Rivers, Lakes & Mountains (44 days)

Tour Code 17RLM44. Camping Overland
44 days from
$3'990 USD
USDwas 4695 USD
Plus 690 USD mandatory supplements.
Plus 1140 USD mandatory Adventure Pass
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Suitable for Ages: 18 to 39. Group Size: Maximum 24, Average 16

Trek gorillas, seek out Chimpanzees and chill on beaches on this epic adventure safari!

This overland tour from Johannesburg to Nairobi includes mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda, visits to world renowned Big 5 game parks, the friendly beaches of Lake Malawi, the tropical beaches of Zanzibar, and the mighty Zambezi river - everything you could ask for from the great rivers, shimmering lakes and majestic mountains of southern and east Africa.

This tour includes Gorilla and Chimp Trekking. This is paid at the time of booking - please see supplements for pricing.

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Day 1. Johannesburg to Hazyview Highlights. Shangaan tribal dancing .

Journeying out of the 'city of gold', we head to South Africa's Mpumalanga Province to the small town of Hazyview adjacent to the magnificent Kruger National Park.

Tonight we prepare for our day out in the wild tomorrow checking we have all we need for our Kruger adventure.

Day 2. Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Waking early we have breakfast and then meet our local guides who will be taking us into the Kruger National Park. After safety briefings, we board the 4x4 game viewing vehicles and head off in search of game.

Covering an area of some 24,000 sq km, Kruger is roughly the size of Belgium and home to over 500 species of birds, and 148 species of mammal. Today you'll get the chance to see them in their natural surroundings on game drive.

After lunch in the park you'll continue on game drive in the afternoon, returning back to camp in the early evening.

Day 3. Hazyview to Tshipise Highlights. Tshipise, South Africa.

Heading further north we travel through Amarula country with rolling hills, farms and bushveld scenery on our way to Tshipise near the border of Zimbabwe.

The hot springs at Tshipise bubble up from the earth making for naturally hot swimming pools at the resort - sit back and relax in the warm water tonight.

Day 5. Tshipise to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

This morning we cross one of southern Africa's busiest land borders. After formalities we continue into Zimbabwe and to the second city Bulawayo.

Our camp for the night is a little way out of the city in the Matopos area surrounded by the tranquil landscapes and quirky rocky outcrops.

Day 5. Matobo National Park Highlights. Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe.

Today we head out on another wildlife adventure with an opportunity to head out on foot in the African bushveld.

The Matobo National Park has a high concentration of both black and white rhino. We spend the morning in search of some of these along with the many other wildlife species found here. The surrounding hills are also home to an abundance of birds including the endangered Black eagle.

The afternoon is free to relax.

Day 6. Matobo National Park to Livingstone, Zambia Highlights. Livingstone Activities, Zambia.

Leaving the kopjies and interesting boulder scenes behind, we travel through Zimbabwe to Livingstone in Zambia where we settle in for the next few nights.

Livingstone is based on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls and makes an ideal base to explore the many activities in this area.

Day 7-8. Livingstone Highlights. Victoria Falls - Mosi oa Tunya National Park, Zambia.

The next days are free to explore Livingstone, the Zambezi and the many activities on offer here.

We visit the Mosi oa Tunya National Park to view the Victoria Falls and have time at leisure to relax on the viewing deck at the camp overlooking the Zambezi River.

Choose from a number of optional adventure excursions or kick back and relax - the choice is yours!

Day 9. Livingstone to Lusaka Highlights. Lusaka, Zambia.

Leaving the mighty Zambezi we travel north-east to Zambia's Capital city Lusaka where we spend our next night.

As the fastest growing city in southern Africa, you'll see how the open bushveld suddenly changes to farmland and then suburbs and the city.

Day 10. Lusaka to Chipata

We depart Lusaka and continue on the Great East Road across the Luangwa River to the small town of Chipata near the border of Malawi.

Day 11. Chipata to South Luangwa National Park

One of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world - South Luangwa National Park is remote making it one of the best places for wildlife viewing without crowds.

The Luangwa River waters the surrounding woodland and is a source of water for the masses of elephant and other species found here.

Day 12. South Luangwa National Park Highlights. South Luangwa National Park.

We have some free time this morning to book onto optional game walks, or additional game drives if desired.

This afternoon we board our 4x4 game drive vehicles with our local guide who will show us the surrounding wilderness. We seek out the predators, elephants and antelope and learn about the importance of each within this pristine eco-system.

Day 13. South Luangwa to Kande Beach, Malawi Highlights. Lake Malawi, Malawi.

Leaving Zambia we cross to Malawi and head on through the Capital Lilongwe to pick up supplies. From here it's off to the beach!

Travelling through the countryside it's easy to see why the country has the nick-name 'warm heart of Africa' with the waves and smiles of the Malawians along the way.

Day 14. Kande Beach Highlights. Kande Beach Activities, Malawi.

Today you have some free time to enjoy the warm fresh water Lake Malawi, relax on the beach with a cool beverage, or head out and explore.

Keen divers may want to enjoy scuba diving in the Lake with it's diverse Cichlid species. Horse riders can enjoy a ride out through the villages and even a swim on horse-back. There are also village tours and a local market to interact with the local villagers and chat about life on the Lake.

Day 15. Kande Beach to Chitimba

Journeying north we drive past the vast rubber plantations before making a stop at the town of Mzuzu. There is a large local market place where the surrounding villages come to stock up on wares with many interesting things to see. From here we head back to the northern shores of the Lake and our camp at Chitimba Beach.

Day 16. Chitimba Beach Highlights. Livingstonia Day Hike, Malawi.

With another day at leisure you'll be forgiven for wanting some adventure - and the Livingstonia Mission hike is just the think for those looking to stretch their legs and get in some mountain views.

For the less fit there is a lovely beach to enjoy, and the opportunity to chat to the local craftsmen making their wooden crafts and souvenirs.

Day 17. Chitimba Beach to Iringa, Tanzania

Driving further north we head out of Malawi and into Tanzania. Winding our way up the Rift Valley escarpment we pass through the town of Mbeya and some small villages en-route to our camp for the night at Kizolanza Farm.

Day 18. Iringa to Dar es Salaam Highlights. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

After a night out in the brisk air of the Tanzanian highlands we continue to the tropical coast and the port city Dar es Salaam. Here we spend the night at our camp south of the city, on the beach with views of the warm Indian Ocean.

Day 19. Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar Highlights. Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

We catch our ferry to the spice island this morning and once we've completed the immigration formalities on arrival, head to our lodge in Zanzibar's Capital - Stone Town.

There is much to explore in this old city. Head out the the markets or marvel at the many winding alleyways with the traders seated on door-steps along the way. There are many restaurants and cafes to choose from for meals while on the island - try the fresh seafood delights or savour the flavours of the fresh fruit in a local cocktail sundowner.

Day 20 to 22. Zanzibar Highlights. Zanzibar, Northern Beaches, Tanzania.

Time on Zanzibar is spent at leisure to allow for activities and experiences on the island.

The group generally heads north on day 20 to spend the remaining nights at a beach location to allow for water sports and diving. The beaches are perfect to relax on and there are a number of optional excursions to enjoy from here.

Day 23. Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam

This morning we finish off some final shopping and sight seeing in Stone Town before we head back to Dar es Salaam and our truck at the beach camp.

Day 24. Dar es Salaam to Marangu Highlights. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Marangu, Moshi Area, Tanzania.

Journeying inland we pass by the Usumbara Mountains heading north. With a bit of luck we'll glimpse the snow capped Kilimanjaro on the way as we approach our camp at it's base at Marangu.

Day 25. Marangu to Arusha Highlights. Meserani Snake Park, Tanzania.

After a night at the base of the 'roof of Africa' we continue on through the bustling town of Moshi to the safari capital - Arusha.

After stocking up on supplies for the next few days on Safari, we continue to our camp at Meserani where you'll have the opportunity to visit the reptile park and Maasai Cultural Museum.

Day 26. Arusha to Serengeti National Park Highlights. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

After packing our gear on the smaller game viewing vehicles and being briefed by our guides, we hit the road toward safari country.

Passing through some small farming villages along the way, we must first cross the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Crater rim en-route to the famed Serengeti National Park. We traverse the plains on search for resident wildlife and spend the night in an open bush-camp comforted by the sounds of the Serengeti night.

Day 27. Serengeti to Ngorongoro Crater

We head out with the rising sun on a morning game drive to see if we can catch the predators while they're still active after the night.

After our drive we pack up camp and head out over the plains retracing our steps to the Ngorongoro Crater where we camp tonight on the crater rim. With exquisite views into the caldera, the camp is also open to free roaming game - watch out for the zebra on your way to the shower!

Day 28. Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha Highlights. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

This morning's highlight is game driving in the Ngorongoro Crater. Heading down the steep crater walls you'll spot the herds as they wake for the day and with a bit of luck, the predators won't be far behind.

With many different habitats in a relatively small area, the Ngorongoro Crater offers a fantastic wildlife viewing experience - not to be missed!

Tonight we're back at our truck in Meserani where the local bar makes the perfect place to regale fellow group members with tales of your Safari.

Day 29. Arusha to Nairobi, Kenya

We pass Mount Meru on the outskirts of Arusha on our drive north to the border with Kenya, where after border formalities we continue on to the Capital city Nairobi.

Our camp tonight is in the suburb of Karen which is closely located to local highlights to explore on our free day tomorrow.

Day 30. Nairobi

Spend the day visiting the Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage where you'll get to see rescued elephants of every shape and size. Alternatively the Langatta Giraffe Centre offers the unique opportunity to learn about Giraffe.

Nairobi has a number of museums and points of interest that can be explored today.

Day 31. Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park Highlights. Lake Nakuru, Kenya.

From the bustling Capital we make our way down the Kenyan Rift Valley escarpment and on to the town of Nakuru, and the small but wildlife rich Nakuru National Park. This afternoon we explore the park and hope to see the pink flamingos, rhino, giraffe and if we really peal our eyes - the resident leopards too!

Day 32. Lake Nakuru to Eldoret Highlights. Equator.

From Nakuru we continue northwest and climb in altitude towards the town of Eldoret en route to the Ugandan frontier. We cross from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere today over the Equator, enjoy some time here learning a little about its significance and taking photos before moving onwards to Eldoret.

Day 33. Eldoret to Kampala, Uganda Highlights. Kampala, Uganda.

We cross into Uganda this morning and make our way through the beautiful natural scenery,farmlands and villages to the Capital city Kampala.

Day 34. Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park

From the Capital we head out to the mountains and the Queen Elizabeth National Park area where we will spend then next few nights.

Delight in the scenery en-route with the many villages and farms. This afternoon you'll enjoy some free time to head out and explore.

Day 35. Queen Elizabeth National Park Highlights. Chimpanzee Trek, Kyamburu Gorge, Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

This morning we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take in the magnificent views of the mountains that separate Uganda from central Africa as well as Lake Edward and Lake George. In fact Queen Elizabeth National park has over 500 species of bird and 100 species of mammals making it one of the most bio diverse national parks in the world and if we are lucky, we may get to spot these animals en route to Kyambura Gorge for the trek to see the chimpanzees.

Day 36. Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Bunyonyi Highlights. Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda.

Today we make our way to the lush and picturesque ‘Lake Bunyonyi’ (‘Place of many little birds’). This lake is 27 km long, 7km wide and at an elevation of 1950 metres above sea level is surrounded by undulating hills between 2200m to 2478 m high.

Day 37 to 38. Lake Bunyonyi and Gorilla Trekking Highlights. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Mountain gorillas.

This region of Africa is home to the world’s remaining 700 mountain gorillas, many of which inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

On the day of our trek we gather in the early morning to meet our local guide and tracker. Walking in small groups we trek into the thick rain forest. The trek can be demanding at times with uneven terrain and hilly rain forest but the privilege of spending time with a family of these gentle primates makes the effort well worthwhile. To many people the day’s trek and time with the gorillas remains their most exciting wildlife encounter in Africa.

Groups take turns to trek and while not out in the forest there is ample opportunity to relax at camp or explore the surrounding villages.

Day 39. Lake Bunyonyi to Kampala Highlights. Kampala, Uganda.

After our magnificent wildlife and lake encounters we make our way back to the Capital city Kampala where we have the opportunity to head out for a night on the town tonight.

Along the way we stop off at the equator where north & south meet.

Day 40. Kampala to Jinja

Today we make our way to the White Nile and our lovely riverside camp at Jinja. The town is nestled at the source of this mighty river which supplies the surrounding villages and towns with a much needed source of water, and makes for great adventure activities too!

Day 41-42. Jinja Highlights. Jinja, Uganda.

Our camp is situated on the grassy banks overlooking the Nile River. It is here that we have the option to try river rafting - an exciting day out for those enjoying the thrill of ‘white-water’. There is also the opportunity to make some difference to local children at a local school project: ‘Softpower’ is a locally run voluntary programme aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area to which your contribution of a few hours of painting or plastering is always most welcome. Other activities at Jinja include mountain biking, quad biking, village walks and even bungy jumping!

Day 43. Jinja to Eldoret, Kenya

We bid our farewells to Uganda and cross over to Eldoret once more. Tonight is our last night together and we enjoy the evening chatting about our wild adventures.

Day 44. Eldoret to Nairobi

Travelling back up the Rift Valley Escarpment we make our way back into the hustle and bustle of the city where our tour ends.

Suggested Pre-Tour Accommodation.

MoAfrika Lodge, Johannesburg

MoAfrika literally means 'African People' in the language of the local Sotho populace, the original inhabitants of the Highveld. Your host, Anthony, has skillfully created a unique lodge in which an african theme induces a warm welcome for guests. Set on a 8000 square metre land through which a stream flows, MoAfrika Lodge provides a rustic and tranquil setting where guests can unwind in a relaxed and country atmosphere. Rooms - single, dorm, family and twin/double en-suite rooms available. Breakfast and airport transfer available.

* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Suggested Post-Tour Accommodation.
Hotel Boulevard, Nairobi

Conveniently located on Nairobi's Harry Thuku Road and set in manicured gardens, this hotel offers a peaceful oasis in the centre of town. Walking distance to shops and craft markets. Rooms – single, twin, double en suite rooms with balcony and satellite TV. Facilities – restaurant, bar, swimming pool, internet, laundry. Transfers are available from the Airport by pre-arrangement

* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Additional Info

PRE TOUR ACCOMMODATION:
This tour departs Johannesburg early on day 1; we strongly recommend therefore that you plan to arrive the day before departure to overcome any jet-lag and to acclimatise to Africa. We would be happy to book pre-tour accommodation for you – please call or email us (or speak to your agent) with your arrival details and accommodation requirements. However please book early to avoid disappointment and the risk of having to find more expensive (or less convenient) lodgings.

If time allows, we also suggest planning a night or two extra (after your tour) to make the most of this part of Africa. Accommodation is usually available locally on arrival but you can also pre-book this with Acacia. There is a variety of activities and excursions in the Nairobi area you can arrange locally or with your Tour Leader.

ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS:
These are optional activities that are booked during your holiday and paid directly to the provider while on tour. These options offer a variety of experiences and allow you the freedom to decide what activities you would like to do.

GORILLA & CHIMPANZEE TREK:
Depending on the availability of the chimpanzee and gorilla permits the tour itinerary may vary in day to day running order which is based on the brochure itinerary. From time to time we may have to trek on different days. If at any chance our Gorilla trek should be in another neighbouring country, e.g. Rwanda (instead of Uganda) this may entail extra visa fees although we shall endeavour to advise you before departure of any significant changes to the tour itinerary. Please take the above itinerary as a guideline only. This applies to day 36 – 38 of this tour.

ACCOMMODATION:
We use 2-person dome tents with fly sheets, sewn-in groundsheets, zip-up insect screens and foam mattresses. We mainly use campsites, which usually have reasonable wash and shower facilities, electricity points and sometimes even a small shop, bar or swimming pool. In the Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater there are basic facilities. On Zanzibar we use basic tourist class local hotels.

TRANSPORT:
24-seater, self-contained, custom-built safari truck with on-board tables, plug sockets, freezer, water tank, library, i-pod jack, safety features and 70-litre individual lockers, 4x4 safari vehicle and fast ferry.

GAME PARK VISITS:
In order to maximise the quality of game driving and to comply with local authority rulings, some of our National Park visits and game viewing is carried out using services provided by local African ground handlers. As well as enhancing our experience using local guides and smaller vehicles it also allows us to contribute at a ‘grassroots’ level to local economies from which local people benefit.

Meals
41 Breakfasts, 33 Lunches, 33 Dinners

Accommodation
Camping in 2-person dome tents

Includes.
Fully equipped safari vehicle
Camping and cooking equipment
All road tolls and vehicle taxes
All ground transportation
Sleeping mattress
Meals as indicated
Services of two crew

Included Highlights
Kruger NP, Full Day Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide
Shangaan Cultural Evening
Matobo National Park, Open Vehicle Game Drive and Wilderness Walk with Resident Guide*
Mosi Oa Tunya NP, Victoria Falls Visit
South Luangwa NP, Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*
Zanzibar, Return Ferry & Accommodation
Maasai Village Walk with Resident Guide
Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater Excursion in Purpose Built Vehicles, Game Drives with Resident Guide*
The Great Rift Valley
Lake Nakuru NP, Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*

*Highlights are included in the Adventure Pass
Excludes.
Visas
Flights
Travel insurance
Departure taxes
Airport transfers
Sleeping bag
Optional activities
Drinks, tips
Items of a personal nature
Meals on Zanzibar (Lunches x 4, Dinners x 4) Meals in Nairobi (Lunch x 1, Dinner x 2)
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Adventure Pass

Every Overland tour has an Adventure Pass which is paid to your tour leader in Africa at the beginning of the tour (or pre-paid by arrangement prior to your tour). This is separate and in addition to the Tour Price, and covers selected park entries, activities and excursions along the way where payment goes directly to the supplier to ensure local suppliers benefit directly from the income.

1140 USD or 1240 USD * (If prepaid)

* This pass is a compulsory add-on for this tour.

The Adventure Pass for this tour includes

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