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Ultimate Africa

Spanning eight countries, this journey is full of diverse cultures, abundant wildlife, spectacular landscapes, stunning beaches, and loads of adventure. Track the Big Five across open savannah, explore the Okavango Delta in a dug-out "mokoro" canoe, encounter gorillas deep in the Ugandan wilderness do it all on this ultimate 54-day adventure and get a real feel for how large Africa really is. Travel aboard our rugged overland adventure vehicle (OAV) is well-paced and wilderness camping will bring you closer to the regions wildlife. Encounter rare wildlife and real people on this unique and cost-effective journey through the stunning scenery of southern and East Africa.


Duration: 54 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Not Rated% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 126291
Starts: Cape Town, South Africa Finishes: Nairobi, Kenya
You will Visit
  • Cape Town
  • Nairobi

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cape Town

Arrive at any time.

Additional Notes:
Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the visa section in our trip details to make sure which visas you will need, if any.

 Please also note that no visa can be obtained at the border to Namibia. 


Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

02

Day 2: Cape Town/Cederberg (1B, 1L, 1D)

Head out of the city to begin your overland journey with a lunch stop by the coast. Arrive at our first campsite in the afternoon. Here, enjoy free time to sample and buy some local wine, kick a footy around with the local kids, or explore the area near the camp in this beautiful part of South Africa. If you prefer, just chill out at campsite's swimming pool overlooking the vineyards. 





Transport:
Lando (5.00 hour(s), 300km)

03

Day 3: Cederberg/Orange River (1B, 1L, 1D)

Travel past large plantations of rooibos tea. Opt to take a canoe trip on the scenic Gariep River.

Transport:
Lando (6.50 hour(s), 350km)

04

Day 4: Orange River/Fish River Canyon (1B, 1L, 1D)



We will make our way to Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa and, arguably, the second largest in the world. Watch as a spectacular sunset slips over the canyon's rim in the early evening. Permits are required to descend into the canyon; we will have access to the rim only, but the views are magnificent.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (South Africa - Namibia)
Fish River Canyon Visit at Sunset

Transport:
Lando (5.00 hour(s), 180km)

05

Day 5: Fish River Canyon/Namib Desert (1B, 1L, 1D)

Passing the small and desolate towns of Bethanien and Helmeringhausen, continue north along long and bumpy roads, en route to the Namib Desert. Arrive in the area in the late afternoon, where the towering red sand dunes of Sossusvlei form the gateway into the Namib Desert. Here, you really feel as though you're in the middle of nowhere.

We arrive in the early evening and set up our camp.

Transport:
Lando (10.00 hour(s), 560km)

06

Day 6: Namib Desert (1B, 1L, 1D)


Visit Sossusvlei, a clay pan enclosed by the world's largest sand dunes and enclosing ancient dead trees. Here, opt to take a guided walk at the dunes, and enjoy some free time to explore them on your own. Arrive back at our campsite around lunch time and take down tents, pack up the truck, and drive to the next desert campsite. Don't miss out on the optional sunset desert dunes bush walk to learn more about the desert, dunes, and the way of the bushmen.

Included Activities:
Sesriem Canyon Visit
Dune 45 Visit

Transport:
Lando (5.00 hour(s))

07

Day 7: Namib Desert/Swakopmund (1B, 1L)

Get a real feel for the Namib Desert as we spend hours crossing this empty region.

Spend two nights in the area exploring this historical town or trying some of the numerous activities available, such as dune boarding or quad biking.

Swakopmund has bizarre lunar landscapes, unforgettable sunsets, and prehistoric Welwitchia plants.

Transport:
Lando (7.00 hour(s), 300km)

08

Day 8: Swakopmund




Swakopmund is one of the adventure capitals of Africa. Enjoy a free day to relax or get the adrenaline pumping. Choose from sky diving, dune boarding, or quad biking, just to name a few options.

Additional Notes:
Meals are not included while we are in Swakopmund in order to give our travellers the freedom to try out the many restaurants and bars in town.

09

Day 9: Swakopmund/Spitzkoppe (1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore on your own by foot, and be sure to check out the night sky—it's great for star-gazing!

Additional Notes:
Our basic bush camp will have long-drop toilets and no running water.

Transport:
Lando (3.00-4.00 hours)

10

Day 10: Spitzkoppe/Damaraland (1B, 1L, 1D)

Look out over beautiful desert landscapes as far as the eye can see. There are Himba, Herero, and Damara people along the way selling local arts, and we'll be sure to make a few stops to find out more about their offerings.
 Pass into more stony desert landscapes, and arrive at camp by mid-afternoon.

Included Activities:
Damaraland Living Museum

Transport:
Lando (4.00 hour(s), 235km)

11

Day 11: Damaraland/Etosha National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

Upon arrival to the park in the afternoon, head out for a wildlife safari drive in our overland adventure vehicle (OAV) to search for elephants, antelope, and lions around the watering holes.

After sunset, watch animals at the watering holes near the camping area, which is safe, being well lit with flood lights. Free time at night allows for the option of a night safari in an open vehicle.

Included Activities:
Etosha National Park Wildlife Safari Drive (Overland Vehicle)

Transport:
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 300km)

12

Day 12: Etosha National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a full-day wildlife safari drive in the Lando. Opt to take an open vehicle safari drive in the afternoon/night.

Included Activities:
Etosha National Park Wildlife Safari Drive (Overland Vehicle)

13

Day 13: Etosha National Park/Windhoek (1B)

Leave Etosha National Park and head south through the Namibian countryside to Windhoek.

Additional Notes:
Please note that this is a combination tour. Some of group members may be departing the tour in Windhoek and some new group members may be joining. Enjoy an optional group dinner with both old and new travellers.

Transport:
Lando (6.50-7.50 hours, 440km)

14

Day 14: Windhoek/Ghanzi (1B, 1L, 1D)

Leave in the morning and continue through the eastern part of Namibia and cross into Botswana, travelling into the heart of the Kalahari.
 


Arrive at the campsite, approximately 10km (6 mi) outside Ghanzi, in the early evening, just in time for an optional 'Bushman Walk'. 
Around the campfire at night, experience the ancient dance rituals of the San/Bushmen.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Namibia - Botswana)

Transport:
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 580km)

15

Day 15: Ghanzi/Maun (1B, 1L, 1D)

Drive across Botswana and travel from the Kalahari towards Maun. Leave Ghanzi in the morning and arrive in Maun around lunch time.

In the afternoon, opt to get a sneak peek of the Okavango Delta from above on an hour-long flight in a small plane. See a variety of wildlife and marvel at the vast delta basin.

Those not opting for the flight can kick back and relax at the campsite.

Additional Notes:
After arrival in Maun, pick up supplies to prepare for the one night/two day excursion into the Okavango Delta. We recommend each person brings a 5 litre bottle of water to take into the Delta; this should be sufficient for both drinking water and cleaning purposes.

Please note: if you have pre-booked the Okavango Delta flight, today's likely the day for this activity! Your CEO will give you final confirmation when it will take place, as it is subject to change.

Transport:
Lando (4.00 hour(s), 280km)

16

Day 16: Maun/Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D)

After leaving some luggage in Maun, we hop into safari vehicles and travel for about an hour to a river before pairing off and sitting down in mokoros, traditional dugout canoes, that take us deep into the delta.

After a couple hours in the mokoro, we arrive to our basic bush camp in time for lunch. Set up tents and get used to the surroundings. 
In the afternoon, set off on a game walk. In the evening, count the shooting stars, sing with the locals or just unwind with a sundowner around the campfire.

 The polers will join us around the campfire tonight and usually love to sing and dance… join in!


Additional Notes:
Please note that there is no shower and only a dig-out bush toilet, as our camp is very basic and in the wild – but it is all worth it due to the incredible landscape and wildlife!

Included Activities:
Okavango Delta Excursion

Transport:
Mokoro (1.00-2.00 hours)
Safari vehicle (1.00 hour(s))

17

Day 17: Okavango Delta/Gweta (1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy the sunrise on an early game walk then return to Maun, first by mokoro, then safari vehicle, and arrive around lunch time. Pack up the truck, then hit the road to ancient baobab trees of Gweta. We will arrive to our campsite mid- to late afternoon. Have a walk around, take pictures of the baobabs, swim in the pool and enjoy a proper shower after the night in the bush.

Transport:
Mokoro (2.00 hour(s))
Lando (4.00 hour(s), 240km)
Safari vehicle

18

Day 18: Gweta/Kasane (1B, 1L, 1D)

Journey to the area of Chobe National Park, home to the largest elephant population in Southern Africa. The best way to appreciate the area's thousands of resident elephants, crocodiles and hippos, is with an optional sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. You may instead opt to embark on a game drive in search of lions, antelope, and of course, elephants.

Additional Notes:
We arrive to Kasane around lunchtime and the optional sunset cruise starts in the late afternoon. It's best to book the optional sunset cruise on the day of our arrival and then save the optional game drive for the morning of the following day.


Transport:
Lando (6.00 hour(s), 420km)

19

Day 19: Kasane/Victoria Falls (1B, 1L)

Cross the border from Botswana to Zimbabwe at the Kazungula border post.

Continue on to Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls is a great base to see both natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities.

Additional Notes:
Your accommodation is in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and NOT Livingstone (Zambia). Please make sure you have the necessary visa.

Note that this trip combines with other tours, and some tours will be finishing in Victoria Falls, while others will be continuing on. Many of our groups opt to book their final evening together aboard a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River with game-viewing, great scenery and an open bar.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Botswana - Zimbabwe)

Transport:
Lando (0.75 hour(s))
Lando (2.00 hour(s))

20

Day 20: Victoria Falls (1B)

Victoria Falls is a great base to see both natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities. Get up close (and wet from the spray) while awing at the immense Victoria Falls, raft the whitewater of the mighty Zambezi, and for the more adventurous, bungee jump with the Victoria Falls in view.

Additional Notes:
Want to do more with your tour? Pre-book any two of the following activities: Zambezi Whitewater Rafting, Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride, or the Zambezi River Sunset Cruise.

Any optional activities listed on this day can also be booked upon arrival in Victoria Falls.

21

Day 21: Victoria Falls (1B)

The town of Victoria Falls is a great base to see both natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities. Get up close (and wet from the spray) while awing at the immense Victoria Falls, raft the whitewater of the mighty Zambezi, and for the more adventurous, bungee jump with Victoria Falls in view.

Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of your adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner.

Additional Notes:
Want to do more with your tour? Pre-book any two of the following activities: Zambezi Whitewater Rafting, Victoria Falls Helicopter Ride, or the Zambezi River Sunset Cruise.

Any optional activities listed on this day can also be booked upon arrival in Victoria Falls.

22

Day 22: Victoria Falls/Lusaka (1B, 1L, 1D)

Set off early, around 6am, and arrive late in the afternoon. The long journey across rough and bumpy roads takes us to a private farm 29km (18 mi) outside of the capital of Zambia. Marvel at the zebras, buffalo, and the bok that roam the property, or relax by the pool or at the camp's bar.

Additional Notes:
This is an overnight stop in between two long driving days, so we will not have time to explore Lusaka.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Zimbabwe - Zambia)

Transport:
Lando (10.00 hour(s), 543km)

23

Day 23: Lusaka/Chipata (1B, 1L, 1D)

Continue travelling across Zambia.

Additional Notes:
As today is a long driving day, we will not be able to visit Chipata town.

Transport:
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 600km)

24

Day 24: Chipata/South Luangwa (1B, 1L, 1D)

Arrive to camp late morning. Opt to go on a wildlife safari drive in South Luangwa National Park, or visit a nearby local village.

Transport:
Lando (2.50 hour(s), 150km)

25

Day 25: South Luangwa (1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a free day to explore South Luangwa NP, a wildlife haven. Opt to go on a walking safari (seasonal), night drive, or visit a nearby local village.

26

Day 26: South Luangwa/Kande Beach (1B, 1L, 1D)

Spend four nights relaxing on the shores of the “Lake of Stars”. Beach walks, swimming in the crystal clear water, and snorkelling among the tropical fish are all part and parcel of your stay.

Lake Malawi is known for good snorkelling and diving. The locals depend on the lake for fishing and survival, and use dugout canoes to fish from and set out long nets. There are many different ethnic groups, all speaking their own language; most are Christians and the rest have traditional beliefs.

Additional Notes:
Please note that conservative dress is recommended. Shoulders and knees should be covered in public, but inside of camp boundaries, it is ok to wear beach clothes.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Zambia - Malawi)

Transport:
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 500km)

27

Day 27: Kande Beach (1B, 1L, 1D)

Relax on the shores of Lake Malawi, and enjoy a traditional dinner in a local home. Opt to explore by foot, go snorkelling, or take a village tour.

Included Activities:
Kande Beach Local Dinner

28

Day 28: Kande Beach/Chitimba (1B, 1L, 1D)

Leave Kande Beach in the morning and drive north along Lake Malawi to Chitimba. Chitimba Beach has beautiful views of mountains in the background and Tanzania across the lake.

Transport:
Lando (5.00 hour(s), 235km)

29

Day 29: Chitimba (1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a final day at Lake Malawi.

30

Day 30: Chitimba/Iringa (1B, 1L, 1D)

Begin the day by making the border crossing out of Malawi and into Tanzania. Climbing out of the Great Rift Valley through some spectacular mountain passes, view the vast tea plantations in the highlands along the way.


Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Malawi - Tanzania)

Transport:
Lando (11.00 hour(s), 534km)

31

Day 31: Iringa/Dar es Salaam (1B, 1L, 1D)

Drive to Dar Es Salaam. The city started as a fishing village in the mid 19th century before becoming a port and trading centre.

Transport:
Lando (12.00 hour(s), 637km)

32

Day 32: Dar es Salaam/Nungwi (1B)

Hop on a ferry to Zanzibar and transfer to the picturesque beaches of the northern tip of the island.

Additional Notes:
Zanzibar is a Muslim society. Immodestly dressed women or men in shorts will get harassed and cause great offense in Stone Town. In Nungwi, customs are a little more relaxed, but our travellers are encouraged to be respectful of the island's culture and still cover up when walking around. Never try to take a photograph without asking permission.

Transport:
Ferry (2.00 hour(s))
Lando (1.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))

33

Day 33: Nungwi (1B)

Opt to go diving, snorkelling, take a sailing trip, or just sit back and relax.

34

Day 34: Nungwi/Stone Town (1B)

Spend the remainder of the day exploring Stone Town, the heart of the island. It has an intriguing maze of narrow, cobbled lanes hemmed in by Arabic buildings. Look out for tinga-tinga paintings, antique shops, beautifully printed cloths (kangas and kikois worn by local people), little carved chests with copper inlays, and spices – all beautiful presents or souvenirs to take home.

Included Activities:
Spice Plantation Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))

35

Day 35: Stone Town/Korogwe (1B, 1L, 1D)

Ferry back over to the mainland and settle in for a full day of driving.

Additional Notes:
If you have booked the Zanzibar Express, you will stay in Stone Town when the group heads for the ferry. You have a free day in Stone Town for shopping, relaxing or seeing the sights. (Ask your CEO if you want to book any tours) Tomorrow you fly to Arusha to meet the group. Included: transfers, flight, one night Stone Town (Mazsons Hotel, or similar). Only breakfast included.

Transport:
Ferry (2.00 hour(s))
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 370km)

36

Day 36: Korogwe/Arusha (1B, 1L, 1D)

Pass Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, and head towards Arusha. Consider yourself lucky if you are able to see the mountain as it is hidden behind a veil of cloud most of the time.

Arusha sits at the foot of rugged Mt Meru, Africa's fifth highest mountain.

Additional Notes:
Use the afternoon to prepare a small day-pack for the three-day excursion to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Take something warm for the night on the crater rim and enough insect repellant, sunscreen, and water. Bedding is provided, but you can take your sleeping bag along to make sure you're warm enough at night.

Zanzibar Express; transfer this morning from your Stone Town hotel to the airport for a scenic flight to Arusha. Arrive in Arusha and transfer to the camp to meet back up with the group. Only breakfast and dinner included.

Transport:
Lando (7.00-8.00 hours, 250km)

37

Day 37: Arusha/Serengeti National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

After breakfast, we begin our 3-day and 2-night excursion to Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, two of Africa's premier wildlife areas.

Additional Notes:
Changing to specialized 4x4 7-seater safari vehicles, we are met by experienced safari driver/guides, who will ensure us wonderful wildlife encounters. Our safari vehicles each have sliding windows and a large pop-up roof, perfect for wildlife viewing. They are smaller than our overland adventure vehicle (OAV) and will allow us to maneuver easily through the wildlife areas. As the vehicles are smaller than our overland adventure vehicle (OAV), our group will split up among several vehicles.

Included Activities:
Serengeti National Park Safari

Transport:
7-seat 4x4 safari vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 320km)

38

Day 38: Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro (1B, 1L, 1D)

Before leaving the Serengeti, enjoy one last morning wildlife safari drive to see the animal kingdom come to life in this incredible expanse of grassland savannah. You will return and break camp and journey to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, famous for Africa's best wildlife viewing. The views from the Ngorongoro Crater rim are stunning, and there is an ever-present abundance of animals, due to the permanent water supply on the crater floor. You will arrive at your campsite at the crater rim in the late afternoon.

Additional Notes:
Please note: if you have pre-booked the Serengeti Balloon Safari, today's likely the day for this activity! Your CEO will give you final confirmation when it will take place, as it is subject to change. You will miss the included morning wildlife safari drive with the group, but you will have a much better view from above!

Included Activities:
Serengeti National Park Safari

Transport:
7-seat 4x4 safari vehicle (5.00 hour(s))

39

Day 39: Ngorongoro/Arusha (1B, 1L, 1D)

Exit the crater late in the morning and continue back to Arusha.

Included Activities:
Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife Safari Drive

Transport:
7-seat 4x4 safari vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 200km)

40

Day 40: Arusha/Nairobi (1B, 1L)

Depart Arusha in the morning and travel overland to Nairobi. Please note that this is a combination tour, and some of your fellow group members may be finishing their tour on this evening.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Tanzania - Kenya)

Transport:
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 286km)

41

Day 41: Nairobi

Arrive at any time.

Additional Notes:
Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the visa section in our trip details to make sure you have the ones you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

42

Day 42: Nairobi/Lake Naivasha (1B, 1L, 1D)

Travel to beautiful Lake Naivasha, and enjoy an included boat ride to spot hippos.

Included Activities:
Lake Naivasha Boat Ride

Transport:
Lando (3.00-4.00 hours)

43

Day 43: Lake Naivasha/Eldoret (1B, 1L, 1D)

View varied landscapes from the overland adventure vehicle (OAV).

Transport:
Lando (8.00 hour(s), 156km)

44

Day 44: Eldoret/Kampala (1B, 1L, 1D)

Cross the border into Uganda, then camp outside of the country's capital.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Kenya - Uganda)

Transport:
Lando (12.00 hour(s), 350km)

45

Day 45: Kampala/Kalinzu Forest Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D)

Watch the Ugandan countryside pass by on the day's journey.

Transport:
Lando (6.00 hour(s), 345km)

46

Day 46: Kalinzu Forest Reserve/Lake Bunyonyi (1B, 1L, 1D)

Get up early for an included chimpanzee tracking excursion, then visit a tea plantation before setting off for Lake Bunyonyi.

Included Activities:
Chimpanzee Tracking Excursion
Tea Plantation Visit

Transport:
Lando (3.00 hour(s))

47

Day 47: Gorilla Trek (1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a guided mountain gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Additional Notes:
Depending on the date of our permits, it's possible that the gorilla trek will take place on the second full day in Lake Bunyonyi.

Included Activities:
Mountain Gorilla Trek

48

Day 48: Lake Bunyonyi (1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy free time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Lake Bunyonyi.

49

Day 49: Lake Bunyonyi/Kampala (1B, 1L, 1D)

Stop off at the Equator along the way to break up the drive.

Transport:
Lando (12.00 hour(s), 520km)

50

Day 50: Kampala/Jinja (1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore Jinja, known for its outdoor and adventure activities.

Transport:
Lando (3.00 hour(s), 90km)

51

Day 51: Jinja (1B, 1L, 1D)

Spend another day exploring Jinja. Opt to raft down the White Nile River, mountain bike up and down the hills or check out the local market.

52

Day 52: Jinja/Eldoret (1B, 1L, 1D)

Cross over into Kenya for a night in Eldoret.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Uganda - Kenya)

Transport:
Lando (7.00 hour(s), 270km)

53

Day 53: Eldoret/Lake Nakuru National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

Continue to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes.

Included Activities:
Lake Nakuru Wildlife Safari Drive

Transport:
Lando (11.00 hour(s))

54

Day 54: Lake Nakuru National Park/Nairobi (1B, 1L)

Transfer to Nairobi, where the tour ends upon arrival late afternoon.

Included Activities:
Departure Day (Activities)

Transport:
Lando (3.00 hour(s), 90km)

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Entrance to Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei Dunes, and Spitzkoppe
    • Entrances and wildlife safari drives in Etosha, Serengeti, and Lake Nakuru national parks
    • Damaraland Living Museum visit
    • Okavango Delta overnight bush camping excursion
    • Local dinner experience (Lake Malawi)
    • Ngorongoro Crater visit
    • Zanzibar excursion (3 days)
    • Guided tour of spice plantation (Zanzibar)
    • Guided mountain gorilla trek in Bwindi with permits
    • Guided chimp trek (Kalinzu Forest Reserve)
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Simple hotels (5 nts), participation camping (40 its), permanent tented camp (1 nt), full-service camping (2 nts), guesthouses (2 nts, multi-share), basic bush camping (2 nts), hostel (1 nt, multi-share)
    • 51 breakfasts, 45 lunches, 41 dinners
    Transport
    • Overland adventure vehicle (OAV), mokoro, 4x4 safari vehicles, minibuses, ferry, walking
    Group Leader
    • 2 Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) throughout as head guide/cook and driver, certified safari guides/drivers, certified mountain gorilla trackers
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Tour Highlights:
  • Search for the Big Five
  • Witness giant sand dunes and the massive Victoria Falls
  • Ride in 4x4 safari vehicles and dugout canoes
  • Meet mountain gorillas
  • Discover Zanzibar's crystal clear waters