-side, we head to the capital of the Eastern Province, Chipata. Previously known as Fort Jameson, Chipata is a popular refueling station for overlanders heading to South Luangwa National Park.
Please note that as today is a long drive we will not be able to visit the city of Chipata.
Day 25 - Approximate Distance: 400 km ; Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs
Day 27 - Approximate Distance: 235 km ; Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
Today(day 25) we will cross the border from Zambia to Malawi. The name of the border posts are Mwami border post on the Zambian side and /Mchinji border post on the Malawian side. We have been experiencing a lot of problems with people that need visas for Malawi. Malawian visas is not available at the border, so please make very sure if you do need a visa before arrival. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility; please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Malawi.
The currency in Malawi is Malawian Kwacha (MWK.)You will be able to change money in Lilongwe. Most establishments, activities etc. do accept USD for payment.
Spend four nights along on the shores of “the Lake of Stars”. Beach walks, swimming in the crystal clear water and snorkelling among the tropical fish are all part and parcel of your stay. Visit various lakeside camps as we travel north along the shores of Lake Malawi.
This is Malawi’s main attraction and covers one fifth of the country. It is the third largest lake in Africa and is about 500km long. The lake has more fish species than any other lake in the world with around 600 different species. The largest family is the chichlids, which are exported all over the world to pet shops etc. The lake is also known for its good snorkelling and diving. The locals depend on the lake for fishing and survival and use dug out canoes to fish from and set out long nets. There are many different ethnic groups all speaking their own language, most are Christians and the rest have traditional beliefs as do most African countries
Up in the hills above Chitimba Beach is a mission station named after David Livingstone.
Livingstonia is a small mission town that was founded in 1894 by the missionaries from the Free Church of Scotland. At fisrt they planted the mission at Cape Mclear in 1875 but had to move it because of Malaria. They then moved it to the north of Bandawe, but this site was also unhealthy. So they had to move it to the current location between Lake Malawi and the Nyika Plateau. The mission gradually developed into a small town – now having around 6690 inhabitants.
The leading missionary Dr Robert Laws established the best school in this time for the whole region. Livingstonia graduates became influential in several neighbouring countries.
He wanted to develop Livingstonia into a university, but his successors did not pursue his vision. In 2003 though, the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of central Africa, Presbyterian started the Livingstonia University.
Approximate Distance: 534 km
Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs
Today we will cross the border from Malawi to Tanzania. The name of the border posts are Songwe border post on the Malawian side and Kasumulu border post on the Tanzanian side.
Some nationalities do require a visa for Tanzania. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility; please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Tanzania.
The currency in Tanzania is Tanzanian shilling (TZS.)You will be able to change your left over MWK at the border. Most establishments, activities etc. do accept USD for payment.
Begin the day by making the border crossing out of Malawi and into Tanzania. Climbing out of the Great Rift Valley through some spectacular mountain passes, view the vast tea plantations in the highlands along the way as you make camp outside Iringa.
Historically, Iringa was a centre of colonial administration. During German occupation, the German military constructed the town as a fortified defence against marauding Hehe tribal warriors intent on driving them out of the region. Gangilonga Rock, a site just outside of the town, is a legendary spot where the Hehe chief at that time, Chief Mkwawa, met with his people and decided how to fight the Germans. Iringa was also the site of several battles during the First and Second World Wars, and Commonwealth War Graves are located just outside of town.
Approximate Distance: 632km
Estimated Travel Time: 12 hrs
Transit to, Dar Es Salaam. The city started as a fishing village in the mid 19th century before becoming a port and trading centre.
Between independence and 1996 – Dar Es Salaam was the countries capital. Today, Dar remains the principal commercial city and the de facto seat of most government institutions in Tanzania. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
Dar Es Salaam - Arabic for “Abode of Peace” (a word closely related to the familiar “Yer u-salem” in Israel) - is the largest city in Tanzania. With a population estimated around 2,500,000, it is also the country’s richest city and an important economic centre.
Day 31 Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs (ferry ride)
Day 32 Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs (including 2hr Spice Tour)
Day 34 Estimated Travel Time: 2 hrs
After arriving on Zanzibar, spend the remainder of the day exploring Stone Town, the heart of the island. It has an intriguing maze of narrow, cobbled lanes hemmed in by Arabic buildings. The best way to see the Stone Town is, literally, to get lost. You can spend hours just wandering the alleys and squares, drinking potent coffee from pavement vendors, or buying sweetmeats from scores of tiny cafes.
Zanzibar Island, 'the spice island,' has an extremely interesting history and culture as it was the centre of the slave and spice trade in the 1800s. Zanzibar is one of the most fascinating places in East Africa, despite a heavy increase in tourism since the early 1990s. Thanks to an ambitious and far-reaching preservation programme funded by UNESCO and the Aga Khan, many famous old buildings have been restored, or are in the process of being renovated.
The following morning we head north to Nungwi for two days/ two nights at one of Zanzibar's major highlights. Here you can either relax on the idyllic white-sandy beaches, take an optional diving/snorkeling excursion, or take a wander through the village of Nungwi.
No visit to Zanzibar would be complete without a visit to the spice plantations - an activity that is included on our way north to Nungwi on Day 32. Your senses will be aroused as you will receive a detailed description on the assortment of spices (black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, breadfruit, jackfruit, vanilla, lemon grass) and their various uses. It was the wonderful spice plantations that brought the beginnings of Zanzibar’s infamous slave trade dating back to the 1840’s.
On our fourth day on the island, we head back south to Stone Town, for our final night on this enchanting island. It's your last chance to shop and/or enjoy all that Stone Town has to offer. This maybe the last night for some of your travel companions as some will be finishing their G Adventures tour here on Zanzibar.
Remember that Zanzibar is a Muslim society, and immodestly dressed women, or men in shorts, will get harassed and cause great offence in Stone Town. In Nungwi, customs are a little more relaxed, but passengers are encouraged to be respectful of the islands culture and still cover up when walking around. Never try to take a photograph without asking permission. The polite way to ask is “Tafadhali (pronounced tougher-thaarli) naomba ruhusu kwa kupiga picha yako.” Many guidebooks say the correct phrase is “nataka kupiga picha yako”, but this is incredibly rude, the equivalent of saying “give me your picture”.
Approximate Distance: 309km
Estimated Travel Time: 6hrs (excl. 3hr ferry ride)
Our campsite is adjaecent to the Motel White Parrot and is a perfect spot to stop after the days journey. With views of the Usambara Mountain slopes and plenty of space in the sun and/or the shade, you can grab a chair or an area of grass and just lay out and relax, reading a book, or enjoy a nice "cool" drink.
Approximate Distance: 250km
Estimated Travel Time: 7/8 hrs
Pass Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain and head towards Arusha.
Arusha sits at the foot of rugged Mount Meru, Africa's fifth highest mountain. Spend some time exploring the town and its bustling markets.
Arusha, also known as Tanzania’s “safari capital”, is undoubtedly the most important center in northern Tanzania. With many protected national parks, reserves, and mountains nearby (on a clear day, you can see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance), Arusha is a modern town, and with its markets, services, and fine location, it is a great base for your safari trip.
Arusha officially became a city on the 1st of July 2006. The primary industry of the region is agriculture with large vegetable producers sending high-quality produce to Europe. The city and its environs are also spotted with large coffee plantations, adding to the area’s charm. Though in recent years, due to the coffee crisis, many local farmers have been badly hit, and now subsistence farming is the most common source of livelihood.
Arusha, who owes its name from the local Wa-arusha people who resided here for hundreds of years, is historically and politically significant city within East Africa. In 1961 the official documents ceding independence to Tanzania were signed by the United Kingdom in Arusha. Six years later the Arusha Declaration of Self Reliance in Tanzania was signed. On the 4th of August 1993 the Arusha Accords were signed by representatives of competing factions in the civil war in neighbouring Rwanda. After the Rwandan genocide, the UN Security Council decided by its Resolution 955 of 8 November 1994 that Arusha should host the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The establishment of the tribunal with its employees has influenced the local economy of Arusha.
Day 37 Approximate Distance: 320 km; Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (including game drive into Serengeti)
Day 38 Approximate Distance 160 km; Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs (including game drive out of Serengeti)
After breakfast, we begin our 2 night/3 day excursion to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, two of Africa’s premier wildlife areas. Changing to specialized 4WD 7-seater safari vehicles, we are met by experienced safari driver/guides, who will ensure us wonderful wildlife encounters. Our safari vehicles each have sliding windows and a large pop-up roof, perfect for game viewing. They are smaller than our overland truck, and will allow us to maneuver easily through the wildlife areas. As the vehicles are smaller than our overland truck, our group will split up among several vehicles,.
The Serengeti is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times as large! The area where you will be staying and game viewing is in the central Serengeti 'Seronera' area, which lies in the southeast of the National Park. Because of the sheer size of the National Park other areas will not be accessible during your stay.
As we drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and on to the Serengeti National Park, en route you will begin to experience the sheer vastness of this territory, and you will marvel at the multitude of animal and bird life while cruising through this acacia-spotted savannah. The next day, we continue your search for the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino - while taking in the vastness of the Serengeti plains with a game drives through out the day.
Approximate Distance: 200 km
Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs (including game drive in Crater)
Venture down to the crater floor, and take in your final safari experience viewing the high concentration of wildlife, including zebra, gazelle, impala, and cheetah, bound by the crater walls.
Approximate Distance: 286 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs (depending on border crossing)
Today we will cross the border from Tanzania to Kenya. The name of the border posts are Namanga border post on both sides. Some nationalities do require a visa for Kenya. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility; please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Kenya.
The currency in Kenya is Kenyan shilling (KES.)You will be able to change your left over TZS at the border or in Nairobi. Most establishments, activities etc. do accept USD for payment.
The journey begins early in the morning (8am) as we travel north from Arusha through the Masai lands into Kenya, to our camp on the outskirts of Nairobi.
The name Nairobi is derived from the Masai word for cool waters, which the Masai people gave to a water hole known as Ewaso Nyirobi. In modern times, the sprawling, cosmopolitan city of Nairobi combines the first-world glamour of reflecting-glass skyscraper buildings with abject developing-world poverty. It originated in 1899 from a handful of shacks that marked the end of the railhead during the building of the Uganda railway. Due to big game hunting bringing tourists from Britain, the city expanded dramatically in the early 1900’s. A large number of British nationals settled in the area, prompting more growth and this angered both the Masai and Kikuyu people, as they were losing hunting ground due to the expansion of the city limits. The friction increased and, eventually led to the Mau Mau uprising, which saw Jomo Kenyatta, the future president jailed. Kenya was granted independence from Britain in 1963, with Nairobi as the capital.
Apart from being Kenya’s capital and the main centre of government and commerce, Nairobi is the most significant city in East Africa and an important player on the pan-African stage. It is the diplomatic base for many counties in Africa, with its broad spectrum of international embassies and headquarters for the United Nations, multi-national companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and press correspondents. It’s also the center of the growing safari business of East Africa.
Day 42 Approximate Distance: 156 km; Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
Day 43 Approximate Distance: 359 km; Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs
On Day 43 we cross the border to Uganda. Some nationalities do require visas for Uganda. Some nationalities do require a visa for Uganda. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility; please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Uganda.
The currency in Uganda is Ugandan shilling (UGX).
View varied landscapes as you cross over the Mau Mau Escarpment to Eldoret. Continue into Uganda and across the northern shores of Lake Victoria to camp in Kampala, Uganda's vibrant commercial centre.
With a population nearing 1,210,000, Kampala is the largest city in Uganda. It is located in the district of Kampala at 3,900 ft (1,189 m) above sea level. Before the arrival of the British, the Buganda King, the Kabaka, had chosen the area that was to become Kampala as one of his favorite hunting grounds. The area was made up of numerous rolling hills and lush wetlands. It was an ideal breeding ground for various antelopes - particularly the Impala. When the British arrived they called the area the Hills of the Impala.
Approximate Distance: 345 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
Enjoy an included chimpanzee tracking excursion through the scenic Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Trek along the ridges and valleys of the Rift Valley escarpment to visit chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The forest trails offer amazing views over the Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward, the Kazinga Channel and the Congo. The Kalinzu Forest Reserve is steeped in mysteries and rich with local legends. Learn about the folklore and uses of the forest from a local guide.
Approximate Distance: 201 km
Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs
We travel through gorgeous countryside to Lake Bunyoni, our base for several days in the area. Our time in this lush, magical, mountainous region of Uganda is spent between enjoying the area of Lake Bunyoni and many activities that it has to offer, and an unforgettable guided trek deep into the forest-sloped volcanoes for a wild encounter of a family of mountain gorillas (Gorilla Permits Included). Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the home to approximately half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, the world's most endangered ape. One of Africa's major highlights, a close encounter with these amazing animals is simply breathtaking.
Ugandan authorities are fiercely protective of this natural treasure and currently permit only a maximum of 8 people per day to visit a given gorilla family. As such, the group will be split into different sub-groups for the trek, and depending on the amount of travellers there are total, different sub-groups may do their trek on different days. In the morning of your trek, you will drive in smaller vehicles to park office and meet with your local mountain guides and porters, who can carry your personal items and assist you during the trek. The guides will brief you on the etiquette of gorilla trekking, after which, you set off into the forest. The trek can take from one to six hours and can exceed altitudes of 2500m. The terrain is rough and at times muddy and slippery. It is very important to bring along plenty of water. It can rain in a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is essential along with protective bags for your camera and film. We also suggest dressing in 'layers' as often it's chilly at firs until you start trekking and long sleeves and long pants to protect you from Stinging Nettle found in the forests.
Approximately 98% of the gorilla treks are successful but there is no guarantee that you will see the gorillas as they are constantly on the move.
For the rest of your time in the area, you will have the chance of several options of activities to choose from such as : fishing. canoeing on the lake, visiting the local community, renting a mountain bike to explore the area, etc. The area of Lake Bunyonyi is extremely peaceful and is a nature lover's paradise. Often referred to as the Switzerland of Africa for its picturesque setting.
Transfer back to the nation's capital. We're covering a lot of ground to get closer to our next stop in Jinja.
Approximate Distance: 520 km
Estimated Travel Time: 12 hrs
Head south to the shores of Lake Victoria and renowned as the “Source of the Nile”, Jinja is fast becoming the thrill-seeker's capital of Africa. Spend a full day rafting or kayaking down the Nile River, mountain biking in the Mabira Forest, volunteering with a local project, or just enjoying the relaxed vibe of Jinja.
Jinja, the second largest commercial centre in Uganda, is located on the shores of Lake Victoria near to the source of the White Nile. The resident population of Jinja is approximately 106,000 with the majority being Bantu in origin. Lusoga and Luganda are the main local languages.
Bujagali Falls was a waterfall near Jinja where the Nile River flows out of Lake Victoria. Some consider it the source of the Nile, but now the once beautiful falls and world-class kayaking spot have become submerged by the recently built Bujagali Dam.
Approximate Distance: 90 km
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs
Travel back into Kenya for a night in Eldoret. In the morning, continue to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. The alkaline lake's abundance of algae attracts the large quantity of flamingos, estimated into the millions, that famously line the shore. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. There are two types of flamingo species: the Lesser flamingo can be distinguished by its deep red carmine bill and pink plumage unlike the greater flamingo, which has a bill with a black tip. But flamingos are not the only avian attraction, also present are two large fish-eating birds, pelicans and cormorants. The park is rich in other birdlife, including grebes, white winged black, stilts, avocets, ducks, and in the European winter, the migrant waders.
The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide the sanctuary for the black rhino. This undertaking has necessitated a fence - to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife. The park now has more than 25 rhinos, one of the largest concentrations in the country, so the chances of spotting these survivors are better than in other parks. There are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe, again translocated for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977. Numerous other mammals can be seen, including zebra, impala, gazelle, waterbuck, lion, warthog, bushbuck, many buffalo, and even at times leopard.
At the beautiful Lake Naivasha, spend your time enjoying various optional activities, such as a walking safari to view giraffes and antelope on Crescent Island, or a visit to the flamingo-filled Green Crater Lake, or simply viewing birds and wildlife around your camp - spotting ibis, lovebirds, fish eagles, hippo, and the black and white colobus monkey on the banks of this scenic lake.
The name Naivasha comes from the Masai “Nai’posha”, which means “rough water”, though Lake Naivasha is general calm in the morning, the best time for spotting hippos, crocodiles, and birdlife. A freshwater lake, Lake Naivasha is currently about 20km long and 15km wide, but the lake levels have fluctuated enormously over the years. In the early 1880s during the time of Joseph Thompson’s travels, it was reduced to a swamp, while in the 1920s lake levels were about eight meters higher than at present. Surrounded by forests of the yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea, known as the yellow fever tree, Lake Naivasha has a fairy-tale beauty to it which is rarely matched. Abound prolific birdlife from majestic fish eagles and waterfowl to tiny malachite kingfishers, is known as a world class birding destination, and is an international Ramsar site.
Today the lovely lake, with its cool climate, has become a retreat for Nairobi residents and tourists looking for peace. Because the lake is fresh water and the surrounding soil fertile, this is a major production area for fruit and vegetables and, more recently, vineyards. Many animals call the area home; giraffes wander among the acacia, buffalo wallow in the swamps and colobus monkeys call from the treetops while the Lakes large hippo population sleep the day out in the shallows.
Day 51 - Approximate Distance: 267 km, Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs
Day 52 - Approximate Distance: 169 km, Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
Day 53 - Approximate Distance: 75 km, Estimated Travel Time: 2 hrs
Cross over into Kenya and onto Nairobi—where the tour ends upon arrival in the late afternoon.
Approximate Distance: 90 km, Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs