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Northern Safari | Overlanding Through Africa | Africa Travel Co

from R32,400.00

If you’re itching for travel, check out our Northern Safari. Africa’s amazing culture, geography and wildlife are the major highlights of the many countries we travel through. This thirty three day trip takes us to some of Africa’s top game parks like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Kruger, and to its best natural beauty at Lake Malawi and Victoria Falls. The beaches of Zanzibar and Malawi are a welcome addition to sit back and relax in true African style.

Local Payment US$ 1990

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
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All about the Northern Safari | Overlanding Through Africa | Africa Travel Co.

This trip begins in Johannesburg, South Africa and travels north through South Africa and Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and ending in Nairobi, Kenya. This trip departs from Johannesburg early on Wednesday morning. Should you wish to explore Johannesburg, 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: JN33
Departure Point: Johannesburg, Dove’s Nest, 78 Gladiator St, Rhodesfield, Kempton Park
Check-In: 7:00AM Departs: 7:30AM
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.
**Note that part of the trip may coincide with family departure (JV/VJ section)

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The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Kruger National Park
  • Night Game Drive
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins
  • Blyde River Canyon
  • Boat cruise on the Chobe River
  • Entrance to Victoria Falls
  • Chobe National Park
  • Chobe Overnight Excursion
  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Lake Malawi
  • Dar Es Salaam
  • Zanzibar Ferry & Zanzibar Excursion
  • Spice Tour & Sunset Dhow cruise
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Matobo National Park
  • Hwange National Park
  • Meserani Snake Park & Cultural Museum
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Flights
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Departure transfer
  • Visas
  • Meals (unless otherwise stated)
  • Travel insurance
  • Laundry
  • Personal items
  • Sleeping bag & Pillow
  • Tips
  • Bottled water
  1. Day 1 - 4 Johannesburg, Nkambeni Camp, Polokwane

    DAY 1: Johannesburg (no meals)

    With nine different provinces, 11 official languages and 3 capital cities, South Africa will most definitely make you stop in you tracks and go – WOW. 

    DAY 2: Johannesburg to Nkambeni Camp (Lunch / Dinner)

    Leaving Johannesburg, we head towards the Lowveld and our camp situated within the border of the famous Kruger National Park.  On our way we pass through the southern section of the picturesque Panorama Route – famous for its breathtaking vistas. Our camp for the next two nights is a short drive from the Kruger Park Gate and has some interesting local residents that include hippo, giraffe, zebra and impala.

    Included Activity: Night Game Drive

    DAY 3: Nkambeni Camp (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Today we explore the amazing Kruger National Park.  Covering 19 485 km2 – 60 km wide and over 350 km long, this conservation area has more than 146 mammals, 500 bird, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian & 49 fish species.  23 000 different types of plants have been recorded. We spend the day driving around the park keeping an eye out for these. There is the option of doing a night drive looking for a few of the nocturnal inhabitants or upgrading to a small vehicle for the game drive at an additional cost. 

    Included Activity: Game Drives 

    DAY 4: Nkambeni Camp to Polokwane (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Today we leave the Lowveld and head on the long, scenic drive to Polokwane. Along the way we stop off at some of the best scenery in South Africa, including the ever striking Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window. The many viewpoints of the Canyon, afford us excellent photo opportunities. Polokwane, capital of Limpopo, is the largest metropolitan complex in the north and a major economic centre. Its proximity to the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, as well as its convenient distance from the Kruger National Park and Magoebaskloof, makes it a perfect gateway and good destination in itself. We set up our tents on the lush green grass of our campsite located outside of the city before enjoying a dip in the lovely swimming pool.  

    Optional Activity: Blyde River Canyon & God’s Window

  2. Day 5 - 8 Polokwane, Musina, Masvingo, Bulawayo

    DAY 5: Polokwane to Musina (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    After a quick replenishing of our stocks we begin our journey north toward Zimbabwe.  We have a long, relaxing drive where we get to sit back and enjoy the ever changing scenery. Tonight we’ll camp near to one of the hottest towns in South Africa, Musina, at the hot water spring resort – Tshipise. Situated between the rolling hills, the resort is well known for its natural hot water springs. Once we’ve set up camp, you’re free to enjoy the pools, walking trails or various other activities on offer here. 

    DAY 6: Musina to Masvingo (Zimbabwe) (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Today we enter Zimbabwe – a beautiful country rich in soul, culture and tradition.  We make our way to the town of Masvingo – on the outskirts of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.  This was the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa, built by an ancient highly skilled civilization.  The name Zimbabwe is derived from this ancient city and means “great stone houses” in Shona. The most notable artefacts found at the ruins were the 8 Statues of stone birds carved out of soapstone. Wander around these amazing ruins, before setting up camp at the foot of the hills. 

    Included Activity: Great Zimbabwe Ruins

    DAY 7: Masvingo to Bulawayo (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Leaving Msavingo, we head to Bulawayo – Zimbabwe’s second largest city.  Bulawayo is noted for its exceptionally wide streets, which were originally designed to accommodate a full span ox wagon.  The city also still retains much of its British Colonial character, evident by the many buildings maintained as heritage sites by the Bulawayo City Council.  Interesting places to visit are the Natural History Museum, the National Arts Gallery and the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre, which employs over 70 people.

    DAY 8: Bulawayo (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Today we visit Matobo National Park, one of the last strongholds of both the black and the white rhino.  This park is also well known for its high concentration of the elusive leopard and majestic black eagle. Rock paintings are to be found too, providing evidence of the ancient San inhabitants of this area.  Cecil John Rhodes (after whom Rhodesia was named) asked to be buried at the top of one of the sacred hills, (although there is some controversy over whether he will stay!) We spend half the day exploring this unique geological, ecological and historic area.

    Included: Visit to Matobo National Park half day

  3. Day 9 - 13 Bulawayo, Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

    DAY 9: Bulawayo to Hwange National Park (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    We continue north-west to Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest reserve – the Hwange National Park. Hwange is well known for its abundance and variety of wildlife species including thousands of elephants, and rare antelope species such as the Sable and Roan Antelope. 

    DAY 10: Hwange National Park

    Today we have some time in the Hwange area, and here we partake in a half day game drive through Hwange National Park, in the hope that we spot as many wild animals as possible. 

    Included: Half day Game drive in Hwange National Park

    DAY 11: Hwange to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (Breakfast / Lunch)

    Leaving Bulawayo, we head to 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. Our campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of town, and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops. A 20 minute 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 afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool, viewing the Victoria Falls, or exploring the many sights and delights of this town! 

    Included: Entrance to Victoria Falls

    DAY 12 & 13: Victoria Falls (Breakfast)

    The next 2 days are spent relaxing or participating in a myriad of Optional Excursions.  Some of our fellow passengers will leave us in Vic Falls, to be replaced by new passengers joining us for the next leg of our trek.

  4. Day 14 - 16 Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park (Botswana), Livingstone, Lusaka

    DAY 14: Victoria Falls to Chobe National Park, Botswana (Breakfast)

    We head out from Victoria Falls to the border crossing to Botswana. 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 15: Chobe National Park to Livingstone (Zambia) (Lunch / Dinner)

    Once returning to the camp at Kasane, we get back on our truck and continue to the town of Livingstone. This afternoon we have the opportunity to view The Falls from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia or partake in an optional sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River. Another fantastic photo opportunity! 

    Optional Activity: Zambezi Sunset boat cruise

    DAY 16: Livingstone to Lusaka (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    An early morning start sees us head north through southern Zambia. 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. The difference is evident in the cities with the availability of foreign stores, banks and imported cars, while the villages and smaller towns are still to catch up.

  5. Day 17 - 26 Lusaka, South Luangwa National Park, Chipata, Lake Malawi Beaches (Malawi), Iringa (Tanzania), Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar

    DAY 17 & 18: Lusaka to South Luangwa National Park (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    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.

    DAY 19 – 21: Chipata to Lake Malawi Beaches (Malawi) (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Leaving Zambia we cross into Malawi, the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’. Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi.  We camp first at the central Lake, and then in the northern area 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 fresh-water 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 school.

    Optional activities vary; however, we do recommend that you take part in the village tour. Please that you can bring along pens, pencils, notepads, or dry starch food sorts for the villagers. Please speak to your crew for more information.

    DAY 22: Lake Malawi to Iringa (Tanzania) (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    After a relaxing 3 days, we leave Malawi, entering Tanzania through the border post at Songwe.  Winding our way through the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we head towards Iringa where we spend the night in the beautiful rustic ‘Farmhouse’ campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers! 

    DAY 23: Iringa to Dar es Salaam (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    This morning we head off early and make our way to Dar es Salaam.  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. 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 24: 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: Zanzibar Excursion
    Included Activity: Spice Tour & Dhow 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 25 & 26: 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 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.

  6. Day 27 - 33 Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, *Pangani, Arusha, Karatu, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, Nairobi

    DAY 27: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (Dinner)

    Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, we return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam. Arrival back to camp is usually in the late afternoon, or early evening.  

    Day 28: Dar Es Salaam to Pangani* (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    This morning we leave early and leave the hustle and bustle of this major Tanzanian city, and head towards the farmlands of this beautiful country. Today is used as a transit day to get us closer to Serengeti.

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

    DAY 29:  Pangani to Arusha (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    From Dar es Salaam we have a long day’s drive through vast sisal plantations and African bushveld to Arusha.  On the way, we pass The Pare and Usambara Mountain ranges before driving through the town of Moshi. 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.  Tonight, we stay at a campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on our Optional Excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow. 

    DAY 30: Arusha to Karatu (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    This morning we visit the Meserani Reptile Park and Masai Cultural Museum. 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 our camp against the backdrop of Mount Meru we meet our Tanzanian guides and transfer into locally operated 4WD vehicles. These vehicles have been adapted for safari use and allow excellent viewing and photographic opportunities through the opening roof hatches. 

    Included Activity: Serengeti & Ngorongoro Excursion

    Leaving our camp, we travel 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 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. Tonight, we spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu (campsite has ablution facilities). 

    DAY 31: Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    This morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world. Comprising of open savannahs, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes, the Ngorongoro Crater is truly a miniature ‘Garden of Eden’. 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 head 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 camp (no ablution facilities) in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. Without any fences surrounding our campsite we are truly in the midst of nature!

    DAY 32: Serengeti National Park to Arusha (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident game. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’! Following our morning drive, we retrace our journey back across the plains and along the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.

    DAY 33: Arusha to Nairobi (Kenya) (Breakfast)

    We set off early this morning and make our way to the Tanzania/ Kenyan border and the small border town of Namanga.  After completing the border formalities, we continue on our journey to the Capital City Nairobi and our campsite on the outskirts of the city.

    The rest of the day is yours at leisure to enjoy some of the many options available in this bustling city; visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where you can view the orphaned baby Elephants at feeding time, or head to the Giraffe Centre in Langata, if you haven’t had your fill of game viewing, then Nairobi National Park offers some great day trips or if you haven’t quite got all those souvenirs you wanted, take a “Matatu” to the local curio markets close by the campsite.  This evening why not try the fair on offer at the famous Carnivores restaurant.

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.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
March 10, 2020 - April 11, 2020
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R32,400.00
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April 7, 2020 - May 9, 2020
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May 5, 2020 - June 6, 2020
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June 2, 2020 - July 4, 2020
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June 30, 2020 - August 1, 2020
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July 28, 2020 - August 29, 2020
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August 25, 2020 - September 26, 2020
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September 22, 2020 - October 24, 2020
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October 20, 2020 - November 21, 2020
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November 17, 2020 - December 19, 2020
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December 15, 2020 - January 16, 2021
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