Duration & Fees
Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)
2017 Start Dates:
18 Jan | 15 Feb | 15 Mar | 12 Apr | 10 May | 7 Jun | 21 Jun | 5 Jul | 19 Jul | 2 Aug | 30 Aug | 27 Sep | 25 Oct | 22 Nov | 20 Dec
Please note a portion of this trip may coincide with a family departure (6 years and over)
£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure
- Airport transfer on arrival
- Pre-trip night dorm room accommodation
- Fully equipped expedition vehicle
- Cooking and camping equipment (sleeping bags/matts not provided)
- Meals as indicated
- Park fees and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
- Pre-departure pack and support and advice from Amanzi Travel staff and trip leaders
What's not included
- Travel insurance
- Airport Departure Taxes
- Departure Transfer
- Optional excursions
- Restaurant meals and drinks
- Sleeping Bag and Pillow
- Personal items
Start and finish points: Johannesburg, South Africa to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Countries visited: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania
Departure Point Johannesburg: Mufasa Backpackers, 21 Fourth Road, Cloverdene, Benoni, Johannesburg
Check-in time: 7.00 am (departure 7.30 am)
Pre-Departure Meeting: 5.00 pm the day before at the departure point
Passengers are recommended to arrive the day before their trip departs. Airport pick up on arrival and one night's pre-trip accommodation in a dorm bed is included in the trip fee. The trip departs from Johannesbury early on Wednesday morning. Anyone wishing to explore Johannesburg should arrive in time to allow for this activity.
Kruger National Park and Night Game Drive; Blyde River Canyon; Great Zimbabwe Ruins; Matobo National Park; Hwange National Park; Entrance to Victoria Falls; Lake Malawi; Dar es Salaam; Zanzibar Ferry; Chobe National Park; Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile Excursion; South Luangwa National Park.
With nine different provinces, eleven official languages and three capital cities, South Africa will most definitely make everyone stop in their tracks - WOW!
DAY 1: Johannesburg to Nkambeni Camp (Lunch / Dinner)
Leaving Johannesburg the trip heads towards the Lowveld and the famous Kruger National Park passing through the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route – famous for its breathtaking vistas on the way. Camp for the next two nights is just a short drive from the Kruger National Park where there are some interesting local residents including hippo, giraffe, zebra and impala. A relaxing evening is spent around the camp fire before the game drive tomorrow.
Included Activity: Night Game Drive
DAY 2: Nkambeni Camp (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Today sees an exploration of the amazing Kruger National Park. Covering over 19,485 km2 - 60 km wide and over 350 km long this conservation area has more than 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian and 49 fish species. Twenty-three thousand different types of plants have been recorded. The day is spent driving around the park looking for a few of these and there is the option of doing a night drive looking for a few of the nocturnal inhabitants or upgrading to a small vehicle for the game drive at an additional cost.
Included Activity: Game Drives in Tour Vehicle in Kruger National Park (Nkambeni Camp within the Park)
DAY 3: Nkambeni Camp to Polokwane (B / L / D)
To-day the Lowveld is left behind before heading on the long scenic drive to Polokwane, along the way stopping off at some of the best scenery in South Africa including the ever striking Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window. The many viewpoints of the Canyon afford excellent photo opportunities. Polokwane, capital of Limpopo, is the largest metropolitan complex in the north and a major economic centre. Its proximity to the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, as well as its convenient distance from the Kruger National Park and Magoebaskloof makes it a perfect gateway and good destination in itself. Tents will be set up on the lush green grass of the camp before enjoying a dip in the lovely swimming pool.
Included Activity: Blyde River Canyon
DAY 4: Polokwane to Musina (B / L / D)
After a quick replenishing of stocks the journey to Zimbabwe begins - a long, relaxing drive where passengers get to sit back and enjoy the ever changing scenery. Tonight camp will be in one of the hottest towns in South Africa, Musina, at the hot water spring resort of Tshipise. Situated between the rolling hills, the resort is well known for its natural hot water springs and once camp has been set up everyone will be free to enjoy the pools, walking trails or various other activities on offer.
This land-locked country is situated in the southern part of Africa, between the mighty Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers. The word Zimbabwe is believed to have two meanings: 1) it is believed the word Zimbabwe is derived from dzimba-dza-mabwe, which means "large house of stone" in the Shona (Karanga Dialect) language. 2) it is also believed to be derived from the word dzimba-hwe which means "venerated houses" in the Zezuru dialect of Shona.
DAY 5: Musina to Masvingo (Zimbabwe) (B / L / D)
Today Zimbabwe is entered - a beautiful country rich in soul, culture and tradition - arriving at the town of Masvingo - on the outskirts of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. This was the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa, built by an ancient highly skilled civilization. The name Zimbabwe is derived from this ancient city and means “great stone houses” in Shona. The most notable artefacts found at the ruins were the 8 Statues of stone birds carved out of soapstone. There will be time to wander around these amazing ruins, before setting up camp.
Included Activity: Great Zimbabwe Ruins
DAYS 6: Masvingo to Bulawayo (B / L / D)
Leaving Masvingo, the group will head to Bulawayo - Zimbabwe’s second largest city which is noted for its exceptionally wide streets, which were originally designed to accommodate a full span ox wagon. The city also still retains much of its British Colonial character, evident by the many buildings maintained as heritage sites by the Bulawayo City Council. Interesting places to visit are the Natural History Museum, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, which employs over 70 people.
DAY 7: Bulawayo (B / L / D)
Today Matobo National Park is visited, one of the last strongholds of both the black and the white rhino. This park is also well known for its high concentration of the elusive leopard and majestic black eagle. Rock paintings are to be found too, providing evidence of the ancient San inhabitants of this area. Cecil John Rhodes (after whom Rhodesia was named) asked to be buried at the top of one of the sacred hills, (although there is some controversy over whether he will stay!) The day will be spent exploring this unique geological, ecological and historic area.
Included Activity: Visit to Matobo National Park
DAY 8: Bulawayo to Hwange National Park B / L / D)
Today the tour will continue north-west to Zimbabwe's oldest and largest reserve - the Hwange National Park which is well known for its abundance and variety of wildlife species including thousands of elephant and rare antelope species such as the Sable and Roan Antelope. A game drive will be enjoyed (either late afternoon or early morning) to explore the wilderness in search of these and the other resident wildlife species.
Day 9: Hwange National Park
To-day will be a full day in the Hwange area to take part in a game drive through the Park in the hope of spotting as many animals as possible.
Included Activity: Game Drive in Hwange National Park
With so many exciting areas to explore within this beautiful country with its enjoyable weather, it makes it difficult to know where to begin. The adventure activities in the town of Victoria Falls along with the Falls themselves are an absolute must. Hwange National Park offers spectacular game viewing, while the Great Zimbabwe Ruins offer a chapter out of Zimbabwe’s history.
DAY 9: Hwange to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (B / L)
Leaving Bulawayo the group will head to Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage site and Water Falls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park. The campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of the town and within walking distance of the entry point to view the Falls, which lie between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and was was named by David Livingstone on his explorations. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! The Falls can be viewed from the Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia. Each offers fantastic photo opportunities. After the adventure activities briefing (see price guide in "Extra Information" for options) the afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!
Included Activity: Entrance to Victoria Falls
DAYS 11 - 12: Victoria Falls (B on both days)
The next two days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. Some fellow passengers will leave the tour at Victoria Falls to be replaced by new passengers joining for the next leg of the tour. Victoria Falls is one of the most memorable sights on this African safari.
Optional Activities include elephant back safaris, horseback safaris, walking with lions, a visit to a crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at the Elephant Hills Resort. Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity for the faint-hearted. All year round, flights can be taken in fixed wing planes, micro lights or helicopters. Back on the ground, the falls can be seen from the Victoria Falls National Park with its many viewing points or from the Zambian side. All offer fantastic photographic opportunities. White water rafting in the Batoka Gorge is considered to be world class. Besides the excitement of the grade 5 rapids, there are the "floats", where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.
The size of this successful country can be compared to countries such as Kenya or France, but fairly smaller than Texas. Botswana is a land-locked country with borders with South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which can all be crossed overland. For such a small country it boasts an array of spectacular game viewing opportunities such as hundreds of elephants splashing in the Chobe River and the Okavango Delta and its maze of lagoons.
DAY 13: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park, Botswana (B / L / D)
Today the group will leave Zimbabwe and cross tthe border into Botswana. Once border formalities have been completed the group will continue to the town of Kasane, situated on the banks of the Chobe River which forms a border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia and is the main water source to the Chobe National Park. After lunch there will be time to relax and in the afternoon the group will leave for the Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion - an overnight experience in the wilds of the Chobe National Park. Chobe is one of Botswana's premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds. The afternoon will be spent in search of wildlife while game driving to the camp within the park, where the evening will be spent surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife. It may be possible to see the rare Sable and Roan Antelope on the game drive, with their majestic backward slanting horns, or try to keep a count of the Lilac Breasted Rollers that swoop by. After the night in the bush the group will head out early to continue the search for wildlife before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane.
Included Activity: Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile Excursion
Prosperous during the copper boom in the 60s, Zambia was able to build infrastructure at the main mining and farming communities. After the fall of the copper industry, the country was left virtually bankrupt and existing infrastructure was left to fall to ruin. Due to foreign investment and a rise in the mining industry, Zambia is today once again starting to prosper. The difference is evident in the cities with the availability of foreign stores, banks and imported cars, while the villages and smaller towns are still to catch up.
Day 14: Chobe National Park to Livingstone (Zambia) (Brunch/ D)
On returning to the camp at Kasane the group will get back on the truck and continue to the town of Livingstone where there is the opportunity to view The Falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia. Another fantastic photo opportunity. The day affords the opportunity to participate in the activities available in Zambia and this evening there is the option of enjoying a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi.
Optional Activity: Zambezi Sunset Boat Cruise
DAY 15: Livingstone to Eastern Zambia (B / L / D)
An early morning start sees the group head north through southern Zambia passing through a few of the villages and towns of Zambia along the way. Prosperous during the copper boom in the 60s Zambia was able to build infrastructure at the main mining and farming communities. After the fall of the copper industry, the country was left virtually bankrupt and existing infrastructure was left to fall to ruin. Due to foreign investment and a rise in the mining industry, Zambia is once again to-day starting to prosper. The difference is evident in the cities with the availability of foreign stores, banks and imported cars, while the villages and smaller towns are still to catch up. The campsite is home to some local wildlife including the largest antelope – Eland.
DAY 16: Eastern Zambia to South Luangwa National Park (B / L / D)
This breath-taking park is situated on the Luangwa River in the Eastern part of Zambia, and it is the southernmost of the three national parks in the region. South Luangwa was founded in 1938 as a game reserve and in 1972 was declared a national park. To-day it covers over 9000 kilometres squared. Animals such as giraffe, buffalo and elephant can be found in abundance. The Luangwa River is home to many a hippo or croc.
Included Activity: Game Drive through Luangwa National Park
Day 17: South Luangwa to Chipata (B / L / D)
From Luangwa the group will head north-east on the old 'East Road' to a beautiful little campsite located just 10 km before the Zambia/Malawi border. In olden days the route from Cairo to Cape Town passed through Lusaka and it is along this route to Malawi that the group will travel to-day. Although most of the day will be spent driving the impressive Luangwa River Bridge will be crossed which is heavily guarded due to its close proximity to the Zimbabwean and Malawian borders. There will be a stop to purchase fresh produce and coal from the local sellers along the way.
A variety of attractions can be found in this exquisite country such as forests, mountains and many rural villages, but there is one major attraction - Lake Malawi. There are many small rustic resorts along this fresh water lake where you can kick back on the sand, and enjoy a perfect sunset over this lake. Malawi offers the perfect sub-tropical climate, allowing plenty of time to soak up the sun and work on a tan! Lilongwe is the largest city in Malawi, as well as being the capital city. The country plays host to more than 12 million people, with English and Chichewa being the main languages.
DAYS 18 - 20: Chipata to Lake Malawi Beaches (Malawi) (B / L / D)
Leaving Zambia the group will cross into Malawi, the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ and stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre. Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. The first camp will be at the central lake and then in the northern area, over the next three days. The days can be spent learning the game of bao from the locals, scouring the markets for a bargain or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches. Malawi’s temperate climate allows for swimming in the clear blue fresh-water lake all year round. Explore the beautiful shore and see the local fishermen sorting their catch. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced and to appreciate their boating skills, try to paddle a dug out canoe yourself! At night it is possible to see the "fairy lights" of the fishermen out on the lake. The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi’s shores offer many optional excursions including a variety of water sports, horse back rides and a visit to the local village and school (see price guide in "Extra Information".
Optional Activities: Varied - however the village tour in Kande Beach is recommended. Anyone who can take pens, pencils, notepads etc with them on this tour for the villagers, will be extremely welcome!
Tanzania's natural environment and geographical features have made it one of the best tourist destinations in Africa. Being the largest country in East Africa, Tanzania has heaps to ofer her visitors, including 13 game reserves and national parks. Tanzania also forms part of the world's largest animal movement, the Great Migration. Inland are the vast Serengeti National Park and animal-packed Ngorongoro Conservation area and thousands of people each year fulfil their lifetime ambition of climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the highest mountain in Africa. One the coast, Zanzibar is an exotic island, intriguing and steeped in the unique Swahili culture.
DAY 21: Lake Malawi to Iringa (Tanzania) (B / L / D)
After a relaxing three days, it will be time to leave Malawi and enter Tanzania through the border post at Songwe. Taking in the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, the group will head towards Iringa to spend the night in the beautiful rustic ‘Farmhouse’ campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!
DAY 22: Iringa to Dar es Salaam (B / L / D)
The next morning travel will be to Dar es Salaam passing through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. To-day's drive time is extended due to the heavier amount of traffic heading in to the city, but the sights and sounds of Dar's vibrant outer suburbs are sure to keep everyone entertained. Look out for the colourful shop fronts with their sometimes humorous catch phrases. On arrival in Dar es Salaam, the lovely seaside campsite will be reached and preparations made for the departure to Zanzibar the next morning.
DAY 23: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (OPTIONAL) (B)
A ferry is taken from Dar es Salaam to the "Spice Island,” where there is the option to spend the next three nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join the tour to replace those that’ll leave at the end of the excursion to Zanzibar.
Included Activity: Zanzibar Ferry
Optional Activity: Zanzibar Excursion
Please note: Accommodation and meals are not provided whilst on Zanzibar, as experience has shown that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own and in accordance with their own budget. The Trip Leader is available and can arrange accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection orestaurants. There is also a wide variety of optional excursions on offer- see price details under "Extra Information".
For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar-es-Salaam. There are various optional excursions available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips. The driver and cook remain behind in Dar-es-Salaam during the excursion.
PLEASE NOTE: New legislation prohibits the taking of photographs during the Zanzibar ferry ride. Spot fines can be issued if legislation is not obeyed.
DAYS 24 - 25: Zanzibar
History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire for anyone who would like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover’s paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.
DAY 26: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam
Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, the group will return to the mainland arriving back in camp in the late afternoon or early evening. On arrival, addresses will be exchanged before parting ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!
Please note that this itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road and weather conditions. All local payments are subject to change with prior notice. Due to tourism laws in some countries visited there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.
Please note that part of this trip may coincide with a family departure where younger particpants may be booked (6 - 18 years).
Meals on tour Meals and menus vary as food is purchased en-route and is subject to what is available seasonally in the areas travelled through. As the aim is to support the local communities along the way, fresh produce is mainly purchased directly from the local grower and sometimes has an organic appearance. The safari cooks are able to offer a wide variety of menus with the ingredients available, even if the produce on offer is not the same as that at home. Breakfast spread consists of bread (toast when time permits), spreads and cereals with a hot breakfast every few days. Lunches are mainly prepared en-route with a supply of "build your own" sandwich ingredients available. Dinners are cooked in the evenings on arrival at the campsite and a wide array of dinner menus is on offer during the safari including curries, stews, pastas, BBQs and even roasts.
Transport on tour The overland vehicles are custom bult converted Mercedes Benz or MAN trucks that have seating space for all passengers and a storage area for luggage and all trip equipment. The trucks seat between 27 - 30 passengers on the camping trips. Most seats are forward facing, although some models have a combination of forward, backward and some inward facing seats with tables. Vehicles have sliding glass windows and the seating area is raised giving great game viewing and photographic opportunities. Seats are cushioned and there is storage space for personal items such as cameras, snacks and day packs in the seating area.
Participation on tour These are participation tours and all passengers are expected to help out around the camp. The crew members will set up a rota system and passengers will help with cleaning duties, cooking duties and so on. This makes it easier for everyone and is a good chance for the passengers to get to know each other.
Zimbabwe - From Mana Pools National Park to Victoria Falls
Why visit Zimbabwe?
The beautiful country of Zimbabwe offers something for everyone; from the absolute wilderness of Mana Pools National Park, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and the mountains overlooking Mozambique, to fine dining in Harare or bunjee jumping over Victoria Falls. It is rich in culture and colour and the Zimbabweans have not lost their humour and resolve.
Victoria Falls is one of the worlds’ biggest and most spectacular waterfalls, with a network of trails leading through the rain forest surrounding the “smoke that thunders”. Take an umbrella and raincoat and gaze at the incredible vistas of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Victoria Falls village is home to a seemingly endless variety of adventure sports from bungee jumping to canoeing and white-water rafting. Apart from its appeal to adventure enthusiasts the village still has a gracious, pioneering and colonial atmosphere.
Hwange Park is one of the finest conservation areas in Africa and is said to contain the widest variety and greatest density of wildlife in the world. Game viewing is generally restricted to the Hwange Park road network, but it has private concession areas allowing off-road safaris and nature walks. Mana Pools is an unspoiled, remote Park in the Zambezi Valley, a subtropical region, with the terrain and vegetation varied from the river up to the Zambezi Plateau. Walking is allowed (at visitor's own risk) and can be exhilarating and rewarding, if caution is taken.
Lake Kariba is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, with abundant game-sightings and excellent angling for bream and tiger fish. The Lake provides pleasure to locals and visitors alike with fishing, canoeing, sailing or drifting along on a houseboat. The Matopo Hills is an area of incredible beauty with a mythical history and a proud people, the Matebele. The Matobo Hills were so named because they looked like the bald heads of indunas (chiefs). The entire region is a complex of bizarre and exposed granitic formations. Once inhabited by the bushman, today one can find magnificent examples of rock art in and amongst the caves. The Matobo National Park is one of Zimbabwe's prime wildlife sanctuaries with a large population of white rhino, the elusive black rhino, a variety of antelope species, baboon, rock hyraxes and a large population of leopard and black eagle.
Highlights of Zimbabwe
- The magnificent Victoria Falls are classed as one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World.
- Zimbabwe is home to four World Heritage Sites - Victoria Falls, Mana Pools National Park, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and the Khame Ruins.
- Lake Kariba is one of the world's largest man-made lakes, with abundant game and excellent angling for bream and tiger fish.
- Magnificent national parks include Hwange, Mana Pools, Matusadona and Chizarira.
- Adventure activities abound and include canoeing on the lower Zambezi, kayaking and rafting on the upper Zambezi, and bungee jumping at Victoria Falls.
- For high adventure enthusiasts, white-water rafting is most exciting when the Zambezi waters are low (generally from August to December) and is often referred to as the best one-day white-water rafting in the world.
- Canoeing down the Lower Zambezi affords an ideal opportunity to get close to Africa's wildlife.
- Magnificent scenic areas in the Eastern Highlands Highlights of Zimbabwe.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer/wet (November - April)
|Winter/dry ( May - October)
|Rainfall: November – March
Zimbabwe offers excellent game-viewing opportunities throughout the year. Due to Zimbabwe’s high altitudes, it has a beautiful and moderate climate, where temperatures are never very extreme. It has warm summers, November to April, where days are generally sunny in the morning with possible dramatic afternoon/evening thunderstorms. Temperatures of 35°C in summer are considered boiling.
Winter occurs from May to October and days are sunny and cool to warm while evening temperatures drop sharply. Temperatures of 7°C in winter are considered freezing. The end of the cool, dry season, around September/October, is the top time for wildlife viewing.
The main rains fall between November and March, although the Eastern Highlands are damp for most of the year. The Victoria Falls are spectacular in April and May after the rainy season.
Population – 12.5 million
Capital - Harare
Currency – none. The Zimbabwean dollar was suspended by the government due to hyper-inflation. The US dollar, South African rand, Botswanan pula, pound sterling and Euro are used instead. The US dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions with the new power-sharing regime.
Language – English is the official language, with Shona and Ndebele being recognised regional languages
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 263, international access code 00
Zambia - Take A Working Holiday & Support Local Communities
Why visit Zambia?
For anyone out to experience the ‘real’ Africa, Zambia is that diamond in the rough. The country boasts some of Africa’s best game parks and shares (with Zimbabwe) some of the region’s major highlights, such as Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, Lower Zambezi National Park and South Luangwa National Park. South Luangwa National Park is one of the best parks in Africa for night game-drives. More than 60 mammal species and over 400 bird species are found in this Park, which is also renowned for thousands of hippo and crocodiles. Luangwa is the birthplace of the Walking Safari and there is no better way to explore this wilderness. Featuring leafy woodlands, slow-moving river channels and lily-bedecked lagoons, South Luangwa is renowned for the expertise of its guides. It is also excellent for spotting leopards and is home to about 15,000 elephants and the same number of hippo. The Thornicroft's giraffe and Cookson's wildebeest are unique to the region.
The mighty Zambezi River is tamed by the Lower Zambezi valley, becoming gentle as it spreads languidly across the Valley. Islands and floodplains create a densely vegetated habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, elephant in particular. This area is seasonal and many of the lodges and camps are closed from November to March. It is also an angler’s dream as fishermen try their luck on the mighty Zambezi, with the hopes of landing a tiger fish or rare, giant vundu. Avid birdwatchers also flock to Zambia to glimpse its fabulous diversity of birds.
Game viewing along the upper Zambezi River by canoe or cruise boat is rewarding and relaxing. Adrenaline junkies may want to experience the spectacular view while bouncing upside down from the end of a bungee cord off the Victoria Falls Bridge. Intrepid travellers will also be attracted by the white-water rafting excursions on the swirling waters of the Zambezi Gorge. Helicopter or micro-light trips over the Falls, game-drives in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, horse trails along the Zambezi River and a visit to Maramba Market are also available. Most activities are accessible from the quaint colonial outback frontier town of Livingstone.
Highlights of Zambia
- Renowned for its pristine National Parks, including Kafue, South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi.
- It is named after the mighty Zambezi River flowing along its southern border, which is fed by the Kafue and Luangwa tributaries.
- Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River are accessible from nearby Livingstone Town.
- Livingstone is home to numerous activities for adventure seekers, including bungee jumping, white-water rafting and abseiling down the gorge.
- It boasts one of the largest areas of land under the protection of national parks in Africa, featuring abundant wildlife.
- Canoeing, rafting and fishing safaris, upstream from the Falls on the Zambezi River, are possible, as are canoeing trips on the Lower Zambezi.
- Kafue National Park is about the size of Wales or Massachusetts, with exceptional bird watching.
- The country, shaped by three great rivers, is characterised by water, including a trio of massive lakes - Lake Tanganyika, Lake Kariba and Lake Bangweulu.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (November - April)
|Winter (May - October)
|Rainfall: April - May (Long rains) November - Mid December (short rains)
Zambia's elevation on a plateau gives it a moderate climate, despite the fact that it is within tropical latitudes, and the average monthly temperature remains above 20 °C most months.
There are three seasons:
- cool and dry from May to August, when temperatures drop at night but the landscape is green and lush;
- hot and dry from September to November, the best time to see wildlife as flora is sparse;
- warm and wet from December to April, ideal for bird-watching.
The Victoria Falls are spectacular in April and May after the rainy season.
Population – 12.9 million
Capital - Lusaka
Currency – Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Language – English is the official language, with Nyanja, Bemba, Lunda, Tonga, Lozi, Luvale and Kaonde being recognised regional languages.
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 260, international access code 00
Malawi With Amanzi Travel - Explore Africa
Why visit Malawi ?
Malawi, “the warm heart of Africa” is a landlocked country whose landscape is stunning and surprisingly diverse. Head for the misty heights of Mount Mulanje or to the Nyika National Park where one will find sheer escarpments, dramatic peaks, endless rolling grassland and some of the most enjoyable hiking routes in the whole of Africa.
However, the huge draw for most visitors is “the lake of stars”, Lake Malawi, a peaceful inland freshwater sea with sandy beaches. This magnificent lake stretches 500km along Malawi’s eastern border, covering over 20% of Malawi’s total area, separating it from the wild and mountainous coast of Mozambique and Tanzania. Isolated villages pepper the northern lakeshore and beautiful Liwonde National Park rests at its southern tip. Around 500 species of fish inhabit the lake and the freshwater diving and snorkelling here are excellent. Malawi’s temperate climate allows for swimming in the clear blue freshwater lake all year round. Also popular are a multitude of water sports, horse-back rides and visits to local villages and schools. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced and boating skills will be appreciated by anyone who tries to paddle a dug-out canoe themselves!
Highlights of Malawi
- Magnificent and peaceful clear blue freshwater lake with sandy beaches – the second largest in the world.
- Temperate climate for year round swimming.
- Stunning , varied scenery of mountains, lakes and endless rolling grasslands.
- Fabulous freshwater diving and snorkelling.
- Great fishing, with around 500 species of fish in the lake.
- Lilongwe is a small city distinctly divided into the old town and the new administrative centre.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (dry): May – mid-November
|Winter (wet): mid-November - April
|Rainfall: mid-November to April, with the peak rain late March
Although Malawi has an equatorial climate, it is generally hot in the low-lying areas of the south, and temperate in the northern highlands.
The best time to visit Malawi is during the dry season. From May to July the landscape is attractive and the vegetation is green and lush and the temperature is cooler. October and November, at the end of the dry season, is the best time for wildlife viewing, although temperatures can be uncomfortably hot. The wettest months are March and April where rainfall is heavy.
Population – 15 million
Capital – Lilongwe
Currency – Malawi Kwacha (MWK)
Language – English, Chichewa
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 265, international access code 101
Tanzania - Take a Gap Year or Holiday to Help Communities Grow
Why visit Tanzania
Tanzania is unsurpassed for its magnificent scenery: from the snow-capped heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, the "Crown of Africa", to the exquisite floor of the Ngorongoro Crater; the jewel-like coastal islands of Zanzibar to the awe-inspiring Great Rift Valley, the natural splendours set the stage for the astoundingly diverse wildlife. Within the space of several hours it is possible to go from lazing on idyllic beaches and diving on exquisite coral reefs to exploring the narrow alleys of Arabian influenced Stone Town, from climbing mist-covered slopes in the Southern Highlands to trekking through barren landscapes around Ol Doinyo Lengai, guided by spear-carrying Masai warriors. Turtle season is between December and May, and these prehistoric creatures can be seen laying their eggs on the beaches.
Yet, despite its attractions, Tanzania has predominantly managed to remain unassuming and low-key. It has also remained enviably untouched by the tribal rivalries and political upheavals, and this makes it an ideal choice for both first-time visitors and Africa old hands.
Tanzania's natural endowment as a wildlife safari destination is unrivalled. Wild animals roam in vast uncrowded and unspoilt areas. The magnificent collection of game sanctuaries to the north of the country, near the border with Kenya, is referred to as the Northern Circuit. This is the most popular and accessible wildlife safari route in Tanzania, and is considered as one of the finest game viewing areas anywhere in the world. Arusha, a city of northern Tanzania is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks. Beautifully situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley, it has a pleasant climate and is close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as having its own Arusha National Park on Mount Meru.
Highlights of Tanzania
- Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain.
- Bordered by Africa's three largest lakes - Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria.
- Zanzibar Island, exploring bustling Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, and idyllic beaches, snorkelling, and picturesque fishing villages on Mnemba Island.
- Ngorongoro Crater - the largest intact caldera in the world, where wildlife are specifically protected.
- Olduvai Gorge - said to be the birthplace of man.
- The 20-million-year-old Great Rift Valley.
- The vast game-filled plains of the Serengeti and hot air balloon safaris.
- The annual Great Migration of millions of herbivores is a once-in-a-lifetime experience can be viewed between Tanzania and Kenya.
- More than twenty-five percent of Tanzania is dedicated to conservation areas.
- Possible to view the elusive "Big 10" in Tanzania - elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hippo, zebra and giraffe - plus the famous chimpanzees on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
- Tanzania boasts over 1,000 bird species, with Lake Manyara National Park alone being home to over 400.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (November -May)
|Winter (June – October)
|Rainfall: March - May (Long Rains “Masika”), November - December (Short Rains “Vuli”)
Tanzania has a generally comfortable, tropical climate year-round, where temperatures rarely fall lower than 20°C. The coolest months countrywide are from June to October (15–20 °C), when it is also dry, and the warmest from December to March (25–31°C), although there are significant regional variations:-
- Along the warmer and humid coast, the average daily temperatures hover in the 30°C range, and only go as low as 25°C due to sea breezes from June to September. The climate here is determined in large part by the monsoon winds, which bring rains in two major periods. During the “masika” (long rains), from mid-March to May, it rains heavily almost every day, although seldom for the whole day, and the air can get unpleasantly sticky. The lighter “vuli” (short rains) fall during November, December and sometimes into January. July and August have the lowest rainfall.
- Inland, altitude is a major determinant of conditions. The central plateau is somewhat cooler and arid, while in the mountainous areas of the northeast and southwest, temperatures range between 10 and 20°C during cold and hot seasons respectively, and it can rain at any time of year. In the Kilimanjaro area, temperatures vary from 15°C in May-August period to 22°C over December - March. As one heads to the peaks of Kilimanjaro, temperatures can drop to below freezing, especially at night. The best climbing on Mount Kilimanjaro, which is surprisingly easy, is from August to October and from January to March.
Population – 43.7 million
Capital – Dodoma is the political capital, and Dar Es Salaam is the principal commercial city
Currency – Tanzanian shilling
Language – Swahili is the most widely spoken language, although English is the official language
“karibu tena” – welcome again
Peoples and Culture: there are over 120 tribes in Tanzania. However, the majority of people on Zanzibar follow the Muslim faith. Dress code to them is of particular importance and it is suggested that women try to dress fairly conservatively in order not to offend the local people. An Arabic influence is also evident in the people, who are a mix of Shirazia (from Persia), Arabs, Comorians (from the Comoros Islands) and Bantu from the mainland. The official language of Zanzibar is Kiswahili. Most residents have a good knowledge of English, Italian and various Arabic dialects.
Zanzibar's most world famous musician is Freddie Mercury! He was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5th 1946 in Zanzibar, to parents Bomi and Jer Bulsara, who were Parsees - members of the Zoroastrian faith.
Time difference – GMT +3 hours
Telephone – country code 255
South Africa - Help Local Communities Get Started
Why visit South Africa?
Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Africa’s biggest game reserve - Kruger National Park - boasting the most mammal species of any game reserve, and the magnificent peaks and plunging valleys of the escarpment of Drakensberg.
Cape Town is widely described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Some of its more famous landmarks include Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades), Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. A combination of historical coastal charm and urbane sophistication, Cape Town has some of the finest beaches and is also the gateway to the lush Cape Winelands, famous for world-renowned wines. From here, it is an easy journey to the Whale Route, where Southern Right whales can be seen (June - November) and humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Minke whales and bottlenose dolpins can be viewed year round.
The Garden Route is renowned for its beaches, indigenous forests, nature reserves, lakes, mountain ranges, adventure opportunities and hiking trails. Plettenberg Bay is a relaxed beach paradise with spectacular walks and hikes where one can watch dolphins and whales on eco-marine cruises. With some of the world's finest beaches, the Eastern Cape's untouched and pristine coastline also has a rich social, cultural and political history. Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and the perfect complement to the Garden Route. Cape St Francis is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline, in and around Africa's largest man made web of canals and waterways, and is renowned for its long, sandy beaches, surfing, rock fishing and tranquil lifestyle.
Kruger National Park is the flagship of South Africa's game reserves, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience over two million-hectares. Private concessions operating within and alongside Kruger National Park feature luxurious, exclusive game lodges with many exciting safari activities. Some of these lodges are unfenced, allowing for the free movement of wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa's largest private Big Five game reserves and features numerous lodges and camps. The Waterberg area in the northwest is also malaria-free and is aptly named for its strong streams that flow even in dry seasons, making for excellent game viewing. Both reserves are great for those seeking an accessible malaria-free wilderness experience.
Durban is a sub-tropical city and the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a unique mix of Zulu, Indian and colonial cultures. Visit the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, take a fascinating glimpse into Zulu culture, hike in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, dive the reefs, marine and coastal reserves of Maputaland, as well as experience Big Five game reserves. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for saving the white rhino from the brink of extinction, and Phinda Private Game Reserve is well known for its award-winning lodges and conservation initiatives.
Johannesburg meaning "Place of Gold", is South Africa's economic powerhouse. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to many attractions including the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, and also offers shopping from world-class to atmospheric curio markets. Known as the "Jacaranda City", the state capital of Pretoria features beautiful blossoming trees, significant old buildings and fascinating museums, including the Transvaal Museum, home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at the Cradle of Humankind.
Highlights of South Africa
- Breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities, wine routes and exclusive bush lodges.
- Exciting Big Five safaris in unspoilt wilderness areas.
- Malaria-free game viewing and sunshine all year round.
- See Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.
- Go up Table Mountain by cable car for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful Cape Town.
- Whale watching and great white shark cage diving.
- Beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
- The Cradle of Humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (September - April)
|Winter (May - August)
|Rainfall: October to March, with November to January heaviest
South Africa has typical seasons of weather for the southern hemisphere, with the coldest days in July-August. The Benguela Current, a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean, causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast. On the central plateau, which includes Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 30 °C.In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point, and in some places, even lower. Heavy snows have fallen recently for the first time in decades in Johannesburg. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast and Garden Route, where it has year round mild weather with occasional rain. As winter is cooler and drier, it is more suitable for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and is also a good time for game viewing as vegetation is less dense and thirsty animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources.
In summer, South Africa experiences the hottest temperatures and this is generally when most rain falls, October – March. However, there is one exception - the Western Cape, which is a winter-rain area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate (average 26°C).
Christmas to mid-January, and Easter are the height of the peak season for visitors.
Autumn (April/May) and Spring (mid-Sept to November) are ideal almost everywhere.
Population – 50 million
Capital – Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Currency – Rand (ZAR)
Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English (South African English), Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 27, international access code 00
This program exceeded all my expectations. It is so well run, the staff are absolutely amazing (THANK YOU everyone!!), and put so simply, the Zambia Medical project is really doing some incredible things for some incredible people. Two weeks is not enough and my time here flew by. But at the same time, I felt like I’ve been here for so long because I felt so comfortable right from my arrival. I’ve gained so much from this, and I’ll really never forget my time here. As a volunteer on the medical project, I really enjoyed Home Based Care, especially my first day of volunteering at Natebe. I also derived so much joy from my interactions with all the children at various afternoon projects, especially at Afterschool.
I came here wanting to provide help in any way I can to a place that I thought so desperately needed it. And in many ways, Africa does need assistance, and that’s why these projects are so incredible. But I also learned that I can take away SO much from Africa to help myself, and hopefully others, back at home. The people here are amazing, so genuinely happy. I was looking to experience the health care system in this setting before starting my clinical training in medicine back at home. I hope to take all that I have witnessed and experienced here on the medical project and use it to help me be a better physician, and even a better person (corny I know, but true!), in the future.
Allison, Canada, aged 23 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development, African Dream 26 Day)
The overland trip was excellent - really well run. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ...
Amanzi Travel are excellent - professional, informative but with a real personal service ... The cheetah volunteer project was an absolutely fantastic experience, and the Overland trip was brilliant.
Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, 32 and 34 (Cheetah Volunteer Project and Overland Trip)