Overlanding is the only way to see East and Southern Africa! Dragoman have been leading the way in African overland expeditions since 1981, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Unlike most trips between Nairobi and Victoria Falls, this journey gives you something that other trips miss - time to relax and to get off the beaten track. This journey will take you through some of the best wildlife areas in the world, such as the waving grasslands of the Maasai Mara, the stunning plains of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and the lesser-known gem of South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. We'll also head off on an incredible canoeing trip down the Zambezi Valley, a wonderful experience being surrounded by elephants and camping on river islands away from all the tourists! We also build in plenty of relaxation time on the beautiful beaches of Lake Malawi, and of course the incredible white sands of the Indian Ocean and Zanzibar! Finishing at the fantastic town of Victoria Falls, which boasts Africa's mightiest waterfalls and some adrenaline-fuelled optional outdoor activities, this trip is an incredible experience and the best way to see the heart of Africa - join us for this trip, and you're guaranteed to be very glad that you chose our comprehensive month-long itinerary through the region rather than the rushed 20 or 22 day itineraries offered by other operators!
Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
Welcome to Nairobi! There will be a group meeting today at our joining hotel at 10:00am - your tour leader will meet you at the hotel reception. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.
You will then have time to explore Nairobi fully - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Your tour leader will let you know some of our reccommendations however you are more than welcome to move through the city independently for the day!
Today we will head to Amboseli National Park. Here you can experience the iconic view of the African plain with Mount Kilimanjaro standing majestically in the background. We will drive through the park in our truck keeping a keen eye out for all of the animals we will pass.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Border Information: Exit Kenya at Namanga, enter Tanzania at Namanga.
We will have an early start as we head south to cross the border into Tanzania. We will go to the town of Arusha, where we will stop for food shopping in preparation for our excursion to the Serengeti National Park.
We will then head to our campsite on the outskirts of Arusha. On arrival we should have time to go on an optional walk to a nearby Maasai village, or visit a reptile house and snake-bite clinic that are run by the campsite. We will also prepare and re-pack for the Serengeti excursion starting the following day.
In Arusha we stay in a well equipped campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours
Today we will be met by our fleet of 6-person 4x4 jeeps - we will load the jeeps with our camping and personal gear, and then head out for our 4-day excursion to the Tarangire National Park, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.
We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 4 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle, books and personal snacks, etc.
We will have safety talk with our safari guides and then on to a full day drive within Tarangire National Park. You should have many oportunities for photographs so remember your cameras!
Once we make it into our camp site for the evening will will have our evening meal before the opportunity for a night game drive to Lake Manyara.
Today we have an optional bike ride or bush walk along the shore of Lake Manyara. Then we will experience the view from the birds perspective with a tree top walkway followed by a traditional Swahili buffet for lunch.
After lunch we will make our way down into the plains of the Serengeti. We will take an evening game drive around the savanna before heading to our campsite - the area is one of the world's premier spot for wildlife viewing and we hope to able to find elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe and other big game during our time here!
Tonight we will stay at a campsite within the Serengeti National Park. The camp where we stay is very basic (with showers and flush toilets, but no other facilities) but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and their nocturnal noises! Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.
The next morning we will get up very early and we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive in the heart of the Serengeti plains. The early morning is the best time of day for wildlife viewing, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool.
There is an option this morning for to take a hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti instead of the game drive - demand is high for this activity, so this must be pre-booked at the time that you book your trip with Dragoman.
We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti early afternoon. We will head back through the conservation area to our next campsite, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, where we will arrive in the early evening.
Again, the campsite tonight is very basic and unfenced. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take some warm clothes for this night.
This morning we will have another early start to descend into the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater for a morning game drive. Again, the Ngorongoro Crater is an outstanding area for wildlife spotting, often described as a 'natural wildlife enclosure'. This is the best chance on the excursion to spot black rhinos as well as a myriad of other big game.
We will spend as long as our entry tickets allow in the Ngorongoro Crater before departing, which will usually give us about 3-4 hours of game driving. We will then be dropped off at our campsite back in Arusha, where we are re-united with our truck.
We will have a well-deserved free afternoon to relax at our excellent campsite or to do some of the optional activites on offer here.
This morning we will set off again in our overland truck and head east to Lushoto via Marangu, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. We will go past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro where we'll hope for clear skies and fantastic views of the mountain from the road. If the weather allows we will have the option to do some stargazing at camp tonight.
In Lushoto we will camp in the grounds of a hotel. We have 2 nights here. On the second day we can go on a mountain walk for the morning and visit some great viewopints. We have time to recharge before we are on the move again!
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Border Information: If joining at Zanzibar, you will most likely enter Tanzania from Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (IATA code: ZNZ).
There will be an informal meet-and-greet and orientation of Stone Town with our local Zanzibar guide at 6:00pm - please meet at the reception of the joining hotel at this time if you wish to take part in this orientation. Please note that you will not usually meet your regular Dragoman crew tonight, as they will be arriving in Dar es Salaam this evening and will travel to Zanzibar with members of their previous group tomorrow.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Zanzibar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Zanzibar.
In Stone Town we will stay in a good local hotel.
Please note that the first 4 days of this section overlap with our "YND - Nairobi to Zanzibar" trip, so some of the group that come to Zanzibar will leave before we take the ferry to Dar es Salaam. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not follow our Zanzibar itinerary twice!
Today will be a free day to explore Stone Town, the atmospheric old town on the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar!
Your Dragoman crew will arrive on Zanzibar this afternoon, and there will be an important meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - there will then be the option going for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.
On our second day on Zanzibar we will join our local guide for a very interesting and informative tour around the sights of Stone Town and learn about the history of the island. We will then head away from town and take in a tour of a spice plantation, enjoy a local lunch with our guide, then head to Nungwi beach at the very north of the island. Nungwi is the Indian Ocean at its best - bright white sand, sparkling blue sea outstanding seafood and a fantastic chilled atmosphere.
On our third day on Zanzibar, we will have free time to enjoy Nungwi beach and relax, or to try snorkeling, diving, or other beach activities, or maybe go further afield looking for Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozani Forest.
In Nungwi we will spend both nights in a good hotel right on the shore of the ocean.
Today we will return to Stone Town and then take a ferry from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, before travelling on the local commuter barge from the city centre to the suburb of Kigamboni. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax at the campsite.
In Dar es Salaam we stay at a beautiful and well-equipped beach camp on the southern side of the bay across from the city.
We have a couple of big drives ahead of us to reach Malawi, starting with a journey out of Dar es Salaam and through the hills of the Mikumi National Park.
We will stay in a well-equipped campsite on a working ranch 52kms south of the town of Iringa.
Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Border Information: Exit Tanzania at Songwe, enter Malawi at Songwe.
Today is another travel day as we cross the southern highlands of Tanzania and enter Malawi, arriving at the beaches of Chitimba on the northwestern shores of Lake Malawi.
In Chitimba we will stay in a beautiful campsite on the beach.
Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours
This morning, depending on the preferences of the group, we may have to chance for a short village walk or a woodcarving lesson in Chitimba. We will then continue south along the coast of Lake Malawi to Kande beach, a beautiful spot on the lake shore.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
On the following day we will have a free day on Kande beach to relax or to get involved in some of the optional activities available here - there are watersports on the lake, horse riding through the forests and on the beaches, and village walks to see a little bit of the life of the local Tonga people.
In Kande we will stay in a well-equipped campsite.
Today we will head to the Malawian capital of Lilongwe. Hopefully we will arrive by mid-afternoon so that we have the chance to explore the city, its markets and its shops.
In Lilongwe we will camp in a well-equipped campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Border Information: Exit Malawi at Mchinji, enter Zambia at Mchinji.
Today our journey continues across the Zambian border to the stunning South Luangwa National Park, where we will stay for 2 nights.
If we make good enough time on the drive to the campsite, then there may be opportunity for an optional extra game drive upon arrival tonight.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
On the following day we will have an included early morning game drive and an included evening game drive, both in open-sided safari vehicles.
South Luangwa National Park is a hidden gem on the safari circuit; it is rarely visited due to its remote setting, but has some incredible populations of wildlife and is one of the only parks in Southern Africa that is open for night driving with spotlights when many of the big game is at its most active.
In South Luangwa National Park we will stay in a well-equipped campsite.
Today we have a full day drive towards the Lower Zambezi area.
Tonight we will stay in a well-equipped campsite at the bridge over the River Luangwa.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
Today we drive to our well equipped campsite on the banks of the Lower Zambezi.
Tonight we will meet our guides who will take us on our two-day canoeing expedition on the Lower Zambezi on the following day - they will give us a full briefing about the canoeing trip on arrival.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.
Today we head out on our 2-day/2-night canoeing trip on the Lower Zambezi river.
This is a fully participatory expedition - everyone will pair up, go out in 2-person canoes and paddle themselves, following the lead boat! Everyone also gets involved in setting up the camps and cooking. All of our gear will be carried in a supply canoe, and wild camps are erected on islands in the river along the way.
This is a fantastic way to see the river, the scenery and some of the wildlife in the area!
After breakfast, we have an early morning transfer from our second island wild camp on a fast barge back to the truck, and then continue our journey to Livingstone, on the Zambian side of the world-famous Victoria Falls.
In Livingstone we will stay in a well equipped campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
Border Information: Exit Zambia at Victoria Falls, enter Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls.
Today we cross the border to Zimbabwe and to the world famous Victoria Falls, the largest waterfalls in Africa!
Upon arrival in Victoria Falls we will go for a briefing for possible optional adventure activities, then we will have an included visit to the main viewpoints over the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.
In Victoria Falls we will stay in a well equipped campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.
Border Information: If you are leaving the trip in Victoria Falls, you will most likely depart Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls Airport (IATA code: VFA).
Today is a free day to take advantage of the vast array of adventure activities on offer in the area. If you are interested in a full day of activities here, we advise that you don't book a flight out earlier than 6:00pm, or just aim to stay an extra night, in order to give yourself enough time to do so.
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Victoria Falls. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
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Trip Name: Maasai Mara National Reserve to Victoria Falls
Duration: 28 Days
From Price: $2,464
Supplier Tour ID: ANF1/158194
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