Visit the Masai Mara National Park, Lake Naivasha and Nakuru before arriving in Uganda. We prepare for our gorilla trekking adventure in Lake Bunyoni and then head to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to visit these magnificent creatures. We head to the world class safari area of the Serengeti and then on to the tropical beaches of Zanzibar. Arriving in Victoria Falls we continue South through the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Our tour comes to an end in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation
Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.
Airport Transfer Available Sentrim Boulevard
Sentrim Boulevard Hotel is located close to the Nairobi National Museum and the University of Nairobi. It is within walking distance of the city market, a Barclays ATM on the University grounds and there is a grocery store nearby. Depending on the traffic in Nairobi, it can take anything from … Read More
Airport Transfer Available Belvedere Estate
Belvedere Estate is situated in the upmarket suburb of Midrand, with 15 en-suite, fully equipped, self-catering rooms, a sparkling swimming pool, braai boma, two lounges, dining area, snooker room, bar and friendly, welcoming staff. With a range of snacks, lunch and dining options, we welcome you as part of the Nomad … Read More
Masai Mara National Reserve
We leave the capital of Nairobi and travel to the Masai Mara, world renowned for its endless plains of wild animals and spectacular beauty. The visit to the Masai Mara is operated in safari type vehicles and not the Nomad truck. For this reason, you are asked to pack a small overnight bag to travel with. You will need your towel, clothes, toiletries and camping essentials.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities. Some of the animals that could be found here include elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers, which traverse this reserve. Today we will spend the entire day game driving through the Mara in search of all the animals.
Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning we bid the Mara farewell before heading to Lake Nakuru National Park where we will enjoy an afternoon game drive through the park. Lake Nakuru is home to large flocks of flamingos and pelicans as well as black & white rhino, leopard, lion and numerous buck. Originally created as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru was upgraded to National Park status in 1968.
This morning we not only cross the border into Uganda, but shortly after setting out this morning we cross the Equator on our way to Jinja. Jinja is Uganda’s second largest city and most famous as the point where the Nile (officially the Victoria Nile) flows out of Lake Victoria and begins the 6695 kilometre journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean.
Masindi – Murchison Falls National Park
After a quick stop in the city of Kampala, we head in the direction of The Murchison Falls National Park. Also referred to as the Kabaraga Falls, Murchison Falls is a waterfall found on the course of the great Nile and is located within the Murchison National Park. The park is recognized as one of the best National Parks in Uganda. After settling into our accommodation in Masindi, your guide will brief you on the activities for the following day.
Masindi – Budongo Central Forest Reserve
Budongo Forest is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa and is home to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. It is believed that there are between 600 – 700 chimpanzees in Budongo and this morning we will meet up with our chimp guide who will take us on our trek through the forest in search of the chimps. We will also enjoy a boat cruise in the park. Note: As the Chimp trekking is limited
to 12 guests per trek, should there be more than 12 guests on a tour the trekking will be split between the morning and the afternoon. Therefore you may find that you will first do the game drive activity followed by the Chimp trekking or vice versa. Please allow for flexibility.
Today we make our way to Leopard Rest Camp, nestled on the border of Lake Mburo National Park. This National Park consists of Woodland interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges. Lake Mburo is one of 13 other lakes, forming a 50km wetland system, linked by a swamp. The Park is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and is home to 350 bird species as well as zebra, impala, buffalo, leopard, hippo and hyena to name but a few.
Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
Crossing the Equator once more we travel south to the beautiful scenery of Lake Bunyonyi. With eager anticipation we prepare for the upcoming Gorilla trekking excursion and tonight we will receive a briefing on what to expect.
Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
The mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers vary it is widely assumed that there are only around 650 left. Visiting the gorillas is a great way to support their future on earth as the money spent on permits is used for their protection. An extremely important part of the future conservation of the remaining gorillas rests in the community development work – as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach, the future of the mountain gorilla is assured.
As permits granting permission to visit the gorillas are extremely limited we require flexibility in both the tour itinerary and where we actually visit them. The home of the mountain gorillas is completely at odds with man-made borders and so their range encompasses Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Whenever possible we choose to make use of the National Park in Uganda, but this depends on the availability of permits. Should we not obtain permits to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda then we will inform all passengers beforehand that the tour will travel to Rwanda or DRC.
On your free day in Bunyonyi you will have the opportunity to participate in certain optional activities. You can also go hiking or explore the area on a mountain bike.
Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
Although there are 2 days allocated to Gorilla Trekking you will only spend one day on the trek. The other days are there to provide a large enough window in which to obtain permits and to allow the entire group to trek if there are more than 6 of you on the tour.
Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala
This morning we set off on our return journey to Kampala and make a third crossing of the Equator along our way. Tonight your guide will brief you on the activities available in Jinja so that you can plan your day tomorrow. We overnight in Kampala.
A short distance from Kampala, Jinja offers many exciting activities and your guide will assist you to plan for this day. Most activities are focussed around the waters of the Nile and these include rafting, kayaking and a variety of cruises on Africa’s largest river. While those who may be less inclined to water sports can enjoy horse riding or a quadbike adventure on dry land.
Kenya – Eldoret
Returning to Kenya we visit Eldoret, the country’s 5th largest city. The Great Rift Valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region and the altitude at Eldoret is 2100 metres above sea level.
Returning to Nairobi this afternoon we reflect on many memories that we have gathered together and brace ourselves for a return to the busy streets of Nairobi.
Today is free for you to explore the streets of Nairobi. A number of optional day trips can be booked including a visit to the Giraffe Centre and the Nairobi National Park.
Leaving behind the bustle of Nairobi we travel south to the Tanzanian border. After completing border formalities we continue to the busy town of Arusha, our base for the night. Northern Tanzania is home to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro. Those who have purchased the optional Serengeti Excursion package will be briefed this evening by our local guide on what to prepare for the coming days.
Arusha to Karatu
Although it is a short distance to Karatu, we will spend most of the day commuting closer to the Ngorongoro Crater. Upon arrival in Karatu, our guide will brief us on the full day excursion into the crater. Karatu is conveniently situated to allow you the opportunity to participate in various optional activities in the coming days. (This morning, those guests who pre-purchased the Serengeti excursion will be collected early and will be separated from the group for the next 4 days).
Ngorongoro Crater Excursion
We rise early and will be collected from our camp and transferred to the Ngorongoro Crater in 4×4 safari type vehicles. We will spend the bulk of our day exploring the crater floor in search of the animals which roam the plains. We will arrive back in Karatu in the afternoon.
This morning we rise early for a hike to the Elephant Caves, taking you through untouched forests with amazing wildlife. The rest of the day is free for you to relax at camp or participate in a number of optional activities available from the accommodation establishment. Some of the optional activities include village walking visits or a visit to Lake Manyara National Park. These activities need to be booked directly with the accommodation provide upon arrival in Karatu.
Wrapping up our time in Karatu and Ngorongoro Crater, we board our truck and return to Arusha.
We head out early this morning as we journey south to our overnight stop in the coastal town of Bagamoyo. Formerly a centre point of the East African slave trade, Bagamoyo lies just north of the port of Dar es Salaam and is a perfect launching point for our upcoming Zanzibar Excursion. While today is primarily a travel day, we experience the hustle and bustle of one of Africa’s major travel routes. Road travel in Africa is an experience in itself and the bustling markets, villages and scenic backdrops that line the routes give a window into the lifestyle of rural Africa. This evening we will prepare for our Zanzibar Excursion that begins tomorrow morning.
Zanzibar (Stone Town)
We head out early this morning as we journey south to our departure point for our ferry to Zanzibar Island from Dar es Salaam. After arriving at the ferry port we make our way to our hotel located in the heart of Stone Town. Zanzibar is renowned for its spices and fragrances and we have the chance to experience this first-hand today. There are a number of excursions that can be arranged for the coming days in Stone Town and your guide will be on hand to assist.
Zanzibar (Stone Town)
This morning we enjoy the local scenery by embarking on a spice tour with a local guide. The afternoon is free to enjoy some of the many attraction sand activities on offer. Water sports are the order of the day and you have the opportunity to book activities such as fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and a variety of ocean safari options. Whatever it is you chose to do today, you will have ample opportunity to create some island memories. Rent a scooter and explore the many attractions on offer or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
Today we explore the beautiful Jozani Forest. For those wanting to do their last bit of sightseeing, the afternoon is free for optional activities.
Leaving the coast behind us we travel inland and make our way to Mikumi where we stop for the night. Mikumi National Park ranks as the fourth largest park in Tanzania and forms part of a 75 000 square kilometre wilderness that centres on Selous, Africa’s largest game reserve.
The town of Iringa sits on a cliff overlooking the Ruaha River Valley. The town centre offers the visitor a view into the past with its German colonial buildings and a popular market. The Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery memorialises soldiers who died in local battles during WWI and WWII.
Leaving Tanzania behind, we descend the Great Rift Valley and cross the border into Malawi. Known as the “Warm Heart of Africa” the lakeside country is blessed with natural beauty and our destination tonight is the shores of Lake Malawi where we look forward to spending the next two days enjoying the attractions of the northern regions of the lake.
Snorkelling in the crystal waters offers the chance to see first-hand the brilliantly coloured tropical cichlids, tiny fish often found in colourful aquariums around the world. Your afternoon will be spent walking through the small village of Ngala.
This morning we board our truck and head further South of Lake Malawi. Our destination tonight is the shores of Lake Malawi. Stretching over 500km along the western boundary of Malawi, the lake is home to more species of fish than any other lake. We spend the night on the shores of this natural wonder.
Today is another day of leisure, relaxing at the lake. Use the time to read a book, soak up the sun or indulge in the many attractions that are on offer.
This morning we enjoy a final sunrise on the shores of Lake Malawi before setting off for Zambia and the South Luangwa National Park. After crossing the border into Zambia we make a short stop in Chipata before continuing to our camp on the banks of the Luangwa River. Having watched the sun rise over Lake Malawi in the morning we enjoy an equally spectacular sunset over the Luangwa River this evening.
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, enjoying a sundowner on the way. 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.
Leaving the Luangwa Valley this morning we make a stop at Tribal Textiles. The Chipata area is a major producer of Cotton and this morning we get a taste of the creativity of the African culture. Those interested can enjoy a tour of their workshops (March to December) to see how these colourful fabrics are crafted. Our destination tonight is the small town of Petauke.
As an important link between Lusaka and neighbouring Malawi, the Great East Road winds through rural Zambia and we will cross the Luangwa River on our way to Lusaka. The route today is dotted with villages and subsistence farms and the landscapes serve as a stark contrast to the developed countries, so many of us call home.
Crossing the Southern reaches of Zambia we make our way to the adventure town of Victoria Falls. This afternoon we get our first look at the mighty Victoria Falls. Crossing the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe we get a view of “Musi oa Tunya”, the Smoke that Thunders as the falls are known in the local language. Victoria Falls offers a host of optional activities and these can be booked on arrival in Victoria Falls.
The bustling adventure town of Victoria Falls offers a range of optional activities for those wanting a dose of adrenaline. For the more relaxed traveller there are craft markets to explore and a delicious high tea is on offer at the Victoria Falls Hotel.
Victoria Falls – Kasane
After breakfast we travel the short distance to the Botswana border, crossing into Botswana we set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River. We begin our exploration in 4×4 vehicles on an optional game drive and our day ends with a leisurely boat cruise which allows us an up close and personal experience with the many elephants that frequent the Chobe riverfront in the afternoon.
Leaving Kasane early, we set off for Nata where we will overnight. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon guided excursion to the Makgadikgadi Pans and Nata Sanctuary to appreciate the spectacular view and sundowner.
Our journey today takes us across the northern reaches of the Makgadikgadi Pans and the road to Maun is lined with majestic examples of the iconic Baobab tree. Upon arrival in Maun, you will have the opportunity to enjoy an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta (time and weather permitting – this could take place on day 6).
The most rewarding and enjoyable way to explore and experience the beauty and serenity of this intricate system of lily covered channels and lagoons is by mokoro. Heading out early, we will be transferred by safari vehicle to the poling station (approximately 1 hour transfer) where we will meet the polers who will be escorting us into the Delta. The polers will steer us through the serene area of narrow, reed lined channels which open out onto beautiful lagoons. Reaching one of the many islands, a nature walk may be taken with your poler. After the walk, we return by mokoro through the channels back to the mooring station. While the mokoro trail is not primarily a game viewing activity, a variety of game may be encountered in this pristine wilderness area including elephant, giraffe, kudu, impala and zebra.
Those guests who have pre-purchased the 2-night package – will be flown into the Delta this morning and will re-join the group on the morning of day 7. Please speak to your consultant for a copy of the programme for your Okavango Delta Excursion. Those guests who have purchased the 2-night excursion will not be participating in the Moremi Game Reserve game drive.
You will be collected from the hotel before first light and we will drive to the South gate to enter Moremi Game Reserve. As the lagoons and channels form a vital section of the Okavango Delta eco-system, sightings of bird and animal populations become more frequent as the day progresses. The game viewing routes chosen on the day by the professional guide may vary especially when high floods are experienced as certain roads may be closed or impassable.
Maun to Central Kalahari
We travel to the Ghanzi district in the central Kalahari and tonight we get a first-hand experience of the San culture, well known for its rich traditions of song, dance and story-telling. The nomadic San are hunter-gatherers that have passed down a rich knowledge of the plants and animals that play such an important part in their lifestyle
This morning we enjoy a guided walk with our San guides who will introduce us to the many secrets of their survival in the Kalahari Desert.
Today we will make our way across the Trans-Kalahari highway towards the remote town of Kang. We will travel slowly along this stretch of unfenced road which could provide the odd sighting of wildlife in its natural environment.
Kang to Johannesburg
A long day awaits us as we continue our journey south to Johannesburg and South Africa. Leaving the Kalahari behind we cross the North-West Province, arriving at Belvedere Estate in the late afternoon. We arrive at Belvedere Estate in the late afternoon and all travellers are invited to join us for a traditional meal tonight. This can be booked with your guide on the day before arrival. Many great tales are shared and tonight is for celebrating the many wonders of African travel.
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