Journey To The South | 38 Days Overlanding from Nairobi to Joburgfrom
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Encounter top highlights of East and Southern Africa on this 38-day Journey To The South. This adventure starts in Nairobi, taking in some of the best known National Parks of Kenya including the famed Masai Mara, Serengeti and one of Tanzania’s many gems the Ngorongoro Crater known for its rich wildlife. Bask on the beautiful beaches of East Africa and Zanzibar. Chill out at Lake Malawi and visit the majestic Victoria Falls and raft the mighty Zambezi. Experience Botswana, the land of the giants in all its glory at Chobe National Park and bush camp under the stars in the Okavango Delta. This trip ends in vibrant Johannesburg, after visiting Kruger National Park, looking for the “big five” and many other species.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Activity Level Varies
Group Size Variable
Should you wish to explore Nairobi at an earlier stage, ATC or your travel agent can assist you, in booking your activities as well as accommodation. However, costs due to earlier arrival, will be for your own account.
Trip Code: NJ38
Departure Point: Kenya Comfort Hotel, Muindi Mbingu Street & Monrovia Street
Check-In: 8:45AM Departs: 9:30AM
Trip Type: Camping
Pre-Departure Meeting: Held at the Departure point at 17h00 on Day 1 of the tour
*All ATC trips include an arrival airport transfer. Please notify us should you not be using this so we can plan accordingly. Should you choose not to make use of this, or in the event that ATC were not updated with your arrival details, no refund will be paid for services not used.
- Great Rift Valley
- Lake Nakuru National Park
- Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Serengeti National Park
- Ngorongoro Crater
- Meserani Snake Park & Maasai Cultural Museum
- Dar Es Salaam
- Zanzibar Ferry
- Lake Malawi
- South Luangwa National Park
- Chobe Boat Cruise
- Delta Excursion (day trip)
- Kruger National Park
- Airport departure taxes
- Departure transfer
- Meals (unless otherwise stated)
- Travel Insurance
- Personal Items
- Sleeping bag & Pillow
- Bottled water
Day 1 - 4
Nairobi, Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park
DAY 1: Nairobi (No Meals)
Upon entering this beautiful east African country, you 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.
DAY 2: Nairobi to Maasai Mara (Lunch / Dinner)
We enter Masai land where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. We pass through the town of Narok, and continue our drive possibly getting a glimpse of some wildlife along the way. The main section of road between Nairobi and the Reserve is in a very poor state, so be prepared for a rough ride! We arrive at our campsite, Acacia Camp in the evening.
Acacia Camp looks on to the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Reserve remains unfenced, allowing wildlife to roam freely across into the surrounding area and if they choose – through our own camp! No need to be afraid, as the local ‘Askari’ will keep a look out for any unwanted predators.
Included Activity: Masai Mara Nature Reserve excursion.
DAY 3: Maasai Mara (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
We depart shortly after sunrise on our game drive into the Maasai Mara Reserve. The Masai Mara is well known as one of East Africa’s best National Reserves and is home to a wide variety of wildlife species. Most famous for the Annual Migration, that consists of the impressive herds of over 1 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle that cross over from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania; the Masai Mara is most popular between July and October when these vast herds feast on the fresh grazing here. Following these herbivores are Africa’s predators that are often seen at a kill during this period. We game drive through a section of the park in search of the ‘Big 5’- elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion & leopard; along with the many other species of animals, reptiles and birds who
make call this wilderness home.
After our game drive, we have the option to visit one of the nearby Masai Manyatta’s – this is a traditional hamlet where the Masai still live in their traditional way. This evening we sit around the camp fire, and watch the sun set over this “Garden of Eden”.
DAY 4: Maasai Mara to Lake Nakuru National Park (Lunch / Dinner)
Leaving Masai Mara we head towards our first overnight stop in the area of Lake Nakuru National Park.
Day 5 - 9
Lake Nakuru National Park, Kisii/Kericho Area, Musoma, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater
DAY 5: Lake Nakuru National Park (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
This 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.
Included Activity: Game drives through Lake Nakuru National Park with the ATC vehicle.
DAY 6: Kisii/Kericho Area (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
After breakfast, we leave the Masai Mara and head to Kisii/Kericho passing through the picturesque tea plantations along the way. These towns are the main commercial centres in the Gusii Highlands, where cash crops like tea and coffee thrive because of its equatorial climate. We replenish our stocks before heading for Tanzania tomorrow.
DAY 7: Musoma (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
We depart Kenya and head south into Tanzania. After border formalities, our drive takes us through the scenic granite landscapes adjacent to Africa’s largest lake – Lake Victoria. We spend the night at a campsite on the banks of Lake Victoria in the fishing town of Musoma.
DAY 8: Serengeti National Park (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
After stocking up on supplies for the next couple of days, we head to the Serengeti National Park, entering the park after lunch. The Serengeti (Maasai for “endless plains”) is famous for its enormous concentration of game (especially the big cats) and for the annual migration of millions of wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelles. The abundance of plains game in this area is truly astounding. We
enter the park through the lesser travelled western corridor and game drive en-route to our campsite in the centre of the park. Tonight, we bush camp (no ablutions) in the wild surrounded by the sounds of the African bushveld, pierced only by the calls of the nocturnal wildlife. 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’!
Included Activity: Serengeti National Park
DAY 9: Ngorongoro Crater (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
After an early start, we pack up our camp and continue our game drive through the Serengeti National Park. We head to the southern part of the park where they have the chance to see the endless plains this park is renowned for. We cross from the Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Conservation area at lunch time and begin our climb up the steep Crater edge. Tonight’s camp (basic ablutions) on the crater rim sharply contrasts the warmer plains below – we suggest you bring your winter woollies as it can get very cold at night.
Included Activity: Ngorongoro Crater excursion
Day 10 - 17
Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha, Pangani*, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mikumi, Iringa
DAY 10: Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
The Ngorongoro Crater with its 600 m high walls and 20 km width is a natural marvel. The Crater’s rim offers spectacular views, but the true scale of this caldera is only appreciated from the floor itself where the abundance of its animal inhabitants becomes apparent. It is home to nearly every species of African animal and offers a chance to view an incredible concentration of East African mammals,
such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, hippo, lion and plain’s game. After spending the morning game driving in The Crater, we continue to our campsite outside Arusha where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.
DAY 11: Arusha to Pangani* (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
We head to Arusha this morning to stock up on supplies 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. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions, and weather permitting; we may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit – a photo opportunity not to be missed! We pass through vast sisal plantations surrounded by The Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges, before reaching our lovely campsite nestled between these mountains, midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
*Some trips may choose to forego this night at their own cost.
DAY 12: Pangani to Dar es Salaam (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Today we continue on to Dar es Salaam. Travelling through lush scenery and palm trees, we near the warm Indian Ocean. Today’s drive time is extended due to the heavier amount of traffic heading in to the city, but the sights and sounds of Dar’s vibrant outer suburbs are sure to keep you entertained. Look out for the colourful shop-fronts with their sometimes humorous ‘catch phrases’. On arrival in Dar es Salaam we make our way to our lovely seaside campsite and prepare for our departure to Zanzibar the next morning.
DAY 13: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (Breakfast)
A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the ”Spice Island,” where we spend the next 3 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 us to replace those that’ll leave us at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.
Included Activity: Spice Tour & Dhow Excursion
Included Activity: Zanzibar excursion
PLEASE NOTE: Meals are for your own account whilst on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own, and in accordance with their own budget. The Trip Leader joins you and will arrange your activities, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants. There are also a wide variety of optional excursions on offer.
PLEASE NOTE: New legislation prohibits the taking of photographs during the Zanzibar ferry ride. Spot fines can be issued, if legislation is not obeyed.
DAY 14 & 15: Zanzibar (No Meals)
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 if you’d like 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 16: Zanzibar to Mikumi (Lunch/ Dinner)
This morning we leave Dar es Salaam and head south. We pass through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. This is where we will spend the night.
DAY 17: Mikumi to Iringa (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)
From Mikumi we travel towards Iringa where we spend the night in a beautiful rustic campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers!
Day 18 - 24
Ngorongoro Crater, Game Drive, Arusha
DAYS 18 – 20: Iringa to Lake Malawi (Malawi) (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Winding our way through the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we head towards
Malawi 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. 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. Malawi’s temperate climate allows for swimming in the clear blue freshwater lake all year round. Explore the beautiful shore where you’ll happen upon the local fishermen
sorting their catch. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced and to appreciate their boating
skills, try to paddle a dugout canoe yourself! At night, you’ll see the ‘fairy’ lights of the fishermen out
on the lake. The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi’s shores offer many optional
Excursions including a variety of water sports, horseback rides and a visit to the local village and
Optional activities vary; however, we do recommend that you partake in the village tour.
Please note that you can bring pens, pencils, notepads and dry starch food sorts for the tour.
Please speak to your crew for more information.
DAY 21 & 22: Lake Malawi to Luangwa National Park (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Today we leave Malawi and cross over into Zambia. 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.
Included Activity: Game drives through South Luangwa National Park in the ATC vehicle.
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DAY 23: Luangwa National Park to Lusaka (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
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.
DAY 24: Lusaka to Livingstone (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Heading further south, we journey through the southern Zambian towns mostly supporting local
agriculture and farming on our way 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.
Day 25 - 28
Livingstone,o Chobe National Park (Botswana), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
DAY 25: Livingstone to Chobe National Park (Botswana) (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
We leave Zambia and cross the border into Botswana at the Kazangula Ferry. Once we’ve completed the border formalities, we continue to the town of Kasane, situated on the banks of the Chobe River. The Chobe River forms a border between Botswana and Namibia and Zambia and is the main water source to the Chobe National Park. After lunch, we have time at leisure to relax. In the afternoon, we leave for our 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. 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. Look out for the rare Sable and Roan Antelope on your game drive, with their majestic backward slanting horns, or try keep a count of the Lilac Breasted Roller’s that swoop by! 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.
Included Activity: Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion
DAY 26: Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (Brunch)
Once returning to camp, we get back on our truck and continue to the border of Zimbabwe. Once we’ve completed border formalities, we have a short drive to the nearby Victoria Falls.
Included: Entrance to Victoria Falls
DAY 27 & 28: Victoria Falls (Breakfast)
These two days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions. 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. Our campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of town, and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops.
A short walk down the main road takes you to the entry point to view the falls, which are situated between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), was named by David Livingstone on his explorations, and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world’s largest sheet of falling water and a
memorable sight on any African Safari!
After our adventure activities briefing, the day is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool, viewing the Victoria Falls, or exploring the many sights and delights of this town!
Optional Activities: Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge – neither activity is for the faint hearted! All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site. White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Beside the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the ”floats,” where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.
Day 29 - 33
Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park (Botswana), Kasane, Nata Region, Maun, Okavango Delta
DAY 29: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park (Botswana) (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
After breakfast, we cross the border into Botswana and head to Kasane where we set up camp on the banks of the Chobe River. The Chobe River forms a border between Botswana and Namibia and Zambia. Chobe is one of Botswana’s premier game parks, renowned its large elephant herds. Elephant, hippo and many bird species can be viewed from the campsite while we watch another glorious African sunset.
DAY 30: Kasane to Nata Region
We leave this beautiful part of Botswana behind us this morning as we depart to the lush campsite called Elephant Sands. The drive will take you through a very unpopulated landscape where the donkeys roam freely. Once we have arrived at our campsite you will have the option of partaking in a game drive or a bushwalk. Your crew will provide you with more information.
Optional Activity: Game Drive / Bush Walk
DAY 31: Nata Region to Maun (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Maun is the starting point for travel into the Delta and it is from here that we set off to explore the Okavango Delta. Tonight, we prepare our provisions and packs for our overnight excursion. We suggest bringing along a smaller daypack on your trip which can be used to pack the supplies needed for this short excursion. Your trip leader will brief you fully on what is needed, and what to expect prior to your trip into the Delta.
DAY 32: Maun to Okavango Delta (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Included Activity: Overnight Delta excursion
Here we have the opportunity to take the included overnight excursion into the Delta. After an early rise, we pack our expedition vehicle and from Maun we drive north for a couple of hours to reach the mokoro poler’s station. The Delta region is studded with many local villages where many families live in a traditional way. Some of the villages are very remote and can only be reached by the traditional mode of transport – the Mokoro. Mokoros are dugout canoes manoeuvred through the waterways by local guides who “pole” them through the reeds. At the Mokoro station, we meet our ‘Polers’ and pack our supplies before heading out into the waterways. After a couple of hours along the waterways, we arrive at our mobile tented camp situated in the heart of the Okavango.
On arrival, you will meet the local staff who will be your host during your stay. A brief introduction to the camp will show you your dome tent with twin beds and a bush en-suite bathroom – long drop toilet and a bucket shower. Relax in the tent with a cold drink or take a paddle in the Delta in a canoe.
The activities at the camp include Mokoro trails and guided walking.
DAY 33: Okavango Delta to Maun (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
This morning affords us a final opportunity for a game walk before packing up and setting off back to Maun. After our Mokoro ride and vehicle transfer, we arrive back around lunch time and have the chance to complete our picture of the Okavango Delta by taking an optional scenic flight over The Delta (dependent on weather conditions & availability).
Day 34 - 38
Maun, Palapye, Polokwane, Nkambeni Camp, Johannesburg
DAY 34: Maun to Palapye (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Heading out early, we have a fairly long (450kms) drive today to the small town of Palapye, situated about halfway between Francistown and Gaborone (Botswana’s Capitol). This popular ‘stopover’ town for those en route to South Africa, is well known for the Morupule Colliery coal mines which supplies Morupule Power Station, Botswana’s principal domestic source of electricity.
DAY 35: Palapye to Polokwane (South Africa) (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
This morning we cross into South Africa and sightsee at the impressive Blyde River Canyon. Named for the Blyde River that runs through it, the canyon is 26km long, and averages 800m 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 3 Rondavels, named for the shape of the traditional huts or houses the indigenous people of the area used to live in; and Gods Window that affords a breathtaking view across the canyon and surrounding area.
Please note that there is a small entry fee at each of these attractions that will need to be paid upon arrival. The money generated goes toward the support of the local communities. There are also many locals you sell their local crafts in this area.
Optional activities: Blyde river canyon & God’s Window
DAY 36: Polokwane to Nkambeni Camp (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Heading through the breathtaking Panorama Route, we stop off at various viewpoints today including scenic God’s Window. We pass through the small town of Graskop, and head toward the Kruger National Park and our campsite in the park.
Optional activities: Blyde river canyon and God’s Window
Included: Night Game Drive
DAY 37: Nkambeni Camp (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Today we visit the amazing Kruger National Park (19 485 km²) in search of some of the 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian & 49 fish species that make this park their home. We travel in our truck along the main game viewing routes within the park and stop off 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 in ATC vehicle.
DAY 38: Nkambeni Camp to Johannesburg (Breakfast)
After breakfast, we begin our journey to our final destination; Egoli the place of gold (Johannesburg), Johannesburg is the capital of Gauteng, which is a province in South Africa. On arrival in Johannesburg we unload the truck for the final time, exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!
We suggest you extend your stay by a few days to participate in some of the exciting activities available here. Post tour accommodation can be booked through your agent or the Africa Travel Co office.
Meals and menus vary as food is purchased en-route, and is subject to produce that is available seasonally in the areas we travel through. Our 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 what you may be used to back home.
The breakfast spread consists of bread (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 your 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 your safari, consisting of curries, stews, pastas, and BBQ’s.
Our overland vehicles are custom built converted trucks that have seating space for our passengers and a storage area for luggage and all trip equipment. The trucks seat between 27-30 passengers on our 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 a great advantage for game viewing and photography. Seats are cushioned and there is storage space for personal items like cameras, snacks and day packs in the seating area.
All of the tours operated by ATC are participation trips meaning that all passengers are expected to help out around camp. The crew members running the trip will set up a rota system that will be followed. One day you may be on cleaning duty, the next day you may be on cooking duty and so forth. This is not only to make the trip easier for all involved but also for you as the passengers to get to know one another while on trip.
|Package Confirmed Dates||Trip Status Trip Status||Price (PP) Excluding Flights||Price (PP) Including Flights|
January 22, 2024 - February 28, 2024
February 8, 2024 - March 13, 2024
February 19, 2024 - March 27, 2024
March 4, 2024 - April 10, 2024
March 18, 2024 - April 24, 2024