This extensive 35-day African overland tour will take you from Table Mountain in Cape Town to giant sand dunes in Namibia and sun-drenched beaches of tropical Zanzibar and Malawi. It includes experiences in the Victoria Falls and Chobe and South Luangwa National Park, offering the best adventure travel activities Africa has to offer.
This tour combines with our north-bound routes to Nairobi
Day 2. Cederberg Area to Gariep (Orange) River Highlights. Orange (Gariep) River, Namibia.The countryside turns semi-desert as we continue our journey northbound. However, during springtime we are lucky enough to see bright fields of colour with the spring flowers blooming. Our camp, situated on the banks of the Orange River Namibia side, affords us the opportunity to take a canoe out on the river or enjoy the scenic views from the bar area. Free from light pollution, the camp is an idyllic spot to star gaze and possibly witness a shooting star or two.
Day 3. Gariep (Orange) River to Fish River Canyon, Namibia Highlights. Fish River Canyon, Namibia.It's only a relatively short journey today to the world famous Fish River Canyon.
Day 4. Fish River Canyon to Sesriem Area Highlights. Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia.Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world and today we travel to the gateway to the Namib Naukluft National Park. The national park is home to both the world's oldest desert, along with some of the highest sand dunes.
Day 7. Swakopmund Highlights. Swakopmund, Namibia.Quad biking, sand boarding, and sky diving are a few of the dare-devlish ways to discover the dunes. Our team in Swakop, as it's locally known, will take us through the options and make sure we make the most of the time here. One thing that surely shouldn't be missed is the amazing cafe culture!
Day 8. Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe Highlights. Spitzkoppe, Namibia.Turning inland and away from the cooling breezes off the Atlantic Ocean, our overland adventure takes us into Damaraland and the peculiar rock formations and bushman paintings in this spectacular area. This is a very special spot, especially at sunrise and sunset where the rocks seem to change colour in the low rays of the strong African sun.
Day 9. Spitzkoppe to Etosha National ParkOnwards north, we get to enjoy our first game experience on this overland tour. Etosha National Park is dominated by the central salt pan and seasonally managed waterholes which support a wide range of animal and bird species.
Day 10. Etosha National Park Highlights. Etosha National Park, Namibia.Today we enjoy the many sights that are on offer in the park. Game driving in the overland truck allows us to peer over the other vehicles in the park and get some amazing wildlife shots. Before returning to camp, we enjoy a sundowner by one of the floodlit waterholes to round off the wild and wonderful day.
Day 11. Etosha National Park to Windhoek Highlights. Windhoek, Namibia.Turning south our journey takes us to Namibia's capital city, Windhoek. Like Swakopmund, there is a strong German influence and this is reflected in the architecture of the pleasant city. Why not take the opportunity to experience one of the local night spots?
Day 12. Windhoek to Ghanzi, Botswana Highlights. Kalahari Bushman Walk, Botswana.Travelling eastbound through the Kalahari region our journey takes us towards the Botswana border and onwards into the seemingly barren terrain of western Botswana. This region is however home to the San people.
Day 13. Ghanzi to Maun Highlights. Maun, Botswana.We continue onwards through Botswana to the eclectic town of Maun. Located on the banks of the Thamalakane River, Maun is a thriving tourist town and the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Depending on timing, there might be the opportunity this afternoon to take a scenic flight over the 'Delta' itself.
Day 14. Maun to Okavango Delta Highlights. Okavango Delta, Botswana.First off we are onto a 4x4 open truck to transfer to meet our local guides who will be accompanying us in the mokoros (dugout canoes) in the Delta.
Day 15. Okavango Delta to MaunAfter spending a night in the wilds of the delta, we board our mokoros and head back to our camp in Maun. Again, this afternoon it is possible to arrange a flight over the UNESCO heritage site that is the delta or simply enjoy a relaxing day by the camp pool.
Day 16. Maun to Elephant Sands Highlights. Elephant Sands, Nata, Botswana.Our journey continues today travelling between the famous Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans towards the small settlement of Nata. Iconic baobab trees dot the landscape en route to our camp, which is unfenced to allow animals to freely roam from one waterhole to another. Close wildlife encounters are expected during our stay!
Day 18. Kasane to Livingstone, Zambia Highlights. Chobe National Park Game Drive, Botswana. Victoria Falls - Mosi oa Tunya National Park, Zambia.This morning we experience Chobe National Park on open 4x4 vehicle game drive with a specialised guide to get a different perspective of the park. Afterwards, we take a pontoon ferry across to Zambia and head to our camp just upstream from the world-renowned Victoria Falls.
Day 19-20. Livingstone Highlights. Livingstone Activities, Zambia.We have two free days in the adventure mecca that is Livingstone. We will visit the falls themselves and explore the labyrinth of paths around the twists and turns of the gorge.
Day 21. Livingsone to Lusaka Highlights. Lusaka, Zambia.Today we are back on the road continuing our overland journey towards the warm Indian Ocean. Travelling through the lush Zambian countryside we pass through small villages and communities before arriving at the capital city, Lusaka, which is our destination for the night.
Day 22. Lusaka to South Luangwa National Park Accommodation. Wildlife Camp, South Luangwa.Onwards through Zambia we leave the tar road behind, we journey to the renowned South Luangwa National Park. The seasonality of this park makes it a dynamic and interesting visit year round. On arrival, we set up our camp and can either spend the rest of the day relaxing around the pool or possibly take an optional excursion into one of the villages or a walking safari in the park.
Day 23. South Luangwa National Park Highlights. South Luangwa National Park.After a relaxing morning, we depart on a late afternoon game drive in the park. With a specialised guide and purpose-built 4x4 vehicles, we keep our eyes peeled to see some of many animal and bird species in their natural South Luangwa habitat.
Day 24. South Luangwa National Park to Kande Beach, Malawi Highlights. Lake Malawi, Malawi.Today we leave behind South Luangwa National Park and journey across the Zambian boarder into Malawi. Travelling to the north of Malawi's capital city Lilongwe, we are accompanied by the smiles and waves of the friendly local population in the 'Warm Heart of Africa,'' to our pleasant beach camp. Our camp rests on the shores of the lake which takes up the majority of the country's area, Lake Malawi.
Day 25. Kande Beach, Malawi Highlights. Kande Beach Activities, Malawi.Kande Beach on the central lake shore is an idyllic spot to kick back, chill out, and enjoy the cool, fresh water. There are a wide variety of different optional activities available, which include horse riding, meandering through the local village, or snorkelling. The choice is yours.
Day 26. Kande Beach to Chitimba Beach Highlights. Chitimba Beach.Tracking north along the sparkling waters of Lake Malawi, our overland journey takes us through the lush and ordered rubber plantations to the regional capital of Muzuzu. We briefly stop to stock up on supplies and explore the colourful and eclectic markets before heading back down towards the lake shore. Chitimba Beach will be our home for the next couple of nights, which sits beautifully at the foot of the Livingstone Plateau.
Day 27. Chitimba Beach Highlights. Livingstonia Day Hike, Malawi.We have the opportunity for a change of scene today by opting for the 11km hike up the Livingstonia Plateau to the Manchewe Falls. The effort is rewarded by stunning views and a cooling dip in the fresh pools.
Day 28. Chitimba Beach to Iringa, TanzaniaCrossing another border today we leave the sandy beaches of Lake Malawi and continue northwards into southern Tanzania. Climbing steadily up the route takes us through neat tea plantations clinging onto the hillsides and offering stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
Day 29. Iringa to Mikumi Highlights. Mikumi National Park, Tanzania.Today, we head further east to the Mikumi National Park area and set up camp at a locally run lodge just outside the park gates.
Day 30. Mikumi to Dar es Salaam Highlights. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.Travelling east, we make our way to the hot and humid bustling city of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean coast. Our route takes us through Mikumi National Park and we may be lucky enough to see elephant and giraffe grazing along the side of the road. After working through the busy traffic we reach our camp for the night on a palm fringed Indian Ocean beach with the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore.
Day 31. Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar, Stone Town Highlights. Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania.Packing what we need for the next few days, we take the fast ferry this morning across to Zanzibar's port Stone Town. Here we spend our first night on the exotic 'Spice Island.' Wander the alley ways and bazaars, grab some bargains or indulge in some fresh food at one of the markets.
Day 35. Zanzibar to Dar es SalaamRounding off our time, both in Zanzibar and on safari, we have time to reflect on the kilometres travelled and the sights we have seen as we travel back to the mainland via the fast ferry from Stone Town.
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain and in walking distances to the city centre, Ashanti Lodge Backpackers in Gardens is your gateway to Cape Town. This gorgeous Victorian Mansion offers backpacker dormitories to single, double and twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Chill next to the stunning pool, join the party in the legendary Kumasi Café/Bar with its cool cocktails, tasty food and fabulous mountain views or go explore the city's highlights close by.
* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.
An informal and secure thatched resort set on a golden stretch of beach on the south coast of Dar es Salaam and reached by ferry from the city centre. The relaxed restaurant is well-known for its seafood, and has tables set in the sand and hammocks strung up in the palm trees. Rooms – single, twin, double or family share bandas, some en suite, camping. Facilities – restaurant and bar. The Indian Ocean here is ideal for swimming.
* 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 Cape Town 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 Dar es Salaam 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.
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 Okavango Delta on day 15 we use twin share pre-erected tents with basic en-suite facilities. On Zanzibar we use basic tourist class local hotels.
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, mokoro (dugout canoe), river boat, 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 truck 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.
34 Breakfasts, 24 Lunches, 24 Dinners
27 nights camping in 2-person dome tents, 2 nights dorm, 1 night tented camp, 3 nights tourist class hotel
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.
This pass is an optional add-on for this tour.