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This Nairobi to Johannesburg & Gorillas Camping Safari starts off with game viewing in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya's top game park, home to Africa's Big Five.
Then we trek for endangered Mountain Gorillas in the rainforests of Uganda, before driving back into Kenya to visit Lake Nakuru and Naivasha national parks. Travel south to Arusha in Tanzania, for an optional wildlife safari to the famous Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.
Reaching Dar es Salaam you can take an optional Zanzibar Island Trip to enjoy the tropical, white-sand beaches and rich Arabic-African cultural life. Onwards to the shores of Lake Malawi for some relaxation and cultural encounters, before exploring the untamed South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Then, view the mighty Victoria Falls and journey into Botswana to explore the game-rich Chobe National Park and head into the wild Okavango Delta on an optional camping trip.
Crossing into South Africa we end off with superb game viewing in the world-renowned Kruger National Park, before wrapping up our safari in Johannesburg.
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 Joburg & Gorillas 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 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 look out 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. 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.
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.
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!
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 Bunyoni, 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 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 birdwatching 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 Bunyoni or taking a dip in its clean waters.
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 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 Joburg & Gorillas 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 Joburg & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari. Departing from Nairobi we travel south, crossing into Tanzania at Namanga border post.
We stay at a lovely 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.
Explore the thriving town of Arusha in the morning - browse the vibrant craft markets, go shopping or stop in at the art gallery near our camp to see the brightly coloured Tinga Tinga paintings typical of Tanzania. Visit the interesting Masai Cultural Museum to learn about these tribal people and tour the Meserani Snake Park to see the reptiles up close.
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 in Arusha, such as village tours and day trips 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 in the Crater Highlands, with spectacular views over the pretty hills and farms. We stay at 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 (no ablution facilities) 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, enjoying 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 Joburg & Gorillas 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 optional trip to Zanzibar Island the following morning.
On day 21 we travel to Zanzibar Island on our optional excursion. From Dar es Salaam we take a ferry across to the Spice Island, where we spend the next three nights.
Zanzibar has a colourful history, as one of the major bases for exploring new territories in East Africa and an important stop on 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.
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.
Zanzibar Island has a great range of activities to offer visitors, from historical sightseeing to exciting water activities. Zanzibar is one of Africa's top beach destinations, featuring picture-perfect tropical beaches lapped by azure waters.
Explore 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 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. 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.
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 Joburg & Gorillas 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 drive to the urban capital of Malawi, Lilongwe. This small city, serves as the administrative capital of Malawi and consists of an old town that contrasts with the more modern zone.
We replenish our supplies before travelling into neighbouring Zambia and our next stop on this Nairobi to Joburg & Gorillas Camping Safari. We make our way to a beautiful overnight campsite only 10 km from the border between Malawi and Zambia.
On day 30 we visit the untamed South Luangwa National Park of Zambia.
South Luangwa is Zambia's leading game park, known for its unspoilt wildness and incredible beauty. Located along the Luangwa River this remote national park hosts about 60 animal species and 420 bird species. The game park is home to large elephant herds, as well as an abundance of buffalo, hippo, crocodile and various antelope species. The park is also home to good numbers of zebra, giraffe and leopard, among others.
The most southern of three national parks in the Luangwa Valley, Luangwa Park covers some 9050 km² of the most fertile part of Luangwa Valley. Here we are immersed in the wild bush, enjoying excellent game viewing in our safari truck.
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.
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 top highlight on 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.
Next, we visit one of the most unforgettable natural wonders of Africa - Victoria Falls waterfalls. We admire the World Heritage Site of Vic Falls from viewpoints in the Victoria Falls National Park on the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi River. The local Kololo people call Victoria Falls Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning 'The Smoke that Thunders' - an apt name for the world's largest sheet of falling water.
A short adventure activities brief is followed by an afternoon of leisure for you to unwind at the campsite’s swimming pool, enjoy adventure activities at Victoria Falls, 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 Johannesburg & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari.
This morning we enjoy breakfast before we make our way into Botswana and the town of Kasane, where we set up camp along the banks of the Chobe River, keeping an eye out for the resident hippos!
Chobe National Park is one of Africa's top wildlife destinations, renowned for its boat-based game viewing and large herds of migratory elephants. We take a relaxing boat cruise along the Chobe River in the afternoon. From the river we look out for the abundant wildlife and birds of Chobe National Park and enjoy a spectacular African sunset over the bush.
On day 38 we drive south to our next stopover in the Nata area. We spend the night camping at a lodge in a private conservancy that hosts an array of wildlife and birds.
Arriving at the lodge you can take a swim or enjoy a sundowner while watching for wildlife at the active waterhole. Alternatively, you can set off on an optional game drive or bush walk in the conservancy.
Today we head west through sparsely populated rural Botswana to the town of Maun, gateway to the famous Okavango Delta.
This huge estuarine system is the wilderness gem of Botswana and the largest inland delta in the world. The Okavango Delta boasts remote islands, and is known for its incredibly rich variety of bird species and animals. Spending time in the Okavango Delta is a unique and remarkable wilderness experience!
This evening we prepare for our optional overnight trip into the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Bring a smaller daypack along for this short 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.
Day 40 presents the chance to explore one of the last truly wild places on earth.
The optional Okavango Delta Camping Trip entails a drive from Maun up north for a couple of hours, to reach a mokoro polers' station, where we switch to water-based travel. The dug-out mekoros are traditional canoes that local guides pole through the reeds and winding waterways, much like gondoliers. The guides stand in the dug-out canoes and steer us through the channels, ferrying us to the mobile tented camp where local staff await.
After settling in at camp, we venture into delta in our mekoros or on foot to get up close to the wilderness that is the Okavango Delta. Walking in the delta is a great way to discover the details of this intricate ecosystem, learning more about the flora and fauna. We look out for signs of animal activity and may even come across some of the delta animals that are not accustomed to seeing people. Tonight we sleep on twin beds in dome tents with rustic en-suite bathrooms (long drop and bucket shower).
The alternative to the optional Okavango Delta adventure is to stay at the campsite in Maun, lazing by the swimming pool, playing a fun game of volleyball or embarking on optional activities.
This morning you have one last chance to take a game walk in the unspoilt Delta bush before we head back to Maun. We make our way out of the pristine delta by mokoro, switching to safari vehicles back at the poling station.
Reaching Maun in the early afternoon we have time for a fantastic optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta. From the sky you can see just how enormous and wild the delta system is and marvel at its beauty, whilst spotting wildlife from above.
Our Nairobi to Johannesburg & Gorillas Camping Safari sets out early today, for our long drive to the Botswana town of Palapye. This small town is located about midway between Francistown and Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.
Palapye is a popular town for stopping over on safari trips between Botswana and South Africa.
Today we cross into the last country on our overland camping safari - South Africa. We head straight to our overnight camp looking out over the deep Blyde River Canyon, on the scenic Panorama Route of South Africa.
The canyon is named after the Blyde River that cuts through it and is classed as a 'green canyon' given the unusually thick vegetation that occurs within it. Blyde River Canyon is around 26km long and an average of 800m deep. The canyon forms the northern edge of the towering Drakensberg Mountain Range, South Africa's highest mountains. This canyon is dotted with impressive viewpoints including the Three Rondavels, named for the shape of the traditional huts; and God's Window offering spectacular vistas over the canyon and surrounding hills.
Continuing along the scenic Panorama Route in South Africa, we pause at some of the main lookout points, including the Three Rondavels, shaped like the traditional local huts they are named after. We also stop to admire the panoramic views over the surrounding hills and canyon from God's Window. Along the way to Kruger National Park, we drive through the small town of Graskop. Tonight's campsite, situated on a private concession area inside Kruger National Park, is home to hippo, giraffe, zebra and impala, among others.
We venture into the private reserve on a night game drive - a thrilling adventure into the darkness in search of nocturnal creatures. The rest of the evening is spent relaxing around the campfire back at our safari camp within Kruger Park, keeping an eye out for local wildlife and birds.
Today we explore South Africa's premier Kruger National Park on game viewing drives. This leading African game park covers an area of 21 497 km2 (60 km wide and over 350 km long). Kruger Park in South Africa is ranked as one of Africa's best game viewing destinations, hosting an amazing variety of flora and fauna. The national park is lauded for its progressive environmental policies, and recognized as one of the pioneers in African wildlife conservation.
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 can upgrade to an open safari vehicle game drive if you prefer, arranging this with the trip leader at an additional cost.
Our African Budget Safari departs from the camp in Kruger Park after breakfast. Travelling via the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route to our final destination - Johannesburg.
We arrive in Johannesburg in the late afternoon where this unforgettable Nairobi to Johannesburg & Gorillas Safari finishes.
We recommend that you extend your stay by a few days to participate in some of the exciting activities available in Johannesburg. Post-tour accommodation can be booked through African Budget Safaris.
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.
This Budget African Safari starts in Nairobi, Kenya and travels south through Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, ending in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Nairobi to Joburg & Gorillas Overland Camping Safari departs from Nairobi in Kenya early on Sunday mornings. Should you wish to explore Nairobi, 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.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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