Safaris and Tailor-made Holidays To South Africa Africa

Safaris and Tailor-made Holidays To
South Africa

Absolute Africa

50 days  |  Johannesburg to Nairobi  |  from USD $4,489  |   Guaranteed Departure 

From Johannesburg to Nairobi, travel through nine of Africa's most diverse countries. Trek in search of gorillas, spot the Big Five in premier game parks, visit deep crater lakes and the spectacular Victoria Falls, discover Mozambique's colourful coral reefs and kick back on idyllic beaches.

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Itinerary
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Inclusions
Day 1

Saturday. Welcome to South Africa! Upon arrival at Johannesburg Airport you will transferred to your accommodation. Tonight there will be a pre departure meeting at 17.00pm where you will meet your guide and the rest of your group.
Overnight: Johannesburg

Days 2-3

Johannesburg - Kruger National Park. Leaving Johannesburg we head the famous Kruger National Park, passing through the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route en route – famous for its breathtaking vistas. Our camp for the next two nights is a short drive from the Kruger National Park and has some interesting local residents that include hippo, giraffe, zebra and impala. Tonight we spend a relaxing evening around the camp fire before our early morning game drive tomorrow. On day 3 we explore South Africa's flagship wildlife park, as drive through Kruger in search of the Big Five.
Overnight: Greater Kruger National Park  |  Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Days 4-5

Kruger - Inhambane Region (Mozambique). We head off early and after crossing the border, we leave South Africa and head to the warm waters of the Mozambique coastline. We travel along the scenic back route bypassing the capital to Praia de Zavora Bay, one of the finest stretches of coastline in the Inhambane region where we set up our camp and enjoy the fantastic views and scenery.

The next day is spent at leisure enjoying the fantastic sea side activities on offer. These included swimming, snorkelling, fishing and scuba diving the nearby reefs. Alternatively spend the day lazing on the long sandy beach enjoying the lulling sounds of the waves as they lap the shoreline.

Our campsite at Zavora Lodge is home to a well kitted dive centre offering various dive opportunities that can be booked with them on arrival at the camp. For those wishing to see the spectacular marine life that are not able to dive, snorkelling is also excellent.
Overnight: Praia de Zavora Bay  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 6
Morrungulu resort

Inhambane Region - Morrungula. Today we take a leisurely drive up the coast to the picturesque Morrungulu resort. Situated in among a coconut palm plantation, this camp offers a truly tropical island feel – just watch out for the falling coconuts! Try your hand at deep-sea fishing, or simply enjoy a relaxing walk along this stretch of beach.
Overnight: Morrungulu  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 7-8

Morrungulu - Vilanculous. Vilanculous is the stepping stone to the 3 main islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. We spend 2 nights here to give those who wish, the opportunity to take a boat charter out to the smaller island of Magaruque on day 8. Other activities include Dhow trips, sunset cruises, horse riding, big game fishing, whale watching (seasonal) and more.
Overnight: Vilanculos  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 9
Bandula

Vilanculous to Bandula. Continuing northward we say farewell to the tropical coastline and head inland to Bandula. Today’s drive takes us through the more rural parts of Mozambique and affords the opportunity to see local Mozambican villages and farmsteads. Arriving in the late afternoon, we set up camp on the banks of the Chicamba Dam.
Overnight: Bandula  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 10-11
The Antelope Park

Bandula to Gweru (Zimbabwe). On day 10 we enter Zimbabwe - we make our way to the town of Gweru, in Zimbabwe’s Midlands. Here we stop over at The Antelope Park. A wide variety of game viewing opportunities are available in this area inhabited by lion, elephant, giraffe and obviously numerous antelope! We have the unique option to walk with lions, ride or swim with elephants, view game from horse back or from the back of a vehicle.

The following day is spent at leisure enjoying personal encounters with Africa’s wildlife. Enjoy a walk with lions, riding on elephant back, or a night game drive!
Overnight: Gweru  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 12
Bulawayo

Gweru - Bulawayo. Leaving Gweru, we head to Bulawayo - Zimbabwe’s second largest city. Bulawayo is noted for its exceptionally wide streets, which were originally designed to accommodate a full span ox wagon. The city also still retains much of its British Colonial character, evident by the many buildings maintained as heritage sites by the Bulawayo City Council. Interesting places to visit are the Natural History Museum, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, which employs over 70 people.
Overnight: Bulawayo  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13

Bulawayo - Hwange NP. We continue north-west to Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest reserve – the Hwange National Park. Hwange is well known for its abundance and variety of wildlife species including thousands of elephant, and rare antelope species such as the Sable and Roan Antelope. We enjoy a game drive (either late afternoon or early morning) to explore the wilderness in search of these, and the other resident wildlife species.
Overnight: Hwange N.P.  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 14-16

Hwange NP - Victoria Falls. Leaving Hwange, we head to Victoria Falls. Our campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of town, and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops. A 20 minute walk down the main road takes you to the entry point to view the falls, which are situated between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), was named by David Livingstone on his explorations, and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. After our adventure activities briefing (see price guide at the end of this Go Guide for options), the afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool, viewing the Victoria Falls, or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!

The next 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of optional excursions. Some of our fellow passengers will leave us in Victoria Falls, to be replaced by new passengers joining us for the next leg of our trek.
Overnight: Victoria Falls  |  Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 1

Day 17

Victoria Falls - Chobe NP (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.

Later we set off into Chobe National Park - Botswana’s premier game park, renowned for its large elephant herds. Spend the afternoon in search of wildlife while we game drive to our camp within the park.
Overnight: Chobe N. P.  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18

Chobe NP - Livingstone (Zambia). 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 where we continue to the town of Livingstone. This afternoon we have the opportunity to view The Falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia or partake in a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River. Another fantastic photo opportunity!
Overnight: Livingstone  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 19-20
Lusaka

Livingstone - Luangwa. An early morning start sees us head north through southern Zambia. 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. The difference is evident in the cities with the availability of foreign stores, banks and imported cars, while the villages and smaller towns are still to catch up.

On day 20 we head into 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: Luangwa  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 21
Chipata

Luangwa - Chipata. From Luangwa we head north east on the old ‘East Road’ to a beautiful little campsite located just 10 km before the Zambia/Malawi border. In the days of old, the route from Cairo to Cape Town passed through Lusaka and it’s along this route to Malawi we travel today. While today is mostly spent driving, we do cross the impressive Luangwa River Bridge which is heavily guarded due to its close proximity to the Zimbabwean & Malawian borders. We’ll also stop off to purchase some fresh produce and coal from the local sellers along the way.
Overnight: Chipata  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 22-24
Lake Malawi Beaches

Chipata - Lake Malawi Beaches (Malawi). Leaving Zambia we cross into Malawi. We stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre.

Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax on the pristine beaches. The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi’s shores offer many optional Excursions including a variety of water sports, horseback rides and a visit to the local village and school (see pricing guide at the end of this Go Guide).
Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3

Day 25
Iringa

Lake Malawi Beaches - Iringa (Tanzania). After a relaxing 4 days, we leave Malawi, entering Tanzania through the border post at Songwe. Winding our way through the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we head towards Iringa where we spend the night in the beautiful rustic ‘Farmhouse’ campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!
Overnight: Iringa  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26

Iringa - Dar es Salaam. This morning we head off early and make our way to Dar es Salaam. We 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. Today’s drive time is extended due to the heavier amount of traffic heading in to the city, but the sights and sounds of Dar’s vibrant outer suburbs are sure to keep you entertained. Look out for the colourful shop-fronts with their sometimes humorous ‘catch phrases’. On arrival in Dar es Salaam, we make our way to our lovely seaside campsite and prepare for our departure to Zanzibar the next morning.
Overnight: Dar es Salaam  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 27-29

Dar es Salaam - Zanzibar (optional). A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the "Spice Island,” where we have the option to spend the next 3 nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join us to replace those that will leave us at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.

PLEASE NOTE: Accommodation and meals are for your own account whilst on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own, and in accordance with their own budget.
Overnight: Dar es Salaam OR Zanzibar (optional)  |  Breakfast x 1

Day 30

Zanzibar - Dar es Salaam. Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, we return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam. Arrival back to camp is usually in the late afternoon, or early evening.
Overnight: Dar es Salaam

Day 31

Dar es Salaam - Pangani. This morning we leave early and leave the hustle and bustle of this major Tanzanian city, and head towards the farmlands of this beautiful country. Today is used as a transit day to get us closer to Serengeti.
Overnight: Pangani  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 32-34

Pangani - Arusha. Leaving Pangani we head towards Arusha. This thriving town is where we stock up on provisions needed for our excursion to the parks. You may chose to wander the vibrant craft markets, stock up on supplies or perhaps catch up on the news back home at one of the small internet cafe available. Heading back to our base camp, Meserani Snake Park, those that are participating in the optional excursions to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park can start to prepare for their departure this afternoon. The excursion is offered by a local Tanzanian operator who conducts the trip into the Parks in 4WD vehicles (In peak season, there may be a minivan or bus transfer to Karatu), which are adapted for safari use.

For those not opting to visit the Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park, the next 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 driver and cook remain behind in Dar es Salaam during the excursion.

After our game drive in the Crater, we continue down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ 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’s ‘Big 5’! After our morning drive, we head back across the plains and the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.
Overnight: Arusha (3), OR optional Karatu & Serengeti   |  Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3

Days 35-36

Arusha - Nairobi (Kenya). We set off early this morning and make our way to the Tanzania/ Kenyan border and the small border town of Namanga. After completing the border formalities, we continue on our journey to the Capital City Nairobi and our campsite on the outskirts of the city.

The following day is yours at leisure to enjoy some of the many options available in this bustling city; visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where you can view the orphaned baby Elephants at feeding time, heading to to the Giraffe Centre in Langata, if you haven’t had your fill of game viewing, then Nairobi National Park offers some great day trips or if you haven’t quite got all those souvenirs you wanted, take a “Matatu” to the local curio markets close by the campsite. This evening why not try the fair on offer at the famous Carnivores restaurant.
Overnight: Nairobi  |  Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 1, Dinner x 1

Days 37-38

Nairobi - Masai Mara. Leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi we climb the escarpment to our first stop, a viewpoint overlooking a section of the spectacular Great Rift Valley. Descending into the Rift Valley, we enter Masai land where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. We arrive at our campsite, Acacia Camp in the late afternoon. Acacia Camp looks on to the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Masai Mara National Reserve.

The next morning we depart shortly after sunrise on our game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve. The Masai Mara is well known as one of East Africa’s best National Reserves and is home to a wide variety of wildlife species.

After our game drive, we have the option to visit one of the nearby Masai Manyatta’s – this is a traditional hamlet where the Masai still live in their traditional way. This evening we sit around the camp fire, and watch the sun set over this “Garden of Eden”.
Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 39
Eldoret

Masai Mara - Eldoret. Leaving the Masai Mara early, we head out of Masai Land pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on our way to Eldoret. We replenish our supplies and overnight here.
Overnight: Eldoret  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 40
Kampala

Eldoret - Kampala (Uganda). This morning, we cross the border into Uganda where we overnight it the capital city, Kampala.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 41-44
Lake Bunyoni & Gorilla Trekking

Kampala - Lake Bunyoni. After an early morning departure from Kampala we drive west into the depths of Uganda to our base at the tranquil Lake Bunyoni.

For trekking in the DRC or Rwanda (the trip leader will advise at the pre departure meeting as to where the permits have been secured, and will assist with the online visa application for Rwanda en-route if needed).

Due to the restrictions on the daily numbers of visitors to these incredible animals, 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. Dependent on where permits are available, we may spend a night in either Kisoro or in Rwanda. The following morning, after packing our picnic lunch, we are transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family. Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours (not including transfer time) and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point where you will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni campsite.
Overnight: Lake Bunyoni  |  Breakfast x 4, Lunch x 4, Dinner x 4

Day 45
Kampala

Lake Bunyoni - Kampala. 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!
Overnight: Kampala  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 46
Jinja

Kampala - Jinja. Today 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. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the banks of the river, or ticking off the wide variety of water birds in this area.
Overnight: Jinja  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 47-48

Jinja - Lake Nakuru (Kenya). Departing early, we head back to Kenya, stopping for lunch and supplies en route. We overnight 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.

The following morning we begin our exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park - famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake’s edge. The numbers vary depending on the water level, and when it’s low, the lake almost turns pink. A truly spectacular sight! The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. We spend the day searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way. After our game drive, we head to our campsite, arriving in the late afternoon.
Overnight: Lake Nakuru  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 49

Lake Nakuru - Lake Naivasha. Leaving Nakuru we head to Naivasha. Lake Naivasha, is 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 next 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.
Overnight: Lake Naivasha  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 50

Saturday. Lake Naivasha - Nairobi. After breakfast, we head back to Nairobi usually arriving by late morning, or early afternoon. On arrival to Nairobi, we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!
Breakfast

Trip Highlights

South Africa: Kruger, South Africa's flagship game reserve. The scenic Panorama Route. Johannesburg - extend your stay to explore the city.
Zimbabwe:UNESCO Listed Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. Bulawayo city. Hwange National ParK, Zimbabwe's finest national park. Gweru and The Antelope Park. The Eastern Highlands.
Zambia: South Luangwa NP, Livingstone & Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia's gateway to Victoria Falls (optional).
Zanzibar:(optional) Pristine beaches & historic Stone Town (UNESCO-listed).
Gorilla Trekking (an optional excursion). Bwindi or Mgahinga Gorilla park in Uganda or Ruhengeri (Rwanda) or Parc National des Virunga (DRC)
Uganda: Kampala, the lively capital. Lake Bunyoni, spectacular scenery. Jinja, Nile rafting. The Equator Crossing.
Mozambique: Lake Chicamba. Mozambique's tropical coastline - Villanculous, gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago, Morrungulu resort and Inhambane's beaches and reefs.
Botswana:Chobe National Park, famous for its herds of elephants.
Malawi: Lake Malawi, one of the African Great Lakes, with beautiful beaches, bays and inlets.
Tanzania: Arusha, the safari gateway. The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater (an optional excursion). Views of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro. Pangani, a historical coastal town. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city. Mikumi National Park (transit only).
Kenya: Nairobi, extend your stay to explore the sites. The Great Rift Valley. Lake Nakuru National Park and lake, famous for its flamingos. Meet the local children at the East African Mission Organisation. Lake Naivasha, the highest Rift Valley lake. The Masai Mara, Kenya's finest wildlife reserve. Masai Mara tribal lands.

Included

Arrival transfer from Johannesburg Airport on day 1
A fully equipped overland truck for transportation and game drives
All camping fees & appropriate equipment
Park entry - Lake Naivasha NP and The Antelope Park (Gweru). Park entry & game drives - Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru NP, Chobe NP, South Luangwa NP, Hwange NP and Kruger NP
All road taxes & tolls
1st night dormitory accommodation at Mufasa Backpackers (upgrade available), 45 nights camping.
Services of 3 person crew (leader, driver, cook)
44 breakfasts, 42 lunches, 41 dinners
Return ferry to Zanzibar

Not Included

Sleeping bag - please bring your own
Accommodation in Zanzibar
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Entrance Fees: Gorilla Permit + Transfer US $720 - 815
Gorilla Permit and transfer fee: Please note that Gorillas often move across the border, between the national parks in Rwanda, Uganda and DRC, therefore itineraries often have to be changed at short notice in order to track the Gorillas in whichever National Park they have migrated to. For this reason the cost of the Gorilla Permit and relevant transfers varies, as do the applicable visa costs, dependent upon which country we need to travel into.
International flights and visas
Optional activities including the Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater 3 day excursion

Prices shown above are per person travelling. Single travellers will be paired up in tents with another person of the same sex.

Local payment - $1345 USD
Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.
Local Payment
On some of our South Africa trips, we have a communal local payment. It is this payment which covers entrance fees, camping fees and meals as detailed for this itinerary. The local payment is in addition to the prices specified but is paid directly to the tour leader at the start of the trip, on Day 1 and must be paid in cash in the currency specified.

Please note that due to exchange rate fluctuations, as well as potential changes to park entrance fees, the local payment amount may be subject to change. We will however inform you of any such changes as soon as we are aware of them.
2015
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $4489
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Tour Details
Starts
Johannesburg
Ends
Nairobi
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
Camping
Local Payment
$1345 USD
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour leader
Meals
Breakfast: 43, Lunch: 40, Dinner: 40
Extra Tour Info
Gorilla Trekking
Close encounters with these gentle giants of the jungle
About Overland Safaris
Information on travelling through Africa on a overland safari
Africa Traveller Visas
Visa requirements for Africa and info on getting your visa
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