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The Cape Town to Kenya via Vic Falls Family Safari explores a host of African countries making the journey of a lifetime.
Experience South Africa, visiting Cape Town, the Cederberg Mountains, Namaqualand and the Gariep River. See the Fish River Canyon, explore the ancient Namib Desert, coastal Swakopmund, strange Damaraland and game-rich Etosha National Park in Namibia.
Overnight in Windhoek, then cross into Botswana to go camping in the wild Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park, before witnessing the wonder Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Enjoy more game viewing in Chobe, before stopping in Livingstone at Vic Falls, and encountering wildlife in the beautiful South Luangwa National Park of Zambia. Cross into Malawi where we travel along the scenic shores of Lake Malawi before meeting the East Coast of Africa in Tanzania. Take a relaxing beach trip to Zanzibar Islands discovering the exotic spices, diverse cultures and sandy shores.
Lastly, embark on a magnificent game viewing trip to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, two of Africa's finest wildlife havens.
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 budget family safari starts in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the most popular city destination in the country.
Our safari starts with a cultural experience - a township tour to an informal settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town. Visiting a township first gives you insight into the realities of life for many South Africans, revealing the vibrancy and hardships that exist in many informal settlements across Africa. From the township in Cape Town we drive to the Blouberg beach side of Table Bay from where we can see the whole of Table Mountain and the city below. Continuing northeast we head into the inland mountains and farmlands of the Cederberg Region, traversing Piketberg Pass.
We camp in the scenic Olifants River Valley, enjoying wine tasting and a stroll in the vineyards set amid the pretty mountains.
On day two we drive further north into Namaqualand, passing into evermore arid and sparsely populated landscapes.
If you are travelling in springtime (September/October) the wildflowers may be in full bloom. Namaqualand is famous for its colourful fields of wildflowers that blossom across the semi-desert lands. Then we travel into the desert area of Richtersveld, making a pit stop in Springbok town.
Our overnight stop is at a lovely campsite along the Gariep River (former Orange River). A blanket of stars comes out at night in this natural area along the river, forming the border with Namibia.
This morning we set off on a half-day canoeing adventure on the Gariep, a popular canoeing destination. Look out for birds and small animals as we take a gentle paddle along the river.
After lunch we cross into Namibia and make our way to the renowned Fish River Canyon, arguably the second biggest canyon on earth. Driving along the eastern side of the 161 km long canyon we stop to photograph and admire the views over the 27 km wide Fish River Canyon, reaching up to 550m in depth.
We are up early today for our journey into one of the most ancient deserts in the world, the Namib Desert of Namibia. Entering the solitary desert there is time to explore before enjoying a blazing sunset over the open terrain and being dazzled by the incredible night sky.
Tonight we camp at Sesriem, close to the Namib-Naukluft National Park encompassing large portions of the stark and beautiful desert.
Early this morning our Cape Town to Kenya Family Tour sees us venturing deeper into the Namib, to visit the striking Sossusvlei Dunes.
A short drive through the red-orange dunes of the desert brings us to Dune 45, a famous landmark. We climb this archetypal dune to watch the desert scenery come alive as the sun rises.
Then we transfer to a shuttle and walk into the Sossusvlei Dunes area where some of the world's highest dunes (up to 300 m tall) are found. This is the most famous part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, often captured in photographs of Namibia. We spend some time at the salt-pan surrounded by ochre dunes, experiencing the surreal scene peppered with gnarled dead trees.
Leaving the mesmerizing Namib Desert we cross the Tropic of Capricorn on our drive to Walvis Bay, on the Atlantic Ocean. We trace the coast north from Walvis Bay to Swakopmund for a dose of 'city' life in Namibia's premier beach destination. Back in civilization after our first few days of camping in some of the most remote places of Southern Africa, our guide briefs us on activities available in Swakopmund.
We spend two nights in this oasis of activity, sightseeing and doing exiting activities in and around Swakopmund. In Swakopmund we take a break from camping, sleeping in dormitory beds and catching up on creature comforts. You can treat yourself by arranging an upgrade to a private room (extra cost) with your guide, subject to availability.
A full day in Swakopmund, a charming town offering plenty of family-friendly things to do.
For history buffs, visit the museums and old colonial buildings of Swakopmund, established by Germans in 1892. To get a sense of the local culture, go to a local market, stop in at art galleries and crafts shops, and relax at the side-walk cafes on your wanderings around town. For ocean lovers there are dolphin cruises, sea kayaking trips, walks along the beach, the aquarium, or you can take a dip in the icy sea. There are numerous exciting options for adventure seekers. Choose from scenic flights over the desert, quad biking and sand boarding in the dunes, and sky diving or horse riding, among other activities.
Some passengers may end their tour in Swakopmund, while new passengers often join our trip.
From Swakopmund we keep heading north, veering inland to Spitzkoppe, the massive (1728 m high) granite outcrop on the list of Namibia's top iconic sights. Driving through eerie landscapes we stop at this impressive geological feature to visit ancient San rock art and take in the views over the dramatic plains around Spitzkoppe.
Then we drive to Brandberg Mountain the tallest in Namibia, camping under star-filled African skies.
Still driving due north, we continue through the sparsely-populated Kunene Region towards Etosha National Park.
We camp at a private family-owned game farm, near Etosha. Look out for zebras, wildebeest, ostriches and an array of antelopes and birds on the farm, take a dip in the pool and unwind in nature.
On day 10 of our Cape Town to Kenya via Vic Falls Family Safari, we explore the famous Etosha National Park. Considered one of Africa's finest wildlife parks, Etosha is Namibia's top game viewing destinations.
We enter Etosha Park at the Anderson Gate this morning, game viewing in the southern region of the national park. Here we should come across some of the amazing variety of wildlife, birds and other creatures of Etosha, stopping at watering holes that are known for excellent sightings. Highlights include desert-adapted oryx and springbok, elephant herds and prowling predators such as lions.
After a lunch break we head back out into this unique wilderness area, going in search of wildlife in the arid bush. This 20 000 km² game park is set around Etosha Pan, a striking natural feature consisting of shallow salt-pans stretching out across the flat plains.
Tonight we return to our camp near Etosha Park, to swim in the pool and have sundowners on the deck, before eating dinner and chilling in the bar.
Today we spend a full day exploring Etosha National Park. Passing through different vegetation zones inhabited by varying wildlife and birds, we make our way to Namutoni in northern Etosha. Look out for elephants, lions, jackals, rhinos and other wildlife, including antelopes, zebra and wildebeest, as we drive.
Tonight we camp at Namutoni Camp, inside Etsoha Park. After dinner you can watch wildlife at the floodlit waterhole, where animals are frequently spotted, or take an optional (extra cost) night drive.
Leaving the famous Etosha National Park after breakfast today we keep an eye out for game as we exit the wildlife-rich reserve.
Our destination for the day - Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. This afternoon you have time to walk around the charming capital and take in the sights. This is the cultural, economic and political heart of the country, a vibrant hub of activity with interesting attractions, shops and historical features. Tonight you can opt to eat out in Windhoek and sample the nightlife.
Today we depart from Windhoek, located at the geographic centre of Namibia, travelling east into the Kalahari Desert. Crossing into neighbouring Botswana we head for the remote, small town of Ghanzi.
Here you have the opportunity to spend some time with the Kalahari San, known as Bushmen. Meet the local San to learn how the original inhabitants of Southern Africa have survived in harsh conditions for tens of thousands of years.
This morning we travel to the town of Maun, located on the southern edge of the watery Okavango Delta - the crowning natural treasure of Botswana.
Maun is the gateway for trips into the Okavango Delta and serves as our base for exploring the untamed wetland system. Tonight we prepare for our overnight adventure in the wild Delta. We suggest that you bring a smaller daypack on your trip to use on this short excursion.
Your safari leader will brief you on what is needed, and what to expect on your trip into the Delta. The following morning we proceed from Maun into this incredible wilderness area.
On day 15 of this Cape Town to Kenya Family Safari we set off on our exciting Okavango Delta Camping Trip.
The Okavango Delta is famous for its rich variety of bird species, plants and wild animals. This huge expanse of water is unique to Southern Africa, being the largest inland delta in the world. The Delta runs down from the Angolan Highlands spreading out over the plains where it empties into the Kalahari Desert.
This delta excursion entails a drive from Maun up north for a few of hours, to reach a mokoro polers' station. The dug-out mekoros are traditional canoes that locals pole through the reeds and winding waterways. It takes us a couple of hours to reach our tented camp by mokoro. The friendly local staff welcomes you and shows you the lay of the camp. Tonight we camp in twin-bedded, dome tents with en-suite bush bathrooms featuring long drop toilets and bucket showers.
After settling in and having a refreshing drink you can head back out onto the winding waterways in a mokoro or take a guided walk in the untamed bush. Tonight we fall asleep in the heart of the Okavango Delta, falling asleep to the sounds of nature.
Last chance to take a game walk in the Okavango Delta, before we head back to Maun. Walking in the delta is an exhilarating way to experience truly wild Africa. We leave the Okavango by mokoro and then transfer to a safari vehicle for the rest of the journey back to Maun.
Arriving in the early afternoon we have time for an optional (extra cost) scenic flight over the Delta at sunset - a fantastic way to see more of this natural gem and it's roaming wildlife!
Today we drive further east through sparsely populated rural Botswana to Nata.
Arriving at our campsite near Nata you have the option of embarking on a game drive or bush walk in the lodge's private conservancy. The 16000 hectare wilderness area is home to elephants, buffalos, giraffes, various antelopes, wild dogs, lions and more. Alternatively, splash in the pool and enjoy a sundowner as you watch for wildlife visiting the waterhole at the camp.
On day 18 we head north to Kasane near Chobe National Park, the top game park in Botswana.
At our camp along the Chobe River elephants, hippos, other animals and birds are frequent visitors, so keep a watch for them. Enjoy another beautiful sunset over the African bush and fall asleep to the sounds of mother nature.
A leisurely start today, visit the town of Kasane before we head into Chobe National Park, game viewing en route to our bush camp. We spend the night camping in the game-rich Chobe National Park, famous for its lovely scenery and plentiful elephants.
Keep an eye out for birds and animals of all shapes and sizes, as the afternoon fades to night in the middle of the bush.
Day 20 starts with a game drive in Chobe Park, before retracing our steps to Kasane and onwards to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Victoria Falls is one of the most amazing natural wonders in Southern Africa. This afternoon we visit Victoria Falls to experience the largest sheet of falling water in the world. At 1700 m wide and over 100 m tall, the waterfall thunders as it sends up a magnificent spray, giving it the local name that means, the 'smoke that thunders'.
You will be briefed on activities available at Vic Falls, followed by free time to relax by the pool or explore the town of Victoria Falls.
Two days at Victoria Falls - time to explore and have some fun on adventure activities.
There are plenty of things to do at Victoria Falls, including lots of family-friendly activities, like sunset boat cruises, cultural tours, sightseeing, trips to Livingstone Island and tram rides. Or try some of the most adrenalin-pumping activities: bungi jumping, abseiling, white water rafting and gorge swinging, or swim in Devil's Pool on the edge of Vic Falls. There are also various options for viewing the natural wonder from the sky: helicopter, micro-light, plane and ultra light. All offering spectacular aerial views of Vic Falls.
Some passengers end their tour at Vic Falls and new passengers often join us for the next stretch of our overland safari.
After breakfast we return to Kasane in Botswana. We have lunch and rest before setting off into Chobe National Park.
Entering Chobe Park the game viewing begins, as we make our way to our overnight camp in the park. This afternoon we take a game viewing drive before spending the night under the stars, surrounded by the bush
Today we get up early and go in search of the wildlife of Chobe, then we pack up camp and leave the park. In Kasane we switch back to our safari truck and drive to Livingstone at Vic Falls, in Zambia.
This afternoon you can visit Victoria Falls from the Zambian side, viewing the waterfall from Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. You can also embark on an optional sunset cruise along the Zambezi River, sipping on sundowners as you lap up the scenery and look for wildlife and birds.
This morning we drive north into southern Zambia passing rural villages as we drive through changing vegetation. We camp on the outskirts of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. At camp we may see antelopes, including the big eland.
The country is less westernized offering a real African adventure, with interesting cultures and wild landscapes.
Next our Cape Town to Kenya via Vic Falls Family Safari takes us to Zambia's premier game park - South Luangwa National Park.
We go game viewing in South Luangwa looking out for buffalos, leopards, giraffes, zebras and more. This beautiful game park is home to big herds of elephants and plenty of antelopes, as well as crocodiles and hippos, along with some 420 bird species. Set in Luangwa Valley, along the Luangwa River, we experience truly wild Africa in this fertile wilderness.
Travelling on the old East Road we set out northeast, following the road forming part of the epic Cape to Cairo route. Our long drive brings us to a lovely camp near the border with Malawi, stopping for supplies from local sellers en route.
From the wildlife and wilderness of South Luangwa to the shores of Lake Malawi for rest and relaxation. After a quick stop in Lilongwe, capital of Malawi we drive to fresh-water Lake Malawi. We spend the next few days travelling along the western shores of this massive lake.
Here we walk on the sandy beaches, visit the small villages, meet the friendly locals and explore. There are also water activities available (extra cost) and you can swim in the lake, enjoying the pleasant year-round climate. Go diving, canoeing and horse riding or go to local markets, watch the fisherman in their traditional vessels and visit schools.
After unwinding on the shores of scenic Lake Malawi we cross into Tanzania to the north.
Driving through lush highlands where bananas and tea are grown we head to Iringa. We overnight at the campsite of a farm-style guest house known for its creature comforts of Amarula Hot Chocolate and steamy showers.
Today's destination - Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania.
En route to the coast we drive through Mikumi National Park encountering quite habituated wildlife along the roadside. We camp along the coast at Dar es Salaam and prepare for our laid-back island trip to the Zanzibar Archipelago.
This morning we embark on our Zanzibar Island beach trip, catching a ferry over to the main island. Zanzibar is one of Africa's top beach destinations, owing to its clear warm waters and unspoilt tropical beaches fringed with palm trees.
Known as the Spice Islands, Zanzibar was once an important hub on the old trade route and today exotic spices are still grown here. During our stay on the main island, we take a spice tour to the plantations to see the colourful spices, smell the rich aromas and get a taste of Zanzibar. A relaxing dhow cruise at sunset is also included in our Zanzibar Tour.
New passengers may join our safari from the Zanzibar Trip onwards, and some may end their tour back in Dar es Salaam after the Zanzibar Trip.
Meals and extra activities on Zanzibar Islands are for your own account. This means that you get to choose where to eat and what you would like to do in addition to the dhow cruise and spice tour. Your guide can help you to make arrangements on Zanzibar Island, hosting plenty of activities and restaurants.
On Zanzibar Islands, there is plenty of time to laze on the sunny beaches, explore the islands and enjoy being in the water. You can take snorkelling, scuba diving and dhow sailing trips to the smaller islands. Stone Town is also worth exploring for a dose of culture, sightseeing and history as the island is home to a diverse population and an interesting history.
In the afternoon we leave the beach paradise of Zanzibar Island returning to Dar es Salaam by ferry. We spend the night at the seaside camp near Dar es Salaam town.
Today we head back out into rural Tanzania, following the road north towards Arusha.
Driving through rolling plantations and the open countryside we make our way to the town of Pangani. This Arabic-influenced town has an interesting history with stories of slave smuggling, resistance movements, Zanzibari rule and the trade route from East Africa's coast to the interior.
Stroll on the beach or explore the town, if time allows.
Leaving Pangani our Cape Town to Kenya Family Tour heads north past the Usambara and Pare Mountains. Our drive takes us via the small town of Moshi, which serves as the base for Mount Kilimanjaro treks. On clear days we see the lofty peak - a great photo opportunity, before continuing to Arusha.
Tonight we camp in the pretty Meserani area near Arusha, the safari hub for trips to the Northern Safari Circuit of Tanzania. This is the top game viewing region in the country where Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Lake Manyara Park and Serengeti National Park are located.
This morning you can explore the fast-growing town of Arusha, browse the local craft markets, or visit the art gallery near our camp to see colourful Tinga Tinga paintings unique to Tanzania. We visit the Masai Cultural Museum to learn about the tribal people of Tanzania and tour the Meserani Snake Park, home to snakes and other reptiles.
Heading back to our camp at the foot of Mount Meru, we have lunch and get ready for our game viewing trip to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. In the afternoon we set off in 4x4 safari vehicles with local guides and drive up to Karatu in the Crater Highlands. On the drive we enjoy sweeping views over Lake Manyara National Park, heading up the Great Rift Valley Escarpment via Mtu Wa Mbu. We overnight at a basic, yet lovely campsite in Karatu, situated in a scenic farming area.
Into the Ngorongoro Crater to see an abundance of wildlife in one of Africa's prime game viewing areas. This crater is a UNESCO World Heritage Site hosting high concentrations of wildlife, from black rhinos and zebras to lions and wildebeest.
After action-packed game viewing in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area we drive via the 'Cradle of Mankind' to Serengeti National Park. Crossing the rolling hills and open plains of this legendary game reserve we encounter herbivores and predators in this quintessential African landscape.
Tonight we camp in the middle of the bush surrounded by the sounds of the wild.
This morning we set off on a game drive in Serengeti National Park, admiring the scenes of Africa and its free-roaming wildlife. Look out for the Big Five of Africa - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard, along with an array of other wild animals.
In season we may witness the annual Great Migration when masses of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras stampede across the Serengeti Plains. Then we drive back through the wilderness and along the rim of Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha.
On day 42 of our Family Overland Safari, we travel north to Nairobi via the border at Namanga. After our long drive through rural Kenya, we reach the capital city of Kenya where our epic journey ends.
This Family Camping Safari starts in Cape Town, South Africa, and travels north through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania, before ending in Nairobi, Kenya. The budget family tour departs from Cape Town on Sunday mornings, but we recommend spending a few days exploring Cape Town before your safari (accommodation can be booked with African Budget Safaris).
This itinerary serves as a guide and may vary from day to day depending on conditions (road, weather, politics and group preferences). All prices & Local Payments are subject to change. Due to Tourism Laws there may truck and crew changes during the trip.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
An all inclusive Tour of South Africa's Garden Route offering a variety of adventure activities along the scenic way. Visit the Cango Caves, Storms River, Kysna, Hermanus, embark on a "Big 5" Game drive in Addo Elephant Park and explore the Tsitsikamma Forest.
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