21 Day Southern Discoverer

21 Days to discover 6 of the most beautiful countries Southern Africa has to offer.

Nairobi, Kenya Garden Route South Africa Tours
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Information

Countries visited:

  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Malawi
  • Zambia
  • Botswana
  • Zimbabwe

Highlights:

  • Meserani Snake Park & Masai Cultural Museum
  • Dar Es Salaam
  • Zanzibar Ferry
  • Lake Malawi
  • Chobe National Park
  • Boat Cruise
  • Chobe Overnight Mobile Excursion

Tour Price:            R14,000.00

Local Payment:     $ 480.00

Nairobi to Victoria Falls

This trip departs from Nairobi early on Sunday morning. Should you wish to explore Nairobi, an earlier arrival should be planned and accommodation booked through your agent.

Itinerary:

Please Note:

This itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road & weather conditions, political situations and group decisions.

Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries we visit, there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.

Your arrival transfer and pre-trip accommodation in a dorm bed is included in your trip price. Should you choose not to make use of these, or in the event that we are not updated with your arrival details, no refund will be paid for services not used.

Day 1: Nairobi to Arusha (Tanzania)

This morning we head out of busy Nairobi and travel south crossing the border into Tanzania at Namanga. Tonight we stay at a campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on our Optional Excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow.

Days 2-4: Arusha / Optional Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti Excursion

Arusha is a pleasant town situated at the base of Mount Meru, and is the starting point for safaris into the Serengeti, Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This morning we have the opportunity to explore this thriving town while we stock up on provisions needed for our excursion. You may choose to wander the vibrant craft markets, stock up on supplies or perhaps catch up on the news back home at one of the small internet café’s available. Heading back to our base camp,Meseran iSnake Park, those that are participating in the optional excursions to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park can start to prepare for their departure this afternoon. The excursion is offered by a local Tanzanian operator who conducts the trip into the Parks in 4WD vehicles (In peak season, there may be a minivan or bus transfer to Karatu), which are adapted for safari use.

For those not opting to visit the Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park, the next days are spent at leisure enjoying the Meserani reptile park, Masai Cultural Museum and the surrounding villages and craft markets. Alternatively the town of Arushais close by to explore. The driver and cook remain behind in Dar es Salaam during the excursion.

The Optional Ngorongoro/Serengeti excursion takes us via the Masai town of MtuWaMbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and 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. We spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu (camp has ablution facilities). The following morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. 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 continue 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 bush camp (no ablutions) in the wild surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident wildlife. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’!

After our morning drive, we head back across the plains and the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.

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.

* Some trips may choose to forego this night at their own cost.

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 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.

Day 7: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar 

A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the “Spice Island,” where we have the option to 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.

PLEASE NOTE: Accommodation and meals are for your own account whilst on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own, and in accordance with their own budget. The Trip Leader joins you and can arrange your accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants. There are also a wide variety of optional excursions on offer – please see the price guide on the end of this document for more details.

For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam. There are various optional excursions available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips.

The driver and cook remain behind in Dar es Salaam during the excursion.

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.

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.

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!

Days 12 to 15: 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 4 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 beach side 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 (see pricing guide at the end of this document).

Day 16: Lake Malawi to Chipata (Zambia)

We head away from Lake Malawi, and stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre, to stock up on supplies before crossing into Zambia where we spend the night in a beautiful little campsite just 10 km after the Malawi/Zambia border.

Day 17: Chipata to Lusaka

From Chipata, we head south-west via the Great East Road to our campsite on the outskirts of Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. While today is mostly spent driving, we do cross the impressive Luangwa River Bridge which is heavily guarded due to its close proximity to the Zimbabwean & Malawian borders. We also 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. The difference is evident in the cities with the availability of foreign stores, banks and imported cars, while the villages and smaller towns are still to catch up. Our campsite is home to some local wildlife including the largest antelope – Eland.

Day 18: Lusaka 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 a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi.

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. After lunch, we take a boat cruise along the Chobe River. Once we return and 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.

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 20 minute 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’s swimming pool, viewing the Victoria Falls, or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!

Day 21: 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.

OPTIONAL Excursions include elephant back safaris, horseback safaris, walking with lions, a visit to the crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at The Elephant Hills Resort. 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.

Details
Length 21 Days
Accomodation Camping
Start Point Acacia Camp, Magadi Road off Langata Road
End Point Victoria Falls
Meals 17x Breakfast, 6x Lunch, 5x Supper
Price R14 000 US$480 (Local Payment) / Price Match Guarantee
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