This well-rounded Accommodated African Safari takes you to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania, from Southern to East Africa.
Departing from Johannesburg in South Africa travel northwest into Botswana to experience San culture in the Kalahari Desert. Then, fly from Maun into the watery Okavango Delta for nature walks and mokoro rides in the untamed wilderness. From the delta, drive along the northern reaches of the Makgadikgadi Pans to Nata. Next, head up to Kasane and take a sunset boat cruise and game drive in Chobe National Park.
In Zimbabwe, witness the mighty Victoria Falls and enjoy optional adventure activities. Travel to Lusaka, Zambia, before heading to the wild South Luangwa National Park for superb game viewing. Relax on the sandy shores of Lake Malawi, exploring cultural highlights and participating in optional outdoor activities.
Cross into Tanzania, ascending the Great Rift Valley to Iringa, before embarking on an afternoon game drive in Mikumi National Park. Continue to Tanzania's Dar es Salaam, where this exciting South Africa to Tanzania Overland Safari comes to a close.
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 Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam Overland Safari leaves Johannesburg city in South Africa on the morning of day one, travelling through the North-West Province towards the Botswana border. Border crossing complete, we drive northwest along the Trans-Kalahari Highway.
We spend our first night staying in en-suite rooms at a lodge in the village of Kang, gateway to the Kalahari Desert region in Botswana.
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.
On day two we have breakfast and continue our journey into the Kalahari Desert which covers some 360 000 sq mi (930 000 km²) of inland plateau in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. A vast semi-arid region of sandy plains and low hills, the Kalahari is technically not a desert despite appearances.
Making our way into the Central Kalahari we pass through sparsely-populated and featureless dry landscapes en route to our lodge near Ghanzi. Sometimes called the capital of the Kalahari, Ghanzi is a popular stopover in this remote part of western Botswana.
In Ghanzi we encounter the San (also known as Bushmen) - the first inhabitants of Southern Africa. After lunch we meet with local San guides who take us on a walk in this inhospitable environment and tell us how the San have managed to survive as hunter-gatherers in such harsh conditions for tens of thousands of years. Discover the traditional value of various kinds of flora and fauna used for sustenance and medicinal purposes by the semi-nomadic San.
In the evening we find out more about the unique culture and customs of the San, watching a San dance performance.
Today we drive to Maun, passing through the arid Kalahari and rural Botswana.
Maun is well known as the gateway to the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta. The Okavango River has no outlet to the sea, emptying into the sands of the Kalahari Desert and irrigating some 15,000 km² of Botswana. The source of the beautiful Okavango Delta is found in the western highlands of Angola from where it flows through Namibia, before fanning out over the plains of Botswana. This labyrinth of waterways and lagoons flowing between secluded islands and floodplains boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa
This afternoon you have the option of taking a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta. Viewing the intricate network of channels and estuaries from above gives you a chance to spot animals and take in the massive scale of the delta. We spend the night in Maun and prepare for our magical delta trip. The guides will fill you in on what to expect in the delta and the activities lined up.
Please note that baggage restrictions apply for transfers into the delta, so a small day bag is recommended. Travellers who did not opt for the Activity Package stay behind at the camp in Maun, where optional activities are available.
Leaving our safari truck in Maun this morning, we fly into the Okavango Delta, one of the most unique wilderness areas in the world. The tranquil Delta offers a truly wild and unforgettable African bush experience.
After the exciting game flight we take a game drive to our remote delta camp - our base for exploring the waterways and islands of the Okavango. Much of our exploring is done by mekoros (traditional dug-out canoes), which are poled through the waters by local guides. Arriving at the exclusive camp we embark on a sunset game drive, going in search of the array of wild animals and birds found in the delta.
On day five we rise early and glide out onto the reed-lined channels, making our way through the pristine bush to one of the secluded delta islands. Then we embark on a thrilling nature walk with a local expert, learning about the plants and looking for signs of wildlife. The wild animals of the delta are unaccustomed to people, but we may see some of these shy inhabitants on our walk. Returning from our nature walk, we spend time unwinding at camp, enjoying the quiet natural setting. Later in the afternoon we take a cruise along the intricate waterways of the Okavango Delta.
This itinerary is a guide as activities vary depending on water levels and seasonal changes in the delta.
Our intimate camp is located inside a 100 000 hectare private concession area, offering a unique delta experience. The secluded camp looks out over peaceful delta waterways and has a low impact on the environment, blending in with the wild African bush around it.
What makes this exclusive camp particularly special is that it only caters for one group of travellers at a time, so you will only share your delta adventure with your fellow safari-goers. Exploring this private delta concession with our experienced guides you won't come across other groups, allowing you to escape the crowds. Stay in spacious, permanent Meru-style tents with en-suite bathrooms. These walk-in canvas tents feature comfortable twin beds, simple furnishings, mosquito netting and small outdoor areas with camping chairs.
The tented lounge-dining area and outdoor boma are ideal for sitting back and taking in the sounds and sights of this untamed environment in comfort. At night roaring lions can be heard amid the other sounds of nature. This laid-back camp is located in the remote northern section of the delta, in a game-rich wilderness area attracting a wide array of birds. Your group will have the delta concession area to yourselves, enjoying sightings of buffalo herds and other wild animals.
Activities offered at the Delta camp include game drives, bush walks, mokoro trips, sunset boat cruises and sundowners on one of the islands.
We leave the magical Okavango Delta returning to our safari truck in Maun. Driving east along the northern reaches of the massive Makgadikgadi Pans, we pass giant, old baobab trees en route to Nata.
This afternoon you can join an optional excursion to the salt pans near Nata to experience the vastness of this harsh environment. The Makgadikgadi Pans complex is one of the largest salt pan systems in the world, covering 30 000 km² of Botswana.
This morning we make our way north to the town of Kasane, near Chobe National Park. Reaching Kasane we head to our safari camp, located along the Chobe River a few kilometres from Chobe National Park. Arriving at our camp overlooking the Chobe River and surrounding bush, lunch is served from the safari truck.
Next up, the famous Chobe National Park, home to one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. Chobe is best known for its huge population of elephants and is the second largest national park in Botswana.
First we take a 4x4 game drive in Chobe - hosting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. Driving through Chobe allows us to encounter a variety of animals and birds across the park's diverse habitats - from lush plains and wooded grasslands to dense forests and swamps. Later in the afternoon, we embark on a sunset boat cruise in Chobe Park which is known for its excellent boat-based game viewing. The boat cruise on Chobe River provides ideal opportunities for spotting wild animals up close, including hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, antelope species and elephants.
We stay in en-suite rooms at the lodge, featuring a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
On day eight we cross from Botswana into Zimbabwe, making our way to Victoria Falls.
Today we visit the mighty Vic Falls to experience the "Smoke that Thunders" or Mosi-oa-Tunya as the locals call it. Witnessing the mighty falls is an awe-inspiring experience as the Zambezi plummets over 100 feet into the gorge below forming the largest curtain of falling water in the world at 1,7km wide. Listen to the thundering of Victoria Falls and see the amazing smoke-like spray rising up to 400 meters above the Falls making it visible up to 50 km's away!
After visiting Victoria Falls, you can stop in at a local craft market, explore the historic town or enjoy an old-fashioned high tea at one of the hotels. Alternatively, you can tick an adventure activity off your bucket list. Tonight we go out for an optional dinner in Victoria Falls and your guide runs you through the adventure activities on offer, helping with arrangements for the next day.
The whole of day nine is free for you to participate in optional activities at Victoria Falls.
There is plenty to do at Vic Falls, ranging from cultural tours to extreme sports and game viewing trips. Vic Falls is best known for its adventure activities, with favourite options including bungee jumping and gorge swinging. The Vic Falls area of the Zambezi River is famous for its excellent whitewater rafting, offering a mix of easy and challenging rapids. Some of the most popular activities entail taking to the skies to view the magnificent waterfall from above - by plane, helicopter or microlight.
You can also spend time exploring the town of Victoria Falls, doing some sightseeing in the historical town.
On day 10 of this Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam Accommodated 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 over rivers as we make our way to Petauke, the 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 modernized 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 the fabric production (March to December) and browse the colourful African creations in the shop. We spend the next two nights staying at a lodge right on the banks of the Luangwa River.
Hippos, other wild animals and a variety of birds are often spotted from the camp bar, so keep a lookout. We end the day with drinks beside the river, catching a beautiful sunset in the bush.
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) - a thrilling way to get up close and personal with nature. Mornings are an excellent time for spotting a number of the animals roaming South Luangwa National Park. The opportunity to take a game walk is particularly special, because South Luangwa is where African walking safaris originated.
Later today we set off on a sunset game drive in the national park, looking for the rich diversity of wildlife and birds found in the wild marshes, woods and grasslands. 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 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.
Our destination for the day is Ngala beach 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 as the sun sets over the lake.
Day 15 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 17 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 camp 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, where the open Mkata Floodplains host an abundance of wild animals.
Our budget Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam Safari journeys out of the cool highland region of Tanzania to the Indian Ocean and the coastal city of Dar es Salaam.
Meaning ‘house of peace’ in Arabic, Dar es Salaam is the economic and trade capital of Tanzania, but inland Dodoma remains the official capital city. Today this terrific accommodated African Budget Safari comes to an end in Dar es Salaam - a humid, lush city bursting with lively markets, rich history and bright colours.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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