Ultimate African Overlander
An epic African adventure!
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Group Size: Max. 16
Trip code: UAO
Duration: 58 days
This breathtaking African Overland adventure takes you from the Northwest plains of Kenya to the coastal cities of South Africa. En route you will experience some of the greatest things this continent has to offer, including stunning National Parks full of wildlife and unique tribal villages from long ago. Travelling with a group and guide, you’ll make camp in beautiful landscapes and explore sparkling cities and villages. You’ll even get up close to a family of Mountain Gorillas in Uganda. This epic tour will blow you away and make you fall in love with Africa forever!
- Enjoy game drives through stunning National Parks, including the Serengeti and Etosha
- Spend three days blissing out on the white sands of beautiful Zanzibar
- Get up close to a family of majestic Mountain Gorillas in Uganda
- Take a fascinating bush walk with the San people in Namibia
- Experience the thunderous power of Victoria Falls in Zambia
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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 for a bit of a challenge. 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.
Mandatory Adventure Pass
This tour has an Adventure Pass which is a separate payment for a range of activities over the course of the tour, including game drives and excursions. This Adventure Pass is mandatory. You will need to pay the cost of your pass directly to your tour leader in Africa at the beginning of the tour. Paying separately for the pass ensures that local suppliers benefit directly from the income. This tour includes Gorilla and Chimp Trekking. This is paid at the time of booking. Please download the trip notes for further details.
Day 1: Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park (Kenya). Welcome to Africa! Depart Nairobi and journey through the Great Rift Valley before arriving at Lake Nakuru National Park and enjoying an afternoon game drive.
Due to the early start today you need to arrive the night before and book an extra night of accommodation.
Day 2: Lake Nakuru to Eldoret. Travel north to Eldoret, the 5th largest town in Kenya. Camp in the forested hills just outside Eldoret and see ancient tribal Sirikwa holes.
Day 3: Eldoret to Kampala (Uganda). Cross the border into Uganda today, taking in panoramic views as you go. Our home for the night is the capital, Kampala, a charming hilly city bustling with markets and traders. Spend the night on our cool campsite on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Day 4: Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Journey past verdant hills, sprawling banana groves and dramatic mountain slopes on the way to Queen Elizabeth National Park. We’ll set up camp a short distance from the park, where you can chill out after your journey.
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park. Enter the Park itself this morning, and drink in the incredible views of the lakes and mountains. Trek to Kyambura Gorge and get up close to chimpanzees in the wild – a magical experience!
Depending on permits, the trek to Kyambura may occur on day 4 or day 5.
Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Bunyoni. Leave the gorgeous surroundings of Queen Elizabeth behind, and travel on to Lake Bunyonyi. Set up camp and get excited about what the next couple of days hold with your travel buddies.
Days 7 – 8: Lake Bunyoni. Spend the next two days enjoying the beautiful scenery and activities on Lake Bunyoni and trekking to see mountain gorillas with a local guide. Once you find a family, you’ll sit and watch them for around an hour – it’s sure to be one of the highlights of your trip!
Depending on the availability of permits, the tour itinerary may vary day to day and sometimes we may need to trek on different days. If for any reason our Gorilla trek should be in another neighbouring country, (e.g., Rwanda instead of Uganda) this may entail extra visa fees although we shall endeavour to advise you before departure of any significant changes to the tour itinerary.
Day 9: Lake Bunyoni to Kampala. Travel away from Lake Bunyonyi and around the northern fringes of Lake Victoria to Kamapala. Spend the evening here, sampling local delicacies at the restaurants and celebrating in the city’s nightlife. Make camp and sleep under African stars with your friends.
Day 10: Kampala to Jinja. Head to Jinja, a town on the banks of Lake Victoria and the Nile. Grab a beer on the riverside deck, spot some of the tropical birds that call the area their home or get your adrenaline pumping with a white-water rafting experience.
Days 11 - -12: Jinja. We’ve got a couple of days on the river in Jinja. Take part in our awesome optional activities including mountain biking, quad biking, bungee jumping, white water river rafting, and giving back to the local community by volunteering at a school project.
Day 13: Jinja to Eldoret (Kenya). Return to Eldoret and make camp for the evening. Your first two weeks of this epic adventure are nearly over! Toast the experience so far with your fellow travellers at camp.
Day 14: Eldoret to Nairobi. Cross the Equator (again!) and return to the Kenyan capital. We’ll be spending the next two nights in a campsite set in tropical gardens with an infinity pool, communal fire pit and bar. Drop your bags and chill by the pool or head out to explore the city.
Day 15: Nairobi. You’ve got a free day today to explore the city. Check out the local markets, bars and restaurants, visit the National Museum of Kenya, or get up close to wonderful wildlife at the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Centre.
Day 16: Nairobi to Maasai Mara Reserve. Leave Nairobi early and travel through the Great Rift Valley to the majestic Maasai Mara National Reserve, enjoying incredible views on the way. Set up camp at the edge of the reserve and enjoy an evening round the campfire with the gang.
Day 17: Maasai Mara Reserve. Spend today exploring this wonderful park on safari. Plunge through tree lined paths and broad, shimmering plains in search of the big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard). Another incredible glimpse of Africa’s stunning wildlife.
Day 18: Maasai Mara Reserve to Nairobi. Head back to Nairobi where you’ll spend the night.
Day 19: Nairobi to Arusha (Tanzania). Cross the Tanzanian border and head to Arusha, the capital of safari in Tanzania. Time permitting, you’ll take a walk to a nearby Maasai village and learn about the local way of life here. Then, it’s time to prepare for your awesome excursion to the Serengeti.
Day 20: Arusha to Serengeti National Park. Drive to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area where you’ll circle the rim before heading onto the Serengeti plains where you’ll enjoy an unforgettable game drive before setting up on our unfenced campsite.
Day 21: Ngorongoro Crater. Journey out of the plains and climb the outer wall of the Ngorgongoro Crater, Africa’s largest intact caldera. We’ll camp on the rim of the crater tonight, and watch the sky fill with a sea of stars. You’re living in the incredible African outdoors!
Day 22: Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha. Descend the steep slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater on an incredible morning game drive. Then head back towards Arusha and camp at Meserani Snake Park.
We may enjoy the Maasai walk on this day if we were unable to make this on Day 19.
Day 23: Arusha to Bagamoyo. Wake up early and travel south to Bagamoyo. In the distance, if the skies are clear, you may just see the glimmering peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Make camp near the gorgeous beaches that look out over the Indian Ocean.
Day 24: Bagamoyo to Dar es Salaam. Head south to ‘Dar’. We’ll camp on the beach just outside the city where you can bask in the warm Indian Ocean breeze, and get ready for your amazing trip to Zanzibar!
Days 25 - 27: Zanzibar Island. Hop across to the idyllic spice island of Zanzibar by ferry. We’ll spend one night in Stone Town and two nights on the beach in the north of the island. Spend your time browsing the bazaars, visiting spice plantations, or relaxing on white sand beaches.
Day 28: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam. Enjoy a final few hours on Zanzibar before catching the ferry back to the mainland. Make camp on the coast and prepare for the next leg of your adventure!
Day 29: Dar es Salaam to Mikumi National Park. Drive inland to your campsite near the Makumi National Park. Enjoy some sundowners and spend the evening star-gazing as you gather around the campfire. If time permits, you may be able to go on an optional game drive in the afternoon.
Day 30: Mikumi to Iringa. We’re headed to a remote and rural farm house today that provides organic meat and vegetables to the surrounding markets. Relax with a shower then sip on hot chocolate and indulge in some chocolate brownies at the farm’s quaint candlelit bar.
Day 31: Iringa to Chitimba Beach (Malawi). Travel through amazing mountain passes, banana and tea plantations and lush scenery to the Songwe border post, where you’ll cross over into Malawi and spend the night in Chitimba Beach on Lake Malawi.
Day 32: Chitimba Beach. Enjoy a free day on the lake, swimming, relaxing on the beach or just exploring this beautiful area. You could also hike to Livinstonia, a small village some 1,500m above the lake on the Nyika Plateau.
Day 33: Chitimba Beach to Kande Beach. After a relaxing morning, take a scenic drive to Mzuzu, where you’ll stop for some supplies before continuing on to Kande Beach on the shores of Lake Malawi.
Day 34: Kande Beach. Enjoy a free day on the lake, where you can try some exciting water sports such as diving, snorkelling or surfing, take a horseback ride, or just kick back and make the most of the warm waters of the lake.
Day 35: Kande Beach to Chipata (Zambia). Cross the border into Zambia and arrive at the town of Chipata (formally known as Fort Jameson). Relax and spend another night under the stars in your out-of-town campsite.
Day 36: Chipata to Lusaka. An early start along the Great Eastern Road through lush scenery and through small villages takes you to Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. We’ll camp in a peaceful and relaxing farm setting outside the city.
Day 37: Lusaka to Livingstone. Your destination today is the town of Livingstone, close to Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River where you’ll camp on the banks for a couple of days.
Days 38 - 40: Livingstone and Victoria Falls. Spend the next two days exploring the Victoria Falls area. Pop into Zimbabwe, and try some adrenaline activities from rafting to bungee jumping, try some volunteer projects, join a game drive or fishing excursion, or just relax by the pool.
Day 41: Livingstone to Kasane (Botswana). Cross into Botswana today and travel towards Chobe National Park. Enjoy a unique ‘Fish Eagle’ cruise on the Chobe River and watch hippos basking, buffalo drinking or elephants splashing in the water.
Day 42: Chobe National Park and Nata. Join a morning game drive through Chobe National Park in an open vehicle game drive, and spot elephant, lion and antelope. Then travel to Nata, arriving at the Elephant Sands Lodge in the late afternoon where you can see wild elephants up close!
Day 43: Nata to Maun. Head to Maun today, gateway to the Okavango Delta. Time permitting today, you may have the option to take a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta region.
Day 44: Okavango Delta. Head into the Okavango Delta in an open 4x4 truck today, and meet the Tswana Polers at the mokoro (dugout canoe) station. They’ll take you on a guided canoe tour searching for wildlife such as hippo, crocodile and birds. Spend a night camping in the wetlands.
Day 45: Okavango Delta to Maun. Cruise back to the polers’ station by mokoro and arrive back in Maun by midday. Enjoy a free afternoon trying exciting optional activities or relaxing on the campsite.
Day 46: Maun to Omaheke Region (Namibia). Journey via Ghanzi to our campsite in the Omaheke Region of Gobabis. Take a guided bush walk led by local San people and learn all about their way of life. Tonight, immerse yourself in the ancient dance rituals of the San around the campfire.
Due to a long travel day and a border crossing into Namibia, the San bushman walk may move to the morning of day 47.
Day 47: Omaheke Region to Windhoek. Head to Windhoek today. With beautiful colonial architecture, cultural sights and an urban buzz, it’s a brilliant stop for the night. Enjoy an evening on the town, sampling some local food or making the most of the city nightlife.
Day 48: Windhoek to Etosha National Park. Leave Windhoek behind and venture into the wilds of Namibia. Your destination is beautiful Etosha National Park, home to 100 species of animal including lions, elephants, giraffes and zebra. Enjoy a short afternoon game drive on arrival.
Day 49: Etosha National Park. Take a full day game driving, spotting magnificent birds of prey and looking out for Africa’s most charismatic mammal species. This evening, observe animals after dark at the floodlit watering holes by the camp.
Day 50: Etosha National Park to Spitzkoppe. Plunge south to the delightful Damaraland region, stopping off at Spitzkoppe to admire the ancient bushman paintings. Spend the night on a community owned campsite at the base of the mountain.
Day 51: Spitzoppe to Swakopmund. Travel on to Swakopmund. Spend the evening by the sea, enjoying the cool Atlantic sea breeze and toasting your African adventure with your travelling mates.
Day 52: Swakopmund. You’ve got a free day to enjoy Swakopmund today. Get involved with optional adventure activities such as quad biking and skydiving, or wander the city’s galleries and museums.
Day 53: Swakopmund to Khomas Region. Traverse the Tropic of Capricorn and make your way to our epic desert campsite in Namibia’s Khomas region.
Day 54: Khomas Region to Sesriem. Wake up early to climb the famous Dune 45 and enjoy breathtaking views of the Namib’s orange and yellow sands. Then trek between towering sand dunes, and stop at the spectacular Sesriem Canyon before continuing on to our camp.
Day 55: Sesriem to Fish River Canyon. Travel south through rugged landscapes to the world’s second largest canyon, Fish River Canyon. Explore the epic scenery and set up camp for the night with the gang after an amazing day.
Day 56: Fish River Canyon to Orange River. Head to the South African border and make camp on the Namibian side on the banks of the gorgeous Orange River. Spend the afternoon swimming in the river, chilling on the bank or take part in an optional canoe safari.
Day 57: Orange River to Cederberg Region (South Africa). Cross the border into South Africa. Drive past the wildflowers of Namaqualand and camp by the Olifants River, where you can sample some local South African wines (extra cost) in a picturesque location.
Day 58: Cederberg Region to Cape Town. Drive through Citrusdal, with its fruit trees and epic views, and arrive into Cape Town, where your tour ends. Why not spend a few days here, and make the most of this incredible city?
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Most expensive: £975 July, 2023
The tour begins in Nairobi, Kenya, on day 1. As the tour departs Nairobi very early on day 1, you will need to book an extra night of accommodation before the tour begins (extra cost). The tour will have a compulsory pre-departure meeting at 6pm the evening before departure which it is essential you attend.
Airport transfers are not included but are easy to arrange. The tour ends in Cape Town, South Africa, on day 58. In case of delays we strongly advise all customers to book an extra night of accommodation after their tour ends and fly out the following day as we cannot guarantee an exact time you will arrive into Cape Town.
49 nights camping in 2-person dome tents, 3 night in twin share pre-erected en suite tents, 2 nights dorm room, 3 nights tourist class hotel are included. 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.
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.
Our suggested pre- and post-tour accommodation is Hotel Boulevard in Nairobi. This centrally located hotel can be found on the banks of the Nairobi River near Harry Thuku Road and the Nairobi Museum. Set in manicured gardens with an outdoor swimming pool, bar and free WiFi, it’s a great place to kick off your trip.
57 breakfasts, 45 lunches and 45 dinners are included on this tour. 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! 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 designed for travellers aged 18-39. This trip requires you to show evidence that you have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 (final dose administered a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of the trip).
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. Visas should be arranged with the relevant embassy before you 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.
Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for the most up to date visa information.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.