Wildlife, Falls and Beaches - 27 days
Starting in Nairobi and ending at the thunderous Victoria Falls, take in some of Africa's best known national parks, including Lake Nakuru, the wildlife rich Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater and Botswana's Chobe National Park. While enjoying some R&R basking on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar and Lake Malawi.
The below itinerary is for all departures in 2018. For the 2017 itinerary please contact us for a set of up to date Trip Notes.
Nairobi - Masai Mara. We enter Masai land where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. We pass through the town of Narok, and continue our drive possibly getting a glimpse of some wildlife along the way. The main section of road between Nairobi and the Reserve is in a very poor state, so be prepared for a rough ride! We arrive at our campsite, Acacia Camp in the evening.
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 Reserve remains unfenced, allowing wildlife to roam freely across into the surrounding area and if they choose – through our own camp! No need to be afraid, as the local ‘Askari’ will keep a look out for any unwanted predators.
Overnight: Masai Mara | Lunch, Dinner
Masai Mara NP. 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. Most famous for the Annual Migration, that consists of the impressive herds of over 1 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle that cross over from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania; the Masai Mara is most popular between July and October when these vast herds feast on the fresh grazing here. Following these herbivores are Africa’s predators that are often seen at a kill during this period. We game drive through a section of the park in search of the ‘Big 5’- elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion & leopard; along with the many other species of animals, reptiles and birds who make call this wilderness home.
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”.
Overnight: Masai Mara | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Masai Mara - Lake Nakuru. Leaving Masai Mara we head towards our first overnight stop in the area of Lake Nakuru National Park, where our overnight campsite will be at EAMO; East African Mission Organisation. We will have the chance to interact with the local kids as well as a chance to learn more about this wonderful organisation.
Overnight: Lake Nakuru | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we begin our exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park. 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, Lunch, Dinner
Kisii & the Gusii Highlands
Masai Mara - Kisii/Kericho Area. After breakfast we leave Lake Nakuru and head to Kisii/Kericho passing through the picturesque tea plantations along the way. These towns are the main commercial centres in the Gusii Highlands, where cash crops like tea and coffee thrive because of its equatorial climate. We replenish our stocks before heading for Tanzania tomorrow.
Overnight: Kisii/Kericho Area | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kisii/Kericho - Musoma. We depart Kenya and head south into Tanzania. After border formalities, our drive takes us through the scenic granite landscapes adjacent to Africa’s largest lake – Lake Victoria. We spend the night at a campsite on the banks of Lake Victoria in the fishing town of Musoma.
Overnight: Musoma | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Musoma - Serengeti. Today we head to the Serengeti National Park, entering the park after lunch. The Serengeti (Masai for “endless plains”) is famous for its enormous concentration of game (especially the big cats) and for the annual migration of millions of wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelles. The abundance of plains game in this area is truly astounding. We enter the park through the lesser travelled western corridor and game drive en-route to our campsite in the centre of the park. Tonight we bush camp (no ablutions) in the wild surrounded by the sounds of the African bushveld, pierced only by the calls of the nocturnal wildlife.
Overnight: Serengeti National Park | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Serengeti - Ngorongoro Crater. After an early start we pack up our camp and continue our game drive through the Serengeti National Park in search of the resident wildlife and head to the southern part of the park where we have the chance to see the endless plains this park is renowned for. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’! We cross from the Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Conservation area at lunch time and begin our climb up the steep Crater edge. Tonight’s camp (basic ablutions) on the crater rim sharply contrasts the warmer plains below - we suggest you bring your winter woollies as it can get very cold at night.
Overnight: Ngorongoro Crater | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ngorongoro Crater - Arusha. The Ngorongoro Crater with its 600 m high walls and 20 km width is a natural marvel. The Crater’s rim offers spectacular views, but the true scale of this caldera is only appreciated from the floor itself where the abundance of its animal inhabitants becomes apparent. It is home to nearly every species of African animal and offers a chance to view an incredible concentration of East African mammals, such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, hippo, lion and plain’s game. After spending the morning game driving in The Crater we continue to our campsite outside Arusha where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.
Overnight: Arusha | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Arusha - Pangani. This morning we continue our journey towards Dar es Salaam. On the way we drive through the town of Moshi situated at the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions, and weather permitting; we may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! We pass through vast sisal plantations surrounded by The Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges, before reaching our lovely campsite nestled between these mountains, midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
Overnight: Pangani | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Pangani - Dar es Salaam. Today we continue on to Dar es Salaam. Travelling through lush scenery and palm trees, we near the warm Indian Ocean. Upon 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
Dar es Salaam - Zanzibar. A ferry from Dar Es Salaam takes us to ‘Spice Island’, where we 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!
Overnight: Zanzibar | Breakfast x 1
Dar es Salaam - Iringa. This morning we leave Dar es Salaam and head south. 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. 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: Iringa | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Lake Malawi - Chipata. 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 just 10 km after the Malawi/Zambia border.
Overnight: Chipata | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Chipata - Luangwa - Lusaka Area. Today we head towards 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.
Leaving the park on day 23 we 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.
Overnight: Luangwa (1) Lusaka Area (1) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Lusaka Area - Livingstone. Heading further south, we journey through the southern Zambian towns mostly supporting local agriculture and farming on our way 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 | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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. 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.
Overnight: Chobe National Park | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 | Breakfast
Saturday. Our adventure ends after breakfast today. We suggest booking additional days after your trip to take advantage of the optional excursions available at Victoria Falls including bungee jumping, scenic flights over the falls and white water rafting.
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.
Local payment - 2017: USD$1400 / 2018: USD$1690, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Extra Tour Info
I travelled to Africa recently in August with On the go Tours. It was the Flamingo to the Falls tour. 27 day overland camping safari. I have to commend their tour guides, drivers and cooks as we had all local guides and crew. They were fantastic. We saw the big five in the first four days in the Serengeti. Our crew for me, made my trip. Especially Hesbon (our guide) James (our driver) and the lovely Ruben (our cook) who prepared the most delicious dinners. I met some wonderful people on the first part of my tour in which we have stayed in contact. It was such an amazing trip I am planning the next one to see the Gorillas. Gorillas in the Mist tour. I found the agents with whom I was in contact with prior to travelling were very efficient. My e-mails were answered promptly and professionally and any concerns were put to rest. Thank you On the Go for such a memorable trip to Africa. It has been my dream destination for over 10 years and you exceeded all my expectations.”