An incredible three-week East African Camping Safari from Nairobi to Victoria Falls.
On this scenic journey through game-rich East Africa, you get to:
Experience the best of East Africa, from spectacular scenery to superb game viewing and unique cultures - at a great price!
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.
Our southbound East African Budget Safari departs from Nairobi, the bustling capital of Kenya, driving south across the border into Tanzania.
On our way to the town of Arusha, we may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. Arusha is located at the base of Mount Meru, Africa's fifth highest peak. This growing town is set in a lush and hilly area of Tanzania that has a cool climate. Arusha is the gateway to the Northern Safari Circuit of Tanzania which includes the world-famous Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater Area.
From Arusha, you have the option of upgrading to a three-night Serengeti Camping Trip at extra cost. This evening our local guides brief those taking the Upgraded Serengeti Trip and there is time to pack for your upcoming wildlife adventure in Serengeti National Park. The optional Serengeti Trip is conducted in smaller safari vehicles so you will need to pack an overnight bag for the trip.
An optional Activity Package is offered with this safari. The extra payment includes activities considered as "essential" on the tour. This itinerary includes these activities. For those that can't afford all of these activities, there is the option of doing the basic safari without the Activity Package. 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.
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 Camping Trip to Serengeti National Park will head off this morning from Arusha and rejoin the rest of the group on day five.
Rise and shine early this morning for an action-packed day of 4x4 wildlife viewing in the famous Ngorongoro Crater.
You are collected from the camp this morning and driven into 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 Ngorongoro Crater, we ascend back to the rim and return to Karatu.
Today is set aside for optional activities and free time to take it easy at the camp in Karatu. 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 optional activity. Optional game viewing and cultural activities need to be booked at the camp directly when we arrive in Karatu.
On day five we drive back to Arusha and meet up with those returning from the Upgraded Serengeti Trip.
This evening we share tales of our African wildlife adventures and cultural encounters in northern Tanzania. Wildlife viewing safaris in Ngorongoro and Serengeti are always unforgettable experiences and that will be shared time and time again.
Next, on this overland camping safari, we drive south to the coastal town of Bagamoyo. Our drive takes us through scenic landscapes scattered with bustling towns and markets offering a glimpse of life in rural life in Tanzania.
Founded in the late 1700's the town of Bagamoyo provides 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. Today dhow sailing boats are built in Bagamoyo, which translates as “lay down your heart” dating back to the cruel slave trading days in East Africa.
We camp at a lodge next to the beach and prepare for our Zanzibar Island Trip, kicking off the next day.
After an early morning wake-up on day seven, we leave Bagamoyo and drive south to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city. From Dar es Salaam a local ferry takes us to Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar Island (included in Activity Package).
Arriving in Stone Town, we are transferred to Nungwi Beach on the northern shores of the main island. On our way north this afternoon we stop to visit the spice plantations of Kidichi and Kizambani. Experiencing the tastes, colours, flavours and smells of the exotic spices is a must in Zanzibar, known as the Spice Islands.
The next few days will be spent relaxing on the white sand beaches of Nungwi and enjoying optional watersports and activities. There are various watersports and ocean activities available, from snorkelling and fishing to scuba diving and dhow sailing. Explore the islands on guided trips or rent a scooter and set off on your own. Zanzibar is renowned for being an idyllic tropical beach destination, so unwind in paradise and go swimming in the clear, warm Indian Ocean waters.
We spend our last night on Zanzibar Island near 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 a second 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 leave the humid Indian Ocean coastline travelling to Mikumi National Park, one of the largest game parks in Tanzania. Mikumi National Park is home to lion, zebra, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and elephant, among other wildlife and over 400 species of birds.
This morning we are up early for a game drive in Mikumi National Park, forming part of the larger Selous Game Reserve ecosystem.
After our wildlife viewing drive, we make our way inland to the historic small city of Iringa. Located in the highlands tea growing area of Tanzania at 1550m above sea level, this pleasant town can get quite cool between June and August.
Leaving the lush highlands of Tanzania we drive down into the Great Rift Valley heading south into Malawi. Our destination for today is Lake Malawi, known as 'the Lake of Stars' due to the flickering lights of the fishing boats out on the vast lake at night. The third largest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi stretches 580km from north to south, covering about 75% of Malawi's eastern border.
Reaching our lakeside camp in the Chilumba area, this afternoon we visit a local village for our first encounter with the friendly Malawian people. We spend two days on the northern shores of Lake Malawi, exploring this scenic region, enjoying optional water activities and lazing on the sandy beaches of this massive freshwater lake. This evening your guide can help you to arrange activities for the following day.
On day 14, you're free to enjoy water activities and explore. Go snorkelling in the clear waters of Lake Malawi to see the brightly-coloured cichlid fish found in abundance here. Simply laze on the sandy shores and soak up the sunshine, swimming in the warm lake. Go kayaking or volunteer at one of the local community initiatives making a difference here. You can also enjoy some walks in the area, including a challenging full-day hike up to the historic mission of Livingstonia on the plateau above Lake Malawi.
On day 15 we travel further south along Lake Malawi, the ninth largest lake in the world, covering a massive portion of the Great Rift Valley. This afternoon we arrive at our lovely camp at Ngala Beach on the shores of central Lake Malawi. End the day off with a sunset walk along the beach and a swim in the lake.
There are no scheduled activities for day 16, leaving you free to explore the Nkhotakota Region and enjoy balmy Lake Malawi. Popular optional activities include paddle skiing, horse riding and snorkelling. 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.
Wake up to a serene sunrise over Lake Malawi before we set off for the wild South Luangwa National Park in neighbouring Zambia. Crossing into Zambia we pause in Chipata before continuing to our camp beside Luangwa River. Hippos, other animals and birds are commonly spotted from the camp bar, so keep an eye open as we sit back with sundowners and watch the glowing sunset over the river.
Day 18 is set aside for wildlife viewing in the unspoilt South Luangwa National Park.
In the morning you have the chance to take a game drive in South Luangwa, going in search of the wildlife and birds found here. This untamed game reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife, including buffalos, leopards, zebras, hippos, giraffes, antelopes and crocodiles Alternatively, you can join 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 embark 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. 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, including leopards.
We leave South Luangwa National Park today taking a relatively short drive through to Petauke. En route we visit a textile initiative in Chipata where colourful African creations being produced with local cotton. From March to December you can take a tour of the workshops to see how the fabrics and hand-crafted products are made.
Zambia is truly African with many rural villages and farming communities dotting the lush vegetation we pass through on our drive to Petauke.
Our journey to the rapidly-expanding Zambian capital of Lusaka follows the Great East Road, linking the capital with Malawi. Soak up the rural African scenery as we pass subsistence farms and lush landscapes interspersed with small villages.
We overnight at a camp on the fringes of Lusaka, a vibrant African metropolis where traditional and contemporary lifestyles converge.
On the last day of our African adventure, we leave Zambia behind, crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge into Zimbabwe. From the bridge, we get our first glimpse of Mosi-ao-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) as the locals call the spectacular Victoria Falls waterfall.
This exhilarating East African Budget Safari ends when we arrive in Victoria Falls town, on the Zimbabwean side of Vic Falls.
We highly recommend spending a few extra days here after this safari, in order to participate in some of the adventure activities available and to witness the mighty Victoria Falls! Whitewater rafting is always popular, but other optional activities include bungee jumping, game viewing, swimming in Devil's pool, visiting Livingstone Island or taking scenic flights over Victoria Falls by helicopter, micro-light or small plane.
This southbound East African Camping Safari is also available in the opposite direction as the East African Camping Safari - North, starting in Victoria Falls and ending in Nairobi. This East African Camping Safari - South is also available as an Accommodated Safari - the East African Budget Safari - South.
For all tour versions, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe can be replaced by Livingstone in Zambia, upon request.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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