Gorillas and Southern Discoverer

The Details

Type: Camping Camping
Start: Nairobi Kenya
Length: 28 - 42 Days
End: Victoria Falls Zimbabwe
Comfort: Standard
Vehicle: Overland Vehicle
Group Size: Large (>12 People)
Countries: Kenya Uganda Tanzania Malawi Zambia Botswana Zimbabwe

Tour Dates

2017
  • 2017
  • 2018
December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
From ZAR 31395 pp
(Excl. local payment USD 1000)
Enquire Now

Overview

Africa conjures up images of magical animals, beautiful sunsets and wide-open places, and this trip offers all this and so much more. Trek mountain gorillas in the misty rainforests of East Africa, explore culturally-rich Zanzibar, enjoy the hospitality of Malawi, and have adrenalin charged fun in the adventure playground of Victoria Falls. Then there are the famous game parks – the Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater and the Masai Mara, which are some of the best places in Africa to see a whole host of African animals. Departures are guaranteed with 2-4 people. (Excludes Gorilla permit). 

Have 3 or more friends join you for 10 days or longer and get 10% discount off the tour price. Excludes Local Payment. Book 6 months in advance and enjoy the Early Bird Savings! (less 10%)

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi to Masai Mara

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi we climb the escarpment to our first stop, a viewpoint overlooking a section of the spectacular Great Rift Valley. Descending into the Rift Valley, we enter Masai land where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. We pass through the town of Narok, and continue our drive possibly getting a glimpse of some wildlife along the way. We arrive at our campsite, Acacia Camp in the late afternoon. Acacia Camp looks on to the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Masai Mara Nature Reserve excursion

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Acacia Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Masai Mara

We depart shortly after sunrise on our game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve. The Masai Mara is well known as one of East Africa’s best National Reserves and is home to a wide variety of wildlife species. Most famous for the Annual Migration, that consists of the impressive herds of over 1 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle that cross over from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania; the Masai Mara is most popular between July and October when these vast herds feast on the fresh grazing here. Following these herbivores are Africa’s predators that are often seen at a kill during this period. We game drive through a section of the park in search of the ‘Big 5’- elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion & leopard; along with the many other species of animals, reptiles and birds who make call this wilderness home. After our game drive, we have the option to visit one of the nearby Masai Manyatta’s – this is a traditional hamlet where the Masai still live in their traditional way. This evening we sit around the camp fire, and watch the sun set over this “Garden of Eden”.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Acacia Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Masai Manyatta's

Day 3: Masai Mara to Eldoret

Leaving the Masai Mara early, we head out of Masai Land pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on our way to Eldoret.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite in vicinity of Masai Mra National Park

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Eldoret to Kampala (Uganda)

This morning, we cross the border into Uganda where we overnight it the capital city, Kampala. Uganda is a small country of striking physical beauty. Its landscapes vary from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria to the snow-capped Ruwenzori Mountains in the west and the semi-desert region in the north. The political instability that has haunted Uganda in the past has actually had the positive effect of leaving the country free of the over commercialism so common in other parts of Africa. The current administration under President Museveni has devoted considerable effort and funds to return Uganda to its former status as one of Africa’s most prosperous and, from a tourist’s point of view, one of the most appealing and interesting countries to visit.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Overnight in Kampala

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 5 - 8: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni

After an early morning departure from Kampala we drive west into the depths of Uganda to our base at the tranquil Lake Bunyoni. Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, we trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda. The prices of trekking permits fluctuate and may change without prior notice – currently they are priced from US$600. There is a local transport & handling fee from US$120 per person (this covers the return public transfer and the Wildlife Authority’s booking fee). For trekking in the DRC or Rwanda (the trip leader will advise at the pre-departure meeting as to where the permits have been secured, and will assist with the online visa application for Rwanda en-route if needed), we will also have to purchase an additional visa to enter either country, as well as renewing our Ugandan visa upon re-entry. We also advise budgeting a little extra for tips for the local guides and rangers. Please budget accordingly as payment for the permit must be made in US$ cash at the pre-departure meeting.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Lake Bunyoni

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Gorilla Trekking

Day 9: Lake Bunyoni to Kampala

After marvelling at the experience of our gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, we begin our drive back to Kampala. We cross the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. We overnight in Kampala and have the opportunity to sample its night life!

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Overnight in Kampala

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Kampala to Jinja

Today we have the option of visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or heading to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or visiting a volunteer and community project. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the banks of the river, or ticking off the wide variety of water birds in this area

Accommodation

Accommodation:

 Nile River Explorers – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary , White water rafting, quad biking, community projects

Day 11: Jinja to Nakuru (Kenya)

Departing early, we head back to Kenya, stopping for lunch and supplies en route. We overnight outside Nakuru at a lovely campsite on a local farm. Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province and lies adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park. *EAMO Orphanage.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

EAMO Orphanage campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Lake Nakuru National Park

This morning we begin our exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park – famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake’s edge. The numbers vary depending on the water level, and when it’s low, the lake almost turns pink. A truly spectacular sight! The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. We spend the day searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way. After our game drive, we head to our campsite, arriving in the late afternoon.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Game drives through Lake Nakuru National Park in the overland vehicle

Accommodation

Accommodation:

EAMO Orphanage campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Spending time with the kids at the orphanage / Bringing pens, pencils, notepads etc for them. Please speak to your crew for more information

Day 13: Lake Nakuru to Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha, is home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. We spend the day enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Lake Naivasha

Accommodation

Accommodation:

 Acacia Camp

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.

Day 14: Lake Naivasha to Nairobi

After breakfast, we head back to Nairobi usually arriving by late morning, or early afternoon. On arrival, we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime! The rest of the day is yours at leisure to enjoy some of the many options available in this bustling city; visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where you can view the orphaned baby Elephants at feeding time, or head to the Giraffe Centre in Langata, if you haven’t had your fill of game viewing, then Nairobi National Park offers some great day trips or if you haven’t quite got all those souvenirs you wanted, take a “Matatu” to the local curio markets close by the campsite. This evening why not try the fair on offer at the famous Carnivores restaurant.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

 Acacia Camp

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

Day 15: Nairobi to Arusha (Tanzania)

This morning we leave the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, travelling south and crossing the border into Tanzania at Namanga. Tonight, we stay in a lovely campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on our Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater excursion tomorrow.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite in Meserani

Meals

Meals:

Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Arusha to Karatu

This morning we visit the Meserani Reptile Park and Masai Cultural Museum. A few minutes’ walk from the campsite is a gallery selling the bright and iconic Tinga Tinga paintings. Alternatively, the town of Arusha is nearby to explore. After enjoying lunch at our camp against the backdrop of Mount Meru we meet our Tanzanian guides and transfer into locally operated 4WD vehicles. These vehicles have been adapted for safari use and allow excellent viewing and photographic opportunities through the opening roof hatches. Leaving our camp, we travel via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and then up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well-established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. Tonight, we spend the evening at a very pleasant campsite in Karatu (campsite has ablution facilities).

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater excursion

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite in Karatu

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park

This morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world. Comprising of open savannahs, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes, the Ngorongoro Crater is truly a miniature ‘Garden of Eden’. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino. After our game drive in the Crater, we head down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on our way to the Serengeti National Park. We cross the vast plains as we game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight, we camp (no ablution facilities) in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. Without any fences surrounding our campsite we are truly in the midst of nature!

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite (no ablution facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Serengeti National Park to Arusha

In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident game. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’! Following our morning drive, we retrace our journey back across the plains and along the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Arusha to Pangani*

We head to Arusha this morning to stock up on supplies before continuing on towards Dar es Salaam. On the way we drive through the town of Moshi situated at the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions, and weather permitting; we may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit – a photo opportunity not to be missed! We pass through vast sisal plantations surrounded by The Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges, before reaching our lovely campsite nestled between these mountains, midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Pangani to Dar es Salaam

Today we continue on to Dar es Salaam. Travelling through lush scenery and palm trees, we near the warm Indian Ocean. Today’s drive time is extended due to the heavier amount of traffic heading in to the city, but the sights and sounds of Dar’s vibrant outer suburbs are sure to keep you entertained. Look out for the colourful shop-fronts with their sometimes humorous ‘catch phrases’. On arrival in Dar es Salaam we make our way to our lovely seaside campsite and prepare for our departure to Zanzibar the next morning.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Seaside campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar

A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the “Spice Island,” where we spend the next 3 nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join us to replace those that’ll leave us at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Spice Tour & Dhow Excursion, Zanzibar Excursion

Accommodation

Accommodation:

"Spice Island"

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

Days 22 & 23: Zanzibar

History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire if you’d like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover’s paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean – crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

"Spice Island"

Meals

Meals:

Meals at own expense

Day 24: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam

Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, we return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam. Arrival back to camp is usually in the late afternoon, or early evening. In Dar, we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!

Meals

Meals:

Dinner

Day 25: Dar es Salaam to Iringa

This morning we leave Dar es Salaam and head south. We pass through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. We travel towards Iringa where we spend the night in a beautiful rustic campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Rustic campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 26 - 28: Iringa to Lake Malawi (Malawi)

Winding our way through the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we head towards Malawi entering the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ through the border post at Songwe. Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. We travel the length of the western side of the lake, stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next 3 days.Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax on the pristine beaches. Malawi’s temperate climate allows for swimming in the clear blue fresh-water lake all year round. Explore the beautiful shore where you’ll happen upon the local fishermen sorting their catch. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced and to appreciate their boating skills, try to paddle a dugout canoe yourself! At night, you’ll see the ‘fairy’ lights of the fishermen out on the lake. The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi’s shores offer many optional Excursions including a variety of water sports, horseback rides and a visit to the local village and school

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Activities vary; however, we do recommend that you partake in the village tour. Please note that you can bring along pens, pencils, notepads etc for the villagers

Day 29: Lake Malawi to Chipata (Zambia)

Today we leave Malawi and cross over into Zambia.

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 30: Chipata to Luangwa National Park

This breath-taking park is situated on the Luangwa River in the Eastern part of Zambia, and it is the southernmost of three national parks in this region. South Luangwa was founded in 1938 as a game reserve, 1972 was the year it was declared as a national park, and today it covers over 9000 kilometres squared. Animals such as Giraffe, buffalo and Elephants can be found in abundance. The Luangwa river is home to many a hippo and croc.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

: Game drives through South Luangwa National Park in the overland vehicle.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite in National Park

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 31: Luangwa National Park to Eastern Zambia

Today we depart this amazing National Park and make our way down south. As we drive, we pass through a few of the villages and towns of Zambia along the way. Prosperous during the copper boom in the 60’s, Zambia was able to build infrastructure at the main mining and farming communities. After the fall of the copper industry, the country was left virtually bankrupt and existing infrastructure was left to fall to ruin. Due to foreign investment and a rise in the mining industry, Zambia is today once again starting to prosper.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 32: Eastern Zambia to Livingstone

Heading further south, we journey through the southern Zambian towns mostly supporting local agriculture and farming on our way to Livingstone. The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it’s not difficult to see why. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world’s largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! The Falls can be viewed from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia – a fantastic photo opportunity. Tonight, we have the option of enjoying an optional sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Zambezi Sunset River boat cruise

Day 33: Livingstone to Chobe National Park (Botswana)

We leave Zambia and cross the border into Botswana at the Kazangula Ferry. Once we’ve completed the border formalities, we continue to the town of Kasane, situated on the banks of the Chobe River. The Chobe River forms a border between Botswana and Namibia and Zambia and is the main water source to the Chobe National Park. After lunch, we have time at leisure to relax. In the afternoon, we leave for our Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion – an overnight experience in the wilds of the Chobe National park. Chobe is one of Botswana’s premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds. Spend the afternoon in search of wildlife while we game drive to our camp within the park where we spend the evening surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife. Look out for the rare Sable and Roan Antelope on your game drive, with their majestic backward slanting horns, or try keep a count of the Lilac Breasted Roller’s that swoop by! After our night in the bush, we head out early to continue our search for wildlife, before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Overnight in Chobe National Park

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 34: Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

Once returning to camp, we get back on our truck and continue to the border of Zimbabwe. Once we’ve completed border formalities, we have a short drive to the nearby Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage site and Water Falls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park. Our campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of town, and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops. A short walk down the main road takes you to the entry point to view the falls, which are situated between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), was named by David Livingstone on his explorations, and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world’s largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! After our adventure activities briefing (see price guide at the end of this document for options), the afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite, viewing the Victoria Falls, or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Entrance to Victoria Falls

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Brunch

Day 35: Victoria Falls

After breakfast, we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime! We suggest booking additional days after your trip to take advantage of the optional excursions available at Victoria Falls.

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint hearted! All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site. White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Beside the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the "floats," where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.

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