This Tanzania to Malawi & Vic Falls Overland Camping Safari sets off from Dar es Salaam, taking you game viewing in Mikumi National Park, before crossing from Tanzania into Malawi.
We spend the next few days relaxing on the sandy beaches of Lake Malawi, exploring the local culture, hiking and swimming or snorkelling in the tropical lake. Crossing the border into Zambia we venture into the untamed South Luangwa National Park, home to an abundance of wildlife and birds.
The last leg of this Tanzania & Malawi Camping Safari journeys to the Zambian capital of Lusaka, via Petauke, before ending at one of the natural wonders of the world - Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
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.
On the first day of this Dar es Salaam to Victoria Falls Camping Safari, we leave the East Coast of Africa, making our way from the chaotic city into the untamed bush.
Heading inland into rural Tanzania we stop at Mikumi National Park for the night. This popular Tanzanian game park is home to over 400 bird species and a healthy population of wild animals, from lion and elephant to buffalo and antelope. Mikumi is part of a larger wilderness ecosystem around Selous Game Reserve, one of Africa's largest game reserves.
An optional Activity Package is offered with this safari. The extra payment includes "essential" activities, included in this itinerary. For those that can't afford all of these activities, there is the option of doing the basic safari without the Activity Package. Contact African Budget Safaris for a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package and see the Full Pricing Information above for the cost.
This morning we embark on an early morning game drive in Mikumi National Park, where common sightings include four of the Big Five of Africa (buffalo, lion, elephant and leopard), along with zebras, giraffes, wildebeest and other African animals.
Then we continue to the historic small city of Iringa, perched in the Tanzanian Highlands. This elevated region is the tea growing centre of Tanzania, experiencing cool winters and mild year-round temperatures.
Leaving the lush highlands of Tanzania we drive down the Great Rift Valley heading south into Malawi, fondly called 'the Warm Heart of Africa'.
Our destination for today is Lake Malawi, known as 'the Lake of Stars' due to the flickering lights of the fishing boats out on the vast lake at night. The third largest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi stretches 580km from north to south, covering about 75% of Malawi's eastern border.
Reaching our lakeside camp in the Chilumba area, this afternoon we visit a local village for our first encounter with the friendly Malawian people. We spend two days on the northern shores of Lake Malawi, exploring this scenic region, enjoying optional water activities and lazing on the sandy beaches of this massive freshwater lake. This evening your guide can help you to arrange activities for the following day.
On day four, you're free to enjoy water activities and explore. Go snorkelling in the clear waters of Lake Malawi to see the brightly-coloured cichlid fish found in abundance here. Simply laze on the sandy shores and soak up the sunshine, swimming in the warm lake. Go kayaking or volunteer at one of the local community initiatives making a difference here. You can also enjoy some walks in the area, including a challenging full-day hike up to the historic mission of Livingstonia on the plateau above Lake Malawi.
On day five, we travel further south along Lake Malawi, the ninth largest lake in the world, covering a massive portion of the Great Rift Valley. This afternoon we arrive at our lovely camp at Ngala Beach on the shores of central Lake Malawi. End the day off with a sunset walk along the beach and a swim in the lake.
There are no scheduled activities for day six, leaving you free to explore the Nkhotakota Region and enjoy balmy Lake Malawi. Popular optional activities include paddle skiing, horse riding and snorkelling. Otherwise, you can embark on an optional motorboat trip, do some bird watching, take a guided village tour or visit the nearby forest reserve. You can also take a walk along the lake, passing fishing villages along the way for some laid-back exploration.
Wake up to a serene sunrise over Lake Malawi before we set off for the wild South Luangwa National Park in neighbouring Zambia.
Crossing into Zambia we pause in Chipata before continuing to our camp beside Luangwa River. Hippos, other animals and birds are commonly spotted from the camp bar, so keep an eye open as we sit back with sundowners and watch the glowing sunset over the river.
Day eight is set aside for wildlife viewing in the unspoilt South Luangwa National Park.
In the morning you have the chance to take a game drive in South Luangwa, going in search of the wildlife and birds found here. This untamed game reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife, including buffalos, leopards, zebras, hippos, giraffes, antelopes and crocodiles Alternatively, you can join a walking safari in the dry season (April to December) - a thrilling way to get up close and personal with nature. Mornings are an excellent time for spotting a number of the animals roaming South Luangwa National Park. The opportunity to take a game walk is particularly special because South Luangwa is where African walking safaris originated.
Later today we embark on a sunset game drive in the national park, looking for the rich diversity of wildlife and birds found in the wild marshes, woods and grasslands. We stop for sundowners in the bush before continuing our game drive into the night when we hope to spot the elusive nocturnal animals of South Luangwa, including leopards.
We leave South Luangwa National Park today taking a relatively short drive through to Petauke. En route we visit a textile initiative in Chipata where colourful African creations being produced with local cotton. From March to December you can take a tour of the workshops to see how the fabrics and hand-crafted products are made.
Zambia is truly African with many rural villages and farming communities dotting the lush vegetation we pass through on our drive to Petauke.
Our journey to the rapidly-expanding Zambian capital of Lusaka follows the Great East Road, linking the capital with Malawi. Soak up the rural African scenery as we pass subsistence farms and lush landscapes interspersed with small villages.
We overnight at a camp on the fringes of Lusaka, a vibrant African metropolis where traditional and contemporary lifestyles converge.
On the last day of our Tanzania to Malawi & Vic Falls Overland Camping Safari, we drive from Lusaka, across the Zimbabwean border to Victoria Falls.
Crossing from Zambia into Zimbabwe via the Victoria Falls Bridge we get a glimpse of the famous waterfall - Victoria Falls. Looking down the Batoka Gorge, we see the impressive mists rising up off Mosi-oa-Tunya - the local Kololo name for Vic Falls, meaning 'the Smoke that Thunders'.
For those that wish to remain in Livingstone (on the Zambian side), this can be arranged. We recommend that you spend an extra few nights in this area to experience Victoria Falls and the many exciting activities on offer here, such as Zambezi whitewater rafting, scenic flights and bungee jumping.
The Dar es Salaam to Victoria Falls Camping Safari also travels in the opposite direction as the Victoria Falls to Dar es Salaam Overland Camping Safari, starting in Victoria Falls and ending in Dar es Salaam.
This Overland Camping Safari is also available as an accommodated tour - Dar es Salaam to Vic Falls Accommodated Overland Safari.
For all tour versions, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe can be replaced by Livingstone in Zambia, upon request.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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