The Great African Journey
Expedition across 9 African countries from Cape Town to Nairobi
Book now for £49
Group Size: Max 22
Trip code: DSUA
Duration: 55 days
If you’re looking for the ultimate group tour of southern Africa, look no further. You just found it! This 55 day overlanding safari trip takes you through the absolute highlights of this incredible continent. Packed with life-changing moments, non-stop adventure, and the best wildlife viewing experiences on the planet, it doesn’t get better than this. Watch in awe as herds of elephants wander majestically across the Serengeti, spend time with a family of endangered mountain gorillas in the Ugandan forest, see hippos and crocs wallowing in the winding waterways of the Okavango Delta, and hold your breath as lions stalk their prey stealthily through the Maasai Mara. Add to this an adventure sports extravaganza at the mighty Victoria Falls, and some seriously dreamy beach time on the sugar-white sands of Zanzibar and Lake Malawi, and you’ll never want to come home. You’ll travel in our rugged overland adventure vehicle (AKA the Lando), and sleep under the stars every night in epic wilderness camps. Africa is calling.
- Get up close to a group of endangered Ugandan mountain gorillas and watch these gentle giants forage, play, and groom each other
- Head into the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta in traditional dugout canoes, and stay in a basic bush camp, immersed in the natural world
- See the Big Five on safari drives in the Planet’s greatest wildlife viewing arenas, from the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara, to Etosha and Chobe
- Marvel at the power of Mother Nature as you stand within splashing distance of the mighty Victoria Falls
- Meet the San Bushmen, learn about their traditional way of life, and take part in a spiritual dance ritual that lasts long into the night
- Explore the barren plains and towering red sand dunes of the Namib Desert
Our overlanding trips are perfect for travellers with a real sense of adventure. You'll camp in epic settings in the African bush, with nothing but canvas separating you and the wilderness. Some of the campsites are seriously off-grid, and you'll be totally immersed in the natural world. It's the kind of authentic African experience that you would never get staying in a hotel.
Most of the camping is 'participation style', where everybody pitches in to set up, run, and take down the camps. Working together as a team, and getting your hands dirty gives the group a real sense of togetherness. It's a great way to get to know each other.
You'll travel in rugged 24-seat overland safari vehicles that can cope with the most demanding terrains, and have large viewing windows that get you up close to Africa's amazing wildlife. When we're hitting the national parks, we'll often switch to smaller, more nimble safari vehicles, so we can get even more intimate with our surroundings.
All in all, it's a gritty, back to basics, full blown adventure experience. We think there's no better way to experience the wonders of Africa.
Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town (South Africa). Touchdown in beautiful Cape Town and make your way to our starting accommodation. Get to know your guides and the rest of your group at this evening’s welcome meeting, before raising a glass (or three!) to the amazing adventure to come.
Day 2: Cape Town to Cederberg. Climb into our awesome overlanding adventure vehicle (AKA the Lando), and shotgun a window seat - the views today are insane! Stop at a San education centre to learn about the culture of these indigenous people, before arriving in Cederberg.
Day 3: Cederberg to Orange River. Head north through rooibos plantations to the scenic banks of Orange River. Take an afternoon swim in the river, join an optional canoeing excursion, or just kick back and watch the sun go down, to the soundtrack of the African bush.
Day 4: Orange River to Fish River Canyon (Namibia). Travel over the border into Namibia to the second largest canyon in the world. Take a walk around the canyon’s rim to the best viewpoints for sunset. Then gather around the campfire with your travel buddies.
Day 5: Fish River Canyon to the Namib Desert. Travel along bumpy roads, past remote villages before arriving in the vast expanse of the Namib. A striking landscape of barren plains, and towering red sand dunes, it’s like nowhere else on Earth. Settle into our oasis camp.
Day 6: Namib Desert. Start the day the epic way with an optional visit to Sossusvlei or take a guided walk in the desert before heading to our next desert campsite with a stop at Sesriem Canyon on the way. As if today wasn’t amazing enough, we’ll round off with a climb up the mighty Dune 45.
Days 7 - 8: Swakopmund. Head to the coastal city of Swakopmund. With long sandy beaches, cool coffee shops, and a massive adventure sports scene, it’s a great place to spend a day or two. Hit the beaches, go sandboarding in the desert, or take a guided cultural tour of the city’s backstreets.
Day 9: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe. Travel to the dramatic rocky region of Spitzkoppe where we’ll spend the day scrambling up rock faces and taking artsy selfies in front of unique rock formations. Tonight, indulge in some stargazing around the campfire – the night skies here are out of this world!
Days 10 - 11: Etosha National Park. Travel to the wildlife haven of Etosha National Park. Enjoy two safari drives over the next couple of days, looking for lions, leopards, rhino, zebras, and countless bird species. After dark, gather around the campfire and watch animals come to the watering holes.
Day 12: Etosha to the Waterberg Plateau. We’re travelling south today, to the Waterberg Plateau, a flat-topped sandstone area, with unique species including white rhino, and endless views of the Kalahari bush. Hit the trails in search of local wildlife, or just chill by the campsite pool.
Day 13: Waterberg Plateau to Windhoek. Journey to Windhoek through the Namibian countryside, with a stop on the way at a community project for lunch. Arrive in the German influenced town and head out to explore the tree-lined boulevards, colonial architecture, and alfresco dining.
Day 14: Windhoek to Ghanzi (Botswana). Tick your third country off the list as we head into Botswana to Ghanzi, where you can take an optional walk with some San tribe members. This evening, opt to see the San’s dance rituals around the campfire. It’s a spiritual experience.
Day 15: Ghanzi to Maun. Climb back into the Lando and travel to the charming town of Maun, jump-off point for the shimmering Okavango Delta. Spend the afternoon relaxing on camp, or see this gorgeous watery region from the air, with an optional flight over the delta’s winding channels.
Days 16 - 17: Okavango Delta excursion. Head into the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta on an unforgettable overnight adventure. We’ll travel in traditional dugout canoes, and stay in a basic bush camp, taking guided wildlife walks and immersing ourselves in this unique landscape.
Day 18: Gweta to Kasane. We’re up early for the journey north to Kasane, gateway to Chobe National Park. See the park’s astonishing animals on an optional sunset river cruise on the Chobe River this evening, or head out for dinner in Kasane.
Days 19 - 21: Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). Start day 19 with an optional safari drive in Chobe National Park, before crossing into Zimbabwe with a farm to fork meal on the way. Spend the next three nights on a campsite close to the mighty Victoria Falls, enjoying adrenaline sports, and scenic hikes.
Day 22: Victoria Falls to Lusaka (Zambia). Country number five is coming up as we cross the border from Zimbabwe into Zambia this morning. We’re headed for a private farm, where we’ll spend the night at the camp bar, or watching the zebra, buffalo, and antelope that roam the grounds.
Days 23 - 24: South Luangwa National Park. Travel to our campsite on the banks of the Luangwa River. Spend the next couple of days relaxing by the pool, taking optional walking, or driving safaris in the wildlife-rich park, and hitting the bar for a few beers with your friends.
Day 25: South Luangwa to Chipata. Join an optional morning safari drive or walking safari in Luangwa National Park before we hit the road again to Chipata. Stop for lunch at a community textiles workshop that gives local people employment, offering them an alternative to poaching.
Days 26-29: Lake Malawi (Malawi). Travel to Lake Malawi, where we’ll spend two nights on Kande Beach and another two on Chitimba. With golden sands, and crystal-clear waters surrounded by greenery it’s a real escape from modern life. Spend your days splashing around in the water, and your nights chilling under the stars.
Day 30: Chitimba to Iringa (Tanzania). Journey into Tanzania through the Great Rift Valley. It’s a long journey to Iringa, but with views like these it’ll go by in a flash.
Day 31: Iringa to Dar Es Salaam. Travel on to Dar es Salaam, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Spend the night in our lovely beach lodge, before we sail for Zanzibar tomorrow.
Days 32 - 34: Zanzibar. Zanzibar is the stuff that beach dreams are made of, with dazzling white sands, swaying palms, and turquoise waters. Spend two nights on one of its loveliest beaches, visit a spice plantation, and enjoy a day and night exploring Stone Town’s bazaars and historic streets.
Day 35: Stone Town to Bagamoyo. Board the ferry back to the mainland, and travel north to the sleepy fishing town of Bagamoyo. Take a wander through the fish market, paddle in the shallows, or just sit and watch the working fishing dhows drift through the warm water.
Day 36: Bagamoyo to Arusha. Journey to Arusha, keeping your eyes peeled for views of Mt Kilimanjaro. Use the rest of the afternoon to pack your day bag ready for our three-day excursion to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
Day 37-38: Serengeti National Park. Travel into the legendary Serengeti and head straight out for a locally guided safari. See zebras grazing, lions lazing in the shade, and elephants moving across the grasslands. This is the Africa of your dreams. On day 38 travel on to the Ngorongoro Crater.
Day 39: Ngorongoro Crater. Travel down to the crater floor on an awesome wildlife safari drive. You’re likely to see zebra and buffalo grazing, lions lounging in the shade, vibrant flamingos, and baboons playing on the jungle floor. With minds and hearts full, head back to camp with the gang.
Days 40-41: Nairobi. We’re off to Kenya’s capital through the arid lands of the Maasai people. Spend the next couple of days picking up souvenirs at the Maasai market, visiting museums, enjoying delicious street food, and partying to African beats after dark. Next stop – the Maasai Mara!
Days 42 - 43: Maasai Mara. Travel to the iconic Maasai Mara, where we’ll enjoy two safari drives and spend our nights camping in the bush. Watch in awe as lions, and cheetah prowl through the grasses, elephants and giraffes graze on trees, and herds of wildebeest move as one.
Days 44-45: Lake Nakuru National Park. Journey to Lake Nakuru, arriving in time for an afternoon safari drive. See a kaleidoscope of birdlife on the lake, and rhinos, giraffe, and zebra in the acacia studded savannah. It’s a vivid snapshot of Kenya. Travel to Eldoret on day 45 after a morning safari.
Day 46: Eldoret to Kampala (Uganda). We’re crossing another country off the list today as we head over the border from Kenya to Uganda. It’s a long stretch in the Lando so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. We’ll arrive in Kampala in the late afternoon.
Day 47: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni. We’re crossing the equator today on the way to magical Lake Bunyoni. A tranquil dream of a place, Bunyoni is one of the only lakes in East Africa that is croc and hippo free. Drop your bag and dive in.
Day 48: Gorilla trek. Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. A ranger will lead us deep into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, looking for groups of our closest living relatives. Spend some time watching these gentle giants forage, play, and groom each other. It’s a humbling experience.
Day 49: Lake Bunyoni. Wake up to a wall of birdsong and spend the day relaxing on the shore, canoeing, or hiking the shady trails that surround the lake. Take an optional motorboat tour or join our bird watching or nature walks to see more of the local wildlife.
Day 50: Lake Bunyoni to Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Travel to beautiful Kalinzu Forest Reserve, home to one of the biggest populations of chimpanzees in Uganda. Set up camp before taking an optional 2-hour boat cruise around Crater Lake.
Day 51: Chimpanzee tracking. Head deep into the reserve with a ranger, following distant calls and rustling leaves before the goosebumps moment when we come face to face with a family of chimpanzees. After our trek, visit a local tea plantation, then continue to Lake Mburo.
Days 52-53: Jinja. Leave Lake Mburo and cross back over the Equator before stopping for a traditional Ugandan lunch at a community café and gallery. Arrive in Jinja and spend the next couple of days channelling your inner adrenaline junky in the ‘Adventure Capital of East Africa’.
Day 54: Jinja to Eldoret (Kenya). Climb into the Lando and spend your day relaxing as we travel back into Kenya, towards Eldoret. It’s our last night together as a group, so make the most of it!
Day 55: Eldoret to Nairobi. We’ve got a long travel day ahead. It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on some shuteye, chat with your mates, and edit down that massive photo reel! Arrive in Nairobi towards the back end of the day, where we’ll say our goodbyes before parting ways.
Looking for a shorter trip?
This amazing 55 day trip can be broken down into smaller modules so those with less time can also experience the highlights of the African continent. Check out our shorter trips below:
- Cape Town to Victoria Falls Overland
- Wild Africa Adventure
- South Africa to Kenya Overland
- Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Trek
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Most expensive: £1,500 December, 2023
This trip begins in Cape Town, South Africa. Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned until the welcome meeting this evening, so arrive in Cape Town International Airport (CPT) at a time that suits you. Airport transfers are not included, so unless you’ve booked one through your travel advisor, you’ll need to make your own way to our starting hotel. Taxi transfers take around 20 minutes, depending on traffic. We’ll leave a welcome note at reception with details of where and when the welcome meeting will be held (usually between 5 and 7pm). If you’re likely to arrive after this, we’ll leave you a message detailing where to meet the group in the morning.
The trip ends on day 55 in Nairobi, Kenya. We’ll spend all day travelling from Eldoret, so we’d recommend that you book an additional night of post-trip accommodation and fly the following day, to allow for delays. Your trip advisor can help you with this. If you must fly today, please do not book your flight until after 9pm. Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO) is the nearest airport. Return airport transfers are not included, but your tour guide can book one on your behalf.
All your accommodation is included. This is a super adventurous trip where everybody gets really stuck in, and most nights (41) will be spent participation camping. You’ll also have 5 nights in simple hotels in single or twin-share rooms, 3 nights in permanent, tented camps, 3 nights in hostels in multi-share rooms with 3 – 4 people, and 2 nights in a full-service campsite.
About participation camping
Participation camping involves staying on basic campsites, carrying, and pitching our own camping equipment. Campsites are in stunning locations in national parks, and in rural locations outside towns. Some campsites are enclosed to keep the wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment so wildlife can wander in but are completely safe. You’ll get a real taste for the wild, sleeping under the stars, and truly immersing yourself in Africa’s unique landscapes.
We’ll be staying in quality 2-person canvas safari tents, which are not high enough to stand up in, but have a roomy base area of 4 metres. Tents have built in insect netting. Tents are dome shaped and take less than ten minutes to assemble and disassemble.
Campsite facilities vary and are basic but of a good standard. Some camps are more rustic, with simple, or no bathing facilities, long-drop latrines, and limited electricity, and others will have flush toilets, showers (usually outdoors), washing facilities, and electricity for charging. There is hot water at most sites but depending on how many others have used it before you, the temperature is not always guaranteed when you come to use it. Our camping experience in the Okavango Delta in particular, is as wild as it gets! You’ll stay on remote islands, surrounded by nature, with no facilities, running water, or toilets – it’s the ultimate African bush experience.
All camping equipment is included (apart from sleeping bag and pillow). This includes comfy camp mattresses, portable camp chairs and cooking equipment.
Most of your meals are included on this trip (50 breakfasts, 44 lunches, and 37 dinners), with everything made with fresh local produce. Breakfasts are usually breads and cereals, lunches are lighter meals consisting of sandwiches and/or salads, and evening meals are freshly prepared hot meals, made up of a variety of continental and local dishes.
Your tour guides will do all the meal preparation, but there will be a prep and dish-washing schedule that all travellers will be expected to participate in. Please note: All bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.
This trip is designed for those aged 18-39. A good level of fitness is required as this is an adventure style trip, involving high altitude hikes, days in humid rainforest, pitching tents, and some strenuous activities. For the Uganda section of your trip you should be in good physical condition, without any heart problems and prepared to spend days in humid rain forests, steep terrain and high altitude trekking for chimpanzee and gorillas.
Most countries on this trip require you to have at least 6 months remaining on your passport from your date of arrival. Visa rules vary.
- South Africa: British citizens do not need a visa to enter South Africa as a tourist for up to 90 days.
- Namibia: British nationals can enter Namibia for a holiday of up to 90 days without a visa.
- Botswana: British nationals do not normally need a visa to enter Botswana for stays of up to 90 days.
- Zambia: British nationals visiting Zambia for less than 90 days do not need a visa in advance and can obtain a visa on arrival.
- Zimbabwe: You will need a visa to visit Zimbabwe. Most visitors use the visa on arrival service. You should take enough cash with you in small notes to pay for your visa at the airport. It may also be possible to obtain an e-visa through the new e-visa website.
- Malawi: British passport holders need a tourist visa to enter Malawi. Malawi has introduced an ‘e-visas’ system through which applications can be submitted and approved online in advance of travel.
- Tanzania: All British passport holders need a tourist visa to enter Tanzania. Tanzania has introduced an ‘e-visas’ system through which applications can be submitted and approved online in advance of travel.
- Uganda: You’ll need a visa to enter Uganda and must apply before travel.
- Kenya: Entry to Kenya requires a visa. You’ll need to apply for this before travel using the Kenya e-visa website.
Whilst Botswana is not a high-risk yellow fever country, in recent months border guards have been very strict on people entering Botswana having previously travelled to other high risk areas. We recommend you speak with your travel doctor in advance of travel and get the most up to date information.
Please note: Visa rules and entry requirements are subject to change. You should check with the relevant embassies before travelling