Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×

African Encounter 36 Day (Northbound)

Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam
from £1,295 (plus local payment)

Ref: AT023

Beginning this safari at the foot of Cape Town's famous Table Mountain, the group will travel through Namibia's dramatic desert and desolate coastline before journeying inland to the tranquil lagoons and waterways of the Okavango Delta and wildlife rich Chobe National Park.  From there it will be the sight of the magnificent Victoria Falls that will thrill everyone, the picturesque Lake Malawi and the trip will end with some relaxing days on Zanzibar's dazzling beaches.  A perfect combination of diverse scenery, wonderful wildlife viewing and time to relax on the beach.

 

Who can join: 18 years and over
Accommodation: Camping
Transfer time: approx. 30 mins
Pick up Point: Ashanti Lodge & Travel Centre, Cape Town
Meals: Meals Included as Indicated
Volunteer numbers: approx. 25

Duration & Fees

Prices valid from the 01 Jan 2017 until the 31 Dec 2017

36 days£1,295

USD 880 - Local Payment

Prices valid from the 01 Jan 2018 until the 31 Dec 2018

36 days£1,555

USD 1150 - Local Payment

Click on the relevant flag for currency conversion:

USD CurrencyEUR CurrencyGBP CurrencyAUD CurrencyZAR CurrencyCAD Currency

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)

Start Dates

2017 Start Dates:

1 Oct | 15 Oct | 29 Oct | 12 Nov | 26 Nov | 10 Dec | 24 Dec

2018 Start Dates:

7 Jan | 21 Jan | 4 Feb | 18 Feb | 4 Mar | 18 Mar | 1 Apr | 15 Apr | 29 Apr | 13 May | 27 May | 10 Jun | 24 Jun | 8 Jul | 22 Jul | 5 Aug | 19 Aug | 2 Sep | 16 Sep | 30 Sep | 14 Oct | 28 Oct | 11 Nov | 25 Nov | 9 Dec | 23 Dec

Please note a portion of this trip may coincide with a family departure (6 years and over)

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Pre-trip night dorm room accommodation
  • Fully equipped expedition vehicle
  • Cooking and camping equipment (sleeping bags 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
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Optional excursions
  • Restaurant meals and drinks unless otherwise stated
  • Airport Departure Taxes
  • Departure Transfer
  • Laundry
  • Personal items and tips
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Bottled Water

Click here to enlargeStart and Finish Points: Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam
Countries visted: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania
Departure Point: Cape Town, Ashanti Lodge and Travel Centre, 11 Hof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Check-in time: 7.30 am (departure 8.00 am)
Pre-departure Meeting: 5.00 pm the day before at the departure point (optional)

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 Cape Town early on Sunday morning.  Anyone wishing to explore this beautiful city and see its many sights should plan to arrive in time to do so.  Amanzi Travel can suggest accommodation options and activities and excursions in Cape Town for those who plan to visit.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS
Township Tour; Wine Tasting; Half day canoeing on the Gariep (Orange) River; Fish River Canyon; Namib-Naukluft National Park; Transfer to Sossusvlei; Swakopmund; Spitzkoppe (day trip); Etosha National Park; Okavango Delta Excursion; Chobe Overnight Excursion; Victoria Falls Entry; South Luangwa National Park; Lake Malawi; Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar Ferry

Itinerary

SOUTH AFRICA
With nine different provinces, eleven official languages and three capital cities, South Africa will most definitely make everyone stop in their tracks - WOW!

Cape Area
Starting in the mother city, Cape Town has much to offer, such as the flat topped Table Mountain, which is awesome for hiking and gives a fantastic aerial view of Cape Town from the top.  Then there is the pulse of the city - Long Street - with all the food outlets and entertainment needed on holiday and plenty of day trips for sightseeing with breathtaking views, winelands tours etc.

DAY 1: Cape Town to Cederberg Area (Lunch / Dinner)
Before leaving Cape Town the group will enjoy a township tour in and around Cape Town. This is an included highlight allowing everyone to enjoy the experience. Leaving Cape Town, the tour will head north through the wheat growing 'bread basket' of South Africa before crossing the Piketberg Pass into the rich fruit growing area along the Olifants River, named for the vast elephant herds that used to roam this fertile valley. 

Included Activity:  Cape Town Township Tour
Included Activity:  Wine Tasting at Highlanders

DAY 2: Cederberg Area to Gariep River (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Travelling north from the Cederberg area the region known as Namaqualand is reached, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring.  After stopping for supplies in Springbok, the journey continues on through the desert area of the Richtersveld to the Gariep River, the natural land border between South Africa and Namibia, where the night is spent at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river.

NAMIBIA
This sandy yet spectacular country gained its independence from South Africa in 1990 and its largest city, also the capital, is Windhoek. This is a country of compelling beauty and wide horizons dominated by the brooding and desolate Namib Desert which has the highest sand dunes in the world.

Fish River Canyon
Located in the south of Namibia, the Fish River Canyon claims the title of the largest canyon in Africa and the second largest in the world. Being approximately 160 km long, 27 km wide and just over 550 m deep only allows for the brave and fit to take on the hikes and walks it has to offer.

DAY 3: Gariep River to Fish River Canyon (Namibia) (B / L / D)
This morning the group will enjoy a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, affording the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle.  After lunch the crossing into Namibia is made where, after a short drive, the Fish River Canyon is reached.  At 161 km long, 27 km wide and about 550 m deep, it’s the second largest canyon in the world.  The outer canyon was formed by tectonic activity, while the erosion of the Fish River formed the inner canyon. A road follows the eastern rim, giving access to several viewing points from where spectacular vistas can be observed.

Included Activity:  Canoeing on the Gariep River
Included Activity:  A visit to the Fish River Canyon

DAY 4: Fish River Canyon to Sesriem  (B / L / D)
After an early start the tour will head north to enter the area of the Namib-Naukluft desert, one of the oldest in the world.  The group will base themselves at Sesriem, a good place to experience the Namib and its many moods.  A short distance away is Sossusvlei, surrounded by a dramatic sea of sand dunes reputed to be the highest in the world.  Magnificent views of the desert can be seen from the top of the dunes, some over 300 m high.  The stars in this part of the desert put on a show like nowhere else in the world. 

DAY 5: Sesriem  (B / L / D)
This morning the group will enter the Namib-Naukluft Park and the morning will be spent exploring this amazing area.  View the sunrise from the top of Dune 45 - a truly memorable experience.  Following this sunrise experience there will be the option to take the desert shuttles a further 5 kms into the desert from where it i possible to walk to Sossusvlei and explore the surrounding area. 

Included Activity:  Namib-Naukluft National Park, Climbing Dune 45
Included Activity:  A visit to Sossusvlei

DAY 6: Sesriem to Swakopmund (B) 
This morning after breakfast the tour will set off in a north-westerly direction to meet the Atlantic Ocean at Walvis Bay.  The drive takes in the Tropic of Capricorn - the imaginary 'line' that shows the southernmost point of direct sun, and signals the southern hemisphere's mid-summers day.  From Walvis Bay the coast will be followed for some 35 km to arrive at Namibia's prime holiday resort - Swakopmund - where two nights of rest, relaxation and a little bit of adrenalin for those that are keen.  Accommodation will be in dormitories for the next two nights;  upgrades into private rooms may be possible dependent on availability, and can be booked with the trip leader.

DAYS 7: Swakopmund (B)
Founded by the Germans in 1892, their colonial influence is still evident today. Swakopmund has a selection of excellent coffee shops, restaurants and bars as well as many arts and crafts shops selling Namibian curios. There are fine beaches to walk along as well as a great museum, aquarium and galleries to visit.  Alternatively the lovely beach and promenade make for a great relaxing walk - though bathing in the ocean may be somewhat chilly.  Some fellow passengers will leave in Swakop to  be replaced  by new passengers joining for the rest of the trip.

Optional activities include sky diving, quad biking, sand boarding, scenic desert flights, dolphin cruises, fishing trips, golf, horse riding and more. An activity briefing will be held on arrival in Swakopmund.

DAY 8: Swakopmund to Brandberg (UIS) (B / L / D)
Departure from Swakopmund is followed by arrival at the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’ - Spitzkoppe. The 1728 m high rock formation, one of Namibia’s most recognised landmarks, is well known as an ancient San sacred site.  Explore the surrounding area and its San rock paintings or simply enjoy the magnificent views.  After the visit to Spitzkoppe the group will head off to the next destination - Brandberg.

Included Activity:  Visiting Spitzkoppe (day trip)

DAY 9: Brandberg (UIS) to Etosha National Park Area (B / L / D)
Today’s drive takes the group further north through the Namibian countryside to the campsite, located in the vicinity of the National Park.

DAY 10: Etosha National Park Area  (B / L / D)
To-day the tour will head to the area of the Etosha National Park. . Covering 20,000 square kilometres, Etosha is Namibia’s premier nature reserve. Situated around the Etosha Pan with a large variety of animal and bird life, the extensive network of gravel roads affords the opportunity of accessing even the most remote areas of the park.  After lunch, and once it has cooled off a bit, the remainder of the day is spent exploring the park's southern area.  Travellers should keep an eye open for the striking Oryx and Springbok as these are endemic to desert National Parks.  Tonight's camp is situated just outside the park boundaries, ony 10 km from Anderson Gate and there may be a quick dip in the pool or a sundowner on the deck before dinner, followed by a relaxing evening in the interesting bar.

Optional Activity:  Game Drive

DAY 11: Etosha National Park (B / L / D)
Today's exciting drive is  across the park, keeping a look out for the many mammals, reptiles, birs and insects in the various regions.  As the vegetarion types change, so does the animal and bird life that relies on it and so different sections of the park offer a variety of different game options.  After a full day game viewing the evening is spent relaxing at the camp in the north of the park, Namutoni.  After dinner why not head to the waterhole and view the animals that come to drink in the evenings.

Included Activity:  Game Drive in Tour Vehicle
Optional Activity:  Night Drive

DAY 12: Etosha National Park to Windhoek  (B / L / D)
After breakfast the group will head out of the Park while enjoying a game drive.  To-day's drive will be through small rural towns and scenic landscapes.  Nestled between the hills Windhoek is a rather small capital city but has many places of historic interest.  This afternoon is spent at leisure with time to visit the local museum or haggle at the street markets.  There are also many shops for those in need of a bit of retail therapy.

Optional Activity:  Dinner at Joe's Beer House

Day 13:  Windhoek to Ghanzi  (B / L / D)
This morning the group will depart early as they prepare to leave Namibia behind them as they enter into beautiful Botswana.  Ghanzi is a town in the middle of the Kalahari Desert.  Optional activities include the opportunity to interact with the San Bushmen and to discover how they survived in the Kalahari.

Optional Activity:  San Bushman Experience

BOTSWANA
The size of this successful country can be compared with countries such as Kenya or France, but 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 14: Ghanzi to Maun (Botswana) (B / L / D)
Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta and it is from here the exploration of the Okavango Delta begins.  Tonight provisions are packed for the two night excursion.  Passengers are advised to take along a smaller daypack that can be used to pack the supplies needed for this short excursion.  The trip leader will give a briefing on what is needed and what to expect.

Okavango Delta
The Delta is a huge expanse of water which has travelled from the Angolan Highlands, spreading out to form the largest inland delta in the world.  Studded with exotic islands the Delta is renowned for its incredible variety of bird life and animals and is unique to Southern Africa..

A fantastic chance to sit back, relax and have cameras at the ready while drifting along through the dozens of mazes. The Okavango Delta is a bird lover’s paradise enjoyed by all and best explored by foot and mokoro, or perhaps a scenic flight to have a bird’s eye view from the open skies. With over 400 species of birds, 70 species of fish and an abundance of wildlife, the experience in the delta leaves everyone wanting to explore the whole of Africa.

DAY 15: Maun to Okavango Delta  (B / L / D)

Included Activity:  Overnight Delta Excursion

Here there will be the opportunity to take the included Overnight Excursion into the Delta.   After rising earlhy the expedition vehicle will be packed and those choosing this optional trip will drive north from Maun for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro polers' station.  The Delta region is studded with many local villages where many families live in a traditional way.  Some of the villages are very remote and can only be reached by the traditional mode of transport, the Mokoro.  Mokoros are traditional dug out canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds.  The guides are met at the Mokoro Polers' station and supplies are packed before heading out onto the waterways.  After a couple of hours along the waterways the group will arrive at the mobile tented camp situated in the heart of the Okavanvo.

On arrival the local staff will be met who will be the hosts for the visit.  A brief introduction to the camp will show the dome tents with twin beds and a bush en-suite bathroom - long drop toilet and a bucket shower.  There will be time to relax in the tent with a cold drink or take a paddle in the Delta in a canoe.  The activities at the camp include mokoro trails and guided walking.

DAY 16: Okavango Delta to Maun (B / L / D)
This morning affords a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun, arrivIng back in the early afternoon to have the chance to complete the picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional sunset scenic flight over the Delta (dependent on weather condtions and availability).

Day 17:  Maun to Nata Region (B / L / D)
This beautiful part of Botswana will be left behind this morning as the group departs for the lush campsite called Elephant Sands, driving through a very unpopulated landscape on the way where the donkeys roam freely.  On arrival at the campsite there will be the opportunity for a game drive or a bush walk.

Optional Activity:  Game Drive/Bush Walk

DAY 18: Nata Region to Chobe National Park (B / L / D)
Travelling north to the town of Kasane, camp is set up on the banks of the Chobe River which forms a border between Botswana and Namibia and Zambia and is tne main water source to the Chobe National Park.  Elephant, hippo and many bird species can be viewed from the campsite while another glorious African sunset is enjoyed.  Listen out for the resident hippos!

DAY 19: Chobe National Park (B / L / D)
This morning there is the chance to sleep in or explore tne town of Kasane.  When everyone is packed up and ready the tour 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 is spent in search of wildlife while game driving to the camp within the park where the evening is spent surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife.  A look out should be kept for the rare Sable and Roan Antelope with their majestic backward slanting horns, or try to keep 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 wildllife before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane and on to Victoria Falls.  .

Included Activity:  Chobe National Park
Included Activity:  Chobe Overnight Mobile Excursion

DAY 20: Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (Brunch)
On returning to camp everyone will get back onto the truck and continue to the border with Zimbabwe.  Once border formalities have been completed, there will be a short drive to the nearby Victoria Falls.  Named after the famous World Heritage Site and 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 adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops.  A 20 minute walk down the main road leads to the entry point to view the Falls which are situated between Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) was named by David Livingstone on his explorations and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it’s not difficult to see why.  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!  After the adventure activities briefing the rest of the afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool, viewing the Falls themselves or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!

Included Activity:  Entrance to Victoria Falls

ZIMBABWE
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. 

Victoria Falls
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.

DAYS 21 - 22: 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 trip here, to be replaced by new passengers joining for the next leg of the trek.

Optional activities include elephant back safaris, horse back safaris, a visit to the 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 is for the faint hearted!  All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site.  White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Beside the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the "floats," where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.

DAY 23: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park (Botswana) (B / L / D)
Leaving Zimbabwe the group will cross the border into Botswana and once border formalities have been completed, will continue to the town of Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River.  After lunch there will be time to relax and in the afternoon the group will leave for a second opportunity to take part in the Chobe Overnight Mobile Excursion.  After this second 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
Included Activity:  Chobe Overnight Mobile Excursion

Day 24:  Chobe National Park to Livingstone (Zambia) (Brunch / D)
Once everyone has returned to the camp at Kasane they will get back onto the truck and continue to the town of Livingstone where there will be the opportunity to view the Falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia. Another fantastic photo opportunity.

Optional Activity:  Zambezi Sunset Boat Cruise

ZAMBIA
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 25: 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.   The campsite is home to some local wildlife including the largest antelope – Eland.

DAY 26: Eastern Zambia to South Luanga National Park  (B / L / D)
This beautiful park is situated on the Luangwa River in the Eastern part of Zambia and is the southernmost of three national parks in the region. South Luangwa was founded in 1938 as a game reserve and in 1972 it was declared a national park and today covers more than 9000 kilometres squared.  Giraffe, buffalo and elephant can be found in abundance the the Luangwa River is home to many a hippo and croc.

Included Activity:  Game Drive in Tour Vehicle

Day 27:  South Luangwa to Chipata (B / L / D)
Heading north east from Lusaka on the old 'East Road' to a beautiful little campsite, just 10 km before the Zambia/Malawi border.  In the days of old the route from Cairo to CapeTown passed through Lusaka and its along this route to Malawi that the group will travel to-day.  Most of the day is spent driving and the impressive Luangwa River Bridge is crossed, which is heavily guarded due to its close proximity to the Zimbabwean and Malawian borders.  There will ne a stop to purchase fresh produce and coal from the local sellers along the way. 

MALAWI
A variety of attractions can be found in this exquisite country such as forests, mountains and many a rural village, but there is one major attraction - Lake Malawi. There are many small rustic resorts along this fresh water lake where one can kick back on the sand and enjoy a perfect sunset over the lake.  Malawi offers the perfect sub-tropical climate and its visitors have plenty of time to soak up the sun and work on their tans.  Lilongwe is the largest city in Malawi as well as being the capital city.  Malawi plays host to just over 12 million people with English and Chichewa being the main languages.

Lake Malawi
Most of the time in Malawi will be spent enjoying the white beaches and warm waters of the Lake, which is also known as the "lake of stars" with an abundance of water activities. There are more than 500 species of fish in this lake which makes for excellent fresh water diving after meeting and greeting all the welcoming locals.

DAYS 28 - 30: Chipata to Lake Malawi Beaches (Malawi) (B / L / D)
Leaving Zambia the tour will cross into Malawi, the ‘Warm Heart of Africa'.  Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. Camp will be first at the central lake and then in the northern area over the next three days.  Spend the days days 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 happen upon the local fishermen sorting their catch. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced. 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.

Optional Activity:  Village Tour

TANZANIA
Tanzania's natural environment and geographical features have made it one of the best tourist destinations in Afirca. Being the largest country in East Afria, Tanzania has loads to offer her visitors, including 13 game reserves and national parks.  Tanzania also hosts part of the world's largest animal movements, the Great Migration.  Inland are the vast Serengeti National Park nd the wildlife-packed Ngorongoro Conservation area, and thousands of people every year fulfil their lifetime ambition to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.  On the coast, Zanzibar is exotic, intriguing and steeped in the unique Swahili culture.

DAY 31: Lake Malawi to Iringa (Tanzania) (B / L / D)
After a relaxing three days, the group will leave Malawi, entering Tanzania through the border post at Songwe. Take in the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations before heading towards Iringa where the night will be spent in the beautiful rustic ‘Farmhouse’ campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!

DAY 32: Iringa to Dar es Salaam (B / L / D)
Today, head 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 into the ity, 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 is reached in time to prepare for departure to Zanzibar the next morning.

DAY 33: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (Optional) (B)
A ferry from Dar es Salaam is taken 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 here to replace those leaving at the end of the excursion to Zanzibar.

Included Activity:  Zanzibar Ferry Ride
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 of restaurants.  There are also many optional excursions available.

For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next three days will be spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam.  There are many 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 34 - 35: 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 wishing 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 36: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (D)
Leaving Zanzibar and returning to the mainland and after exchanging addresses, everyone parts 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 and group decisions.  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.

Optional Excursions

Below is a selection of Optional Activities available on this tour - and there are plenty more to choose from.

South Africa:
Various activities in Cape Town - price dependent on choice of activity

Swakopmund:
Quad Biking - $100
Sand Boarding  - $55/$70
Township Tour - $80
Tandem Sky Dive - weather permitting - $350
Horse Riding (2 hours) - $100
Fishing - $145
Dolphin Cruise - $80
Kayaking - $95
Paragliding - weather permitting - $150
Scenic Flight - various - weather permitting - as per Operator
Hot Air Ballooning - weather permitting - $450

Botswana:
Scenic Flight over Delta ( $300 - $350 per plane max five passengers per plane)  - $100
Ghanzi San Bushman Experience - $15

Zimbabwe - Victoria Falls:
White Water Rafting on the Zambezi (full day)(low water only) - $150
Canoeing on the Zambezi - Half Day/Full Day - $150
Solo Bungee Jumping (111 m) - $150
Tandem Bridge Swing - $240
Rafting and Boarding Combo (low water only)  - $180
Bungee, Bridge Swing, Bridge Slide Combo - $210
Elephant Back Safari - $150
Helicoptor Flight over the Falls - 12 mins/25 mins - $150/$284

Please note that all accommodation and activities in Victoria Falls must be paid for in US$ cash

Malawi:
Freshwater Diving at Kande Beach - $55 (additional dives $30 each)
Horse Riding at Kande Beach 2 hours/3 hours (Bush, Beach and Swim) - $70/$100
Village Walk and Meal at Kande Beach - from $20
Traditional Healer Visit - $10
Carving Lessons and Local Fishing - price to be negotiated on arrival

Zanzibar:
Zanzibar Accommodation per person per day - from $40 - $60
Spice Tour including lunch  - $40
Transfer to Nungwe - $20
Prison Island Snorkelling Trip - $30
Diving, Snorkelling and Fishing - from $40
Dhow Sunset Cruise - $40
Moped Hire - $60 - $80 plus local drivers licence and insurance at $5

Please note that this is not a full list of activities available - there are plenty more to choose from. All prices are in US dollars and are approximate and are subject to change, and where activities occur away the base, there may be a transfer cost.  Please also note that all activities must be paid for in US$ cash.
For a comprehensive list of things to do before, during or after the trip, please contact Amanzi Travel.

Getting There

Flights should be arranged to arrive into Cape Town International Airport. Please make sure that you arrive in plenty of time for your trip departure. We recommend that you arrive the day before your start date and depart the day after your end date to allow for any delays.   An airport pick up on arrival and the pre-tour night's accommodation in a dorm room are included in the price.   Full details will be in provided in your pre-departure pack.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and we can arrange any flight requirements that you have upon request.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip to Africa.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip to Africa. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam, African Encounter 36 Day (Northbound)Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam, African Encounter 36 Day (Northbound)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.



Click here to view the full interactive mapNamibia - Work At a Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Why visit Namibia?

Namibia is one of those dreamlike places that makes one question whether something so visually fabulous could actually exist. It is characterised by vast open spaces, with breathtaking scenery and great contrasts – ocean, dunes, mountains and deserts. A predominantly arid country, Namibia can be divided into four main regions. The Namib Desert and vast plains of the Skeleton Coast in the west; the eastward-sloping Central Plateau; the Kalahari desert along the borders with South Africa and Botswana; and the densely wooded bushveld of the Kavango and Caprivi regions – a magical undeveloped oasis of waterways and wildlife, providing abundant game and birdlife viewing opportunities.  Despite its harsh climate, Namibia has some of the world’s grandest national parks, ranging from the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park, to the dune fields and desert plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park. The Namib-Naukluft Park is superb for hiking, with a number of spectacular trails. It is also home to the renowned dunes of Sossusvlei - said to be the highest in the world - and the fascinating Sesriem Canyon. Windhoek is the country’s geographical heart and commercial nerve centre, with an ethnic mix of people, while surfers, anglers and beach-lovers won’t want to miss Swakopmund, with its lively entertainment and sporting activities.

Highlights

  • Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s finest parks, both in size and diversity of wildlife.
  • The Namib-Naukluft Park is the largest conservation area in Namibia and one of the largest in the world.
  • Two spectacular deserts - the Kalahari and Namib - each with distinctive wildlife and scenery.
  • The Namib, at 80 million years, is the world's oldest desert. Namib means “open space”.
  • The Namib and Damaraland offer remarkably clear skies for astronomers and keen star gazers.
  • Stunning Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon – it is 161km long, up to 27km wide and 550m deep.
  • Sossusvlei are said to be the highest sand-dunes in the world.
  • Superb birding and good fishing is available from the banks of the Kavango and Kunene Rivers on the northern border.
  • Popular self-drive destination with excellent infrastructure.
  • Largely malaria-free.
  • More than 300 days of sunshine per year.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer/wet (October - April) 40 °C 20 °C
Winter/dry (May - September) 25 °C 0 °C
Rainfall: October – December “little rains”, January to April more stormy period

The winter months (May - September) range from 25 to 30°C during the day but night temperatures may drop to below freezing. June to August is the dry season with very little rain. This can be a good time for game viewing as wildlife converge at the waterholes.

The summer months (October - April) can reach highs of over 40°C and nights in the 20°C range (in the arid central Namib Desert temperatures can fall to below freezing during the night). This is a summer rainfall area, but overcast and rainy days are few and far between. Welcome thundershowers may occur in the late afternoon, bringing relief to flora and fauna. In October and November, large herds of blue wildebeest, zebra, springbok and oryx migrate from the Namutoni area to Okaukuejo, where they remain until May.

Rainfall is heaviest in the northeast, which enjoys a sub-tropical climate, and reaches over 600mm annually along the Okavango River. The northern and interior regions experience ‘little rains’ between October and December, while the main stormy period occurs from January to April.

Key Facts

Population – 2.1 million
Capital - Windhoek
Currency - Namibian dollar
Language – official language English; most widely spoken is Afrikaans; half of all Namibians speak Oshiwambo as their first language. German is also widely spoken, plus some Portuguese.
Namib – means “open space”
Etosha – means “great white place”
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 264, international access code 00

Click here to view the full interactive mapBotswana - Book Your Experience of a Lifetime

Why visit Botswana?

Botswana is a land of dramatic contrasts, from the crystal clear waters of the Okavango Delta, to the large elephant herds in the Chobe National Park, the abundant birdlife in Moremi Game Reserve and the vast savannah of the Kalahari desert, which covers over 70% of the country. It is no wonder that Botswana has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Surrounded by the sands of the Kalahari Desert is the magical oasis of the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta, formed by ancient seismic shifting of the earth's surface. Wide grassy floodplains are host to a magnificent array of wild animals. Within this lacework of channels, game viewing and bird watching is frequently guided from mokoro (dugout canoes) or more commonly, environmentally-friendly fibreglass replicas. In these slender flat-bottomed craft, visitors are propelled by expert polers.

Chobe National Park, approximately 62 miles due west of Victoria Falls, is abundant with wildlife all year round, and features the beautiful Chobe River on its northern boundary. Throughout the area numerous clay-bottomed pans hold water during the short rainy season. During the rainy season, from November, one can witness the zebra migration from the north-western area of Linyanti heading south through the Savute plains to the salt pans around Makgadikgadi, where the foals are born. The herds then return to Linyanti between February and April.

The Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the most remote and unspoiled parts of Africa. At certain times of the year, usually during the summer rains, the northern section of the Park is one of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana, not to mention the breathtaking landscapes that await discovery.

Highlights of Botswana

  • Seventeen percent of Botswana is comprised of pristine national reserves, featuring some of Africa's most beautiful subtropical wilderness, generally teeming with wildlife.
  • A land of awesome contrasts - from the vast plains of the Kalahari Desert to the crystal clear waters of the world's largest inland delta, the Okavango Delta.
  • Game viewing by mokoro (dugout canoe) in the Delta is unforgettable.
  • Sunshine totals are high all year round, although winter is still the sunniest period.
  • Chobe National Park is home to the mighty Chobe River and what is arguably the world's largest concentration of elephants.
  • View Botswana’s annual zebra migration in the Linyanti and Savute areas.
  • Moremi Game Reserve is renowned for its superb birdlife.
  • The game-filled Central Kalahari Game Reserve, at 54,600 km2, is Botswana's largest reserve.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer/wet (October -April) 45 °C 25 °C
Winter/dry ( May - September) 26 °C 0 °C
Rainfall: November - March

Botswana is semi-arid, due to the short rain season. It experiences extremes in both temperature and weather.

In the winter (late May through September), days are normally clear, warm and sunny, and nights are cool to cold, with average temperatures of around 14 °C. The whole country is windy and dusty during the dry season. Wildlife never wanders far from water sources, so sightings are more predictable than in the wetter summer season. This is also the time of school holidays, so some areas can be busy, especially between mid-July and mid-September.

In summer (October to April), Botswana has hot summers with average temperatures around 26 °C. Wildlife can be harder to spot and rains can render sandy roads impassable. This is also the time of the highest humidity and the most stifling heat, where daytime temperatures of over 40°C are common, so the magnificent afternoon showers can be a welcome relief.

The main rains fall between December and March, but often just in the form of brief thundershowers that last an hour or two before the sun re-emerges. The sunlight after an African storm is incredibly intense and superb for wildlife photography. The summer rains also bring spectacular migrant birds to Botswana.

Key Facts

Population – 2 million
Capital - Gaborone
Currency –pula (BWP)
Official Language(s) – English and Setswana

Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 267, international access code 00

Click here to view the full interactive mapZimbabwe - 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.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer/wet (November - April) 30 °C 14 °C
Winter/dry ( May - October) 20 °C 5 °C
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.

Key Facts

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

Click here to view the full interactive mapZambia - 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.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (November - April) 30 ° 26 °
Winter (May - October) 23 ° 20 °
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.

Key Facts

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

Click here to view the full interactive mapMalawi 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.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (dry): May – mid-November 23 °C 10 °C
Winter (wet): mid-November - April 29 °C 18 °C
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.

Key Facts

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

Click here to view the full interactive mapTanzania - 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.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (November -May) 31 °C 20 °C
Winter (June – October) 22 °C 15 °C
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.

Key Facts

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

Click here to view the full interactive mapSouth 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.

Climate

For Johannesburg:

Seasons Max Min
Summer (September - April) 25 °C 10 °C
Winter (May - August) 19 °C 4 °C
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.

Key Facts

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

African Encounter 36 Day (Northbound)

Zanzibar Rural Teaching Volunteer (link to project)

My 4 weeks volunteering in Zanzibar gave me the insight I wanted into another culture and I feel immensely satisfied at having achieved this at my age! The people of Jambiani were warm and welcoming, as were all students and I met such interesting people along the way.

African Encounter 36 day (Southbound (link to project) / Northbound (link to project)

During the 5 week overland trip from Zanzibar to Cape Town I saw so much of Africa that I'd always wanted to see, from the countryside and scenery, to the animals and people, who were always keen to wave as the truck passed through. Such a land of contrasts from east to west, green and lush in the east to the dry deserts of the west. Vic Falls was fantastic, as were animals in the Chobe and Etosha Pan and so many other things too numerous to mention.

Having thought about doing this trip for so long, I can't believe I've done it but I did and have experienced a trip of a lifetime - thank you Amanzi Travel.   Also just to add, Pat was great, helpful and encouraging, she really helped me decide to 'go for it'.

Judith, UK, aged 62 (Zanzibar Coastal Teaching Volunteer, African Encounter 36 Day (Northbound), African Encounter 36 Day (Southbound))

Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, 32 and 34

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)

African Encounter 36 Day (Northbound)

Excellent - Long drives but made worth it by absolutely amazing experiences!!

Bethany, UK, aged 21

COMPETITION
Interactive maps
AFRICA Choose from over 100 projects
and adventures across Africa
ASIA Choose from our selection of projects
and adventures across Asia
AMANZI PRIDE MONTHLY
AMANZI PRIDE LOYALTY
We believe in rewarding great travellers straightaway, so our seriously rewarding, straight-forward, cash discounts start immediately!
Amanzi Travel Special Offers! FIND OUT MORE