This fantastic tour explores famous game parks, misty mountains and golden beaches of Eastern and Southern Africa. Trek for the chimpanzees and gorillas in Uganda, game drive in Maasai Mara Reserve and Serengeti National Park. Visit the tropical island of Zanzibar and the picturesque Lake Malawi and game drive in two of Southern Africa's best national parks, Matobo and Kruger. This tour will leave you with the spirit of Africa.
Gorilla and Chimp trekking permits are booked at the time of confirming your tour at an additional cost. See more info for detail
Day 1. Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park Highlights. Lake Nakuru, Kenya. Accommodation. Punda Millias.Boarding our Acacia vehicle, we depart Nairobi and descend into the ‘Great Rift Valley’, an enormous cleft in the Earth’s surface stretching from the Red Sea across Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi to the lower Zambezi River valley in Mozambique. We stop at a lookout point to take in the magnificent views over the valley floor.
Day 2. Lake Nakuru National Park to Eldoret Highlights. Equator. Accommodation. Naiberi Camp.Today we travel north-west making our way across the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere over the Equator, enjoying some time here learning a little about its significance and taking photos. It's then on to Eldoret, the 5th largest city in Kenya and is the fastest growing with a population of approx 194,000.
Day 3. Eldoret to Kampala, Uganda Highlights. Kampala, Uganda. Accommodation. Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala.Travelling west, we leave Kenya and cross the border into Uganda with its lush vegetation and friendly people. We make our way to the country's capital Kampala, an attractive hilly city, bustling with roadside traders and markets where we spend the night.
Day 4. Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park Accommodation. Simba Camp, Uganda.From Kampala, we cross the equator again and travel through picturesque mountains and hilly terraced farmlands as the local Ugandan's tend to their plantations from tea to bananas. Keeping our eyes peeled, we may get see herds of Ankole cattle with their incredible long curving horns roaming the roads and paddocks. We arrive at our accommodation for the night just outside of the gates to the Queen Elizabeth National park, famous for its tree climbing lions.
Day 6. Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Bunyonyi Highlights. Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. Accommodation. Lake Bunyonyi Camp.We make our way south to Lake Bunyonyi, a stunning lake high up at 1950 metres above sea level, surrounded by undulating hills between 2200m to 2478m high. At 27km long and 7km wide, this majestic lake has twenty-nine islands dotted in its waters that can all be reached by local boat.
Day 9. Lake Bunyonyi to Kampala Highlights. Equator. Accommodation. Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala.Rising early, we leave lake Bunyonyi and travel east across the Equator to Kampala where we will overnight. We pass through many small towns and villages as we travel and see the rural lifestyle of the local Ugandan people. The evening is yours at leisure to explore the cities vibrant nightlife, try the local cuisines and enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the local Ugandans.
Day 10. Kampala to Jinja Accommodation. Nile River Explorer.We travel a short distance to the adventure capital of Uganda 'Jinja' - on the banks of Lake Victoria and the White Nile. It was in 1862 that the British explorer John Hanning Speke recognised Lake Victoria as the ‘source of the Nile’ which begins its 4132-mile course through Uganda, Sudan and eventually Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.
Day 11-12. Jinja Highlights. Jinja, Uganda. Accommodation. Nile River Explorer.The next two days we have free time in the area by taking the opportunity to make some difference to local children at a local school project: ‘Soft power’ - a locally run volunteer programme aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area. Other activities at Jinja include white water rafting, mountain biking, quad biking, village walks or visit the nearby town to sample the Ugandan cuisine.
Day 13. Jinja to Eldoret, Kenya Accommodation. Naiberi Camp.Leaving Jinja, we retrace our steps across the border into Kenya and onwards to Eldoret, where we will stay for the evening. The name ‘Eldoret’ is based on the Masai word ‘Eldore’ meaning stony river, due to the stony bed of the nearby Sosiani River.
Day 14. Eldoret to Nairobi Accommodation. Karen Camp, Nairobi.Heading south, crossing the Equator again we travel to Nairobi where we spend the next two nights exploring the 'garden city'.
Day 15. Nairobi Highlights. Nairobi. Accommodation. Karen Camp, Nairobi.Today you are free to explore the city and surrounding area on the many optional excursions include catching a taxi into town to check out the shopping, markets, bars and restaurants; Visit the National Museum of Kenya, the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre or check out the Karen Blixen Museum in the nearby town of Karen.
Day 16. Nairobi to Maasai Mara National Reserve Accommodation. Maasai Mara Camp.Waking early, packed and ready, we depart the city descending the sweeping plains of the Great Rift Valley to Kenya's most famed Reserve 'Maasai Mara'. We travel in small specialised pop-top safari vehicles that enable us to have a more intimate view of wildlife. We spend two nights at a tented camp on the edge of the Reserve with time to explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives in search for Africa’s ‘Big Five’ (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) and an array of other wildlife.
Day 17. Maasai Mara National Reserve Highlights. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. Accommodation. Maasai Mara Camp.The sweeping plains, distant horizons, low slung acacia trees, and plentiful wildlife will ensure an amazing day game driving. The ‘Mara’ is crossed every year between July and October by great herds of wildebeest, zebra and other grazing animals in their migration from the adjoining Serengeti plains to the south (in Tanzania). How long they stay is dependent on rainfall and subsequent grass growth in the rainy season. Predators (such as lion, cheetah, leopard) and scavengers (hyena, vultures) follow the grazing animals and this enormous congregation of wildlife forms a spectacular display of Africa’s natural resource.
Day 18. Maasai Mara National Reserve to Nairobi Accommodation. Karen Camp, Nairobi.We leave the Mara this morning and retrace our steps across the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi where we overnight.
Day 20. Arusha to Serengeti National Park Highlights. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Accommodation. Serengeti Camp.Packed and ready, we board our 4x4 safari vehicles and drive west across the Great Rift Valley, passing through Mto Wa Mbo (‘mosquito creek’).
Day 21. Ngorongoro Crater Accommodation. Simba Camp, Ngorongoro Crater.Rising with the sun, we drive out of the plains, game driving en-route to view the wildlife in this haven including leopard, lions, cheetahs, elephants, hippo and numerous antelope species. After lunch, we ascend the outer wall of the Ngorongoro Crater and spend the night camping on the rim. At 326 square kilometres, the Ngorongoro is Africa’s largest intact caldera and a World Heritage Site.
Day 22. Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha Highlights. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Accommodation. Meserani Snake Park.Waking early, we board our 4x4 vehicle with our eagle-eyed driver at the wheel and descend the steep dirt road into the crater for a morning of game driving in this spectacular wildlife haven.
Day 23. Arusha to Bagamoyo Highlights. Bagamoyo, Tanzania. Accommodation. Firefly Camp.Today we travel south via Moshi and the Pare and Usambara Mountain ranges to Bagamoyo. If the weather is clear we may gain a view of the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak (5895m).
Day 24. Bagamoyo to Dar es Salaam Highlights. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Accommodation. Kipepeo Beach Village, Dar es Salaam.It's now off to Dar es Salaam, the main port and hub of commerce and industry in Tanzania. This bustling hot, humid and seaport city of a mixture of modern and Arab-influenced architecture is the accessing point to one of the most important sea routes in the world and the port of entry to Zanzibar and other archipelago islands. We set up on the beach to the south of the city, take in the balmy Indian Ocean sea breeze, and prepare for our trip to Zanzibar.
Day 26-27. Zanzibar Highlights. Zanzibar, Northern Beaches, Tanzania. Accommodation. Sunset Bungalows Kendwa.Over the next two days, it's off to the Northern Beaches to enjoy the Indian Ocean at its best. Try snorkelling and diving the pristine colourful reefs, indulge in some sumptuous seafood, or simply relax beneath a coconut palm with a cocktail and a good book.
Day 28. Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam Accommodation. Kipepeo Beach Village, Dar es Salaam.Leaving the northern beaches behind, we transfer back to Stone Town for some last minute shopping before catching the ferry back to the mainland and onward to our accommodation just outside of the bustling city of Dar es Salaam.
Day 29. Dar es Salaam to Mikumi Highlights. Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Accommodation. Tanswiss, Mikumi.Leaving the coast, we make our way inland through the Mikumi National Park, the 5th largest park at 3,230 km² where we may, with luck, spot some of the abundance of wildlife - elephants, giraffe, buffaloes, zebras, elands, greater Kudu feeding near the side of the road. Our accommodation is located a short stone’s throw from the park gates and we enjoy sundowners at the local bar/ restaurant followed by the evening around the open fire under the blanket of stars.
Day 30. Mikumi to Iringa Accommodation. Iringa Farmhouse.We continue our journey, rising to an altitude of 1600m in the Southern Highlands to the town of Iringa and the Kisolanza Farm. This picturesque farm is home to the Ghaui family for over 70 years and provides organic meat and vegetables to the surrounding markets as well as Dar es Salaam. The farm house is a well-known spot to stay and is the overnight near our mid-way point for our journey from the ocean to the Malawi.
Day 31. Iringa to Chitimba Beach, Malawi Accommodation. Chitimba Camp, Lake Malawi.We leave Tanzania today and cross the border into Malawi. Lake Malawi or ‘Lake Nyasa’ as it was formerly known, covers almost a fifth of the country’s area and provides the source of livelihood for many of the Malawian people. With the highest number of endemic freshwater tropical fish species of any freshwater lake in the world, it is also a sought after diving hot-spot.
Day 33. Chitimba Beach to Kande Beach Accommodation. Kande Beach, Malawi.From one beach resort to another, we leave Chitimba and travel south through the mountainous rift-valley terrain, pausing for supplies at the town of Mzuzu.
Day 34. Kande Beach Highlights. Kande Beach Activities, Malawi. Accommodation. Kande Beach, Malawi.Today you’ll have some free time to try some of the water sports available or simply relax and enjoy the warm fresh waters of Lake Malawi. There is the opportunity to meet the local people, generally known as some of the friendliest in Africa, to gain insight into their way of life on an optional guided Village Walk, or you can simply head out and explore the lakeside and the craft markets.
Day 35. Kande Beach to Chipata, Zambia Accommodation. Mamarula Camp.After a refreshing break on the lake, we make our way past the outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi's capital, and cross the border into Zambia, formerly known as Northern Rhodesia until independence in1964. Our overnight stop is at Chipata, the Eastern Province capital.
Day 36. Chipata to Lusaka Highlights. Lusaka, Zambia. Accommodation. Eureka Camp, Lusaka.Today we take the Great Eastern Road through rustic villages, wild mountainous terrain, across the Luangwa River to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. With 1.7m inhabitants, this city is located on Zambia’s southern plateau at an elevation of 1300m with four main highways running north, south, east and west to different parts of Africa.
Day 37. Lusaka to Livingstone Highlights. Victoria Falls - Mosi oa Tunya National Park, Zambia. Accommodation. The Zambezi Waterfront, Livingstone.Journeying on, we travel south to Livingstone and settle into our accommodation at the Waterfront on the banks of the Zambezi River, just a few kilometres from the Victoria Falls, one of the world's natural wonders. At various times of the year, the spray from the ‘Falls’ can be seen from up to 20 or 30 kilometres away, hence the local name Mosi oa Tunya – the ‘smoke that thunders’.
Day 38-40. Livingstone Highlights. Livingstone Activities, Zambia. Accommodation. The Zambezi Waterfront, Livingstone.Over the next 3 days, explore Livingstone to the fullest! Partake in some of the activities on offer, visit the town and markets and sample the local cuisine at the many restaurants in the area or simply relax poolside at the Waterfront.
Day 41. Livingstone to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Highlights. Bulawayo. Accommodation. Burkes Paradise.Departing Livingstone, we cross the border to Zimbabwe and pass through Victoria Falls town and on to Bulawayo, a pleasant city with broad tree lined avenues and the second-largest city in Zimbabwe after the capital Harare.
Day 42. Matobo National Park Highlights. Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe. Accommodation. Burkes Paradise.Rising early, we meet our local guides and board our open safari vehicle and drive to the Motobo National Park. This magnificent park occupies a total area of 44 500 hectares situated in the magnificent Matobo Hills, a range of domes, spires and balancing rock formations which have been hewn out of the solid granite plateau through millions of years of erosion. It is also home to the sites of numerous Bushman paintings. These are of great spiritual importance to the indigenous people here.
Day 43. Bulawayo to Tshipise, South Africa Highlights. Tshipise, South Africa. Accommodation. Forever Resorts, Tshipise.Heading south, we drive through Zimbabwe's mountain ranges to the busy border at Beitbridge. Completing formalities, we cross the Limpopo River -the second largest in South Africa and continue to Tshipise, a town situated in the northern Limpopo province. Our accommodation is located at the foot of one of Limpopo’s rolling koppies, home to hot springs and set adjacent the Honnet Nature Reserve.
Day 44. Tshipise to Hazyview Highlights. Shangaan Cultural Evening. Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.From Tshipise, we travel to Hazyview, a small modest town skirting southern Africa’s premier game reserve, the Kruger National Park.
Day 45. Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa. Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.Waking at sunrise, we meet our local guides, board our open 4x4 safari vehicles ready for our game drive in Kruger. With camera and binoculars at hand, we enthusiastically search for the roaming wildlife during the morning and afternoon. We take a well-deserved lunch break en-route before game driving out of the park to our accommodation for the night.
Day 46. Hazyview to PretoriaLeaving Kruger behind we depart the scenic Mpumalanga province and make our way to South Africa's commercial hub Pretoria where our tour ends.
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.
Court Classique Suite Hotel is set among the embassy buildings in suburban Arcadia, Pretoria. This 3-storey building is 3.9 km from the city centre allowing easy access to restaurants, cinemas shops and cultural attractions. It's also 6.5 km from the Pretoria National Botanical Garden. Court Classique Suite Hotel offers single and double ensuite rooms, free WiFi, a restaurant, swimming pool, a spa room and wine cellar.
* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.
PRE TOUR ACCOMMODATION:
This tour departs Nairobi 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 Pretoria 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 AND CHIMPANZEE TREKS & PERMITS:
The Uganda Wildlife Authority imposes strict regulations regarding the gorilla trekking permits. One of these is that permits must be booked and paid in advance. In order for us to do this we must collect your permit fee, in addition to your normal deposit, at the time of booking. Like your deposit, the permit fee is not refundable if you cancel your tour. The Gorilla and Chimpanzee permit currently (January 2020) costs between US$780.00 - US$800.00 per person. Please ask your agent or Acacia for the equivalent amount in your own currency. On rare occasions, subject to permit availability, we may purchase trekking permits to view the gorillas in neighbouring Rwanda. Please take the above itinerary as a guideline only. This applies to day 7-8 of this tour.
Twin share accommodation with facilities (43 nights) twin share tents with a sleeping bag, pillow and mattress (2 nights) some accommodation may have a bar or swimming pool.
24-seater, self-contained, custom-built safari vehicle 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.
This is a participation tour and your help will be needed in assisting with the various day to day duties, such as shopping, cooking and keeping the Acacia vehicle tidy (usually on a rota basis). But don’t worry it’s not all hard work and it’s a great way to meet the local people and get to know your fellow travellers. Your contribution benefits the success of the tour - most people find the greater their involvement, the greater their enjoyment of the whole trip. Our accommodated tour option travels together with the camping counterpart.
44 Breakfasts, 36 Lunches, 36 Dinners
43 nights twin share accommodation, 2 night bush camping at Serengeti/Ngorongoro (equipment supplied).
Every adventure 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.
* This pass is a compulsory add-on for this tour.