This trip links the plains, wildlife and tribal lands of East Africa with the bushlands and high veldts of Southern Africa. It is an iconic journey that allows us to explore Amboseli, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in Kenya and Tanzania as well as searching for the big game of South Luangwa national park in Zambia. Then for sheer natural wilderness and wildlife, this trip takes in the beauty of the Lower Zambezi area which we explore by canoe.
If its beaches and relaxation you’re after we also visit both the white sands of Zanzibar and the stunning beaches of Lake Malawi. Then there is the greatest highlight of them all, the incomparable Victoria Falls, which cannot fail to impress both the spectator and the adventurer, with white water rafting, bungee jumping and gorge swinging to name but a few of the activities here.
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 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 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.
Border information: Exit Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls, enter Zambia at Victoria Falls.
Today we start our 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!).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today we will continue our journey north to our well equipped campsite in the small village of Mikumi.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.
Border Information: If joining at Zanzibar, you will most likely enter Tanzania from Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (IATA code: ZNZ).
There will be an informal meet-and-greet and orientation of Stone Town with our local Zanzibar guide at 6:00pm - please meet at the reception of the joining hotel at this time if you wish to take part in this orientation. Please note that you will not usually meet your regular crew tonight, as they will be arriving in Dar es Salaam this evening and will travel to Zanzibar with members of their previous group tomorrow.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Zanzibar 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 Zanzibar.
In Stone Town we will stay in a good local hotel.
Please note that the first 4 days of this trip overlap with our "YDF - Victoria Falls to Zanzibar" trip, so some of the group that come to Zanzibar will leave before we take the ferry to Dar es Salaam. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not follow our Zanzibar itinerary twice!
Today will be a free day to explore Stone Town, the atmospheric old town on the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar!
Your crew will arrive on Zanzibar this afternoon, and there will be an important meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - there will then be the option going for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.
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.
Today we will return to Stone Town and then take a ferry from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, before travelling on the local commuter barge from the city centre to the suburb of Kigamboni. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax at the campsite.
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.
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 to Lushoto, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.
In Lushoto we will camp in the grounds of a hotel.
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!).
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.
In Arusha we will stay in a well equipped campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Today we will be met 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 4-day excursion to the Tarangire National Park, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.
We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location), 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 4 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.
We will have a safety talk with our safari guides and then on to a day drive within Tarangire National Park followed by a treetop walkway in the afternoon. You should have many oportunities for photographs so remember your cameras!
Once we make it into our camp site we will have our evening meal before the opportunity for a night game drive to Lake Manyara.
This morning we will make our way 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 spots 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.
The next morning 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 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 booked your trip with us.
We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti early afternoon. We will head back through the conservation area to our next 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.
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 campsite back in Arusha, where we are re-united with our truck.
We will have a well-deserved free afternoon to relax at our excellent campsite or to do some of the optional activites on offer here.
Border Information: Exit Tanzania at Namanga, enter Kenya at Namanga.
Today we will head to Amboseli National Park. Here you can experience the iconic view of the African plain with Mount Kilimanjaro standing majestically in the background. We will drive through the park in our truck keeping a keen eye out for all of the animals we will pass.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Welcome to Nairobi, the final stop on our trip!
You will have time to explore Nairobi fully - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Your tour leader will let you know some of our reccommendations however you are more than welcome to move through the city independently for the day!
Border Information - if you are leaving the trip here, you will most likely exit Kenya from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
Today is the final day for passengers finishing their trip in Nairobi.
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Trip Name: East Africa & the Zambezi
Duration: 28 Days
From Price: $2,640
Supplier Tour ID: ANF2/158195
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