36 day African Encounter. Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam

Overland tour guests on the rim of Fish River Canyon, Namibia.
Picture Gallery

This African overland tour commences in Cape Town, South Africa, travels north through Namibia and Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Zanzibar and concludes in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

  • Pre-departure meeting: A briefing will be held in Cape Town at the Departure Point at 17h00
  • Departure point: Ashanti Lodge & Travel Centre, 11 Hof Street, Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Check-in: 08h45
  • Departure: 09h30
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Group size: Max 30 passengers
  • Safari vehicle: Overland truck

Day 1: Cape Town to Cederberg Area, South Africa

Leaving Cape Town, you head north through the Cape Winelands and cross the Piketberg Pass into the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal. Your first night is spent in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms. This afternoon we have the opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods or to explore the surrounding Cederberg Mountains. Lunch and dinner included.

Day 2: Cederberg Area to Orange River, South Africa

From the Cederberg you travel north through the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. After stopping for supplies in Springbok, you continue on through the desert area of the Richtersveld to the Orange River, the natural land border between South Africa and Namibia. here, you overnight at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3: Orange River to Fish River Canyon, Namibia

This morning you have the option of a half-day canoe trip on the Orange River, affording you the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle. After lunch you cross into Namibia where, after a short drive, you reach the scenic Fish River Canyon.

At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it‟s the second largest canyon in the world. The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving you access to several viewing points from. Take in the spectacular vistas. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4: Fish River Canyon to Helmringhausen Area, Namibia

After a leisurely morning at the Fish River Canyon, you head north through Namibia‟s farming area. You stop in Bethanie, a small, former missionary town, for supplies and then head to your overnight camp. Here, you have the opportunity to star gaze at the magnificent Milky Way in the Namibian night sky. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5: Helmringhausen Area to Sesriem, Namibia

Heading north we enter the Namib-Naukluft Park in one of the oldest deserts in the world. We base ourselves at Sesriem, a good place to experience the Namib and its many moods. A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes reputed to be the highest in the world.

Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the top of the dunes, some over 300 m high. We spend the afternoon exploring this amazing area. An optional (and must do) excursion is to walk around the area, learning about the amazing history, geology, flora and fauna from the specialised local guides of Sossus on Foot.

They also give us a glimpse into the cultural legacy of the San people. View the sunset from the top of Dune 45 - a truly memorable experience. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6: Sesriem to Swakopmund, Namibia

After watching the sunrise across this beautiful area we leave the serenity of the dunes and head in a north-westerly direction to meet the Atlantic Ocean at Walvis Bay.

Following the coast for some 35km, we arrive at the holiday destination of Swakopmund, where we enjoy 3 nights of rest and relaxation. Accommodation in Swakopmund will be in dormitories. Upgrades are possible, but depend on room availability. Brunch included.

Days 7 & 8: Swakopmund, Namibia

Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants & bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit.

There are a lot of optional excursions and activities available. Enjoy sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and more. An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund. Breakfast is included on both days.

Day 9: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe, Namibia

Our departure from Swakopmund takes us to the „Matterhorn of Namibia‟ - Spitzkoppe. The 1728m high rock formation, one of Namibia's most recognised landmarks, is well known as an ancient San sacred site. Explore the surrounding area and its San rock paintings. Tonight we bush camp under the African stars. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 10: Spitzkoppe to Cheetah Park, Namibia

Today you drive to the Cheetah Park - a private farm dedicated to conserving the Cheetah population in Namibia. You get to meet the resident Cheetahs. This is an amazing photo opportunity. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 11: Cheetah Park to Etosha National Park, Namibia

After stopping briefly in Outjo to get supplies, you head to Etosha. Covering 20 000 square km, Etosha is the premier nature reserve in Namibia. Situated around the Etosha Pan with a large variety of African wildlife and bird species, the extensive network of gravel roads affords you the opportunity of accessing even the most remote areas of the park. You spend the remainder of the day exploring the southern area of Etosha National Park. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 12: Etosha National Park, Namibia

Today you make your way 150km across Etosha National Park, keeping a look out for the large herds of desert antelope such as Springbok and the famed Oryx. After a full day of game viewing, you spend the evening relaxing at the camp. Breakfast, lunch dinner.

Day 13: Etosha National Park to Rundu

From Etosha, you head in a north-easterly direction towards the lush Kavango region of northern Namibia. You stop at Rundu for supplies before heading to your spectacular campsite located on the banks of the Kavango River. It offers "open air" facilities and the occasional Hippo grazing on the lawn. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 14: Rundu to Maun, Botswana

Following the Kavango River, you enter Botswana and travel east along the course of the river to the southern reaches of the Okavango Delta and your destination, Maun. From here you set off to explore the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

Day 15: Maun to Okavango Delta, Botswana (Optional)

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a huge expanse of water, which has travelled from the Angolan highlands, spreading out to form the largest inland delta in the world. Studded with exotic islands, this delta is renowned for its incredible variety of bird species and wildlife and is unique to Southern Africa.

Here you have the opportunity to take the optional 3 Day / 2 Night Drive In / Mokoro Excursion into the Okavango Delta. From Maun you drive north for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro poler‟s station.

Mokoros are traditional dug out canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who "pole" them through the reeds. After your guides find you a place to camp, you set off on an afternoon game walk, allowing you to experience the wilderness of the Okavango Delta.

For those who'd prefer not to explore the delta, you can stay at the lovely campsite relaxing by the swimming pool or challenging each other to a game of volleyball. There is also a crocodile farm nearby that has it's feeding times open to campsite visitors. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 16: Okavango Delta, Botswana (Optional)

If you have chosen to visit the Okavango Delta, a lot of exploration awaits. Today you have the opportunity to partake in a number of activities including swimming (dependant on area and water levels), game walks, mokoro cruises and even a chance to try our hands at poling your own mokoro.

Day 17: Okavango Delta to Maun, Botswana

This morning offers you a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun. You arrive back in the early afternoon and have the chance to complete your picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional sunset scenic flight. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 18: Maun to Chobe National Park, Botswana

You travel east and then north to the town of Kasane where you set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River. The Chobe River forms a border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. In the late afternoon you take a boat cruise along the Chobe River. Elephant, Hippo and many bird species can be viewed from the boat while you watch another glorious African sunset. Listen out for the resident Beakfast, lunch, dinner.

Say 19: Chobe National Park, Botswana

You have the option to do an early morning game drive into Chobe National Park. Chobe is one of the premier game parks in Botswana and is renowned for its large Elephant herds. After your game drive you return to camp for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure.

For the adventurous spirits, there is the option for the Chobe National Park Sleep-out - an overnight experience in the Chobe National Park. Spend the afternoon in search of African wildlife en-route to the set camp within the park where you spend the evening surrounded by the night-time noises of the inhabitants of the bush.

In the morning you continue your exploration of Chobe National Park and rejoin the group before heading to your next destination. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 20: Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Leaving Botswana you enter Zimbabwe and drive to the nearby Victoria Falls. Here, in Africa‟s adventure capital, you set up camp in the centrally located campsite in town. 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.

At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari. The falls can be viewed from the Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe, which offers fantastic photo opportunities. The afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite‟s swimming pool or exploring the many sights and delights of this town. Brunch.

Days 21 & 22: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The next 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. Some of your fellow passengers will leave you in Victoria Falls, to be replaced by new passengers joining you for the next leg of our trek.

Optional excursions include trips into the Zambezi or Hwange National Parks, Elephant-back safaris, horse back safaris, a visit to the crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at The Elephant Hills Resort.

Adrenalin junkies can bungee jump from Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is 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.

The white water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Besides the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the 'floats,' where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks. Breakfast on both days.

Day 23: 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 Victoria Falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia. Another fantastic photo opportunity.

The day affords 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 cruise on the mighty Zambezi. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 24: Livingstone to Lusaka, Zambia

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

Day 25: Lusaka to Chipata, Zambia

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

Days 26 - 30: 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 the Lake Malawi. You stop 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 and watch 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 beach-side campsites along the shores 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.

Day 31: 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 you spend the night in the beautiful rustic „Farmhouse‟ campsite. Enjoy their famous Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 32: Iringa to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

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

Day 33: 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 you at the end of your excursion to Zanzibar.

Accommodation and meals are for your own account whilst on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own. The Trip Leader joins you and can arrange your accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants.

For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam. Breakfast in Dar es Salaam included. Accommodation and meals on Zanzibar at own expense.

Days 34 & 35: 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 on Zanzibar at own expense.

Day 36: Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Leaving the beautiful spice island of Zanzibar, you return to the Tanzania mainland. After exchanging addresses, you part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime.

Optional Excursions (Selection):

  • Orange River canoeing, South Africa
  • Sossusvlei Desert Walk, Namib Desert, Namibia
  • Quad biking, sandboarding and other adventures, Swakopmund, Namibia
  • Okavango Delta with mokoros, Botswana
  • Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe
  • White river rafting or bungee jumping, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Zambezi sunset river cruise, Zambia
  • Fresh water diving or 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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