African Mountain Gorilla by Nonprofit Organizations

Joburg to Nairobi & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari

Tour Length46 days
Priced from pps $3078 R39795 £2416 2750 A$4068 C$4084 NZ$4228 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Overland Camping Tour

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  • Max. Group Size 29 Travellers
  • Departs from Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Ends at Nairobi, Kenya
  • Accommodation Standard Camping
  • Transport Ferry / Game Viewing Vehicle / Large Overland Vehicle
  • Wildlife Big 5, Chimpanzees, Elephant, Gorillas, Leopards, Lions, Migration Safari (Seasonal) & More
  •  See Departure Dates

Quick Itinerary Overview

Begin with game viewing in South Africa's premier game reserve, Kruger National Park - home to Africa's Big 5 and an abundance of flora and fauna. Then cross into Botswana for an optional trip into the wild Okavango Delta, an overnight in a private conservancy and a game viewing boat cruise on Chobe River.

Then we visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, before journeying back into Botswana to camp in game-rich Chobe National Park. Next, drive to Livingstone, at Vic Falls in Zambia and explore the untamed South Luangwa Park, before travelling into Malawi, where we spend a few days on the shores of Lake Malawi. Take an optional trip to Zanzibar Island off the Tanzanian Coast enjoying the rich African-Arabic cultures and white sand beaches.

Returning to Tanzania's mainland we head to Arusha, for an optional wildlife safari to the famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Then we experience Kenya's legendary Masai Mara Game Reserve and cross into Uganda to trek for endangered Mountain Gorillas in the wild.

Back in Kenya we visit Nakuru and Naivasha lakes, before your once-in-a-lifetime Johannesburg to Nairobi & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari comes to an end in the capital.

Responsible Travel Note

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.

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Itinerary for this Tour

DAY 1: Johannesburg to Greater Kruger Park – South Africa

This Johannesburg to Nairobi & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari departs from Johannesburg travelling into the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa to the renowned Kruger National Park.

Our journey takes us through the southern part of the scenic Panorama Route – famous for its breathtaking views.

Tonight we take an exhilarating night game drive in Greater Kruger, going in search of nocturnal creatures in the bush. Then we relax around the campfire at our camp inside Kruger National Park, getting a good night's rest before our early morning game drive. Keep an eye out for wildlife at the safari camp, which is home to hippo, giraffe, zebra and impala, among others.

  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Included Activity: Night Game Drive (or day two)

DAY 2: Kruger National Park – South Africa

Today we explore the world-famous Kruger National Park on game viewing drives. This top African game park covers an area of 21 497 km2 (60 km wide and over 350 km long). The vast Kruger Park conservation area is home to over 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian & 49 fish species. Around 23 000 different types of plants have also been recorded in this wilderness area.

We spend the day driving through Kruger Park in South Africa in search of the abundance of wildlife inhabiting the game reserve, stopping off at view points as we explore. You have the option of upgrading to an open safari vehicle at extra cost.

  • Included Activity: Game Viewing in Kruger National Park (in safari vehicle)
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: Kruger National Park to Polokwane – South Africa

We say goodbye to Kruger Park and leave the Lowveld of South Africa behind, heading to Polokwane.

Our drive takes us along one of South Africa's most scenic areas - the Panorama Route, including the impressive Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window. We stop to admire the panoramic vistas at some of the viewpoints along the Blyde River Canyon, taking advantage of the superb photo opportunities.

Our next stop is Polokwane, capital of the Limpopo Province, and the largest metropolitan hub in the northern part of the country. The economic centre of Polokwane serves as a gateway stop over on safaris through Southern Africa. The city is located close to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, and is also not far from Kruger National Park and Magoebaskloof.

The overnight camp is situated just outside Polokwane, and on arrival we set up our tents on the green lawns, before enjoying a swim in the refreshing swimming pool.

  • Included Activity: Blyde River Canyon
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: Polokwane to Palapye – Botswana

Today we set off northwards, crossing into the top safari country of Botswana, topping up on supplies en route. We overnight in the rapidly growing town of Palapye, located halfway between Francistown and Botswana's capital city - Gaborone.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: Palapye to Maun – Botswana

Continue north to Maun, driving through largely uninhabited rural landscapes. The bustling town of Maun is the most popular base for safaris into the famous Okavango Delta.

Tonight we get ready for our optional camping trip in the magical Okavango Delta - an unforgettable bush experience. Your guide tells you more about what to expect in the delta, advising you on what to pack in your overnight bag.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: Maun to Okavango Delta – Botswana

Early this morning our Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam Overland Camping Safari sets off from Maun, heading into the pristine Okavango Delta.

First we drive north to a mokoro (canoe) station, where we switch to mekoros and proceed deeper into the delta. Local 'polers' ferry us through the labyrinth of narrow channels and reed-fringed lagoons in mekoros, traditionally used to move around the vast estuarine ecosystem. Arriving at the tented camp we are welcomed by the local team of staff, who show us around.

Get settled and have a cool drink, before taking a mokoro trip or guided walk in this unique wild environment. Moving slowly and quietly through the bush enables us to see the flora and fauna up close, possibly coming across large mammals, such as elephants, antelops and buffalos.

Tonight we fall asleep to the sounds of wildlife and smaller creatures in the bush around us. Our dome tents feature twin beds and basic en-suite bathrooms (long drop toilet and bucket shower).

  • Optional Activity: Okavango Delta Camping Trip
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: Okavango Delta to Maun – Botswana

This morning we wake up to the sound of birds, as the delta comes to life. Take one more walk in the Okavango Delta to encounter the diverse lifeforms found in this wild place.

After our walk it's time to pack up and climb back into our mekoros, gliding out of the delta. Reaching the mokoro station we transfer to safari vehicles and drive back to Maun.

This afternoon you can embark on an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta (extra cost). Flying over the delta in a small plane enables you to see the true size of this natural wonder, admiring its beauty and watching wildlife roaming below.

  • Optional Activity: Scenic Delta Flight
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8: Maun to Nata – Botswana

On day eight of our epic Overland Camping Safari, we drive east through sparsely inhabited rural Botswana en route to our camp near Nata.

The lodge is located on a 16000 hectare private conservancy that is home to various wild animals and birds. Arriving at the lodge you have the option of taking a game drive or a bush walk on the conservancy. Ask your guide about arranging this optional activity. Sightings include elephants, giraffes, buffalos, zebras, antelopes and predators such as jackals, lions and wild dogs.

Alternatively you can relax at the lodge, watching for wildlife at the waterhole right in front of the bar-lounge area and cooling off in the pool.

  • Optional Activity: Game Drive or Bush Walk
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9: Nata to Chobe National Park – Botswana

From Nata we travel north to Kasane town, close to Chobe National Park. We set up camp along the Chobe River - the major source of water in Chobe National Park, attracting a host of animals and birds.

We take a relaxing boat cruise on the Chobe River, famous for its excellent boat-based game viewing, admiring another beautiful African sunset from the river. Also, keep an eye out for hippos, elephants, birds and other animals that can be spotted from the camp.

  • Included Activity: Chobe River Boat Cruise
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10: Chobe to Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

Today this Overland Camping Safari travels to the Adventure Capital of Africa - Victoria Falls.

After a short adventure activities briefing we visit the mighty Victoria Falls, one of the most magnificent natural wonders in the world. Victoria Falls is known as Mosi-oa-Tunya by the local Kololo Tribe, which means 'the Smoke that Thunders'. Viewing the world's largest sheet of falling water, some 1700 m wide and about 100 m tall, up close is an unforgettable experience.

After marveling at the World Heritage Site of Vic Falls you are free to lounge at the camp's pool or participate in adventure activities and explore the sights 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.

  • Included Activity: Victoria Falls Entry
  • Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 11 & 12: Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

For the next two days you are free to relax and explore the area as well as taking advantage of some of the fantastic optional adventure activities at Victoria Falls.

Optional Excursions include day trips into the Zambezi or Hwange National Parks, 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, microlight 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 African Camping Safari.

  • Breakfasts

DAY 13: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park – Botswana

After breakfast we depart from Vic Falls crossing into Botswana and making our way to Kasane, on the banks of the Chobe River.

Listen out for the resident hippos enjoying the waters of Chobe River, the major water source in Chobe National Park. The Chobe River forms a natural border between Botswana and Namibia and Zambia. Chobe National Park is one of Botswana’s premier game parks, renowned for its large herds of elephants.

From Kasane we set off on our Chobe Overnight Mobile Excursion - camping in the wilds of this top African game park for the night. In the afternoon we take a game drive en route to our bush camp in Chobe National Park. 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.

  • Included Activity: Chobe National Park Overnight Camping Trip
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14: Chobe National Park to Livingstone – Zambia

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. On our return to the camp in Kasane, we get back on our safari truck and continue to the Zambian town of Livingstone.

This afternoon we can go view Victoria Falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia or enjoy a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River. More fantastic photo opportunities!

  • Optional Activity: Zambezi Sunset Cruise
  • Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15: Livingstone to Eastern Zambia

Today we get an early start and head northwards, passing through villages and towns in southern Zambia en route to our next campsite, in Eastern Zambia.

Zambia flourished during the copper boom in the 60’s and was able to establish extensive infrastructure in its main mining and farming communities. With the decline of the copper industry, the country was left virtually bankrupt and the infrastructure fell into ruin. But today Zambia is again starting to prosper, due to foreign investment and a resurgence in the mining industry. The rising prosperity can be seen in the cities of Zambia where foreign stores, banks and imported cars are increasing, but the villages and smaller towns are less developed.

Some of the local wildlife such as the eland, Africa's largest antelope, share the safari campsite with us!

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 16: Eastern Zambia to South Luangwa Park – Zambia

On day 16 we visit the 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 in our tour vehicle.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Included Activity: Game Viewing in South Luangwa National Park

DAY 17: South Luangwa to Chipata – Zambia

Travelling on the old "East Road" we drive in a northeasterly direction from South Luangwa Park, finding our way to a stunning campsite near the border between Zambia and Malawi.

We follow what was once the route from Cape Town to Cairo that passes through Lusaka on its way to Malawi. While most of today is taken up by driving, we do cross the impressive Luangwa River Bridge which is closely guarded due to its close proximity to the Zimbabwean & Malawian borders.

We’ll also stop to stock up on some fresh produce and supplies from the local sellers along the way. We overnight at our lovely campsite, before heading into neighbouring Malawi tomorrow.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAYS 18 - 20: Chipata to Lake Malawi Beaches – Malawi

Malawi is known as the Warm Heart of Africa and over the next few days we explore this friendly nation.

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. We start in the central area moving north along the fringes of the lake. 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.

  • Optional Activities: Watersports, Hiking, Horse Riding & Village Tours
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 21: Lake Malawi to Iringa – Tanzania

We leave Lake Malawi utterly relaxed after four days and enter Tanzania via the border post at Songwe. Taking in the beauty of the Tukuyu banana and tea plantations of the area, we head for our next night's campsite in the high-lying town of Iringa.

The rustic farm-style guesthouse in Iringa is famous for its Amarula hot chocolate and piping hot showers - both worth savouring.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 22: Iringa to Dar es Salaam – Tanzania

After a good night's rest in Iringa we continue our Joburg to Nairobi & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari to the seaside city of Dar es Salaam.

We pass through the Mikumi National Park of Tanzania seeing a wide range of wildlife from the roadside. The wildlife in Mikumi is quite accustomed to the passing traffic, which makes sighting the animals easier as we drive through the game park.

Upon our arrival in Dar es Salaam, we find our lovely campsite set at the seaside and busy ourselves with preparations for the next stretch of our African journey. The next morning we embark on an optional trip to Zanzibar Island.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 23: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar Archipelago

On day 23 we travel to Zanzibar on our optional island excursion. From Dar es Salaam we take a ferry across to the Spice Island, where we spend three nights. Zanzibar Island is one of Africa's top beach getaways, boasting unspoilt tropical beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters.

Zanzibar has a colourful past once serving as one of the major departure points for European explorations into new territories of East Africa. The islands were also an important stop on the old trade route between Europe, Africa and the East. New passengers may join us on our Zanzibar Trip, while some travel companions might opt to end their tour back in Dar es Salaam.

  • Breakfast
  • Included Activity: Zanzibar Ferry
  • Optional Activity: Zanzibar Island Trip

Please Note:

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 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 three 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, off the coast of Tanzania.

DAYS 24 & 25: Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar Island has a great range of activities to offer visitors, from historical sightseeing to exciting water activities. One of Africa's top beach destinations, relaxing on the picture-perfect tropical beaches lapped by azure waters is a must.

Explore one of the spice plantations, a colourful experience on Zanzibar, which is famous for its exotic spices. The quaint streets of the old Stone Town of Zanzibar reveal traces of the local Arabic history, from Medina-style shops to the impressive palaces that once belonged to powerful Sultans.

Other interesting activities on Zanzibar Island include snorkelling, island hopping and day trips 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. 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, where tasty seafood can be bought at bargain prices.

DAY 26: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam – Tanzania

Departing from the tropical Zanzibar Island in the afternoon our African 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 near Dar es Salaam city.

  • Dinner

DAY 27: Dar es Salaam to Pangani – Tanzania

From Dar es Salaam we travel through the Tanzanian countryside and fields of sisal plantations on our way to Pangani.

Located halfway between Dar es Salaam and Arusha, Pangani is a convenient overnight stop en route to the Northern Safari Circuit. This Arabic-influenced town has a unique history, once serving as a centre for slave smuggling and trade caravans, then political struggles during German colonial times.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 28: Pangani to Arusha – Tanzania

Moving on from Pangani we pass the Pare and Usambara Mountain ranges before driving through Moshi town. Moshi is a great place from which to catch a glimpse of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day - a fantastic photo opportunity! The town of Moshi forms the base for climbing expeditions up Mount Kilimanjaro's slopes to its snowy summit. The night is spent camping in scenic Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha.

Arusha town is located at the foot of Mount Meru and serves as the gateway for excursions to the Northern Safari Circuit parks - Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Lake Manyara Park and the Serengeti Park.

Next we have the option of taking a wildlife safari to the legendary Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater. This game viewing trip is run in locally operated 4x4 safari vehicles that have been adapted for game drives.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 29: Arusha to Karatu – Tanzania

Explore the thriving town of Arusha in the morning if you like, browse the vibrant craft markets and stop in at 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 departure, for those participating in the optional Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park Trip. If you choose not to visit the Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater there are various alternative activities available, such as village tours and day trips from Arusha to Lake Manyara and Tarangire Park.

This afternoon our optional Ngorongoro & Serengeti Trip takes us 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, located in the Crater Highlands, with spectacular views over the surrounding hills. Karatu has many well-established farms adding to its picturesque scenery. We stay at pleasant campsite in Karatu overnight, departing early the following morning for the Ngorongoro Crater.

  • Optional Activity: Serengeti Park & Ngorongoro Trip
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 30: Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti Park – Tanzania

Driving to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area we head down into 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 31: Serengeti National Park to Arusha – Tanzania

In the morning we take an exhilarating game drive in Serengeti 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.

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 32: Arusha to Nairobi – Kenya

Driving north early this morning we head to the Tanzania-Kenya border via the small border town of Namanga. Crossing into Kenya we journey to our next overnight campsite located on the outskirts of the capital city - Nairobi.

The safari camp in Nairobi is ideally situated next to the Nairobi National Park, and is close to the giraffe sanctuary and elephant orphanage. The camp is also close to the famous Carnivore Restaurant. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore the bustling city of Nairobi and enjoy some optional activities.

Visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, to see the orphaned rhinos and elephants up close, head to the Giraffe Centre in Langata for more game viewing, take a day trip to Nairobi National Park or take a “Matatu” to the local curio markets. In the evening you might like to eat out in Nairobi, trying one of the many excellent local restaurants, and then sample the vibrant night life.

  • Breakfast

DAY 33: Nairobi to Masai Mara – Kenya

Leaving the lively streets of Nairobi behind we climb the gentle slopes of the escarpment. Along the way we stop at a viewpoint overlooking the splendid Great Rift Valley.

We then descend into the Rift Valley, entering Masai territory where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle along the roadside. We drive through the town of Narok, possibly sighting some wildlife as we head for our campsite outside of town. The safari camp overlooks the Meguarra hills and a meandering stream that forms a natural border with the Masai Mara National Reserve. Kenya's Masai Mara is well known as one of Africa’s best game parks, home to an amazing variety of wildlife species.

  • Lunch & Dinner

DAY 34: Masai Mara National Reserve – Kenya

Departing just after sunrise we embark on a game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve.

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 sun set over this iconic African landscape. 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!

  • Included Activity: Masai Mara Game Reserve
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 35: Masai Mara to Eldoret – Kenya

In the early morning we leave the Masai Mara Game Reserve, passing through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before dipping off the Rift Valley Plateau.

We travel to Eldoret, located south of the Cherangani Hills in western Kenya.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 36: Eldoret to Kampala – Uganda

Crossing the border from Kenya we travel into the beautiful country of Uganda, our next destination on this Joburg to Nairobi & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari. 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.

In the past, political instability in Uganda 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's appeal for tourists lies in its being less affected by western influences than other African countries, making it an interesting and unique country to visit.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 37 - 40: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni – Uganda

On day 37 we depart from Kampala early in the morning heading southwest into the heart of beautiful Uganda.

Our next overnight base is located at the scenic Lake Bunyoni, “place of many little birds”. Around 200 bird species have been recorded at this tranquil lake dotted with islands. There are a number of activities for you to enjoy at Lake Bunyoni, 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.

From Lake Bunyoni 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.

  • Optional Activity: Mountain Gorilla Trekking
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Gorilla Trekking Procedures:

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 Bunyoni base in small groups over the next 3 to 4 days, depending on the size of our entire group.

From Bunyoni 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 Bunyoni 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.

DAY 41: Lake Bunyoni to Kampala – Uganda

After the unforgettable gorilla trekking experience and soaking up the serenity of Lake Bunyoni we return to Kampala.

Along the way we cross the Equator again, pausing to capture the classic "one foot in each hemisphere" photo. We overnight in Uganda's largest city, Kampala, and have the option of enjoying the local nightlife.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 42: Kampala to Jinja – Uganda

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.

  • Optional Activities: Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary or Jinja Activities
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 43: Jinja to Nakuru – Kenya

With 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 lovely 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.

  • Optional Activity: Visit Orphanage (or next day)
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 44: Lake Nakuru National Park – Kenya

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 sometimes 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.

  • Included Activity: Game Viewing in Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 45: Lake Naivasha – Kenya

On day 45 of our journey we travel to the highest of the Rift Valley lakes, Lake Naivasha, at 1880 m. Lake Naivasha is home to a multitude of birds, including the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry.

We spend the day participating in optional excursions near Lake Naivasha, such as visiting Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.

  • Included Activity: Lake Naivasha Visit
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 46: Lake Naivasha to Nairobi – Kenya

On the last day of this well-rounded Joburg to Nairobi & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari we share breakfast and head back to the safari camp in Nairobi arriving by the early afternoon.

Here we say goodbye to the friends and travel companions who shared this affordable African Camping Safari of a lifetime with us!

  • Breakfast

Accommodation Upgrade:

If you prefer fixed accommodation to camping there is an accommodation upgrade available for this tour. Please see the Full Pricing information above for details.

Please Note:

This Budget African Safari begins in Johannesburg, South Africa and travels north through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, ending back in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Joburg to Nairobi & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari departs from Johannesburg in South Africa early on Wednesday mornings. Should you wish to explore Johannesburg, 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 booking purposes please notify African Budget Safaris as soon as possible should you choose not to go Mountain Gorilla Trekking.

Optional Extras and Excursions

For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.

SOUTH AFRICA:

  • Johannesburg City Tour (pre-trip)
  • Soweto Tour - Joburg (pre-trip)
  • Kruger Park Open Vehicle Game Drive

BOTSWANA:

  • Okavango Delta Camping Trip
  • Scenic Okavango Delta Flight
  • Chobe Game Drive

ZIMBABWE - VICTORIA FALLS: 

  • White Water Rafting-Full Day 
  • River Boarding combo Raft & Board 
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Micro Light over the Falls
  • Helicopter Flight over the Falls

MALAWI:

  • Freshwater Diving at Kande Beach 
  • Horse Riding at Kande Beach (Bush, Beach & Swim)                                    
  • Village Walk & Meal at Kande Beach
  • Traditional Healer Visit 
  • Livingstonia Mission Hike
  • Carving Lessons & Local Fishing

TANZANIA:

  • Serengeti / Ngorongoro Crater
  • Masai Village Visit 
  • Olduvai Gorge

Zanzibar: 

  • Transfer to Nungwe 
  • Accommodation 
  • Spice Tour including lunch 
  • Prison Island Snorkeling Trip 
  • Diving, Snorkeling & Fishing 
  • Dhow Sunset Cruise 
  • Motorbike/ Car Hire  
  • Local drivers license / insurance

KENYA:

  • Masai Mara Balloon Safari (when available) 
  • Masai Village Visit 
  • Masai Warrior Dancing
  • Naivasha Boat Hire 
  • Naivasha Horse Riding 

UGANDA:

  • Gorilla Trek (excl. transfer & booking fee) 
  • White Water Rafting on the Nile
  • Nile Bungee Jump 
  • Soft Power Community Project
  • Quad Biking 
  • Horse Riding + transfer 
  • Trip T-Shirt 
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+Where does the tour go to?
+Optional Activities & Day Trips
For confirmed pricing on these optional items, please drop us an enquiry

SOUTH AFRICA:

  • Johannesburg City Tour (pre-trip)
  • Soweto Tour - Joburg (pre-trip)
  • Kruger Park Open Vehicle Game Drive

BOTSWANA:

  • Okavango Delta Camping Trip
  • Scenic Okavango Delta Flight
  • Chobe Game Drive

ZIMBABWE - VICTORIA FALLS: 

  • White Water Rafting-Full Day 
  • River Boarding combo Raft & Board 
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Micro Light over the Falls
  • Helicopter Flight over the Falls

MALAWI:

  • Freshwater Diving at Kande Beach 
  • Horse Riding at Kande Beach (Bush, Beach & Swim)                                    
  • Village Walk & Meal at Kande Beach
  • Traditional Healer Visit 
  • Livingstonia Mission Hike
  • Carving Lessons & Local Fishing

TANZANIA:

  • Serengeti / Ngorongoro Crater
  • Masai Village Visit 
  • Olduvai Gorge

Zanzibar: 

  • Transfer to Nungwe 
  • Accommodation 
  • Spice Tour including lunch 
  • Prison Island Snorkeling Trip 
  • Diving, Snorkeling & Fishing 
  • Dhow Sunset Cruise 
  • Motorbike/ Car Hire  
  • Local drivers license / insurance

KENYA:

  • Masai Mara Balloon Safari (when available) 
  • Masai Village Visit 
  • Masai Warrior Dancing
  • Naivasha Boat Hire 
  • Naivasha Horse Riding 

UGANDA:

  • Gorilla Trek (excl. transfer & booking fee) 
  • White Water Rafting on the Nile
  • Nile Bungee Jump 
  • Soft Power Community Project
  • Quad Biking 
  • Horse Riding + transfer 
  • Trip T-Shirt 
+Included in the Tour Price
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Camping accommodation
  • Transport
  • Activities as indicated
+Not Included in the Tour Price
  • International flights and visas
  • Airport departure taxes and transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Laundry, tips and personal Items
  • Sleeping bag and pillows
  • Optional activities
  • Gorilla Trekking Permit and transfers
+Departure Dates

Scheduled Tour Departures
Click on a departure date to enquire

If you do not see departures listed for your dates, or would like information on potential changes, please do contact us for further info.

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