Cape Town to Zanzibar overland safari tour, 35 days

From: ZAR22500 - AU$24000

per person (twin share)



USD1170 local payment required

Transport: Overland Safari Vehicle

Group Size: Average - 16, Max - 24

Meals Accommodation Okavango Delta
Chobe NP Cruise

Cape Town to Zanzibar
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Cape Town to Zanzibar overland safari tour, 5 weeks

Cape Town To Zanzibar Tour MapSafari from Cape Town to Zanzibar in 35 unforgettable days with and enjoy 5 weeks of wildlife, landscapes, adventure activities and friendly locals on this safari through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. Skydive over the Namib Desert, see elephant herds in Botswana, walk with Kalahari bushmen, bungee jump at Victoria Falls, swim in Lake Malawi, lie on Africa’s best beaches in Zanzibar…

 

Prices

R22500-24000 per person

 

USD $1170 is also required as local payment. This is paid directly to your trip leader at the start of your trip to cover the cash only costs of the trip to ensure you pay current local prices at the time of travel.

 

Includes:

  • 34 breakfasts; 25 lunches; 25 dinners
  • 34 nights in campsites, hostels & hotels (Zanzibar)
  • Two-person dome tents with mattresses
  • Camping and cooking equipment
  • Services of two crew
  • Exotic Zanzibar - ferry and accommodation
  • Fish Eagle cruise, Chobe National Park
  • Okavango Delta excursion
  • Visit Cheetah Park
  • Safari in Etosha National Park
  • Walk with Kalahari Bushmen
  • Cape Town township visit
  • Victoria Falls entry
  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Spitzkoppe Bushman paintings

 

Upcoming Departure Dates:

1st Feb, 15th Feb, 1st Mar, 15th Mar, 29th Mar, 12th Apr, 26th Apr, 10th May, 24th May, 7th Jun, 21st Jun, 5th Jul, 19th Jul, 2nd Aug, 16th Aug, 30th Aug, 13th Sep, 27th Sep, 11th Oct, 25th Oct, 8th Nov, 22nd Nov, 6th Dec, 20th Dec

 

Cape Town to Zanzibar Tour Itinerary

Cape Town to Zanzibar Safari TourDay 1: Western Cape Citrus Area

Our overland safari begins in cosmopolitan Cape Town. Overlooked by Table Mountain and bordered by the Atlantic, Cape Town is one of the world's most picturesque cities. Before we leave we take a tour of the Cape Flats, one of Cape Town's intriguing townships, visiting some of the local people and community projects in the area. The townships illustrate both South Africa's tumultuous history and its hope for the future, which make for a fascinating visit.

 

Leaving the city we head north through South Africa's Western Cape and through the fruit-growing regions of Citrusdal. Our campsite is located near the Olifants River overlooking the stunning Cederberg Mountains. 

 

After setting up camp there is an option to sample some of the local wines of the region, properly meet the rest of the group and enjoy our first night under the huge African sky.

 

Day 2: Gariep (Orange) River

Continuing north the landscape gradually turns drier and rockier as we head towards the Namibian border. We set up camp tonight on the South African side of the Gariep (Orange) River, which makes for a stunning backdrop. Our camp provides you with the necessary comforts like hot showers, flush toilets, grassy campsites and even a bar. You will be briefed on an optional Orange River canoe safari for later this afternoon or the following morning. There is also the option to hike to the lookout above the campsite and the Orange River is safe for swimming. The camp by night is illuminated by the stars of the Richtersveld - a wonderfully tranquil experience.

 

Day 3: Fish River Canyon

This morning we take an optional canoe safari on the river if we didn’t get the chance the previous evening, or simply relax on the water’s edge before entering Namibia via Vooilsdrift Border post and arriving at the awesome Fish River Canyon by mid-afternoon. One of the natural wonders of Africa, the canyon is some 500m deep and over 160km long and considered the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. There are plenty of opportunities for amazing photos this afternoon, especially when the sun begins to set over the sharp bend in the river known as ‘Hells Corner’ Corner’ - a great opportunity to find a quiet spot and marvel at the sheer beauty of the Fish River Canyon.

 

Day 4: Sesriem

After a night near the canyon we continue north until we reach Sesriem, the gateway to the Namib Naukluft National Park, containing the world’s oldest desert and highest sand dunes. The Namib-Naukluft National Park contains part of the Namib Desert and the Naukluft mountain range. With an overall area of 49,768 km² it’s larger that Switzerland and is the second largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. Here we set up camp for the evening under the starry Namibian sky.

 

Day 5: Solitaire

 

Day 6: Swakopmund

This morning we enter the National Park to trek to the top of famous Dune 45 in time to watch the sun rise over the open desert. A spectacular sight but be warned, it's an energy sapping climb to the top as some dunes are over 300m high! After a well-deserved breakfast we continue deeper into the park for an optional nature walk in Sossusvlei, amidst the giant sand dunes: a real glimpse of Namibia's unspoilt natural environment. Be sure to bring your camera; the shifting colours of the desert as the sun climbs throughout the mid/late morning offer some brilliant photo opportunities. Departing from the dunes, we head for the Atlantic coast for two nights, crossing over the Tropic of Capricorn and stopping for a photo opportunity en route. Swakopmund makes for a refreshing change with cooler Atlantic sea air, a taste of civilization and a swathe of exciting adventure options to be enjoyed!

 

Day 7: Swakopmund

A small town redolent of Namibia's colonial past but with modern adventure oriented attractions for the visitor Swakopmund is Namibia's main seaside resort, sandwiched neatly between the desert and the ocean - a delightful coastal oasis. Try some desert-based adventure activities, such as quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving (weather permitting) and more! For those not that way inclined you can enjoy what the town has to offer: shopping; restaurants; museums; an aquarium; art galleries - or simply walk along the promenade admiring the ocean and indulge in the town's café culture.

 

Day 8: Spitzkoppe

Leaving the coast we turn inland to the beautiful Damaraland region and stop at Spitzkoppe to admire ancient bushman paintings still visible on peculiar rock formations. The rock formations peak at approximately 2000m above sea level, and form a spectacular view. Take your time to explore the area and enjoy its delightful calmness. Keep an eye on the ever changing colour of the rock, especially during sunrise and sunset, when they acquire intense red shades. One of the most impressive rock paintings to look out for is called the 'Bushman Paradise'. 

The Spitzkoppe Rest camp lies at the base of the mountain. It is owned and maintained by the local community and all proceeds from our visit go directly to the community.

 

Day 9: Cheetah Park

From Spitzkoppe we turn north again making our way to Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park, the family who own and run the private reserve have been introducing visitors and locals alike to the plight of the Cheetah, hoping that close encounters with them will help make a difference to attitudes and understanding of this threatened cat. We get up close to cheetahs that have been hand-reared since birth, providing us with great photo opportunities. We then jump into the back of an open-bed truck to go out into the reserve to see some of the more than twenty wild cheetahs that are protected here. This is a unique experience and one that won’t be forgotten. Back at camp enjoy a swim and a sundowner before dinner and bed.

 

5 week overland african safari tourDay 10: Etosha NP

We make our way north to Etosha National Park, a vast reserve of over 20,000km² surrounding a central salt depression or ‘pan’. The pan is seasonally full of water but specially managed waterholes sustain some 114 mammal and 340 bird species. We make camp near a floodlit waterhole and have a short afternoon game drive upon arrival. At night at the waterhole observers frequently see a range of nocturnal visitors, including elephant, giraffe, zebra, even lion and hyena, making it one of the most memorable wildlife encounters in Namibia.

 

Day 11: Etosha NP

Etosha National Park is the ultimate definition of the perfect game-viewing destination. Picture this - a barren landscape teeming with neon flamingos and pelicans and surrounded by nothing but native bush, grasslands, scrubland and saline lakes, trust us you'll be in awe of this magical spot. Today we dive straight into the heart of Etosha National Park and enjoy a full day game drive keeping our eyes peeled for more of the local residents - elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions and hyenas.

 

Day 12: Windhoek

Heading south, we arrive in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, which is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains. Windhoek is home to approximately two hundred thousand people, an extremely small capital by global standards. The city centre is characterised by a proliferation of German-style buildings, a lasting reminder of Namibia's early colonial history and atmosphere. Take the opportunity to enjoy a night out at one of the local restaurants or visit the famous 'Joes Beer House'.

 

Day 13: Ghanzi

Leaving Windhoek we travel west into the Kalahari region and cross into Botswana. Our first stop is at the town of Ghanzi. Here, in the midst of this (seemingly) barren terrain we meet the San Bushman and have a guided bush walk, a genuine cultural experience learning about this ancient people's way of life. We learn how they harness nature and manage the resources around them to their maximum without damaging the fragile balance found in this ecosystem. Something we can all learn from. Your support of this ecotourism venture gives the San Bushman a sustainable income and helps keep their culture alive. Around the campfire at night, you can experience the ancient dance rituals of the San Bushman. On special occasions this could be a healing or trance dance, which can continue all night, and is an intensely spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike.

 

Day 14: Maun

Our entrance to the Okavango Delta, Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana and is an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. Although officially still a village, Maun has developed rapidly from a rural frontier town to a community that has distributed along the wide banks of the Thamalakane River where red lechwe can still be seen grazing next to local donkeys, goats and cattle. Since Maun's founding in 1915 it has had a reputation as a hard-living, wild-west sort of town built to supply local cattle ranching and hunting operations. Today though, Maun is a thriving tourist town, and in fact infamous for its infestation of donkeys and to a lesser extent, goats. These animals can be seen standing around town as they are used by local traders and farmers alike to transport their wares to sell on the roadside.

 

Day 15: Okavango Delta

We make our way out of the Okavango Delta and return to Maun and Sitatunga Camp for an afternoon of leisure. There is an opportunity this afternoon to participate in an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta – a breathtaking option that enables you to experience a view which puts into perspective the vastness of the wilderness area just visited. If you choose the to go on the flight keep a look out for hippos in the waterways and elephant and buffalo in the shade of the trees. Observe how the water channels meander their way through the delta in an ever-changing dynamic path. For those not taking the flight relax at our campsite bar, enjoy the swimming pool facilities or enjoy a game of volleyball.

 

South Africa to Tanzania Safari TourDay 16: Gweta

Leaving the magical Okavango Delta over our shoulder, we begin an easy paced mokoro (dug out canoe) ride out of the delta back to the station, back to Maun then towards Gweta, the gateway to the massive Makgadikgadi Pans. We camp at Planet Baobab which is known worldwide for its famous giant baobab. When we arrive in this peaceful spot, you'll have bucket loads of time to explore the area at your own pace by foot or to just kick back and relax at our lodge accommodation.

 

Day 17: Kasane

Today's African agenda includes making our way to the northern corner of Botswana to Kasane, the gateway to the one and only Chobe National Park. By size, it is the third largest park in the country and is home to the most diverse creatures - elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo and abundant birdlife, including the famous African fish eagle. Today we experience a ‘Fish Eagle’ cruise on the Chobe River – a great opportunity to see hippo and perhaps elephant or buffalo coming to the river to bathe and drink. The Chobe River is a major watering spot for large breeding herds of elephants, as well as families of giraffe, sable and cape buffalo. The flood plains are the only place in Botswana where the puku antelope can be seen too. Bird-lovers will be more than happy at Chobe National Park as when in flood spoonbills, ibis, various species of stork and other waterfowl flock to the area.

 

Day 18: Livingstone

Moving on from Kasane we take the ferry across the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers into Zambia. Zambia. Formerly known as Northern Rhodesia, Zambia took its name from the Zambezi River when it gained independence in 1964. The Zambezi River is the fourth longest in Africa (after the Nile, Congo and Niger) and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean. Home to one of the world’s largest waterfalls, we visit Victoria Falls and try to take in the immensity of one of nature’s Wonders of the World. At various times of year the spray from the Falls can be seen from up to 20 or 30 kilometres away, hence the local name ‘Mosi au Tunya’, the ‘smoke that thunders’. So don't forget a raincoat to protect your camera!

 

Our campsite itself is fabulous and we enjoy a full briefing that provides information on all activities available in the region (typically these include rafting, canoeing, bungee, abseiling, gorge swinging, elephant and horse riding, scenic flights, river cruises and more besides!), allowing you to plan your time accordingly over the next few days.

 

Day 19: Livingstone

The next few days are yours to explore the Victoria Falls area to the full. Apart from the adventure activities already mentioned, check out the markets and fascinating museum in nearby Livingstone, volunteer for worthwhile day with a local project, go on a day-trip to Victoria Falls Township in Zimbabwe, or simply relax on the beautiful campsite deck and watch the Zambezi River flow quickly past on its way to Victoria Falls. Our campsite is surrounded by the Mosi au Tunya National Park so for those wanting more game drives these are available on your doorstep! Elephants crossing the Zambezi River from Zimbabwe can be seen as well as giraffe, buffalo, white rhino, eland, warthog, hippo as well as a variety of different monkey species.

 

Day 20: Livingstone

 

Day 21: Lusaka

 

Relaxed and fully revitalized from our wonderful stay in Livingstone, we head through lush rolling countryside and small villages to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. Lusaka is Southern Africa’s fastest growing city with approx. 1.7 million people and is located on the southern plateau at an elevation of 1300m with four main highways running north, south, east and west to different parts of Africa. This city is the commercial hub as well as the centre for the government and is home to dusty tree-lined streets, soviet looking buildings and bustling local markets that ooze that typical African energy you'd expect from a city like Lusaka. Far from the hustle and bustle our campsite for the evening is set in a tranquil and relaxing setting on a farm.

 

Cape Town to Zanzibar safariDay 22: Chipata

We leave early and take the Great Eastern Road through lush countryside and small villages, crossing the Luangwa River to Chipata. Formerly named Fort Jamerson, Chipata has a population of approximately 100,000 and is the capital of the Eastern Province of Zambia. This unique town has colourful fruit and vegetable markets and a surprising amount of ornate mosques due to its large Indian community. If time allows, we will stop in Chipata before continuing to our campsite to overnight before crossing the border into Malawi.

 

Day 23: South Luangwa NP

Today we swap Chipata for the remarkable South Luangwa National Park. This area of outstanding natural beauty is rightly known as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa.


There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species inhabiting the area. Hippos, elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, giraffe with many other species flourish in the 32,000km² of savannah woodland watered by this 800km long river. The river itself is the most intact and unaltered major river system in Africa and covers 9059km². The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from; dry, bare bushveld in the winter, to lush green lands in the summer months. On arrival we set up camp and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the many optional activities that are on offer here from walking safaris, night game drives and village walks.

 

Day 24: South Luangwa NP

What better way to start the day than with a morning game drive along the river’s edge to see the abundance of animal and birdlife inhabiting the area. After the game drive, enjoy The Warthogs bar and swimming pool, which is the best place to cool off during the hot hours of the day and the many optional activities on offer that you may have missed the day before.

 

Day 25: Lilongwe

This morning we swap Zambia for Malawi, stopping at the capital, Lilongwe, before taking the Great Eastern road to the lake. Formerly called 'Lake Nyasa', Lake Malawi covers almost a fifth of the country's area and provides a livelihood for many of the Malawi people. Fishermen, fish traders, canoe and net makers all ply their trade, and a common sight is that of a fisherman in his 'Bwato', (dugout canoe made from a hollowed out tree trunk) fishing on the lake at daybreak. The lake also has the highest number of endemic fresh water fish species anywhere in the world. Enjoy time on the beach or shop at a large curio market where you can test your bargaining skills and buy some of Malawi's famous ornately carved chairs. Alternatively hike to Livinstonia, a small village some 1,500m above the lake on the Nyika Plateau. It's a long hike, some 15 kms each way, but to see a village seemingly lost in time because of its difficulty to reach it (roads are virtually impassable) and, the church built in 1894 by missionaries, is well worth the effort.


Please note: although it is our intention to adhere to the campsites described a certain amount of flexibility is built into our time in Malawi. The crew may make alterations to the published itinerary. Please therefore treat the Malawi section of the itinerary as a guide only.

 

South Africa to Tansania safari tourDay 26: Malawi Beach

After a relaxing morning we take a scenic drive to Mzuzu – the capital of the northern region and the third largest town in Malawi, where we stop for a short while to grab supplies and check out the local markets before arriving at the stunning Kande Beach later today. Try some of the optionals available, horse riding or else simply relax and enjoy the warm fresh waters of Lake Malawi. There is the opportunity to meet the local people, generally known as amongst the friendliest in Africa.

 

Day 27: Malawi Beach

 

Day 28: Chitimba

This morning we take a nice scenic drive through rubber plantations to Mzuzu, the capital of the northern region and the third largest town in Malawi, where we stop for a short while to grab supplies and check out the markets before arriving to Chitimba Beach. Tonight is our last night in Malawi before crossing the border into Tanzania. Enjoy time on the beach or shop at the large markets where you can test your bargaining skills and buy some of Malawi’s famous ornately carved chairs.

 

Day 29: Iringa

Leaving Chitimba Beach, we travel the short distance north to cross the border into Tanzania. We steadily climb through Tanzania’s Southern Highlands all the way to Kisolanza Farm House. This farm is at an altitude of 1,600m ensuring a pleasantly fresh climate in one of the most scenic areas of Tanzania. Home to the Ghaui family for over 70 years, Kisolanza remains a working farm providing organic meat (beef, lamb and chicken) and vegetables to the surrounding markets as well as further afield in Dar es Salaam. The farm house is famous for its hot showers, chocolate brownies and hot chocolate that can be bought from a quaint, candlelit bar.

 

Day 30: Dar es Salaam

We continue east towards the Indian Ocean and the port city of Dar es Salaam ('Haven of Peace'). This route runs through the Mikumi National Park and we may, with luck, spot forest elephant or giraffe feeding near the side of the road. 'Dar' is Tanzania's hub of commerce and industry. It's a hot, humid and bustling seaport city of high rises, colourful markets and Arabesque architecture sitting on the coast and an access point to one of the world's most important sea routes. And the city has a fascinating history. To most travellers, this city is the port of call to the more exotic Zanzibar and surrounding islands. We set up camp at our campsite on the beach just outside of the city centre, usually having time to browse the local markets, best known for ebony wood carvings, and prepare for our own trip to Zanzibar.

 

Day 31: Zanzibar

Evocative and exotic, Zanzibar conjures up images of idyllic, sandy, palm-fringed beaches, romantic winding cobbled alleys and lush tropical forests. You will find all of these here - and an intriguing history. Zanzibar was the base of the great 19th century explorers such as John Hanning Speke, Richard Burton and David Livingstone, and once was a major trading centre of spices. Indeed the spice trade is centuries old; Zanzibaris have traded with the people of the Arabian peninsula for generations, plying the ocean in simple dhow sailboats relying on the annual trade winds for passage. The Arab influence is evident in the architecture and diverse street stall offerings of the capital, Stone Town. Indeed the Arab influence can be seen right along the Eastern coast: the Swahili language itself is a result of the mixing of Arab and African languages and cultures over many centuries.

 

Zanzibar's other history is not so romantic. The island was also a staging post for slaves bought from the African interior being held before shipping to slave owners in the Middle East. You can still see the places where these men and woman were held and even a short visit is enough to convey the appalling conditions they had to endure. 

 

Please note: as we leave the truck on the mainland, basic tourist class accommodation and breakfast on Zanzibar is included in the Local Payment but for the sake of flexibility lunches and dinners are your own to arrange. We usually divide our nights here between the main Stone Town and accommodation on one of the northern beaches but there are no set activities - the time is entirely yours to do as you please.

 

South African Overland SafariDay 32: Zanzibar

Our time on the island is not structured and your time is at you leisure. Perhaps the best way to see Stone Town is on foot, explore the bazaars for old maritime trinkets, cloths, wooden carvings, visit mosques, palaces, courtyards and alleyways of the old town. Spices are grown in plantations nearby and you can take day tours to visit some and have your senses dazzled by the tastes and scents experienced. If it's white sand, a sparkling ocean and hot sun you prefer, head to the northern beaches and enjoy the Indian Ocean at its best. Try snorkelling and diving, indulge in some sumptuous seafood, or simply relax beneath a coconut palm with a cocktail and a good book.

 

Day 33: Zanzibar

 

Day 34: Zanzibar

 

Day 35: Dar es Salaam

Make the most of your beautiful surrounds this morning and head to the local markets to grab that last minute souvenir or dive into the nearby glittering waters for one last swim, before catching the ferry back to the African mainland and Dar es Salaam where our tour sadly ends.