Border Information: If joining at Zanzibar, you will most likely enter Tanzania from Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (IATA code: ZNZ).There will be an informal meet-and-greet and orientation of Stone Town with our local Zanzibar guide at 6:00pm - please meet at the reception of the joining hotel at this time if you wish to take part in this orientation. Please note that you will not usually meet your regular crew tonight, as they will be arriving in Dar es Salaam this evening and will travel to Zanzibar with members of their previous group tomorrow. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Zanzibar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Zanzibar.In Stone Town we will stay in a good local hotel.Please note that the first 4 days of this trip overlap with our "YDF - Victoria Falls to Zanzibar" trip, so some of the group that come to Zanzibar will leave before we take the ferry to Dar es Salaam. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not follow our Zanzibar itinerary twice!
Today will be a free day to explore Stone Town, the atmospheric old town on the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar!Your crew will arrive on Zanzibar this afternoon, and there will be an important meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - there will then be the option going for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.
On our second day on Zanzibar we will join our local guide for a very interesting and informative tour around the sights of Stone Town and learn about the history of the island. We will then head away from town and take in a tour of a spice plantation, enjoy a local lunch with our guide, then head to Nungwi beach at the very north of the island. Nungwi is the Indian Ocean at its best - bright white sand, sparkling blue sea outstanding seafood and a fantastic chilled atmosphere.
On our third day on Zanzibar, we will have free time to enjoy Nungwi beach and relax, or to try snorkeling, diving, or other beach activities, or maybe go further afield looking for Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozani Forest.
Today we will return to Stone Town and then take a ferry from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, before travelling on the local commuter barge from the city centre to the suburb of Kigamboni. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax at the campsite.In Dar es Salaam we stay on the southern side of the bay across from the city.
Today we join our overland truck and set off early to beat the morning trafiic in Dar es Salaam. We have a full day's drive to Lushoto, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.
After breakfast we head west to the town of Arusha, where we will stop for food shopping in preparation for our excursion to the Serengeti NP. On the drive to Arusha we will go past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro where we'll hope for clear skies and fantastic views from the road.We will then head to our campsite on the outskirts of Arusha. On arrival we should have time to go on an optional walk to a nearby Maasai village, or visit a reptile house and snake-bite clinic that are run by the campsite. We will also prepare and re-pack for the Serengeti excursion starting the following day.
Today we will be met by our fleet of 6-person 4x4 jeeps - we will load the jeeps with our camping and personal gear, and then head out for our 4-day excursion to the Tarangire NP, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 4 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle (as there are no single use plastics or bottles available during this excursion), books and personal snacks, etc.We will have a safety talk with our safari guides and then on to a day drive within Tarangire NP followed by a treetop walkway in the afternoon. You should have many oportunities for photographs so remember your cameras!Once we make it into our camp site we will have our evening meal before the opportunity for a night game drive to Lake Manyara.
This morning we will make our way down into the plains of the Serengeti. We will take an evening game drive around the savanna before heading to our campsite - the area is one of the world's premier spots for wildlife viewing and we hope to able to find elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe and other big game during our time here!Tonight we will stay at a campsite within the Serengeti NP. The camp where we stay is very basic (with showers and flush toilets, but no other facilities) but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and their nocturnal noises! Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.
The next morning we will get up very early and we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive in the heart of the Serengeti plains. The early morning is the best time of day for wildlife viewing, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool.There is an option this morning to take a hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti instead of the game drive - demand is high for this activity, so this must be pre-booked at the time that you booked your trip with us.We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti early afternoon. We will head back through the conservation area to our next campsite, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, where we will arrive in the early evening.Again, the campsite tonight is very basic and unfenced. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take some warm clothes for this night.
This morning we will have another early start to descend into the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater for a morning game drive. Again, the Ngorongoro Crater is an outstanding area for wildlife spotting, often described as a 'natural wildlife enclosure'. This is the best chance on the excursion to spot black rhinos as well as a myriad of other big game.We will spend as long as our entry tickets allow in the Ngorongoro Crater before departing, which will usually give us about 3-4 hours of game driving. We will then be dropped off at our campsite back in Arusha, where we are re-united with our truck.We will have a well-deserved free afternoon to relax at our excellent campsite or to do some of the optional activites on offer here.
Border Information: Exit Tanzania at Namanga, enter Kenya at Namanga.Today we will head to Amboseli NP. Here you can experience the iconic view of the African plain with Mount Kilimanjaro standing majestically in the background. We will drive through the park in our truck keeping a keen eye out for all of the animals we will pass.
Welcome to Nairobi, the final stop on our trip! You will have time to explore Nairobi fully - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Your tour leader will let you know some of our reccommendations however you are more than welcome to move through the city independently for the day!
Border Information: If joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
Welcome to Kenya! There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please do not be alarmed if there is no welcome note, as this will often be a travelling day for the crew who will be joining you.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.
This morning we will drive on to Kericho, throughout this drive you will have sights of the world famous tea plantations in the area.
Border Information: Exit Kenya at Busia, enter Uganda at Busia.
Today we have a full day's drive across the border into Uganda as we travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa!
Today we will have a free day to get involved in the many optional adventure activities available here, such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and boat trips on the White Nile!
Today we continue our journey and head north to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary close to the town of Nakitoma. Here we will have the chance to track rhinos on foot with a local ranger!
Today we continue to Kaniyo Pabidi in the Budongo Forest, in the southern part of the Murchison Falls NP. Here we will head out for our included chimpanzee tracking walk in the afternoon!
Please note that for conservation reasons the maximum group size to track the chimpanzees is 12 people, so if we have a large group we will split in half, one half going on the walk this afternoon and the other half going tomorrow morning.
If we had to split the group for chimpanzee tracking, the other half of the group will head out for the walk this morning. When we are ready to continue, we will drive to the central region of Murchison Falls NP to reach our campsite.
Please note that the roads leading into and around Murchison Falls are very poor and can be hazardous in wet conditions. If there has been heavy rain recently, it may not be possible to go into the NP beyond Kaniyo Pabidi - this is firstly for safety reasons on the drive in, and secondly due to the risk of extreme bogging that could cause us to miss the gorilla treks further along in our trip. We will always endaevour to reach the NP as per the itinerary; but when this is occasionally not possible, please respect the tour leader's decision in this matter. On these occasions we will be able to utilise this time with spending longer in Lake Bunyonyi.
Today, we will head out early in the truck for a included morning of game driving around the northern area of the NP - we will take a local vehicle barge to get over the Nile and pick up a ranger to show us around in search of wildlife!
We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then embark on an included launch cruise on the Nile to spot wildlife from the water and to see the spectacularly-powerful Murchison Falls.
This morning we will make our way out of the NP and head South to Mpanga Forest via Kampala. This is a chance to experience a new environment as we camp in the forest near traditional communities. We will hopefully be able to visit the Mpambire drum making village to experience their ancient traditions and culture.
This morning we travel to the Queen Elizabeth NP, beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Lake Edward and Lake George, undertaking a game drive on our way to the campsite.
During our time in the park we hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks.
This morning we are up early to go on a full day game drive making our way the visit the volcanoes and salt mines onthe edge of the park. We will experience areas of the NP that are impossible to reach without a full days excursion!
Today we prepare for our Gorilla tracking by heading to Bunyoni and taking jeeps up into the mountains of Bwindi.
Here we will go on what is undoubtedly the highlight of the trip - trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas in their natural forest habitat.
This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than 8 people per day can visit any one habituated family, and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid; however, the sheer thrill of coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk at least 4 hours - uphill and downhill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself! Once you find them, you will stay with the gorillas for one unforgettable hour!
When visiting the gorillas you will be assigned a trekking group and time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day.
In Bwindi we will stay in a campsite that occasinally has some very special visitors, the incredible mountain gorillas!
Please note that the gorilla permits are paid for in full by the trip kitty - however, we have to purchase the permits in advance on the customers' behalf, so a higher deposit is charged on the trip price to protect us from losing this money in the event of cancellation - please see the notes at the end for further detail.
This morning we will make our way into the stunning Lake Mburo NP. This drive will take us across the equator - a prime moment for some photos!In the afternoon we may have time for a walking safari or even a boat trip on Lake Mburo.We will stay in an incredible campsite close to the lake where you may be lucky enough to see hippos leaving the water in the evening.
After waking up in the beautiful Lake Mburo NP it is time to head back to Jinja and all of the comforts that it has to offer. You may even have time for an evening activity here.
Border Information: Exit Uganda at Malaba, enter Kenya at Malaba.This is our base for tomorrow's excursion into Nakuru NP. If we make good time on the drive we may have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.
This morning we head into Nakuru NP for an included half-day game drive in local safari trucks. Nakuru is a beautiful park with a large lake and many forested areas - it is teeming with wildlife and there is an excellent chance to see both black and white rhinos.In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.
Today we will be met by our 6-person 4x4 jeeps that will take us on our 2-night excursion to the Maasai Mara. We will load the jeeps with our personal gear and camping equipment and then head off to Maasai Mara, leaving our truck behind.
We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location in Nairobi), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 3 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle, books and personal snacks, etc.
On arrival, we will have the chance for a short evening game drive in the Maasai Mara NP before heading to our campsite. The Maasai Mara is an incredibly scenic area and is one of the world's greatest places for wildlife spotting which is absolutely teeming with giraffe, buffalo, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, and other big game!
Today we will go out for the full day game driving in the NP before returning to our campsite for a second night. There is also the opportunity for a balloon flight over the savannah - demand for this activity is very high so you must reserve this at the time of booking your trip to avoid disappointment.
Today we will have a final game drive in the Maasai Mara in the early morning, before heading back to Nairobi and our campsite in Karen, arriving at about 4:00pm or 5:00pm. This is where we will meet our overland truck and start using the truck's camping equipment.
Border Information: If joining in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting - your leader will need to check your Ethiopia visa (please see below for details).
If you would like to explore Nairobi fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier, or arrive early in the morning to give yourself a full day before the meeting in the evening. Possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.
Today we make our way to Naivasha, on the edge of a beautiful calm lake in the Great Rift Valley. Here we will have the chance to take an optional boat trip on the lake to spot hippos and African fish eagles, and also to visit the Elsamere Born Free Foundation at the old home of Joy Adamson.
Today we will have some free time for optional activities in Naivasha before we head through the hills of central Kenya through the area's beautiful scenery and tea plantations, to arrive at the small village of Naro Moru at the base of Mount Kenya.
Today we will have a free day in Naro Moru to take optional walks around the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, explore the nearby Mau Mau caves, or take an optional game drive in the nearby Sweetwaters National Reserve.
Today we will travel to the Samburu region near to the small town of Archer's Post, where we will visit a Samburu village. Here we will be shown around the village and their homes, play with the children and learn all about the way of life here for the Samburu people!
We will camp in the village in the heart of the community tonight, where there are no toilet or washing facilities.
This morning we will enter the Samburu National Reserve, where we will enjoy game drives in the truck (breaking for a long lunch during the heat of the day).
Samburu is a stunning National Reserve and is a great opportunity to spot big game such as cheetah, leopards, lions, and buffalo. The Reserve is also home to other animals rarely seen in the NPs further south, such as Grevy's zebras, Somali ostriches and gerenuk ('giraffe-necked antelopes').
Please note that during very wet conditions we may need to use locally-chartered 4x4 jeeps rather than our truck to get a good game drive in - in this instance we may make this option available at extra cost.
Today we will have an early start to travel through the very rarely-visited region of northern Kenya, crossing the infamous Marsabit-Moyale road to the very northern border town of Moyale. The scenery today is spectacular as we travel through the black lunar landscapes near Marsabit and pass mountain greenery, spectacular craters, watercourses, bush country and termite mounds.
Please note that due to security issues in this particular area, we will sometimes be accompanied by two armed police escorts.
Border information: Exit Kenya at Moyale, enter Ethiopia at Moyale.
For those on a longer combination trip starting in Cape Town or Victoria Falls, please play special attention to the visa notes in the information below.
Today we will cross the border into Ethiopia and have a full day of travel to Konso, home to the local Konso people and our gateway to southern Ethiopia.
Today we will arrive in the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo. On route we will visit Konso Village and a Cultural Centre.
Border Information: If you are joining in Arba Minch, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Arba Minch Airport (IATA code: AMH).
Welcome to Ethiopia! Today is the arrival day for those joining in Arba Minch, and will be a free day to explore the town.
There will be an important meeting with your crew at 6:00pm today. Look out for a note from them at the hotel reception letting you know where to meet.
Today we have time for optional activities such as taking an optional boat trip on Lake Chamo to the view the crocodiles that reside there (known locally as the crocodile market) or to take bike rides around the city.
Today we will head north to the small town of Awasa, where we can visit the local fish market.
After our visit we will head to Wendo Genet, a small town in the hills above Awasa, where we will stay for the night.
During our stay here we may have time to explore the region, go on an optional walk to some nearby waterfalls, or take a dip in the nearby hot springs.
Today we will leave Wendo Genet and drive to the stunning Bale Mountains NP. We will enjoy 2 full days to explore the NP.
We will keep today completely free to head out for optional guided walks - there are several possibilities for routes, including highland routes up the hills and moorlands searching for mountain nyalas, or lowland walks through the forest areas to look for Bale monkeys!
Today we will drive in the truck up to the Sanetti Plateau, all the way to the second-highest point in Ethiopia (the 4359m summit of Tulu Dimtu) to explore the primeval landscape and search for Ethiopian wolves.
Today we will leave the Bale Mountains and head to the small town of Ziway.
Today we will take an optional boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, where we will have a short guided tour of the ancient monastery there and view some of the old religious manuscripts.
In the morning we will leave early and head for Awash NP.In the afternoon we will take a park scout out with us to explore the surrounding area and to try to find game or just to enjoy the stunning scenery of this lovely NP. We overnight in the lovely Awash Falls Lodge; who said luxury was not part of overlanding! This is a stunning place to experience a great little NP .
Today we will have a long drive east through the mountains to the ancient trading city of Harar.
Today we have a free day in ancient Harar and will have an included guided city tour of the walled city of Harar (Harar Jugol). Enjoy its colourful markets, mosques and shrines. In the evening you can visit the Hyena Men who feed the hyenas every night just outside the walls of the city.
Our final day in this incredible city is a free day to explore this amazing city on your own. It is one of the most important historic sites on this trip and one not to be missed.
Today we will have a long drive West through the mountains to the capital city, Addis Ababa
Today we have a free day in Addis Ababa and will organise an included guided tour of the city including visiting St. George's Cathrdral, The Menelik mausoleum, The national Museum and the colourful city market.
Today the trip ends and so there is no accommodation booked if you are leaving from Addis - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
Border Information: if you are leaving in Addis Ababa, you will most likely exit Ethiopia from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).