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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today we have free time for all of the amazing optional activities available in Swakopmund
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.
Today we head north to the stunning Etosha NP.
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 NP 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 NP, have excellent facilities and are situated next to watering holes where many animals come for a drink at night.
Today we will spend the day exploring Etosha on our truck
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.
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.
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. All food will be provided by our local hosts.
Today we will explore the island on foot, and then take the mokoros out to a different island for more game walks, lunch, and then mokoro back to camp. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to swim in a safe area of the delta and have a try at poling the canoes ourselves! We will stay overnight at a houseboat.
Today we travel to the Makgadikgadi Pans NP.
Today we will have the time for optional excursions into the Makgadikgadi Pans to see the incredible scenery and go in search of meerkats!
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.
Today we will have an included day trip to explore the Matobo NP, 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.
After breakfast we head towards Hwange NP, 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 NP.
This morning we will head out on an early morning game drive within Hwange NP.
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 NP.
In Kasane we will stay in a well equipped campsite in the grounds of a safari lodge.
Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.
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.
Today 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Today we have our second day out on the river. By now you will have a keen eye for wildlife and be well on your way to being a pro at paddling!
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.
Today our journey continues to the stunning South Luangwa NP, 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.
South Luangwa NP 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.
Today we will have an included early morning game drive and an included evening game drive, both in open-sided safari vehicles.
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.
Today we will travel from Lilongwe to Kande beach on the western shore of Lake Malawi.
Today 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.
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!
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 on a working ranch 52kms south of the town of Iringa.
Today we will continue our journey north to the small village of Mikumi.
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.
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 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.
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 NP. 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.
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 NP, 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 (as there are no single use plastics or bottles available during this excursion), books and personal snacks, etc.We will have a safety talk with our safari guides and then on to a day drive within Tarangire NP 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 NP. 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 NP. 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.
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 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.
This morning we will drive on to Kericho, throughout this drive you will have sights of the world famous tea plantations in the area.
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!
Today 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!
Today we continue our journey and head north 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!
Today we continue to Kaniyo Pabidi in the Budongo Forest, in the southern part of the Murchison Falls NP. 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.
If we had to split the group for chimpanzee tracking, the other half of the group will head out for the walk this morning. When we are ready to continue, we will drive to the central region of Murchison Falls NP to reach our campsite.
Please note that the roads leading into and around Murchison Falls are very poor and can be hazardous in wet conditions. If there has been heavy rain recently, it may not be possible to go into the NP beyond Kaniyo Pabidi - this is firstly for safety reasons on the drive in, and secondly due to the risk of extreme bogging that could cause us to miss the gorilla treks further along in our trip. We will always endaevour to reach the NP as per the itinerary; but when this is occasionally not possible, please respect the tour leader's decision in this matter. On these occasions we will be able to utilise this time with spending longer in Lake Bunyonyi.
Today, we will head out early in the truck for a included morning of game driving around the northern area of the NP - 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.
This morning we will make our way out of the NP and head South to Mpanga Forest via Kampala. This is a chance to experience a new environment as we camp in the forest near traditional communities. We will hopefully be able to visit the Mpambire drum making village to experience their ancient traditions and culture.
This morning we travel to the Queen Elizabeth NP, beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Lake Edward and Lake George, undertaking a game drive on our way to the campsite.
During our time in the park we hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks.
This morning we are up early to go on a full day game drive making our way the visit the volcanoes and salt mines onthe edge of the park. We will experience areas of the NP that are impossible to reach without a full days excursion!
Today we prepare for our Gorilla tracking by heading to Bunyoni and taking jeeps up into the mountains of Bwindi.
Here 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 Bwindi we will stay in a campsite that occasinally has some very special visitors, the incredible mountain gorillas!
Please note that the gorilla permits are paid for in full by the trip kitty - however, we have to purchase the permits in advance on the customers' behalf, so a higher deposit is charged on the trip price to protect us from losing this money in the event of cancellation - please see the notes at the end for further detail.
This morning we will make our way into the stunning Lake Mburo NP. This drive will take us across the equator - a prime moment for some photos!In the afternoon we may have time for a walking safari or even a boat trip on Lake Mburo.We will stay in an incredible campsite close to the lake where you may be lucky enough to see hippos leaving the water in the evening.
After waking up in the beautiful Lake Mburo NP it is time to head back to Jinja and all of the comforts that it has to offer. You may even have time for an evening activity here.
Border Information: Exit Uganda at Malaba, enter Kenya at Malaba.This is our base for tomorrow's excursion into Nakuru NP. 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.
This morning we head into Nakuru NP 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.In the afternoon we will 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.
Today 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 and 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, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, 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 NP 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!
Today we will go out for the full day game driving in the NP before returning to our campsite for a second night. There is also the opportunity for a balloon flight over the savannah - demand for this activity is very high so you must reserve this at the time of booking your trip to avoid disappointment.
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.
Border Information: if you are leaving the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely exit Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).Today is this is the final day of this section - if you are leaving here (or continuing northbound with us to Ethiopia) you will have a free day in Nairobi. If you are continuing your trip with us southbound towards Tanzania then there will a new group meeting at 10:00am for the next section of your journey, before heading away from Nairobi - your leader will give you detailed instructions about this.Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Nairobi. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the 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 available.