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Southern Explorer 42 Day (Southbound)

Nairobi to Cape Town
£1,495 (plus local payment)

Ref: AT017

This trip offers culture, wildlife and some of the most spectacular scenery to be found in Africa.  The tour begins in bustling Nairobi, Kenya and travels south through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botwana and Namibia before ending in Cape Town, South Africa. There will be chances to search for the 'big five' in world renowned game parks, relax on white sandy beaches on Zanzibar, enjoy the majestic Victoria Falls,  the highest sand dunes in the world in Namibia and impressive Table Mountain.

 

Who can join: 18 years and over
Accommodation: Camping
Transfer time: approx. 45 minutes
Pick up Point: Wildebeest Eco Camp, 151 Mokoyeti Road West, Langata
Meals: Most meals included
Volunteer numbers: approx. 25

Duration & Fees

42 days£1,495

USD 930 - Local Payment

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Start Dates

2017 Start Dates:

5 Feb | 5 Mar | 2 Apr | 30 Apr | 28 May | 11 Jun | 25 Jun | 9 Jul | 23 Jul | 6 Aug | 20 Aug | 3 Sep | 17 Sep | 1 Oct | 15 Oct | 29 Oct | 12 Nov | 26 Nov | 10 Dec | 24 Dec

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/matts not provided)
  • Meals as indicated
  • Park fees and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Pre-departure pack and support and advice from Amanzi Travel staff and trip leaders

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
    Airport Departure Taxes
  • Post trip accommodation and airport transfer
  • Visas
  • Optional excursions
  • Restaurant meals and drinks
  • Laundry
  • Personal items and tips
  • Sleeping bag and pillow

Click here to enlargeStart and Finish Points: Nairobi to Cape Town
Countries visited: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
Departure Point Nairobi:  Wildebeest Eco Camp, 151 Mokoyeti Road West, Langata
Check in time: 8.45 am (9.30 am departure)
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 early on Sunday morning and anyone wishing to explore Nairobi should arrive early.  Amanzi Travel can assist with accommodation and suggestions for activities.  Please contact Amanzi Travel.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS
Meserani Snake Park and Masai Cultural Museum; Dar es Salaam; Zanzibar Ferry; Lake Malawi; South Luangwa National Park; Entrance to Victoria Falls; Chobe Overnight Excursion; Chobe National Park; Okavango Delta Excursion; Etosha National Park; Spitzkoppe; Swakopmund; Transfar to Sossusvlei; Namib-Naukluft National Park; Fish River Canyon; Canoeing on the Gariep River; Wine Tasting and Township Tour.

Itinerary

KENYA
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.

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 1: Nairobi to Arusha (Tanzania) (Lunch / Dinner)
This morning  the hustle and bustle of Nairobi will be left behind to travel south crossing the border into Tanzania at Namanga. Tonight will be spent in a lovely campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on the optional excursion to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow.

Day 2:  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.  Alternatively the town of Arusha is nearby to explore.  After enjoying lunch at the campsite against the backdrop of Mount Meru those travellers joining the optional tour will meet the Tanzanian guides and transfer into locally operated 4WD vehicles.  These vehicles have been adapted for safari use and give excellent viewing opportunities through the opening roof hatches.  

For those not opting to visit the Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park, the next days are spent at leisure at the campsite.

Leaving the camp travel is towards the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and then up over the Rift Valley Escarpement 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 views.  The evening will be spent at a very pleasant campsite in Karatu (no ablution facilities).

DAY 3: Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park Excursion (optional) (B / L / D)
This morning there will be an early departure for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater.  This is the largest unrboken and unflooded caldera in the world and comprises of open savannahs, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes.  It is truly a miniature 'Garden of Eden' and boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa - including the elusive Black Rhino.

After a game drive in the Crater, the group will head down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on the way to the Serengeti National Park, crossing the vast plains in a game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight camp is in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness.

Day 4:  Serengeti National Park to Arusha (B / L / D)
The morning offers another game drive to explore the landscape in search of the resident game. With some luck, some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’ will be seen! After the morning drive, the trip 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.

DAY 5: Arusha to Pangani* B /L / D)
After a morning spent exploring Arusha and stocking up on supplies the group will head south towards Dar es Salaam driving through the town of Moshi on the way.  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!  The tour will pass through vast sisal plantations surrounded by the Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges, before reaching the lovely campsite nestled between these mountains, midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
*  Some trips may choose to forego this night at their own cost.

Day 6:  Pangani to Dar-es Salaam (B / L / D)
To-day the tour will continue on to Dar es Salaam, travelling through lush scenery and palm trees as the warm Indian Ocean is approached.  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.  There are colourful shop fronts and 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 7: 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 that’ll leave  at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.

Included Activity:  Zanzibar Ferry
Optional Activity:  Zanzibar Excursion

PLEASE NOTE: Accommodation and meals are not provided whilst on Zanzibar, as experience has shown that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own and in accordance with their own budget.  The Trip Leader will be available and can arrange accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants.  There is a wide variety of optional excursions on offer on Zanzibar Island - see list in pre-departure pack.

For those not opting to visit Zanzibar Island the next three days are spent at leisure at the bach campsite in Dar es Salaam.  There are various optional excursions available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips.  The driver and cook remain behind in Dar 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 8 - 9: 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 those 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 10: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (NM)
The tour will leave Zanzibar this afternoon to return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam. Arrival back at camp is usually late afternoon or early evening.

DAY 11: Dar es Salaam to Iringa (B / L / D)
To-day Dar es Salaam is left behind before 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.  Travel is on towards Iringa where the night will be spent in a beautiful rustic campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!

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 12 - 14: Iringa to Lake Malawi (Malawi) (B / L / D)
Take in the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations while heading towards Malawi and entering the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ through the border post at Songwe.  Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. The length of the western side of the lake is travelled, stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next three days which can be spent learning the game of bao from the locals, scouring the markets for a bargain or simply relaxing on the pristine white 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 and to appreciate their boating skills, try to paddle a dug-out canoe yourself! 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 Activities vary but the village tour is recommended and if anyone would like to take along pens, notepads, pencils these will be very welcome.

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 15: Lake Malawi to Chipata (Zambia) (B / L / D)
To-day the group will head away from Lake Malawi and cross over into Zambia.

DAY 16: Chipata to Luangwa 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 the three national parks in this region.  South Luangwa was founded in 2938 as a game reserve and in 1972 it was declared a national park and today covers more than 9000 kilometres squared.  Animals such as the giraffe, buffalo and elephant can be found in plenty.  The Luangwa River is home to many a hippo and croc.

Included Activity:  Game drives through South Luangwa National Park

Day 17:  Luangwa National Park to Eastern Zambia (B / L / D)
This morning the tour will leave this beautiful national park and make its way south, passing through some of the villages and towns of Zambia along the way.

DAY 18: Eastern Zambia to Livingstone (B / L / D)
To-day the tour will head further south through the southern Zambian towns which mainly support local agriculture and farming, on the way to Livingstone. Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) 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! The Falls can be viewed from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia - a fantastic photo opportunity. Tonight there is the option of enjoying a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi.

Optional Activity:  Zambezi Sunset River Cruise

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 19: Livingstone to Chobe National Park (Botswana) (B,L,D)
The group will leave Zambia and cross the border into Botswana at the Kazangula Ferry.  Once border formalities have been completed the tour will continue to the town of Kasane, on the banks of the Chobe River which forms a border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia and is the main water source for Chobe National Park.  The group will then continue for the Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion.  Chobe is one of Botswana's premier game parks, well known for its herds of elephants.  The afternoon will be spent in search of wildlife while game driving to the campsite within the park where the evening will be spent surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife.  The rare Sable and Roan Antelope with its majestic backward slanting horns may be seen, as well as the Lilac Breasted Rollers that swoop by.  The night will be spent in the bush and an early start will be 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

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. 

Day 20:  Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (Brunch)
On returning to the camp the group will continue to the border with Zimbabwe and again, once border formalities have been completed, there will be a short drive to the nearby Victoria Falls, which is named after the famous World Heritage site and Falls themselves.  The town is situated on the Zambezi River within the Victoria Falls National Park.  The campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of the town, within walking distance of restaurants and shops. A 20 minute walk down the main road leads to the entry point to view the Falls which lie between Zimbabwe and Zambia.  The Falls were named by David Livingstone during his explorations and are one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.  At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari.  The afternoon can be spent relaxing at the campsite's swimming pool, viewing the Falls themselves or exploring the town.

Included Activity:  Entrance to Victoria Falls

DAY 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 here to be replaced by new passengers joining for the next leg of the tour.

Optional activities include elephant back safaris, horse back safaris, walking with the lions, a visit to a crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at the Elephant Hills Resort.  Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint-hearted.  All year round flights in fixed wing, micro and ultra light aircraft and helicoptors provide an aerial perspective of 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)
After breakfast the border into Botswana is crossed heading towards Kasane and a chance to explore this small town. After lunch and when everyone has packed up the group will leave for a  second opportunity to take part in the Chobe Overnight Mobile excursion.  The night will be spent in the bush and then the group will pack up again and head back to Kasane.

Included Activity:  Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile Excursion

DAY 24: Chobe National Park (B / L / D)
On returning to camp there will be some free time to relax at leisure.

DAY 25: Chobe National Park to Maun (B /L / D)
Today travel is in a south-westerly direction to the southern reaches of the Okavango Delta and the destination, Maun.  En route stops will be made at Botswana's 'meat' borders - check points that were set up to protect the thriving beef export industry from the spread of disease.  Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta.  This evening preparations will be made and supplies packed for this short excursion.  A small day pack is recommended for travellers joining this excursion. The trip leader will give a full briefing on what is needed and what to expect prior to the trip into the Delta. 

DAY 26: Maun to Okavango Delta (B / L / D)
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.

Included Activity:  3 Day / 2 Night Drive in Mokoro Excursion

Here there is the opportunity to take the included 3 day/ 2 night drive-in mokoro excursion into the Delta.  Leaving Maun and driving north for a couple of hours the mokoro poler’s station is reached.  The Delta region has many remote villagers where families live in a traditional way and these villages can only be reached using this traditional form of transport.  Mokoros are traditional dug-out canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds. At the Mokoro station the group will meet the 'polers' and supplies will be packed before heading out on the waterways.   After a couple of hours the guides find a place to camp, and later in the afternoon there will be a game walk to experience the Delta wilderness. Camp is situated in an open wilderness area with no ablution facillties.

DAY 27: Okavango Delta (B /L / D)
A day of rest, relaxation and Delta experiences await. Today there is the opportunity to partake in a number of activities including swimming, game walks, mokoro cruises and even a chance to try poling your own mokoro!  There is plenty of chance to relax and rest during the hotter parts of the day - perhaps playing cards or chatting with the guides about their culture and lifestyle - or simply just lying back and enjoying the sounds of the wildnerness.

DAY 28: 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 conditions and availability.

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.

DAY 29: Maun to Divundu  (Namibia) (B / L / D)
Following the Kavango River, northern Namibia is entered, stopping at Rundu for supplies before heading to the spectacular campsite located on the banks of the Kavango River. Watch the sun go down from the deck of the river, but keep a watch for the occasional hippo grazing on the lawn.

DAY 30: Divundu to Etosha National Park (B / L / D)
From Divundu, the tour will head towards Etosha National Park. Covering 20 000 square kilometres, Etosha is Namibia’s premier nature reserve. Situated around the Etosha Pan with a wide 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 when it has cooled off a little, the remainder of the day will be spent exploring the park's northern area keeping an eye out for the striking Oryx and Springbok as these are endemic to desert National Parks.  After dinner it will be possible to head to the waterhole and sit and watch the wildlife coming for an evening drink. 

Optional Activity:  Night game drives with Etosha National Park

DAY 31: Etosha National Park (B / L / D)
Today will see a drive across the park, keeping a look out for Etosha’s many different mammals, reptiles, birds and insects which change according to the vegetation giving a variety of game options.  After a full day of game viewing, the tour will exit the park through the Anderson Gate and head to the campsite just 10 km away.  The evening is spent relaxing at the camp with the chance for a quick dip in the pool before dinner. 

Included Activity:  Game drives through Etosha National Park in Tour Vehicle

DAY 32: Etosha National Park Area (B / L / D)
To-day's drive takes the group further south through the Namibian countryside to the destination for the evening in the vicinity of Etosha National Park.

Optional Activity:  Game Drive

DAY 33: Etosha National Park area to Brandberg (EIS) (B / L / D)
To-day the tour will travel south to the area of the Brandberg and depending on the time of arrival there will be the opportunity to explore the area.

DAY 34: Brandbergt (UIS) to Swakopmund (B )
Today's travel is to Swakopmund via Spitzkoppe. 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 beach and promenade provide a lovely walk - though sea bathing can be cold!

Included Activity:  Brief stop at Spitzkoppe

DAYS 35: Swakopmund (B on both days)
The next day is spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions.  Some fellow passengers will leave the tour here, to be replaced by new passengers joining for the final leg of the trek.

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.

DAYS 36 -  37: Swakopmund to Sesriem (B /L / D)
Leaving Swakopmund, and heading south to meet the Atlantic Ocean at Walvis Bay. Continuing the journey, the Namib-Naukluft Park is entered in one of the oldest deserts in the world.  Base will be at Sesriem, a great 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 afternoon will be spent exploring this amazing area.

Included Activity:  Visit to Dune 45
Included Activity:  Visit to Sossusvlei

DAY 38: Sesriem to Fish River Canyon (B / L / D)
After watching the sunrise across this beautiful area the serenity of the dunes will be left behind before heading south to the Fish River Canyon. 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 the spectacular vistas can be absorbed.

Included Activity:  Visit to Fish River Canyon

DAY 39: Fish River Canyon to Gariep River (South Africa) (B / L / D)
This morning the trek continues south, where, after a short drive, the Gariep River is reached - the natural land border between Namibia and South Africa. Camp will be made at a beautiful campsite on the South African bank of the river. This afternoon there will be the chance of a half-day canoe trip on the beautiful Gariep River, affording the opportunity of some bird watching or just a scenic and relaxing paddle.  Tonight there is the chance for some fun at the awesome camp bar overlooking the river.

Included Activity:  Canoeing on the Gariep River

DAY 40: Gariep River to Cederberg (B / L / D)
An early morning start sees travel south through the Richtersveld and the mining town of Springbok before reaching the region known as Namaqualand, well known for its prolific display of Namaqua wildflowers that occur each spring. Tonight is spent in a picturesque campsite surrounded by local wine farms and there will be the opportunity to sample some of the nectar of the gods or to explore the surrounding beautiful Cederberg Mountains.   Tonight will the last night under the stars.

Included Activity:  Wine Tasting

DAY 41: Cederberg to Cape Town (B)
The scenic Cederberg area is left to travel south towards Cape Town through the rich fruit growing area of Citrusdal before crossing the Piketberg Pass to the Cape’s wine growing regions. The first sighting of the Mother’s City Table Mountain across Table Bay means that the final destination is in sight.  Tonight’s accommodation is in dormitories in one of Cape Town’s best loved hostels. After checking in and getting some lunch the group will set out on a township tour in and around Cape Town, being dropped off back at the hostel at the end of the tour.

Included Activity:  Township Tour

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 42: Cape Town
After breakfast, addresses will be exchanged and everyone will part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!

There is a wide range of activities available in Cape Town and the surrounding areas, including day trips, short tours and longer tours travelling up the picturesque coast of South Africa.  Anyone wishing to extend their visit and take part in some of the activities there, please contact Amanzi Travel who will be happy to offer advice.

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.  Local payments are subject to change with prior notice.  Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries visited there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.

Optional excursions

Below is a selection of Optional Activities and Excursions available on this tour.  Where activities occur away from base there may be an additional transfer cost.

Zimbabwe:
White Water Rafting on the Zambezi (full day) - $140
Canoeing on the Zambezi - Half Day/Full Day - $140
Bungee Jumping (111 m) - $150
Tandem Bungee Jump - $180
Rafting and Boarding Combo - $180
Half Day Adrenaline - Gorge Swing, Zipline and Fling Fox - $165
Micro Light over the Falls - 15 mins - $170
Helicoptor Flight over the Falls - 12 mins - $155
Helicoptor Flight over the Falls - 19/25 mins - $265
Zambezi Sunset River Boat Cruise - from $50

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

Malawi:

Freshwater Diving at Kande Beach - $45 (additional dives $30 each)
Horse Riding at Kande Beach 2 hour/3 hour - $60/$90
Village Walk and Meal at Kande Beach - from $15
Village Walk at Chitmba Beach - $3
Traditional Healer Visit - $2
Livingstonia Mission Hike - 30 km return - $7
Carving lessons and local fishing - price to be negotiated on arrival

Tanzania:
3 Day Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Excursion - From $590
Olduvai Gorge - $10
Masai Village Visit - $15

Botswana:
Scenic Flight over the Delta - $300 - $350 per plane (max 5 persons) - $100

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

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

Namibia - Swakopmund:
Quad Biking - $100
Sand Boarding  - $55/$70
Township Tour - $80
Tandem Sky Diving - 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

Please note that this is not a full list of available activities.  There are many more to choose from.  Prices are approximate and are subject to change at any time and should only be used as a guide.
For a comprehensive list of things to do before, during or after the trip, please contact Amazi Travel.

Getting There

Flights should be arranged to arrive into Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta 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 transfer on arrival and one night's pre-tour accommodation in a dormitory bed is included in the project fee. 

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and flight requirements can be made on 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.

Nairobi to Cape Town , Southern Explorer 42 Day (Southbound)Nairobi to Cape Town , Southern Explorer 42 Day (Southbound)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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

Click here to view the full interactive mapKenya - 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.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (September - April) 34 °C 20 °C
Winter (May - August) 25 °C 11 °C
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. 

Key Facts

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

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)

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