The Big Overlander Northbound - 47 days
Experience the contrasts and raw appeal of this majestic continent up close and personal. Visiting seven different countries, spot wildlife in Africa's best game parks, trek for gorilla in Uganda, relax and unwind on Zanzibar and soak up the incredible sights!
Tuesday. Welcome to South Africa. We'll be there ot meet you at Johannesburg Airport and we'll transfer you to the Mufasa Backpackers (2019 departures are transferred to Dove's Nest Guesthouse) for your first night in dorm accommodation. There will be a Welcome Meeting at 1700 where you will have the opportunuity to meet your tour guide and fellow travellers.
Johannesburg - Kruger. Departin Johannesburg we drive towards Kruger National Park - passing through the famous Panorama Route on our way. We spend 2 nights in the vicinity of the park and take a night time game drive on the evening of day 2. Day 3 is spent game driving in the park on the look out for the famous Big Five.
Overnight: Kruger National Park | Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Blyde River Canyon
Kruger NP - Polokwane. Departing the park today we travel up to Blyde River Canyon and God's Window before overnighting in Polokwane.
Overnight: Polokwane | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Polokwane - Palapye (Botswana). Today we cross the border into Botswana stopping for the night in Palapye - a small town famous for its cole mines.
Overnight: Palapye | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Palapye - Maun. Continuing through Botswana we make our way to the town of Maun - the gateway to the Okavango Delta. It is from here we will take our included excursion into the delta. Tonight we have a full briefing about tomorrow's excursion.
Overnight: Maun | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Maun - Okavango Delta. On day 7 we leave camp for the Okavango Delta. We'll head to the poling station where we board our Mokoros (Dug Out Canoes) for a relaxing journey to our bush camp in the middle of the delta. On arrival you will meet the local staff who will be your host during your stay. A brief introduction to the camp will show you your dome tent with twin beds and a bush en-suite bathroom – long drop toilet and a bucket shower. Relax in the tent with a cold drink or take a paddle in the Delta in a canoe. The activities at the camp include Mokoro trails and guided walking.
On day 8 we depart our bush camp in the morning and make the same journey back to our campsite in Maun.
Overnight: Okavango Delta (1) Maun (1) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Nata & Kasane
Maun - Nata - Kasane. Our journey on day 9 takes us to the lush campsite of Elephant Sands in the Nata region.ON the way expect to see lots of donkeys and cows roaming freely. On day 10 we set up camp in the town of Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River. We also enjoy an included boat cruise on the Chobe River.
Overnight: Nata Region (1) Kasane (1) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
We have 2 more days at Victoria Falls where we have the opportunity to partake in a plethora of optional activities from micro light flights to bungee jumping to white water rafting. There is a reason Victoria Falls is the adrenalin capital of Africa!
Overnight: Victoria Falls | Breakfast x 2
Victoria Falls - Chobe NP (Botswana). Today we return to Botswana and the town of Kasane. From here we take the included overnight excursion into Chobe National Park. 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 National Park | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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. Once returning to the camp at Kasane, we get back on our truck and 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
Livingstone - Lusaka Area - South Luangwa National Park. We start early today as we head further north through Zambia. We spend the evening of day 16 in the Lusaka area before continuing to South Luangwa Natinal Park - one of Zambia's premier national parks.
Overnight: Lusaka Area (1), Luangwa (2) | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
South Luangwa Natonal Park - Lake Malawi Beaches (Malawi). Leaving Zambia we cross into Malawi, the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’. We stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre. Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. We camp first at the central Lake, and then in the northern area over the next 3 days.
Overnight: Lake Malawi Beaches (3) | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Lake Malawi Beaches - Iringa (Tanzania). After a relaxing 3 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
Iringa - Dar es Salaam. Continuing north we pass through Mikumi National Park with the opportunity to see wildlife along the way. Today could be a long drive day as we get to one of Tanzania's busiest cities, DAr Es Salaam. We camp tonight at a seaside campsite and prepare for our departure to Zanzibar tomorrow.
Overnight: Dar es Salaam | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dar es Salaam - Zanzibar. This morning we leave our campsite and board the public ferry to Zanzibar. We spend the next 3 days relaxing on the island and our stay here includes one night in Stone Town and two nights on the Northern beaches as well as a Spice Tour in Stone Town and a Sunset Dhow cruise.
Overnight: Zanzibar | Breakfast x 1
Dar es Salaam – Pangani - Arusha. Our travel over the next two days takes us up to Arusha via the coastal town of Pangani. We'll pass by vast sisal plantations and African bushveld along the way. If we are lucky we may even catch a glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Overnight: Pangani (1) Arusha (1) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Serengeti & Ngorongoro
Arusha - Serengeti & Ngorongoro. This morning we visit the Meserani Reptile Park and Masai Culture Museum before meeting our expert Tanzanian safari guides for our excursion into the Serengeti and Ngorongoro. Over the next couple of days we will game drive in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro whilst camping nearby. We hope to spot lots of esxciting game including the famous Big Five.
On the morning of day 32 we depart on a final game drive and the start of our journey back to Arusha. This evening we compare our amazing wildlife stories.
Overnight: Karatu (1) Serengeti (1) Arusha (1) | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Nairobi - Masai Mara. Leaving the capital behind we travel through the Great Rift Valley on our way to the Masai Mara. Our campsite for the night is Acacia Camp on the edge of the reserve. On day 35 we have an early morning game drive in our truck and later on we can opt to visit a traditional Masai hamlet. This evening back at camp we discuss our wildlife sightings around the fire.
Overnight: Masai Mara | Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Masai Mara - Kisumu. Today we continue on along the Rift Valley as we head towards Africa's greatest lake - Lake Victoria and an overnight at Kisumu.
Overnight: Kisumu | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kisumu - Kampala (Uganda). Today we cross into neighbouring Uganda and the capital Kampala. Tonight we stay at the Red Chilli Hideaway for a night before we head towards Lake Bunyoni tomorrow.
Overnight: Kampala | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Optional Gorilla Trekking
Kampala - Lake Bunyoni. Departing the capital we drive up to Lake Bunyoni - Africa's deepest crater lake and also our base for our trek to see the gorillas in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks of Uganda. FGor more information on Gorilla Trekking - please see our Trip Notes for extensive information on Gorilla Trekking.
Overnight: Lake Bunyoni | Breakfast x 4, Lunch x 4, Dinner x 4
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
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
Lake Nakuru - Lake Naivasha. This morning we game drive within the park on the look out for the elusive leopard and black rhino as well as buffalo, giraffe and hippo. We spend another night at EAMO before transferring to Naivasha on day 46.
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: Nakuru (1) Naivasha (1) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
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!
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. Single travellers will be paired up in tents with another person of the same sex.Read More
Local payment - 2018 - $2330, paid in USD. 2019 - $2590, paid in USD
Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Mufasa Backpackers, Johannesburg
Located in the Benoni suburb of Johannesburg, 20 minutes' drive from the airport, Mufasa Backpackers Lodge is a convenient stop en route to the scenic game reserves of Kruger National Park. The lodge offers cozy 5 to 10-bed dorms, two campsite areas, and several ensuite rooms, in addition to an outdoor pool and spacious common room. Breakfast and internet are included, and parking facilities are available, as well as a daily shuttle to the local shops.
Dove's Nest Guest House, Johannesburg
Located a stone throw from OR Tambo Airport, the Doves Nest Guest House is conveniently located guests wanting to relax after a long day of exploring Johannesburg’s highlights. Each room features an electric blankets and TV. Breakfast and internet are available, as well as a free airport shuttle.
Delta Rain Bushcamp, Okavango Delta
This unique campsite is located in the heart of the Okavango Delta, as part of the Delta Rain safari experience. Accommodation consists of dome tents with twin beds, and "bush en-suite" bathrooms with a long-drop toilet and bucket shower. After settling in, guests can relax in the mess tent, partake in game viewing trips, or go on guided walks, while admiring the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Shearwater Explorers Village, Victoria Falls
Situated in the bohemian town of Victoria Falls, and 400m from the Falls themselves, the affordable accommodation at the Shearwater Explorers Village consists of 5 campsites with modern bathroom facilities, and 16 private chalets with en-suite showers and A/C. Shearwater operates a range of activities at the Falls, from bungee jumping to river rafting - and when the day is over, guests can wind down with Wi-Fi in the lounge areas, a drink by the pool, or even a back rub in the massage tent.
Zambezi Waterfront, Livingstone
The Zambezi Waterfront is a comfortable lodge with 16 standard twin chalets, six units of which overlook the river. There are also three Executive rooms and four Family rooms.
Croc Valley Camp, South Luangwa National Park
Croc Valley Camp is located on the banks of the Luangwa River, and provides accommodation ranging from riverfront tents to ensuite chalets, built on stilts to avoid the off-season floods. Watch elephants roam across the campsite, experience a game drive through South Luangwa National Park, or relax with a gin & tonic at the bar. The camp also features a large outdoor pool, kitchen facilities, and daily laundry service.
Kipepeo Village , Dar es Salaam
The Tanzanian bush meets the blue waters of the Indian Ocean at Kipepeo Beach & Village, situated on the south coast of Dar Es Salaam. The campsite is right on the beach itself and is a popular destination for watersports adventures or simple relaxation. Facilities include a beach bar and restaurant.Upgrades are available to the twenty elevated ensuite chalets, built in the bush and decorated in traditional Swahili style, provide a stunning ocean views.
Wildebeest Eco Camp, Nairobi
Wildebeest Eco Camp is a distinctive starting point from which to explore Nairobi and beyond. The camp offers a shaded campsite for budget travellers, or luxury ensuite tents for those looking to splurge a little on their safari experience. Located in the vibrant Langata area, Nairobi National Park and the Galleria Shopping Centre are among the attractions just 10 minutes' drive away. After a long day of travelling, indulgences such as an infinity pool and guest library are available, as are free Wi-fi and laundry service.