Cape Town to Zanzibar
An epic overland experience across amazing Africa
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Group Size: Max 16
Trip code: CTZ
Duration: 35 days
Africa. There’s nowhere else on Earth that compares for wildlife and epic landscapes. This unforgettable 35-day overland adventure takes you through six of the continent’s most exciting destinations, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. You’ll get ringside seats for some of Africa’s most incredible animal displays in Etosha, South Luangwa and Namib Naukluft National Parks, explore the most spectacular settings from the Okavango Delta, Lake Malawi, and the Namib Desert, to Victoria Falls and Zanzibar Island, and immerse yourself in ancient culture with a bushwalk and cultural night with the Kalahari Bushmen.
- Take a bushwalk with a Kalahari bushman and learn about their ancient way of life
- Spend four days chilling out on the sugar-white sands of Zanzibar Island
- Enjoy a game drive through Etosha National Park, seeing elephant, giraffe, zebra, lions and hyenas with a local guide
- Watch the sun come up over the Namib Desert from the famous Dune 45
- Discover the thundering power of Zambia’s Victoria Falls
- Explore the Okavango Delta in dugout canoes and see hippo and crocodiles in their natural habitat
This is an adventure tour involving camping and lots of participation, including setting up camp, as well as shopping, cooking and other camp duties. It’s a lot of fun, but best suited to travellers looking to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. The transport is a really unique feature of this trip too, with most of our journeys undertaken in our 24-seat custom-built safari vehicle. Most of our game park visits are carried out using smaller 4x4 vehicles provided by local services so you can get up close and personal with the wildlife!
Day 1: Cape Town to Western Cape (South Africa). Kick off in buzzing Cape Town. Take a fascinating tour of a local township before travelling along the beautiful Western Cape and making camp by the Olifants River before an optional wine tasting experience.
Day 2: Western Cape to Gariep (Orange) River (Namibia). Continue north towards the Namibian border, crossing at Vioolsdrift. We’ll camp tonight at the gorgeous Gariep (Orange) River. Take a dip in the campsite pool, grab a drink from the bar or float around in the river – bliss!
Day 3: Gariep (Orange) River to Fish River Canyon. Take an optional canoe safari this morning, or chill by the pool before hitting the road to Fish River Canyon. At 500m deep and over 160km long it’s the second largest canyon in the world and one of Africa’s most awesome natural sights.
Day 4: Fish River Canyon to Sesriem. Continue north to the Sesriem Area, jump off point to the Namib Naukluft National Park, the second largest game park in Africa. Set up camp next to a watering hole where Gemsbok come to drink.
Day 5: Namib Naukluft National Park to Solitaire. We’re up early today to see the sun rise over the desert from the top of the famous Dune 45. Then take a short shuttle ride and nature walk to ‘Dead Vlei’ and stop off at Sesriem Canyon before travelling on to Solitaire.
Day 6: Solitaire to Swakopmund. We’re making tracks today for the amazing Atlantic coast for a two night stay. Set between the Atlantic and the vast expanse of the Namib Desert, Swakopmund is Africa’s adventure sports capital, and a colonial treasure.
Day 7: Swakopmund. Adrenaline junkies will be in heaven with optional sandboarding, quad-biking, skydiving and kayaking on offer today. There are also some amazing tours, including scenic flights, a township tour, and a dolphin and seal cruise – wow!
Day 8: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe. Journey to the gorgeous Damaraland region with a stop at Spitzkoppe to admire the ancient bushman paintings. Camp out in a community-owned campsite at the base of the mountain tonight.
Day 9: Spitzkoppe to Etosha. Travel to the unforgettable Etosha National Park today. Covering over 20,000 sq km, the park is home to 114 mammal and 340 bird species, including elephant, giraffe, zebra, lions and hyenas. Enjoy a short game drive before setting up camp by a floodlit waterhole.
Day 10: Etosha National Park. Enjoy a full day’s game drive in this incredible African wildlife destination. We’ll explore the park’s salt pan and see some of Africa’s most charismatic species. Spend another night round the campfire after the most amazing day.
Day 11: Etosa to Windhoek (Namibia). Travel south today to Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek. Windhoek sits in a basin surrounded by mountain ranges and is full of colonial architecture. Enjoy a night out in town, sampling some local foods and grabbing a beer or two with your buddies.
Day 12: Windhoek to Omaheke Region. Head east from Windhoek to Gobabis. Take a guided bush walk led by local San people, and learn all about their ancient way of life before immersing yourself in the ancient dance rituals of the San around the campfire.
Day 13: Ghanzi to Maun (Botswana). Travel to the border with Botswana today, and on to the hard-living ‘Wild West’ town of Maun. With its unusual mix of modern and native homes and a population of donkeys, goats and red lechwe antelope, it’s a unique place to spend a day or two.
Day 14: Maun or Okavango Delta. If you've booked the Adventure Pass you'll head into the magical Okavango Delta in an open 4x4 truck today, and take a guided canoe tour. Once you’ve arrived at your island camp, enjoy a walking tour and a night soaking up the atmosphere of the Delta.
Please note: If you have not booked the Adventure Pass you will relax in Maun today. A guide will remain behind in Maun with you.
Day 15: Maun. Return to Maun by midday with a mokoro ride back to the polers’ station followed by a drive and spend a free afternoon trying exciting optional activities or relaxing by the pool.
Day 16: Maun to Nata. Travel from Maun to Nata, arriving at the Elephant Sands Lodge in the late afternoon. With no fences, expect to spot wildlife roaming freely between waterholes – watching wild elephants up close will be one of the highlights of your overland adventure!
Day 17: Nata to Kasane. Head to Botswana’s Kasane; gateway to Chobe National Park and home to elephant, lions, buffalo, hippo, and the famous African fish eagle. If you’ve booked the extra Adventure Pass you’ll enjoy a unique ‘Fish Eagle’ cruise on the Chobe River.
Day 18: Kasane to Livingstone (Zambia). If you’ve booked the Adventure Pass, you’ll take a game drive in Chobe National Park this morning. Then cross the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers by ferry into Zambia before travelling to our campsite, close to Victoria Falls and Livingstone.
Day 19-20: Livingstone and Victoria Falls. Spend two more days having fun in Livingstone. Take part in some adrenaline pumping adventure activities, explore the town’s vibrant markets, or just chill by the pool.
Day 21: Livingstone to Lusaka. Make your way through lush scenery and small villages to Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. This is Southern Africa’s fastest-growing city, which sits at a height of 1300m. We’ll spend tonight camping in a peaceful and relaxing farm setting outside the city.
Day 22: Lusaka to South Luangwa National Park. Your destination today is the stunning South Luangwa National Park, where you will spend two nights in one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Set up camp on arrival and enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace.
Day 23: South Luangwa National Park. Spend the morning chilling by the pool. If you’ve booked the Adventure Pass you’ll enjoy an afternoon game drive wildlife-spotting along the river’s edge, spotting hippos, elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo and giraffe – amazing!
Day 24: South Luangwa National Park to Kande Beach (Malawi). A border crossing takes you into Malawi today. Destination: Lake Malawi. Set up camp on the shores of the lake and spend some time swimming, relaxing on the beach or just exploring this beautiful area.
Day 25: Kande Beach. Spend the day on the beach, hit the local craft markets, or try some exciting optional water sports. You’ll also get the opportunity to meet some of the friendly locals on an optional village walk, where you’ll gain an insight into their laid-back way of life.
Day 26: Kande Beach to Chitimba Beach. Drive through rubber plantations to Mzuzu, where we’ll stop to pick up supplies before arriving in beautiful Chitimba Beach. Spend the afternoon playing volleyball on the beach with your mates or chilling in the beach-camp’s lounge areas.
Day 27: Chitimba Beach. Chill out on the beach, take a leisurely walk to the local villages, or do an optional day trip to Manchewe Falls. If you’re staying on the campsite, there’s a local craft market where you can carve your own souvenir, learn how to play Bao, or pick up some artisan souvenirs.
Day 28: Chitimba Beach to Iringa (Tanzania). Travel north today and cross the border into Tanzania, climbing in altitude until you reach a remote and rural farm house, where you’ll spend the night Relax with a hot shower then indulge in some chocolate brownies at the farm’s quaint candlelit bar.
Day 29: Iringa to Mikumi National Park. Travel to Mikumi National Park, where we’ll set up camp just outside the park. If time allows we’ll take a short game drive in the afternoon, looking for elephant, hippo, crocodiles, antelope, buffalo and lions.
Day 30: Mikumi to Dar es Salaam. Travel to the Indian Ocean coast today to the port city of Dar es Salaam. Set up camp by the beach just outside the city before soaking up the lively atmosphere of ‘Dar’. Don’t miss the legendary curio markets!
Days 31 - 34: Zanzibar Island. Hop across to the idyllic spice island of Zanzibar by ferry. We’ll spend one night in Stone Town and three nights in beach-based accommodation in the north of the island. Browse the bazaars of Stone Town, visit spice plantations, join a diving trip, or relax on white sand beaches beside the Indian Ocean.
Day 35: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam. Enjoy a final few hours on Zanzibar before catching the ferry back to the mainland, where the tour ends today in Dar es Salaam. See you next time!
Please note: The itinerary above is for guidance only. Every effort is made to adhere to the planned route, but please allow for a certain amount of flexibility, as on occasion it may be necessary or desirable to make alterations to the itinerary.
Optional Adventure Pass
If you wish you can book an optional Adventure Pass, which includes awesome extra activities and excursions. The pass can be booked alongside your tour and is paid locally the amount of USD 470. Please contact our travel advisors for more details. The Adventure Pass includes:
- A township tour in Cape Town
- A 4x4 transfer in Sossusvlei
- Okavango Delta excursion
- Fish Eagle cruise in Chobe National Park
- Game drive in Chobe National Park
- Game drive in South Luangwa National Park
Please note, the price of the adventure pass is subject to change.
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Most expensive: £1,500 December, 2023
Cape Town to Zanzibar
You will need to arrange your flights into Cape Town International (CPT). The pre-departure meeting is held at 6pm on the evening prior to departure. You will need to book one night’s accommodation in Cape Town (at your own cost), as the tour departs at 8am on day 1. We can advise you on how to arrange this accommodation. Airport transfers are not included.
The tour ends in Dar es Salaam on day 35, and does not arrive back to Dar Es Salaam until early evening, so you must not book a flight until at least 8pm that day. We strongly recommend you book a night at the end of your tour and fly home the following day. Accommodation is usually available locally on arrival. Some travellers choose to stay on for a few days after their tour as there are a variety of activities and excursions in the Dar es Salaam area that you can arrange locally or with your Tour Leader.
34 nights of accommodation are included. 28 nights of this is spent camping. You will be staying in some amazing locations, alongside rivers, by mountains and in stunning National Parks. All camping and cooking equipment is provided, including 2-person dome tents with zip up insect screens and foam sleeping mattresses. Campsites usually have wash and shower facilities, electricity points and sometimes even a small shop, bar or swimming pool. This trip is all about mucking in together and you will be expected to help with putting the tents up. You should bring your own sleeping bag. You will also spend 2 nights in dorm-style accommodation, 1 night in a tented camp and 3 nights in hotels.
If you would prefer to stay in hotels, rather than camp, there is the option to upgrade on this tour for extra cost. Please contact us for more details
Pre and post trip accommodation
Please note, due to the early departure time on day 1 of this tour, it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before departure and book an additional night’s accommodation at your own cost. We also recommend that you plan an extra night after your tour is over. Your travel advisor can help you book this.
34 Breakfasts, 24 Lunches and 24 Dinners are included. You will need to purchase the rest of your meals yourself. This is a great opportunity to discover some African culture by sampling delicious local delicacies and interacting with local people! In Swakopmund and in Livingstone, included meals are restricted to breakfasts. This allows you to take on half day or full day activities (some of which include lunch) without having to be back for meal times. Please let your travel advisor know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.
Single Use Plastics
We ask that you bring your own refillable water bottle with you in an effort to help us reduce single use plastic on our trips. Some of the safari vehicles have free safe drinking water which you can use whilst on the trip.
Please be aware that Tanzania has banned the use of plastic bags and you may be asked to surrender any plastic bags you are carrying upon entry to Tanzania.
This trip is an open-aged experience that caters for a mix of younger and older travellers. This means that you may travel with people who are outside your own age group. Such a mix of ages creates a great group dynamic and enhances the travel experience, as you get to know a range of people with different stories to tell!
All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited. For UK citizens, visas are not required for entry to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana or Zambia for periods of up to 90 days, but are required for entry to Malawi and Tanzania (e-visas can be applied for in advance of travel). If you show up at a border and should you not have the required visa you will be denied entry to the country and be sent back to the closest embassy/high commission to get the visa. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Please note: Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for the most up to date visa information.