Start and Finish Points: Victoria Falls to Nairobi
Countries Visited: Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya
Departure Point Victoria Falls: Shearwater Explorers Village, West Drive, Victoria Falls
Check in time: 8.45 am (departure time to be advised at pre-departure meeting)
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 starts in Victoria Falls on Sunday morning and departs from Victoria Falls on Monday morning, allowing everyone a day to explore. Anyone wishing to spend longer in Victoria Falls in order to explore more should arrange to arrive early to allow time for this. Amanzi Travel can help with making accommodation arrangements and any costs incurred due to early arrival will be for the traveller's own account.
For booking purposes any passengers NOT wishing to trek the gorillas should notify Amanzi Travel as soon as possible.
Masai Mara Reserve, Great Rift Valley, Kampala, Lake Bunyoni, Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha, Meserani Snake Park, Masai Cultural Museum, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar Ferry, Lake Malawi, South Luangwa National Park, Chobe National Park, Chobe Overnight Safari and Entrance to Victoria Falls.
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 1: Victoria Falls (No Meals
Today is spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of optional excursions. AT 1700 metres wide and around 100 metres high, Victoria Falls are one of the most memorable sights on this African safari. 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.
Included Activity: Entrance to Victoria Falls
Optional excursions include trips into the Zambezi National Park, elephant back safaris and 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.
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 2: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park, Botswana (B / L / D)
To-day the tour will head out from Victoria Falls to the border crossing to 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 th main water source to the Chobe National Park. There will be time to relax after lunch until departure 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 well known for its large herds of elephants. 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 sounds of the local wildlife. It may be possible to see the rare Sable and Roan Antelope with its majestic backward slanting horns, or count the Lilac Breasted Rollers as they swoop by. After the night in the bush an early start is made to continue the search for wildlife before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane.
Included Activity: Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile Excursion
DAY 3: Chobe National Park to Livingstone (Zambia) (B / L / D)
On returning to the camp at Kasane everyone will get back onto the truck and continue to the town of Livingstone where there will be the opportunity in the afternoon to view the Falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia, or take a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River - both fantastic photo opportunities.
Optional Activity: Zambezi Sunset River Boat Cruise
Day 4: Livingstone to Eastern Zambia (B / L / D)
An early morning start will be made to head north through southern Zambia, driving through some of the villages and towns of Zambia along the way. Prosperous during the copper book 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 starting to prosper. This is evident in the cities with their foreign stores, banks and imported cars, while the villages and smaller towns are still to catch up.
Day 5: Eastern Zambia to South Luangwa National Park (B / L / D)
This beautiful park is situated on the Luangwa River in the eastern part of Zambia and is the most southerly of the three national parks. South Luangwa was founded in 1938 as a game reserve and was declared a national park in 1972 and to-day covers more than 9000 kilometres squared and animals such as giraffe, buffalo and elephant can be found in abundance and the river is home to many a hippo and croc.
Included Activity: Game Drives through South Luangwa National Park in tour vehicle
Day 6: South Luangwa to Chipata (B / L / D)
From Luangwa the tour will head north east on the old 'East Road' to a beautiful little campsite just 10 km before the Zambia/Malawi border. In olden daus the route from Cairo to Cape Town passed through Lusaka and it's along this route to Malawi that the group will travel to-day. The day is spent mainly driving but the impresive Luangwa River Bridge will be crossed - the bridge being heavily guarded due to its close proximity to the Zimbabwean and Malawian borders. A stop will be made for fresh produce and coal from the sellers along the way.
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.
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 7 to 9: Chipata to Lake Malawi Beaches (Malawi) (B / L / D)
Leaving Zambia the group will cross into Malawi, the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ stopping 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. Camp will be first at the central lake and then in the northern area over the next 3 days. Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax 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 where you’ll happen upon 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 te 'fairy' lights of the local fishermen out on the lake can be seen. The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi’s shores offer many optional activities including a variety of water sports, horse back rides and a visit to the local village and school.
Optional Activities vary but the village tour is recommended and travellers may wish to take along pens, pencils, notebooks etc for the villagers.
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 10: Lake Malawi to Iringa (Tanzania) (B / L / D)
After a relaxing 4 days, the tour will leave Malawi, entering Tanzania through the border post at Songwe. Taking in the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, the tour will head 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 11: Iringa to Dar Es Salaam (B / L / D)
To-day's journey is 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 city but the sights and sounds of Dar's vibrant outer suburbs are sure to keep everyone entertained with the colourful shop fronts and their humorous catch phrases. On arrival in Dar Es Salaam the group will head to the lovely seaside campsite and prepare for departure to Zanzibar the next morning.
DAY 12: Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar (Optional) (B)
A ferry from Dar Es Salaam takes those opting to join this excursion to the "Spice Island,” where there is the the option to spend the next 3 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 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 for traveller's own account 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 your accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants. There are many optional activities to enjoy whilst on Zanzibar.
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 where again there are many optional activities to enjoy from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing. The driver and cook remain behind in Dar during the optional excursion to Zanzibar.
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 13 & 14: 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 if you’d 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. lternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.
DAY 15: Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam (D)
Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon the group will return to the mainland and another night in Dar Es Salaam. Arrival back at the camp is usually in the late afternoon or early evening.
DAY 16: Dar Es Salaam to Pangani *(B / L / D)
This morning will see an early start to leave the hustle and bustle of this major Tanzanian city and head towards the farmlands of this beautiful country. To-day is used as a transit day to get closer to the Serengeti and some trips choose to forego this night at their own cost.
Day 17: Pangani to Arusha (B / L / D)
From Dar Es Salaam there will be a long day's drive through vast sisal plantations and African bushveld to Arusha. On the way,the Pare and Usambara Mountain ranges will be passed before driving through the town of Moshi. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions and weather permitting; it may be possible to catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! Tonight's stay will be in a lovely campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on the optional excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
DAY 18: Arusha to Karatu (B / L / D)
This morning there will be a visit to the Meserani Reptile Park and Masai Cultural Museum. A few minutes' walk from the campsite is a gallery selling the bright and iconic Tinga Tinga paintings and alternatively Arusha is nearby to explore. Lunch will be taken at the campsite against a backdrop of Mount Meru and then the Tanzanian guides will be met and those joining the optional excursion will transfer into the locally operated 4WD vehicles which have been adapted for safari use and give excellent viewing and photographic opportunities through the opening roof hatches.
Optional Activity: Serengeti and Ngorongoro Excursion
Leaving the campsite travel will be via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. We spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu. (Campsite has no ablution facilities)
Day 19: Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park (OPTIONAL) (B / L / D)
This morning the group will depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. This crater is the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world and comprises open savannahs, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino.
After the game drive in the Crater, the tour will down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on our way to the Serengeti National Park, crossing the vast plains while game driving through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight camp is in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness.
For those not opting to visit the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, the next days are spent at leisure at the campsite.
Day 20: Serengeti National Park to Arusha (B / L / D)
This morning there will be another game drive to explore the landscape in search of the resident game. With some luck, some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’may be seen! After the morning drive, the group will head back across the plains and the lush Crater rim to the truck at Arusha, where the evening will be spent musing over the thrilling wildlife experience.
Upon entering this beautiful east African country travellers may be greeted with the words "jambo" (hello) or "hakuna matata" (no problem) by the friendly Kenyan locals. With a population of nearly 42 million and land area of more than 580,000 sq km Kenya is home to an abundance of animals and colourful tribes people, making it the perfect getaway for a once in a lifetime safari.
DAY 21: Arusha to Nairobi (Kenya) (B / L / D)
The group will set off early this morning and make its way to the Tanzania/ Kenyan border and the small border town of Namanga. After completing the border formalities and exchanging money, the tour will continue to the Capital City Nairobi and the campsite on the outskirts of the city.
The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy some of the many options available in this bustling city; visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where the orphaned baby Elephants can be viewed at feeding time, head over to the Giraffe Centre in Langata, and for anyone who has not had their fill of game viewing, then Nairobi National Park offers some great day trips. Anyone still wanting souvenirs can take a “Matatu” to the local curio markets close by the campsite. This evening why not try the fair on offer at the famous Carnivores restaurant.
DAY 22: Nairobi to Masai Mara (L / D)
This morning the hustle and bustle of Nairobi will be left behind as the tour climbs the escarpment to the first stop, a viewpoint overlooking the spectacular Great Rift Valley. Descending into the Rift Valley, Masai land is entered where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. The town of Narok will be passed before arriving at the campsite, Acacia Camp, in the late afternoon. Acacia Camp looks on to the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Masai Mara National Reserve.
DAY 23: Masai Mara (B / L / D)
To-day the group will depart shortly after sunrise for a game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve, which is well known as one of East Africa's best National Reserves and home to a wide variety of wildlife species. The Mara is most famous for the Annual Migration when impressive herds of more than one million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson's gazelle cross over fromt the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This takes place between July and October when these vast herds feast on the fresh grazing here. The game drive will be through a section of the park in search of the 'Big 5' - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard, along with many other species of animals, reptiles and birds who make this wilderness home.
After the game drive it may be possible to visit one of the nearby Masai Manyattas - a traditional hamlet where the Masai still live in their traditional way. This evening will be spent sitting around the camp fire watching the sun set over this 'Garden of Eden'.
Included Activity: Masai Mara Game Reserve
MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
All members of the big five can be found in the Masai Mara National Reserve, a reserve which is a natural extension of the Serengeti plains in Tanzania. The Mara River serves as a natural border and is crossed annually by hordes of zebra and wildebeest during the Great Migration from July to October. Watching their every movement closely are the well fed predators of this reserve.
DAY 24: Masai Mara to Eldoret (B / L / D)
Leaving the Masai Mara early in the morning, the tour will pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on the way to Eldoret.
DAY 25: Eldoret to Kampala (Uganda) (B / L / D)
Today, the border into Uganda will be crossed and an overnight stop made in the capital city, Kampala. Uganda is a small country of striking physical beauty. Its landscapes vary from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria to the snow capped Ruwenzori Mountains in the west and the semidesert region in the north. The political instability that has haunted Uganda in the past has actually had the positive effect of leaving the country free of the over commercialism so common in other parts of Africa. The current administration under President Museveni has devoted considerable effort and funds to return Uganda to its former status as one of Africa's most prosperous and, from a tourist’s point of view, one of the most appealing and interesting countries to visit.
The "Pearl of Africa", as it is referred to by its people, is home to some of Africa's major attractions. This country contains four of Africa's seven great lakes including Lake Victoria which is the second largest body of fresh water in the world. Lake Bunyoni is one of these spectacular lakes with its mythical landscapes and hidden boys. The source of the Nile at Jinja allows the opportunity to tame the mighty waters with some of the world's best white water rafting - and to top it all, this breath-taking country has the largest population of primates anywhere in Africa.
DAYS 26 - 29: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni (B / L / D)
After an early morning departure from Kampala the group will drive west into the depths of Uganda to the base at the tranquil Lake Bunyoni. Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, the group will trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda. The prices of trekking permits fluctuate and may change without prior notice – currently they are priced at USD600 depending on where we trek. There is a local transport & handling fee of from USD120 per person (this covers the return transfer and the Wildlife Authority’s booking fee). The trip leader will advise at the pre-departure meeting where permits have been secured and will assist with the online visa application for Rwanda en route if required. It will also be necessary to purchase an additional visa to enter either country, as well as renewing the Ugandan visa upon re-entry. Please budget accordingly and note that payment for the permit must be made in US$ cash at the pre-departure meeting.
Trekking Procedures: The mountain gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla Berengei), of which there are still only about 700 remaining, are one of our closest living relatives. A visit to these gentle giants in their natural environment is a unique and wonderful experience - one never to be forgotten. The park rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are. However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting cannot be guaranteed. As the gorillas share much of man's DNA, anyone with even the slightest cold or transferable illness will not be permitted to trek. Trekking is also only open to people over 16 years old. Due to the restrictions on the daily numbers of visitors to these incredible animals, departure from the base in Bunyoni will be in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size. Winding the way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa, the trekking group will head to the town of Kisoro or in Rwanda dependent on where permits are available, for an overnight stay. The following morning, after packing a picnic lunch, the group will be transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. The rangers will lead the group through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family. Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of man's genes (and therefore able to catch man's diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. This is plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide a background to the family being visited. Once your hour is up, everyone will trek back out of the rain forest to the meeting point where they will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni campsite.
No one need feel that they are exploiting these animals. The ever-growing number of tourists trekking them each day plays a vital role in their survival. For years they have been ruthlessly hunted for their hands and heads, which have been sold as ashtrays and lampshades! In addition, large numbers have been killed whilst trying to stop poachers stealing the babies for sale to zoos, where they have never lived long. One hundred percent of the gorilla permit cost is used to by the parks authorities to finance patrols that are instrumental in protecting the gorillas from poachers and their lethal snares and on promoting these wonderful animals.
Depending on where the trek takes place the group may also pass through some of the local villages that have settled in this region due to the high number of refugees fleeing from the Rwandan Genocide, or from the continued unrest in the DRC. The villagers in this area are mostly subsistence farmers, and families that farm against the slopes of the volcanoes. It is impressive to see how they have ploughed, planted and harvested their crops in such unlikely landscapes.
GORILLA TREKKING IS OPTIONAL (please note that transfer fee is not included in the trekking permit fee)
DAY 30: Lake Bunyoni to Kampala (B / L / D)
After marvelling at the experience of the gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, the drive back to Kampala will begin, crossing the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. An overnight in Kampala will be made and the opportunity to sample its night life!
DAY 31: Kampala to Jinja (B / L / D)
Today there is the option to visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or transferring to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or volunteering at a community project. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the banks of the river, or ticking off the wide variety of water birds in this area.
DAY 32: Jinja to Nakuru (Kenya) (B / L / D)
To-day the tour will head back to Kenya, stopping for lunch and supplies on the way. An overnight stop will be made at a lovely campsite on a local farm just outside Nakuru, Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province, and adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park.
EAMO: East African Mission Organisation.
DAY 33: Lake Nakuru National Park (B / L / D)
This morning the exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park will begin - famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake’s edge. The numbers vary depending on the water level, and when it’s low, the lake almost turns pink. A truly spectacular sight! The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. The day will be spent searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way. After the game drive the tour will head to Lake Naivasha arriving in the late afternoon.
Included Activity: Game drivesat Lake Nakuru National Park
Optional Activity: Spending time with the children at EAMO
DAY 34: Lake Nakuru to Lake Naivasha (B / L / D)
Lake Naivasha, home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. The day will be spent enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.
DAY 35: Lake Naivasha to Nairobi (B)
After breakfast, the trour will head back to Nairobi, arriving late morning or early afternoon when addresses will be exchanged and everyone will part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!
Included Activity: Lake Naivasha
The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy some of the many options available in this bustling city. Perhaps visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where it is possible to view the orphaned baby elephants at feeding time; or head to the Giraffe Centre at Langata; anyone who has not had their fill of game viewing could head to the Nairobi National Park for some great day trips; or anyone needing more souvenirs could take a "Matatu" to the local curio markets near the campsite. This evening why not try the fayre on offer at the famous Carnivores Restaurant.
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, political situations and group decisions. All prices and 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.
Uganda - Explore National Park In The Pearl of Africa
Why visit Uganda
In 1907, pioneering tourist, Winston Churchill, called Uganda the Pearl of Africa. The country is small but the physical beauty is striking and the national parks are much quieter than other neighbouring countries. Its landscape varies from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria, to the snow-covered Ruwenzori Mountains in the west, the highest mountain range in Africa, to the white-water rafting mecca of Jinja, the source of the mighty Nile, and the semi-desert parts of the north. It has the highest concentration of primates on earth, including the majestic mountain gorillas, one of the rarest animals on the planet. This is a unique opportunity to encounter these contemplative creatures at close quarters, hidden among the bamboo and dense jungle of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Highlights of Uganda
- Stunning, varied scenery of mountains, lakes and desert.
- The Mount of the Moon, Ruwenzori Mountains, the highest range in Africa.
- Endangered Mountain gorilla encountered at close quarters.
- Source of the River Nile at Jinja.
- Lake Bunyoni is the deepest crater lake in Africa, perfect for swimming, hiking, canoeing or simply sitting back and enjoying the tranquil surrounds.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (December to May)
|Winter (June to November)
|Rainfall: March to May, October to November
The majority of the country has a tropical climate, where temperatures average 26°C during the day, and 16°C at night; however this can vary according to altitude. The hottest months are December to February where temperatures can reach 29°C. The wettest months are April and May where rainfall is heavy. The dry season from mid-May to mid-October is easier for tracking mountain gorillas, but the endless hills are barren, a contrast to the verdant greens of the wet season. Peak season for gorilla tracking is July and August - travelling outside this time means it is easier to arrange a permit.
Population – 32.4 million
Capital – Kampala
Currency – Ugandan shilling (UGX)
Language – English, Swahili
Time difference – GMT +3 hours
Telephone – country code 256
Kenya - Make Your Dreams Come True With Amanzi Travel
Why visit Kenya
For a country of its size, Kenya really does pack a lot in: mountains and deserts, colourful tribal culture, beaches and coral reefs and some of Africa’s best wildlife attractions. Stunning landscapes set the scene, from Kakamega’s rainforests to Indian Ocean beaches and idyllic islands such as Lamu, by way of Mount Kenya National Park, the rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara to searing deserts on the shores of the Jade Sea; with the Rift Valley, home to millions of breeding flamingos on Lake Nakuru and spectacular birdlife and hippo families on Lake Naivasha, cleaving a massive gash through it all.
Wildlife safaris have been hugely popular in Kenya for decades, with legendary personalities such Ernest Hemingway and Karen Blixen highlighting their appeal, and films such as Out of Africa and Born Free portraying the romance, thrill and excitement of the country. Kenya has over twelve national wildlife parks, being among the best places in Africa to see lions, elephants, leopards and the famous wildebeest migration. The Masai Mara is famous for its annual Great Migration of more than two million wildebeest and thousands of Thomson's gazelle, zebra and impala. Aside from the Migration, game-viewing is excellent throughout the year. Large herds of elephant are common sights in the dry, ancient lakebed of Amboseli National Park, as are buffalo, gazelle, giraffe and zebra. In addition to the wildlife in Tsavo National Park, the Mzima Springs are popular, where millions of litres of cool, crystal-clear water flow out of the ground through porous volcanic rocks. The Samburu Game Park is a narrow plain giving way to rocky hillsides which are home to leopard. A highlight of these Parks is watching large numbers of elephant bathing in the Ewaso Nyiro River. The possibilities of trekking the glacial ridges of Mount Kenya, ballooning over the Masai Mara, snorkelling at the Marine National Park in Malindi on the Indian Ocean are all very real in Kenya.
Highlights of Kenya
- Kenya immortalised the safari with legendary personalities such as Ernest Hemingway and Karen Blixen, and films such as Out of Africa and Born Free.
- Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve is renowned for the annual Great Migration of millions of herbivores – one of the seven new wonders of the world.
- Masai and Samburu tribes-people live and tend their livestock alongside the resident wildlife.
- The country abounds in diverse landscapes, including the spectacular Great Rift Valley.
- It is one of the best countries in Africa for seeing large concentrations of animals throughout the year.
- Kenya is a birdwatcher's dream destination, with more than 1,000 species recorded.
- Lake Nakuru is a breeding ground for flamingo - up to two million birds can be found, and greater and lesser flamingos also migrate along Lakes Magadi, Elmenteita, Bogoria and Turkana.
- Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa and features a number of permanent glaciers. The best view of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro is from Kenya's Amboseli National Park.
- The coastline is beautiful, particularly the Lamu Archipelago, featuring the islands of Lamu, Manda and Pate. Old Lamu Town is a World Heritage Site.
| Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (September - April)
|Winter (May - August)
|Rainfall: April - June (long rains), October - Mid December (short rains)
Kenya is divided by the Equator and its diverse geography means that temperature, rainfall and humidity vary widely. However, there are effectively four distinct zones:
The hot, rainy plateau of western Kenya has rainfall throughout the year, the heaviest usually during April when as much as 200mm may be recorded, and the lowest in January, with an average of 40mm. Temperatures range from a minimum of 14°C to a maximum of 36°C throughout the year.
The temperate Rift Valley and Central Highlands have perhaps the most agreeable climate in the country. Average temperatures vary from a minimum of 10°C to a maximum of 28°C. Rainfall varies from a minimum of 20mm in July to 200mm in April, falling in essentially two seasons – March to the beginning of June (the ‘long rains’) and October to the end of November (the ‘short rains’). Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Range are the country’s main water catchments, with falls of up to 3000mm per year recorded in these places.
In the semi-arid bush-lands of northern and eastern Kenya temperatures vary from highs of up to 40°C during the day to less than 20°C at night. Rainfall in this area is sparse and, when it does occur, is often in the form of violent storms. July is usually the driest month and November the wettest.
The consistently average temperatures of the humid coast region vary little during the year, ranging from 22°C to 30°C. Rainfall is dependent on the monsoon, which blows from the north-east from October to April and from the south-west for the rest of the year. Its rainfall averages from 20mm in February to around 300mm in May.
Depending on when the rains come, the Great Migration normally reaches Kenya around July. Hundreds of thousands of herbivores then disperse onto the plains of the Masai Mara for the next couple of months.
Population – 39 million
Capital - Nairobi
Currency – Kenya shilling
Language – Kiswahili, English, tribal languages
Nairobi, from the Masaai "enkare nyarobi" means "Place of Cool Waters"
“jambo rafiki” – hello friend
Time difference – GMT +3 hours
Telephone – country code 254, international code 00
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
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
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
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