The Ultimate Southern & East Africa Safari and Expedition Tour

A More than 18 day trip to Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania & Zambia 
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This is the ultimate African safari trip to immerse oneself; from experiencing thrilling game drives of Southern Africa to feeling the “thunder” of the stunning Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to meeting the indigenous Masai warriors in Tanzania, and visiting the exotic spice island of Zanzibar, take an incredible overland adventure through Africa from Cape Town to Nairobi. And just when you thought you’ve seen it all on this 43-day safari, there’s much more as you travel further to the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, and encounter the Big Five in the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater. Needless to say, this is a trip of a lifetime.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
This rock formation is also known as the "Matterhorn of Namibia."
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Cape Town, Orange River, Fish River Canyon, Namib Desert, Swakopmund, Cape Cross, Brandberg, Cheetah conservation project, Etosha National Park, Okavango Delta, Maun, Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls (Zambia), South Luangwa National Park, Malawi Beaches, Tea Plantation, Zanzibar, Arusha, Ngorongoro Crater, Nairobi

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: The road north from Cape Town

Meet your guide in the morning and climb aboard the vehicle to begin your adventure. Leaving Cape Town behind, you drive along Big Bay to Blaauwberg, where you stop for your first landscape photograph. From here, the beach sweeps away towards Table Mountain in the distance, and the classic vista of Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head framing the huge, flat-topped massif is an ideal subject. 

Climb back aboard the vehicle and take the road north, up the West Coast towards Namibia. This landscape is starkly beautiful, and at certain times of the year, this rugged terrain is carpeted in a luxuriant display of colorful flowers. In the afternoon you arrive at a hot springs resort, where you will camp for the evening. 

What's Included: transfer, dinner, accommodation 

Day 2: Into Namibia

After a quick swim in the deliciously warm water, you head north and cross the border into Namibia. Arriving at your campsite on the bank of the Orange River, you'll notice the grand scale of the landscape here. The valley is deeply carved and dramatic, and this is a taste of what to expect in Namibia. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 3: Paddle on the Orange River

You enjoy a morning canoeing on the Orange River with a guide. Paddling on this huge body of water through a dramatically etched rocky valley, you gain a sense of the vast passage of geological time that must have passed to create such amazing rock formations.  

Setting off again, you drive to the Fish River Canyon, where a landscape of incredible grandeur awaits you. Comparable to the Grand Canyon, this huge gash in the earth offers incredible photographic opportunities. In the light of the later afternoon, the rocks take on a reddish glow, and the canyon floor, far below you, begins to be swallowed by deep shadows. You enjoy a sundowner drink on the canyon rim before heading back to your campsite.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation 

Day 4: Into the Namib

Depart the Fish River Canyon after breakfast, and set off for Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert. The landscapes are truly epic along the way, where huge outcrops of rock loom over vast gravel plains, and jagged mountains rear into the sky. Feeling dwarfed by the sheer size of this place, you arrive at your campsite near the Sesriem Canyon. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 5: Into the dunes

An early start sees you heading into the dunes of Sossusvlei. These mountains of sand are among the largest in the world, and their sinuous shapes and shadows make for compelling photographs. If you are feeling energetic, climb the dune known as Big Daddy. The view from the top is well worth the effort of getting there, and then you can tumble all the way down! 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 6: Swakopmund

After breakfast, hit the road again for Swakopmund. This quaint Germanic town sits between the desert and the ocean, and is often enigmatically wreathed in a sea mist. The seaside promenade is a wonderful place for a sunset stroll, and a variety of cafes and restaurants serve up fantastically fresh seafood. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 7: Swakopmund adventures

The town has a host of adventure activities on offer, and you can choose between skydiving over the desert to zooming around in the dunes on a quad bike. Alternatively, wander the streets, museums and promenades of this fascinating town, steeped in German history and crowded on all sides by creeping desert. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 8: Cape Cross to Brandberg

In the morning, you visit the Cape Cross seal colony, where thousands upon thousands of Cape fur seals cover the beach and frolic in the surf. Keep an eye out for jackals, brown hyenas and vultures, as they often lurk nearby to feed on dead seals. 

Next, the road turns inland and takes you to the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain that is visible from a great distance away as it rises out of the surrounding gravel plains. Several Namibian tribes revere the mountain, and its name translates as the ‘Burning Mountain’ in reference to its color at sunset. You can take a hike into the foothills to see the extraordinary rock art panel named the “White Lady”, which is the work of San Bushmen some 2,000 years ago. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 9: Visit the cheetah outreach program

Depart the Brandberg after breakfast, and head for a cheetah conservation project. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about these amazing cats and the conservation problems that face them as they come into conflict with livestock farmers. You also get the chance to interact with them, and you marvel at their long legs, graceful bodies, deep chests and thick tails- all designed to make them the world’s fastest land mammal.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 10: Into Etosha

Continuing northwards, the road leads you to Etosha National Park. ‘Etosha’ in the local language means ‘place of dry water’ and is in fact an enormous salt depression over thousands of square kilometers. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Days 11-12: Experience Etosha

Set off into the park on morning and late afternoon game drives, where this vast and flat landscape contains a surprising amount of wildlife. The sight of elephants, grayish white from the region’s dust, marching across a space that makes even them seem tiny, is awe-inspiring. Waterholes attract a plethora of animals and you can spot oryx, springbok, giraffe, zebra and kudu as they arrive to slake their thirst, and if you look carefully, you might spot the tawny shape of a lion lying in wait under a thorn bush. 

In the heat of the day, the swimming pool at your campsite provides a welcoming retreat as you wait out the midday hours between game drives. In the evenings, the nearby waterhole is lit up by floodlights. It is fascinating to sit and watch which animals emerge from the dark for a drink. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 13: The Caprivi Strip

Head east from Etosha into the Caprivi Strip, where the landscape with vegetation watered by the Kavango River, becomes denser and lusher. You camp on the riverbank, aware that downstream lies the fabled Okavango Delta, your next destination. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Days 14-16: An Okavango adventure

Cross into Botswana and head for the Panhandle region of the Okavango. Leaving your vehicle behind, the final part of the journey requires 4 x 4 trucks and motorboats as the terrain becomes sandier and marshier. Arriving at the water’s edge, you climb into a mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe that local tribes have used to navigate these waterways for centuries. With a poler standing at the back, he pushes you out over the water for an unforgettable adventure. The Delta is a huge maze of channels, waterways and lagoons that are dotted with tree islands and flooded plains. An oasis in the arid Kalahari Desert, it supports an astonishing variety of life. Hippos snort in the deeper channels, crocodiles slide from sandbanks, fish eagles scream in the sky and kingfishers dart like glittering jewels through the papyrus. Red lechwe antelope and Cape buffalo are seen in the floodplains near the channels, and herds of elephants crash through the tree islands. At night while camping on an island, you might hear the roars of several lion prides warning each other off, interspersed with the manic giggling of hyenas. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 17: Maun

Leave the Okavango behind and travel south to the small town of Maun. It still retains a frontier-town atmosphere, despite growing considerably in recent years as the safari industry has mushroomed in the Delta. You can relax in the pool garden at your campsite, or take a scenic flight in a light aircraft over the Delta for an entirely new perspective of this amazing ecosystem. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 18: Into Chobe National Park

Depart Maun and head into the vastness of the Chobe region. Huge swathes of mopane trees that seem to go on forever dominate the landscape. Keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way, you arrive at your campsite on the bank of the Chobe River in the late afternoon. You can hear hippos chortling in the water, and fish eagles perch in the trees overhead. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 19: A Chobe adventure

Set off into Chobe National Park for a game drive in the coolness of the early morning. This huge park boasts what is considered the largest concentration of elephants in the world, and is also a haven for big cats, buffalo and the critically endangered African wild dog. These predators are highly social, and hunt with astonishing speed and precision, often over huge distances that their rangy legs effortlessly carry them. 

In the afternoon, climb aboard a motorboat and cruise out onto the Chobe River. Here you will have an opportunity to photograph a multitude of birds at close range, see hippos at eye-level, and if you are lucky, be treated to the sight of a herd of elephants making their way across the river. These huge animals are good swimmers, and when the water gets too deep to stand, they use their trunks like snorkels! 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 20: Into Zambia

Follow the Chobe River north until it meets the Zambezi, and there make the crossing by ferry into Zambia. A short while later you will arrive in Livingstone, a bustling town where a host of adrenaline activities are on offer, focusing on the river and the Victoria Falls, a short distance downstream. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 21: Visit the Victoria Falls

In the morning you set off along the pathways overlooking the Victoria Falls. This ranks as one of the most impressive sights in the world.  See a mile-wide curtain of water plunging over a fissure in the earth's crust and boiling into the gorge below. Such is the tremendous power of these falls that the spray rises in a column that can be seen for miles around. The thunder of all that water emits a deep rumble that you can feel in your bones. It is no wonder the local tribes call it ‘Mosi a Tunya’- ‘The Smoke that Thunders.' 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Days 22-24: Victoria Falls adrenaline activities

You have the chance to participate in any of a host of activities on offer in Livingstone. You can bungee jump off the bridge just below the falls, take a fishing trip to do battle with the legendary tiger fish, enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi and much more.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 25: Into Zambia

You take the road north again, and head through Lusaka on the way to the South Luangwa River.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Days 26 – 27: South Luangwa National Park

Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the South Luangwa National Park. Seek out the elusive leopards of the area and encounter a host of big game, including hippos and elephants. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 28: Into Malawi

Drive across the border into Malawi, and spend the day visiting the markets of Lilongwe, where a great variety of crafts and curios are on offer. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Days 29 – 31: Lake Malawi

Arrive on the shores of Lake Malawi, a freshwater lake the size of Israel! Enjoy the beaches, go snorkeling to look at the endemic tropical fish, ride a horse along the shore, visit the local village and enjoy watersports in the warm tropical waters of the lake. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 32: Into Tanzania

Drive northwards along the lake to Tanzania, where you visit a tea plantation and spend the night. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 33: Head into the highlands

The road to Dar Es Salaam takes you into the cool highlands of Tanzania, where you spend the night.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 34: Dar Es Salaam

Pass through Mukumi National Park and keep an eye out for animals on your way to Dar Es Salaam. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Days 35 – 37: Zanzibar

Take the ferry across the ocean to the spice island of Zanzibar. Explore the narrow streets and colorful markets of Stone Town, take a spice tour and enjoy the beautiful northern beaches. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 38: Return to Dar Es Salaam

Take the return ferry back to Dar Es Salaam and spend the night there. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 39: Northwards to Arusha

Take the road north through rural Tanzania, passing many villages along the way. If the weather is clear, you will be able to see your destination, Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. Passing Kilimanjaro in the late afternoon, you arrive at your campsite in Arusha, with a stunning view of Mount Meru at sunset. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 40: Ngorongoro Crater

After a tour of Arusha’s craft and curio markets, you take the road west to the Ngorongoro Crater, arriving in town near the crater rim at sunset. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 41: Into the Crater

In the morning, you descend the walls of this extinct caldera into what must be the greatest concentration of wildlife on earth. Nestled in this vast bowl are all the habitats necessary for the survival of thousands of animals: springs, streams, forests and grasslands support an incredible variety of life. Here you can still find enormous tuskers, black rhinos in the woodlands, and the area’s famed lions with black manes.  

With vast concentrations of game unique to this region coupled with incredible scenery, the Ngorongoro Crater is a feast for the senses. Here it is possible to encounter the Big Five in one game drive, but there is so much more to experience. Great herds of gazelles, wildebeest and zebra cloak the plains, and lesser-seen predators like caracal, spotted hyena and serval are often encountered. The Lerai forest and marshes are the best place to encounter the huge-tusked elephants, and the sight of these enormous behemoths on the move is enhanced by the majestic landscape of the crater. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 42: Visit a Masai village

Depart Ngorongoro and head back to Arusha, stopping at a Masai village along the way, where you are able to gain an insight into a way of life so different from our own. You visit their manyatta (village or kraal) where these proud herders in their bright red robes welcome you to their homes and give you an insight into their way of life. Their cattle herds measure their wealth, and they show you just how close a bond there is between these people and their animals. Living in close proximity to predators in the wild means they need to be vigilant at all times, and at night the animals are enclosed in a boma made of thorn bushes while a watchman keeps guard. This relationship between the Maasai, the environment and their herds has been a way of life unchanged in centuries.

What's Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 43: Nairobi, Kenya

You once again head north and cross the border into Kenya, and your incredible journey comes to an end as you arrive in Nairobi. 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized Africa safari tour packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $700 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $600 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $500 per person per day

The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within Africa, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24x7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.