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A three-week Budget Camping Safari from the Kenya's capital, Nairobi to Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe.
Heading south from Nairobi we cross into Tanzania for an optional trip to the world-famous Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater, home to Africa's Big 5 and an abundance of other wildlife. It's then onwards to Zanzibar Island with its tropical beaches and rich Arabic-African culture. From Zanzibar we travel to Lake Malawi where we relax for a few days along this magnificent freshwater lake.
Then we explore the untamed South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, before travelling to Livingstone and the mighty Victoria Falls. Next we explore the famous Chobe National Park in Botswana, before returning to Victoria Falls, on the Zimbabwean side, where you can enjoy some seriously fun optional activities.
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 Victoria Falls Overland Camping Safari departs from Nairobi travelling south into Tanzania at Namanga border post.
We stay at a lovely campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha for the night. Tomorrow we have the option of embarking on our memorable Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater trip.
[B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner]
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. These game viewing excursions are run in locally operated 4x4 safari vehicles that have been adapted for African safari drives.
Explore the thriving town of Arusha in the morning if you like, 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 snakes and other 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, 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 Masai 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 surrounding hills.
Karatu has many well-established wheat farms adding to its picturesque scenery. We stay at pleasant campsite in Karatu overnight, departing early the following morning for the Ngorongoro Crater.
Driving to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area we head deeper into the bush of the Ngorongoro Crater teeming with wildlife. This crater is a World Heritage Site boasting some of the best game viewing in Africa. 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 the game drive through the southern and central areas of the Serengeti Park. Then we camp in an unfenced area in the heart of the untamed bushveld surrounded by the sounds of Africa's wildlife at night.
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 morning game drive, we retrace our steps crossing the vast plains and lush Ngorongoro Crater rim.
Back in Tanzania's Arusha we spend the evening recounting our thrilling tales of the wildlife encounters on the plains of Serengeti and in the Ngorongoro Crater.
The Budget Nairobi to Victoria Falls Safari takes us into Arusha this morning to stock up on supplies before driving south towards Dar es Salaam, on the coast of Tanzania.
We travel through Moshi, a town at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. Moshi serves as the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions, and we may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this magnificent mountain’s snowy summit from the town. The views of towering Kilimanjaro from Moshi offer fantastic photo opportunities!
Passing through vast sisal plantations flanked by the Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges we continue south on our safari adventure. Our lovely overnight campsite tucked between the mountains, lies halfway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
Travelling via lush countryside landscapes with 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 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 pleasant seaside campsite and have time to prepare for our optional trip to Zanzibar the following morning.
On day 7 we travel to Zanzibar Island on our optional island trip. From Dar es Salaam we take a ferry across to the Spice Islands, where we spend three nights.
Zanzibar Island 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.
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 3 days are spent at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam. There are various optional activities available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips. The driver and cook stay behind in Dar es Salaam during the Zanzibar Trip, 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 good prices.
Departing from the tropical Zanzibar Island in the afternoon our exciting 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 town.
On the morning of day 11 we set off from seaside Dar es Salaam making our way further south.
En route we drive through the inland Mikumi National Park, home to a variety of wildlife. The wildlife in Mikumi is quite accustomed to the passing traffic, which makes sighting the animals easier as we drive through the game park.
We continue to the elevated town of Iringa, our next overnight stop on this Nairobi to Victoria Falls Overland Camping Safari. The night is spent at a charming campsite known for its Amarula hot chocolate and piping hot showers.
We follow the winding road through the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations admiring this beautiful region of Tanzania as we travel.
Next, we cross into Malawi entering the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ via the Songwe border post. Malawi is a long, landlocked country with 20% of its total area covered by the beautiful, fresh-water Lake Malawi. Over the next few days we skirt the full length of the western shores of Lake Malawi, visiting scenic bays along the way. Our days are spent relaxing on the unspoilt beaches, learning to play the game of bao from locals or bargain hunting at the markets.
The temperate climate of Malawi is suited to swimming all year round, so you can always take a dip in the clear blue waters. Explore the picturesque shores of Lake Malawi meeting local fishermen as they sort the fresh catch of the day. The fishermen still bring in their catch using traditional fishing techniques. The ‘fairy’ lights of the fishermen's boats twinkle out on the lake at night, which is why Lake Malawi is known as the Lake of Stars.
You can gain insight into the skill involved in handling one of the fishing boats by trying your hand at paddling a dug out canoe yourself. Excursions offered at the beachside campsites along Lake Malawi's shores include options such as water sports, horse riding and visits to the local school and village.
Leaving lovely Lake Malawi and its laid-back people behind, we drive to the urban capital of Malawi, Lilongwe. This small city, serves as the administrative capital of Malawi and consists of an old town that contrasts with the more modern zone.
We replenish our supplies before travelling into neighbouring Zambia and our next stop on this Nairobi to Vic Falls Overland Camping Safari. We make our way to a beautiful overnight campsite only 10 km from the border between Malawi and Zambia.
On day 16 we visit the untamed South Luangwa National Park of Zambia.
South Luangwa is Zambia's leading game park, known for its wildness and incredible beauty. Located along the Luangwa River this remote national park hosts about 60 animal species and 420 bird species. The game park is home to large elephant herds, as well as an abundance of buffalo, hippo, crocodile and various antelope species. The park is also home to good numbers of zebra, giraffe and leopard, among others.
The most southern of three national parks in the Luangwa Valley, Luangwa Park covers some 9050 km² of the most fertile part of Luangwa Valley. Here we are immersed in the wild bush, enjoying excellent game viewing.
Driving south from Luangwa National Park along the Great East Road we head to our overnight campsite, not far from Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city. On our drive we cross the impressive Luangwa River Bridge near the Zimbabwe-Malawi border and travel via some rural villages and towns in Zambia.
Zambia prospered during the copper boom in the 1960’s and established extensive infrastructure in its main mining and farming communities. After a subsequent decline in the copper industry, Zambia is once again starting to develop, due to foreign investment and a resurgence in the mining industry.
Some of the local wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, vervet monkeys and monitor lizards can be seen at the safari campsite set along the Luangwa River.
Continuing our journey south through Zambia, we pass through farming and agricultural towns en route to Livingstone. The town is named after explorer David Livingstone who in turn named Vic Falls after his queen.
Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Vic Falls is the world's largest sheet of falling water at 1700 m wide and around 100 m high. Seeing Vic Falls is a highlight of any African Safari!
We can witness this spectacular natural wonder from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia - a superb photographic opportunity. In the evening we can enjoy an optional sunset boat 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 on the banks of the Chobe River. Chobe River forms a natural border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia and serves as the major source of water in Chobe National Park.
From Kasane we make our way into this famous Botswana game reserve for our overnight camping trip in the wild. In the afternoon we explore Chobe Park on a game drive en route to our safari camp inside the scenic wilderness area. On the game viewing drive rare sable and roan antelope are often sighted, along with impalas, kudu, elephants, giraffes and more. We also see a variety of birds, from raptor and plover to lilac breasted roller, as we drive!
We spend the evening musing over our wild encounters in Chobe Park, taking in the quiet and listening to the night sounds of nearby wildlife.
Getting up early after our night in the Botswana bush, we set off on a morning game drive in search of Chobe's varied wildlife. After our rewarding game drive we pack up camp and travel back to the town of Kasane. Back at the Kasane camp we transfer to our safari truck and take the short drive to the Zimbabwe border. Border formalities behind us, we cover the last bit of ground to nearby Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Today we visit the famous Vic Falls waterfall, a World Heritage Site and natural wonder. Viewing the spectacular Victoria Falls, falling between Zimbabwe and Zambia, is an awe-inspiring and memorable experience!
Your guide briefs you on the adventure activities available and the remainder of the afternoon is free for you to unwind at the campsite’s swimming pool, do adventure activities at Victoria Falls, or explore the highlights of Victoria 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.
After breakfast in Victoria Falls town, we exchange addresses and say goodbye to our fellow travellers, having experienced the African Safari Trip of a lifetime!
We recommend that you book a few extra days in Victoria Falls, after your tour to take advantage 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 ultra light 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.
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 Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana, before ending in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The Nairobi to Victoria Falls Overland Camping Safari departs from Nairobi in Kenya early on Sunday morning. 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 camping safari trip.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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