Down Africa Way - 33 days
FROM USD $1,995
Enjoy a real African adventure, from Nairobi to Johannesburg. Check out some of Africa's greatest game parks, idle about on the tropical island of Zanzibar, relax on the shores of Lake Malawi and enjoy the rush at Victoria Falls.
Saturday. Welcome to Kenya! We‚Äôll be there to collect you at Nairobi Airport. Your first night will be spent at our pre expedition campsite. On day 1 there will be a pre departure meeting at 17:00. Overnight - Nairobi
Nairobi - Arusha (Tanzania). Leaving Nairobi, we cross the border into Tanzania. Arusha is the starting point for the optional 3 day excursion to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. For those not opting to visit the Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park, the next 3 days are spent at leisure enjoying the Meserani reptile park, Masai Cultural Museum and the surrounding villages and craft markets. Alternatively the town of Arusha is close by to explore.
The Optional Ngorongoro/Serengeti excursion takes us via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. We spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu. The following morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa ‚Äď including the elusive Black Rhino.
After our game drive in the Crater, we continue down the Crater rim and past the ‚ÄėCradle of Mankind‚Äô on our way to the Serengeti National Park. We cross the vast plains as we game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight we bush camp (no ablutions) in the wild surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident wildlife. With some luck, we may see some of Africa‚Äôs ‚ÄėBig 5‚Äô! Overnight - Arusha (4), OR optional Karatu & Serengeti (B:3, L:4, D:4)
Down Africa Way - 33 days Go Guide
: :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Arusha - Pangani - Dar es Salaam. We return to Arusha before continuing on towards Dar es Salaam. On the way we drive through the town of Moshi situated at the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro ‚Äď Africa‚Äôs highest mountain. We may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain‚Äôs snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! We spend the night in Pangani midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam before reaching our lovely seaside campsite in Dar es Salaam the following day. Overnight - Pangani (1), Dar es Salaam (1) (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Dar es Salaam - Zanzibar (optional). A ferry from Dar Es Salaam takes us to ‚ÄėSpice Island‚Äô, where we have the option to spend the next three nights.* Zanzibar is steeped in history and offers a wealth of experiences. Wander the streets of Stone Town, take an excursion around a spice plantation or simply laze on one of the pristine white sandy beaches, the choice is yours! Accommodation is not provided on Zanzibar, allowing you the freedom to choose where you spend your time on the island. Your trip leader can arrange accommodation for you locally should you wish.
* For those opting not to visit Zanzibar, the 3 days can be spent at leisure at the beach campsite or exploring Dar Es Salaam. Overnight - Dar es Salaam (3) OR optional Zanzibar (3) (B:1)
Days 11 - 12: Mikumi & Iringa
Zanzibar - Dar es Salaam - Iringa. Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, we return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam.
The next morning we head south and pass through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. We travel towards Iringa where we spend the night in a beautiful rustic campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers! Overnight - Dar es Salaam (1), Iringa (1) (B:1, L:1, D:2)
Days 13 - 16: Lake Malawi
Iringa - Lake Malawi (Malawi). Winding our way through the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we travel into Malawi, a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. We travel the length of the western side of the lake, stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next 4 days. Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax on the pristine beaches. Overnight - Lake Malawi (B:4, L:4, D:4)
Days 17 - 18: Chipata & Lusaka
Lake Malawi - Chipata - Lusaka (Zambia). We head away from Lake Malawi, and stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre, to stock up on supplies before crossing into Zambia where we spend the night in a beautiful little campsite. From Chipata, we head south-west via the Great East Road to our campsite on the outskirts of Zambia‚Äôs capital city, Lusaka. Overnight - Chipata (1), Lusaka (1) (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Lusaka - Livingstone. Heading further south, we journey to Livingstone. The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it‚Äôs not difficult to see why. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! The Falls can be viewed from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia - a fantastic photo opportunity. Tonight we have the option of enjoying a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi. Overnight - Livingstone
(B, L, D)
Livingstone - Kasane (Botswana). Today we cross the border into Botswana and continue to the town of Kasane, on the banks of the Chobe River which forms a border between Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. After lunch, we take a boat cruise along the Chobe River spotting wildlife along the way. (Please note, from Jan 2014 onwards, the Chobe River Cruise will be an optional excursion, payable locally).
Tonight we enjoy an exciting overnight experience in the wilds of the Chobe National park. Chobe is one of Botswana‚Äôs premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds. Spend the afternoon in search of wildlife while we game drive to our camp within the park where we spend the evening surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife. Overnight - Chobe N. P.
(B, L, D)
Chobe - Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). After our night in the bush, we head out early to continue our search for wildlife, before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane. Crossing the border into Zimbabwe, a short drive takes us to the nearby Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage site and Water Falls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park. We enjoy our last day in the adrenaline playground of Africa, where there are optional activities aplenty here including Zambezi white water rafting, bungy jumping from 111m and flights over the Falls in a variety of airborne machines! Overnight - Victoria Falls
The next 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of optional excursions. Optional excursions include elephant back safaris, horseback safaris, walking with lions, a visit to the crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at The Elephant Hills Resort. Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint hearted! All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an incredible aerial view of the falls and white water rafting on the Zambezi is world class! Overnight - Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls - Kasane (Botswana). After breakfast we cross the border into Botswana and head back to Kasane where we set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River. This afternoon we take a boat cruise* along the beautiful Chobe River. Elephant, hippo and many bird species can be viewed from the boat while we watch another glorious African sunset. On day 25 we travel on to Maun. Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta.
*Please note, for tours departing from Jan 2014 onwards, the Chobe River Cruise will be an optional activity, book and pay locally. Overnight - Kasane (1), Maun (1)
(B:2, L:2, D:2)
Maun - Okavango Delta (optional). From Maun we have the opportunity to take the optional 3 Day / 2 Night Okavango Delta Excursion. From Maun we drive north for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro poler‚Äôs station. The Delta region is studded with many local villages where many families live in a traditional way. Some of the villages are very remote and can only be reached by the traditional mode of transport ‚Äď the Mokoro (dugout canoes maneuvered through the waterways by local guides who ‚Äúpole‚ÄĚ them through the reeds). At the Mokoro station, we meet our ‚Äėpolers‚Äô head out into the waterways. After a couple of hours along the waterways, our guides find us a place to camp, and later in the afternoon we set off on an afternoon game walk, allowing us to experience The Delta wilderness.
Enjoy rest, relaxation and Delta experiences on day 27, when we have the opportunity to partake in a number of activities including swimming, game walks, mokoro cruises and even a chance to try our hands at poling our own mokoro!
For those not opting to explore the Delta, you can stay at the campsite in Maun relaxing by the swimming pool or playing volleyball. Overnight - Maun OR optional Okavango Delta (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Okavango Delta - Maun. This morning affords us a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun. After our Mokoro ride and vehicle transfer, we arrive back in the afternoon and have the chance to complete our picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional scenic flight over The Delta (dependent on weather conditions & availability). Overnight - Maun
(B, L, D)
Day 29: Palapye
Maun - Palapye (Zimbabwe). Heading out early, we have a fairly long (450kms) drive today to the small town of Palapye, situated about halfway between Francistown and Gaborone (Botswana‚Äôs Capitol). This popular ‚Äėstopover‚Äô town for those en route to South Africa, is well known for the Morupule Colliery coal mines which supplies Morupule Power Station, Botswana‚Äôs principal domestic source of electricity.
Overnight - Palapye (B, L, D)
Day 30: Blyde River Canyon
Palapye - Blydepoort (South Africa). This morning we cross into South Africa and continue across to our camp overlooking the impressive Blyde River Canyon. Named for the Blyde River that runs through it, the canyon is 26km long, and averages 800m deep and forms the northern edge of the impressive Drakensberg Mountain Range. The main viewpoints along the canyon are the 3 Rondavels, named for the shape of the traditional huts or houses the indigenous people of the area used to live in; and Gods Window that affords a breathtaking view across the canyon and surrounding area. Overnight - Blydepoort (B, L, D)
Blydepoort - Hazyview. Heading through the breathtaking Panorama Route, we stop off at various viewpoints today including scenic God‚Äôs Window. We pass through the small town of Graskop, and head toward the Kruger National Park and our campsite on the border of the park. Situated just 10km from Kruger‚Äôs Phabeni Gate, the camp is home to Giraffe, Zebra and Hippo to name but a few.
The next day we visit the amazing Kruger National Park in search of some of the 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian & 49 fish species that make this park their home. We travel in our truck along the main game viewing routes within the park and stop off at some of the camps along the way. For those who wish to upgrade to an open vehicle game drive, this can be arranged with the trip leader at an additional cost. Overnight - Hazyview (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Wednesday. Hazyview - Johannesburg. After breakfast, we begin our journey to Johannesburg, our final destination. On arrival in Johannesburg we unload the truck for the final time, exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime! (B)