Great African Expedition - 57 days
FROM USD $3,475
An epic expedition that heads south from Kenya via Uganda to Cape Town. Jungle trek for gorilla, spot the Big Five, slide down Sossusvlei dunes, enjoy exotic locales and much much more!
Please note this itinerary is for travel in 2014. Passengers travelling in 2013 please contact us for your correct Go Guide.
Welcome to Nairobi! We’ll be there to collect you at Nairobi Airport and transfer you to the Kenya Comfort Hotel. Tonight you will stay in shared dorms. There will be a pre departure meeting at 17.00. Overnight - Nairobi
Nairobi - Masai Mara. Heading west from Nairobi on day 2, we reach possibly Kenya’s most famous natural attraction - the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Kenyan section of the wildly beautiful Serengeti Plains teems with wildlife. The highlight of the Mara is no doubt the annual wildebeest migration, when literally millions of these beasts plus zebra and Thomson’s gazelle stray north from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania in search of lush grass on the savannah plains. Elephant, lion, cheetah, giraffe and a multitude of hooved herbivores also inhabit the reserve. A game drive through the Mara on day 3 gives us the chance to spot the Big Five. During our stay we can also opt to visit a local Masai tribe. Overnight - Masai Mara N.P.
(B:1, L:2, D:2)
Great African Expedition - 57 days Go Guide
: :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Days 4 - 5: Eldoret & Kampala
Masai Mara - Eldoret - Kampala (Uganda). Leaving the Masai Mara early on day 4, we head out of Masai Land and pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on our way to Eldoret - where we spend the night. The following morning, we cross the border into Uganda where we overnight it the capital city, Kampala. Overnight - Eldoret (1), Kampala (1) (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Days 6 - 9: Lake Bunyoni & Gorilla Trekking
Kampala - Lake Bunyoni. From Kampala we drive to Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, which is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, we trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda.
We depart from our base in Bunyoni in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size. We wind our way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa en-route to the National Park. Dependant on where permits are available, we may spend a night in either Kisoro or in Rwanda. The following morning we trek with trained rangers in search of the mountain gorillas. Overnight - Lake Bunyoni (B:4, L:4, D:4)
Days 10 - 11: Kampala & Jinja
Lake Bunyoni - Kampala - Jinja. After marvelling at the experience of our gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, we begin our drive back to Kampala. We cross the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. We overnight in Kampala and have the opportunity to sample its night life!
On day 11 we have the option of visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or heading to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or visiting a volunteer and community project. Overnight - Kampala (1), Jinja (1) (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Jinja - Nakuru (Kenya). Departing early, we head back to Kenya and spend the night outside Nakuru at a lovely campsite on a local farm. Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province and lies adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park.
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to a veritable array of wildlife. The park supports a population of black rhino, lion, leopard, zebra, antelope and giraffe not to mention millions of pink flamingos. The lake itself is a shallow soda lake. The following morning we begin our exploration of the national park and spend another night in the park. Overnight - Nakuru (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Nakuru - Naivasha - Nairobi. Leaving Nakuru we drive to Lake Naivasha, home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. We spend the day enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park. The next morning we head back to Nairobi. Overnight - Naivasha (1), Nairobi (1) (B:2, L:1, D:1)
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 – including the elusive Black Rhino. Overnight - Arusha (4), OR optional Karatu & Serengeti (B:3, L:4, D:4)
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 – Africa’s highest mountain. We may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s 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 ‘Spice Island’, 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 25 - 26: Dar es Salaam & 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 27 - 29: 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 3 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:3, L:3, D:3)
Days 30 - 31: Chipata & Lusaka
Lake Malawi - Chipata - Luangwa (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 near South Luangwa National Park.
This breath taking park is situated on the Luangwa River in the Eastern part of Zambia, and it is the southernmost of three national parks in this region. South Luangwa was founded in 1938 as a game reserve, 1972 was the year it was declared as a national park, and today it covers over 9000 kilometres squared. Animals such as Giraffe, buffalo and Elephants can be found in abundance. The Luangwa river is home to many a hippo and croc. Overnight - Chipata (1), Luangwa (1) (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Luangwa - Livingstone. Today we depart this amazing National Park and make our way down south. As we drive, we pass through a few of the villages and towns of Zambia along the way. Prosperous during the copper boom in the 60’s, Zambia was able to build infrastructure at the main mining and farming communities. After the fall of the copper industry, the country was left virtually bankrupt and existing infrastructure was left to fall to ruin. Due to foreign investment and a rise in the mining industry, Zambia is today once again starting to prosper.
Heading further south on day 33, 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’s 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:2, L:2, D:1)
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* and tonight we enjoy an exciting overnight experience in the wilds of the Chobe National park. Chobe is one of Botswana’s 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. *(Please note, from Jan 2014 onwards the Chobe River Cruise will be an optional excursion, payable locally).
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 - Chobe (Botswana). We head out from Victoria Falls to the border crossing to Botswana. Once we’ve completed the border formalities, we continue to the town of Kasane, situated on the banks of the Chobe River. Here we have a second opportunity to take part in the Chobe Overnight Mobile Excursion. For those who’d prefer to stay behind at the campsite in Kasane, there is an option to do an early morning game drive on the morning of day 39 instead.
Overnight - Chobe N. P.
(B:2, L:2, D:2)
Chobe - Maun. Heading out early, we cross the western end of the Chobe National Park area along the main route in a south-westerly direction to the southern reaches of the Okavango Delta and our destination, Maun. Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta. Overnight - Maun
(B, L, D)
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’s 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 – the Mokoro (dugout canoes maneuvered through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds). At the Mokoro station, we meet our ‘polers’ 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 42, 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)
Days 43 - 44: Maun & Rundu
Okavango Delta - Maun - Rundu (Namibia). For those on our Okavango Excursion there is a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun. 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).
Following the Kavango River, we enter Northern Namibia on day 44. We stop at Rundu for supplies before heading to our spectacular campsite located on the banks of the Kavango River. Overnight - Maun (1), Rundu (1) (B:2, L:2, D:2)
Rundu - Etosha. From Rundu, we head to the Etosha National Park. Covering 20 000 km2, Etosha is Namibia’s premier nature and wildlife reserve. Situated around the Etosha Pan with a large variety of animal and bird life, the extensive network of gravel roads affords us the opportunity of accessing even the most remote areas of the park. After lunch, we spend the remainder of the day exploring the park’s northern area. Keep an eye out for the striking Oryx and Springbok as these are endemic to desert National Parks! After dinner why not head to the waterhole where you can sit and observe the animals may come to drink in the evenings.
The next day we make our way 150 km across the park, keeping a look out for the many different mammals, reptiles, birds and insects in the various regions. After a full day of game viewing, we exit the park through Anderson gate and head to our campsite just 10kms away. Overnight - Etosha N.P.
(B:2, L:2, D:2)
Day 47: The Cheetah Park
Etosha - Cheetah Park. Today we drive to the Cheetah Park - a private farm dedicated to conserving Namibia’s cheetah population. While Cheetah are endangered in Africa, Namibia has a high population of wild, free roaming cheetah who cause immense damage to some of the local farms by hunting their livestock. As such, there are many local farmers who have offered a sanctuary to those that have been trapped, or injured. We get to meet the resident cheetahs, a photo opportunity not to be missed! Overnight - Cheetah Park (B, L, D)
Day 48: Spitzkoppe
Cheetah Park - Spitzkoppe. Our departure from the Cheetah Park takes us south to the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’ - Spitzkoppe. The 1728 m high rock formation, one of Namibia’s most recognised landmarks, is well known as an ancient San sacred site. The area we camp in is managed by the local community who offer local guides for guided walks to the San Rock Art at an additional cost. Explore the surrounding area and its San rock paintings or simply enjoy the magnificent views. Tonight we bush camp under the African stars. Overnight - Spitzkoppe (B, L, D)
Spitzkoppe - Swakopmund. Our next stop is Swakopmund. Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants & bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit. The following day is spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of optional excursions which include sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, horse riding and more! Overnight - Swakopmund
Swakopmund - Sesriem. Continuing our journey, we enter the Namib-Naukluft Park in one of the oldest deserts in the world. We base ourselves at Sesriem, a great place to experience the Namib and its many moods. A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes which are reputed to be the highest in the world. Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the top of the dunes, some over 300 m high. We spend the afternoon exploring this amazing area. An optional guided excursion is available to walk around the area, learning about the amazing history, geology, flora and fauna from the specialised local guides. View the sunset from the top of Dune 45 - a truly memorable experience! Overnight - Sesriem
(B:2, L:2, D:2)
Sesriem - Fish River Canyon. Heading out early, we see the sunrise over this beautiful area before we leave the serenity of the dunes to head south to the Fish River Canyon. At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it’s the second largest canyon in the world. The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving us access to several viewing points from where we can take in the spectacular vistas. Overnight - Fish River Canyon
(B, L, D)
Day 54: Gariep River
Fish River Canyon - Gariep River (South Africa). This morning we continue south, where, after a short drive, we reach the Gariep River - the natural land border between Namibia and South Africa. We camp at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river. This afternoon we have the option of a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, affording us the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle. Overnight - Gariep River (B, L, D)
Gariep River - Cederberg. This morning we travel south through the Richtersveld and the mining town of Springbok, before reaching the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. We spend tonight in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms and have the opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods or to explore the surrounding beautiful Cederberg Mountains. Tonight is our last night under the stars! Overnight - Cederberg Mountains
(B, L, D)
Cederberg - Cape Town. We leave the scenic Cederberg area and travel south towards Cape Town. We travel through the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal before crossing the Piketberg Pass to the Cape’s wine growing regions. Our first sighting of the Mother’s City Table Mountain across Table Bay means we’ve reached our final destination. We take a Township Tour in the city before our final night together. Overnight - Cape Town
This morning we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!