Big Five Safari Explorer - 36 days

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Adventure overdrive. Trekking for gorilla, game-spotting, kicking back on Zanzibar, this expedition takes in some of the best of Eastern Africa and culminates at the breathtaking Victoria Falls - Africa's adrenaline playground!

Highlights
  • Botswana: camp in the wilderness of Chobe National Park, listening for the sounds of the nocturnal wildlife
  • Kenya: go on safari in the Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru, stay in the capital Nairobi and visit a traditional Masai settlement
  • Malawi: visit the Malawian capital of Lilongwe and spend three days camping along the shore of spectacular Lake Malawi, which takes up one third of the country
  • Zambia: admire the Zambian side of Victoria Falls and search for giraffes, elephants and more on safari in South Luangwa National Park
  • Zimbabwe: end your safari adventure at Victoria Falls, where you can marvel at the cascades and opt for bungee jumping or helicopter rides
  • Uganda: spend time in Kampala and relax at Lake Bunyoni before your optional gorilla trek in search of endangered Mountain gorillas
  • Tanzania: spot Africa's Big Five in some of the continent's premier game reserves, including the Ngorongoro Crater and the mighty Serengeti
  • Zanzibar: unwind on pristine white sandy beaches and opt for a sunset dhow cruise, snorkelling or scuba diving
Age Policy
18 and over.Overland Age Policy:To travel on one of our overland family departure safaris children need to be a minimum age of 6 for Southern Africa safaris (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa) and a minimum of 8 years old for East Africa safaris (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia). If a safari includes both East and Southern Africa then the minimum age will be 8 years old. Please note that they will be travelling with the normal group. These are not separate family tours. For family dates look for the icon next to the tour date online. IMPORTANT: South Africa and Botswana regulations aimed at fighting child trafficking:'All parents travelling with children into or out of SA and/or Botswana may be asked to show the child’s unabridged (full) birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (eg an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate). You should travel with these documents in case you’re asked to provide them. There are other requirements for children travelling unaccompanied or with adults who are not their parents.' Tell pax to contact the South African High Commission, South African Department of Home Affairs and/or the Botswana High Commission for further information.
Destinations
  • Africa
  • Botswana
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Tour Types
  • Trekking
  • Safaris
  • Small Group

Welcome to Nairobi! We’ll be there to collect you at Nairobi Airport and transfer you to the Kenya Comfort Hotel. Tonight you will stay in shared dorms. There will be a pre departure meeting at 17.00.

Nairobi - Masai Mara. Heading west from Nairobi on day 2, we reach possibly Kenya’s most famous natural attraction - the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Kenyan section of the wildly beautiful Serengeti Plains teems with wildlife. The highlight of the Mara is no doubt the annual wildebeest migration, when literally millions of these beasts plus zebra and Thomson’s gazelle stray north from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania in search of lush grass on the savannah plains. Elephant, lion, cheetah, giraffe and a multitude of hooved herbivores also inhabit the reserve. A game drive through the Mara on day 3 gives us the chance to spot the Big Five. During our stay we can also opt to visit a local Masai tribe.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Masai Mara - Eldoret - Kampala (Uganda). Leaving the Masai Mara early on day 4, we head out of Masai Land and pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau. The following morning, we cross the border into Uganda where we overnight it the capital city, Kampala.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Kampala - Lake Bunyoni. From Kampala we drive to Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, which is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, we trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda. <br/><br/> We depart from our base in Bunyoni in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size. We wind our way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa en-route to the National Park. Dependant on where permits are available, we may spend a night in either Kisoro en route. The following morning, after packing our picnic lunch, we are transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family. Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous. To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point where you will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni campsite. <br/><br/> <b>Please note:</b> Gorilla permits need to be purchased in advance, please ask your reservations consultant or visit our Gorilla trekking travel guide.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Lake Bunyoni - Kampala - Jinja. After marvelling at the experience of our gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, we begin our drive back to Kampala. We cross the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. We overnight in Kampala and have the opportunity to sample its night life! <br/><br/> On day 11 we have the option of visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or heading to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or visiting a volunteer and community project.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Jinja - Nakuru - Naivasha (Kenya). Departing early, we head back to Kenya, stopping for lunch and supplies en route. We overnight outside Nakuru. Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province and lies adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park. <br/><br/> The following morning we begin our exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park. The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. We spend the day searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way. After our game drive, we head to our campsite, arriving in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Lake Nakuru - Naivasha - Nairobi. Departing Lake Nakuru, we head for Lake Naivasha, home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. We spend the day enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park. The next morning we head back to Nairobi.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Nairobi - Arusha (Tanzania). Leaving Nairobi, we cross the border into Tanzania. Arusha is the starting point for the optional 3 day excursion to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. <br/><br/> The Ngorongoro/Serengeti excursion takes us via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. We spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu. The following morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino. After our game drive in the Crater, we continue down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on our way to the Serengeti National Park. We cross the vast plains as we game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight we bush camp (no ablutions) in the wild surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident wildlife. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’!

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Arusha - Pangani - Dar es Salaam. We return to Arusha before continuing on towards Dar es Salaam. On the way we drive through the town of Moshi situated at the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. We may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! We spend the night in Pangani midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam before reaching our lovely seaside campsite in Dar es Salaam the following day.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Dar es Salaam - Zanzibar. A ferry from Dar Es Salaam takes us to ‘Spice Island’, where we have the option to spend the next three nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and offers a wealth of experiences. Wander the streets of Stone Town, take an excursion around a spice plantation or simply laze on one of the pristine white sandy beaches, the choice is yours!

Meals: Breakfast,

Zanzibar - Mikumi - Iringa. Leaving Zanzibar in the morning, we return to the mainland and head west to Mikumi for an overnight stop. The next day we continue our journey west. Our destination today is Iringa where we spend the night in a beautiful rustic campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Iringa - Lake Malawi (Malawi). Winding our way through the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we travel into Malawi, a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. We travel the length of the western side of the lake, stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next 3 days. Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax on the pristine beaches.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Lake Malawi - South Luangwa (Zambia). We head away from Lake Malawi, and cross into Zambia. Across the border we head towards South Luangwa National Park. This breath taking park is situated on the Luangwa River in the Eastern part of Zambia, and it is the southernmost of three national parks in this region. South Luangwa was founded in 1938 as a game reserve, 1972 was the year it was declared as a national park, and today it covers over 9000 kilometres squared. Animals such as Giraffe, buffalo and Elephants can be found in abundance. The Luangwa river is home to many a hippo and croc.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

South Luangwa - Lusaka Area - Livingstone. Today we depart this amazing National Park and make our way down south. As we drive, we pass through a few of the villages and towns of Zambia along the way. Prosperous during the copper boom in the 60’s, 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. Heading further south on day 33, we journey to Livingstone. The 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 we have the option of enjoying a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Livingstone - Chobe (Botswana). Today we cross the border into Botswana and continue to the town of Kasane, on the banks of the Chobe River which forms a border between Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. <br/><br/> Tonight we enjoy an exciting 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. Spend the afternoon in search of wildlife while we game drive to our camp within the park where we spend the evening surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife.

Meals: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

Chobe - Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). After our night in the bush, we head out early to continue our search for wildlife, before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane. Crossing the border into Zimbabwe, a short drive takes us to the nearby Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage site and Water Falls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park. We enjoy our last day in the adrenaline playground of Africa, where there are optional activities aplenty here including Zambezi white water rafting, bungy jumping from 111m and flights over the Falls in a variety of airborne machines!

Meals: Breakfast,

Saturday marks the end of our expedition. Consider extending your stay in Victoria Falls to take advantage of all the exciting optional excursions available.

Meals: Breakfast,

Included
  • A fully equipped overland truck for transportation and game drives
  • 30 breakfasts, 29 lunches, 29 dinners
  • Accommodation
    -Camping
  • 1st night dormitory accommodation at Wildebeest Eco Camp and 31 nights camping. Tents and sleeping mats provided
  • Park entry - Lake Naivasha NP. Park entry and game drives - Masai Mara, Ngorongoro NP, Serengeti NP, Lake Nakuru NP, South Luangwa and Chobe NP
  • All camping fees and appropriate equipment
  • All road taxes and tolls
  • Services of 3 person crew (leader, driver, cook)
  • Arrival transfer from Nairobi Airport on day 1
  • 3 night Zanzibar Excursion including ferry transfer, accommodation, Spice Tour and Dhow Sunset Cruise

Not Included
  • Gorilla Permit and transfer fee: Please note that Gorillas often move across the border, between the national parks in Rwanda and Uganda, therefore itineraries often have to be changed at short notice in order to track the Gorillas in whichever National P
    -
  • Gorilla Permit and transfer fee: Please note that Gorillas often move across the border, between the national parks in Rwanda and Uganda, therefore itineraries often have to be changed at short notice in order to track the Gorillas in whichever National P
    -
  • Sleeping bag - please bring your own
    -
  • Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
    -
  • Gorilla Permit and transfer fee: Please note that Gorillas often move across the border, between the national parks in Rwanda and Uganda, therefore itineraries often have to be changed at short notice in order to track the Gorillas in whichever National P
    -
  • Gorilla Permit and transfer fee: Please note that Gorillas often move across the border, between the national parks in Rwanda and Uganda, therefore itineraries often have to be changed at short notice in order to track the Gorillas in whichever National P
    -
  • Gorilla Permit and transfer fee: Please note that Gorillas often move across the border, between the national parks in Rwanda and Uganda, therefore itineraries often have to be changed at short notice in order to track the Gorillas in whichever National P
    -
  • Gorilla Permit and transfer fee: Please note that Gorillas often move across the border, between the national parks in Rwanda and Uganda, therefore itineraries often have to be changed at short notice in order to track the Gorillas in whichever National P
    -
  • Local payment - $2100pp, paid in USD
    -
  • Gorilla Permit and transfer fee: Please note that Gorillas often move across the border, between the national parks in Rwanda and Uganda, therefore itineraries often have to be changed at short notice in order to track the Gorillas in whichever National P
    -
  • Entrance Fees: Gorilla Permit + Transfer USD$720 - 870pp, paid in USD
    -
  • International flights and visas
    -
4* Big Five Safari Explorer - 36 days
I fell in love with Africa the minute I arrived. I thought the tour was fantastic but the reason I rate it 4/5 is because it is too fast paced. Some days I felt like all I experienced was the truck. If the long drives were broken up with a few extra nights here and there so we arrive at our camp in the day light and can go for a walk or relax it'd be 5/5. Chris my guide was exceptional. He gave us so much information about Africa and its culure. And he answered all our questions even though he must get asked them all the time. He was also a friend to us by playing uno on the truck or just chatting with us.
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Date: 23-Jun-2016

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Touring with On The Go Tours

From a first foray into Egypt in 1998, On The Go Tours have expanded their operations to more than 60 countries, offering award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world. Their Middle East and North Africa portfolio now includes Jordan, Israel and Morocco, whilst other regions include Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent. From Machu Picchu in Peru to the extravagant Taj Mahal in India, On The Go Tours get you to the main sights of whichever destination you choose to visit. There’s also a range of special festival tours, Christmas and New Year adventures and much more, from overland adventures to luxury cruises. They always uncover some hidden gems too, be it canoeing to a local home for lunch in Sri Lanka or riding a rickshaw around the maze of Hutongs in Beijing, China.

With three different ranges of trips to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Signature tours are everything that makes On The Go Tours special, with local tour guides, small groups and a great quality of accommodationEssentials tours keep the costs down whilst still delivering true adventure, with a mixture of public transport in Japan and overland trucks in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Whilst on their Handpicked tours, On The Go Tours work with local partners to deliver authentic experiences in amazing destinations, from Iceland to the Galapagos archipelago.

Sustainability and environmental awareness are also at the heart of On The Go Tours’ operations. Whether it’s planting trees in Cambodia, donating stationary to a school in India or funding the conservation of endangered Bengal tigers, protecting the regions they visit is at the forefront of the way they do business. Signature tours with On The Go Tours also make use of locally-run hotels and eateries wherever possible, and tour guides are mostly English-speaking locals. Overall, around 70% of travellers holiday funds remain in the destination visited.

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tour details

This tour is operated by On The Go Tours

35 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Enquire Award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world.
Start:Nairobi
Finish:Victoria Falls
Group size:2 - 30
Suitable for: 18 and over.Overland Age Policy:To travel on one of our overland family departure safaris children need to be a minimum age of 6 for Southern Africa safaris (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa) and a minimum of 8 years old for East Africa safaris (
Accommodation:Camping
Diets:Vegetarians, Please contact On The Go Tours with specific dietary requests
Tour operated in: English
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