Southern Explorer South

The Details

Type: Camping Camping
Start: Nairobi Kenya
Length: 42+ Days
End: Cape Town South Africa
Comfort: Standard
Vehicle: Overland Vehicle
Group Size: Large (>12 People)
Countries: Kenya Tanzania Malawi Zambia Zimbabwe Botswana Namibia South Africa

Tour Dates

2018
  • 2018
May
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
From ZAR 32300 pp
(Excl. local payment USD 1700)
Enquire Now

Overview

This trip offers culture, wildlife and some of the most spectacular scenery to be found in Africa. We travel from the bustling capital of Nairobi to the mother city of Cape Town. In between we search for the big five in world renowned game parks, relax on white-sand beaches, snorkel the magnificent reefs on Zanzibar, and enjoy the tranquil setting along Lake Malawi. Southern Africa doesn’t disappoint with the majestic Victoria Falls, the highest sand dunes in the world in Namibia and impressive Table Mountain. Departures are guaranteed with 2-4 people.

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 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 2: 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 Excursion

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite in Karatu

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: 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:

Bushveld campsite (no ablution facilities)

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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" campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 8 & 9: 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" campsite

Meals

Meals:

Meals at own expense

Day 10: 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.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Dinner

Day 11: 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:

Farmhouse campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 12 - 14: 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:

Transit through to various bays and inlets.

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Activities vary; however, we do recommend that you do the village tour. Please note that you can bring along with you pens, notepads, pencils and dry starch foods for the village tour. For more information please speak to your crew.

Day 15: Lake Malawi to Chipata (Zambia)

Today we leave Malawi and cross over into Zambia.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Transit day

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: 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

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: 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 18: 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 boat cruise

Day 19: 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. We then continue on 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 camp in Chobe National Park

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: 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 in town

Meals

Meals:

Brunch

Days 21 & 22: Victoria Falls

The next 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. Some of our fellow passengers will leave us in Vic Falls, to be replaced by new passengers joining us for the next leg of our trek.

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.

Day 23: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park (Botswana)

After breakfast, we cross the border into Botswana and head to Kasane where we have a chance to explore the town of Kasane. After lunch, once we are packed and prepared, 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 camp in Chobe National Park

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Chobe National Park to Kasane

Once returning to camp, we have a bit of free time to relax at leisure. You can either partake in the boat cruise on the Chobe River which is an optional excursion, or you can just spend your time relaxing at the swimming pool.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Kasane to Maun

Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta and it is from here that we set off to explore the Okavango Delta. Tonight, we prepare our provisions and packs for our overnight excursion. We suggest bringing along a smaller daypack on your trip which can be used to pack the supplies needed for this short excursion. Your trip leader will brief you fully on what is needed, and what to expect prior to your trip into the Delta.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: Maun to Okavango Delta

Here we have the opportunity to take the included overnight excursion into the Delta. After an early rise, we pack our expedition vehicle and from Maun we drive north for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro poler’s station. The Delta region is studded with many local villages where many families live in a traditional way. Some of the villages are very remote and can only be reached by the traditional mode of transport – the Mokoro. Mokoros are dugout canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds. At the Mokoro station, we meet our ‘Polers’ and pack our supplies before heading out into the waterways. After a couple of hours along the waterways, we arrive at our mobile tented camp situated in the heart of the Okavango. On arrival, you will meet the local staff who will be your host during your stay. A brief introduction to the camp will show you your dome tent with twin beds and a bush en-suite bathroom – long drop toilet and a bucket shower. Relax in the tent with a cold drink or take a paddle in the Delta in a canoe. The activities at the camp include Mokoro trails and guided walking.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Overnight Delta excursion

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Overnight camp in Okavango Delta; dome tent with twin beds and a bush en-suite bathroom

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 27: Okavango Delta to Maun

This morning affords us a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun. After our Mokoro ride and vehicle transfer, we arrive back around lunch time and have the chance to complete our picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional scenic flight over The Delta (dependent on weather conditions & availability).

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 28: Maun to Ghanzi

Today we head towards the small village of Ghanzi which will be our last night in Botswana. Ghanzi is home to the San / Bushman and you can learn more about them by partaking in the Bushman experience offered by the campsite.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Bushman experience camp

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Bushman Experience

Day 29: Ghanzi to Windhoek (Namibia)

Today’s drive will take us through small rural towns and scenic landscapes. Nestled between the hills, Windhoek is a rather small capital city but has many places of historical interest. This afternoon is spent at your leisure with time to visit the local museum or haggling at the street side markets. There are also many shops for those in need of a bit of retail therapy.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast & Lunch

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Dinner at Joes Beer house

Day 30: Windhoek to Etosha National Park

Today we make our way across the park, keeping a look out for the many different mammals, reptiles, birds and insects in the various regions. As the vegetation types change, so does the animal and bird life that relies on it, and so different sections of the Park offer a variety of different game options. After a full day of game viewing, we exit the park through Anderson gate and head to our camp just 10kms away; perhaps the chance for a quick dip in the pool before dinner, followed by a relaxing evening in this very interesting bar.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Night game drives with Etosha National Park

Day 31 & 32: Etosha National Park Area

Today’s drive takes us further south through the Namibian countryside to our campsite, located in the vicinity of Etosha National Park.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Game Drive in Overland Truck

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Countryside campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Night Drive

Day 33: Etosha National Park area to Brandberg (UIS)

Today we head down south to the area of the Brandberg. All depending on the time of arrival we will have the opportunity to explore the area.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 34: Brandberg (UIS) to Swakopmund

Today we head for Swakopmund, via Spitzkoppe. Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants & bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit. Alternatively, the lovely beach and promenade make for a great relaxing walk – though bathing in the ocean waters may be somewhat chilly!

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Brief stop at Spitzkoppe

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 35: Swakopmund

The next day can be spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. Some of our fellow passengers may leave us in Swakop, to be replaced by new passengers joining us for the final leg of our trip.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Skydiving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and more. An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund

Days 36 & 37: Swakopmund to Sesriem

Leaving Swakopmund, we head south to the industrial Walvis Bay before turning inland and toward the desert. Continuing our journey, we enter the Namib-Naukluft Park in one of the oldest deserts in the world. We base ourselves at Sesriem, a great place to experience the Namib and its many moods. A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes reputed to be the highest in the world. Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the top of the dunes, some over 300 m high. We spend the afternoon exploring this amazing area.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Visit to Dune 45, Visit to Sossusvlei

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Visit to Dune 45, Visit to Sossusvlei

Day 38: Sesriem to Fish River Canyon

Heading out early, we see the sunrise over this beautiful area and we leave the serenity of the dunes to head south to the Fish River Canyon. At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it’s the second largest canyon in the world. The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving us access to several viewing points from where we can take in the spectacular vistas

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Visit to Fish River Canyon

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 39: Fish River Canyon to Gariep River (South Africa)

This morning we continue south, where, after a short drive, we reach the Gariep River – the natural land border between Namibia and South Africa. We camp at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river. This afternoon we partake in a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, affording us the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle. Tonight there’s a chance for some fun at the awesome camp bar overlooking the river!

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Canoeing on the Gariep River

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite on South African bank of river

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 40: Orange River to Cederberg

An early morning start see us travel south through the Richtersveld and the mining town of Springbok, before reaching the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. We spend tonight in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms and have the opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods or to explore the surrounding beautiful Cederberg Mountains. Tonight, is our last night under the stars!

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Wine tasting

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Campsite

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 41: Cederberg to Cape Town

We leave the scenic Cederberg area and travel south towards Cape Town. We travel through the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal before crossing the Piekenierskloof Pass to the Cape’s wine growing regions. Our first sighting of the Mother’s City Table Mountain across Table Bay means we’ve reached our final destination. Tonight’s accommodation is in dormitories in one of Cape Town’s best loved hostels. After we have checked in and got ourselves lunch, we will depart on a township tour in and around Cape Town. We will be dropped back at our hostel once we have finished the township tour.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Township tour

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Dormitories in Cape Town's best loved Hostels

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

Day 42: Cape Town

This morning we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!

Meals

Meals:

Meals at own expense

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