Johannesburg to Zanzibar

Marvel at the crashing white water of Victoria Falls, the unique, sprawling Okavango Delta and the tranquillity of the natural waterholes in the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Then travel through Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania towards Zanzibar, East Africa’s famed Spice Island. From verdant national parks and remote highland villages, to savannas stretching towards the horizon and roaming herds of elephants, Africa never fails to delight, inspire and move. Come face-to-face with wild animals, explore landscapes rich in natural beauty and meet some of the friendliest people you’ve ever come across on this memorable journey across Africa’s south to the eastern plains.

Destination: Namibia

Travel Dates: From 06/12/2019 to 25/12/2020

Duration: 29 days

Company: Intrepid

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Inclusions

  • Support local conservation by visiting the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the only place left in Botswana where both black and white rhinos reside
    Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you’ll never forget
  • As night falls, the sounds of the African bush are like nothing else
    Go wildlife-spotting along the river at Chobe National Park, home of the world's highest concentration of African elephants
    Experience the rumble and roar of Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side, which gives you the broadest view
    Discover the magic of South Luangwa National Park, a highly concentrated arena of noble beasts and exotic wildflowers, on a dawn game drive
    Chill out on the northern beaches of Zanzibar enjoying white sand and sparkling blue sea of the Indian Ocean
    Breakfasts Included: 28
    Lunches Included: 16
    Dinners Included: 21
    Camping (with facilities) (21 nights),Bungalow (2 nights),Hotel (2 nights),Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights)
    Overland vehicle,4x4 Safari Vehicle,Mokoro,Ferry,Minibus
    Age: min 15
    Group Size: 1 - 22
    Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
    Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
    Okavango Delta - Sunrise Walk
    Nata - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
    Chobe National Park - River Cruise
    Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
    Masvingo - Great Zimbabwe Ruins guided visit
    South Luangwa National Park - 4x4 Dawn Game Drive

Day 1: Johannesburg
Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting. If you arrive early, get out and explore Johannesburg, a city of remarkable contrasts. Perhaps visit the culturally rich areas of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng. The eye-opening Apartheid Museum is well worth your time. Notes: Please make sure that if you explore Johannesburg on your own that you get local advice as to where it is safe to walk, especially in the evening. The level of crime here may be higher than what you are used to.

Day 2: Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Leaving South Africa behind, cross the border into Botswana and travel toward the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 8–10 hours). Situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a conversion of a former hunting area into a conservation project. Built to protect Botswana's only remaining populations of both black and white rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to other wildlife including zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, all of which can be seen around the many natural waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities and contributes to the protection of the highly endangered white rhinoceros. Later, head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are at their most active. At your camp there will be the option to upgrade to a room for an additional cost (subject to availability).

Day 3: Maun
Jump aboard the truck and head to Maun (approximately 8–9 hours). Here there will be an opportunity to stock up on any supplies you might need for the journey ahead. Maun is the gateway to one of the world's most renowned and complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. This place is unlike anything in the world – a 16,000 square kilometre maze of wetlands made up of meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. You might see hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats. But it's not the animals that are the main attraction – it's the incrediblly diverse ecosystem and atmospheric waterscapes. Tonight you'll stay on the outskirts of Maun at a simple campsite with shared facilities, WiFi and optional upgrades.

Day 4: Okavango Delta
Traverse the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'. With some luck, you might spot some of the delta's unusual wildlife and exotic birdlife. Spend time exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot, led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Tonight you will camp on a remote island in the heart of the wilderness. In this far-out spot, facilities are non-existent, so you will dig a bush toilet and go without a shower. It's all part of the Okavango experience. At night, fall asleep to the humming and buzzing of the African wilderness.

Day 5: Okavango Delta
Wake up early and venture out for a sunrise walk. Along the way, keep watch for some elephants. You might also come across some Cape buffalo, if the timing is right. These rather noble-looking creatures are more dangerous than they look, and their horns make for a kind of bone shield that's fittingly known as a 'boss'. Returning to camp for breakfast, take the rest of the day to relax. A refreshing swim, or perhaps a nap, is a good idea in the warmer part of the day. Alternatively, take another mokoro trip to soak up more of that delightful river atmosphere.

Day 6: Maun
After taking down your camp, take the mokoro back to the poling station and then travel once again to Maun (approximately 2–3 hours). Today you'll visit a rural village and interact with some of the locals. This will give you an insight into daily life on the Okavango Delta and perhaps some background history on these awesome sprawling waterways that are the lifeblood of many. Tonight you will camp on the outskirts of Maun at a simple campsite which has shared facilities. WiFi and optional upgrades are available.

Day 7: Nata
Get up early and hit the road for Nata (approximately 6–7 hours). This small town is situated just near the stunning Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, which are some of the largest salt flats on earth, covering some 12,000 square kilometres. This afternoon you will have the opportunity to explore the pans in an open vehicle. The pans are naturally dry and salty for a large part of the year. During this time the arid landscape has an eerie feel to it as heat mirages disorientate the senses. At other times they take on a layer of grass, and as soon as the rains hit they become a refuge for migratory birds and animals. Your campsite tonight is situated on the edge of the pans. It has a restaurant, swimming pool, gift shop, ATM and bar/lounge area. Upgrades are also offered.

Day 8: Chobe National Park
Hit the road for Chobe National Park (approximately 6–7 hours). Botswana's first national park is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River, a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Your camp tonight has WiFi access and optional upgrades. It's also close to a supermarket, so you can stock up on supplies while you're here.

Day 9: Victoria Falls
Perhaps wake up early and see the Chobe National park from a different perspective, on an optional morning game drive. Travel on to Victoria Falls today (approximately 2–3 hours). You will cross the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi. Then it's free time to experience the sight and sound of the mighty falls. This thundering curtain of water is about a mile wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 metres and the falls become an impressive raging torrent. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and you can see little islets in the river below. Your campsite tonight has WiFi, an ATM and optional upgrades. Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. It is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles. Victoria Falls entrance fee is not included in the price of the trip as it is mandatory for tour groups with pre-purchased tickets to have a local guide escort. We feel that seeing these waterfalls for the first time should be an uninterrupted sensory experience.

Day 10: Victoria Falls
Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities on offer. If you are interested in the optional helicopter flight ( 12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we endorse the following operator only: Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe. Your leader can help you arrange this.

Day 11: Victoria Falls
Today is another free day to enjoy the many activities on offer or, alternatively, perhaps visit the falls again with some of the new group members who have joined you for the next part of the journey.

Day 12: Bulawayo
Depart Victoria Falls and travel toward Bulawayo (approximately 7 hours) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, one of The Intrepid Foundation projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and the trusts role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.  Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, has an interesting history and some impeccable colonial architecture. You will have the late afternoon free to explore, so take the opportunity to visit local shops and chat with locals. In Bulawayo you will stay in a campground with shared facilities and Wi-Fi. Upgrades are also available (subject to availability).

Day 13: Bulawayo
Perhaps get up early and take the option to go to Matobo National Park. Home to a significant population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place. This optional activity is highly recommended, however for those on a budget perhaps head into town to check out the local museums or take the opportunity for some down time.

Day 14: Masvingo
Drive the short stretch to Masvingo (approximately 5–6 hours). This colonial settlement – the oldest in Zimbabwe – makes for the perfect base from which to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. The ruined city, now a World Heritage site, was first constructed in the 11th century. It's thought to be the former royal palace of the Zimbabwean monarch. Spend a few hours exploring this intriguing site before heading off to camp. Your campground in Masvingo has shared facilities, and upgrades and Wi-Fi are available.

Day 15: Harare
Travel to Harare today (approximately 5–6 hours). You will arrive at your destination in time for lunch. You only have an hour or two to explore Zimbabwe's capital city, so if you're feeling active and up for a stroll, get out and make the most of it. Perhaps head to the National Gallery, the museum, the botanical gardens or simply wander the city centre and visit the colourful markets. Accomodation upgrades are offered at your camp (subject to availability).

Day 16: Lusaka
Today you will cross into Zambia and drive to your campsite just outside Lusaka, Zambia's capital (approximately 8 hours). Your journey begins with a nice scenic drive to the border. At some point during the day there will be an opportunity to stop at an ATM and stock up on any supplies you might need at a shop or market. Your camp has shared facilities, and upgrades are available.

Day 17: Petauke
Spend some time checking out one of the fastest-developing cities in southern Africa. You'll see that it's a modern city but still retains a traditional African feel, with its busy markets and friendly people. Afterwards, travel on to Petauke (approximately 8 hours). The camp tonight has facilities, Wi-Fi and upgrades (availability dependent).

Day 18: South Luangwa National Park
Make your way through the heartland to South Luangwa National Park (approximately 6 hours). The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River and its lagoons is among the highest in Africa. Many elephants, buffaloes, leopards, Thornicroft’s giraffes and lions are known to roam here. There are also some 400 species of birds inhabiting the area. A great way to experience South Luangwa and its beautiful scenery is to take an optional river trip – ask your leader for more details. Your camp tonight has basic facilities.

Day 19: South Luangwa National Park
Rise early for an exhilarating morning game drive in a 4WD vehicle. Enjoy classic savannah scenery while keeping your eyes peeled the parks abundance of wildlife. There’s every chance you may spot a herd of zebra grazing on parched grass or a pride of lions passing by. Midday is the hottest part of the day here, so seek refuge from the sun and return to the camp for lunch. Afterwards, perhaps head out on a village walk for a snapshot of daily life in the local community. An optional game drive at night is also a good option.

Day 20: Lake Malawi
Cross the border into Malawi, and continue straight to your camp on the shore of Lake Malawi (approximately 9–10 hours). Malawi is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, fish traders and canoe and net makers all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is that of a fisherman in a bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day. Your campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of the lake. Upgrades are offered here, but there is no Wi-Fi available.

Day 21: Lake Malawi
Enjoy free time to soak up your idyllic surrounds. If you're feeling active, your leader can recommend some thrilling water-based activities. Otherwise, enjoy the opportunity to chill out on the beach or perhaps get to know some local Malawians.

Day 22: Chitimba
Drive to your camp in Chitimba (approximately 8 hours). Chitimba lies along the coast of Lake Malawi and has lovely beaches, friendly locals and a laid-back atmosphere. When you arrive, perhaps take a stroll and acquaint yourself with this different part of the lake. Enjoy the scenery of banana palms, papaya trees and the Livingstonia and Nyika mountains looming nearby. Camp facilities, Wi-Fi and upgrades are available here.

Day 23: Iringa
Today is a long travel day into Tanzania and its southern highlands (approximately 9–10 hours). Sit back, relax and watch as the countryside passes by. On arrival you will set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse situated on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement. Camp facilities, Wi-Fi and upgrades are available.

Day 24: Mikumi National Park
Set out on a short drive to the edge of Mikumi National Park. Situated at the foot of the thickly wooded Uluguru Mountains, Mikumi is Tanzania's fourth largest national park and an important educational and research centre. It’s grassy plains host elephants, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, giraffes and lions among other wildlife. You’re almost guaranteed to see a number of these incredible creatures on an optional afternoon 4WD game drive. Also notice the baobabs, unusual trees with exceptionally thick trunks commonly referred to as the 'Tree of Life' for its many useful properties.

Day 25: Dar es Salaam
Settle in for a seven-hour drive to Kipepeo Beach, just south of Dar es Salaam. Your camp today is on the grounds of a hotel situated next to the beach. Upgrades are usually possible (subject to availability).

Day 26: Stone Town
Catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar. Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar has a history encompassing everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast evokes what the island must have been like in Livingstone's day. The old part of Zanzibar's main city is known as Stone Town. The best way to see this exotic port town is on foot, exploring the markets, shops, mosques, palaces and courtyards. When the sun is setting, perhaps enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront, and a seafood curry at a local restaurant. Spend a night in Stone Town at a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms and access to WiFi.

Day 27: Zanzibar Northern Beaches
Check out of your Stone Town hotel and either drive to the spice plantations for your optional guided tour, or head directly to the perfect northern beaches. On the spice plantations guided tour you can learn all about the history of this town's renowned spice trade. You will also have the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger. Sample some teas made with these spices too. After lunch here you will head to the northern beaches, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await, and reunite with your group. This is the Indian Ocean at its best.

Day 28: Zanzibar Northern Beaches
Enjoy free time in this beautiful archipelago today. There are many ways you can spend your day – perhaps talk to your leader for any recommendations they might have. Snorkelling in search of exotic fish is an excellent option. You might also like to feast on a sumptuous lunch of grilled local seafood, or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.

Day 29: Stone Town
After checking out this morning, you will make your way back to Stone Town, arriving at the hotel around 11am. Your trip comes to an end here.  From here the easiest option is to fly out of Zanzibar Airport. However, if you have arranged to fly out of Dar es Salaam Airport ferries depart Zanzibar at 7.30 am, 9.30 am, 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm. It's important to allow enough time to get back to the mainland if you need to catch your departing flight from Dar es Salaam. Speak to your leader about the best way to do this.

Terms and conditions

  • The following product terms and conditions apply in addition to our Booking Terms and Conditions (available on our website) and terms and conditions of the relevant travel service provider.
  • Prices quoted valid for sale until 22 October 2019 for travel during the period specified (if applicable) unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
  • All prices are per person (unless otherwise stated), subject to availability and may be withdrawn or varied without notice. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
  • Advertised price includes bonus nights and/or stated saving (if applicable).
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  • Airfare (including internal flights) is not included unless otherwise stated and, if included, is economy class unless otherwise stated.
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  • Gratuities are not included unless otherwise stated.
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