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Cairo to Zanzibar

This classic overland route between Cairo and Nairobi will take you from the splendours of ancient Egypt to the great game parks of East Africa, via a whole host of other highlights and hidden gems in between. After exploring Cairo with its world famous Pyramids of Giza and phenomenal Museum of Antiquities, we'll visit the fascinating city of Alexandria, and follow the Red Sea down to Luxor - here we will visit the Valley of the Kings and the colossal Karnak Temple before taking a sailing trip on a traditional felucca. Most Egypt trips end here, but with Dragoman you'll be much more adventurous and continue via the iconic Temples of Abu Simbel into the vast desert wilderness of Sudan. Travel in this part of the world is tough and frequently challenging, but as a reward we get unparalleled access to places such as the Pyramids of Meroe and the ruined temples of the Kushite kingdom, as well as enjoying some of the most remote and atmospheric wild camps in the world. From there we head into the wonderful country of Ethiopia, an extraordinary land with a unique cultural heritage of opulent monasteries, stunning churches carved out of the mountains, and incredible scenery. In Ethiopia you'll visit all the historical sites, trek in the spectacular Simien Mountains, and meet the unique tribes of the remote Omo Valley region. We will then cross into Kenya and take the challenging roads to the lands of the Samburu tribe, where we have a fascinating village stay and an incredible safari in Samburu National Park, home to some of Kenya's rarer wildlife such as the curious gerenuk and Grevy's zebra. We will head through the incredible wildlife area of Lake Nakuru before finishing in the bustling Kenyan capital of Nairobi. We will enter the wonderful country of Uganda, where we safari around Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks, track chimps on foot, and head out on some optional adrenaline-fuelled activities at Jinja, the source of the White Nile. We then journey deep into Rwanda for one of the world's ultimate wildlife experiences - a face-to-face encounter with the incredible mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park. Arriving back in Nairobi, we then head out on safari through some of the world's best wildlife areas - the waving grasslands of the Maasai Mara, the stunning plains of the Serengeti, and the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater. Finishing the trip off with a visit to the fabled tropical island of Zanzibar, where we can unwind on some of the Indian Ocean's spectacular white beaches, this fantastic and adventurous trip is second to none!


Duration: 105 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158228
Starts: Cairo, Egypt Finishes: Zanzibar, Tanzania
You will Visit
  • Cairo
  • Alexandria
  • Port Said
  • Eastern Deserts
  • Zafarana
  • El Quseir
  • Marsa Alam
  • Luxor
  • Edfu
  • Aswan
  • Nile Felucca
  • Abu Simbel
  • Wadi Halfa
  • Wawa
  • Dongola
  • Karima
  • Musawwarat
  • Meroe
  • Naqa
  • Khartoum
  • Gedaref
  • Gondar
  • Simien Mountains National Park
  • Debark
  • Axum
  • Adi Arkay
  • Mekele
  • Woldiya
  • Lalibela
  • Bahir Dar
  • Dejen
  • Addis Ababa
  • Lake Ziway
  • Bale Mountains National Park
  • Awassa
  • Wendo Genet
  • Arba Minch
  • Omo Valley Region
  • Konso
  • Moyale
  • Marsabit
  • Samburu Village
  • Samburu National Reserve
  • Nakuru National Park
  • Naivasha
  • Nairobi
  • Gilgil
  • Kericho
  • Jinja
  • Nakitoma
  • Kaniyo Pabidi
  • Murchison Falls National Park
  • Kampala
  • Kabale
  • Mbarara
  • Ruhengeri & Volcanoes National Park
  • Kigali
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Eldoret
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Arusha
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Mto Wa Mbu
  • Marangu
  • Dar Es Salaam
  • Lushoto
  • Zanzibar

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cairo

Border Information: if joining in Cairo, you will most likely enter Egypt at Cairo International Airport (IATA code: CAI).

There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to check your Sudanese visa or make sure the necessary preparations have been done to pick your visa up in Cairo or Aswan. They will also need to check the Ethiopian visas of anyone going beyond Khartoum.

In the afternoon we will have an included half-day guided visit to the Egyptian Museum. We will go to the museum by metro or by taxi, and be shown around the vast and breathtaking collection of historical relics and treasures, including the sarcophagus of Akhenaten, the mummy of Ramses II and of course the incredible golden mask of Tutankhamun!

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cairo before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cairo.

In Cairo we wil stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

02

Day 2: Cairo

Today we will set off in a local chartered minibus for an included full-day guided tour to Memphis, the pyramids at Saqqara, the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.

We will aim to be back in Cairo for around 4:00pm today and stay overnight in the same hotel.

03

Day 3-4: Alexandria

Today we will start our journey by travelling up to the Mediterranean coast to the bustling city of Alexandria, where will spend 2 nights exploring the sights. We will have the chance to visit the beautiful modern Alexandria Library, explore various historical sites, and to go diving in the Mediterranean.

In Alexandria we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

04

Day 5: Port Said

Today we will follow the Mediterranean coast across the Nile Delta to reach Port Said, the town at the northern outflow of the Suez Canal.

In Port Said we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

05

Day 6: Eastern Deserts

Today we will travel south following the Suez Canal, then branch out into the Eastern Deserts, visiting the ancient Coptic Monastery of St. Anthony en route.

We will aim to stay in a simple local guesthouse in Zafarana en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

06

Day 7: El Quseir

Today we will travel down the stunning coast of the Red Sea to explore the Ottoman fort at El Quseir.

In El Quseir we will stay in a pleasant campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

07

Day 8-10: Marsa Alam

Today we will complete our drive to the beautiful southern Red Sea village of Marsa Alam.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

We will have 2 full days in Marsa Alam to relax on the beaches, enjoy many optional activities on the Red Sea, or to take an optional overnight camel safari out into the nearby deserts of Wadi-el-Gamal!

In Marsa Alam we will stay in a basic local beach guesthouse.

08

Day 11-13: Luxor

Today we will head to Luxor, a beautiful modern town built on the site of the Ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes, where we will spend 3 nights exploring the incredible historical sites here. We will also try to visit the Temple of Hathor at Dendara en route (if accessible).

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the second day we will have an included guided tour around the world-famous Karnak Temple, which is walking distance from our hotel. This temple contains some remarkably preserved painted walls and many awe-inspiring pillars and obelisks, and was the centre of religious life in Thebes. Our tour will last about 2 hours, and then we will have free time for the rest of the day to explore the temple independently, and to visit the other sites in Luxor such as the smaller Luxor Temple in the town centre, and the small but beautiful Luxor Museum, which is filled with priceless treasures from the area.

On the third day we will have an included tour to the West Bank, which will encompass the Hatshepsut Temple and the phenomenal Valley of the Kings, the location of the tombs of the Pharoahs of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.

In Luxor we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

09

Day 14: Edfu

Today we leave Luxor and visit the incredible Temple of Edfu, an awe-inspiring temple dedicated to Horus built during the Ptolomaic era, which is considered to be the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt.

We will then continue on to the southern city of Aswan - here is where we will pick up the Sudanese visas of anyone who has arranged them to be processed here in advance.

In Aswan we stay in a comfortable hotel in the centre of the town, next to the Nile River.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

10

Day 15: Aswan

Today we will board a traditional felucca sailboat for an overnight adventure exploring the Nile by boat.

Our accommodation tonight will be on board the felucca.

11

Day 16-17: Aswan

We will return from the felucca to Aswan, where we will have 2 full days to enjoy to wealth of history and culture that Aswan has to offer, and to make optional visits to the Philae Temple, Elephantine Island, the Nubian Museum, and the Aswan Dam. If the group are keen to extend the felucca trip, we also have time to allow this possibility.

We will return to our same hotel in Aswan for these 2 nights.

12

Day 18: Abu Simbel

Today we will drive with the 11:00am convoy to the small village of Abu Simbel, where we will have an included visit to the phenomenal Temples of Ramses and Nefertari, with a possibility to visit the sound and light show after sunset (if it is running).

In Abu Simbel we will stay in a basic local guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

13

Day 19: Wadi Halfa

Border Information: Exit Egypt at Qustol, enter Sudan at Qustol.

Today we will take an early transport ferry across to the east side of Lake Nasser, and then head across the border where we meet our local facilitator who will accompany us in Sudan. We will then drive a short distance to the dusty northern Sudanese frontier town of Wadi Halfa, where we will spend the night.

In Wadi Halfa we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

14

Day 20-21: Wawa

Over the next 2 days we will journey through the remote areas of Northern Sudan and the vast Sahara Desert. En route we will visit many ruined temples of the Kushite era, including the Temple of Soleb near Wawa, the Deffufa of Kerma near Dongola, and the pyramids at Jebel Barkal mountain near the town of Karima.

On both of these nights we will wild camp out in the remote deserts, which is the true highlight of travelling overland through Sudan!

Estimated Drive Times - 4-7 hours each day.

15

Day 22-24: Musawwarat

Over these days we continue our journey into the heart of Sudan, visiting the incredible and haunting Nuri pyramids and Meroe pyramids of the Kushite era. We will then continue south to visit the Kushite ruins at the sites of Naqa and Musawwarat.

We will wild camp in the Sudanese deserts on these nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours each day.

16

Day 25-26: Khartoum

Today we will complete our journey to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where your tour leader will have to collect the passports of everyone in the group to register our visas.

We will have the rest of the day and the whole of the following day to freely explore Khartoum, including possible optional trips to the impressive Grand Mosque and the bustling Omdurman market.

In Khartoum we stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

17

Day 27: Gedaref

Today we will drive from Khartoum to the small town of Gedaref, en route to the Ethiopian border.

In Gedaref we will either stay in a basic local hotel in the town or bush camp in the deserts outside.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

18

Day 28: Gondar

Border Information: Exit Sudan at Metema, enter Ethiopia at Metema.

Today we have a full day's drive to cross the border into Ethiopia and reach the ancient royal city of Gondar.

In Gondar we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

19

Day 29-30: Gondar

Border Information: if joining in Gondar, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Gondar Atse Tewodros Airport.

There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting. If you are continuing to Kenya or beyond, your leader will need to check the validity dates of your Ethiopian visa.

On the next day, we will have a half day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church.

In Gondar we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

20

Day 31-33: Simien Mountains National Park

Today marks the start of our 3-day excursion into the Simien Mountains National Park. We will first drive to Debark, where we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options we will have during our excursion.

The area is home to some of Africa's most jaw-dropping mountain scenery and is a great opportunity to enjoy some incredibly beautiful treks and breathtaking views!

The area is also home many indigenous animals, and during our time here we hope to spot lammargeyer vultures, geladas, Walia ibex, and (if we are very lucky) klipspringers and Ethiopian wolves.

On each day we aim to provide an option for a long trek (of 5-8 hours), a short trek (2-5 hours) or no trekking.

On our first day, we aim to wild camp at the area of Sankaber. On our second and third days, we aim to wild camp at the area of Chenek (underneath Ras Bwahit, the second-highest mountain in the Simiens, which we hope to get the opportunity to summit).

Please note that we must keep a flexible itinerary in the Simien Mountains, as our options will largely be determined by the weather.

Please also note that the camping areas in the national park are very basic, and are essentially wild camps with long drop toilets. Please also note that the food and provisions available in Debark and the national park are very limited, and it is also likely to be very cold at night, so please be prepared!

21

Day 34: Debark

Today is our final day in the Simien Mountains National Park, and we make our way back to Debark for the night.

In Debark we will stay in a basic local hotel.

22

Day 35-36: Axum

Leaving Debark behind us, we continue our journey with 2 days of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the ancient town of Axum in the far north of Ethiopia, via a wild camp en route. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery!

On the first night of this journey, we aim to wild camp somewhere nearby to the village of Adi Arkay. On the second day we will stay in a basic hotel in Axum.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours each day (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

23

Day 37: Axum

Today we will have a half day guided tour of the incredible historical sites of Axum, the capital of the once-mighty Axumite Empire - included in this tour will be seeing the Stelae Field, the Tomb of King Kaleb, and the Palace of the Queen of Sheba. We will have a free afternoon to visit other places such as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.

24

Day 38: Mekele

Today we will continue through the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Adwa mountains and visit one of the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray (either the Abraha Atsbeha or Wukro Chirkos church) near to Mekele.

In Mekele we will stay in a decent local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours.

25

Day 39-40: Woldiya

From Mekele we have 2 days of journeying through more incredible mountainous scenery in central Ethiopia to reach the small medieval town of Lalibela.

On the first night of this journey, we aim to wild camp near the town of Woldiya or Korem. On the second night we will stay in a local hotel in Lalibela.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours each day.

26

Day 41-42: Lalibela

On our first day in Lalibela, we will have full day guided tour of the world-famous 13th-century rock churches of Lalibela. Our guide will be able to explain the fascinating history of Lalibela and its churches, and there will be plenty of time to explore, absorb the haunting atmosphere inside the churches, and take plenty of photographs of the incredible architecture and the religious rituals within.

On our second day, we will have a free day for further exploration or optional activities. We will have opportunity to hike up the nearby mountains to the Asheten Monastery, visit the Yimrehane Kristos cave church outside the town, or freely explore the Lalibela churches again at your own pace.

27

Day 43-45: Bahir Dar

Today we will drive to Bahir Dar, a small town on Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

On our first day in Bahir Dar, we will have an included boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the famous old monastery of Gabriel Ure Kideth and to visit the spot where the lake outflows into the start of the Blue Nile.

On our second full day, we will head off in the truck to visit the Blue Nile Falls and take a short walk around the area to the historic Portuguese Bridge. We will have some free time in the afternoon to visit some other spots around Bahir Dar such as the 'Hippo bridge' and the Tigray war memorial.

In Bahir Dar we will stay in decent local hotel.

28

Day 46: Dejen

Today we will continue our journey south towards Addis Ababa. We will break the journey with a nightstop in a basic local hotel in the small town of Debre Markos or Dejen en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

29

Day 47: Addis Ababa

Today we will complete our journey to the bustling Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. En route we will drive to the bottom of the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge and up the other side!

In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

30

Day 48: Addis Ababa

Today we will have a free day to explore Addis Ababa and visit the city's many museums and sights.

31

Day 49: Addis Ababa

Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).

There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting.

The rest of the day before this meeting will be free to explore Addis Ababa and visit the city's many museums - we recommend that you arrive early (or the night before) if you would like the chance to fully explore the sights of Addis Ababa. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Addis Ababa before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Addis Ababa.

In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

32

Day 50: Lake Ziway

Today we will leave Addis Ababa and head to the small town of Ziway.

After lunch we will take an included boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, where we will have a short guided tour of the ancient monastery there and view some of the old religious manuscripts.

In Ziway we will stay in a small local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

33

Day 51-53: Bale Mountains National Park

Today we will leave Ziway and drive to the stunning Bale Mountains National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

We will enjoy 2 full days to explore the National Park. We will keep one day completely free to head out for optional guided walks - there are several possibilities for routes, including highland routes up the hills and moorlands searching for mountain nyalas, or lowland walks through the forest areas to look for Bale monkeys! On the other day we will drive in the truck up to the Sanetti Plateau, all the way to the fourth-highest point in Ethiopia (the 4359m summit of Tulu Dimtu) to explore the primeval landscape and search for Ethiopian wolves.

In the Bale Mountains we will stay in dorms in a basic lodge near the entrance to the National Park.

34

Day 54-55: Wendo Genet

Today we will head north to the small town of Awassa, where we will have an included visit to the Awassa Children's Project in the afternoon. This is a home for local children orphaned by the HIV epidemic, and we will be shown around and see how public donations and the support of Dragoman goes towards feeding, sheltering and educating the children.

After our visit we will head to Wendo Genet, a small town in the hills above Awassa, where we will stay for the 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the region, go on an optional walk to some nearby waterfalls, or take a dip in the nearby hot springs.

In Wendo Genet we will camp in the grounds of a small local hotel.

35

Day 56: Arba Minch

Today we will travel to the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo. 

In Arba Minch we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

36

Day 57: Arba Minch

Border Information: If joining in Arba Minch, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Arba Minch Airport (IATA code: AMH).

There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting.

The rest of the day before this meeting will be free to explore Arba Minch. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Arba Minch before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Arba Minch.

In Arba Minch we will stay in a basic local hotel. 

37

Day 58-60: Omo Valley Region

Over the next 4 days/3 nights we will be exploring the remote and rarely-visited tribal areas of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia.

We will keep these days on a flexible itinerary so that we can react to news of special events being hosted by particular villages or tribes; as such, we cannot provide an exact itinerary for these days. However, we will aim to visit various tribal villages in the area, such as villages of the Hamer, the Mursi and the Konso tribes. 

In the Omo Valley we will camp in basic campsites on each night without the possibility of upgrades, and we will try to spend at least one of the nights camping in one of the tribal villages (this is not guaranteed to be possible on every trip). 

Estimated Drive Times - between 4-9 hours each day (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Please note that we will be travelling through very remote areas with rough roads and basic conditions on these days. Please also note that it is absolutely vital that you follow your tour leader's directions regarding responsible tourism in these regions, especially with regards to giving things away for free and taking photographs of the locals.

38

Day 61: Konso

Today we will arrive in the town of Konso, marking the end of our time in the Omo Valley region.

In Konso we will camp in the grounds of a basic lodge.

39

Day 62: Moyale

Today our group will split between those finishing in Arba Minch and those continuing towards Nairobi.

Those ending their trip in Arba Minch will have a local transfer back to Arba Minch today, where you stay in a local hotel. 

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

Those continuing south will have a full drive day across the Kenyan border to Moyale, where we will stay in a basic local hotel or camp in a local campsite.

Border Information: Exit Ethiopia at Moyale, enter Kenya at Moyale.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

40

Day 63: Samburu Village

This is the final day for those leaving in Arba Minch.

For the group continuing towards Nairobi, today we will have an early start and travel through the very rarely-visited region of northern Kenya, crossing the infamous Moyale-Marsabit road to the central Samburu region. The scenery along this route is spectacular, as you travel through the black lunar landscapes near Marsabit and pass mountain greenery, spectacular craters, watercourses, bush country and termite mounds.

We will reach the Samburu region near to the small town of Archer's Post this evening, where we will visit a Samburu village - this evening there will be fantastic display of traditional singing and dancing from the Samburu villagers, and a chat around the camp fire with the locals to ask them all about their way of life.

We will camp in the village in the heart of the community tonight, where there are no toilet or washing facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours.

Please note that due to security issues in this particular area, we will sometimes be accompanied by two armed police escorts between Moyale and Archer's Post.

41

Day 64: Samburu National Reserve

This morning we will be shown around the Samburu village by our hosts - we will be shown around their homes, play with the children and learn all about the way of life here for the Samburu people! We will then enter the Samburu National Reserve, where we will enjoy game drives in the truck (breaking for a long lunch during the heat of the day).

Samburu is a stunning National Reserve and is a great opportunity to spot big game such as cheetah, leopards, lions, and buffalo. The Reserve is also home to other animals rarely seen in the National Parks further south, such as Grevy's zebras, Somali ostriches and gerenuk ('giraffe-necked antelopes').

Tonight we will wild camp in a camping area in the National Reserve - facilities are very basic, but the area is a 5-10 minute walk from Samburu Lodge.

Please note that during very wet conditions we may need to use locally-chartered 4x4 jeeps rather than our truck to get a good game drive in - in this instance we may make this option available at extra cost.

42

Day 65-66: Naro Moru

Today we will get up early to spend the morning enjoying some more excellent game driving in our truck through the Samburu National Reserve. When the animals start to take shelter from the heat of the midday, we will exit the reserve and drive to the small village of Naro Moru at the base of Mount Kenya.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the next day, we will have a free day in Naro Moru to take optional walks around the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, explore the nearby Mau Mau caves, or take an optional game drive in the nearby Sweetwaters National Reserve.

In Naro Moru we will stay at a well equipped campsite.

43

Day 67-68: Nakuru National Park

Today we will head through the hills of central Kenya, through the area's beautiful scenery and tea plantations, to arrive at Nakuru.

If we make good time on the drive we may have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

On the next day, we head into Nakuru National Park for an included full-day game drive in local safari trucks. Nakuru is a beautiful park with a large lake and many forested areas - it is teeming with wildlife and there is an excellent chance to see both black and white rhinos!

In Nakuru we will stay at a beautiful and well equipped campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of the town.

44

Day 69-70: Naivasha

Today we make our way to Naivasha, on the edge of a beautiful calm lake in the Great Rift Valley. Here we will have the chance to take an optional boat trip on the lake to spot hippos and African fish eagles, and also to visit the Elsamere Born Free Foundation at the old home of Joy Adamson.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to enjoy some excellent optional activities around Naivasha. Naivasha is the base for exploring the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary and the Hell's Gate National Park, two scenic areas that are some of the only places in East Africa where you can safely explore and look for wildlife on foot.

In Naivasha we will stay at a well equipped campsite on the lake shore.

45

Day 71: Nairobi

Today we will drive to the bustling Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where we will have free time on arrival.

In Nairobi we will camp in the grounds of a peaceful eco-camp in the suburb of Karen.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

46

Day 72: Nairobi

Border Information: If joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).

Welcome to Kenya! There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please do not be alarmed if there is no welcome note, as this will often be a travelling day for the crew who will be joining you.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.

47

Day 73: Nakuru National Park

After an early breakfast we will make our way to Gilgil, where we will visit the Saidia Children's Home - a Dragoman-supported home for orphaned children from the area.

From there, we will make our way to Nakuru, our base for tomorrow's excursion into Nakuru National Park. If we make good time on the drive we may have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.

In Nakuru we will stay at a beautiful and well equipped campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

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Day 74: Kericho

This morning we head into Nakuru National Park for an included half-day game drive in local safari trucks. Nakuru is a beautiful park with a large lake and many forested areas - it is teeming with wildlife and there is an excellent chance to see both black and white rhinos.

We will most likely have lunch in the area before driving on to Kericho this afternoon, where there is an optional tour around a nearby tea plantation.

In Kericho we will stay at a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

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Day 75-76: Jinja

Border Information: Exit Kenya at Busia, enter Uganda at Busia.

Today we have a full day's drive across the border into Uganda as we travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa!

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to get involved in the many optional adventure activities available here, such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and boat trips on the White Nile!

In Jinja we will stay at a well equipped campsite.

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Day 77-79: Mbarara

Over the next 2 days we will continue travelling south through Uganda to reach Lake Bunyonyi, home to some of the most picturesque scenery in the whole of the country, where we will hopefully get the opportunity to explore the lake by boat and admire the surrounding landscape.

En route we will split the drive with a nightstop in either Mbarara or Kabale, which both have decent campsites that we can use. We will also cross the Equator and stop for the mandatory photos en route!

In Lake Bunyonyi we stay in a well equipped campsite on the lakeside and have a full day to enjoy the surroundings.

Estimated Drive Times - 7-8 hours each day.

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Day 80: Ruhengeri & Volcanoes National Park

Border Information: Exit Uganda at Katuna, enter Rwanda at Gatuna.

Leaving Uganda behind, we cross the border into the stunning country of Rwanda.

We will travel to the capital city of Kigali, where we will have an included visit to the incredibly moving Genocide Memorial, followed by a short drive to Ruhengeri.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours

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Day 81-82: Ruhengeri & Volcanoes National Park

Today we will drive the short distance to Ruhengeri (also known as Musanze), the gateway to the Volcanoes National Park, where we will spend the next 2 nights. Today we will have time for optional activities such as visiting the Golden Monkeys.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours.

On the following day, we will go on what is undoubtedly the highlight of the trip - trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas in their natural forest habitat. 

This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than 8 people per day can visit any one habituated family, and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals. 

Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid; however, the sheer thrill of coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk at least 4 hours - uphill and downhill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself! Once you find them, you will stay with the gorillas for one unforgettable hour!

When visiting the gorillas you will be assigned a trekking group and time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day.

In Ruhengeri we will stay in dorms at a local church mission, or camp in their grounds.

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Day 83: Kampala

Border Information: Exit Rwanda at Gatuna, enter Uganda at Katuna.

Today we have a full day's drive into Uganda and on to Kampala, where we will have a nightstop in a well equipped campsite in the southern suburbs of the city. There will be a free evening to eat out in the city or at the campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

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Day 84-85: Murchison Falls National Park

Today we will drive to the fabulous Murchision Falls National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours (to the campsite).

On the next day, we will head out early in the truck for a included morning of game driving around the northern area of the National Park - we will take a local vehicle barge to get over the Nile and pick up a ranger to show us around in search of wildlife!

We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then embark on an included launch cruise on the Nile to spot wildlife from the water and to see the spectacularly-powerful Murchison Falls.

In Murchison Falls National Park we will stay in a well equipped campsite at Paraa on the southern banks of the River Nile in the heart of the park.

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Day 86: Kaniyo Pabidi

Today we continue to Kaniyo Pabidi in the Budongo Forest, in the southern part of the Murchison Falls National Park. Here we will head out for our included chimpanzee tracking walk in the afternoon!

Please note that for conservation reasons the maximum group size to track the chimpanzees is 12 people, so if we have a large group we will split in half, one half going on the walk this afternoon and the other half going tomorrow morning.

In Kaniyo Pabidi we will stay in basic dorm rooms in a small lodge in the Budongo Forest.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

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Day 87: Nakitoma

Today we continue our journey south to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary close to the town of Nakitoma. Here we will have the chance to track rhinos on foot with a local ranger!

In Nakitoma we will stay in a well equipped hostel within the Rhino Sanctuary.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours.

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Day 88: Jinja

We have some time in the morning for an optional activity of either rhino tracking or to try and catch a glimpse of the curious shoebills that inhabit the area. Afterwards we will drive to Jinja, where we can enjoy a night relaxing at the same campsite as earlier in the trip with a stunning view of the Nile.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

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Day 89: Eldoret

Border Information: Exit Uganda at Malaba, enter Kenya at Malaba.

Today we travel back into Kenya and visit the town of Eldoret, where we will stay in an excellent campsite at Naiberi River just outside of town. There will be the possibility of an Indian buffet meal at our campsite tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

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Day 90: Naivasha

We have a morning drive to our camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha. This is our base for exploring the Crater Lake Game Reserve and Hell's Gate National Park, two of the best places in East Africa to view game on foot. We include a walking safari to stretch our legs at the end of this amazing trip - alternatively you can opt for a more relaxing afternoon by the lake.

In Naivasha we will stay at a well equipped campsite on the lakeside.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

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Day 91: Nairobi

In the morning there will be time for other optional activities in Naivasha such as a biking, horse riding, boat trips or a visit to the Joy Adamson Born Free Foundation. After lunch we will make our way back to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where we will stay again in our well equipped campsite situated in the suburb of Karen.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

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Day 92: Maasai Mara National Reserve

Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).

Welcome to Nairobi! If you would like to explore Nairobi fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier to give yourself the time to see some of the highlights in the city - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.

There will be a group meeting today at our joining hotel at 10:00am - your tour leader will meet you at the hotel reception. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.

After the group meeting, we will be met by our 6-person 4x4 jeeps that will take us on our 2-night excursion to the Maasai Mara. We will load the jeeps with our personal gear (but we will not need our camping equipment) and then head off to Maasai Mara, leaving our truck behind.

We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location in Nairobi), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 3 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle, books and personal snacks, etc.

On arrival, we will have the chance for a short evening game drive in the Maasai Mara National Park before heading to our campsite. The Maasai Mara is an incredibly scenic area and is one of the world's greatest places for wildlife spotting which is absolutely teeming with giraffe, buffalo, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, and other big game!

On both nights at the Maasai Mara, we will stay in a basic campground on the outskirts of the National Park. The campsite has set-tents and bedding, but is self-catered (we will use our kitchen equipment brought from the truck).

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Day 93: Maasai Mara National Reserve

Today we will go out for the full day game driving in the National Park before returning to our campsite for a second night. There is also the opportunity for a sunset balloon flight over the savannah - demand for this activity is very high so you must reserve this at the time of booking your Dragoman trip to avoid disappointment.

Tonight we will stay at the same campsite on the outskirts of the Maasai Mara.

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Day 94: Nairobi

Today we will have a final game drive in the Maasai Mara in the early morning, before heading back to Nairobi and our campsite in Karen, arriving at about 4:00pm or 5:00pm. This is where we will meet our overland truck and start using the truck's camping equipment.

In Nairobi we will stay in a well equipped campsite in the suburb of Karen on the outskirts of the city.

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Day 95: Arusha

Border Information: Exit Kenya at Namanga, enter Tanzania at Namanga.

We will have an early start to beat the Nairobi traffic and head south to cross the border into Tanzania. We will go to the town of Arusha, where we will stop for food shopping in preparation for our excursion to the Serengeti National Park. 

We will then head to our campsite on the outskirts of Arusha. On arrival we should have time to go on an optional walk to a nearby Maasai village, or visit a reptile house and snake-bite clinic that are run by the campsite. We will also prepare and re-pack for the Serengeti excursion starting the following day.

In Arusha we stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

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Day 96: Serengeti National Park

Today we will be met at the campsite by our fleet of 6-person 4x4 jeeps - we will load the jeeps with our camping and personal gear, and then head out for our 3-day excursion to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.

Today will be a full drive along the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater (stopping to take in the awe-inspiring views) and then down into the plains of the Serengeti. We will take an evening game drive around the savanna before heading to our campsite - the area is one of the world's premier spot for wildlife viewing and we hope to able to find elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe and other big game during our time here!

Tonight we will stay at a campsite within the Serengeti National Park. The camp where we stay is very basic (with showers and flush toilets, but no other facilities) but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and their nocturnal noises! Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.

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Day 97: Ngorongoro Crater

Today we will get up very early and we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive in the heart of the Serengeti plains. The early morning is the best time of day for wildlife viewing, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool.

There is an option this morning for to take a hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti instead of the game drive - demand is high for this activity, so this must be pre-booked at the time that you book your trip with Dragoman.

We will return to our campsite for brunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti at around lunch time. We will head back through the conservation area to our second campsite, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, where we will arrive in the early evening.

Again, the campsite tonight is very basic and unfenced. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take some warm clothes for this night.

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Day 98: Mto Wa Mbu

This morning we will have another early start to descend into the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater for a morning game drive. Again, the Ngorongoro Crater is an outstanding area for wildlife spotting, often described as a 'natural wildlife enclosure'. This is the best chance on the excursion to spot black rhinos as well as a myriad of other big game.

We will spend as long as our entry tickets allow in the Ngorongoro Crater before departing, which will usually give us about 3-4 hours of game driving. We will then be dropped off at our next campsite in the small town of Mto Wa Mbu, where we are re-united with our truck.

We will have a well-deserved free afternoon to relax at our excellent campsite or to explore the town of Mto Wa Mbu.

In Mto Wa Mbu we will stay at a well equipped campsite in the grounds of a good hotel.

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Day 99: Mto Wa Mbu

This morning we will go on a fantastic community walk around the town where we will see local craft workshops, learn a little about the life here, and enjoy a lunch of delicious specialities from the area.

We will set off again in our overland truck and head east to Marangu, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. We will go past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro where we'll hope for clear skies and fantastic views of the mountain from the road. 

In Marangu we will camp in the grounds of a hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

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Day 100: Dar Es Salaam

Today we have a long travel day south to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city on the coast of the Indian Ocean. 

In Dar es Salaam we stay at a beautiful and well-equipped beach camp on the southern side of the bay across from the city.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

Please note that if the group and leader prefer to split this drive into 2 days, we may spend this night in Lushoto in the Usambara Mountains (approximately half way to Dar es Salaam), where we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel. We would then complete the drive to Dar es Salaam the next morning.

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Day 101: Dar Es Salaam

Today is a free day to explore Dar es Salaam or relax at the beach campsite. 

If we stayed in Lushoto last night, we will complete the drive to Dar es Salaam today. 

Please note that, as of tonight, this trip overlaps with our "YDF - Zanzibar to Victoria Falls" trip, so you may have other customers joining your existing group once you arrive in Zanzibar. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not do our Zanzibar itinerary twice!

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Day 102: Zanzibar

This morning we will head to the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar! We will travel on the local commuter barge from Kigamboni to the city centre of Dar es Salaam, and then take a ferry from Dar es Salaam centre to Zanzibar. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

When we reach Zanzibar we will meet our local guide, who will help us check in to our hotel in Stone Town and then give a quick orientation of the town before we branch off and head to lunch! We will have a free afternoon to explore the atmospheric streets of the historic centre of Stone Town, with the option of meeting for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.

In Stone Town we will stay in a good local hotel.

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Day 103-104: Zanzibar

On our second day on Zanzibar we will join our local guide for a very interesting and informative tour around the sights of Stone Town and learn about the history of the island. We will then head away from town and take in a tour of a spice plantation, enjoy a local lunch with our guide, then head to Nungwi beach at the very north of the island. Nungwi is the Indian Ocean at its best - bright white sand, sparkling blue sea, outstanding seafood and a fantastic chilled atmosphere. 

On our third day on Zanzibar, we will have free time to enjoy Nungwi beach and relax, or to try snorkeling, diving, or other beach activities, or maybe go further afield looking for Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozani Forest.

In Nungwi we will spend both nights in a good hotel right on the shore of the ocean.

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Day 105: Zanzibar

Border infromation: If leaving at Zanzibar, you will most likely exit Tanzania from Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (IATA code: ZNZ), however some customers prefer to return to Dar es Salaam and then exit from Dar Es Salaam Julius Nyerere International Airport (IATA code: DAR).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Zanzibar. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Take a guided tour of the incredible Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and see it's overwhelming collection of antiquities including the contents of Tutankhamun's tomb
    • Visit the site of Dashur, with the fascinating Red and Bent Pyramids built by the 4th Dynasty Pharoah Sneferu - includes entrance to the interior of the Red Pyramid
    • See the world-famous statue of the mythical Sphinx in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza
    • Explore the world-famous site of the Great Pyramids of Giza, the tombs of three Pharoahs of the 4th Dynasty, and the oldest and only remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
    • Visit the ancient 3rd Dynasty necropolis of Saqqara, including Djoser's Step Pyramid, the oldest complete stone building ever built in the world
    • Explore the remains of Memphis, the old capital of Lower Egypt
    • See the famous and influential Suez Canal near Port Said
    • Visit the ancient Coptic Monastery of St. Anthony in Egypt's Eastern Deserts
    • Explore the Ottoman Fort at El Quseir
    • Take a guided tour of the monumental Temple of Karnak, built over approximately 1700 years between the Middle Kingdom and the Ptolomaic era
    • See the remarkably well-preserved painted murals in the Temple of Hathor in Dendara
    • Explore the phenomenal royal tombs at the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of the Nile
    • Visit the impressive Temple of Hatshepsut, built to honour one of Egypt's most influential Pharoahs
    • Take a guided tour of the Ptolomaic-era Temple of Horus at Edfu, considered to be the best preserved temple in Egypt
    • Discover the River Nile by boat on an afternoon and overnight felucca trip
    • Visit the awe-inspiring world-famous Temple of Ramses II and Temple of Nefertari in Abu Simbel
    • Visit to the Kushite temples and climb to the summit of the distinctive Jebel Barkal mountain
    • Visit the pre-Kushite Temple of Deffufa, a 5,500 year old Nubian archaeological site built by the Kerma civilisation
    • Explore the ancient Kushite Royal Pyramids at Nuri, near Karima
    • Cross the Nile and explore the remote Kushite Temple of Soleb
    • Explore the ancient Kushite temples of Naqa and Musawwarat
    • Explore the other-worldly pyramids at Meroe, the late capital of the Kushite civilisation
    • Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic monastery on the island
    • Head out on various walks through the forests, moors, and mountains of the beautiful Bale Mountains National Park
    • Head up to the incredible Sanetti Plateau on a day trip with our overland truck, stopping to explore the area on foot and search for Ethiopian Wolves
    • Relax in the hot springs at Wendo Genet
    • Visit the Dragoman-supported Awassa Children's Project, a home for orphaned children from the area
    • Journey through the remote Omo Valley, visiting several tribal communities along the way (possibly including the Hamer, Banna, Mursi, Ari, Konso or Danesesch tribes)
    • Visit and stay at the Samburu tribal community and cultural project, learning all about the culture of the Samburu people
    • Head out for a wildlife safari in our overland truck through the Samburu National Reserve, in search of local wildlife including gerenuk and Grevy's zebra
    • Take a safari in 4x4 vans in the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park
    • Visit the Elsamere Born Free Foundation at the former house of the conservationists Joy and George Adamson
    • Take a safari in 4x4 vans in the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park
    • Trek in the forests of Rwanda's Volcanos National Park in search of the mighty mountain gorillas - an unforgettable experience!
    • Learn all about the tragic 1994 Rwanda genocide at the extremely moving Genocide Memorial in Kigali
    • Trek in the forests of Rwanda's Volcanos National Park in search of the mighty mountain gorillas - an unforgettable experience!
    • Launch cruise on the River Nile to the mighty Murchison Falls
    • Head out game driving in our overland truck in Murchison Falls National Park
    • Trek on foot in the Budongo Forest in search of habituated chimpanzees
    • Walking safari in the wildlife-rich Crater Lake Game Sanctuary
    • Head out on a phenomenal 2-night/3-day safari in 4x4s into the Maasai Mara - one of the best areas in Africa for wildlife and scenery
    • Head on an unforgettable 3-day/2-night safari in 4x4s into the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater National Reserves - two of the world's most incredible areas for wildlife spotting
    • Learn all about the locals' way of life on a village walk with the Mto Wa Mbu village community project
    • Take the public ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar  
    • Explore the beautiful and historic streets of Zanzibar's Stone Town
    • Take a guided tour of Zanzibar's historical sites, markets, and the spice plantations
    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew members with local guides where necessary. In Sudan you will be accompanied on the truck by a local facilitator In the Omo Valley in Ethiopia you also be accompanied on the truck by a local guide. South of Nairobi you will have 3 crew members including an African camp master
    Accomodation
    • 55% Camping - 45% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • History & Culture