Zambia Safari

Nairobi to Johannesburg - Accommodated Tour

FROM £4,395
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Visit 8 different countries, as you journey from Kenya to South Africa on this overland tour that stays in rest camps. View wildlife in the Serengeti in Tanzania & visit Zanzibar, Lake Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia & Botswana. See the Victoria Falls & Okavango Delta, travelling in a rugged overland truck, with activity package included. Regular departures in both directions. Group size 4 to 18.
Nairobi to Johannesburg Overland Tour
Serengeti Plains
Ngorongoro Crater
Lake Malawi
South Luangwa
Victoria Falls
Chobe Game Reserve
Okavango Delta
Serengeti Plains
Ngorongoro Crater
Lake Malawi
South Luangwa
Victoria Falls
Chobe Game Reserve
Okavango Delta
Day 1
You will be met at Nairobi Airport and transferred to your accommodation in this bustling city.
Check in and relax in your warm and friendly African surroundings.
Day 2
This morning you will be collected from your Nairobi hotel and taken to the departure point for your group adventure tour, travelling in a rugged 4x4 overland truck.
We then travel 4-hours across the Tanzania border to the coffee-producing town of Arusha in the northern highlands. Situated in the foothills of the twin peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, this was formerly an important administrative centre in German East Africa.
Note: Regardless of lodge meal plans, all your meals are included whilst on tour and will be prepared & served from the overland vehicle - except for specified optional dinners in cities. Alcohol is not included. Accommodation varies and includes lodges, hotels, hostels, chalets, permanent tented camps and traditional huts,some with shared ablutions.. Bedding is provided, but you do need to bring your own towel. Truck lockers are 30 x 80cm, so please use soft bags that will fit (but there is no weight restriction). Please be aware that accommodation sometimes has to be substituted for operational reasons.
Average group size is 14 people (with minimum of 4 and maximum of 20). On accommodated tours the average age is 40+, with a range from 18 to 55 years although this does vary by tour. If over 65 years, you need a doctors letter that you are sufficiently fit for overland travel. Teens aged 16 to 18 years are on request and must travel with an adult.
Day 3
Today we set out from Arusha in a 4x4 safari jeep, with pop-up roof for game viewing, and drive to our campsite to the great Serengeti, enjoying a day of amazing Big Five sightings before erecting our dome tents.
Serengeti National Park is a World Heritage site that hosts the largest overland wildlife migration in the world. Each October over two million wildebeest, accompanied by huge herds of zebra and gazelle, travel over 500 miles as they journey southwards from the open plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya and across the hills of the eastern Serengeti to graze on the rich grasses of the southern Ndutu plains. Here calving occurs between January and March, when over a period of a few short weeks they all give birth simultaneously to over 500,000 young - a truly spectacular sight. Depending upon the rains, around April the great migration starts once again, as these animals move northwards crossing the treacherous Grumeti River in the western corridor and the Mara River in search of sweet new grasses once again.
Note: A dome tent & camping mattress are provided, but you need to bring your own sleeping bag, pillow & towel. You will be expected to erect your tent, which is easy to master. The ablutions are shared and very basic. You will need to supply your own toilet paper/wet wipes
Day 4
Today is devoted to game viewing in the famous Serengeti National Park - one of the greatest wildlife conservation areas in the world.
At over 12,000 square mile (30,000 sq km), this vast game park is the size of Belgium and 20 times larger than the neighbouring Masa Mara reserve in Kenya, which it adjoins to form an enormous wilderness area through which animals can freely migrate, unrestriced by any fences. Lying between Lake Victoria to the west, Lake Eyasi to the south, the Great Rift Valley to the east and the Masai Mara to the north, the landscape of the Serengeti varies enormously - from the endless open grassy plains of the south, to savanna with scattered acacia trees in the centre, hilly wooded grasslands to the north and dense woodlands and clay pans to the west. All of this is interspersed with many small rivers, lakes and wetlands.
With more than 70 large mammals and over 500 other animal species, including great herds of wildebeest and zebra and the largest number of lions in Africa, outstanding game viewing is guaranteed on a scale only seen in East Africa. All the Big Five can be found here - elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard - as well as cheetah, hyena, giraffe, Thomson's gazelle, Grant's gazelle, waterbuck, porcupine, jackal, serval, ostrich, eland, impala, did-dik, Bohor reedbuck, hartebeest, hyrax, wild dog, hippo, crocodiles, dwarf mongoose and so much more. As predators are most active in the early morning and late afternoon, this is when game viewing is usually the most rewarding.
Bird watching is also outstanding, with over 600 different recorded species. You can hope to see the Kori bustard which is the largest flying bird in Africa, the majestic Secretary bird, Maribou stork, Southern ground hornbill, White-headed vulture, African hoopoe, Fischer's lovebird, Grey-breasted spurfowl, Rufous-tailed weaver, as well as many different bee-eaters, owls, swallows, chats, cuckoos, eagles, kestrels, falcons and other raptors.
Optional Hot Air Balloon ride (must be pre-booked).
Day 5
This morning we leave Serengeti and drive 3-hours to the Ngorongoro Crater.
Stretching across 8,300 square km, the high altitude Ngorongoro Conservation Area boasts a dramatic variety of volcanic landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology. Its grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and also to the Maasai people, and has been declared a World Heritage site.
In the afternoon we drive down into the basin of the Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest intact caldera forming a spectacular bowl of about 265 square kilometres with sides up to 2,000 feet (600m) deep. Although some animals do move in and out of this contained environment, the rich volcanic soil, lush forests and spring lakes on the crater floor attract grazers and predators all year round, with up to 30,000 animals living in the crater - the highest density of big game found anywhere in Africa.
Prides of lions, endangered black rhino, hyena, buffalo, golden jackal, bat-eared jackal, black-backed jackal, wildebeest, Thomson's gazelle. Grant's gazelle, zebra and many other animals can be found on the open savanna whilst elephants, monkeys, leopards and olive baboons live in the forests around the edge of the crater. You may see hippos and flamingos on Lake Masek and the abundant birdlife including the Kori bustard, Grey-crowned crane, Hamerkop,  Marabou stork, Ostrich, Splendid starling, Eqyptian goose and various lapwing. Cheetah also live on these open plains, but are difficult to spot due to their excellent camouflage. There are no giraffe in the crater, because there are no trees for grazing (only grasslands).
After leaving the crater, we erect our dome tents at our campsite in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Day 6
Today we travel 4-hours back to Arusha and meet up with our overland truck.
Check into your accommodation in this regional capital.
Day 7
A full day on the road today, as we leave Arusha and travel to Bagamoyo.
Formerly the capital of German East Africa, this town was at the centre of the important trade route that linked Lake Tanganyika with the sea. Bagamoyo means "throw down your heart" as slaves were imprisoned here before being sold in the markets of Zanzibar - along with salt, ivory, fish and many other commodities. Many famous European explorers, including Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone, started and ended their trips here.
Check into your accommodation and relax close to the warm Indian Ocean.
Day 8
Today we travel 2-hours to Dar Es Salaam and take the ferry to Zanzibar Island, where you will be met and transferred to your beach accommodation.
Check in and relax in your wonderful surroundings on this exotic East African spice archipelago.
Note: Lunch and dinner are not included during your stay on Zanzibar island, where you have the opportunity of eating out.
Day 9
At leisure to relax and enjoy the gorgeous white sandy beaches of the Zanzibar Archipelago.
Activities vary depending on the size of your resort but usually include water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing and kite surfing. You can sail in a traditional Arab dhow or enjoy a full day catamaran excursion around the island, with snorkelling opportunities. Be sure to try their refreshing iced hibiscus tea and some of the many spices grown on this island.
The best scuba diving is around Mnema Island in the northeast and Nungwi in the north. Deep sea game fishing is also based out of Nungwi, where there is a privately owned turtle aquarium.
A variety of day excursions are also on offer including a walking tour of historic Stone Town, a spice island tour, snorkelling at Prison Island where you can see giant tortoises, a cultural tour to Uzi Island and Swahili cookery lessons.
If you would like to see local wildlife, you can visit Jozani Forest in the south of the island, where you can see rare indigenous red colobus monkeys and walk along a mangrove boardwalk to enjoy its birdlife and flora, including some giant baobab trees. There is a Butterfly Centre and Snake Park outside the gate. From late July to mid November you can also take a boat ride to see migrating humpback whales.
Day 10
Today transfer 1-hour to the island capital of Stone Town.
This UNESCO World Heritage town is now part of the Republic of Tanzania, but it was formerly controlled by the Sultan of Oman. As such it was an important trading nation, selling spices and other commodities to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It was also at the centre of the notorious slave trade out of East Africa.
This Muslim city is today rather neglected and not what it once was, but most people still enjoy walking through the narrow streets of the historic old city. The merchant's houses are of particular interest, with their central courtyards and large ornately carved and studded wooden doors. You can visit the bustling market, see some of the many mosques and admire the huge Anglican Cathedral built on the site of the former slave market, where the slave pits and dungeon can still be seen. Other sights include the Arab Fort, the Palace Museum and Dr Livingstone's house.
We spend our final night on the island on the beaches south of this port city.
Day 11
This morning we explore the historic area of Stone Town before taking the ferry back to Bagamoyo.
Meet up with your overland truck and check into your accommodation.
Day 12
Today we leave the coast and travel inland to Mikumi National Park, which forms part of the Greater Selous wildlife conservation area.
After checking into our accommodation, there is an optional afternoon game drive into this vast national park which supports huge herds of plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and elephants, as well as predators such as lion that follow them.
Day 13
We continue travelling southwards and further inland today, as we head for Iringa in the highland tea-growing region of the magnificent Great Rift Valley.
Enjoy the highlight of an included traditional dinner tonight.
Day 14
Today we leave Tanzania and travel southwards towards Karonga situated on the northwestern shores of Lake Malawi, regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
We ascend out of the Great Rift Valley through some spectacular mountain passes, passing vast tea plantations in the highlands before arriving at our accommodation overlooking this magnificent freshwater lake.
Day 15
At leisure to relax along the shores of beautiful Lake Malawi, an enormous inland sea with a surface area of over 11,000 square miles (30,000 sq.km)
Originally named Lake Nyasa when discovered by David Livingstone (who also nicknamed it the "Lake of Stars" due to the many lanterns of fisherman at night), this is the third largest lake in Africa and the southernmost lake in the Great Rift Vally system, bordering both Mozambique to the east and Tanzania to the north.
Enjoy snorkelling amongst aquarium fish and swimming in crystal clear waters, which hold more different species of fish than any other body of water on earth. Bird watching is also outstanding. It may also be possible to book an excursion to the Livingstonia Mission (full day hike).
Day 16
We continue travelling southwards today along the shores of Lake Malawi to Ngali Beach.
If time permits, enjoy snorkelling in the crystal clear waters and discover more of the interesting marine life of this magnificent freshwater lake.
Day 17
Another day free to relax on the shores of beautiful Lake Malawi.
Day 18
We leave Lake Malawi early this morning and drive into Zambia, continuing to the famous South Luangwa National Park.
South Luangwa is Zambia’s most famous wildlife park, covering an area in excess of 5,600 square miles (9,050 square kilometres). Sustained by the great Luangwa River the park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The changing seasons add to the park’s richness, ranging from dry bare bushveld in the winter to a lush green in the summer in this pristine wildlife wilderness. Game is most easily sighted in the dry season from April to October, but the park is at its most beautiful in the first half of the year after the rains of the wet season.
Check into your accommodation in this renowned wildlife wilderness, before setting out in the late afternoon on a sunset game viewing drive. You can often see hippos and other animals from the camp bar.
Day 19
This morning you have the opportunity to take an extra optional game drive or walking safari in this great conservation area. With over 60 different animal species, the concentration of game around the Luangwa River and its ox bow lagoons is amongst the highest in Africa, including four of the Big 5 – lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard (sadly rhino has been poached to extinction). Also search for zebra, giraffe, antelope and much more, with leopard sightings being particularly outstanding.
Birding is also outstanding with over 400 different species, including large flocks of cranes. In September and October you can enjoy the amazing spectacle of thousands of southern carmine bee-eaters nesting along the river banks. From November numerous migratory birds start to arrive to exploit the feeding opportunities presented during the warm rainy season - including red chested cuckoo, hobbies and birds of prey such as steppe buzzards that travel from as far afield as Russia.
After lunch, we visit a community-run tribal textile project to see craftsmen at work (note: the production factory is closed from December to March, but the shop is open all year round).
In the evening relax by the campfire under a balmy African sky and hear the untamed sounds of wildlife all around.
Day 20
We leave South Luangwa National Park today and travel through Chipate in eastern Zambia, towards Petauke.
On arrival we check into our accommodation, with balance of day at leisure to relax in this beautiful country with its lush sub-tropical vegetation.
Day 21
We journey towards the bustling Zambian capital of Lusaka today.
On weekdays there may be the opportunity to visit one of the local markets, before we arrive at our accommodation in the city.
Day 22
Today we travel from Lusaka to Livingstone, and cross the Victoria Falls Bridge into Zimbabwe. After completing immigration formalities, check into your accommodation in Victoria Falls.
Check in, settle in and relax whilst you catch your first glimpses of the magnificent Smoke That Thunders first discovered by Dr. David Livingstone and still one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. The flow of water over the Victoria Falls is greatest from February to June following the summer rains, but they are a magnificent sight at any time of year.
Dinner is not included at Victoria Falls, as there is the option of dining out.
Day 23
At leisure to relax and explore on foot the mighty Victoria Falls and its rainforest (we suggest you take your own rain jacket, as those on hire are often well used).
Many optional activities are available, including a Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River to see hippos, crocodiles and the abundant bird life. You can also enjoy an optional elephant-back safari, a helicopter flight over the falls, or white water rafting in the turbulent gorge below the falls. You can even bungy jump off Victoria Falls bridge!
Dinner is not included at Victoria Falls, as there is the option of dining out.
Day 24
We depart from Victoria Falls today and travel 2-hours to the Botswana border at Kasane. After completing immigration formalities, we continue to our accommodation situated on the banks of the Chobe River.
Chobe National Park is Botswana’s premier wildlife reserve and is uniquely situated at the confluence of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers, where four African countries meet – Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Here there is the option of a 3-hour photographic boat safari
In the late afternoon a special highlight is an included Game Viewing Sunset Cruise on the Chobe River. Game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately in this vast game sanctuary and hopefully you will see elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, antelope and other river-based wildlife. Later dine overlooking the river in the atmosphere that only the African bushveld can provide.
Day 25
After an early morning game drive in Chobe National Park, we travel to Nata situated near the northern reaches of the Makgadigadi Pans.
These white shimmering pans are one of the largest salt flats on earth, covering over 6,000 sq.miles (16,000 sq.km) - with some covered in water during the wet season.
Day 26
On our journey today, a portion of our route bisects the Nxai Pan and Makgadigadi National Parks, so if we are fortunate we may see some of the wildlife that roams this vast protected area.
The road from Nata is lined with majestic baobab trees and we will catch glimpses of the extensive pans that stretch out to the south.
Day 27
Heading out early today, we travel 1-hour to the Okavango Delta to explore the beauty and serenity of this intricate system of lily covered channels and lagoons by mokoro canoe.
The seasonal Okavango Delta is flooded annually by the Okavango River, which flows inland from Angola into the dry sands of the vast Kalahari – never finding the sea, but instead forming a huge inland delta whose waters are absorbed by the desert.
Comprising 6,000 square miles of crystal clear channels, serene lagoons and a myriad of islands, the Okavango Delta forms a natural oasis that sustains a vast variety of wildlife and birds of all descriptions. The waters are at their height from July to October, forming an amazing wetlands ecosystem that is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.
Day 28
We set off before dawn this morning and drive to Moremi Game Reserve, situated along the eastern shores of the Okavango Delta and offering superb land-base game viewing.
We search for some of the larger species that inhabit this natural oasis in the middle of the Kalahari, with its vast array of wildlife and birds of all descriptions. Here you can hope to see big game such as elephants, buffalo, lion, zebra, wildebeest, red lechwe, wild dogs, cheetah, leopard and hippo - as well as over 240 different bird species.
Day 29
Today we leave Maun and travel to Ghanzi in the Central Kalahari.
The San Bushmen have existed here for thousands of years, in some of the harshest conditions. These nomadic hunter-gatherers have passed down a rich knowledge of the plants and animals that play such an important part in their lifestyle.
Tonight we get a first-hand experience of the San culture, well known for its rich traditions of song, dance and story-telling.
Day 30
This morning we enjoy a guided walk with our San guides who will introduce us to the many secrets of their survival in the Kalahari Desert.
We then make our way along the Trans-Kalahari Highway towards the remote town of Kang. We will travel slowly along this stretch of unfenced road, which could provide the odd sighting of wildlife in its natural environment.
Day 31
Leaving the Kalahari behind us, a long day awaits as we continue our journey southwards across the North West Province to Johannesburg in South Africa.
Our tour ends in Johannesburg in the late afternoon, with optional farewell barbeque together (pay locally).
Note: You will arrive back in Johannesburg too late to fly home the same day.
Day 32
Transfer to Johannesburg Airport for your flight home.
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