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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

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cape Town

Border Information: If joining in Cape Town, you will most likely enter South Africa at Cape Town International Airport (IATA code: CPT).

There will be a group meeting today at 18:00. 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.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cape Town 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 Cape Town.

In Cape Town we will stay in a hotel in the popular, lively and vibrant Kloof Street with a large variety of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and bars all within walking distance.

02

Day 2: Citrusdal

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!

Near Citrusdal we will stay in a well equipped camp site.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 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.

In Noordoewer we will stay in a well equipped campsite on the Nambian side of the river.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. 

04

Day 4: Noordoewer

This morning if there is enough water in the river there is a chance for an optional canoe adventure on the 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 some time for exploration and taking in the beautiful sunset over the canyon. 

At Fish River Canyon we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

05

Day 5: Sesriem & Soussusvlei

Today we have a full day drive to Sesriem, 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: Namib Desert

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.

In Solitaire we will camp at a basic campsite.

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 Cabins near the town.

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.

In Spitzkoppe we will wild camp with very limited facilities. 

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

09

Day 10-11: Etosha National Park

Today we head north to the stunning Etosha National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Etosha is one of the world's most pre-eminent wildlife areas, and we have an excellent chance to spot some of Africa's most famous animals such as elephant, lion, giraffe, zebra, leopard, oryx, impala, and rhino!

We will stay in the park for 2 days, giving us plenty of opportunity for game drives in our truck in search of the animals here.

In Etosha National Park we will stay in a mixture of the campsites of Namutoni, Halali or Okaukuejo according to availability, all of which are superbly located within the National Park, have excellent facilities and are situated next to watering holes where many animals come for a drink at night.

 

10

Day 12: Grootfontein

Today we will turn east and head to the area north of the town of Grootfontein. This region is home to many of the San people, and we will visit a village community project here - we will go on a fascinating 'bushwalk', learning all about the survival skills, crafts and traditional life from our local San guides! After this, we will head to our campsite for the evening.

In Grootfontein we will stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours from leaving the gate of Etosha National Park.

11

Day 13: Shakawe

Border Information: Exit Namibia at Muhembo, enter Botswana at Muhembo.

Today we will drive through the narrow Zambezi region of Namibia (also known as the Caprivi Strip), and cross the border into northern Botswana, arriving at our campsite near the small village of Shakawe.

Tonight we will prepare for our visit to the Okavango Delta.

In Shakawe we will stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

12

Day 14-15: Okavango Delta

Today we have a short drive south to the village of Sepupa, where we leave our vehicle and board boats out over to Mokoba island.

Here we will meet our 'mokoro' team, who will take us out into the stunningly beautiful area of the Okavango Delta. We'll board the mokoros (which are small dugout-style canoes) and get poled out into the reed beds of the delta. Each canoe takes two people and is poled through the meandering waterways by a local guide. 

We'll be camping out on an island in the middle of a wilderness area (at a permanent campsite with facilities). Our second evening may be spent camping or on a househoat. All food will be provided by our local hosts.

 

13

Day 16-17: Makgadikgadi Pans

Today we travel to the Makgadikgadi Pans National park. 

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours

On day 17 we will have the time for optional excursions into the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, to see the incredible scenery and go in search of meerkats!

At the Makgadikgadi National Park we will camp at a well equipped campsite.

.

14

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 - 7 hours.

 

15

Day 19: Bulawayo

Today we will have an included day trip to explore the Matobo 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. 

 

16

Day 20: 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.

In Hwange National Park we will camp inside the park at their campsite near the entrance gates.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

17

Day 21: Hwange National Park

This morning we will head out on an early morning game drive within Hwange National Park.

Border Information: exit Zimbabwe at Kazangula, enter Botswana at Kazangula.

After our Game Drive in Hwange we head across the border into Botswana and the town of Kasane, the gateway to the beautiful Chobe National Park.

In Kasane we will stay in a well equipped campsite in the grounds of a safari lodge.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

18

Day 22: Chobe National Park

In the morning we will visit the park by taking an included boat trip down the Chobe river - the boat trip provides a fantastic opportunity to take some stunning wildlife photographs, getting extremely close to the animals without disturbing them.

In the afternoon we will drive back into Zimbabwe and to our well equipped camp site in Victoria Falls.

19

Day 23: Victoria Falls

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

Our well equipped campground is centrally located on the Zambezi River only 4 kilometres from the waterfalls, 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.

20

Day 24: Victoria Falls

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

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Victoria Falls. 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.

21

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.

22

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!).

23

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.

24

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!

25

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.

26

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.

27

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.

28

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.

29

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.

30

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.

31

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.

32

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!

33

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.

34

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.

35

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.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Time to explore and take in the jaw-dropping vistas at the Fish River Canyon
    • Explore the vast dunefields at Sossusvlei
    • Explore the other-worldly landscapes of the Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei salt pans
    • Visit the seal colony at Cape Cross
    • Time to explore in the stunning landscape of Spitzkoppe
    • Overland safari through Etosha National Park with excellent wildlife
    • Visit to the San Village project near Grootfontein
    • Head on an unforgettable 2-day/1-night guided safari deep into the Okavango Delta, including Mokoro trips and bushwalking safaris
    • Guided walking safari in search of White Rhino in Matobo National Park
    • Learn all about the colonial history of Southern Africa at a visit to the grave of Cecil Rhodes
    • Jeep safari in Hwange National Park
    • Visit to the Painted Dog Conservation project near Hwange
    • Visit to the incredible Victoria Falls
    • Visit to the incredible Victoria Falls
    • 2 night canoe wildlife safari in the Lower Zambezi area
    • Kawaza village visit, 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  
    • Guided tour of Spice Plantations and local lunch
    Tour Staff
    • 3 crew members including an African camp master
    Accomodation
    • 80% Camping - 20% Hotels
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