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Zanzibar to Cape Town

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. Travelling from the beaches of Zanzibar to the iconic South African city of Cape Town, you will get an incredible insight into the life of rural Africa together with plenty of opportunity for adventure! Starting on the tropical island of Zanzibar, where we explore the stunning old town, take a tour of the spice plantations, and relax on some of the Indian Ocean's finest beaches, we'll then travel through the remote areas of southern Tanzania and into the small friendly country of Malawi, visiting bustling markets and relaxing on the stunning shores of Lake Malawi. We then head into Zambia and explore the Zambezi river by kayak, a truly unique way to view wildlife and a fantastic highlight of southern Africa away from the other tourists! We will then head out on safari in one of Africa's best-kept secrets, the wildlife-packed South Luangwa National Park, before moving on to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe's adrenaline hotspot and home to Africa's mightiest waterfall! We then head south into Zimbabwe to the fantastic Hwange and Matobo National Parks, where we head out on foot in search of rhinos. We will then explore the stunning Okavango Delta in Botswana, and cross the edges of the Kalahari Desert. You'll then enjoy the unbelievable scenery of Namibia, including its phenomenal Fish River Canyon and incredible sand dunes at Sesriem, before heading down the Western Cape of South Africa and arriving in the iconic city of Cape Town at the continent's southern tip. An incredible and truly memorable trip!


Duration: 42 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Safari Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158204
Starts: Zanzibar, Tanzania Finishes: Cape Town, South Africa
You will Visit
  • Dar Es Salaam
  • Zanzibar
  • Mikumi
  • Iringa
  • Chitimba
  • Kande
  • Lilongwe
  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Luangwa River
  • Lower Zambezi Area
  • Livingstone
  • Victoria Falls
  • Hwange National Park
  • Bulawayo
  • Matobo National Park
  • Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Maun
  • Okavango Delta
  • D'Kar
  • Windhoek
  • Etosha National Park
  • Spitzkoppe
  • Cape Cross
  • Swakopmund
  • Namib Desert
  • Sesriem & Soussusvlei
  • Bethanie
  • Keetmanshoop
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Noordoewer
  • Citrusdal
  • Cape Town

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Zanzibar

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!

02

Day 2: Zanzibar

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.

03

Day 3-4: Zanzibar

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.

04

Day 5: Dar Es Salaam

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.

05

Day 6: Iringa

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!).

06

Day 7: Chitimba

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

07

Day 8-9: Chitimba

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.

08

Day 10: Lilongwe

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.

09

Day 11-12: South Luangwa National Park

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.

10

Day 13: Luangwa River

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.

11

Day 14: Lower Zambezi Area

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.

12

Day 15-16: Lower Zambezi Area

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!

13

Day 17: Livingstone

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.

14

Day 18: Victoria Falls

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.

15

Day 19: Victoria Falls

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.

16

Day 20: Victoria Falls

Border Information: Welcome to Victoria Falls and the largest waterfalls in Africa! If joining the trip in Victoria Falls, you will most likely enter Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls Airport.

There will be a group meeting at 10:00am at the Victoria Falls Rest Camp. Your leader will leave a note on the reception with the details of this important meeting - when you arrive you will easily spot the Dragoman truck as well (to the right-hand-side of the reception), where you'll be able to meet one of our crew.

This afternoon we will have an included visit to the main viewpoints over the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.

Our camp ground is centrally located on the Zambezi River only four kilometres from the Falls, the perfect place to use as a base for the vast array of adventure activities on offer in the area. Please note that no meals are included in Victoria Falls. 

17

Day 21: Victoria Falls

Today is a free day to allow you to participate in some of the many optional activities on offer. There are various activities and excursions to choose from, including white water rafting and canoeing, horse riding, abseiling or gorge swinging!

18

Day 22: Hwange National Park

After breakfast we head towards Hwange National Park, stopping en route to visit the Painted Dog Conservation Group for an insight into the plight of the African Wild Dog. We will take an included afternoon game drive in local safari trucks through Hwange National Park.

Tonight we will camp in the National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 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!).

19

Day 23: Bulawayo

This morning we will head out on an early morning game drive within Hwange National Park. In the afternoon we will travel to city of Bulawayo in the southeast of Zimbabwe.

In Bulawayo we will stay in a campground with shared facilities, where some upgrades are available.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

20

Day 24-25: Bulawayo

We will spend 2 days in Bulawayo.

On the first day we will have an included day trip to explore the Mataobo National Park, home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros. We have an incredible safari to track them on foot, and also have the chance to visit the grave of Cecil Rhodes and learn all about Zimbabwe's past. 

On the second day we will have free time to explore the city of Bulawayo or take a tour of some of the surrounding historical sites. We will keep this day flexible so if the whole group wishes to spend more time in the Makgadikgadi Pans then we will be able to move on today instead.

21

Day 26: Makgadikgadi Pans

Border Information: Exit Zimbabwe at Plumtree, enter Botswana at Ramokgwebana.

Leaving Zimbabwe behind, have a long drive day today into Botswana to the awesome Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the largest salt pans in the world.

We camp tonight at the intriguingly named "Planet Baobab", a very well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

22

Day 27: Makgadikgadi Pans

This morning we will have the time for optional excursions into the Makgadikgadi Pans to see the incredible scenery and go in search of meerkats! In the afternoon we will drive to Maun, where we will prepare for our 2-day/1-night excursion to the Okavango Delta.

Tonight we we stay in a well equipped campsite. 

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

23

Day 28-29: Okavango Delta

This morning we will set off to join the mokoros (pole-driven canoes) for our 2-day/1-night excursion to the Okavango Delta. The Delta is one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems. We will explore the incredible scenery in our small dugout styled canoes and enjoy some walks on the islands in the delta looking for wildlife.

We will bushcamp on our night on the Delta, and then return to our campsite in Maun on the afternoon of the second day, where there will be the time for optional scenic flights over the Delta.

24

Day 30: D'Kar

This morning we will drive south to the village D'kar in the district of Ghanzi. In the afternoon we have an included visit to the Dq e Qare Game Reserve, a community based tourism project of the San from D'Kar village, where we will go on a bush walk to learn all about the lives and culture of the San.

Tonight we will camp at a well equipped camp site at the Dq e Qare Game Reserve.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

25

Day 31: Windhoek

Border Information: Exit Botswana at Manumo, enter Namibia at Buitepos.

Today is a full drive day as we make our way to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.

Tonight we will stay at a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.

26

Day 32-33: Etosha National Park

Today we will drive north from Windhoek to Etosha National Park. Etosha is one of the world's most pre-eminent wildlife areas with good chance to see the 'Big Five'. We will stay in the park for two nights giving us plenty of opportunity for game drives in our truck! 

We will camp in the park at the well equipped campsite called Okaukuejo, a particularly spectacular camp as it overlooks a floodlit waterhole visited by many different species throughout the day and night.

Drive time (Windkoek to Etosha) - 6-7 hours.

27

Day 34: Spitzkoppe

Today we will drive south to the stunning mountains of Spitzkoppe. This remote region has breathtaking sunsets and sunrises as the colour of the landscape takes on remarkable oranges and reds.

Tonight will be a bushcamp with very limited facilities. 

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours.

28

Day 35-36: Cape Cross

Today we will continue to the old German colonial town of Swakopmund, where we will have 2 nights to explore the town and enjoy some of the many optional adventure activities on offer.

We will also have an included visit to Cape Cross en route from Spitzkoppe, to experience the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shore.

In Swakopmund we will stay in a local guesthouse. 

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours.

29

Day 37: Namib Desert

Today we will drive from Swakopmund to Sesriem, our base for exploring the spectacular Namib Desert. If time allows, en route we will have the option to take a short walking tour of the desert around Solitaire where we can learn all about the ecosystem of the desert - please note that our time available for this is dependant on the time of the sunset, as they close the gates to our Sesriem campsite at sunset.

We camp in the Sesriem region at a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

 

30

Day 38: Sesriem & Soussusvlei

Today we have an early morning start to climb to the top of the famous Dune 45 for a dramatic and incredible sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. We will also have chance to explore the otherworldy landscape of the Dead Vlei. In the afternoon, we head south to our river camp near the small town of Bethanie.

Tonight we camp at an eco-tourism campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours (not including the Dune 45 excursion)

31

Day 39: Keetmanshoop

This morning we drive to the strange landscape of the Giant's Playground near Keetmanshoop. We will have a free afternoon to explore the Giant's Playground and the surrounding Quiver Tree Forest.

Tonight we camp at a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

32

Day 40: Fish River Canyon

Today we will leave the Giant's Playground and head south to the dramatic secnery of the Fish River Canyon. Here we will have a good amount of time for exploration and taking in the beautiful sunset over the canyon. 

Tonight we camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

33

Day 41: Noordoewer

This morning we will drive to Noordoewer, next to the scenic banks of the Gariep (Orange) River - the natural border between Namibia and South Africa. There is also a possibility of visiting the Ais Ais hot springs en route. This afternoon we can take the opportunity to take an optional canoeing tour on the Orange River. 

Tonight we will stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours

34

Day 42: Citrusdal

Border Information: Exit Namibia at Noordoewer, enter South Africa at Noordoewer.

Today we cross the border into South Africa and head down the Western Cape to Citrsudal. In the evening we will have the option for some wine tasting!

Tonight we stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

35

Day 43: Cape Town

Border Information: If finishing in Cape Town, you will likely exit South Africa at Cape Town airport.

Our final day takes us down the Western Cape to the charming and beautiful city of Cape Town.

There is no accommodation provided for tonight but we are able to organise additional nights accommodation in Cape Town, which we recommend as there is plenty to see and do! Please request at time of booking.

Please do not book international departure flights until after 21.00hrs on departure day.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

Please note that many of the optional activities listed below will only be possible if you have extra time in Cape Town after the end of the trip.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Explore the beautiful and historic streets of Zanzibar's Stone Town
    • Take a guided tour of Zanzibar's historical sites, markets, and the spice plantations
    • Ferry back from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam
    • Head out 4x4 game drives through the wildlife-packed South Luangwa National Park
    • Head out on a 2-day/2-night canoe wildlife safari in the Lower Zambezi area
    • Visit to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, the largest waterfalls in Africa
    Tour Staff
    • 3 crew members including an African camp master
    Accomodation
    • 88% Camping - 12% Hotels
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Reviews (1)
Lisa S. Posted on: 

Another totally fantastic trip. Thank you Dragoman!

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