Cape Town to Zanzibar

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. Travelling from the beaches of Zanzibar to the iconic South African city of Cape Town, you will get an incredible insight into the life of rural Africa together with plenty of opportunity for adventure! Starting on the tropical island of Zanzibar, where we explore the stunning old town, take a tour of the spice plantations, and relax on some of the Indian Ocean's finest beaches, we'll then travel through the remote areas of southern Tanzania and into the small friendly country of Malawi, visiting bustling markets and relaxing on the stunning shores of Lake Malawi. We then head into Zambia and explore the Zambezi river by kayak, a truly unique way to view wildlife and a fantastic highlight of southern Africa away from the other tourists! We will then head out on safari in one of Africa's best-kept secrets, the wildlife-packed South Luangwa National Park, before moving on to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe's adrenaline hotspot and home to Africa's mightiest waterfall! We then head south into Zimbabwe to the fantastic Hwange and Matobo National Parks, where we head out on foot in search of rhinos. We will then explore the stunning Okavango Delta in Botswana, and cross the edges of the Kalahari Desert. You'll then enjoy the unbelievable scenery of Namibia, including its phenomenal Fish River Canyon and incredible sand dunes at Sesriem, before heading down the Western Cape of South Africa and arriving in the iconic city of Cape Town at the continent's southern tip. An incredible and truly memorable trip!

Duration: 42 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Safari Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158205
Starts: Cape Town, South Africa Finishes: Zanzibar, Tanzania
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



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.


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!).


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. 


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


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.


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)


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


Day 24: Victoria Falls

Border Information: If leaving the trip in Victoria Falls, you will likely depart Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls International Airport.


Day 25: 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 (IATA code: VFA).

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 (usually 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.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Victoria Falls 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 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 upgrades available here - please talk to your leader at the initial meeting to check availability.


Day 26: 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 - 1-2 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!).


Day 27: Lower Zambezi Area

Today we have a full day drive across southern Zambia to our well equipped 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 when we arrive.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.


Day 28-29: 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!


Day 30: 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.

At the Luangwa River we will stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.


Day 31-32: 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 - 9-10 hours.

On the following 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 National Park we will stay in a well-equipped campsite.


Day 33: 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.


Day 34-35: 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 following day we will have a free day on Kande beach to relax or to get involved in some of the optional 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.


Day 36: Chitimba

Today we continue north along the coast of Lake Malawi to Chitimba, an equally beautiful campsite on the shore of the lake. If we arrive in good time, we may have to chance for a short village walk or a woodcarving lesson!

In Chitimba we will stay in a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.


Day 37: 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 - 11-12 hours.


Day 38: Mikumi

Today we will continue our journey north to our well equipped campsite in the small village of Mikumi.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.


Day 39: Dar Es Salaam

Today we will aim to have an early start in order to pass through the Mikumi National Park en route at the best time of day to try to spot any animals - the main road passes through the National Park so we can take it slowly and look out for wildlife en route.

The rest of the day will be spent driving to Dar es Salaam - we will have to pass through the city (which is often highly congested) before reaching our beautiful and well-equipped beach camp on the southern side of the bay across from the city.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

Please note that, as of tonight, this trip overlaps with our "YND - Zanzibar to Nairobi" 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!


Day 40: 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.


Day 41-42: 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.


Day 43: 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.

    • Visit to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, the largest waterfalls in Africa
    • Head out on a 2-day/2-night canoe wildlife safari in the Lower Zambezi area
    • Head out 4x4 game drives through the wildlife-packed South Luangwa National Park
    • Explore the beautiful and historic streets of Zanzibar's Stone Town
    • Take the public ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar  
    • Take a guided tour of Zanzibar's historical sites, markets, and the spice plantations
    Tour Staff
    • 3 crew members including an African camp master
    • 88% Camping - 12% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
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