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East African Explorer (21 Day) 2017-18 (21 Days, Livingstone to Nairobi)

What could be better than sand, sun and safari? If you're looking to combine a beach getaway with once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters, then 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 to the famed 'Big Five' at the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. Good times, guaranteed.

Inclusions

Maasai village walk
Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater excursion
Exotic Zanzibar
Mosi Oa Tunya National Park (Victoria Falls)
South Luangwa National Park
Not Eligible for Early Payment
20 Breakfasts
20 Lunches
20 Dinners
Tour Provider Topdeck
Number of Days
21
Price From
AUD $2,932
Start Location
Livingstone, Zambia
End Location
Livingstone, Zambia
Age Range
Avg. 39+
Group Size
1 to 48
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
18-39
Physical Rating
Mild
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
24 Nov 201714 Dec 2017Fully BookedAUD $1,400 
08 Dec 201728 Dec 2017Fully BookedAUD $1,400 
22 Dec 201711 Jan 2018Fully BookedAUD $1,400 
02 Mar 201822 Mar 2018Fully BookedAUD $1,400 
13 Apr 201803 May 2018Fully BookedAUD $1,400 
ItineraryExpand
Day 1: Livingstone, Zambia to Lusaka
This morning we make the most of our time in adventure-loving Livingstone and visit the thundering Victoria Falls themselves. At over a mile wide and some 100 metres deep in high water, it forms the largest curtain of falling water in the world with spray visible from 20 kilometres away – hence their local name Mosi au Tunya ('smoke that thunders'). Later today, we make tracks for Zambia's urban metropolis city, Lusaka. A commercial hub and centre for the government, Lusaka is home to dusty tree-lined streets, soviet looking buildings 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. Meals: -Lunch -Dinner
Day 2: Lusaka to Chipata
We leave early and take the Great Eastern Road through lush countryside and small villages, crossing the Luangwa River to Chipata. Formerly named Fort Jamerson, Chipata has a population of approximately 100,000 and is the capital of the Eastern Province of Zambia. This unique town has colourful fruit and vegetable markets and a surprising amount of ornate mosques due to its large Indian community. If time allows, we will stop in Chipata before continuing to our campsite to overnight. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 3: Chipata to South Luangwa National Park
Today we swap Chipata for the remarkable South Luangwa National Park. This area of outstanding natural beauty is rightly known as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa. On arrival we set up camp and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the many activities on offer, from walking safaris, night game drives and village walks. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Village tour -Walking safari -Game drive
Day 4: South Luangwa National Park
What better way to start the day than with a morning game drive along the river’s edge to see the abundance of animal and birdlife inhabiting the area? After the game drive, take advantage of The Warthogs Bar and swimming pool (which is the best place to cool off during the hot hours of the day) and the many activities on offer that you may have missed the day before. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 5: South Luangwa National Park to Malawi Beach, Malawi
Leaving Zambia behind, we cross the border to Malawi stopping at the capital, Lilongwe, before taking the eastern road to Lake Malawi. Formally known as ‘Lake Nyasa’, Lake Malawi covers almost a fifth of the country’s area and provides the livelihood for many of the Malawi people. Fishermen, fish traders, can and net makers all ply their trade on its shores, so expect to see fisherman in their Bwato, (dugout can made from hollowed out tree trunk) fishing on the lake at the break of day. We arrive at camp on the lake’s shore in the afternoon and have the rest of the day to swim and explore the beach and surrounding area. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Horse riding -Village walk
Day 6: Malawi Beach
While here, try some of the water sports typically available, go horse riding or just relax by the lakeside and go for a dip in its warm waters anytime the need arises. It’s also worth taking the time out to get to know some of the locals, often regarded as amongst the friendliest in Africa, to gain an insight into their way of life. Please note: Although we do our best to adhere to the campsites described in this itinerary, the crew may need to make some alterations to the itinerary published here. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Horse riding -Village walk
Day 7: Malawi Beach to Lake Malawi
We take a scenic drive through rubber plantations to Mzuzu, the capital of the northern region and the third largest town in Malawi, where we stop for a short while to grab supplies and check out the markets before arriving at Chitimba Beach for the next two nights. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 8: Lake Malawi
Enjoy time on the beach or shop at a large curios market, where you can test your bargaining skills and buy some of Malawi’s famous ornate and carved chairs. Alternatively, take an optional hike to Manchewe Falls or embark on the Chihanga walk with a local guide. These trails are beautifully serene, but can take up to 10 hours so be sure to rest up beforehand! Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Livingstone day hike
Day 9: Lake Malawi to Iringa, Tanzania
Leaving Chitimba Beach, we travel the short distance north to cross the border into Tanzania. We steadily climb through Tanzania’s Southern Highlands all the way to Kisolanza Farm House. This farm is at an altitude of 1,600 metres, ensuring a pleasantly fresh climate in one of the most scenic areas of Tanzania. Home to the Ghaui family for over 70 years, Kisolanza remains a working farm, which provides organic meat (beef, lamb and chicken) and vegetables to the surrounding markets as well as further afield in Dar es Salaam. The farmhouse is famous for its hot showers, chocolate brownies and hot chocolate that can be bought from a quaint, candlelit bar. Note: time to indulge! Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 10: Iringa to Dar es Salaam
Continuing east towards the Indian Ocean and the port city of Dar es Salaam, our route runs through the Mikumi National Park and, with luck, we may spot forest elephant or giraffe feeding near the side of the road. 'Dar' is Tanzania's hub of commerce and industry, and is a hot, humid and bustling seaport city of high rises, colourful markets and Arabesque architecture. We set up camp at our site on the beach just outside of the city centre, usually having time to browse the local markets (best known for its ebony wood carvings) and prepare for our own trip to Zanzibar. Meals: -Breakfast
Day 19: Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater
Spend the morning game-driving out of the plains, and then ascend the outer wall of the Ngorongoro Crater (after a well-deserved lunch, of course). Pack your warmest jacket, as tonight we camp on the rim of the crater where wildlife also gallivant. At 326 square kilometres in area, the Ngorongoro Crater is Africa’s largest intact caldera and a World Heritage Site. If the view from the rim at 2,400 metres above sea level is spectacular, the site from the crater floor some 600 metres below, will be equally mind-blowing. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Serengeti Balloon Flight
Day 18: Arusha to Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater
This morning calls for a vehicle change-up. We hit the road in a more game park-friendly option and drive west across the Great Rift Valley, entering the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. Just try not to drop your jaw as we pass into the park and cruise around the crater rim and down onto the Serengeti plains (we bet you can’t). Lush and green after the rains and a burnt hue in the dry, this spectacular landscape is home to an enormous variety of grazing animals, predators and birdlife. Flatter and larger than the Maasai Mara, the Serengeti is simply huge – indeed the name derives from the Maasai word Siringitu (‘the place where the land moves on forever’). We drive to our designated (but unfenced) campsite for the evening for an unforgettable experience. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 17: Marangu to Arusha
Passing through the town of Moshi, we eventually reach Arusha, a bustling melting pot of markets, vehicles and some two million people, all nestled in the shadow of the brooding Mt Meru. With time to explore town, we head out to our camp just outside the city at the edge of the Masai plains. This afternoon, we take a walk to one of the local Masai villages – inspecting a local school and clinic, a small but hugely interesting Masai museum, and the snake enclosure at the Meserani Snake Park (if you dare!). It’s from here that we will prepare for our included two-night/three-day excursion to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 16: Dar es Salaam to Marangu
Departing early from Dar es Salaam, we head north past the Usambara and Pare Mountains in the Eastern Arc Mountain Range to Marangu, nestled at the base of the famed Kilimanjaro. The camp takes its name from the surrounding area; "Marangu" means "full of water" in the local Chagga language, and the lush green surroundings demonstrate the truth of this. If the weather is clear we will gain a view of the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 11: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar
Today we ferry across to the magical 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar to spend three blissful nights. Discover the island’s idyllic, palm-fringed beaches, winding cobbled alleys and lush tropical forests, as well as its intriguing history as a major trading centre for spices. For centuries, Zanzibaris would trade with the people of the Arabian Peninsula and ply the ocean in simple dhow sailboats, relying on the annual trade winds for passage. The Arab influence is evident in the architecture and diverse street stall offerings of the capital, Stone Town, so keep your eyes peeled when wandering the city’s historic pathways. The next four days are on your own watch, so spend your time exploring at your own pace. Please note: As we leave the truck on the mainland, basic safari lodge/hotel accommodation and breakfast on Zanzibar is included. However, lunches and dinners are your own to arrange. We usually divide our nights here 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. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Spice tour -Slave markets -Arabic Fort -Palace Museum
Day 14: Zanzibar
Variety is the spice of life, and on Zanzibar island, spices are abundant. Embark on a day tour to the nearby spice plantations and have your senses dazzled by the tastes and scents that infiltrate the air. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Spice tour -Scuba diving -Mnemba Island -Dhow snorkeling safari -Massage
Day 13: Zanzibar
Awake to another day in this dreamlike haven. If it's white sand, a sparkling ocean and hot sun you're after, head to the northern beaches and enjoy the Indian Ocean at its best. Try your hand at snorkelling and diving, indulge in some sumptuous seafood, or simply relax beneath a coconut palm with a cocktail and a good book. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Spice tour -Scuba diving -Mnemba Island -Dhow snorkeling safari -Massage
Day 12: Zanzibar
Don your comfiest walking attire and set out to explore Stone Town on foot. Get lost in the labyrinth of laneways at the bazaars, and marvel at the array of ancient maritime trinkets, vibrant fabrics and ornate wooden carvings. Be sure to pay a visit to the city’s mosques, palaces, courtyards and alleyways for a living history lesson of this fascinating island. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Spice tour -Scuba diving -Mnemba Island -Dhow snorkelling safari -Massage
Day 20: Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater
On the final day of the excursion we descend down the steep, dirt road of the Ngorongoro Crater for a morning of game driving. Keep your eye out for all the major mammals – except the towering giraffes, which struggle to manage the steep slopes leading down onto the crater floor. After our game drive, we ascend to our campsite on the rim for a final view over the Ngorongoro Crater, and then pack up our camp and enjoy lunch before retracing our steps to our campsite in Arusha. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 15: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam
Time to farewell this picture-perfect paradise. Sneak in some last-minute shopping or relish one last dip, before catching the ferry back to Dar on the African mainland. Tonight, our campsite on the coast awaits. Meals: -Breakfast -Dinner
Day 21: Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater to Nairobi, Kenya
After a last night at camp, we make our way across the Masai Steppe to the Kenyan frontier. Completing formalities at Namanga border post, we drive the last stretch of road to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, where our amazing tour of Africa sadly ends. Until next time! Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch