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Cape Town to Nairobi

Overlanding is the only way to see East and Southern Africa! Dragoman have been leading the way in African overland expeditions since 1981, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. This is the ideal trip for travellers wanting an in-depth safari experience that includes some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in East and Southern Africa, a journey through some of the world's most incredible scenery, together with time out to relax on some of the world's best beaches. On this trip you will head out on safari in East Africa's great game parks such as the Serengeti, Maasai Mara, South Luangwa and Etosha, as well as tracking rhinos on foot in Zimbabwe!! You'll paddle canoes on the Lower Zambezi and mokoros through Botswana's Okavango Delta, see the mighty Victoria Falls, and get to relax on the stunning beaches of Zanzibar and Lake Malawi. You'll enjoy the unbelievable scenery of Namibia, including its phenomenal Fish River Canyon and incredible sand dunes at Sesriem. And you'll have the chance to get the adrenaline pumping in Uganda's Jinja, Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls and on the Skeleton Coast at Swakopmund with a plethora of optional outdoor activities. An amazing adventure taking in some of the best that East and Southern Africa has to offer - join us for this wonderful African journey!


Duration: 51 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Safari Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158197
Starts: Cape Town, South Africa Finishes: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
You will visit
  • Cape Town
  • Citrusdal
  • Noordoewer
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Sesriem & Soussusvlei
  • Namib Desert
  • Swakopmund
  • Cape Cross
  • Spitzkoppe
  • Etosha National Park
  • Windhoek
  • D'Kar
  • Maun
  • Okavango Delta
  • Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Bulawayo
  • Matobo National Park
  • Hwange National Park
  • Victoria Falls
  • Livingstone
  • Lower Zambezi Area
  • Luangwa River
  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Lilongwe
  • Kande
  • Chitimba
  • Iringa
  • Mikumi
  • Dar Es Salaam
  • Zanzibar
  • Marangu
  • Arusha
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Mto Wa Mbu
  • Nairobi
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cape Town

Border Information: Welcome to the charming and beautiful city of Cape Town, home to the stunning Table Mountain. You will likely enter South Africa at Cape Town International Airport.

There will be a group meeting today at 10:00am. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.

The rest of the day will be free to explore the city. There is the option tonight of joining the group for dinner.

We stay in a hotel situated in Cape Town's popular, lively and vibrant Kloof Street with a large variety of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and bars all within walking distance.

Please note that many of the optional activities listed below will only be possible if you have extra time in Cape Town before the start of the trip.

02

Day 2: Citrusdal

This morning you have time to relax and explore Cape Town.

In the afternoon our journey begins up the Western Cape to the wine region of Citrusdal. In the evening we will have the option for some wine tasting!

Tonight we stay in a well equipped camp site.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours (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!).

03

Day 3: Noordoewer

Border Information: Exit South Africa at Noordoewer, enter Namibia at Noordoewer.

Today we pass through Namaqualand to arrive at Noordoewer, next to the scenic banks of the Gariep (Orange) River - the natural border between Namibia and South Africa.

Tonight we stay in a well equipped campsite on the Nambian side of the river.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours. 

04

Day 4: Noordoewer

This morning there is a chance for an optional canoe adventure on the beautiful Orange River, before we head west into the desert lands of Namibia towards the dramatic secnery of the Fish River Canyon. Here we will have a good amount of time for exploration and taking in the beautiful sunset over the canyon. 

Tonight we camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours

05

Day 5: Sesriem & Soussusvlei

Today we have a full day drive to Sesreim, our base for exploring the the fabled sand dunes of Namibia. En route we will detour to the town of Keetmanshoop for food shopping. 

Tonight we will stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

06

Day 6: Sesriem & Soussusvlei

Today we have an early morning start to climb to the top of the famous Dune 45 for a dramatic and incredible sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. We will also have chance to explore the otherworldy landscape of the Dead Vlei.

We will then drive a short distance to the deserts at Solitaire, where we will take an included short walking tour to learn all about the ecosystem of the desert.

We will camp at a basic campsite in Solitaire.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours (not including the Dune 45 excursion)

07

Day 7-8: Swakopmund

Today we will continue to the old German colonial town of Swakopmund, where we will have 2 nights to explore the town and enjoy some of the many optional adventure activities on offer.

In Swakopmund we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

08

Day 9: Cape Cross

Today we will drive east to the stunning mountains of Spitzkoppe. This remote region has breathtaking sunsets and sunrises as the colour of the landscape takes on remarkable oranges and reds.

We will also have an included visit to Cape Cross en route to Spitzkoppe, to experience the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shore.

Tonight will be a bushcamp with very limited facilities. 

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours

09

Day 10-11: Etosha National Park

Today we will drive north to Etosha National Park. Etosha is one of the world's most pre-eminent wildlife areas with good chance to see the 'Big Five'. We will stay in the park for two nights giving us plenty of opportunity for game drives in our truck! 

We will camp in the park at the well equipped campsite called Okaukuejo, a particularly spectacular camp as it overlooks a floodlit waterhole visited by many different species throughout the day and night.

Drive time (Spitzkoppe to Etosha) - 6 hours.

10

Day 12: Windhoek

Today is a full drive day as we make our way to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.

Tonight we will stay at a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours

11

Day 13: D'Kar

Border Information: Exit Namibia at Buitepos, enter Botswana at Manumo.

Today we will drive into Botswana to the village D'kar in the district of Ghanzi. In the evening we have an included visit to the Dq e Qare Game Reserve, a community based tourism project of the San from D'Kar village, where we will go on a bush walk to learn all about the lives and culture of the San.

Tonight we will camp at a well equipped camp site at the Dq e Qare Game Reserve.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

12

Day 14: Maun

Today we will drive to Maun, where we will prepare for our 2-day/1-night excursion to the Okavango Delta.

Tonight we we stay in a well equipped campsite. 

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

 

13

Day 15-16: Okavango Delta

This morning we will set off to join the mokoros (pole-driven canoes) for our 2-day/1-night excursion to the Okavango Delta. The Delta is one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems. We will explore the incredible scenery in our small dugout styled canoes and enjoy some walks on the islands in the delta looking for wildlife.

We will bushcamp on our night on the Delta, and then return to our campsite in Maun on the afternoon of the second day, where there will be the time for optional scenic flights over the Delta.

14

Day 17: Makgadikgadi Pans

Today we travel to the awesome Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the largest salt pans in the world. This afternoon we will have the time for optional excursions into the Makgadikgadi Pans to see the incredible scenery and go in search of meerkats!

We camp tonight at the intriguingly named "Planet Baobab", a very well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

15

Day 18: Bulawayo

Border Information: Exit Botswana at Ramokgwebana, enter Zimbabwe at Plumtree.

Today we have a long drive day across the border into Zimbabwe and the city of Bulawayo.

In Bulawayo we will stay in a campground with shared facilities, where some upgrades are available.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours

This day may be used flexibly if the group would rather spend more time in the Makgadikgadi Pans.

16

Day 19-20: Bulawayo

We will spend 2 days in Bulawayo.

On the first day we will have an included day trip to explore the Mataobo National Park, home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros. We have an incredible safari to track them on foot, and also have the chance to visit the grave of Cecil Rhodes and learn all about Zimbabwe's past. 

On the second day we will have free time to explore the city of Bulawayo or take a tour of some of the surrounding historical sites.

17

Day 21: Hwange National Park

After breakfast we head towards Hwange National Park, stopping en route to visit the Painted Dog Conservation Group for an insight into the plight of the African Wild Dog. We will take an included afternoon game drive in local safari trucks through Hwange National Park.

Tonight we will camp in the National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours

18

Day 22-23: Hwange National Park

This morning we will head out on an early morning game drive within Hwange National Park, then we will travel to the town of Victoria Falls.

This afternoon we will have an included visit to the main viewpoints over the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.

Our second day in Victoria Falls is a free day to allow you to participate in some of the many optional activities on offer. There are various activities and excursions to choose from, including white water rafting and canoeing, horse riding, abseiling or gorge swinging!

Our camp ground is centrally located on the Zambezi River only four kilometres from the Falls, the perfect place to use as a base for the vast array of adventure activities on offer in the area.  Please note that no meals are included in Victoria Falls.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours

19

Day 24: Victoria Falls

Border Information: Welcome to Victoria Falls and the largest waterfalls in Africa! If joining the trip in Victoria Falls, you will most likely enter Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls Airport.

There will be a group meeting at 10:00am at the Victoria Falls Rest Camp. Your leader will leave a note on the reception with the details of this important meeting - when you arrive you will easily spot the Dragoman truck as well (to the right-hand-side of the reception), where you'll be able to meet one of our crew.

This afternoon we will have an included visit to the main viewpoints over the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.

If you would like to take advantage of the vast array of adventure activities on offer in the area, we advise that you arrive a day earlier than the meeting to give yourself enough time to do so. Please note that no meals are included in Victoria Falls.

In Victoria Falls we will stay at a well equipped campsite - accommodation from the very first day will be in the Dragoman tents, but there are often cabins, set-tents and other upgrages available here - please talk to your leader at the initial meeting to check availibility.

20

Day 25: Livingstone

Border information: Exit Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls, enter Zambia at Victoria Falls.

Today we start out journey with a short drive over the border into Zambia! We will head to the town of Livingstone, on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.

In Livingstone we will stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours (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!).

21

Day 26: Lower Zambezi Area

Today we have a full day drive across southern Zambia to our campsite on the banks of the Lower Zambezi.

Tonight we will meet our guides who will take us on our two-day canoeing expedition on the Lower Zambezi on the following day. They will give us a full briefing about the canoeing trip tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours.

22

Day 27-28: Lower Zambezi Area

Today we head out on our 2-day/2-night canoeing trip on the Lower Zambezi river. This is a fully participatory expedition - everyone will pair up, go out in 2-person canoes and paddle themselves, following the lead boat! Everyone also gets involved in setting up the camps and cooking.

All of our gear will be carried in a supply canoe, and wild camps are erected on islands in the river along the way.

This is a fantastic way to see the river, the scenery and some of the wildlife in the area!

23

Day 29: Luangwa River

After breakfast, we have an early morning transfer from our second island wild camp on a fast barge back to the truck, and then continue our journey to the Bridge over the River Luangwa. 

Tonight we stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

24

Day 30-31: South Luangwa National Park

Today our journey continues to the stunning South Luangwa National Park, where we will stay for 2 nights.

If we make good enough time on the drive to the campsite, then there may be opportunity for an optional extra game drive upon arrival tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours.

On the next day, we will have an included early morning game drive and an included evening game drive, both in open-sided safari vehicles. South Luangwa National Park is a hidden gem on the safari circuit; it is rarely visited due to its remote setting, but has some incredible populations of wildlife and is one of the only parks in Southern Africa that is open for night driving with spotlights when many of the big game is at its most active.

In South Luangwa we stay in a well-equipped campsite.

25

Day 32: Lilongwe

Border information: Exit Zambia at Mchinji, enter Malawi at Mchinji.

Today we will cross the border into Malawi and head to the capital Lilongwe. Hopefully we will arrive by mid-afternoon so that we have the chance to explore the city, its markets and its shops.

In Lilongwe we will camp in a well-equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

26

Day 33-34: Kande

Today we will travel from Lilongwe to Kande beach on the western shore of Lake Malawi.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

On the next day, we have a free day on Kande beach to relax or to get involved in some of the activities available here - there are watersports on the lake, horse riding through the forests and on the beaches, and village walks to see a little bit of the life of the local Tonga people.

In Kande we will stay in a well-equipped campsite.

27

Day 35: Chitimba

Today we continue north along the coast of Lake Malawi to Chitimba, an equally beautiful campsite only 120kms away from the Tanzanian border. If we arrive in good time, we may have to chance for a short village walk or a woodcarving lesson!

In Chitimba we stay in a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours.

28

Day 36: Iringa

Border Information: Exit Malawi at Songwe, enter Tanzania at Songwe.

Today is a long travel day as we enter Tanzania and drive through its southern highlands.

We will stay in a well-equipped campsite on a working ranch 52kms south of the town of Iringa.

Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours.

29

Day 37: Iringa

Today we will head to Iringa town to visit the Neema Crafts Centre, a crafts workshop that gives local disabled people a wonderful opportunity for training and employment, where we can take a tour of the workshop and have a chance to purchase some the crafts! If we have time we will also try to visit the interesting Stone Age site of Isimila nearby. 

We will then continue on to our well equipped campsite in the small village of Mikumi, where we will stay the night.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours (depending on the length of our visits to sites near Iringa en route)

30

Day 38: Dar Es Salaam

Border Information: if you are joining the trip in Dar es Salaam, you will most like enter Tanzania at Dar es Salaam Julius Nyerere International Airport.

There will be an important group meeting today at 6:00pm. If you arrive before that, then you will have a free day to relax at the beach, explore the city centre, or enjoy some activities from the campsite (our truck and leader may not arrive until the afternoon, so please ask the reception about storing your equipment if you wish to go out for the day). Your tour leader will meet you at the campsite reception at 6:00pm for this important meeting.

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.

Please note that the first 4 days of this trip overlap with our "YDF - Victoria Falls to Dar es Salaam" trip, so some of the group that come to Zanzibar will leave when the trip returns to Dar es Salaam. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not go to Zanzibar twice!

31

Day 39: 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 is quite comfortable with airline type seats, and 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.

32

Day 40-41: 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 Jozano Forest.

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

33

Day 42: Dar Es Salaam

Today we will return to Stone Town and take the return ferry to Dar es Salaam, where we return to our campsite on the south side of the bay. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax at the campsite.

34

Day 43: Marangu

Today we join our overland truck and set off early to beat the morning trafiic in Dar es Salaam. We have a full day's drive day to Marangu, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. We should have good views of the mountain on the drive in (if it is not covered in cloud!).

Tonight we will camp in the grounds of a hotel. 

Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours (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!).

35

Day 44: Arusha

After breakfast we head west to the town of Arusha, where we will stop for food shopping in preparation for our excursion to the Serengeti National Park. On the drive to Arusha we will go past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro where we'll hope for clear skies and fantastic views from the road.

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.

Tonight we stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

36

Day 45: 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 Ngoronogoro 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 savannah 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.

37

Day 46: Serengeti National Park

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.

38

Day 47: Ngorongoro Crater

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. Here 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 then head back to our camp for a relaxing evening at the campsite!

Tonight we stay at a well equipped campsite in the grounds of a good hotel.

39

Day 48: Nairobi

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

Today we will set off again in our overland truck and head over the Kenyan border and on to the capital of Nairobi. Here we will prepare and re-pack for our Maasai Mara excursion the following day.

Tonight we stay in a well equipped campsite in the suburb of Karen on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

40

Day 49-50: Maasai Mara National Reserve

This morning we will be met at the campsite 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.

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 the next day, 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.

On both nights 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).

41

Day 51: Maasai Mara National Reserve

Border Information - if you are leaving the trip here, you will most likely exit Kenya from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

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.

Please note that there is no accommodation included on the trip, but it should be very easy for your tour leader to arrange for you to stay in the campsite in Karen for the night. Please do not book flights out of Nariobi before 8:00pm for tonight, to allow plenty of time to get back from the Maasai Mara. 

Inclusions:
    Activities
      Tour Staff
      • 3 crew including a local African campmaster
      Accomodation
      • 90% Camping - 10% Hotels
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