26 day African Dream Safari. Johannesburg to Dar Es Salaam

Buffalo in the sunlight.
Picture Gallery

Your trip commences in Johannesburg, travels through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, ending in Dar Es Salaam.

  • Pre-departure meeting: 17h00 the day before at the departure point
  • Departure point: Johannesburg, Backpackers Ritz, 1A North Road, Dunkeld West
  • Check-in: 07h00
  • Departure: 07h30
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Group size: Max 30 passengers
  • Safari vehicle: Overland truck

Day 1: Johannesburg to Hazyview, South Africa

The tour departs from Johannesburg and travels towards the Lowveld to the Kruger National Park. On your way you pass through the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route - famous for its breathtaking vistas.

Your camp for the next 2 nights is just 8 kilometres from the Numbi Gate at Kruger Park. You spend a relaxing evening around the camp fire before the game drive, tomorrow. Lunch and dinner are included.

Day 2: Hazyview, South Africa

Today we explore the amazing Kruger National Park. The park is 60 km wide and over 350 km long. This conservation area has more than 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian and 49 fish species. 23 000 different types of plants have been recorded.

Enjoy an exciting safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa. There is the option of doing a night drive looking for a few of the nocturnal inhabitants. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3: Hazyview to Graskop, South Africa

After a quick replenishing of your stocks you leave the Lowveld and head up to the beautiful small town of Graskop. It is from this gateway in Mpumulanga, South Africa, that you explore some of the best scenery in the country. Visit the striking Blyde River Canyon and God's Window.

The many viewpoints of the Canyon allow for excellent photo opportunities. You set up your tents on the lush green grass of the camp before enjoying a dip in the refreshing swimming pool. You can enjoy the nightlife of Graskop. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4: Graskop to Musina, South Africa

Today you travel towards Zimbabwe. You have a long, relaxing drive and can sit back and enjoy the ever changing scenery. Tonight you will camp in one of the hottest towns in South Africa, Musina. Born in the copper mining era, it withered into a ghost town after the closing of these mines.

However, the resurgence of the mining industry has seen it flourish once more and today it is an interesting town steeped in history. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5: Musina to Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Today you enter Zimbabwe - a beautiful country rich in soul, culture and tradition. You make your way to the town of Masvingo, which is situated on the outskirts of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This was the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa, built by an ancient highly skilled civilization.

The name Zimbabwe is derived from this ancient city and means "great stone houses" in Shona. Wander around these amazing ruins, before setting up your camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6: Masivingo to Gweru, Zimbabwe

Leaving Masvingo, you continue your journey north to Gweru, in Zimbabwe's Midlands. Here you stop over at The Antelope Park. It is said "you have not been to Zimbabwe until you have visited the Victoria Falls...and the Antelope Park."

A wide variety of game viewing opportunities are available in this area. Spot Lion, Elephant, Giraffe and obviously numerous antelope. You have the unique option to walk with Lions, ride or swim with Elephants, view game from horse back or from the back of a vehicle. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 7: Gweru, Zimbabwe

Today is spent enjoying personal encounters with African wildlife in Zimbabwe. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 8: Gweru to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Leaving Gweru, you head to Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe. Bulawayo is noted for its exceptionally wide streets, which were originally designed to accommodate a full span ox wagon. The city also still retains much of its British Colonial character, evident by the many buildings maintained as heritage sites by the Bulawayo City Council.

Interesting places to visit are the Natural History Museum, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, which employs over 70 people. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 9: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Today you visit Matobo National Park, one of the last strongholds of both the Black and the White Rhino. This park is also well known for its high concentration of the elusive Leopard and majestic Black Eagle. Rock paintings are to be found too, providing evidence of the ancient San (Bushmen) inhabitants of this area in Zimbabwe.

Cecil John Rhodes (after whom Rhodesia was named) asked to be buried at the top of one of the sacred hills, (although there is some controversy over whether he will stay). You spend the day exploring this unique geological, ecological and historic area. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 10: Bulawayo to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Leaving Bulawayo, you head to the amazing Victoria Falls. Here in the adventure capital of Africa, you set up camp in the centrally located campsite. Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it's not difficult to see why.

The afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite's swimming pool or exploring the many sights and delights of Victoria Falls. Breakfast, lunch. Dinner at own expense.

Days 11 & 12: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The next 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. Aty 1700 metres wide and around 100 metres high, Victoria Falls are one of the most memorable sights on this African safari. All year round, flights can be taken in fixed wing planes, micro lights or helicopters. Back on the ground, the falls can be seen from the Victoria Falls National Park with its many viewing points or from the Zambian side. Enjoy fantastic photographic opportunities.

Enjoy white water rafting in the Batoka Gorge, which is considered to be world class. Besides the excitement of the grade 5 rapids, there are the 'floats', where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and occasional wildlife on the riverbanks. Breakfast on both days. Lunch and dinner at own expense.

Day 13: Victoria Falls to Livingstone, Zambia

You leave Zimbabwe and cross the Victoria Falls Bridge and the Zambezi River, entering into Zambia at the town of Livingstone. You have the opportunity to view the falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia. This is another fantastic photo opportunity.

The day alos gives you the opportunity to participate in the activities available in Zambia you weren't able to do on the Zimbabwean side of the falls. Tonight, you have the option of enjoying a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 14: Livingstone to Lusaka, Zambia

You start early in the morning and head north through southern Zambia to your campsite on the outskirts of the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka. The campsite is home to some local wildlife including the largest antelope - the Eland. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 15: Lusaka to Chipata, Zambia

From Lusaka you head north east to a beautiful little campsite just 10 km before the Zambia/Malawi border. Here we spend the night before heading into Malawi. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Days 16 - 20: Chipata to Lake Malawi Beaches, Malawi

Leaving Zambia you cross into Malawi, the 'Warm Heart of Africa'. You stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre. Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi.

You travel the full length of the western side of Lake Malawi stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next 5 days. Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax on the pristine beaches.

The temperate climate in Malawi allows for swimming in the clear blue fresh-water lake all year round. Explore the beautiful shore. Watch the local fishermen sorting their catch. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced and to appreciate their boating skills, try to paddle a dug out canoe yourself.

The various campsites along the beaches of Lake Malawi offer many optional excursions, including a variety of water sports, horse back rides and a visit to the local village and school. Breakfast, lunch, dinner on all days.

Day 21: Lake Malawi to Iringa, Tanzania

After a relaxing 5 days, you leave Malawi, entering Tanzania through the border post at Songwe. Taking in the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, you head towards Iringa where we spend the night in the beautiful rustic 'Farmhouse' campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 22: Iringa to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

The next morning you make your way to Dar es Salaam. We pass through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. On arrival in Dar es Salaam, you make your way to our lovely seaside campsite and prepare for your departure to Zanzibar the next morning. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 23: Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar

A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes you to the 'Spice Island", where you have the option to spend the next 3 nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join you to replace those that'll leave the group at the end of the excursion to Zanzibar.

As it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own, the Trip Leader will arrange your accommodation, and you have enough time to enjoy meals from a wide selection of restaurants on the island. Breakfast in Dar es Salaam included. Accommodation and meals on Zanzibar at own expense.

Days 24 & 25: Zanzibar

History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today, the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade.

The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow.

Mopeds are available for hire if you'd like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover's paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer. Accommodation and meals at own expense.

Day 26: Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Leaving Zanzibar, you return to the mainland of Tanzania. Your tour ends in Dar es Salaam. You can definitely say you have experienced the trip of a lifetime.

Optional Excursions (Selection):

  • Kruger National Park game drive, South Africa
  • Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe
  • White water rafting or canoeing the Zambezi, Vitoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Walk with Lions, bungee jumping, Elephant-back safari, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Zambezi sunset river cruise, Victoria Falls, Zambia
  • Freshwater diving or local village walks, Malawi
  • Zanzibar accommodation and activities (e.g. spice tour or snorkelling)

Rates are subject to change.
Please contact one of our Siyabona Africa Consultants to enquire about the current rates and departure dates.

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