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South Africa to Kenya Overland

Safari, paradise beaches, and world wonders in Southern Africa

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giraffe herd in savannah

Group Size: Max 22

Trip code: DCN

Duration: 40 days

8 African countries
Adventure camping experience
Overland expedition vehicles

Get ready for the African adventure of a lifetime! Tick eight incredible countries off your bucket list, crossing almost half of Africa over 40 thrilling days. We'll take you on an epic overland journey where you’ll see the thundering cascades of Victoria Falls, glide serenely through the Okavango Delta in a traditional mokoro canoe, get up close to Africa’s most amazing animals in their natural habitat, connect with the indigenous San People amidst the fiery beauty of the Kalahari Desert, and camp in wilderness settings where you’ll be immersed in nature. From the vibrant colours of the Namib Desert to the lush landscapes of Lake Malawi, you'll follow the road less travelled and return home with a camera reel full of jaw-dropping pics, a deep connection to this remarkable part of the globe, and memories that’ll last long after your tan has faded.

South Africa - Namibia - Botswana - Zimbabwe - Zambia - Malawi - Tanzania - Kenya

Trip Highlights

  • Kick back in paradise on the golden beaches of tropical Zanzibar and beautiful Lake Malawi
  • See the Big Five in their natural habitat with unforgettable safari drives in the mighty Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Etosha and Chobe National Parks
  • Head into the shimmering waterways of the Okavango Delta in traditional dugout canoes, and go totally off-grid with a night in a rustic bush camp
  • Explore the barren expanses of Namibia’s deserts and plains, from Fish River Canyon (the world’s second largest) to the towering Dune 45 and the soaring red dunes of Sossusvlei
  • Soak up misty waterfall views and get your adrenaline pumping with some amazing adventure sports in Victoria Falls
Gap 360 Trip Notes

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What's included
  • 39 nights’ accommodation
  • 36 breakfasts, 33 lunches & 27 dinners
  • All camping equipment (exc. sleeping bag/pillow)
  • 2 x experienced group leaders
  • Local guides
  • All on-trip transport
  • Overland adventure vehicle & safari vans
  • !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre
  • Orange River swimming
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Namib Desert
  • Sesriem Canyon
  • Dune 45
  • Spitzkoppe
  • Etosha National Park safari drive x 2
  • Waterberg Plateau
  • Penduka community project
  • Overnight Okavango Delta excursion
  • Okavango wildlife walk x 2
  • Lusumpuko Women’s Club lunch
  • Victoria Falls
  • Tribal Textiles market and café
  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Kande Beach
  • Chitimba Beach
  • Kande Beach local dinner
  • Ferry to Zanzibar
  • Zanzibar beaches
  • Stone Town
  • Spice plantation tour
  • Serengeti safari x 2
  • Ngorongoro Crater safari drive
  • Nairobi nightlife
  • 24-hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Some meals
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Optional activities
Further trip information

Our overlanding trips are perfect for travellers with a real sense of adventure. You'll camp in epic settings in the African bush, with nothing but canvas separating you and the wilderness. Some of the campsites are seriously off-grid, and you'll be totally immersed in the natural world. It's the kind of authentic African experience that you would never get staying in a hotel. 

Most of the camping is 'participation style', where everybody pitches in to set up, run, and take down the camps. Working together as a team, and getting your hands dirty gives the group a real sense of togetherness. It's a great way to get to know each other.  

You'll travel in rugged 24-seat overland safari vehicles that can cope with the most demanding terrains, and have large viewing windows that get you up close to Africa's amazing wildlife. When we're hitting the national parks, we'll often switch to smaller, more nimble safari vehicles, so we can get even more intimate with our surroundings.

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town (South Africa). Touchdown in beautiful Cape Town! Get to know your guides and the rest of your group at this evening’s welcome meeting, before heading out to explore Cape Town’s bars and clubs, and to raise a glass (or three) to the amazing adventure to come.  

Day 2: Cape Town to Cederberg. Climb into our rugged overlanding adventure vehicle. First stop – a San Culture and Education Centre where we’ll learn about the San people and their traditional way of life. Arrive in Cederberg in time for an optional wine tour or just relax by the campsite pool.

Day 3: Cederberg to Orange River. Travel through verdant rooibos plantations to the picturesque banks of the Orange River. Take a refreshing afternoon dip, join an optional canoeing excursion, or just watch the sun go down over the African bush with a glass of something cold in your hand.

Day 4: Orange River to Fish River Canyon (Namibia). Travel over the border into Namibia today. We’re headed to Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world! Take a wander around the canyon’s rim. Then spend the evening at the campfire with your new mates.

Days 5 - 6: Namib Desert. Travel along bumpy roads to the Namib Desert. Take an optional visit to the World’s largest sand dunes at Sossusvlei, explore the Sesriem Canyon for superb views and envy-inducing selfies, and climb Dune 45 for jaw-dropping views of the surrounding desert.

Days 7 – 8: Swakopmund. Head to Swakopmund where you can explore the colonial architecture, golden beaches, buzzing coffee shops, and lively nightlife, or get your adrenaline pumping with a sandboarding sesh, a high-octane skydive over the city or a flight over the Skeleton Coast.

Day 9: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe. Travel to Spitzkoppe, a group of granite peaks that have stood in this region for almost 700 million years. Spend the rest of the day climbing up rock faces and snapping pics of the unusual rock formations before a spot of stargazing round the campfire tonight.

Days 10-11: Etosha National Park. Arrive in Etosha, one of the world’s great wildlife destinations. We’ve got two safari drives lined up, where we’ll look for elephants, lions, leopards, rhino, zebras, and more and spend our nights round the campfire watching the animals come to the watering hole.

Day 12: Etosha to the Waterberg Plateau. Journey to the Waterberg Plateau today, a striking flat sandstone area, which is home to lots of unusual species, including white rhino, and offers expansive views of the Kalahari. Take a stroll to look for secret swimming pools, or just relax on camp.

Day 13: Waterberg Plateau to Windhoek. Travel to Windhoek, stopping en route at a community project village and shop. Share a delicious lunch and pick up some handmade crafts, before arriving in the leafy, Germanic town and spending the rest of the day exploring.

Day 14: Windhoek to Ghanzi (Botswana). Tick another country off the list today as we head into Botswana. Take an optional walk with some San tribe members, and join a San cultural experience this evening, where you’ll get to see the bushmen’s dance rituals.

Day 15: Ghanzi to Maun. Hit the highway again as we travel to Maun, gateway to the shimmering Okavango Delta. Spend the afternoon chilling on camp, grab some supplies from town ahead of our excursion into the Delta, or see this unique region from the air, with an optional flight.

Days 16 - 17: Okavango Delta excursion. Travel into the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta in traditional dugout canoes. Take a guided wildlife walk before a totally off-grid experience with a night in our rustic bush camp. After another safari walk on day 17, head back to civilisation in Gweta.

Day 18: Gweta to Kasane. Rise early and journey to Kasane, jump-off point for Chobe National Park, See the park’s incredible animals on an optional sunset river cruise on the Chobe River, or grab some dinner in town with your friends.

Days 19 - 21: Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). Opt for a safari drive in Chobe before crossing into Zimbabwe to Victoria Falls. You’ve got two days to explore, soaking up misty views of this world wonder, and getting your adrenaline fix with some of the many adventure activities on offer.

Day 22: Victoria Falls to Lusaka (Zambia). Tick off country number five as we cross the border from Zimbabwe into Zambia. Spend the night on a private farm just outside the capital, enjoying drinks at the camp bar, and watching the zebra, buffalo, and antelope that roam the grounds freely.

Days 23 - 24: South Luangwa. Travel to our riverside campsite, where we’ll mellow out by the pool, and watch in awe as animals come to the drinking hole by the restaurant. On day 24 we’re travelling into South Luangwa, one of the most wildlife rich parks in southern Africa, to look for everything from giraffe and elephants to cape buffalo.

Day 25: South Luangwa to Chipata. Take an optional safari drive or walking safari in Luangwa National Park before heading to Chipata, stopping for lunch on the way at a community workshop and business that employs and empowers over 100 local people.

Days 26 - 27: Kande Beach (Malawi). Cross into Malawi, arriving on the soft white shores of Kande Beach on Lake Malawi. Spend the next couple of days strolling along the beach, freshwater snorkelling, and enjoying an authentic dinner with some local people in their home.

Days 28 - 29: Chitimba Beach. Journey to our next destination on Lake Malawi. Charming Chitimba Beach is every bit as beautiful with soft sands and a backdrop of banana palms and papaya. Cool off in the lake, bask in the sun, or head out on optional hikes to Livingstonia, or a local village.

Day 30: Chitimba to Iringa (Tanzania). Travel into Tanzania through the Great Rift Valley in the trusty Lando. It’s a long travel day as we journey to Iringa, but with views like these and a great playlist on download, it’ll go by in the blink of an eye.

Day 31: Iringa to Dar Es Salaam. Journey to the shores of the sparkling Indian Ocean today. Our destination is the dynamic city of Dar es Salaam. Spend tonight in our pretty beach lodge before sailing for paradise tomorrow (AKA Zanzibar).

Days 32 - 34: Zanzibar. Take the ferry to gorgeous Zanzibar, where we’ll spend 2 nights blissing out in our tropical beach resort on one of its most idyllic stretches of sand, visit a local spice plantation, and spend a day and a night in historic Stone Town.  

Day 35: Zanzibar to Bagamoyo. Board the ferry back to the mainland, before travelling north to the charming fishing town of Bagamoyo. Explore the fish market, grab a drink on the waterfront, or just sit and watch the fishing dhows at work.

Day 36: Bagamoyo to Arusha. Sit back and relax as we journey to Arusha, keeping your eyes peeled for misty views of Mt Kilimanjaro. Arrive in Arusha and use the afternoon to relax, and to pack your bag ready for our unforgettable three-day excursion to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

Days 37-38: Serengeti National Park. It’s a bucket list biggie as we make our way into the Serengeti. Head out on safari as soon as we arrive, seeing huge herds of wildebeest, lions snoozing in the shade, and elephants moving gracefully across the grasslands. Enjoy another safari on day 38 before travelling to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where we’ll set up camp near the crater rim.

Day 39: Ngorongoro Crater. Head down to the crater floor on a wildlife safari drive. With a dense population of animals contained by the crater walls, chances of wildlife sightings are high, including zebra, gazelles, buffalo, lions, flamingos, and baboons. What a way to round off the trip!

Day 40: Arusha to Nairobi (Kenya). It’s our last journey in the Lando this morning as we travel to Kenya’s capital. With views over the arid lands of the Maasai people, and Mount Kilimanjaro on the horizon, the stunning sights keep coming to the last minute. 

Looking for a longer or shorter trip?

This trip is part of a longer 55 day itinerary which includes gorilla trekking in Uganda. If you want to include Uganda in your travels, check out The Great African Journey

If you are limited on time but still want to experience the highlights of the African continent, check out the 20 day Wild Africa Adventure or 21 day Cape Town to Victoria Falls Overland trip.

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Flights from £439

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Cheapest: £439 November, 2024
Most expensive: £1,121 July, 2024
Arrival information

This trip begins in Cape Town, South Africa. Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned until the welcome meeting this evening, so arrive in Cape Town International Airport (CPT) at a time that suits you. Airport transfers are not included, so unless you’ve booked one through your travel advisor, you’ll need to make your own way to our starting hotel. Taxi transfers take around 20 minutes, depending on traffic. We’ll leave a welcome note at reception with details of where and when the welcome meeting will be held (usually between 5 and 7pm). If you’re likely to arrive after this, we’ll leave you a message detailing where to meet the group in the morning.

The trip ends on day 40 in Nairobi, Kenya. We’ll spend all day travelling from Arusha, so we’d recommend that you book an additional night of post-trip accommodation and fly the following day, to allow for delays. Your trip advisor can help you with this. If you must fly today, please do not book your flight until after 9pm. Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO) is the nearest airport. Return airport transfers are not included, but your tour guide can book one on your behalf.

Accommodation & meals

Accommodation

All your accommodation is included. This is a super adventurous trip where everybody gets really stuck in, and most nights (30) will be spent participation camping. You’ll also have 1 night in a permanent tented camp, 2 nights’ full-service camping, 3 nights in simple hotels in single or twin-share rooms, 2 nights in guesthouses in multi-share rooms with 3 people, and 1 night in a hostel in a multi-share room with 3 – 4 people.

About participation camping

Participation camping involves staying on basic campsites, carrying, and pitching our own camping equipment. Campsites are in stunning locations in national parks, and in rural locations outside towns. Some campsites are enclosed to keep the wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment so wildlife can wander in but are completely safe. You’ll get a real taste for the wild, sleeping under the stars, and truly immersing yourself in Africa’s unique landscapes.

We’ll be staying in quality 2-person canvas safari tents have a roomy base area of 4 metres. Tents have built in insect netting and are treated with a waterproofing agent. They are dome shaped and take less than ten minutes to assemble and disassemble.

Campsite facilities vary and are basic but of a good standard. There are usually restaurants and / or bars, flush toilets, showers (often outdoors with simple reed enclosures), washing facilities, and telephones. There is hot water at most sites.

Our camping experience in the Okavango Delta, is as wild as it gets! You’ll stay on remote islands, surrounded by nature, with no facilities, running water, or toilets – it’s the ultimate African bush experience. The campsite in the Serengeti National Park is also very basic, with no electricity, simple bathing facilities (no showers), and both seated and squat flush toilets and in the Ngorongoro Crater, there is limited electricity, showers that are occasionally warm, and squat flushing toilets.

All camping equipment is included (apart from sleeping bag and pillow). This includes comfy camp mattresses, portable camp chairs and cooking equipment.

Meals

Most of your meals are included on this trip (36 breakfasts, 33 lunches, and 27 dinners), with everything made with fresh local produce. Breakfasts are usually breads and cereals, lunches are lighter meals consisting of sandwiches and/or salads, and evening meals are freshly prepared hot meals, made up of a variety of continental and local dishes. 

Your tour guides will do all the meal preparation, but there will be a prep and dish-washing schedule that all travellers will be expected to participate in. Please note: All bottled drinking water will be at your own expense

Minimum age & eligibility

This trip is designed for those aged 18-39. A reasonable level of fitness is required as this is an adventure style trip, involving high altitude hikes, days in humid rainforest, pitching tents, and some strenuous activities.

Most countries on this trip require you to have at least 6 months remaining on your passport from your date of arrival. Visa rules vary. and entry requirements are subject to change. You should check with the relevant embassies before travelling. 

  • South Africa: British citizens do not need a visa to enter South Africa as a tourist for up to 90 days.
  • Namibia: British nationals can enter Namibia for a holiday of up to 90 days without a visa.
  • Botswana: British nationals do not normally need a visa to enter Botswana for stays of up to 90 days.
  • Zambia: British nationals visiting Zambia for less than 90 days do not need a visa in advance and can obtain a visa on arrival.
  • Zimbabwe: You will need a visa to visit Zimbabwe. Most visitors use the visa on arrival service. You should take enough cash with you in small notes to pay for your visa at the airport. It may also be possible to obtain an e-visa through the new e-visa website.
  • Malawi: British passport holders can get a free 30 day visa on arrival upon entering Malawi. 
  • Tanzania: All British passport holders need a tourist or business visa to enter Tanzania. Tanzania has introduced an ‘e-visas’ system through which applications can be submitted and approved online in advance of travel. 
  • Kenya: Entry to Kenya requires a visa. You’ll need to apply for this before travel using the Kenya e-visa website.
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