Immerse yourself in the vivid tapestry of Sub-Saharan Africa with our 34-day journey from the heartbeat of Cape Town to the mesmerizing island of Zanzibar. As we traverse seven countries—South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania—this trip promises an engaging blend of natural splendors, wildlife spectacle, cultural richness, and historic charm.
Commencing in the vibrant Cape Town, the Mother City, the voyage unwinds like a panorama featuring iconic Table Mountain and the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Namib desert. Witness the terrain morph, shifting from familiar cityscapes to otherworldly desert, all the while unveiling key highlights of Namibia, such as Dune 45, Sesriem Canyon, Deadvlei and the ethereal Sossusvlei pans.
The adventure further spirals into the wildlife haven of Etosha National Park, where nature’s grand theater unfolds at waterholes, painting dramatic scenes of lions, elephants, and giraffes. Our journey then navigates towards the verdant expanses of Botswana, taking in the mesmerizing allure of the Okavango Delta and the wilderness of Chobe National Park. Experience the thrill of safari drives in the Khwai Conservation Area and Savuti, indulge in a tranquil mokoro canoe ride in the Delta, and luxuriate in an afternoon river cruise within Chobe, rounding off our wildlife odyssey in Botswana.
Next, we set foot in Zimbabwe’s crown jewel, Victoria Falls town, leaving ample time for exploration and adventure in this bustling tourist hub. Onwards to Zambia, the mystical world of South Luangwa National Park beckons. Here, a twilight game drive may reveal the secrets of the park’s nocturnal inhabitants seldom seen during daylight hours.
Malawi, the warm heart of Africa, welcomes us next with its dazzling sunrises over Lake Malawi—a perfect setting for quiet reflection, leisure reading, or engaging in the many attractions on offer. Water activities take center stage in Nungwi, a tropical paradise nestled in the northern reaches of Zanzibar. Fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or embarking on an ocean safari—there’s a sea of opportunities to craft unforgettable island memories.
Our route carries us southwards to Stone Town, a city echoing with the historical resonance of the Slave and Spice trade routes. Finally, our remarkable sojourn concludes in the bustling port city of Dar es Salaam, with a heart full of experiences and a mind brimming with stories waiting to be shared.
Day 1 – South Africa – Cederberg Region
Leaving Cape Town we make a last stop for a look back at Table Mountain from across Table Bay. No road trip is complete without a stop at a traditional “Padstal”, these small farm stalls dot the byways of South Africa and offer a variety of homemade treats and bakes. The Cedarberg region not only boasts spectacular mountains and orange farms, but it is also the home of the Rooibos bush. Indigenous to the mountain slopes of the Cedarberg, this herbal beverage has earned an international reputation as a healthy and refreshing alternative to regular tea. A dinner at our overnight stop offers an opportunity for us to get acquainted while enjoying some South African hospitality.
Day 2 – Namaqualand – Gariep (Orange) River
Namaqualand presents us with our first experience of the Desert vistas that will accompany us in the days ahead. We continue our journey north and after a short stop for supplies in Springbok, we travel to our camp on the banks of the Orange River. If you are fortunate enough to be travelling in the spring months (July to September) you may encounter the wild flowers that have made this region famous. No matter the time of year though, the strange desert vistas offer a unique backdrop to this day’s travel.
Day 3 – Namibia – Gariep (Orange) River
While the Orange River was named after the Dutch Royal House, in recent times it has been referred to by its original name of Gariep, which simply means “river” in the indigenous KhoeKhoe language. Beginning its journey in the mountains of Lesotho, the Orange River is the longest river in South Africa and offers a unique contrast to the desert landscapes along its banks. The best way to experience the river is by getting out on the water and this morning we have the opportunity to join an optional canoe trip on the river. Around midday (after lunch) we depart the Orange River and head inland to our overnight stop. At Ais Ais, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the mineral and sulphur rich hot springs.
Day 4 – Fish River Canyon, Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground
We rise early this morning and drive to the rim of the Fish River Canyon. We will have time to watch the morning sunrays filter through the canyon. After stretching our legs with a gentle walk along the rim of the canyon, we turn west and head for Keetmanshoop. Our afternoon will be spent meandering through the Quiver Tree Forest and The Giants Playground – named for the way in which the massive dolerite boulders have been placed on each other – creating rock formations and a series of mazes.
Day 5 – Namib-Naukluft National Park
Every overland journey has some long travelling days and today is one of those as we venture deeper into the Namib Desert. Our destination is the dune fields that cover the western reaches of the desert. Long dusty roads and sparsely populated farmlands offer us an insight into the vastness of rural Namibia. From the grasslands in the east to the red dunes of the west the slowly changing landscapes represents the many faces of this desert country. Tonight we camp on the doorstep of the dune fields and fall asleep to the unique calls of the elusive Barking Gecko.
Day 6 – Sossusvlei Dunes – Namib-Naukluft National Park
Today we will rise early for our drive to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. We will enter the park just after sunrise and travel through to the famous Dune 45. A brisk climb up Dune 45 offers us the perfect vantage point to marvel at the changing colours of the desert. Once satisfied we descend this famous dune and enjoy a hearty breakfast before catching a 4×4 transfer into Sossusvlei, here we will spend time on foot visiting the pans at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. Tonight we empty the red sand from our shoes and spend the night under the magnificent desert stars, knowing that we have spent a full-day enjoying the wonders of this harsh land.
Day 7 – Swakopmund
On our final day in the desert, we have the privilege of joining a local expert for an enlightening desert excursion. While bidding a reluctant farewell to the Namib, we make a stop to commemorate our crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn. Having taken in the wonders of the Namib Desert we turn west and head into the sunset to our next destination, the bustling coastal town of Swakopmund where adventure awaits along with a welcome touch of civilization. Upon arriving in Swakopmund, we will be presented with the opportunity to book any number of thrilling adventures available. Tonight we’ll enjoy a dinner out at a local restaurant.
Day 8 – Swakopmund
While for many it is the adrenaline fuelled adventures that will grab their attention, Swakopmund offers all that and more. Take the opportunity today to explore the town at your leisure, as there are a number of attractions for every taste. Not to be missed is the selection of famed coffee shops and bakeries that offer a delightful range of German inspired treats. Swakopmund offers all the conveniences of a small city and is the perfect launching pad for the journey through the northern reaches of the land.
Day 9 – Swakopmund to Khorixas
Our exploration of the desert continues with a trip up north, where the hot desert sands meet the cold waves of the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll stop at seaside holiday town of Wlotskabaken for a photo opportunity before heading to the Lichen Fields for a viewing and talk by your guide on the Lichen Colonies. We then visit the renowned Seal Colony at Cape Cross, known as the largest in the world with over 200,000 Cape Fur Seals hugging the shore. Cape Cross marks the spot where the first European explorer set foot on the coast of Namibia in 1486, and was erected in honour of the then king of Portugal by explorer Diego Cao. (Please note that the Cape Cross Colony may be inaccessible at times which means that we will not be able to visit the seals.) The road then continues away from the coast and takes us towards the Khorixas area.
Day 10 – Khorixas to Etosha National Park
This morning we will explore the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings and the Petrified Forest in the Kunene Region with a local guide. This area has been inhabited for 6000 years by the Khoi San. These inhabitants used the site to conduct shamanist rituals. In the process, 2500 rock paintings were created. This site displays one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa. Also on route, we visit the Petrified Forest, a national monument, comprising of prehistoric tree trunks now fossilised. In prehistoric times huge tree trunks were washed down a river and deposited in alluvial sands, creating this relic. We leave Twyfelfontein for Etosha National Park. With vast salt pans, savanna and woodland, Etosha is one of Africa’s finest game parks. At 18 000 sq km, it is one of the biggest Parks in Southern Africa. Etosha means “great white area”, which refers to the large dried pan in the middle of the Park. We will spend the afternoon exploring the park in the Nomad Truck.
Day 11 – Etosha National Park
Our second day in Etosha allows for a full day to continue our exploration of the park. No day on safari is ever the same and the suspense before that special sighting is the motivation that keeps our eyes wide open. We explore the edges of the Etosha Pan in search of the abundant wildlife that occur in the park.
Day 12 – Etosha National Park
We will head out of camp this morning to explore the surrounding plains in search of the many species that call Etosha home. After enjoying our lunch back at camp, we will once again board our truck and enjoy an afternoon game drive as we head towards our next overnight camp.
Day 13 – Etosha to Divundu
We leave the white sands of Etosha behind and venture towards the Kavango River for our overnight stop in Divundu.
Day 14 – Divundu to Maun
Prior to departing for Maun, we enjoy a leisurely boat cruise on the beautiful Kavango River. We then cross the border into Botswana and head towards the gateway to the Okavango Delta, the town of Maun. We overnight in Maun before heading for our next adventure – The Okavango Delta.
Day 15 – Khwai Conservation Area
You will be separated from your Nomad truck for the next 2 nights and it is therefore important that you pack/gather your personal belongings which you may need, before we depart Maun. Please pack lightly and only take what you need for the following two nights. Today we make our way towards the Okavango Delta. Early risers will have the opportunity to go on an optional scenic flight over the Delta (time and weather permitting). After your optional flight, you will be collected from Maun and will be transferred to the Khwai Conservation area in smaller safari type vehicles. Our guide will prepare us on what to expect for our afternoon mokoro excursion into the Okavango Delta. (Please note: It is possible that the mokoro activity could take place the following morning, depending on the season).
Day 16 – Moremi Game Reserve
Today is a full day game drive as we spend most of our day on safari in the Moremi Game Reserve in search of the species that roam the plains. Expect some bumpy roads as we traverse this wilderness area in our 4×4 vehicles. Offering habitats from wetland, open water to the grasslands and Savannah woodland, we hope to see as many species of fauna and flora possible. This evening we arrive back at Khwai to share and compare all the amazing sightings while on safari.
Day 17 – Khwai to Nata
Today’s journey from Khwai to Nata passes the Botswanan salt pans. You will pack up camp and depart at first light on the open 4×4 safari vehicles before meeting the Nomad truck in Maun. The scenic drive from Maun to Nata showcases some of Botswana’s breathtaking landscapes and the rich cultural heritage. Keep an eye open as there is always a chance of a wildlife encounter or two before reaching your overnight destination in Nata. This afternoon, after our arrival in Nata, we enjoy a guided drive to the Nata pans, which forms the breeding ground for a host of water birds including pelicans and flamingo in their thousands (birds dependant on seasonal migratory patterns).
Day 18 – Nata to Kasane – Chobe National Park
We journey from Kalahari sands of Nata to Kasane and arrive in time for lunch and a quick siesta before we head out in the afternoon to explore the Chobe National Park from the river, enjoying a leisurely boat cruise which allows us an up close and personal experience with the many elephants that frequent the river in the afternoons.
Day 19 – Zimbabwe -Victoria Falls
With the memories of our wildlife encounters firmly etched in our minds, we cross the border into Zimbabwe this morning and travel the short distance to Victoria Falls. Today you will have the opportunity to visit the spectacular Victoria Falls at your leisure, also known by the local name of “Mosi-oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders). While much of today is dedicated to viewing the mighty Zambezi River as it drops into the Batoka Gorge below, the bustling adventure town of Victoria Falls also offers a range of optional activities for those wanting a dose of adrenaline in the afternoon. For the more relaxed traveller there are craft markets and coffee shops on offer as well.
Day 20 – Victoria Falls / Livingstone
With the many activities on offer in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia), today is the perfect day for the adventure that most suites your style. Whether rafting the mighty Zambezi River or enjoying a flight over the Falls, this is your day to enjoy the many attractions on offer in Victoria Falls. As your tour continues tomorrow from Livingstone, your accommodation for tonight has been booked in Livingstone. You can however spend the day in Victoria Falls and transfer over to Livingstone in the late afternoon. The transfer from Victoria Falls to Livingstone is included in your tour. You have the choice of booking a morning transfer (08:00) or afternoon transfer (16:00). Please indicate your preferred time with your booking agent and/or Nomad at the time of booking.
Day 21 – Livingstone – Chirundu
Setting off early from Livingstone, we catch a last sighting of the mighty falls before we head off on a long day travelling. We get our first impressions of East Africa through the window of our truck: colourful markets, busy villages and rural scenes form the backdrop of our journey as we travel through Zambia. We enjoy a prepared meal on arrival as our guides brief us on the days ahead.
Day 22 – Chirundu
As our lodge is situated along the banks of the Kafue River, today is free for you to participate in some of the activities on offer. Fishing on the Zambezi River is one of the most popular activities, or book a full day safari experience in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Other optional activities include a river safari, birding and an excursion to the baobab forest and bat cave.
Day 23 – Petauke
This morning we drive through Zambia’s busy capital Lusaka before turning east towards Petauke, our destination for the night. As an important link between Lusaka and neighbouring Malawi, the Great East Road winds through rural Zambia and we will cross the mighty Luangwa River along the way. Dotted with villages and subsistence farms, todays landscapes serve as a stark contrast to the developed countries so many of us call home. We make a delightful stop at Luangwa Market, a bustling hub where local Zambian vendors showcase their wares. Among the treasures on display are masau and masaku, delectable fruits that are available year-round and renowned for their mouth-watering taste. In addition, other African curios catch our eye, from charming miniature hippos to intricately woven baskets and papyrus carpets, adding to the colourful tapestry of this vibrant marketplace.
Day 24 – South Luangwa National Park
We look forward to the tranquillity of South Luangwa and this morning we make our way to the banks of the Luangwa River. We make a stop at Mulberry Mongoose to view their local jewellery and curios, these accessories are hand crafted by local ladies from South Luangwa using organic materials originating from the African bush. The Chipata area is a major producer of cotton and we get a taste of the creativity of the African culture. One of the finest sunsets is surely that enjoyed on the banks of the Luangwa River, so grab a cold drink and watch the day fade away.
Day 25 – South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is a world-class safari destination and we have a full day to explore the park in search of the variety of wildlife found in the park. This morning you can partake in an optional morning safari or during the dry season (April to December) you can join one of the iconic walking safaris on offer in the park. This afternoon we will enjoy a sunset drive in the park including a sundowner stop. The unique opportunity to explore the park at night gives us a chance to spot the elusive nocturnal species that are rarely seen in the day.
Day 26 – Lake Malawi
This morning we board our truck and set off for Malawi, the warm heart of Africa. Our destination tonight is the shores of Lake Malawi, the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system. As one of the ten largest lakes in the world, the lake stretches for over 500km along the western boundary of Malawi and is home to more species of fish than any other lake. We spend the night on the shores of the lake this natural wonder.
Day 27 – Lake Malawi
Today is all about the lake and this day is set aside for you to relax at the lake. Use the time to read a book, soak up the sun or indulge in the many attractions that are on offer. If you wish, an optional hike can be done with a local guide to the nearby Dwanbazi Waterfall. Located a short 30-minute drive from Nglala Beach Hotel, the waterfall offers a breath-taking panorama from the summit. Depending on the weather, we may even have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim in the pristine waters surrounded by the lush greenery and natural splendour of the surrounding landscape.
Day 28 – Lake Malawi
Today we are back on the road for most of the day travelling further north and will overnight once again on the banks of Lake Malawi. Our Nomad guide will lead us on a village walk through a nearby village in the afternoon. After the walk, enjoy the sunset over the lake from the beach.
Day 29 – Mbega
We depart this morning and continue north, heading for the Utengule Coffee Lodge where we will overnight.
Day 30 – Tanzania – Iringa
Before heading to Iringa, we will make a stop at a local coffee plantation where we have the opportunity to see the process of growing and harvesting coffee beans and will be able to sample some of the beans. We then ascend the Great Rift Valley and make our way further into Tanzania.
Day 31 – Mikumi
This morning we complete our journey to the doorstep of Mikumi National Park. We have a quick stop at the Baobab Valley, Tanzania. A mesmerizing landscape dotted with ancient, towering baobab trees that have stood the test of time. These iconic trees create a surreal and breath-taking scene, casting dramatic shadows against the African savannah, the perfect backdrop to stop for a group picture. We then reach Mikumi, which ranks as the fourth largest park in Tanzania, but forms part of a 75 000 square kilometre wilderness that centres on Selous, Africa’s largest game reserve. Today you will have the opportunity to book a game drive in Mikumi National Park.
Day 32 – Dar es Salaam
We overnight in Dar es Salaam before an early start the following morning to catch our ferry to Zanzibar Island.
Day 33 – Stone Town (Zanzibar)
We head out early to catch our ferry to Zanzibar Island from Dar es Salaam. After arriving at the ferry port we make our way to our hotel located in Stone Town.
Day 34 – Zanzibar Beaches
Boasting a rich history this busy port was once a landmark on both the Slave and Spice trade routes. Our morning begins with a walking tour of Stone Town to discover the more well known landmarks, including the birthplace of Freddy Mercury. After our city tour, we travel by road to our base for the next 2 nights. Before our arrival, we will stop along the way to enjoy a guided walking spice tour, which passes through villages and spice plantations. You will be able to witness first-hand how spice farm workers climb the trees and seek out specific plants and will have the opportunity to purchase fresh spices directly from these farms.
Day 35 – Zanzibar Beaches
Today is a free day to enjoy some of the many attractions and activities on offer. Water sports are the order of the day. Whatever it is you chose to do today, you will have ample opportunity to create some island memories. Explore the many attractions on offer or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
Day 36 – Dar es Salaam
We bid farewell to the island and board our return ferry to Dar es Salaam where your tour comes to an end upon arrival.
- On Request
- Small Group
- German Translator
- German Guided
Pre & Post Tour
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation
Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.
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