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East African Explorer (29 Day) 2018-19 (29 Days, Johannesburg to Nairobi)

With amazing scenery, vibrant cities and spectacular wildlife, East Africa has everything you could ever want from a safari experience – and then some! This epic journey covers a variety of landscapes including the lush beaches of Zanzibar, the wonders of Kruger, Matobo and South Luangwa National Parks, the thundering Victoria Falls, the majestic Ngorongoro Crater and the sweeping Serengeti plains. With so much eye candy, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a real-life David Attenborough special.


Maasai village walk
Exotic Zanzibar
Mosi Oa Tunya National Park (Victoria Falls)
Shangaan cultural evening
South Luangwa National Park
Kruger National Park
Matobo National Park
Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater excursion
28 Breakfasts
28 Lunches
28 Dinners
Tour Provider Topdeck
Number of Days
Price From
AUD $4,545
Start Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
End Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
Age Range
18 to 39
Group Size
1 to 48
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Physical Rating
Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa to Greater Kruger
From South Africa’s commercial capital, Johannesburg, we travel to South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park, passing panoramic scenery and dramatic escarpment views. From the dwarf mongoose to the Big Five, almost every major African mammal (over 145 species) is is free to roam the enormous area of the park, which also boasts prolific birdlife and over 330 varieties of trees. Over two nights within the Kruger area, we have the chance to enjoy the spectacle of Shangaan tribal dancing and singing, as well as a full day’s game drive in the park itself to spot as many animals as possible. Included today: -Shangaan cultural evening Meals: -Dinner
Day 2: Greater Kruger to Kruger National Park
Have your binoculars at the ready! Today we hope to catch a glimpse of as much of Africa’s diverse wildlife as we can. See how many animals you can tick off your list on our full day's game drive (you'll be the toast of the campsite after spotting an elusive honey badger). Included today: -Kruger National Park game drive Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 3: Kruger National Park to Tshipise
Leaving the Greater Kruger area we travel north through South Africa’s lush countryside to Tshipise, a town situated in the northern Limpopo province. Our campsite is located at Forever Resorts at the foot of one of Limpopo’s rolling koppies set adjacent to the Honnet Nature Reserve. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 4: Tshipise to Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe
After a refreshing night’s sleep we make our way across the border to Zimbabwe and on to Bulawayo, a pleasant city with broad tree-lined avenues and wide open spaces. Our campsite is located in the Matobo area, a historical, geological and natural heritage site which is surrounded by interesting hills and rock formations. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 5: Matobo National Park
Channel your inner explorer today as we head into the impressive Matobo National Park with our knowledgeable guides. The wind-sculpted Matobo Hills are the site of numerous Bushman paintings, so it’s no surprise the area holds a special cultural and spiritual importance to the indigenous people. The reserve has the largest concentration of black and white rhinos in Africa and, provided conditions are right, our guides will lead us on foot to some of the more concealed places in search of these magnificent animals. Included today: -Half day Matobo National Park game drive & wilderness walk Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Matobo National Park full day tour upgrade
Day 6: Matobo National Park to Livingstone, Zambia
Moving on from Matobo National Park we continue north through the town of Victoria Falls before crossing the border into Zambia. Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, our campsite makes for the perfect base to try out heart-racing optional activities including rafting, caning, bungy jumping, abseiling, gorge swinging, horse riding, scenic flights and river cruises. Head out for a thrilling adventure, or simply relax and enjoy the mighty Zambezi as it flows past your vantage point. Included today: -Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls) Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Victoria Falls bungy jump -Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game walk -Chief Mukumi Village tour -Gorge swing -Zambezi jetboating -Half day can safari -Zambezi sunset cruise -Whitewater rafting -Helicopter ride -Fishing -Bridge tour -Full day abseiling
Day 7: Livingstone
Spend the day enjoying our picturesque campsite, perfectly placed on the doorstep of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Fancy another game drive? Here, you have the option. Elephants crossing the Zambezi River from Zimbabwe can usually be spotted, as well as giraffes, buffals, white rhinos, warthogs, hippos and a variety of different monkey species. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Victoria Falls bungy jump -Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game walk -Chief Mukumi Village tour -Gorge swing -Zambezi jetboating -Half day can safari -Zambezi sunset cruise -Whitewater rafting -Helicopter ride -Fishing -Bridge tour -Full day abseiling
Day 8: Livingstone
Of course there is a lot more to Livingstone than action-soaked activities – which is why you have another day to check out the markets and fascinating museum, volunteer for a local project, embark on a day trip to Victoria Falls Township in Zimbabwe, or simply relax on the serene campsite deck and watch the Zambezi River flow past on its way to the Falls. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Victoria Falls bungy jump -Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park game walk -Chief Mukumi Village tour -Gorge swing -Zambezi jetboating -Half day can safari -Zambezi sunset cruise -Whitewater rafting -Helicopter ride -Fishing -Bridge tour -Full day abseiling
Day 9: Livingstone to Lusaka
Today we make tracks for Zambia's urban metropolis, 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: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 24: 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). If the weather is clear we will gain a view of the magnificent snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 25: 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 – checking out 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. Included today: -Masai Village walk Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 26: Arusha to Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater
This morning calls for a vehicle change-up. We hit the road in a game park-friendly vehicle 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. Lush and green after the rains and a burnt hue in dry weather, 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. In fact, its name is derived 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 back-to-nature experience. Included today: -Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater excursion Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 27: 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 you think 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. Included today: -Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater excursion Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 10: Lusaka to South Luangwa National Park
We leave early and take the Great Eastern Road through lush countryside and small villages, crossing the Luangwa River to the 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
Day 13: Kande Beach
While here, try some of the watersports typically available, take part in some optional 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 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 12: South Luangwa National Park to Kande Beach Malawai
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 fishermen 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 11: 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 Optional activities: -Village tour -Walking safari -Game drive
Day 23: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam
Time to bid farewell to 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. Included today: -Ferry to Dar Es Salaam Meals: -Breakfast -Dinner
Day 14: Kande Beach to Chitimba Beach
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 22: 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 -Visit Mnemba Island -Dhow snorkelling safari -Massage
Day 15: Chitimba Beach
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 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 ten hours so be sure to rest up beforehand! Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Livingstone day hike
Day 20: 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 -Visit Mnemba Island -Dhow snorkelling safari -Massage
Day 19: 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 Arabic 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. Included today: -Ferry to Zanzibar Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Spice tour -Visit the former slave markets -Visit the Arabic Fort -Visit the Palace Museum
Day 18: Mikumi National Park to Dar es Salaam
With luck, we may spot forest elephants or giraffes feeding near the side of the road on our way to Dar es Salaam. '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 ebony wood carvings) and prepare for our own trip to Zanzibar. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 17: Iringa to Mikumi National Park Area
Today we make our way east to Mikumi National Park. This evening we’ll sip sundowners at the local bar before gathering around the open fire and stargazing at our camp, which is just a stone’s throw away from the park. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 16: Chitimba Beach to Iringa
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 28: 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, then pack up our camp and enjoy lunch. Included today: -Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater excursion Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 21: 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 -Visit Mnemba Island -Dhow snorkelling safari -Massage
Day 29: Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater to Nairobi, Kenya
After a last night at camp, we make our way across the Maasai 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