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Epic African Adventure

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highlights
  • Head for the hills to hang with the fun-loving, red-clad Maasai folk. A local elder will explain to you what the tribe is all about, and they'll even show you around their house
  • The rolling plains of the Masai Mara and Serengeti are quite simply epic. And that's before you get to the animals. Safaris here will blow your mind, especially if you're the Lion King type
  • Ever helped save a Rhino? Well you can answer ‘yes, thanks’ to that once you’ve been to Botswana’s Khama Rhino Sanctuary
  • There's nothing more relaxing than feeling the African sun on your face as you lie back in a mokoro, eyes closed while your expert poler propels you through the Okavango Delta
The Epic African Adventure tour starts in Nairobi and ends in Johannesburg. The Epic African Adventure is an Adventure tour that takes 27 days taking you from Nairobi to Johannesburg and through other destinations in Africa.

Look no further – this is how to do Africa. Deep breath: there's lions and leopards while safariing the Serengeti, mingling with Maasai on wide open plains, heading down into the Ngorongoro Crater, rhino spotting in Botswana and tracking in Matobo Hills, canoe cruising the Okavango Delta, saying hi to local tribes, meeting elephants in Chobe and Hwange, getting misty at Vic Falls, counting to (Big) Five in Kruger, and then resting feet in Jo’burg. Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe are ready. Let’s go.
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these to give to your leader. If you arrive early, why not check out the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of some Kenyan tribes are displayed at an outdoor village.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - Nairobi by Night Urban Adventure - USD 64
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD 12
  • Nairobi - National Park safari walk - USD 30
  • Nairobi - National Museum - USD 10
  • Nairobi - Giraffe Center - USD 12
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD 14
Depart Nairobi, with a short stop in Narok for a spot of food shopping. Continue to Loita Hills (approximately 5–6 hours), then stop, chill out and get some lunch. Today's drive crosses the Great Rift Valley, Africa's huge great divide, takes you into the remote region of Loita Hills. This is the home of the traditional Maasai people. You will visit the Maasai, who are known for their dazzling red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture and ancient ways of this proud East African community. After setting up your tent, meet your Maasai hosts. A local elder will deliver a fascinating talk about the Maasai and what they're about. You'll be shown around a traditional Maasai home and see where the resident cattle are kept. Showers, upgrades and WiFi are not available at tonight's bush camp.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Travel from Loita to Masai Mara (approximately 1–2 hours). The road is pretty dusty when it's dry, and could be slippery and soft when wet, so the going might be slow. The Masai Mara is one of the classic African experiences – wide open plains, postcard-perfect skies and some of the world's great wild animals. After setting up camp, sit down to some lunch. Then it's time to jump back on board the truck and go for a game drive through the wilderness of the Mara. You campground tonight is located outside of the national reserve and has flush toilets and showers. There is an option to upgrade, depending on availability. Wi-fi is not available here though.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Adventure into the reserve for a full day's game drive. You'll explore this diverse environment and most likely see a lots of different wildlife. An optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is well worth considering. If you have pre-booked this activity (see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing from your pilot. Then you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast, then be returned to your campsite to meet up with your group.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Balloon ride (from price)
Travel towards the Kenya–Tanzania border and to the shores of Lake Victoria (approximately 7–8 hours). This is not only Africa's biggest lake – it's the largest tropical lake in the world. It shares its shores with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. You'll arrive late afternoon, in time to chill out lakeside with a cold drink and watch the sunset. Make the most of the ATM and local market to stock up for your next three days of wilderness adventures. You will camp on the shores of the lake tonight, at one of its least visited campgrounds, on the outskirts of a small town called Musoma. Depending on availability, you might be able to upgrade to a room, but no wi-fi is available.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
If you choose, you can wake up early for a guided bike excursion around the town and marketplace of Musoma. It's a great opportunity to interact with the locals. Keep in mind you'll need to have your own helmet for this, because there probably won't be one available. Today you will travel from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road (approximately 3 hours) and enjoy a picnic lunch at the entrance to the park. Enter the Serengeti and take a game drive en route to your campsite. These plains – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – are home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators, so see how many you can spot. Your campsite is right in the action, within the park itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep at night. There are no upgrades or wi-fi available here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Musoma - Guided Bike Excursion
Start the day with a game drive at dawn. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then head back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing, as the animals do, depart again in the afternoon for another adventure through the wild. You'll return in time for dinner. There's the option of an early-morning balloon ride here too, so if you didn't take one in the Mara, now's your chance.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price)
Enjoy a game drive on your way out of the park today. After lunch you will enter the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Next stop: the crater rim (approximately 3 hours). Your campsite overlooks jagged volcanoes and rolling grasslands thousands of feet below. Camping locations don't get much better than this! Your campsite has flush toilets and hot showers available, but no wi-fi or optional upgrades. It can get very cold on the crater rim, especially in winter (June to August) when temperatures drop below zero. Even in the summer months it can be surprisingly chilly at night, so don't forget your warm clothes.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
A gigantic, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals. Among these are endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor is great for game viewing all year round, and the photo-opportunities here are next level. This optional activity is highly recommended.

You'll then head to Mto Wa Mbu for a look around town and craft market before continuing to your campsite (approximately 5–6 hours). A small village community that's off the tourist trail, Mto Wa Mbu is an interesting snapshot of small-town African life.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - Morning 4x4 Game Drive - From USD91
Set off nice and early this morning, around 7.30 am, heading for the border with Kenya and then on to Nairobi (approximately 7–8 hours). Once in Nairobi enjoy the comfort of a hotel and recharge for the next leg of your journey.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today fly from Nairobi to Johannesburg and begin the South African leg of your adventure. You will need to book your own flight and make your own way to/from the airport. Touch down in Joburg (as the locals like to call it), South Africa and make your own way to the hotel. You’ve got the whole day free to explore the capital city (depending on when you get here of course) before you join up with your crew at a 6pm Welcome Meeting tonight (make sure you’ve got all your important docs and deets on you). Until the meeting, hit the streets of this city of remarkable contrasts. Perhaps head to the culturally rich areas of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng, or head out to the Burma flea market for any last minute safari must-haves (t-shirts, hats, books). Grab a bite to eat while you're there. You'll find everything from Indian and Chinese to Turkish and South African food. The eye-opening Apartheid Museum is well worth your time.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Johannesburg - Jozi by Foot Urban Adventure - USD 41
  • Johannesburg - Cycle Soweto Urban Adventure - USD 95
See ya South Africa – cross the border into Botswana and travel toward the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 8–10 hours). It sits on the Kalahari Desert, and is an old hunting area transformed into a into a conservation project. It now protects what’s left of Botswana's black and white rhino populations, but there are plenty of other beasties hanging around too – zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, all of which chill out around many natural waterholes. Not only do you get to check out awesome animals here, but you’ll also be benefitting local communities and helping protect the white rhino. When the sun begins to set, hop in a jeep to see the rhinos at their most active. About 35 rhinos roam around this 400ha community-based reserve. Don't forget your binoculars, or you'll be getting them confused with big rocks. At your camp there will be the option to upgrade to a room for an additional cost (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Get up real early, jump aboard the truck and head to Maun (approximately 7-8 hours). Catch up on your beauty sleep or kick off the most epic game of I Spy you've ever played. This journey also includes a free massage service (the road might get a little bumpy). In Maun there’s the chance stock up on any supplies you might need for the journey ahead – maybe hats, sunscreen and scarves (for the morning chill and the afternoon sun). Maun’s the gateway to one of the world's most renowned and complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. This is a one-of-a-kind kinda place – a 16,000 square kilometre maze of wetlands made up of meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and loads of wildlife. You might see hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats. But honestly it's not really the animals that are the main attraction – it's the incredibly diverse ecosystem and atmospheric waterscapes. Tonight you'll stay on the outskirts of Maun at a simple campsite with shared facilities, wi-fi and optional upgrades.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Plane Scenic Flight - From USD75 - USD 390
  • Okavango Delta - Helicopter Scenic Flight - From USD150 - USD 450
Make your way to the north-western part of the Okavango Delta, close to the Pan Handle. The drive is a not so whopping 300 kilometres and will take you about 6 hours. Now’s the time to find out everything about your fellow travellers – you’ll be old mates by the end of it. Leave the truck at some secure parking and take a 4x4 transfer for the last 12 kilometres. Your final destination for the next two nights sits on the edge of the Guma Lagoon area. Set up camp and relax on the edge of the lagoon for the rest of the afternoon, then fall asleep to the sounds of the African bush at night – is that noise a hippo or your mate snoring?
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Today you get to paddle the river. There's nothing more relaxing than feeling the African sun on your face as you lie back in a mokoro (a traditional dugout canoe), eyes closed while your expert poler propels you down the calm waters, through papyrus and reed beds to lily covered lagoons and islands. Watch out for elephant, lechwe, warthog, sitatunga and other plains game in the open. There are also heaps of birds around for all you twitchers out there. Stop at one of the islands for a picnic lunch before continuing on, returning back to camp in the late afternoon. Take a swim or ask you leader about taking a walk around the area.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
This morning it’s back in the 4x4s and a drive back to the truck. Then you’ll make your way to the border to cross into Namibia. The drive is approximately 150km and will take about 4 hours, including the border crossing. You’ll drive through the Mahango Game Reserve on the Namibia side on the way to the camp for the night. The camp is on the banks of the Kovango river, within the Caprivi Game Park strip of Namibia. This strip of land is sandwiched between Botswana and Angola, and connects with Zambia and Zimbabwe at its end. In the afternoon you’ll head out on a guided excursion through the villages of the Hambukushu and Xwe Bushmen tribes, exploring local life up close. Look out for some Botswana Baskets – some say they’re the finest craft works in Africa!
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Today is another drive of approximately 300 kilometres and about 5 hours, before reaching your next camp on the banks of the Kwando River along the border with Botswana. After settling in you can either relax or jump on one of the optional activities available here, such as a late afternoon boat trip, or a game drive in Mudumu Game Park (look out for buffalo, elephants, loads of antelope species, and zebra). You could also take a village tour, chill with another mokoro ride, or join in on a fishing trip – the locals will give you the heads up on the best spot. Just have a chat with your leader and they’ll let you know what’s what.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Kwando Camp - Sunset Cruise
Zip over to the edge of the Chobe National Park, where you’ll spend the night. The drive takes you further through the Caprivi Strip and back into Botswana. Cruise into Chobe Park on the only stretch of tarred road, before reaching your camp. The drive is approximately 250 kilometres long and will take about 5 hours. Set up camp them head out on a late afternoon boat cruise on the Chobe River. The Chobe River has a huge range of wildlife, all packed into a tiny area, making it unlike anywhere else in the world. Here you’ll get up close and personal with hippos, buffalo, crocodiles and a mind-boggling array of water birds. But elephants are the big stars here, and don't they know it. Parading around in big groups, showing off their cute babies and tearing down enormous trees limb by limb.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Chobe National Park - River Cruise
This morning there'll be time to join an optional game drive in the Chobe National Park. Then it’s onto Victoria Falls this afternoon (approximately 2–3 hours). You will cross the border into Zimbabwe and arrive in the early afternoon. This afternoon you’ve gotta make your way to Vic Falls itself. The entrance fee is a bit steep, but for the Kanye West – no, the Lady Gaga of waterfalls – it’s well worth it, so make sure you’re cashed up. The sound of 19 million cubic feet of water throwing itself over a mile-long edge every minute will be music to your ears. It looks pretty sweet too.

Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure please check with your leader. It is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Entrance Fee
In the evening take an optional sunset cruise down the Zambezi to get to know your new fellow travellers. Before that, enjoy a day of free time to take up one of many optional activities. There are many ways to take in the thundering sight and sound of the falls. This staggering curtain of water is about a mile wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray rises high and the falls become a torrent; in the dry season, the lack of spray gives way to a nice view of the little islets in the river below.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Zambezi Sundowner Cruise - USD 42
  • Victoria Falls - Flying fox - USD 50
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (half day) - USD 100
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (full day) - USD 185
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD 334
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD 175
  • Victoria Falls - Whitewater rafting (half day) - USD 140
  • Victoria Falls - Whitewater rafting (full day) - USD 140
  • Victoria Falls - Gorge swing - USD 110
Leave Vic Falls behind and head to Hwange National Park (approximately 5 hours, depending on traffic) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, one of The Intrepid Foundation projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and their role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.

Then explore the stunning wildlife arena of Hwange in an open 4X4 vehicle. This National Park became the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century and was set aside as a national park in 1929. Today Hwange boasts a massive selection of wildlife, with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. But it's the elephants this place is famous for – here you'll find one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. At tonight's camp there is wi-fi as well as optional accommodation upgrades (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Make tracks for Matobos with a short detour through Bulawayo, checking out its cool colonial buildings, before heading to your camp for the next two nights. Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matobos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place. Your campground tonight has shared facilities, wi-fi access and optional upgrades.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Today's optional activity will be something to write home about. Head to Matobo Hills and spend the morning tracking rhinos and other game animals with the help of your guide. Along the way learn about the flora in the area. After a cold lunch head to another region of the park to find old bushman paintings, see rock formations and learn some history of the area. Then it's off to nearby African villages to meet some of the local community. 
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Matobo National Park - Rhino Tracking, 4x4 Park Visit & San Rock Paintings
Get up nice and early for a day of travel. You'll cross a very busy border post, the only direct border crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The drive is about 400 km long (approximately 6–8 hours). Your destination today is the Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa. This park is set hard against the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Bostwana. See the open, expansive savannah landscape where the Limpopo and Shashe rivers meet. Maybe sip a sundowner by the river, or visit Mpungubwe Hill and Interpretation Centre to learn about an interesting 13th-century civilisation that flourished here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
After breakfast, set off for Kruger National Park, a world-famous national park known for the Big Five game of Africa – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino. On top of that, it's home to some 336 kinds of trees, 49 fish species and over 500 species of bird. See how many of these you can spot on a game drive (in the group's own vehicle). Continue from your safari to your overnight camp, where there's the option of a further game drive – this time after dark.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Night 4x4 Game Drive (from price)
Wake up early for a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a full-day game drive in the truck. Today is another full day in Kruger Park – you'll spend the day in the group vehicle, heading down to the central part of the park, for a last overnight stop. Stop at some of the designated picnic spots for a bite to eat en route to camp. Depending on the season, you might catch a saddle-billed stork with its colourful red beak, or maybe a blue waxbill. In the afternoon when it's warm, take some time out to chill out. This evening again there will be an optional night drive with the park guide.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Night 4x4 Game Drive (from price) - ZAR 240
  • Kruger National Park - Sunset 4x4 Game Drive (from price) - ZAR 325
Venture out for one last safari adventure this morning. Continue back to Johannesburg (approximately 9–10 hours). En route you will stop at the stunning Blyde River Canyon and see the Three Rondavels, that awesome trio of rock pinnacles perched above the canyon. This trip finishes on arrival in Johannesburg at the finishing point hotel.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nights), Camping (with facilities) (19 nights), Hotel (3 nights)
Meals
  • 26 Breakfast, 12 Lunch, 21 Dinner
Transport
  • Overland Vehicle , 4x4 , Mokoro
Included Activities
  • Loita Hills - Maasai Village Visit
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Overland Vehicle Game drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - 4x4 Game drive
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro Safari & Nature Walk
  • Ngepi - Village visit
  • Hwange National Park - Game drive
  • Mapungubwe National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Nairobi and from Johannesburg are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Epic African Adventure tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 27 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 22 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Nairobi/ Johannesburg
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Epic African Adventure
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 15 August 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Epic African Adventure tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Epic African Adventure tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Epic African Adventure tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    17 Jun 2019

  • Trip title

    Epic African Adventure

  • Trip code

    YGYSC

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Oct 2018 to 31 Dec 2019

  • Introduction

    Look no further – this is how to do Africa. Deep breath: there's lions and leopards while safariing the Serengeti, mingling with Maasai on wide open plains, heading down into the Ngorongoro Crater, rhino spotting in Botswana and tracking in Matobo Hills, canoe cruising the Okavango Delta, saying hi to local tribes, meeting elephants in Chobe and Hwange, getting misty at Vic Falls, counting to (Big) Five in Kruger, and then resting feet in Jo’burg. Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe are ready. Let’s go.

  • Style

    Basix

  • Themes

    18 to 29s

  • Transport

    Overland Vehicle,4x4,Mokoro

  • Physical Rating

    2

  • Physical preparation

    You do not need any real fitness for this safari besides the ability to get in and out of the safari vehicles and set-up/take down your own tent. However please note that, in some areas, the roads are in quite poor condition and you may experience a fair amount of bouncing around.

  • Group leader

    On East Africa portion of this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver.

    As there will be less travellers on Southern Africa portion of this trip you will be accompanied by 2 crew members - a Group Leader and a driver. For this portion the leader and driver will also cook.

    Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the tipping kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may drive as well)

    Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Our trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment.

    While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.

    Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organizing food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping.

    Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.

    Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties Rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc.
    If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.

    We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

  • Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip.

    YELLOW FEVER:
    A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

    It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.


    TSETSE FLY:
    It is best to avoid dark coloured clothes such as blue and black while on safari. These colours can attract the biting tsetse fly.

    DRINKING WATER:
    As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.


    TYPHOID:
    It is recommended that if you are travelling to Harare you make sure that your Typhoid vaccinations are up to date. There has been an outbreak of typhoid in parts of Harare, with over 1500 cases reported since October 2011. For more information speak to your doctor and see the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.

    Your cook will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day.

    If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.

    A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. There may be a chance on occasion to buy your lunch. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.

    Your overland truck has a tank of treated water that is safe to drink. Your crew will use this to cook and provide cordial at meal times. Please do not hesitate to use this water to minimise the consumption of plastic water bottles. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals.

    One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.

  • Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

    Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
    Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.


    MEALS NOT INCLUDED
    Breakfast, dinner and most lunches are included while camping on our overland safaris.
    For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient.

    For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.
    These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget and are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.


    TIPPING
    Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations. Usually the equivalent of around USD7 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine.

    TIPPING KITTY
    Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.


    TIPPING GUIDE
    To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.
    - Your Crew (including Leaders, Drivers and Cooks) - You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD3 to USD4 per staff member, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. It is best to then divide these amounts into separate envelopes for each crew member. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
    - Basic restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.


    EMERGENCY FUNDS
    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.


    CREDIT CARDS, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE:
    Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.

    With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.

    PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.

    ACCESSING CASH IN ZIMBABWE:
    While accessing money in Africa is becoming easier in general, Zimbabwe is an exception. The country is experiencing a cash crisis. Due to Zimbabwe's increasing dependence on the USD and suspension of printing their own currency, it is almost impossible to withdraw cash at banks and ATMs. You should plan your travel expenses in advance and bring sufficient USD into the country to support your stay. Your leader or local representative will be on hand to advise on this matter should you need it.

  • Climate and seasonal

    WINTER MONTHS:
    Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring a warm sleeping bag as well as warm winter clothing such as a wool pullover, jacket and woolly hat. It's also a good idea to check the weather reports prior to travel.

  • A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

    Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

    The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

    By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

    If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

  • Accommodation notes

    Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person canvas dome tents with camping mattresses supplied.

    The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants.

    There may be the occasional night stop, when we stay in the grounds of a hotel or at a campsite which may also have rooms/cabins available. In this case there may be a choice of camping or upgrading to a room. Rooms cost approximately USD60-120 per room per night for a twin room and cannot be pre-booked. Standards of these rooms vary greatly and we recommend viewing the room before purchasing the nights accommodation. The day by day itinerary advises when upgrades may be possible (subject to availability).

    Keep in mind that if we are staying in dormitory accommodation, you may have to share with other passengers or be split into same sex rooms.

    Campsites do have facilities but they usually aren't to the same standard you would find in western countries. For example the bathroom facilities can be very basic. There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower facilities can be as simple as a hose pipe spurting out cold water. Wild camps have no facilities at all.

  • Transport notes

    Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Our fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. It is also important to note that our overland vehicles are not air-conditioned, but all vehicles have windows that can be opened to allow for fresh air.

    There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience that is right for you.

    African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES:
    Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    KRUGER PARK CAMPSITES:
    On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June, July & December we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp at a backpackers outside the park.

    ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA:
    Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Essential Trip Information is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders.

    DRIVE TIMES:
    The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! Additionally, the travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure.

  • Accommodation

    Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nights),Camping (with facilities) (19 nights),Hotel (3 nights)

  • Important information

    1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
    2. This trip finishes upon arrival in Johannesburg on Day 29. Please do not book any flights until after 10pm this evening.
    3. The flight from Nairobi to Johannesburg on Day 11 is not included. You will need to book your own flight and make your own way to/from the airport.
    4. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park are possible on this itinerary. Please see days 6 & 9 in the itinerary for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend that you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.
    5. On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June and July we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp at a backpackers outside the park.

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