Ever dreamed of throwing it all in to run away into the wild? Make an escape from the mundane on this extended trip from Cape Town to Kenya, passing through some of the most surreal landscapes you¡¯ll ever lay eyes on. Mingle with wildlife in some of the most remarkable National Parks in the world, scuba dive your way ¡®round the turquoise waters of Zanzibar, create footprints in the sand in ancient deserts, and set your pulse racing at the stunning Victoria Falls. Don¡¯t wait for a sign from above ¨C start ticking off your bucket list items. Stat.
Bust out the chic safari attire – our overland adventure begins in cosmopolitan Cape Town! Overlooked by Table Mountain and bordered by the Atlantic, Cape Town is one of the world's most picturesque cities. Before we leave, we’ll take a tour of the Cape Flats, one of the city’s intriguing townships. After that, we’ll head to our campsite on the Western Cape, where we’ll spend our first night under the huge African sky. This is gonna be one for the books!
Tonight we’ll set up camp on the South African side of the Gariep (Orange) River. If you’re looking for a few creature comforts, you’re in luck – our site provides hot showers, flush toilets, grassy floors and even a bar. Hello, sundowners!
One of the natural wonders of Africa, Fish River Canyon is around 500 metres deep and over 160 kilometres long, and is the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. Prep your camera lens for amazing photos this afternoon, especially when the sun begins to set over the sharp bend in the river known as ‘Hell’s Corner’. Trust us, it’s friendlier than its name implies.
After a night near the canyon we’ll continue north until we reach Namib Naukluft Park, which is home to the world’s oldest and highest desert sand dunes. With an overall area of 49,768 square kilometres, the park is larger than Switzerland!
This morning we’ll trek to the top of the famous Dune 45 and check out the amazing views of the open desert. It’s a spectacular sight, but be warned – it’s an energy-sapping climb to the top (some dunes are over 300 metres high)! After a well-deserved breakfast, we’ll continue deeper into the park. Be sure to bring your camera – the shifting colours of the desert as the sun climbs higher in the sky make for some great photo opportunities. After a day of exploring, we’ll rest our heads in Solitaire.
Next up: a few days of adventure activities in Swakopmund. Wanna tick off some bucket list items? This is the place to do it!
Swakopmund is Namibia's main seaside resort, sandwiched slap bang between the desert and the ocean. Make the most of your time here with a spot of quad biking, sandboarding or skydiving (weather permitting). Not your thing? Steal a moment to yourself and take a look at the town’s many shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries – or simply stroll along the promenade admiring the ocean. #beaut
Our next stop is Spitzkoppe, where we’ll take a closer look at the ancient bushman paintings that are still visible on the area’s peculiar rock formations. The rocks peak at approximately 2,000 metres above sea level, making for some ah-mazing views – one of the most impressive being the 'Bushman Paradise' cave (Google it).
Today we’ll make our way north to Etosha National Park. After pitching our tents near a floodlit waterhole (OMG), we’ll embark on a short afternoon game drive. As dusk falls, keep your eyes peeled for a range of nocturnal visitors – including elephants, giraffes, zebras, hyenas... and even lions!
Etosha National Park = the ultimate game viewing destination. Picture this: a barren landscape full of flamingos and pelicans, surrounded by nothing but native bush, scrubland and saline lakes. Trust us, this place is magical! Keep watch for more of the local residents on today’s game drive.
Departing epic Etosha, we’ll head south to Windhoek – the capital of Namibia. Quick fact: Windhoek is home to approximately 200,000 people (an extremely small capital by global standards). Pro tip: take the opportunity to check out one of the local restaurants or visit the famous Joe’s Beer House tonight.
In Ghanzi, we’ll head out on a guided Kalahari Bushman walk and discover how the locals manage the resources around them to the max. Tsamma melon, anyone? FYI: Your support of this ecotourism venture will give the Bushmen a sustainable income (plus, it helps keep their culture alive). It’s a win-win!
Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana, and is packed with an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. We’ll stay here for the night before pressing on to the Okavango Delta tomorrow.
When we get to the Okavango Delta, we’ll travel by mokoro (dugout canoe) past giant lily pads and tall grasses in search of hippos, crocodiles and a variety of birds. After settling into our island tented camp, we’ll explore the area on a walking safari. Anyone for critter bingo?
Back to Maun! Spend the rest of your time here on your own watch, taking in the awesome natural scenery from camp.
We’ll stop off at Nata on our way to Kasane. Get excited for allllll the animal-spotting opportunities tomorrow will bring!
First things first today: a fish eagle boat cruise! Try and catch a glimpse of the sneaky bird (and other varmints too). They’re out there. We know they’re out there (eyes emoji).
Bye bye, Kasane. Today we’ll be making tracks to Livingstone – where the almighty Victoria Falls awaits. Not only that, but we’ve got some awesome optionals for you to get involved in, too. How about a bungy jump over the falls? Or a spot of gorge swinging? Or some abseiling? Or whitewater rafting?
This is Africa’s adventure capital, so get out there and make the most of it! We’ve got optional whitewater rafting, gorge swinging and even bungy jumping to fulfil all of your adventure needs. If you want to take it easy, you could go fishing or take a sunset cruise on the Zambezi (both optional).
Of course, there’s more to Livingstone than hair-raising activities – which is why you have another day to check out the markets and museum, visit a nearby village, or simply relax on the serene campsite deck and watch the Zambezi River flow rapidly to the Falls.
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.
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?
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).
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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.
Bye bye, Zanzibar! We’re jumping on the ferry back to vibrant Dar es Salaam, where we’ve got your dinner covered.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
You can contact Top Deck directly by: