Do it all on this Cape Town to Serengeti Safari - don't just dip your toe in, take the plunge and travel to the wildest and most beautiful places of Southern and East Africa in a customised overland adventure truck. For the young and free-spirited, this comprehensive safari is designed for travellers under 40, so you will journey with like-minded young people from across the globe.
Crossing the continent from west to east coast, we drive from Cape Town near the southernmost tip of Africa, all the way up to East Africa and the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania, ending off in Nairobi, Kenya. Experience vast deserts, wildlife-rich savannahs, remote plains, mighty falls, tropical island and lake, untamed delta and African villages, towns and cities, exploring South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zanzibar Island and a touch of Kenya.
Ranked one of the best cities in the world, Cape Town is where our journey of a lifetime begins. Try to arrive early so that you have time to explore Cape Town and the scenic Cape Winelands of South Africa before the safari begins.
This evening we meet up and your guide runs through the nitty-gritty of this Cape Town to Serengeti Safari Adventure.
And we are off, leaving Cape Town and heading north and then inland to the mountainous Cederberg Region. We have lunch along the coast en route and soak up the rugged scenery of the Western Cape. We also stop to visit the !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre where we find out more about the history and culture of the local San people.
This afternoon we arrive at our camp on a farm overlooking the vineyards in the fertile Cederberg area. There is time to laze by the pool or enjoy optional wine tasting and explore.
Continuing further north we drive through the Namaqualand region, known for its profusion of wildflowers in spring. Into the remote Northern Cape, we go, stopping at the Orange River for the night. Officially called the Gariep River, the Orange River is a canoeing hotspot and this afternoon you have the option of canoeing on the river yourself.
We cross from South Africa into Namibia in our overland adventure vehicle today, making our way to the mighty Fish River Canyon. On our first night in Namibia, we watch the sun go down from the rim of the Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa.
From the lunar landscapes of the Fish River Canyon area, we travel into the red-orange sands of the Namib, one of the oldest deserts in the world.
Arriving in the late afternoon we set up camp and soak up the remote desert setting.
Day six starts with a walk in Sesriem Canyon with the morning light filtering into the rocky gorge. Then we head to the Sossusvlei Dunes area of the Namib Desert. The ochre dunes of Sossusvlei are said to be the tallest in the world, creating an other-worldly sea of shifting sands. En route to the pans of Sossusvlei, we stop to climb the iconic Dune 45, surveying the vast desert from the top.
After looking out over the dunes, we visit the Sossusvlei pan - walking around to take in this surreal setting where the cracked white ground contrasts with blackened dead trees, surrounded by vivid orange-red dunes. While at the claypan you have the option of joining a guided walk to find out more about this strange landscape or you can explore on your own.
Returning to camp we have lunch and pack up camp, setting off to our next desert camp. Later today, you have the chance to take an optional desert walk to discover how the San Bushmen have survived in this harsh terrain for thousands of years.
On day seven we hop back on our overland adventure truck and head for Swakopmund, the premier seaside destination in Namibia.
Travel through the barren desert, across gravel plains and arid mountain passes, arriving in Swakopmund later today.
Have heaps of heart-racing fun on day eight, taking advantage of the myriad of adventure activities on offer in and around Swakopmund.
Options include skydiving, sand boarding, sea kayaking and quad biking, amongst many other exciting excursions. For the ultimate views of the orange desert sands meeting sea take a scenic flight over the Skeleton Coast.
In between, you can explore the historic, German-influenced city and watch life go by from a sidewalk cafe. Maybe take a guided cultural tour of the town or head out on a dolphin cruise, the choice is yours.
And we are off, driving inland to Spitzkoppe, one of the best-known landmarks of Namibia. Take a walk around this unusual area dominated by the ancient granite boulders, of the towering Spitzkoppe massif. Far from the city lights, tonight is a good night for star-gazing.
Travel further into the stark and expansive Damaraland area, forming part of remote Kunene Region of northwestern Namibia. Along the way, we pause to browse the local arts and crafts of the Himba, Herero, and Damara tribes.
Arriving at our camp this afternoon we stop in at the Damaraland Living Museum to learn more about Damara customs and culture. You also have the option of joining a guided tour to the huge collection of rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Venture into our first African wildlife reserve - Etosha National Park. We drive through the untamed wilderness in our adventure vehicle, spotting wildlife at the watering holes and in the rugged bush. Keep your eyes open for predators, ranging from lions and hyenas to cheetahs and leopards. Then there are the herbivores - rhinos, elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, zebras and all kinds of antelopes.
Tonight you can head to the floodlit waterhole at camp to watch wildlife coming to drink. Alternatively, you can embark on an optional night game drive in an open safari vehicle - an exhilarating wildlife experience!
Day 12: an entire day for tracking down the wildlife of Etosha Park and immersing yourself in the African bush. We explore Etosha in our adventure vehicle, visiting watering holes to see the wildlife action.
Etosha is known for its dramatic wildlife sightings as animals compete for food and water in this harsh environment scattered with watering holes. We are sure to be highly entertained on our game drives, with over 100 mammals species and an abundance of birds at the Etosha Pan.
Embark on an optional open vehicle game drive beginning late this afternoon and lasting into the evening, an excellent time of day for game viewing.
Head south from rugged African bush to modern city. Our next destination is the capital of Namibia, Windhoek. Along the way, we stop for lunch at the Penduka village cafe and shop, an initiative empowering local women through handicraft.
Last night in Namibia - sample the nightlife in Windhoek, where African and German influences mingle. You can join the welcome meeting this evening to find out more about the next leg of our journey and meet new travellers joining the group.
Goodbye, Namibia. Hello, Botswana.
Drive into the remote Kalahari Desert - a massive semi-arid expanse of sandveld consisting of low scrub and hardy grasses. Meet the local Kalahari Bushmen and join an optional San Bushmen Walk this evening to find out how these hunter-gatherers have survived in this harsh habitat for thousands of years. We camp near Ghanzi, watching a traditional dance ceremony of the San around the campfire tonight.
We're up and off to Maun, on the outskirts of the watery Okavango Delta.
In the afternoon you can take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta, the top wilderness treasure of Botswana. The flight gives you sweeping views over the beautiful plains and winding waterways of the delta, and the chance to spot elephants, hippos, giraffes and other wildlife from above. Alternatively, you can spend the afternoon relaxing at the camp.
Leave the bulk of your luggage behind in Maun, as we set off on our unforgettable mission into the Okavango Delta. First, we overland it in a 4x4 safari vehicle, then we trade our wheels for dug-out mekoros and navigate deeper into the delta. Sit back and relax as your local guide poles you through the reed-lined channels and secluded islands in a traditional-style canoe.
Get back to nature at the bush camp, having lunch before we set up camp. Then we venture into the pristine bush on foot, looking out for the diverse animals and birds of the Okavango Delta and getting a closer look at the flora and smaller creatures. Back at camp, it is time for a sundowner followed by a laid-back evening in the wilderness. Sit around the campfire with the local polers and join the dancing and singing, before falling asleep under starry skies to the sounds of the wild.
Wake up to the sounds and sights of the Okavango Delta early this morning and join the sunrise bush walk in this pristine environment.
After the nature walk, we glide along the waterways in mekoros and then 4x4 out of the delta, making our way back to Maun.
After lunch we leave Maun, driving east in our overland adventure truck to Gweta, where we camp under big old baobab trees. Arriving at the camp you are free to explore the area and marvel at the ancient trees, take a dip in the pool and enjoy a hot shower after our night of roughing it in the delta.
Up and onwards - drive to Kasane in the northeastern corner of Botswana. Kasane is the closest base for safaris in Chobe National Park and after lunch, you can choose your preferred means of exploration (optional extra). Cruise along Chobe River in an open-sided boat or set off on an open vehicle game drive in the national park. The boat cruise is recommended for today as you can do an optional game drive tomorrow morning.
Cruising along the Chobe River be ready to see plenty of elephants, as Chobe hosts one of the largest populations in Africa. You are sure to see crocodiles and hippos, along with abundant birdlife, antelopes and more.
Today we leave Botswana, crossing into Zimbabwe, where we head to Victoria Falls.
Arriving in Victoria Falls we are treated to a traditional Zimbabwean meal prepared by a local cooperative of women from a nearby township. This afternoon you are free to participate in the optional activities of your choosing. Be sure to visit the mighty Victoria Falls - one of the natural wonders of the world, known as 'the Smoke that Thunders'.
Vic Falls is one of the major adventure hotspots in Africa, offering a multitude of exciting activities. Go bungee jumping, white water rafting, abseiling, or canoeing. Take a scenic flight over Victoria Falls by plane, helicopter or microlight to see the full grandeur of this famous natural feature. An optional boat cruise along the Zambezi River is the perfect way to end an eventful first day at Vic Falls.
Two days to pack in optional adventure activities galore and explore Victoria Falls.
Don't miss a visit to Victoria Falls to marvel at the world's largest sheet of falling water. Take a zip-line ride or go gorge swinging in Batoka Gorge, go canoeing or game viewing, or take a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.
The white water rafting on this part of the Zambezi is rated as some of the best in the world, so take this chance to experience the adrenalin-inducing adventure. Other options include cultural tours, horseback riding and tram rides across Victoria Falls Bridge, amongst other options.
Set off early this morning, crossing into Zambia and driving up to Lusaka in our purpose built adventure vehicle. The roads get rougher and the landscapes more rural as we head to a game farm near Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Arriving in the late afternoon, you can take a dip in the pool, unwind at the bar and look out for wildlife in the private reserve, including buffalos, zebras and antelopes.
Cover more ground in our adventure truck today as we drive to our campsite near Chipata, in the less-developed Eastern Province of Zambia.
On day 24 we complete the journey to Mfuwe village at the South Luangwa National Park, one of the finest wildlife reserves in Africa.
Reaching the remote Luangwa Valley by late morning we set up camp along the river and have the chance to embark on an optional game drive in the wild South Luangwa Park. In season, you can embark on a walking safari instead of a drive, exploring the bush on foot with a trained guide. Alternatively, you have the option of visiting a local village to get a taste of Zambian culture.
An entire day to explore the fertile South Luangwa Valley - Zambia's premier game viewing area.
This scenic wildlife park is one of the more remote game viewing destinations in Africa, hosting a high density of wildlife over different vegetation zones. The national park is home to predators, such as lion, leopard, hyena and wild dog and herds of buffalo and elephant. Unusual species include endemic Thornicroft's giraffe, Crawshay's zebra and Cookson's wildebeest, whilst common antelope species abound. Bird watching is also superb with around 400 species and exceptional migrational sightings.
This is the place where African walking safaris originated and this morning you can opt to experience the bush on foot (seasonal). Otherwise, you can take a morning game drive with the top-notch guides of South Luangwa National Park.
After the morning's wildlife adventures we head to a Tribal Textile initiative. Take a look at the local crafts and find out about the benefits being generated for local communities and wildlife conservation. After our quick tour of the workshop, we have a tasty lunch at the Courtyard Cafe run by locals. Then we continue to Chipata, near the Malawi border, for our last overnight stay in Zambia.
Having experienced world-class game viewing in the magnificent South Luangwa Park, we leave Zambia behind, crossing into Malawi. Once in Malawi, we make our way to the vast Lake Malawi - the top destination in this sub-tropical country of diverse landscapes.
The third largest lake in Africa, we spend the next three days exploring Lake Malawi and its sandy shores, dotted with fishing villages. Lake Malawi is known as the 'Lake of Stars' given the flickering lights of fishing boats out on the lake at night.
Today we are based at Kande Beach, one of the top beach spots along Lake Malawi. Laze on the sandy beaches, swim in the clear, warm waters and enjoy a variety of optional activities. Go canoeing, head out onto the lake in a catamaran or simply explore the area and visit a local village. The lake is known for its abundance of tropical fish called cichlids and is an excellent place for snorkelling and scuba diving.
This evening we walk into the nearby village at Kande Beach where we enjoy a traditional dinner in one of the local homes.
Drive north to Chitimba Beach where the afternoon is free for relaxation and exploration. Chitimba is set on a dramatic stretch of Lake Malawi's shores, with lovely views over the shimmering lake and scenic mountains with Tanzania across the way.
Our last day at Lake Malawi, relax at the lakeshore beaches or enjoy optional activities. Hike up to the old Livingstonia mission, and take a dip at Manchewe Falls along the way, or visit a local village on foot, with a guide or on your own.
Time to travel into our sixth African country - Tanzania. We cross from northern Malawi into Tanzania, driving up into the highlands and out of the Great Rift Valley. This scenic drive takes us over stunning mountain passes and through rolling tea plantations to Iringa.
On day 31 we reach the East Coast of Africa, having started our journey on the West Coast, near the southern tip of Africa.
Drive to the rapidly-growing city of Dar es Salaam, passing through rural Tanzania in our custom-built adventure vehicle. We overnight in this megacity on the Indian Ocean coastline, preparing for our trip to the Zanzibar Archipelago tomorrow.
Let the tropical island holiday begin! Ferry to Stone Town on Zanzibar Island and transfer up north to the charming village of Nungwi. Known for its pretty beaches, this is our base for exploring exotic Zanzibar.
Kick back and enjoy island life - go to the beach and swim in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Go snorkelling or scuba diving along the shores or on an island hopping boat trip. Opt for kiteboarding, cycling, parasailing or a village visit and simply unwind in this tropical paradise. Sailing trips in traditional dhows are a uniquely East African experience reminiscent of the old trade route era.
Return south to Stone Town and spend the night in this historic town. A major port on the East African trade route, Stone Town is a melting pot of African, Arabian, Indian and European cultural influences. Explore the town with its cobbled lanes, old palaces, mosques and bustling markets, enjoying fresh seafood on your last night in Zanzibar.
Catch the ferry back to the mainland of Tanzania and get ready for the long drive up to Korogwe in the Tanga Region.
Drive north through rural Tanzania to Arusha, passing Africa's tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, in the distance.
Spend the night in Arusha, gateway to the most famous Tanzanian game parks, making up the Northern Safari Circuit. Rest and prepare for our trip to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, packing a smaller bag to take along.
Start the day with an early breakfast before hitting the road in a 4x4 safari vehicle with a pop-up top.
This afternoon we embark on a game drive in the world-famous Serengeti National Park, en route to our overnight camp. Driving across the vast plains in the off-road vehicle enables you to take fantastic photographs through the large sliding windows and pop-up roof.
Serengeti National Park is one of the ultimate wildlife destinations in the world - hosting an abundance of wild animals across its scenic habitats.
Head out on a game viewing drive in the unforgettable Serengeti, most famous for its big cats and the annual Great Migration. Serengeti National Park offers excellent big cat sightings - lions, leopards and cheetahs, given the healthy predator populations supported by the abundant prey. The Wildebeest Migration is a wildlife spectacle like none other - massive herds of zebras, gazelles and wildebeest charging across the crocodile-infested rivers and open plains, drawing predators of all kinds.
If you pre-booked the hot air balloon safari over Serengeti then you will drift above the plains and enjoy aerial game viewing this morning instead of taking the game drive.
One more game viewing gem - the Ngorongoro Crater, home to the Big Five. The largest unflooded volcanic crater in the world hosts arguably the highest concentration of wildlife in Africa. Packed with wildlife, game viewing in the lush Ngorongoro Crater sends us off on a high note.
In the late morning, we ascend out of the crater, taking in the sweeping views from the crater walls, and return to Arusha.
Our last drive through African landscapes in the adventure truck - overland from Arusha in northern Tanzania to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
This evening our long journey comes to an end upon arrival in the exciting city of Nairobi.
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Desert Walk (3-4 hrs)
Etosha National Park
Kasane (Chobe NP)
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