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An epic voyage from Nairobi, Kenya, to picturesque Cape Town, South Africa - travelling through Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
This Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari starts with game viewing in Kenya's famous Masai Mara, before heading into Uganda for Mountain Gorilla Trekking. Visit highlights back in Kenya and drive to Tanzania to explore the legendary Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater. Next we take a trip to Zanzibar Island with its rich Arabic-African cultures and white sand beaches.
Then we relax on the shores of Lake Malawi, cross into Zambia to spot wildlife in the untamed South Luangwa Park and go to the mighty Victoria Falls. Onwards to Chobe National Park in Botswana, where we embark on an overnight camping trip, revisit Vic Falls and return to Chobe for more game viewing. Go camping in the pristine Okavango Delta and take game drives in Namibia's Etosha National Park.
Continue to top destinations in Namibia, from Swakopmund to the Namib Desert and Fish River Canyon, before travelling through Namaqualand and the Cederberg in South Africa.
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 Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari departs from Kenya's capital in the morning.
Travelling up the escarpment from Nairobi we stop at a viewpoint to look out over part of the sweeping Great Rift Valley. We then descend to the floor of the Rift Valley in Kenya entering Maasai country. The striking-looking Maasai people are often seen along the roadside in their brightly-coloured robes herding cattle.
Driving south through the town of Narok, we look out for wildlife en-route to our first overnight campsite. In the late afternoon we arrive at our safari camp overlooking the Meguarra Hills and a meandering stream that borders on the famous Masai Mara National Reserve.
The Masai Mara Reserve covers incredible wide-open scenery and fertile riverine woodlands, following the looping meanders of the Mara and Talek rivers. Wherever you go in the Masai Mara you will see an abundance of wildlife! The Mara Game Reserve is unfenced, so its wild animals are free to roam around in the surrounding wilderness areas, even entering our safari camp! The local ‘Askari’ keeps a lookout for any unwelcome predators at camp, ensuring your safety.
Departing just after sunrise we embark on our first exhilarating game drive in Masai Mara Game Reserve. Kenya's Masai Mara is considered one of the best game viewing destinations in the world and arguably East Africa's top safari destination.
Masai Mara is home to a wide variety of wildlife species including an array of predators and plains game. The reserve is known for its sizeable big cat populations, hosting plenty of lions, leopards and cheetahs. The Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) are commonly seen on game drives in this 1510 km² wilderness area.
The Masai Mara Reserve is best known for the Annual Wildebeest Migration, also called the Great Migration. This wildlife spectacle sees massive herds of over a million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle stampede across the open plains between the Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania and Masai Mara in southwestern Kenya. These huge herds of herbivores are usually seen on the move between July and October when they search for fresh grazing. The masses of grazers attract an abundance of Africa’s predators that are frequently spotted making dramatic kills during the Great Migration.
On our game drive through Masai Mara National Reserve we may see all of Africa's Big Five, along with many other species of animals and birds. After game viewing in the classical African safari setting of Masai Mara, we have the chance to stop in at one of the nearby Maasai Manyattas – traditional settlements where the Masai Tribes still live in their customary way. In the evening we relax around the campfire, watching the sunset over this iconic African landscape.
Hot-air balloon trips are an entirely outstanding way of viewing the savannah plains and the wildlife of Masai Mara after which you come back down for a beautiful champagne breakfast. These scenic balloon trips can be arranged upon booking.
In the early morning, we leave the Masai Mara Game Reserve, having experienced incredible wildlife viewing.
From Mara we pass through the rolling tea plantations of Kericho, west of the Rift Valley. Leaving the green hillsides of the highlands we dip down to the Rift Valley Plateau. Then we travel to one of Kenya's fastest growing towns - Eldoret, located south of the Cherangani Hills in western Kenya.
Crossing the western border of Kenya we travel into the striking African country of Uganda.
We stay in the capital city, Kampala, for our first night in Uganda. Uganda is a small country, covering diverse terrains. Habitats vary from fertile areas of greenery in the northern area around the shores of Lake Victoria to the snow-capped Ruwenzori Mountain peaks in the west and the captivating semi-desert region in the north of Uganda.
The political instability in Uganda over the past has inadvertently sheltered the country from the negative impacts of rampant commercialization. The current administration has devoted considerable efforts and funds to restoring Uganda to its former position as one of Africa's most prosperous and alluring travel destinations. Uganda appeals to travellers because of its beauty, gorilla trekking and the fact that it is less affected by western development than other African countries, making it a unique country to visit.
On day five we depart from Kampala early in the morning heading southwest into the heart of beautiful Uganda. Our next overnight base is located at the picturesque Lake Bunyonyi, meaning “place of many little birds”. Around 200 bird species have been recorded at this tranquil lake dotted with islands.
From Lake Bunyonyi we have the option of participating in Mountain Gorilla Trekking Expeditions in the rainforests of central Africa. We trek in Magahinga, or Bwindi National Parks (Uganda), Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of Congo), or Ruhengeri National Park (Rwanda); depending on the availability of gorilla trekking permits.
The prices of the gorilla trekking permits change, sometimes without prior notice. The price is currently at about US$600 depending on which national park is visited. A local transport and handling fee is charged, at about US$120 per person (this includes the return transfer and booking fee with the Wildlife Authority).
When gorilla trekking takes place in the DRC or Rwanda, we will also need to pay for the additional visa for either country, as well as renewing our Ugandan visa when we re-enter the country. Your safari guide will brief you about the park to be visited, at a pre-departure meeting, and assist with online visa applications for Rwanda en-route, if required. It is customary to tip the local guides and rangers who take you gorilla trekking.
With only about 700 African mountain gorillas remaining, gorilla trekking is an extraordinary opportunity to encounter these gentle primates in the wild. On these unforgettable treks we get to watch the mountain gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Berengei) in their natural habitat – a rare and unique wildlife experience! Although the gorillas are monitored on a daily basis, giving the rangers a good idea of where to find these primates, sightings of the mountain gorillas cannot be guaranteed, as they are still free roaming wild animals.
These mountain gorillas share much of our DNA, therefore anyone with even the mildest cold or any transferable disease will not be permitted on the gorilla treks. There is an age restriction of a minimum of 16 years for trekking. The number of daily visitors allowed on the gorilla trekking trips is limited, thus we depart from our Lake Bunyonyi base in small groups over the next 3 to 4 days, depending on the size of our entire group.
From Bunyonyi we wind our way through some of the most splendid scenery in Africa, travelling to Kisoro town or our base in Rwanda, where we might overnight. The next morning, we pack a picnic lunch and transfer to a ranger’s station, serving as the starting point for our adventure. The rangers will lead you into the dense rainforest in search of a family of gorillas. Gorilla trekking can take anything from 45 minutes to 8 hours depending on how easy the gorillas are to locate. Trekking can be fairly strenuous; therefore it is necessary for participants to be reasonably fit.
We get to spend a maximum of one hour with the mountain gorillas, to ensure that the animals do not get too accustomed to humans and to protect them from any of our diseases. The visit allows for ample time to observe the gorillas from close range and take photographs of them. Your ranger will be able to give you the background on the particular gorilla family that you encounter. When your visit comes to an end you trek back through the rainforest to the meeting point, from where you are transferred to our Lake Bunyonyi base.
The rise in gorilla trekking plays a vital role in the conservation of these endangered mountain gorillas, with tourism helping to ensure the survival of this threatened species. The entire cost of the gorilla trekking permits is used by the national park authorities to protect the gorillas. The gorilla permit fee is used to fund patrolling, key to protecting the gorillas from poachers and deadly snares, as well as to promote awareness about the status of these unique animals.
Lake Bunyonyi, a nature lover’s delight, is the deepest Crater Lake in Africa. There are a number of activities for you to enjoy at Lake Bunyonyi, while you wait for your turn to go gorilla trekking. These activities include: hiking in the hills of this beautiful area, canoeing on the lake or going on a bird watching walk in this birding paradise.
Or you can experience the local culture by visiting a nearby village or church or exploring the local markets of Kabale. You could also choose to take it easy, simply relaxing on the tranquil shores of Lake Bunyonyi or taking a dip in its clean waters.
After the unforgettable gorilla trekking experience and soaking up the serenity of Lake Bunyonyi we return to Kampala.
Along the way we cross the Equator again, pausing to capture the must-have "one foot in each hemisphere" photo. We overnight in Uganda's largest city, Kampala, and have the option of enjoying the local nightlife.
Today you have a choice between visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or transferring to Jinja for activities.
Ngamba Island provides a haven for almost 50 orphaned chimpanzees rescued from across Uganda. Visiting this small island on Lake Victoria gives you the opportunity to get up close to these primates.
In Jinja the selection of adventure activities includes that of white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or volunteering at a local community project. In the afternoon you can relax on the riverbanks spotting the diverse waterbirds found in this area.
With Uganda, the 'Pearl of Africa', behind us we return to neighbouring Kenya, pausing along the way for supplies and lunch.
Back in Kenya we sleep at a pleasant campsite on a farm just outside of Nakuru, one of the country's largest towns and the capital of the Rift Valley Province. In Nakuru you have the chance to visit a local orphanage run by a missionary organization.
The town of Nakuru is located next to the compact and wildlife-rich Lake Nakuru National Park.
This morning we head into the Lake Nakuru National Park on a game drive in our tour vehicle. This Kenyan game park is famous for the lesser and greater flamingos that flock to the edge of its soda lake. The size of the flamingo flocks at Nakuru varies, but when conditions are right the lake appears almost pink as a result of the numerous flamingoes.
We spend the day looking for the frequently sighted black and white rhino. The Nakuru Park was established as a sanctuary for the resident rhino species. We also search for the more elusive leopard, seeing giraffe, buffalo, antelope species and sometimes hippos too.
After our game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park, we return to our campsite in the late afternoon.
On day 13 of our Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari we travel to the highest of the Rift Valley lakes, Lake Naivasha, at 1880 m above sea level. Lake Naivasha is home to a multitude of birds, among them the African Fish Eagle with its regal cry.
Today we participate in optional activities near Lake Naivasha, such as visiting Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), taking a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary, or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.
On day 14 of this epic African Safari Adventure we enjoy breakfast and return to the camp in Nairobi, arriving in the capital of Kenya by the early afternoon.
We bid farewell to the friends and travel companions ending their budget safari trip in Nairobi and make our way to our overnight camp.
This morning we collect any new passengers joining the Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari. Departing from Nairobi we travel south, crossing into Tanzania at Namanga border post.
We stay at a pleasant campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha for the night. Tomorrow you have the option of embarking on our memorable Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater trip. This game viewing trip is run in locally operated 4x4 safari vehicles that have been adapted for game drives.
Arusha town is located at the foot of Mount Meru and serves as the gateway for excursions to Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Lake Manyara Park and the Serengeti Park. You can explore the thriving town of Arusha this morning - browse the vibrant craft markets, or visit the art gallery near our camp to see the brightly coloured Tinga Tinga paintings typical of Tanzania. You can also visit the interesting Masai Cultural Museum to learn about these tribal people and tour the Meserani Snake Park.
Heading back to our base camp at Meserani we have lunch and prepare for our Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park Trip.
This afternoon we travel to Karatu via the Maasai town of Mtu Wa Mbu, located next to Lake Manyara National Park. We journey up the Great Rift Valley Escarpment to Karatu in the Crater Highlands, with spectacular views over the pretty hills and farms. We stay at a lovely campsite in Karatu overnight, departing early the following morning for the Ngorongoro Crater.
Driving to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area we head into the diverse habitats of the Ngorongoro Crater, teeming with wildlife. This crater is a World Heritage Site boasting one of the highest wildlife concentrations in Africa, which makes for some of best game viewing. Ngorongoro Crater game viewing opportunities include high concentrations of various wildlife species, from black rhinos to lions and wildebeest.
We explore the Crater floor on a game drive before ascending out of the crater and down the crater rim, passing the 'Cradle of Mankind' en route to the Serengeti National Park. We cross the open African plains on our game drive through the southern and central areas of the vast Serengeti Park. Then we camp in the heart of the untamed bushveld, in an unfenced area, surrounded by the sounds of Africa's wildlife at night.
In the morning we take an exhilarating game drive in Serengeti National Park, admiring the surrounding landscape as we search for game in the area. The famous Big Five of Africa (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) are often sighted on our Serengeti game drives.
Along with Masai Mara, Serengeti hosts the Great Migration - an unforgettable wildlife phenomenon! The endless plains dotted with acacia trees are the scenes that movies of wild Africa have been made of, presenting perfect photo opportunities.
After the rewarding morning game drive, we retrace our steps, crossing the vast plains and skirting the rim of lush Ngorongoro Crater. Back in Tanzania's Arusha we spend the evening recounting our thrilling tales of the wildlife encounters experienced on the plains of Serengeti and in the Ngorongoro Crater.
The Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari takes us into Arusha this morning to top up on supplies before driving south towards Dar es Salaam, on the coast of Tanzania.
We travel through Moshi, a small town at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. Moshi serves as the base for climbing expeditions up Mount Kilimanjaro and passing by we may catch sight of the towering peak, another fantastic photo opportunity! Driving through expansive sisal plantations flanked by the Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges we continue south to our pleasant overnight campsite tucked away in the mountains, halfway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
Travelling via lush countryside landscapes and groves of palm trees, we reach our next safari destination, Dar es Salaam.
The pace of our drive to the warm Indian Ocean slows as we enter the outskirts of busy Dar es Salaam, taking in the interesting sights and sounds of Dar’s vibrant outer suburbs as we go. Keep an eye out for the brightly coloured shop-fronts decorated with humorous names and slogans.
Arriving in Dar es Salaam on the east coast of Africa we head to our nice seaside campsite and have time to prepare for our trip to Zanzibar Island the following morning.
On day 21 we travel to Zanzibar Island. From Dar es Salaam we take a ferry across to the Spice Island, where we spend the next three nights.
Zanzibar has a colourful past, as one of the major departure points for most of the explorations into new territories of East Africa, in times gone by. The island was an important link in the old trade route between east and west.
New passengers may join us on our Zanzibar Trip, while some travel companions might opt to end their tour of Africa back in Dar es Salaam after visiting Zanzibar.
Optional activities 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 a variety of tasty meals. Your trip leader joins you and can help with arranging activities in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar Island has a great range of activities to offer visitors, from historical sightseeing to exciting water activities.
This safari includes a spice tour and a dhow cruise during your stay on Zanzibar. Exploring the spice plantations is a colourful and aromatic experience on the Spice Island and sailing in a traditional dhow is the ideal way to watch the sun go down.
Stroll through the cobbled streets of the old Stone Town of Zanzibar to see traces of the Arabic history, from Medina-style shops to the impressive palaces that once belonged to wealthy 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 in Nungwe is well worth it, as is the experience of fishing in a traditional sailing dhow. Island hopping and snorkelling in the clear warm waters are also fantastic ways to explore this beach paradise.
There are a variety of restaurants in Stone Town offering a fantastic array of fresh seafood straight from the ocean, with crayfish being a popular treat. You can mingle with the locals at the seafront market of Forodhani Gardens in Stone Town, where inexpensive yet tasty seafood is available.
Departing from the tropical Zanzibar Island in the afternoon our idyllic beach trip comes to a close. We return to the shores of Tanzania by the early evening feeling rejuvenated, sun-kissed and relaxed.
We spend the night catching up with fellow travellers at our safari camp in Dar es Salaam.
On the morning of day 25 we set off from coastal Dar es Salaam making our way further south through Tanzania.
We drive inland via 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 elevated town of Iringa, our next overnight stop on this Nairobi to Cape Town 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, dubbed The Warm Heart of Africa, driving 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 trace 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 attractive Lake Malawi and its laid-back people behind, we cross into Zambia and drive to the South Luangwa National Park. We spend days 29 and 30 in 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 in our tour vehicle.
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. 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 southern Zambian 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.
Once in Botswana we drive to the northern town of Kasane, located along 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.
This afternoon we visit the world-famous Victoria Falls to view this awe-inspiring natural wonder up close! The local Kololo call Vic Falls Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning 'The Smoke that Thunders' - an apt name for the world's largest sheet of falling water at 1700 m wide and about 100 m high.
Your guide gives you a short adventure activities briefing and then you are free to unwind at the campsite’s swimming pool, embark on adventure activities, or explore the highlights of Vic Falls town! 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.
For the next two days you are free to relax and explore the area, as well as taking advantage of some of the thrilling optional adventure activities at Victoria Falls.
Optional activities 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.
Some of our fellow travellers may end their tour in Vic Falls and new passengers often join us for the next stretch of our affordable Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari.
This morning we enjoy breakfast before we make our way back across the Botswana border to the town of Kasane. Explore the town before lunch, then we prepare for another night of camping out in Chobe National Park, regarded as one of Africa's top safari destinations.
This afternoon we explore the park on a game drive as we head to our bush camp, looking out for the Big Five and other rare and interesting animals. Lion, buffalo, zebra, crocodile and hyena are commonly sighted along with the ubiquitous elephant, hippo and impala. We may also see leopard, cheetah, fox, serval, African wild dog and various antelope species, including puku, red lechwe, sable, roan and bushbuck.
We spend the night camping inside Chobe National Park surrounded by untamed nature. Chobe National Park is the premier national park in Botswana, renowned for its large herds of migratory elephants.
We continue exploring Chobe National Park in the morning, before returning to Kasane.
Then you have free time at camp near Kasane, to put your feet up, watch the birds and listen out for hippos in the river. Later you have the chance to embark on an optional sunset boat cruise along the Chobe River. Keep an eye out for wildlife and the rich birdlife, while enjoying another spectacular sunset that only Africa can offer.
Today we head south-west along Chobe Park and then west to the town of Maun, gateway to the southern part of the Okavango Delta. This huge expanse of water is unique to Southern Africa being the largest inland delta in the world.
This evening we prepare for our two-night trip into the world-famous Okavango Delta of Botswana. Bring a smaller daypack along for this three day trip into the bush. Your safari guide will tell you a bit about the camping trip into the delta and advise you on what to pack. The next morning we will set off from Maun on our journey into the Okavango Delta.
This morning we drive north to the fringes of the Okavango Delta where we switch to traditional-style canoes. Local guides use long poles to move us through the tranquil channels standing in the mekoros like gondoliers. We glide along the reed-lined waterways for a couple of hours, before arriving at our mobile tented camp deep in the delta.
A local team of staff hosts you at the tented camp, showing you around the camp when you arrive. We stay in dome tents with twin beds and basic en-suite bathrooms (long drop toilet and a bucket shower).
Relax at the rustic camp where you can spot birds and soak up the peace, or head off on a gentle mokoro ride or nature walk to see the unique flora and fauna up close. The Okavango Delta is one of the last truly wild places left on earth, hosting an incredible diversity of life forms.
This evening we sit around the campfire chatting with the local guides and listening to the night sounds of the delta.
In the morning you can venture into the bush on foot, watching for birds and wildlife, before we pack up and leave the delta camp. Gliding through the delta channels we return to the vehicles for our drive back to Maun.
Back in Maun you have time to freshen up and rest, with the option of taking a scenic flight in the afternoon. The optional flight provides beautiful views over the network of waterways flowing across the plains, giving you a chance to sight animals from the sky and see just how big this unique natural wonder is.
On day seven we drive southwest through Botswana, towards the border with Namibia. Our next stop is the small town of Ghanzi, located deep in the Kalahari Desert region of western Botswana.
This semi-arid region is home to descendents of the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa - the Kalahari San, also known as Bushmen. You have the option of taking a cultural excursion to meet the local San and discover how they have adapted and survived in this inhospitable desert terrain over tens of thousands of years.
Today we set off into the rural hinterland, passing remote towns on our drive into Namibia. In the late afternoon we arrive in Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia, situated in the middle of the country, on the central plateau of the Khomas Highlands.
Windhoek is a small city by international standards, but an interesting and pleasant place to visit, as the cultural, economic and political heart of the country. Walk around the city and do some sightseeing and shopping, before enjoying an optional dinner out at one of the many excellent restaurants here.
Today we drive north towards Etosha National Park, Namibia's premier game park.
This over 22 000 km² national park is set around the barren Etosha Pan, a flat expanse once covered by a huge inland lake. The game park is named after the salt pan with its shimmering mirages, hence the name Etosha, which means 'Great White Place'.
Teeming with a large variety of wild animals, insects and birds, Etosha offers superb game viewing in its dramatic landscapes. After lunch we embark on an afternoon game drive in the southern part of the national park, going in search of lions, elephants, antelopes, giraffes, zebras and many others.
Back at camp you can visit the floodlit watering hole for some night-time game viewing in Etosha.
Enjoy a full day of game viewing in the African bush visiting waterholes that attract a variety of animals and birds. The sparsely vegetated environment lends itself to game spotting at the water sources where animals congregate. Look out for desert antelopes, such as the striking-looking oryx and springbok on the plains, as well as the large lion prides.
The extensive network of gravel roads enables visitors to access most areas of Etosha Park. Crossing some 150 km of the Etosha, we see different types of vegetation as we drive, as well as the changing animal and bird life that these varying habitats support.
Later we leave Etosha National Park via the Anderson gate and make our way to our safari campsite only 10kms away from Etosha. Arriving at camp you can take a refreshing swim in the pool before dinner. Spend the evening unwinding at the camp and having a drink in the quaint bar.
We stay at a private game farm with camping facilities in a natural setting.
The farm is home to various antelopes, including wildebeest, Damara dik-dik, gemsbok, eland, impala, springbok, steenbok and duiker, as well as zebra, ostriches and a variety of other birds. Today you can take an optional game drive and relax at the camp in the reserve.
Next up on our Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari is Brandberg, the tallest mountain in Namibia, where we camp under star-filled African skies.
If we arrive early enough you can explore the wilderness area around Brandberg on foot.
Onwards to Spitzkoppe, the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’. We head to the dramatic Spitzkoppe, a giant granite outcrop in an otherwise flat part of Namibia. The highest geological formation is about 1728 m high and is recognized as one of the most distinctive natural landmarks in Namibia. Spitzkoppe is a sacred site of the ancient San people, housing important rock paintings. We stop briefly to explore Spitzkoppe on foot, visiting the San Rock Art in the area and taking in the impressive terrain and striking views.
Then it's on to Swakopmund, on the coast of Namibia, where we spend two nights taking it easy and having some fun. Arriving at coastal Swakopmund you will be briefed on the adventure activities on offer here.
Our Swakopmund accommodation is in dormitories, but you have the option of upgrading to private rooms through your safari guide (depending on availability).
Swakopmund is Namibia's prime holiday resort offering a fine selection of coffee shops, bars and restaurants to keep visitors entertained. Swakopmund has some lovely beaches for taking a pleasant stroll along the icy Atlantic Ocean. There is an interesting museum, an aquarium and various galleries to visit, as well as craft shops selling Namibian curios. Founded in 1892, Swakopmund still has a colonial German flavour, especially visible in its architecture.
Today on this Nairobi to Cape Town Camping Safari we spend the day chilling out, sightseeing or participating in a few of the numerous optional activities on offer in and around Swakopmund.
Optional activities or excursions include; sky diving, horse riding, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic flights over the desert, cruises with the dolphins, fishing trips, golfing and more.
At this stage there might be a change in fellow passengers with some leaving us and some joining us for the next leg of the African Camping Safari.
Leaving Swakopmund, we head south towards the coastal town of Walvis Bay.
Then we journey inland into the ancient Namib Desert and our next safari destination - the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Once in the Namib, one of the world's oldest deserts, we set up camp at Sesriem, where we stay for the next two nights. Arriving at our camp there is time to explore this dramatic desert area on foot.
From our base we can witness the changing faces of the mesmerizing Namib Desert. Nearby Sossusvlei features some of the highest sand dunes in the world, reaching over 300m tall. The towering Sossusvlei Dunes offer spectacular views over the sea of red-orange sands stretching out as far as the eye can see. We visit the Sossusvlei clay pan dotted with stark tree trunks that stand in sharp contrast with the dry, white earth and surrounding ochre dunes.
While in the Namib we climb the postcard-perfect Dune 45, enjoying open views over the stark terrain as the sun sets or rises. Dusk and dawn are ideal times for exploring the Namib Desert as the colours of the sand dunes become more vivid in the glow and the heat is less intense.
After watching the sunrise over Sesriem, savouring the tranquillity of the barren Namib Dunes, we travel south to the Fish River Canyon.
Namibia's Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world. The outer sides of this canyon were formed by tectonic activity and the Fish River has over time eroded the landscape shaping the inner walls of the canyon. The Fish River Canyon measures 161 km in length, is 27 km across and approximately 550 m deep.
We follow the road that runs along the eastern rim of the canyon, stopping at various vantage points that offer spectacular views over the deep chasm, the river below and the surrounding bush.
We wake up early and keep heading south to the Orange River, a short drive away. The Gariep, formerly known as the Orange River, forms the natural border between Namibia and South Africa.
We set up camp at a great little campsite on the South African side of the border. Here you can swim in the river, laze around at camp or go on an included half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Orange River. The canoeing trip follows the currents at an easy pace, making for a laid-back paddle through the unspoilt scenery along the riverbanks where a variety of birds can be spotted. Tonight you can enjoy a few drinks in the camp bar, looking out over the peaceful river.
We leave early this morning and travel through an area known as the Richtersveld, passing through the small town of Springbok.
Then we drive into the Namaqualand region of South Africa, known for its dazzling display of wildflowers in spring. The Namaqua daisies and other brightly-coloured indigenous flowers bloom from about September to October every year.
Our campsite for the night is set in the Cederberg Mountains amid scenic wine farms and fertile valleys. We have time to stroll through the vineyards, taking in the mountain views, and then we do some wine tasting. After sampling some of South Africa's fine locally produced wines in the Cederberg Mountain range we retire for our final night of camping under the starry African skies!
We say goodbye to the lovely Cederberg area and continue south to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town.
On our way to Cape Town, we travel through the lush countryside of Citrusdal where the hills are covered in orchards of fruit trees. Then we traverse the Piketberg Pass and make our way down into the Western Cape's famous wine growing region. Our final destination is revealed as Table Mountain emerges in the distance. From Table Bay we view this iconic landmark that dominates the city of Cape Town.
Our accommodation in Cape Town is in dormitories at a well-loved backpackers hostel in Cape Town.
In the morning our Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari - the African trip of a lifetime, comes to an end in Cape Town.
This Budget African Safari begins in Nairobi, Kenya, and travels through Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, ending in Cape Town, South Africa. The Nairobi to Cape Town Safari departs from Nairobi in Kenya early on Sunday morning. Should you wish to explore Nairobi, an earlier arrival is recommended. Similarly, if you want to explore Cape Town we recommend staying on for a few days after the safari. 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 booking purposes please notify African Budget Safaris as soon as possible should you choose not to go Mountain Gorilla Trekking.
Please note this tour or a portion of this tour may coincide with a family departure, in which case, children from 6 years old may be included in the tour. Please contact African Budget Safaris to confirm.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
Please note this tour or a portion of this tour may coincide with a family departure, in which case, children from 6 years old may be included in the tour. Please contact African Budget Safaris to confirm.
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.
Our team has the destination knowledge to help you plan an unforgettable African adventure. We're based in Cape Town and ready to help.
We can also plan you an affordable private group or tailor-made tour. We built our business on turning luxury travel into affordable travel.