Spend the most incredible five weeks of your life travelling to East Africa's top wildlife areas, rainforests, beaches and lakes - embarking on this Vic Falls to Nairobi Gorilla Trekking Overland Safari!
Start off with game viewing in the untamed South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, followed by a few days of relaxation on the shores of Lake Malawi. Ferry off to the tropical beaches of Zanzibar Island to put your feet up or get active in the clear warm waters. Set off on an optional camping trip to the Serengeti Park & Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania to see the plethora of wild animals roaming these top Tanzanian game parks!
Go game viewing in the world-famous Masai Mara, drive through the Great Rift Valley and explore Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya. Cross into Uganda for the magical experience of trekking African Mountain Gorillas in the rainforests and trek chimpanzees in Budongo Forest.
We wrap up this very reasonably priced accommodated East Africa & Gorilla Trekking Safari in Nairobi, Kenya.
This extraordinary East Africa & Gorilla Trekking Safari sets off from Victoria Falls, crossing into neighbouring Zambia. From Livingstone, near Vic Falls, we journey towards the rapidly-developing Zambian capital of Lusaka.
As we drive deeper into Zambia you will see the vegetation becoming more sub-tropical and the roads a little rougher. Zambia's wilderness areas remain wild and unspoilt, having undergone little development. The largely unexplored wild places of Zambia offer an uncrowded and authentic African wildlife adventure.
This safari comes with an optional Activity Package at an additional cost. The itinerary includes these highly-recommended activities. Contact African Budget Safaris for a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package and see the Full Pricing Information above for the cost of the Activity Package.
Today we take a long drive through lush countryside, crossing rivers as we drive to Petauke, a popular gateway to the South Luangwa National Park. Zambia is truly African, making for a unique travel experience that calls for an adjustment from the more Western ways of several other Southern African countries.
Early this morning we leave Petauke and travel to the boundary of South Luangwa National Park. Along the way we stop at a local textile initiative to view the fabric production (closed December to March) and browse the fabric products made by the community. For the next two nights we base ourselves on the banks of the Luangwa River.
Sitting at the bar of our camp you can spot hippos, birds and various animals coming to the river to drink and cool off. In the afternoon we enjoy a sunset game drive in the untamed South Luangwa National Park of Zambia. South Luangwa is home to an abundance of wildlife, including buffalos, zebras, leopards, elephants, hippos, giraffes and crocodiles.
You have the option of embarking on a morning game drive in South Luangwa today. This wild game park is known for its high concentration of leopards and hippos, among other animals. Alternatively, you have the chance to join a walking safari in the game-rich bush. South Luangwa is renowned for walking safaris, being one of the first places to offer game walks.
Continuing our East African exploration we cross into Malawi, known as the Warm Heart of Africa. Entering Malawi we travel to Lake Malawi, the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa.
The historical town of Ngala Beach lies in the Nkhotakota Region, on the shores of the incredibly scenic Lake Malawi. Our lodge is located right next to Lake Malawi, which enjoys a pleasant climate for swimming year-round. Time allowing you can go snorkelling straight away, or take a swim and a stroll on the sandy beach.
Day six of our Vic Falls to Nairobi Gorilla Trekking Safari takes us a little further north along the shores of Lake Malawi to our base for the next three nights.
There is plenty of time for you to relax on the sandy shores of Lake Malawi, explore the area or participate in optional activities, such as snorkelling. The clear warm waters of this vast African Lake make it an ideal destination for snorkelling to spot the brightly coloured cichlid fish found here. Another option is to take a ride in a dug-out canoe, testing your balance in the traditional vessel used by locals here.
Lake Malawi is known for its friendly locals and fresh fish, in addition to the excellent water activities at this scenic lake. You can also enjoy some walks here, including an optional full day hike up to the old mission of Livingstonia.
Today we leave Lake Malawi and cross into neighbouring Tanzania. Ascending out of the Great Rift Valley we drive over some spectacular mountain passes, travelling through rolling tea plantations in the Tanzanian highlands before arriving at our camp outside Iringa.
This evening our dinner is in a local Kihehe Hut where we enjoy a traditional Tanzanian evening, or at a well-known restaurant called the Mud Ruins.
From Iringa we drive north to the Mikumi National Park, part of the larger Selous Game Reserve ecosystem. Mikumi Park is home to lion, zebra, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and elephant, among other wildlife and over 400 species of birds.
Enjoy an afternoon game drive in Mikumi Park, where the open Mkata Floodplains host an abundance of wild animals.
Our epic Vic Falls to Nairobi & Gorilla Trekking Safari journeys out of the cool highland region of Tanzania and down to the humid Indian Ocean coastal city of Dar es Salaam. The Arabic for ‘house of peace, Dar es Salaam is the commercial and trade capital of Tanzania, even though Dodoma is still the official capital city.
Dar es Salaam is a hot, lush city bursting with lively markets, rich history and bright colours.
From Dar es Salaam we catch a local ferry across to Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar Island.
From there we take a transfer to the northern part of Zanzibar Island where we will spend our time relaxing on the white sand beaches. At Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar there are various activities available, as well as excursions to explore the tropical islands. Popular activities include spice tours (Zanzibar Islands are after all called the Spice Islands), taking you into the plantations and showing you the brightly coloured and aromatic spices grown here.
Other favourites include snorkelling and scuba diving in the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean to see the assortment of marine life and colourful reefs.
We spend night three in Stone Town, exploring the historical and unique architecture of this culturally diverse town. There are also colourful spice and fresh seafood markets that we visit on our included Spice & City Tour of Stone Town.
Today we leave the beach paradise of Zanzibar Islands and catch the ferry back to Dar es Salaam where our safari truck awaits us.
Next on this Vic Falls to Nairobi Overland Safari we drive to Bagamoyo, founded in the late 1700's.
Today dhow sailing boats are built here and the town offers insight into the history of Tanzania, particularly the 19th century when it was a major trading post. The name Bagamoyo means “lay down your heart” and dates back to the slave trading days in East Africa. The history of Bagamoyo includes interesting German colonial, Swahili, Arabic and Christian missionary influences.
Arriving in the vibrant town we make our way to our next overnight stay, located along the beach. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, lie on the beach and enjoy the sea views. You can also walk into town for a dose of local Tanzanian culture in Bagamoyo.
Today we take a scenic drive to Arusha, the gateway to the Northern Safari Circuit in Tanzania. Located near the world-famous Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater Area, this is the base for our next wildlife adventure. From here we embark on our memorable African wildlife experience in these top Tanzanian Game Parks. Game viewing in the Serengeti is always an unforgettable adventure!
Greet the friendly locals with a "saitaa" in the lively town of Arusha - a good place to visit local markets and get a taste of Tanzanian life. Arusha is located at the base of Mount Meru, Africa's fifth highest peak. This growing town is set in an area of Tanzania that has a cool climate and features lush green hills.
The next few days are set aside for the optional camping trip into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater (excluded from the Activity Package).
This area of Tanzania has one of the densest large animal populations in Africa. The Serengeti Park & Ngorongoro Crater excursion is conducted in open 4x4 safari vehicles to help navigate the rough roads in these top game parks. We spend our days on game drives on the open plains of Serengeti - prime Big Five territory and home to the Great Migration. From Serengeti we descend into the Ngorongoro Crater to see the high concentrations of wildlife found here.
For those not visiting the Serengeti Plains and Ngorongoro Crater, this is a great chance to experience some of the fascinating local culture in this part of East Africa. There are also several activities and day trips available for those not taking the optional camping trip.
Today the safari group meets up again and we have the chance to exchange stories of the various incredible adventures that we participated in over the past few days in East Africa.
We travel north, crossing into Kenya where we continue to dynamic Nairobi, our next exciting overnight stop. Enjoy an optional meal out at one of Nairobi’s excellent restaurants in the evening.
Today our Vic Falls to Nairobi Gorilla Trekking Overland Safari leaves Nairobi, the largest city in East Africa and the capital of Kenya. We drive southwest to the legendary Masai Mara Game Reserve. This is the game-rich landscape where wildlife documentaries and films of untamed Africa are made - the quintessential African safari destination.
Travelling into the Great Rift Valley of East Africa we pass through scenic landscapes dotted with rural villages. The semi-nomadic Maasai are found in this region of Kenya, and are best known for their brightly-coloured robes and fierce warriors, as well as their traditional dancing.
An exciting day ahead, we explore the world-renowned Masai Mara Game Reserve, home to the highest concentration of wildlife in Kenya.
Located along the Kenya-Tanzania border the Masai Mara Reserve is best known for the great annual migration that takes place between its vast plains and the Serengeti Park in Tanzania. We spend the whole day game viewing in Masai Mara, one of the greatest game parks on earth, praised for its spectacular scenery. The rolling grasslands inhabited by an abundance of game make for excellent photographic opportunities and game sightings.
Our game drives take us in search of the Big Five, the big cats and the abundance of other interesting wild animals found in this beautiful 1500km² game reserve. We are almost guaranteed to see the Big Five of Africa – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo - in Masai Mara, as well as cheetah, hyena, giraffe and zebra. Masai Mara is also home to hippo, jackal, the bat-eared fox, wildebeest, baboon, warthog and numerous antelope species, such as impala and topi.
The Great Migration as the annual wildebeest migration is called is an awe-inspiring wildlife spectacle where thousands of wildebeest, zebra and Thompson’s gazelle stampede across the open plains dashing through the Mara River dodging the Nile crocodiles lying in waiting.
This morning we get up early for one more game drive in the magnificent Masai Mara National Reserve. Then we set off north from Masai Mara, one of the best game parks in Africa, making our way to Lake Nakuru. This Great Rift Valley soda lake is famous for the huge flamingo flocks that sometimes gather here. In the afternoon we head out into the savannah on a game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park.
This recently expanded 180km² game park is home to more than 25 black rhinos, one of the highest concentrations in Kenya, as well as about 70 white rhinos. Wild animals commonly sighted include impala, gazelle, warthog, waterbuck, resident hippos and large tree pythons. Lion, cheetah, buffalo, Rothschild giraffe, eland and leopard also inhabit Lake Nakuru Park. Originally established as a bird sanctuary this national park is home to a wide array of birds, with over 400 resident species as well as various migratory birds.
Next we travel into Uganda, pausing to take photos at the equator.
Our first destination in Uganda is Jinja, well known for its variety of adventure activities, such as white water rafting. Jinja is located at the starting point of the Nile (officially called the Victoria Nile), where the river flows out of Lake Victoria. From here the famous river flows 6695 kilometres through Africa to Egypt and the Mediterranean in the north.
On day 26 of our Vic Falls to Nairobi Gorilla Trekking Safari we head northwest to Murchison Falls National Park, making our way towards Lake Albert.
One of Uganda's oldest national parks, Murchison is also one of the top safari destinations in the country. The national park covers some 3 840 km² (1 480 mi²) of wilderness in the Albertine Rift Valley, part of the western section of Africa's Great Rift Valley. The Victoria Nile river runs through the national park, plummeting through a narrow gorge to form the spectacular Murchison Falls, after which the park is named. Also known as Kabaraga Falls, Murchison Falls, drops about 45m into the river after a series of rapids. Below the cascading falls the great Nile fans out into a broad and placid river flowing into Lake Albert.
This afternoon we set off on a game drive in the Murchison Falls National Park, where wildlife encounters include four of the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo, along with other wild animals and birds.
This morning we go chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest, East Africa's biggest forest of Mahogany trees. Budongo is home to the largest population of chimpanzees in Uganda, hosting around 600 to 700 chimpanzees. The forest is also home to eight other primate species, along with an array of other species. This Mahogany forest is known for its incredible biodiversity, including 24 species of animals, over 360 bird species, 290 butterfly species, 130 species of moths, 465 tree species and numerous other plants and creatures.
For larger safari groups, your tour group may be split into smaller groups for chimpanzee trekking, thus you may end up taking the game drive in the morning and chimpanzee trekking the previous day, vice versa.
We spend the morning in the Murchison Falls National Park area, leaving extra time for our planned activities - chimp trekking and game viewing. You have the chance to visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where these highly endangered animals are bred for release into the wild.
After a morning of wildlife activities or relaxation at the resort near Masindi, we drive south to Kampala, the capital of Uganda. This afternoon you can explore the biggest city in Uganda, enjoying the leafy, upmarket neighbourhoods and jam-packed city centre of this interesting and modern African city.
Today we leave Kampala driving southwest to scenic Lake Bunyonyi, dotted with 29 islands. Picturesque Lake Bunyonyi serves as the base for gorilla trekking excursions in the nearby Bwindi Impenetrable National Park of Uganda.
This small steep-sided lake set in the Ugandan highlands hosts an abundance of birdlife, with the name Bunyoni meaning "place of many little birds". The crater lake is known for its scenic mountainous surroundings and numerous birds, as well as otters. The lake is safe for swimming and is a popular spot for watersports.
We stay at a lovely resort on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi taking in the beautiful scenery, before our exciting trek to the mountain gorillas.
From Lake Bunyonyi we set off on our thrilling gorilla trekking expedition, in groups of a maximum of 6 people. African Mountain Gorillas are critically endangered, with only around 800 wild mountain gorillas remaining in the world. By visiting the gorillas you will be directly supporting the efforts to protect these highly endangered primates. The money spent on trekking permits is used to help ensure the future of these rare mountain gorillas.
Gorilla Trekking permits are extremely limited, which calls for flexibility in our tour itinerary and the exact location that we trek in. The mountain gorillas' habitat spans across the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The Bwindi National Park in Uganda, is our intended gorilla trekking destination, but this is subject to the availability of permits. If permits for Uganda's Bwindi Park are not available you will be informed beforehand and we will travel to neighbouring Rwanda or the DRC for mountain gorilla trekking.
On day that you don't go gorilla trekking we take a motorized boat to Nyombi Village. On our village visit we encounter the Pygmy people of Uganda and gain insight into their culture and way of life (included in Activity Package).
Please note: The Gorilla Trekking permit is not included in the tour price and costs between US$630 and US$730 per person. Only one day is spent trekking the gorillas, even though there are 2 days set aside. This allows time for obtaining permits and visiting the gorillas in smaller groups if there are more than 6 people on the tour.
On day 32 of this Vic Falls to Nairobi Overland Safari we leave the peaceful shores of Lake Bunyonyi and travel the long road back to Kampala.
We spend the night relaxing in Kampala after our long drive from the Bwindi area to the capital.
In the morning we drive from Kampala to Jinja, Uganda’s second largest city, arriving in time for lunch. This afternoon you are free to unwind at the resort in Jinja or embark on some optional adventure activities, including quad biking and kayaking. The most popular activity in Jinja is white water rafting, available as a half day activity.
We make our way back to Kenya visiting the city of Eldoret. Established by a post office on a local farm in 1910, today Eldoret is the 5th largest city in Kenya. Eldoret enjoys a cool climate as it lies 2100 m above sea level in a farming area of the Great Rift Valley.
On the last day of our Vic Falls to Nairobi Gorilla Trekking Overland Safari we drive south east to Nairobi, where our journey of a lifetime concludes.
Most groups choose to meet for an optional dinner to share stories and exchange contact details with fellow travellers.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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