The diverse Accommodated Cape Town to Nairobi Safari Highlights include:
This accommodated budget safari offers a fantastic way to take in as many of Africa's best safari attractions as possible, over a couple of exhilarating and memorable weeks.
An epic African Safari to several of Africa's top safari destinations!
During this trip you are likely to come across activities that encourage tourists to participate in lion, elephant or other wildlife interaction. This includes walking with lions, riding elephants and any other tourist operation putting travellers in close contact with animals that would normally live wild and separate from human contact.
We absolutely do not encourage or endorse this type of wildlife interaction operation. For more information on why this is not good for Africa's wild animals, please see our detailed blog post on the subject.
This Cape Town to Nairobi Safari departs from the beautiful city of Cape Town, pausing to take photos and enjoy the panoramic views of the city and Table Mountain from Table View.
Leaving the coast we travel to an established wine farm on the famous Cape Wine Route, where we sample some fine South African wines. Then we proceed to the Spice Route, a popular wine estate near the town of Paarl. We have lunch at the restaurant and take a look around the artisanal hub featuring coffee, chocolate and beer makers.
From the Winelands we drive northeast to the picturesque Cederberg Region of the Western Cape, passing quaint farmstalls en route. The beautiful Cederberg Mountain region is famous for its hiking trails and the endemic rooibos plants, used to make a hugely popular, health tea.
Arriving at our first overnight lodge in the scenic Olifants River Valley, we relax and enjoy dinner. After dinner, your guides will give you a full briefing on what to expect during our safari through Southern Africa. Our en-suite accommodation is in the town of Citrusdal, at a lodge with a pool.
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 travel north through the Namaqualand region, famous for its colourful and abundant indigenous wildflowers in spring (August & September). Driving through this sparsely-populated Northern Cape region we make our way to to the Gariep River, formerly known as the Orange River. We stop in the remote town of Springbok in South Africa for last minute supplies, before crossing into Namibia.
The night is spent getting to know one another over a hearty meal. We sleep in comfortable, en-suite chalets that overlook the Orange River, forming the border between South Africa and Namibia. Our accommodation features a pool, internet and a bar.
In the morning we have the opportunity to experience South Africa's longest river, the Gariep/Orange River by canoe, or spend some time relaxing at the riverside camp.
After lunch we travel north to the mighty Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. Getting there, we take a scenic hike along the rim of the canyon to gain perspective on just how large this natural phenomenon is. Then we make our way to the Ai-Ais Hot Springs and our overnight accommodation close to the Fish River Canyon. At our resort in Ai-Ais we take a soak in the hot springs, swim in the pool and relax at the bar. We stay in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms.
This morning we hit the long dusty road that take us north into the vast Namib Desert area of Namibia.
We stay at in twin share rooms with en suite bathrooms at a lodge with a pool and bar. The next two nights are spent at this desert lodge, just outside of the 50 000km² Namib-Naukluft National Park, one of the largest national parks in Africa. The Namib-Naukluft protects large tracts of uninhabited desert, home to unusual and rare creatures, plants and birds.
Today we visit the Namib-Naukluft National Park, home to Namibia’s most famous desert landscapes. The national park incorporates a large part of the Namib Desert, considered the world's oldest desert.
We transfer to Dune 45 where you have the chance to climb up the iconic dune for amazing views over the stark desert and great photo opportunities. Then we take a 4x4 transfer to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, deeper in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Explore the dry pans on foot, absorbing the dramatic scenes of skeletal desert-adapted trees on the pale pan floors, surrounded by orange-hued dunes.
In the afternoon there’s a short walk into Sesriem Canyon, which stretches about a kilometre in length and reaches up to 30 meters deep. The floor of Sesriem Canyon is dotted with shallow pools and the canyon walls reveal layer upon layer of sedimentary rock, eroded by the Tsauchab River over the ages.
On day six we are joined by an expert local guide for a nature walk in the unique desert habitat. Exploring on foot, our local guide will share his detailed knowledge of the ancient Namib Desert area with us. On this walk we discover how the San (Bushmen) have long survived in the arid deserts of Southern Africa.
After our desert walk we cross the latitudinal line of the Tropic of Capricorn, pausing to take some photos. Heading back to the west coast of Africa, we stop at the lagoon in Walvis Bay, to see numerous waterbirds, including seasonal flocks of flamingos. Then it’s on to Swakopmund, the adventure capital of Namibia, where you will be briefed on the many optional activities available for the next day.
In the evening you can enjoy some excellent seafood at a local restaurant, as well as the local nightlife. We stay at a comfortable guesthouse in Swakopmund featuring a bar, laundry services and internet. Accommodation is in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms that have hot showers.
Day seven on this Cape Town to Nairobi Safari is free for you to explore the quaint town of Swakopmund, where German colonial influences can still be seen in the architecture, cuisine and culture. Stroll along the sea, sip coffee at a sidewalk cafe, visit a market and enjoy sightseeing on foot.
You can also try some of the many adventure activities available in this popular coastal town, including quad biking on the dunes, sand boarding, skydiving and cruises to see dolphins.
Leaving the Atlantic Ocean coastline we drive to Khorixas, the traditional capital of the former Damaraland region.
Our journey takes us along the rocky Skeleton Coast - a treacherous stretch of coastline littered with shipwrecks. We also stop in the colourful town of Wlotskasbaken, known for its lichen colonies.
Along the way to Khorixas, we visit Spitzkoppe, also called the Matterhorn of Namibia. The dramatic exposed granite peaks of Spitzkoppe form one of the most iconic landmarks of Namibia. We spend a bit of time exploring the rocky outcrops that rise impressively above the flat plains, with a local guide.
Today we drive further inland and north to Outjo, near Etosha Park. We visit an educational village, established to portray the Himba way of life, without impacting negatively on the truly traditional communities living in natural environments.
The Himba were once a semi-nomadic, pastoral tribe with distinctive traditions and cultural practices, but today few Himba still live off the land as their ancestors did, remaining unchanged by western influences. The disappearing culture of the striking Himba is characterized by their style of dress, particularly their hairstyles and elaborate jewellery. The Himba that have not become westernized still speak a dialect of the old Herero language and traditionally breed cattle or goats.
Visiting this representation of a traditional Himba village supports the education of orphaned Himba children who get to learn about their own vanishing culture and heritage. At the end of the tour, we stop in at a Himba market where you can browse and get some curios.
Our destination for the day is a lodge in Opuwo, where we sleep in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning.
Time for unforgettable game viewing - on day 10 we get up early and make our way into Etosha National Park. The 22 000 km² Etosha Park is dominated by the salt pan after which the park is named. The word Etosha means ‘Great White Place of Dry Water’ in the local Ovambo language.
Driving through the wild and rugged bush, we stop at various watering holes in search of the animals that come to drink at these sites while exploring as much of Etosha as possible. Our game drives are conducted in the safari truck, providing an elevated vantage for spotting animals and birds.
Etosha Park is home to a variety of animals, plants and birds and is known as one of Africa's top safari destinations. Etosha hosts some rare and endangered species, including unusual desert species. We will have plenty to see on our game drives in this vast park, inhabited by 144 mammal species such as elephant, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, Damara dik-dik, lion, cheetah, leopard, wildcat, hyena, and jackal. As well as being home to 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and even a species of fish.
We stay at the camps inside Etosha Park - Okaukuejo, Namutoni or Halali camps. All three rest camps boast floodlit waterholes where wild animals can be viewed at night. We stay two per en-suite room at two of the three overnight camps, each featuring a bar, swimming pool and shop.
In addition to watching for wildlife at the watering holes, you can embark on an exciting optional night game drive on either day.
Start day 12 with a final game drive in Etosha Park, before travelling south to Windhoek.
On our way to Namibia's capital city we stop at an arts and crafts market so you can browse and buy some authentic African creations. Windhoek is situated almost in the centre of Namibia and serves as the economic, cultural and political capital of the country.
Upon arrival we take a short walking tour of Windhoek city to see some historical sights and highlights of the vibrant city centre, before checking into our centrally located lodge. Tonight you have the option of eating out at Windhoek’s most famous eatery, Joe’s Beer House, which is known for its venison dishes and quirky setting.
Facilities at our overnight lodge include a big swimming pool, a restaurant, internet, laundry services and a bar. Accommodation is in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms.
Departing from Windhoek we make our way out of Namibia and into western Botswana. From the border we drive into the Kalahari Desert, passing through the remote countryside of Botswana, dotted with rural villages and roaming livestock.
Later we arrive at our lodge in Ghanzi, and this evening we experience some traditional tribal dancing by the San community. The traditional San (Bushman) people are indigenous to Southern Africa having inhabited the area for over 30 000 years surviving in harsh conditions as nomadic hunter-gatherers.
Tonight we sleep two per en-suite room at a camp with a pool and bar, just north of Ghanzi. Clients who opted to take the Activity Package will be travelling into the Okavango Delta tomorrow, preparing for the two-night excursion tonight.
This morning you have the option of embarking on a nature walk with the Kalahari San of the Ghanzi area. The guided walk with the local San is a rare and unusual cultural encounter, revealing the fascinating survival techniques and ancient stories of Southern Africa's oldest tribe.
This afternoon we drive north-east to Maun, the gateway to the pristine Okavango Delta of Botswana. The Okavango River has no outlet to the sea, emptying into the sands of the Kalahari Desert and irrigating some 15,000 km² of land, forming the largest inland delta in the world. Arriving in Maun, clients taking the Fly-in Delta Trip are dropped at the airport for their flight into the Okavango Delta and clients staying behind in Maun are taken to the hotel. Travellers not taking the Fly-in Delta Trip spend the next two nights in Maun, where optional activities include exploring the bustling town, embarking on mokoro day trips and taking scenic flights over the delta.
Activity Package clients fly to our remote tented camp and stay in permanent, en-suite tents for the next two nights. The transfer flight is conducted in small planes offering expansive aerial views of this unique natural wonder.
Please note: We recommend bringing a smaller daypack (overnight bag) along for the Fly-in Delta Trip due to luggage restrictions on the small plane transfers.
On the morning of day 15, we venture into the Okavango Delta from our camp on the banks of a quiet lagoon. We set off into the untamed labyrinth of reed-lined channels in mekoros (traditional style dug-out canoes) winding our way between secluded islands and lagoons. Sit back and soak up the wild scenery while your local guide poles your mokoro through the still waters. Gliding along slowly enables you to take in the details of the unique flora and fauna of the delta and enjoy the tranquillity of this remote environment.
Our mokoro rides usually lead to one of the uninhabited islands where we stop to explore on foot. The guided walk is both thrilling, as we may come across large animals, and informative, as the guide shows you signs of animal activity and interesting features of the ecosystem. Although the delta wildlife is less accustomed to people we may encounter big game species, ranging from antelopes to elephants. We return to our tented camp for lunch and rest, before heading back out into the delta on a boat cruise later in the day. The boat cruise allows us to see more of the delta as we move more swiftly along the winding waterways. In the evening we gather around the campfire, sharing stories and listening to the sounds of the African bush.
On day 16, wake up to the sound of birds at the remote camp and enjoy breakfast in the delta. Then we return to the airstrip and fly back over the magical Okavango Delta to Maun where we spend the night at a hotel.
Leaving Maun this morning, we travel east along the fringes of the famous Makgadikgadi Salt Pans of Botswana, to the town of Nata. Keep your eyes open for majestic Baobab trees along the road and possible sightings of the wildlife roaming in these parts of Nxai and Makgadigadi Pans.
This afternoon you can take an optional drive to the pans to experience the vast spaciousness and silence out on this flat expanse, time allowing. The Nata Pans are part of the extensive network of Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, once covered by massive inland lakes. In winter the pans are dry and stark, whilst in summer short grasses and shallow pools attract an array of animals and birds.
Today we continue north to Kasane, where we stay on the banks of the Chobe River near the national park.
In the afternoon we set off on a 4x4 game drive in Chobe National Park, renowned for its huge population of migratory elephants and large buffalo herds. Chobe Park is the second largest national park in Botswana, encompassing diverse habitats from lush plains and wooded grasslands to dense forests and swamps.
After game viewing on land we embark on a sunset boat cruise for water-based game viewing. From the water we get up close to plenty of wild animals such as hippos, antelopes, buffalos, crocodiles and elephants. Our boat-based game viewing provides excellent photographic opportunities for capturing the birds and wildlife attracted to Chobe River in Chobe Park.
Our accommodation is in twin rooms with en suite bathrooms at a riverside lodge with a swimming pool, internet and bar.
Our final border crossing takes us into Zimbabwe this morning. Entering Zimbabwe we drive to Victoria Falls - the largest waterfall in the world.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls is one of the most unforgettable natural spectacles in Africa - an absolute must-see! We visit Vic Falls to experience the 'Smoke that Thunders' as translated from the local name - Mosi-oa-Tunya.
Our overnight accommodation is at a riverside lodge, located on the banks of the Zambezi River on the outskirts of the Zambezi National Park. We stay in twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms at the lodge in Victoria Falls, enjoying the facilities, including a swimming pool, internet, bar, laundry services and a restaurant.
Most people spend the day participating in a few of the exciting adventure activities available at Victoria Falls. This part of the Zambezi River is famous for offering some of the best whitewater rafting in the world, an unforgettable experience! Other optional adventures include helicopter and microlight flights over Vic Falls, zip-line rides, trips to Livingstone Island and swimming in Devil's Pool.
You can also walk around historic Victoria Falls town to take in the sights and visit the local markets, or rest at the lodge and take a dip in the pool.
On day 21 of this epic Cape Town to Nairobi Safari we say goodbye to the natural wonder of Victoria Falls, making our way into neighbouring Zambia.
From Livingstone near Vic Falls we journey towards the fast-growing Zambian capital of Lusaka. The economic and political capital of the country, Lusaka is a bustling African city where traditional and modern lifestyles meet. As we drive deeper into Zambia the vegetation becomes more sub-tropical, the settlements less western and the roads a little rougher.
Today we take a long drive through lush landscapes, crossing Luangwa River as we make our way to Petauke, a main hub for safaris to South Luangwa National Park. Zambia is a truly African country, making for a unique travel experience that differs from the more modernised ways of several other Southern African countries.
Early in the morning, we drive from Petauke to the border of the South Luangwa National Park, known for its outstanding game viewing. Along the way we stop at a local textile initiative to view fabric production in the workshop (closed December to March) and browse the colourful creations made by the community.
We spend the next two nights staying at a lodge right on the banks of the Luangwa River. Keep an eye out for hippos and other wild animals often spotted from the camp bar. We end the day with sundowners and a beautiful sunset over the river.
In the morning you have the opportunity to take a game drive in South Luangwa. Alternatively, you have the option of joining a walking safari in the dry season (April to December). South Luangwa was one of the pioneers of African walking safaris, for which it is now famous.
In the late 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. We stop for sundowners in the bush, before continuing our game drive into the night when we hope to spot the elusive nocturnal animals of South Luangwa.
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 at sunset.
Day 26 of our East African Budget 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. Or you can volunteer at one of the local community initiatives in the area. On the morning of day eight we go to the town of Karonga, once the centre of Malawi’s slave trade. Visiting the local museum we discover more about the fascinating history of humankind and the natural world.
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 lodge outside Iringa.
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 (included in Activity Package), where the open Mkata Floodplains host an abundance of wild animals.
Our Cape Town to Nairobi Overland 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. This evening we prepare for our Zanzibar Island Trip and you have the option of eating out in Dar es Salaam.
From Dar es Salaam we catch a local ferry across to Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar Island (included in Activity Package).
From Stone Town we transfer to Nungwi Beach in the north, where we spend our time relaxing on the white sand beaches. On our way north we stop to visit the spice plantations of Kidichi and Kizambani. Experiencing the tastes, colours, flavours and smells of the exotic spices is a must in Zanzibar, known as the Spice Islands.
At Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar there are various watersports and ocean activities available, from snorkelling to scuba diving and sailing. Explore the islands on guided trips or rent a scooter and set off on your own. Zanzibar is renowned for being an ideal tropical beach destination, so unwind in paradise and go swimming in the clear, Indian Ocean waters.
We spend our last night on Zanzibar Island near Stone Town, once a major port on the slave and spice trade routes.
Spend the morning exploring historic Stone Town to see the unique architecture and diverse cultures of Zanzibar Island. This afternoon 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 Cape Town to Nairobi 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, walk along the beach and enjoy the sea views as the sun sets.
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.
In the evening the local guides brief you on the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater Trip and we pack our smaller packs for the camping adventure ahead.
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 plains of the world-famous 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 three-night 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.
Heading north we cross the border into Kenya, travelling to Nairobi. This comprehensive Cape Town to Nairobi Safari comes to a close in Kenya's capital city.
Most safari groups choose to eat out at one of Nairobi’s excellent restaurants this evening, after the tour.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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