Departing from Johannesburg this accommodated safari travels to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, before heading to Maun.
Then we head into the pristine Okavango Delta to explore this watery wilderness on a mokoro trip and bush walk, experiencing the truly wild African bush. Next, we visit the vast Makgadikgadi Pans and proceed to Chobe National Park for a game viewing boat cruise and 4x4 game drive.
Crossing into Zimbabwe we admire Victoria Falls and do optional adventure activities. In Zambia, we visit Lusaka and the South Luangwa National Park. Then we spend a few days relaxing on the shores of scenic Lake Malawi. Journeying to Dar es Salaam, we catch a ferry to Stone Town on Zanzibar Island. Discover the beaches, cultures and spices of Zanzibar, before exploring the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater. Alternatively, take an optional camping trip in legendary Serengeti National Park. Then, return to Arusha and drive to Nairobi in Kenya, where this Accommodated Budget Safari ends.
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 Nairobi Accommodated Budget 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.
Start day two with breakfast before we drive further into the Central Kalahari region, making our way to Ghanzi. Our camp is located in the Ghanzi area, home to the unique Kalahari San (Bushmen). The San were the first people to inhabit Southern Africa, having lived in harsh desert environments for tens of thousands of years.
After lunch we meet up with local San guides and take a walk in the seemingly barren Kalahari, discovering the rich forms of life found here. The San guides share their in-depth knowledge of the region's flora and fauna with us, revealing how their ancestors have long survived in this dry environment as hunter-gatherers.
This evening we are treated to traditional dance show, a cultural experience giving us more insight into the ancient ways of the San. These semi-nomadic people are known for their strong story-telling tradition, as well as their unique song and dance rituals.
Today we drive north-east to Maun, passing through rural Botswana. Maun is 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.
In the afternoon you have the chance to take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta, from Maun. Viewing the delta from above reveals the grand scale and beauty of this unique ecosystem, allowing you to spot wildlife from above. We spend the third night in Maun, preparing for our magical delta day trip. The guides will fill you in on what to expect in the wild delta tomorrow.
Today those opting for the Upgraded Delta Trip will fly from Maun into the Okavango Delta to spend two nights at a remote camp in the wilderness.
For those not taking the upgrade, we get up early for our full day of exploring the Okavango Delta by dug-out canoe (mokoro). We set off for the delta early this morning in our safari vehicle, heading to a polers' station about an hour from the lodge. At the polers' station, we meet our local guides and switch to mekoros. Gliding along the reed-lined channels and tranquil lagoons dotted with lilypads is the ideal way to experience the watery Okavango Delta.
Sit back and soak up the wild scenery from your traditional mekoros poled through the waters by local guides. Get a close-up look at the unique flora and fauna of the Okavango Delta as we move along slowly and quietly. Stopping at one of the delta islands, you can take a nature walk with your local guide. The bush walk gives you a chance to learn about the fascinating plants and creatures encountered, looking out for signs of wildlife. The mokoro excursion is not about viewing big game, it is all about experiencing the beauty of the wild delta. However, we may come across some wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebras and antelopes like kudu and impala.
After the nature walk, your guide poles you back to the polers' station for the return road transfer to the lodge in Maun.
On the Upgraded Delta Trip, guests stay at a bush camp in 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.
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.
Activities offered at the Delta camp include game drives, bush walks, mokoro trips, sunset boat cruises and sundowners on one of the islands.
On day 5 the Activity Package includes a wildlife adventure in Moremi Game Reserve. Encompassing central and eastern parts of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Reserve is the only official protected area in the Delta.
This morning we drive to the southern gate of Moremi, setting off before sunrise. Moremi is renowned for its natural beauty and rich diversity of habitats, animals and plants. The game reserve is home to healthy populations of large mammals, including the Big Five of Africa (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) and African wild dogs. Our game drive reveals how diverse Moremi's ecosystem is, ranging from lagoons and savannahs to riverside forests and mopane woodlands. Your safari guide will select the best game drive routes in the bush, based on water levels, road conditions and animal sightings.
Those who chose not to join the Moremi Day Trip as part of the Activity Package, stay behind in Maun today. Those staying in Maun have free time to relax at the leafy camp, laze by the pool and take an optional flight over the Okavango Delta. The scenic flight offers sweeping views over the open plains and winding waterways, where wildlife can be spotted.
On the morning of day six, those who opted for the Upgraded Delta Trip get to wake up in the wild Okavango Delta, have breakfast at camp and fly back to Maun. Once the group is reunited we board our overland truck and drive east along the northern reaches of the massive Makgadikgadi Pans passing big baobab trees along the way.
This afternoon the Activity Package includes a sundowner excursion to the salt pans of Nata Sanctuary to experience the vastness of this harsh salt pan 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 to Kasane, in northeastern Botswana. Kasane is ideally located near the meeting place of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers not far from neighbouring Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Reaching Kasane we head to our safari camp, located along the Chobe River a few kilometres from Chobe National Park. Lunch is served from the safari truck before we embark on an afternoon of game viewing in Chobe National Park, home to one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. First, we enjoy a 4x4 game drive in the scenic national park, best known for its huge population of elephants. Chobe is the second largest national park in Botswana, encompassing diverse habitats from lush plains and wooded grasslands to dense forests and swamps.
Then we set off on a sunset boat cruise in Chobe National Park which is known for its superb boat-based game viewing. The boat cruise provides excellent opportunities for spotting wild animals and birds up close, including hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, antelope species and elephants.
We stay in en-suite rooms at the lodge, overlooking the Chobe River and surrounding bush, and featuring a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
On day eight, we head for Victoria Falls, crossing into Zimbabwe. Today you have the chance to visit the mighty Vic Falls waterfall to experience the "Smoke that Thunders" or Mosi-oa-Tunya as the local Kololo 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. Be sure to go listen to the thundering of Victoria Falls and see the impressive smoke-like spray rising up to 400 metres above the Falls making it visible from as far as 50 km away!
In addition to viewing Victoria Falls waterfall, you can spend time relaxing at the hotel, exploring the town of Victoria Falls or embarking an optional adventure activity. Tonight you have the option of eating out in Victoria Falls and your guide tells you more about the optional activities available, assisting you with bookings for the following day.
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 world-class 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. The Victoria Falls Hotel also offers a delightful high tea in the afternoons, or you can take time out to simply relax at the hotel and take a dip in the pool.
On day 10 of this Johannesburg to Nairobi Accommodated Overland Safari, we say goodbye to the natural wonder of Victoria Falls, making our way into neighbouring Zambia. Crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge we get a final glimpse of mighty Vic Falls.
From Livingstone, on the Zambian side of Vic Falls, we journey towards the fast-growing capital of Lusaka. The economic and political capital of Zambia, 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. Along the way, we pass bustling markets, small villages and rural landscapes.
Today we travel via Lusaka to Petauke, the main hub for safaris to South Luangwa National Park. This long drive takes us along the Great East Road through lush landscapes, crossing the Luangwa River as we head towards South Luangwa. 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 in Chipata 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 where hippos, other wild animals and various birds are often spotted. We end the day with sundowners and watch what is usually a beautiful sunset over the river.
This 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 Southern & 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.
We make our way to the historical town of 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.
There are no planned activities for day 15, leaving you free to relax on the sandy shores of Lake Malawi, explore the area and participate in optional activities.
Popular optional activities include paddle skiing, horse riding and 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. Otherwise, you can embark on an optional motorboat trip, do some bird watching, take a guided village tour or visit the nearby forest reserve. You can also take a walk along the lake, passing fishing villages along the way for some laid-back exploration. Lake Malawi is known for its friendly locals and fresh fish, in addition to the excellent water activities at this scenic lake.
Day 16 of our Johannesburg to Nairobi Overland Safari takes us a little further north along the shores of Lake Malawi to our base for the next two nights.
By late afternoon we arrive at the lakeside lodge in the Chilumba area where you can recline in a hammock and watch the sun go down over the lake with a cold drink in hand. This evening your guide can help you to arrange activities for the following day.
On day 17, you're free to enjoy water activities and explore. Go snorkelling or kayaking, volunteer at one of the local community initiatives or laze on the sandy shores of the lake. You can also enjoy some walks in the area, including an optional full day hike up to the historic mission of Livingstonia on the plateau above Lake Malawi.
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 Johannesburg to Nairobi Accommodated Overland Safari journeys out of the cool highland region of Tanzania and down to the Indian Ocean coastline, passing the 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.
We make our way to the historical coastal town of Bagamoyo. Founded in the late 1700's, dhow sailing boats are still built in Bagamoyo today. This vibrant town offers insight into the history of Tanzania, particularly the 19th century when it was a major trading post. The history of Bagamoyo includes interesting German colonial, Swahili, Arabic and Christian missionary influences.
Tonight we stay in Bagamoyo and prepare for our trip to Zanzibar Islands the following day.
On day 21 we make our way into the bustling city of Dar es Salaam to collect any new guests joining us on the trip to Zanzibar. Then 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. 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 and fishing to scuba diving and sailing. Explore the islands on guided trips or rent a scooter and set off on your own. Zanzibar is renowned as an idyllic tropical beach destination, so unwind in paradise and go swimming in the clear, Indian Ocean waters.
We spend our last night on Zanzibar Island in Stone Town, once a major port on the slave and spice trade routes.
This morning you have some free time to explore Stone Town, taking in the historical highlights and unique architecture of this culturally diverse town.
In the afternoon we leave the beach paradise of Zanzibar Islands and catch the ferry back to Dar es Salaam where our safari truck awaits us. Boarding our overland truck we drive back to Bagamoyo for another overnight stay. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to swim in the sea, walk along the beach and enjoy the ocean 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.
We overnight in Arusha which is located in the cool foothills of Mount Meru, Africa's fifth highest peak. From here you have the option of taking a three-night Serengeti Camping Trip as an upgraded extra activity. This evening our local guide briefs those taking the Upgraded Serengeti Trip and there is time to pack for your upcoming wildlife adventure in Serengeti National Park.
Leaving Arusha today we drive to Karatu, in the Ngorongoro Highlands area. This busy small town lies between Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater serving as our base for exploring the Northern Safari Circuit.
Once in Karatu, your guide will tell you more about our full day trip to the renowned Ngorongoro Crater, planned for the following day.
Please note: Those taking the Upgraded Serengeti Trip will head off this morning from Arusha and rejoin the group on day 29.
Rise and shine early this morning for an action-packed day of 4x4 game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater.
You are collected from the safari camp and set off for the Crater where most of your day is spent exploring. The Ngorongoro Crater hosts one of the densest large animal populations in Africa offering superb wildlife viewing. Members of most of Africa's large mammal species are found roaming freely in the crater so a wide range of wild animals is usually spotted on the day trip.
After a memorable day of wildlife viewing in the Crater, we ascend to the rim and return to Karatu.
Today is set aside for optional activities and free time to take it easy at camp. You can explore on your own, walking around the town or visiting nearby villages to experience rural life in Tanzania. A cultural tour of Karatu is included today for those wanting to join.
Day trips to the scenic Lake Manyara National Park are another popular option. Optional game viewing and cultural activities need to be booked at the camp directly when we arrive in Karatu.
On day 29 we return to Arusha. Here our group meets up again when those who did the Serengeti Trip Upgrade return. This evening we exchange stories of the various incredible wildlife adventures we enjoyed over the past few days on Tanzania's Northern Safari Circuit.
Travellers often choose to meet up for a group meal at one of Nairobi’s excellent restaurants after the safari.
You can do this fun-packed East African Safari in the reverse order - Nairobi to Johannesburg Accommodated Safari if you prefer to start in Nairobi and end in Johannesburg.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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