21 Day East African Explorer 2019-20

East African Explorer 21 Day | Topdeck Travel
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Top Deck

Wanna combine a beach getaway with once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters? This all-encompassing African adventure will suit you more than a pith hat suits a park ranger! Relax on tropical island Zanzibar and recline on Lake Malawi’s beaches before getting up close and personal with the famed 'Big Five' at Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. Good times guaranteed!

Destinations
  • Zambia
  • Malawi
  • Tanzania
  • Kenya
  • Africa
  • Europe
Tour Types
  • Youth
Day 1: Livingstone, Zambia to Lusaka

This. Is. Africa! We’ll kick things off on the banks of the great Zambezi River in adventure-loving Livingstone, where we’ll visit the thundering Victoria Falls. At over a mile wide, the falls form the largest curtain of falling water in the world, with spray visible from 20 kilometres away – hence the local name Mosi-oa-Tunya ('the smoke that thunders'). Later today, we’ll make tracks to Zambia's urban metropolis, Lusaka. A commercial hub and centre for the government, Lusaka is home to dusty tree-lined streets and bustling local markets that ooze African flair. Our campsite for the evening is set in a tranquil and relaxing spot on a farm, far from the hustle and bustle of the city.



Day 2: Lusaka to South Luangwa

We’ll leave Lusaka early this morning and take the Great Eastern Road through lush countryside to South Luangwa National Park. This area of outstanding natural beauty is rightly known as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Did you know? The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River and its oxbow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa. After setting up camp, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy however you like. Anyone for an optional village tour or walking safari?



Day 3: South Luangwa to South Luangwa National Park 

What better way to start the day than with a morning game drive along the river’s edge? A whole bunch of animals and birds call this area home. After the game drive, kick back at Warthogs Bar or take a dip in the swimming pool (100% the best place to cool off during the hot hours of the day).



Day 4: South Luangwa National Park to Kande Beach, Malawi

Also known as ‘Lake Nyasa’, Lake Malawi covers almost a fifth of the country’s area and provides the livelihood for many fishermen. True story. Expect to see the locals in their bwato (dugout canoes made from hollowed-out tree trunks) fishing on the lake at the break of day. After arriving at Kande Beach, you’ll have some free time to get acquainted with the area. Sweet!



Day 5: Kande Beach

Wanna grab a slice of today’s optionals? Go for it! We’ve got horse riding, snorkelling and scuba diving on offer. It’s also worth taking the time to get to know some of the locals – they’re renowned for being some of the friendliest in Africa!



Day 6: Kande Beach to Chitimba Beach

Today we’ll take a scenic drive through rubber plantations to Mzuzu, the capital of the northern region and the third largest town in Malawi. After stopping to grab supplies, we’ll head to Chitimba Beach – our home for the next two nights.



Day 7: Chitimba Beach

Got itchy feet? Then you may wanna take an optional hike to Livingstonia with a local guide. Be sure to rest up beforehand – the trek may take a while!



Day 8: Chitimba Beach to Iringa, Tanzania

Today we’ll climb through Tanzania’s Southern Highlands all the way to Kisolanza Farm House – a working farm famous for its hot showers and chocolate brownies. Home to the Ghaui family for over 70 years, Kisolanza provides beef, lamb, chicken and vegetables to the surrounding markets, as well as further afield in Dar es Salaam.



Day 9: Iringa to Mikumi National Park

Today we’ll make our way east to Mikumi, where there’s an optional National Park visit on offer. Tonight: sip sundowners at the local bar before gathering around the open fire and stargazing at our camp.



Day 10: Mikumi National Park to Dar es Salaam

With luck, we may spot forest elephants or giraffes feeding near the side of the road on our way to Dar es Salaam – a humid, bustling seaport city full of high rises and colourful markets. We’ll set up camp at our site on the beach just outside of the city centre, with a chance to browse the local markets (if we have time) before heading to Zanzibar tomorrow.



Day 11: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar

After kicking things off in Dar es Salaam, we’ll hop on a ferry and set a course for the island of Zanzibar. Once in Stone Town, choose from the optional activities: a spice tour, a visit to the Arab Fort, the site of the old slave market or the Palace Museum are all here. Please note: As we leave the truck on the mainland, basic safari lodge/hotel accommodation and breakfast on Zanzibar is included. However, you will need to arrange your own lunches and dinners. We usually divide our nights in Zanzibar between accommodation in Stone Town and accommodation on one of the northern beaches, but there are no set activities – the time is entirely yours to do as you please.



Day 12: Zanzibar 

Zanzibar is known as ‘Spice Island’. Go for a wander around the bazaars today and you’ll soon discover why! This afternoon, we’ll swap Stone Town for the beautiful beaches in the north of the island. Why not try a spot of optional scuba diving or a snorkelling safari? If you just wanna relax, you could always opt in for a massage...



Day 13: Zanzibar

You’ve got a free day to spend on Zanzibar’s palm-fringed beaches. Snorkel, scuba dive and round off your day with a sunset cruise (all optional). We won’t blame you if you never want to leave!



Day 14: Zanzibar 

It’s your last full day on this beautiful island, so make the most of it. Take to the water, or just get your tan on.



Day 15: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam

Bye bye, Zanzibar! We’re jumping on the ferry back to vibrant Dar es Salaam, where we’ve got your dinner covered.



Day 16: Dar es Salaam to Marangu

All aboard our overland truck! Today we’re travelling inland from the Indian Ocean coast to the grassy plains of Northern Tanzania. Tonight we’ll camp in Marangu, a town close to the base of Mt Kilimanjaro. Keep an eye out for the mighty mountain’s peak.



Day 17: Marangu to Arusha

Today we’ll continue on to Tanzania’s sprawling safari capital: Arusha. Here, we’ll head out on a guided walk in the local Maasai village and you can even cross off a true bucket list experience with an optional camel ride! Oh – we’ll also swing by a snake park today.



Day 18: Arusha to Serengeti National Park

Prep your day pack (or a small bag) – today we’re transferring to smaller 4x4 vehicles for a two-night/three-day game viewing trip through Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. Trust us, these safari vehicles are decked out with ALL the animal spotting necessities – pop-up roof included. After passing into the park we’ll drive around the crater’s rim and down onto the Serengeti plains, where we’ll try to spot the Big Five (as well as hyenas, cheetahs, wildebeest and antelopes). Wow x 100.



Day 19: Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Crater

Spend the morning game driving out on the plains, then ascend the outer wall of the Ngorongoro Crater (after a well-deserved lunch, of course). Tonight we’ll camp on the rim of the crater. Did you know? At 326 square kilometres in area, the Ngorongoro Crater is Africa’s largest intact caldera AND a World Heritage Site.



Day 20: Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha

Rise and shine! This morning, we’ll descend down the steep dirt road of the Ngorongoro Crater for a spot of game driving. Keep your eye out for all the major mammals – except giraffes, which struggle to manage the steep slopes leading down onto the crater floor. After our game drive, we’ll retrace our steps to our campsite in Arusha.



Day 21: Arusha to Nairobi, Kenya

Today we’ll make our way across the Maasai Steppe to the Kenyan frontier. When we get to Nairobi, we’ll go our separate ways. Where to next?



  • Visit Mosi
  • oa
  • Tunya National Park (Victoria Falls)
  • Visit South Luangwa National Park
  • Visit Lake Malawi
  • Visit Mikumi National Park
  • Visit Zanzibar
  • Visit a Maasai village
  • Visit Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater
  • 20 nights in 2-person dome tents or twin-share accommodation
  • Awesome Trip Leader and Driver
  • Overland safari vehicle
  • 20 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 16 dinners

Dates Price Single Availability
21-Jun-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
05-Jul-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
19-Jul-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
02-Aug-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
16-Aug-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
30-Aug-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
13-Sep-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
27-Sep-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
11-Oct-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
25-Oct-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
08-Nov-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
22-Nov-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
06-Dec-2019 for 20 Nights Visit Website
17-Jan-2020 for 20 Nights Visit Website
31-Jan-2020 for 20 Nights Visit Website
14-Feb-2020 for 20 Nights Visit Website
28-Feb-2020 for 20 Nights Visit Website
13-Mar-2020 for 20 Nights Visit Website
27-Mar-2020 for 20 Nights Visit Website

Touring with Top Deck

If you’re between 18-30 something, don’t miss the opportunity to travel with this awesome travel company. Topdeck was born in 1973 when Skroo Turner and his mates bought a double-decker bus and drove across Europe to Morocco. They now offer over 330 amazing tours in 65 countries,  so they will definitely have a touring adventure to whet your appetite.

A collective of explorers who are devoted to travel, they strive to open minds, shift perspectives, learn new things and make a difference. Their passion is to inspire young people through life-changing travel experiences. Their business is to make travel dreams a reality. They know what works. And they’re not afraid to shout about it. They refuse to sacrifice quality, independence and freedom, and believe solo adventures should go hand in hand with unforgettable moments with like-minded travellers. They offer variety, comfort and value for money, and promise a hassle-free holiday, loaded with authentic local experiences.

They are lively, curious, knowledgeable and dedicated; driven with the desire to laugh and have fun. They build the trips. You build the memories. Go on, jump on board and discover what it means to be a #Topdecker!

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tour details

This tour is operated by Top Deck

20 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Accommodation:20 nights in 2-person dome tents or twin-share accommodation
Meals:20 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 16 dinners
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