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Southern Safari - 32 Day

Nairobi to Johannesburg
£1,195 (plus local payment)

Ref: AT006

This trip begins in Nairobi, Kenya and travels south through Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana before ending in Johannesburg, South Africa. From the vast plains of the Serengeti and the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta, to haggling in local markets and sitting around a camp fire, this 32 day trip is a true taste of what Africa has to offer. Zanzibar is an island paradise, there's the thunderous splendour of the mighty Victoria Falls, while Kruger is home to the 'big five'. This diverse trip offers an ever changing mix of culture, scenery and wildlife. 

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

32 days£1,195

USD 960 - Local Payment

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Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Start Dates

2017 Start Dates:

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

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

Payment

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

What's Included

  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Pre-trip night dorm room accommodation
  • Fully equipped expedition vehicle
  • Cooking and camping equipment (sleeping bags/mats 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
  • Departure Transfer
  • Visas
  • Optional excursions
  • Restaurant meals and drinks
  • Laundry
  • Personal items including sleeping bag and pillows
  • Tips

Click here to enlargeStart and finish points: Nairobi to Johannesburg
Countries visited: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya
Departure Point Nairobi:  Wildebeest Eco Camp, 151 Mokoyeti Road West, Langata
Check-in time: 8.45 am (departure 9.30 am)
Pre-departure Meeting: 5.00 pm the day before at the 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.  Anyone wishing to explore Nairobi should aim to arrive in time to do so.  Amanzi Travel can offer suggestions for accommodation and activities but these will be for the traveller's own account.

Included Highlights:  Meserani Snake Park and Masai Cultural Museum; Dar es Salaam; Zanzibar Ferry; South Luangwa National Park; Lake Malawi; Entrance to Victoria Falls; Chobe National Park;  Chobe Boat Cruise; Chobe Overnight Excursion; Kruger National Park and Night Game Drive

KENYA
Upon entering this beautiful east African country, the traveller may be greeted with the words of "jambo" (hello) or "hakuna matata" (no problem) by the friendly 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 Africa.  Being the largest country in east Africa Tanzania has heaps to offer her visitors including 13 game reserves and national parks.  Tanzania also forms part of the world's largest animal movements, the Great Migration. Inland are the vast Serengeti National Park and the animal-packed Ngorongoro Conservation area, and thousands of people each year fulfil their lifetime ambition by climbing 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.

Itinerary

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

DAY 2: Arusha to Karatu (Optional) (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
This morning a visit to the Meserani Reptile Park and Masai Cultural Museum will be made.  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, the Tanzanian guides will be met and a transfer will be made into locally operated 4WD vehicles which have been adapted for safari use and allow excellent viewing and photographic opportunities through the opening roof hatches.

Optional Activity:  Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater Excursion (more information available from the crew)

Leaving the camp travel is via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park, and then up the Rift Valley Escarpement to the higher lying village of Karatu with its magnificent views over the surrounding hills and the many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panorama.  The night will be spent at a very pleasant campsite in Karatu.

Day 3:  Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park (OPTIONAL) (B / L / D)
This morning there will be an early departure for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and into the wildife rich Ngorongoro Crater. which is the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world.  Comprising open savannah, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes, the Crater is a miniature "Garden of Eden". This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino. 

After a game drive in the Crater, the trip will head down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on the way to the Serengeti National Park, crossing the vast plains and driving through the southern and central areas in the park.  Tonight's camp is in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness (no ablution facilities) and with no fences surrounding the campsite this is truly in the midst of nature!

Those travellers not wishing to join this Optional Excursion will remain at the campsite.

Day 4:  Serengeti National Park to Arusha (B / L / D)
To-day offers another game drive and exploration of the landscape in search of the resident game.  With luck some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’ will be seen.  Following this 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.

DAY 5: Arusha to Pangani * (B / L / D)
The tour will head back to Arusha this morning to stock up on supplies before continuing on 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!  Passing through vast sisal plantations surrounded by the Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges the lovely campsite, nestled between these mountains, and midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam, is reached.

*  Some trips may choose to forego this night at their own cost.

DAY 6: Pangani to Dar es Salaam (B / L / D)
Today the tour continues 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.  Look out for the colourful shop-fronts with their sometimes humorous "catch phrases".  On arrival in Dar es Salaam the night is spent at a lovely seaside campsite with time to prepare for departure to Zanzibar the next morning.

DAY 7: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (OPTIONAL) (B)
A ferry is taken from Dar es Salaam to the "Spice Island,” where there is the option to spend the next three nights.  Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join here to replace those that will leave at the end of the excursion to Zanzibar.  

Included Activity:  Zanzibar Ferry
Optional Activity:  Zanzibar Excursion

Please note: Accommodation and meals are not provided whilst on Zanzibar, as experience has shown that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own and in accordance with their own budget.   The Trip Leader is available and can arrange accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants.  There are also many optional excursions on offer - see price guide at the end of this document.

For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam.  There are various optional activities available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips.  The driver and cook remain behind in Dar during the 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 anyone wishing to explore the more remote areas of the island.  Zanzibar is a seafood lover’s paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality.  Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.

DAY 10: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (D)
Leave Zanzibar in the afternoon and return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam.  Arrival back at the camp is usually late afternoon or early evening.

DAY 11: Dar es Salaam to Iringa (B / L / D)
This morning the group will leave Dar es Salaam and head south 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. Onward travel is to Iringa where the night  is 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 including 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 it is possible to kick back on the sand and enjoy a perfect sunset over the lake.  Malawi offers the perfect sub-tropical climate with plenty of time to soak up the sun and work on that tan.  Lilongwe is the largest city in Malawi as well as being the capital.  Malawi is host to just over 12 million inhabitants, 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 Lake Malawi which is known as the "lake of stars".  There are many water activities on offer and with the staggering number of 500 species of fish, this lake is an excellent spot for fresh water diving after meeting and greeting the welcoming locals.

DAYS 12 -14: Iringa to Lake Malawi (Malawi) (B / L / D)
Taking 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.  Spend the days 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 paddling a dug-out canoe!  At night the "fairly" lights of the fishermen out on the lake can be seen. The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi’s shores offer many optional excursions including a variety of water sports, horse back rides and a visit to the local village and school (see price guide at the end of this document).

Optional Activities are varied, but the village tour is recommended.  Anyone who can take along pens, notepads, pencils etc to the village will be warmly welcomed.

DAY 15: Lake Malawi to Chipata (Zambia) (B / L / D)
To-day the group will leave 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 1938 as a game reserve and in 1972 was declared a national park and to-day covers over 9000 kilometres squared.  Animals such as giraffe, buffalo and elephant can be found and the park is also 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)
Today the group wil leave this lovely National Park and make its way south, passing through some of the villages and towns of Zambia on 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 into ruin.  Due to foreign investment ad a rise in the mining industry, Zambia is today once again starting to prosper.

DAY 18: Eastern Zambia to Livingstone (B / L / D)
An early morning start sees the tour heading south through the southern Zambian towns that mostly 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.

BOTSWANA
The size of this successful country can be compared to 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)
Leaving Zambia and crossing the border into Botswana at the Kazangula Ferry.  Once border formalities have been completed the trip will continue to the town of Kasane, situated on the banks of the Chobe River which forms the border between Botswana and Namibia and Zambia and is the main water source to the Chobe National Park.  After lunch there will be time to relex and then in the afternoon the group will leave for the Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile Excursion - an overnight experience in the wilds of the Chobe National Park.  Chobe is one of Botswana's premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds.  The afternoon will be spent in search of wildlife while game driving to the camp within the park where the evening will be spent surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife.  Look out for the rare Sable and Roan Antelope on the game drive, with their majestic backward slanting horns, or the Lilac Breasted Rollers that swoop by.  After the night in the bush the group will head out early to continue the search for wildlife, before packing up and heading back to Kasane.

Included Activity:  Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile Excursion

Day 20:  Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (Brunch)
On return to camp everyone will get back into the truck and continue to the border with Zimbabwe and once border formalities have been completed, there will be a short drive to the nearby Victoria Falls.  Named after the famous World Heritage site and Falls themselves, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi Rier and surrounded by the National Park.  The campsite is very conveniently situated in the centre of the town and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops.  A 20 minute walk down the main road leads to the entry point to view the Falls which lie between Zambia and Zimbabwe. After the adventure activities briefing the afternoon can be spent relaxing at the campsite's swimming pool, viewing the Falls or exploring the many sights of the town.

Included Activity:  Entrance to Victoria Falls

DAYS 21 - 22: Victoria Falls (B)
The next two days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions.  Somd fellow passengers will leave the tour at Vic Falls to be replaced by new passengers joining for the next leg of the trek.

Optional activities include elephant back safaris, horse back safaris, walking with lions, a visit to a crocodile ranch,  boat cruises and golf at the Elephant Hills Resort.  Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint-hearted!  White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class and besides 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.  All year round flights can be taken in fixed wing planes, micro lights or helicoptors.  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.

DAY 23: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park (Botswana) (B / L / D)
After breakfast the border into Botswana is crossed and the trip will head to Kasane where camp will be set up on the banks of the Chobe River.  The Chobe River forms a border between Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. This National Park is one of Botswana’s premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds.  Elephant, hippo and many bird species can be viewed from the campsite while watching another glorious African sunset.

Included Activity:  Boat Cruise on the Chobe River

DAY 24: 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 from where the exploration of the Okavango Delta starts.  En route there will be routine stops at Botswana's "meat" borders - check points that were set up to protect its thriving beef export industry from the spread of disease.  Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta and tonight preparations will be made for the two night excursion.  Taking along a smaller daypack which can be used to pack the supplies needed for this short trip is recommended.  The trip leader will give a full briefing on what is needed and what to expect during the trip into the Delta.

DAY 25: Maun to Okavango Delta (Optional) (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.

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

Here there is an optional three day/two night drive-in mokoro excursion into the Delta. From Maun and driving north for a couple of hours the mokoro poler’s station is reached.  The Delta region has many local villages where families live in the traditional way.  Some of these villages are very remote and can only be reached by the traditional mode of transport - the Mokoro.  Mokoros are traditional dug-out canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds.  At the Mokoro station the "polers" will be met and supplies packed before heading out onto the waterways.  After a couple of hours the guides find a place to camp and later in the afternoon an afternoon game walk is taken to experience the Delta wilderness.  The camp is situated in an open wilderness area with no ablution facilities.

For those who prefer not to explore the Delta, they will spend the next two days at the lovely campsite, relaxing by the swimming pool or challenging each other to a game of volleyball.  There is a crocodile farm nearby whose feeding time is open to campsite residents.  The driver and cook remain behind in Maun during this excursion.

DAY 26: Okavango Delta (B / L / D)
A day of rest, relaxation and Delta experiences awaits.  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 a mokoro!   There is plenty of time to relax and rest during the hotter part of the day - so perhaps challenge new friends to a game of cards, or chat with the guides about their culture and lifestyle, or simply lie back and enjoy the sounds of the wilderness ...

DAY 27: 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 with 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 availablity.

DAY 28: Maun to Palapye  (B / L / D)
An early start to head off for a fairly long drive (450 kms) to the small town of Palapye situated about half way between Francistown and Gaborone - the capital of Botswana.  This popular stopover town is well known for the Morupule Colliery coal mines which supply Morupule Power Station, Botswana's principal domestic source of electricity.

SOUTH AFRICA
With nine different provinces, eleven official languages and three capital cities, South Africa definitely has the WOW factor!

DAY 29: Palapye to Blydepoort (South Africa) (B / L / D)
This morning the group will cross into South Africa and continue to the camp overlooking the impressive Blyde River Canyon.  Named for the Blyde River than runs through it, the canyon is 26 km long and averages 800 m deep and forms the northern edge of the impressive Drakensberg Mountain Range.  It is classified as a "green" canyon due to the uncommon occurrence of vegetation that lines it - uncommon as most canyons are in desert areas and are fairly barren.  The main viewpoints along the canyon are the three Rondavels, named for the shape of the traditional hut or houses the indigenous people of the area used to live in.  Gods Window gives a breathtaking view across the canyon and surrounding areas.

DAY 30: Blydepoort to Nkambeni Camp (B / L / D)
To-day the tour will head through the beautiful Panorama Route, stopping off at various viewpoints including the scenic God's Window and then passing through the small town of Graskop while heading towards the Kruger National Park and the campsite at the border of the park.

Included Activity:  Night Game Drive

DAY 31: Nkambeni Camp (B / L / D)
Today the amazing Kruger National Park is visited in search of some of the 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian and 49 fish species that make this place their home.  The group will travel in the truck along the main game viewing routes within the park, stopping offf at some of the camps along the way.  For those who wish to upgrade to an open vehicle game drive, this can be arranged with the trip leader at an additional cost.

Included Activity:  Game Drives through Kruger National Park

DAY 32: Nkambeni to Johannesburg (B)
After a delicious breakfast, the journey to the final destination, Egoli, the place of gold, is commenced.  Johannsberg is the capital of Gauteng a province in South Africa.  On arrival in Johannesburg addresses are exchanged and a parting of the ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!

Anyone wishing to extend their stay for a few days to explore Johannesburg and the surrounding areas should contact Amanzi Travel for advice on accommodation and activities.  

Please note that this itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road and weather conditions.  All local payments are subject to change with prior notice.  Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries visited there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.

 

Optional excursions

Zimbabwe:
White Water Rafting on the Zambezi (full day) - $140
Bungee Jumping (111 m) - $150
Rafting and Boarding Combo - $180
Micro Light over the Falls - 15 mins - $170
Helicoptor Flight over the Falls - 12 mins - $155

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

Botswana:
3 Day Okavango Delta Mokoro Excursion - $180
Scenic Flight over Delta (max five passengers per plane)  - $100 each

Malawi:
Freshwater Diving at Kande Beach - $55 + additional dives at $30 each
Horse Riding at Kande Beach 2 hour/3 hour - $70/$100
Village Walk and Meal at Kande Beach - from $20
Traditional Healer Visit - $10
Livingstonia Mission Hike - 30 km return - $10
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 - from $15

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

South Africa:
Johannesburg City Tour - $80
Soweto Tour – Johannesburg/Pretoria – from $80

All prices are in US dollars and are approximate and are subject to change, and where activities occur away the base, there may be a transfer cost.
For a comprehensive list of things to do before, during or after the trip, please contact us

Getting There

Flights should be arranged to arrive into Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  Please make sure to arrive in plenty of time for the trip departure. Travellers are recommended to arrive the day before their start date and depart the day after their end date to allow for any delays.   An airport transfer on arrival and the pre-tour night's accommodation in a bunk bed is included.   Full details will be in provided in the pre-departure pack.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and can arrange any flight requirements upon request.

Support and Orientation

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

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

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

Nairobi to Johannesburg, Southern Safari - 32 DayNairobi to Johannesburg, Southern Safari - 32 Day Meals on Tour

Meals and menus vary as food is purchased en-route and will include produce that is available seasonally in the areas travelled through.  As the tour aims to support the local communities along the way, fresh produce is mainly purchased direct from the producer or local grower and will therefore have 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 of the same selection as that travellers are used to back home.

Breakfast consists of break (toast when time allows), spreads and cereals with a hot breakfast every few days.  Lunches are mostly prepared en-route with a supply of "build you own" sandwich ingredients available.  Dinners are cooked in the evenings on arrival at the campsite.  A wide array of dinner menus is on offer during the safari including curris, stews, pastas, BBQs and even roasts!

Transport on Tour

The overland vehicles are custom built 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, though 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 providing great game viewing and photography opportunities.  Seats are cushions and there is storage space for personal items such as cameras, snacks and day pakcs in the seating area.

Participation on Tour

All tours are participation tours and passengers are expected to help out around the camp.  The crew members running the tour will set up a rota system that will include cleaning duties, cooking duties and so on.  This not only makes the tour easier for everyone involved, but is a great way for passengers to get to know one another while on the trip.



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 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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