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An awesome and affordable trip from the idyllic beaches of Zanzibar to the mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Tropical Zanzibar Island is a cultural haven where you can explore the cobbled streets of old Stone Town, discover exotic spices and relax on sandy palm-fringed beaches.
From Zanzibar it's back to mainland Tanzania and Dar es Salaam, then on to Lake Malawi via Mikumi National Park. Lake Malawi is a vast and scenic inland lake, dotted with islands. Fishing villages are scattered along the length of the lakeshore and the traditional local lifestyles are a major highlight for travellers. From friendly Malawi we journey across Zambia to the untamed wilderness of South Luangwa National Park for superb game viewing. Then we head to Vic Falls in Livingstone, and onwards into Botswana to spot wildlife and camp in the famous Chobe National Park.
This Budget Camping Safari ends on the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls, one of the world's seven natural wonders, where you can enjoy optional adventure activities galore.
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 Dar es Salaam to Vic Falls Overland Camping Safari starts with an optional trip to Zanzibar Island, off the coast of Tanzania. Departing from Dar es Salaam we take a ferry ride to Zanzibar Island, where we spend the next three nights.
Zanzibar has a colourful past, as one of the major departure points for most of the European explorations into new territories of East Africa, in times gone by. The island was once an important link in the old slave and commodities trade route between east and west.
Accommodation and meal costs are for your own account in Zanzibar, allowing for flexibility and self-guided exploration on the island. Zanzibar Island hosts a wide selection of restaurants offering fresh seafood and a variety of tasty meals. Your trip leader joins you and can help with arranging accommodation in Zanzibar.
For travellers choosing not to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam. There are various optional activities available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips. The driver and cook stay behind in Dar es Salaam during the Zanzibar Trip.
Zanzibar Island has a great range of activities to offer visitors, from historical sightseeing to exciting water activities. Zanzibar is one of Africa's top beach destinations, featuring picture-perfect tropical beaches lapped by azure waters.
Explore the spice plantations, a colourful and aromatic experience on Zanzibar, known as the Spice Island given its exotic spices. The cobbled streets of the old Stone Town of Zanzibar reveal traces of the local Arabic history, from Medina-style shops to the impressive palaces that belonged to powerful Sultans.
Other interesting activities on Zanzibar Island include a day trip to the pristine beaches of Prison Island, to see its giant tortoises. A full day of scuba diving or snorkelling in Nungwe is well worth it, as is the experience of fishing in a traditional sailing dhow. There are a variety of restaurants offering a fantastic array of fresh seafood straight from the ocean, with crayfish being a popular specialty. You can mingle with the locals at the seafront market of Forodhani Gardens in Stone Town, enjoying afforable, tasty seafood.
Departing from the tropical beach paradise of Zanzibar Island in the afternoon our exciting optional trip comes to a close. We return to the shores of Tanzania by the early evening feeling rejuvenated, sun-kissed and relaxed.
Spend the night catching up with fellow travellers at our safari camp in Dar es Salaam town.
[B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner]
On the morning of day five we set off from coastal Dar es Salaam making our way further south.
En route we drive through the inland Mikumi National Park, home to a variety of wildlife. The wildlife in Mikumi is quite accustomed to the passing traffic, which makes sighting the animals easier as we drive through the game park.
We continue to the high-lying town of Iringa, our next overnight stop on this Dar es Salaam to Vic Falls Overland Camping Safari . The night is spent at a charming campsite known for its Amarula hot chocolate and piping hot showers!
We follow the winding road through the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations admiring this beautiful region of Tanzania as we travel.
Next, we cross into Malawi entering ‘ The Warm Heart of Africa’ via the Songwe border post. Malawi is a long, landlocked country with 20% of its total area covered by the beautiful, fresh-water Lake Malawi.
Over the next few days we skirt the full length of the western shores of Lake Malawi, visiting scenic bays along the way. Our days are spent relaxing on the unspoilt beaches, learning to play the game of bao from locals or bargain hunting at the markets.
The temperate climate of Malawi is suited to swimming all year round, so you can always take a dip in the clear blue waters. Explore the picturesque shores of Lake Malawi meeting local fishermen as they sort the fresh catch of the day. The fishermen still bring in their catch using traditional fishing techniques.The ‘fairy’ lights of the fishermen's boats twinkle out on the lake at night, which is why Lake Malawi is known as the Lake of Stars.
You can gain insight into the skill involved in handling one of the fishing boats by trying your hand at paddling a dug out canoe yourself. Excursions offered at the lakeside campsites along Lake Malawi's shores include options such as water sports, horse riding and visits to the local school and village.
Leaving lovely Lake Malawi and its laid-back people behind, we drive to the urban capital of Malawi, Lilongwe. This small city, serves as the administrative capital of Malawi and consists of an old town that contrasts with the more modern zone.
We replenish our supplies before travelling into neighbouring Zambia and our next stop on this Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari. We make our way to a beautiful overnight campsite only 10 km from the border between Malawi and Zambia.
On day 10 we visit the untamed South Luangwa National Park of Zambia.
South Luangwa is Zambia's leading game park, known for its unspoilt wildness and incredible beauty. Located along the Luangwa River this remote national park hosts about 60 animal species and 420 bird species. The game park is home to large elephant herds, as well as an abundance of buffalo, hippo, crocodile and various antelope species. The park is also home to good numbers of zebra, giraffe and leopard, among others.
The most southern of three national parks in the Luangwa Valley, Luangwa Park covers some 9050 km² of the most fertile part of Luangwa Valley. Here we are immersed in the wild bush, enjoying excellent game viewing.
Driving south from Luangwa National Park along the Great East Road we head to our overnight campsite, not far from Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city.
On our drive we cross the impressive Luangwa River Bridge near the Zimbabwe-Malawi border and travel via some rural villages and towns in Zambia today. Zambia prospered during the copper boom in the 1960’s and established extensive infrastructure in its main mining and farming communities. After a subsequent decline in the copper industry, Zambia is once again starting to develop, due to foreign investment and a resurgence in the mining industry.
Some of the local wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, vervet monkeys and monitor lizards can be seen at the safari campsite set along the Luangwa River.
Continuing our journey south through Zambia, we pass through farming and agricultural towns en route to Livingstone. The town is named after explorer David Livingstone who in turn named Vic Falls after his queen.
Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Vic Falls is the world's largest sheet of falling water at 1700 m wide and around 100 m high. Seeing Vic Falls is a highlight of any African Safari!
We can witness this spectacular natural wonder from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia - a great photographic opportunity. In the evening you can take an optional sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi River. The sunset cruises offer a relaxing and scenic journey along the mighty Zambezi River, visited by wildlife and birds.
Saying goodbye to truly African Zambia we head into one of Africa's top safari countries - Botswana. Crossing at the Kazangula Ferry on the Zambezi River we drive to the northern town of Kasane, located on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe River forms a natural border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia and serves as the major source of water in Chobe National Park.
From Kasane we make our way into this famous Botswana game reserve for our overnight camping trip in the wild. In the afternoon we explore Chobe Park on a game drive en route to our safari camp inside the scenic wilderness area. On the game viewing drive rare sable and roan antelope are often sighted, along with impalas, kudu, elephants, giraffes and more. We also see a variety of birds, from raptor and plover to lilac breasted roller, as we drive!
We spend the evening musing over our wild encounters in Chobe Park, taking in the quiet and listening to the night sounds of nearby wildlife.
Getting up early after our night in the Botswana bush, we set off on a morning game drive in search of Chobe's varied wildlife. After our rewarding game drive we pack up camp and travel back to the town of Kasane. Back at the Kasane camp we transfer to our safari truck and take the short drive to the Zimbabwe border. Border formalities behind us, we cover the last bit of ground to nearby Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
After a short adventure activities briefing, we head to the World Heritage Site to view the spectacular Vic Falls waterfall.
Our safari campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of Victoria Falls town, within walking distance of the local restaurants, shops and booking agents for adventure activities. A 20 minute walk takes you to the entry point for viewing Victoria Falls, falling between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Witnessing the falls is an awe-inspiring and memorable experience!
This afternoon is free for you to unwind at the campsite’s swimming pool, enjoy activities at Vic Falls, or explore the highlights of Victoria Falls town.
On day 15 we have breakfast together and say goodbye to our fellow travellers, bringing this affordable Dar es Salaam to Vic Falls Overland Camping Safari to a close in Victoria Falls.
Optional activities for after your safari include trips to Livingstone Island, horseback safaris, sunset boat cruises and swimming in Devil's Pool. Adrenalin junkies can bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia, or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither for the faint hearted!
All year round, flights in fixed-wing, micro light and ultralight aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site. White water rafting on the Zambezi River is some of the best in the world. In addition to the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are more placid sections for admiring the towering cliffs and occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.
This Budget African Safari starts in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and travels to Zanzibar and through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana, before ending in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The Dar es Salaam to Vic Falls Overland Camping Safari departs from Dar es Salaam early on Saturday mornings. Should you wish to explore Dar es Salaam, an earlier arrival is recommended. Accommodation can be booked through African Budget Safaris.
This itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road & weather conditions, political situations and group decisions. All prices & Local Payments are subject to change. Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries we visit, there may be a truck and crew change during the safari trip.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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