Cape Town to Mt Gorillas - Itinerary
Day 1 Cape Town - a beautiful city, plenty of cafes, pubs, clubs and markets Visit a township, then north. We leave the farmland of the Western Cape and the Mediterranean climate, following the road north through mountain valleys and stony semi-desert past Citrusdal the centre of one of the Cape's many wine routes. A wine tasting makes for a great diversion; and on to Cederberg.
Day 2 To Springbok to Orange River and Namibia. You can canoe on the river.
Day 3 After crossing the border into Namibia, we drive north to Fish River Canyon; 160km long and 550m deep; second in length only to the Grand Canyon. You can trek along the rim and look over the canyon from the viewpoints.
Day 4 – 5 From Fish River Canyon to Sesriem. We visit the Namib Naukluft Park in the Namibian Desert, with massive thousand-foot high sand dunes. It can be hard work climbing to the top but the view is worth all the effort as the dunes stretch before you into the distance and change colour with the sun.
Day 6 – 7 We cross the Tropic of Capricorn towards the Atlantic Ocean via Walvis Bay to Swakopmund; an old German colonial seaside resort with plenty of things to do for the energetic and German beer halls for those after a more relaxing time. Horse-riding or sand boarding on the dunes, deep sea fishing in the Atlantic or scenic flights over the coastline.
Day 8 Namibia is a land of wide open spaces and we pass few inhabited areas as we drive towards Spitzkoppe; a group of granite peaks. Here you can take an optional guided walk with San to their ancient rock art sites.
Day 9 To the cheetahs. From wild animals to tame ones, we spend a night at the Kamanjab Cheetah Farm Scratch the big cats behind the ears before watching them catch their evening meal
Day 10 -11 Towards Etosha Park. Etosha Pan National Park. Thousands of years ago this vast saltpan was a lake, till Kunene River changed course and deprived the lake of water. Now the pan and surrounding bush support large numbers and a wide range of wildlife. We view game from the truck and spend the evenings by the floodlit water holes at the park's campsites. These water holes provide an excellent opportunity to observe animals that are hard to find during the day, particularly rhino and also smaller animals such as the genet. Elephant, lion, giraffe, zebra, oryx, ostrich, springbok, jackals, hyenas and meercats are also likely to be seen here.
Day 12 We leave the park; game driving all the way to the gate. We head west and camp on route, at a beautiful campsite at Grootfontein, in northwest of Namibia.
Day 13 From Grootfontein, toward Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, and the green Kavango Region of northern Namibia. From of Rundu on the border of Angola where we follow the Kavango River to our campsite on the banks of the river at Divundu
Day 14 into Botswana and travel along the edge of the Kalahari Desert to Maun a small town on the edge of the Okavango Delta, the starting point for the optional Mokoro trip into the Delta
Day 15 – 16 Up early and it’s off walking with the guide, a unique chance to see game on foot; elephants, herds of grazing zebra and pods of hippos. A Mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe and your transport into the Delta. As you glide through the waterways, you will see a fantastic array of wetland wildlife and birds. You will come across hippos in the water and elephants drinking on the shore. You can go on a walking safari to look for giraffe, buffalo and rare antelope – the overnight stay is a great wilderness experience.
Day 17 Try learning how to pole your mokoro, or try to catch a catfish; the guides make it look so easy. A last swim in the clear water before heading back to the truck and campsite for a shower and cold drinks. Time permitting you could take a scenic flight over the Delta from Maun.
Day 18 – 19 To Chobe National Park, where you can take an optional overnight game drive; a wild experience - excellent game viewing is a must.
Day 20 After returning to camp we head to Zimbabwe and over the border to Victoria Falls. When the river is in full flow, the falling water causes a huge roar and sends a cloud of spray up to 500 metres into the air
Day 21 – 22 We stay beside Victoria Falls in Victoria Falls town, there is a lot to see and do. Adventure activities abound - you can bungee jump, white water raft, and go game-viewing on horseback or walking with lions. More sedate excursions include canoeing, light aircraft or helicopter flights over the Falls and the sunset cruise on the Zambezi. Though the Falls themselves are the main attraction, you can walk in the rain forest along the cliff opposite for an excellent view.
Day 23 Westwards, leaving Zimbabwe to Botswana to the small town of Kasane and Chobe National Park. In Chobe National Park you can take an optional overnight game drive; a wild experience - excellent game viewing is a must.
Day 24 We cross the Zambezi River by ferry into Zambia to Livingstone where we arrive at mighty Victoria Falls
Day 25 We head north through sugar plantations to the capital Lusaka.
Day 26 Along the Great East Road to Chipata, a full day’s drive and South Luangwa National Park is well worth the visit. Recent trips have seen:- wild dogs, leopards, lions, and buffalo. We camp just beside the park and you can game drive into the park.
Day 27 Game driving in South Luangwa Valley Park. Leaving the park we head back to Chipata. Mamarula’s Camp is where we spend the night before heading into Malawi
Day 28 - 30 We cross into Malawi with a stunning drive to Lake Malawi, past the lake shore to Kande Beach Resort. Kande Beach Resort A full day on the beach to do as little or as much as you want. Loads of things to do - scuba diving, horse riding, canoeing, sailing, snorkelling. A short drive up the lakeshore to Chitimba Beach, on the base of Livingstonia Escarpment.
Day 31 An early start in order to get to the border with Tanzania and head up to Iringa and the Farmhouse Campsite.
Day 32 The highway takes us through Mikumi National Park, famous for its pygmy elephants, and buffalo beside the main road. The day ends at either Mikumi or Dar es Salaam on a beach with the Indian Ocean lapping the shore.
Day 33 – 35 You can take the ferry to the Spice Island of Zanzibar (optional). First stop in Stone Town or Zanzibar City, then make your way across the island to Nungwe village on the northern Beaches – a tropical island at its best. If you decide not to go to Zanzibar, the campsite at Mikadi Beach is an ideal place to have a few lazy days.
Day 36 Return by the afternoon ferry to Dar es Salaam where we spend the night on a beach by the Indian Ocean
Day 37 We travel north towards Arusha and camp on route at Pangani River.
Day 38 Skirting the base of snowy Mount Kilimanjaro to Arusha, Tanzania’s safari capital
Day 39 – 40 Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater
In Arusha you can take an optional side trip to the Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater. The trip is camping, away for three days and two nights. Either one or two of these nights will be inside the park in the parks amidst the animals. If you choose not to visit the park you can wander the markets in Arusha town
Day 41 Return to Arusha late in the day to Snake Park Camp site. From Arusha we head north across Masai country to Namanga; the border of Kenya, and across the plains to Nairobi. Visit the Langata Giraffe Centre and see the baby elephants at Sheldrick's Elephant sanctuary.
Day 43 Leaving Nairobi we stop at the Rift Valley scenic lookout its 8,000 feet high and overlooks Mount Longonot and Lake Naivasha. We head south to Narok and on to Masai Mara National Reserve; camping on the edge of the park.
We head south to Narok and on to Masai Mara National Reserve; camping on the edge of the park. The sweeping plains evoke a picture of East Africa that most people hold in their minds and are rarely disappointed when confronted with the real thing. Great game viewing is assured all year round. The Mara offers us everything, amazing scenery and abundant wildlife including the big five.
Day 44 The sweeping plains evoke a picture of East Africa that most people hold in their minds and are rarely disappointed when confronted with the real thing. Great game viewing is assured all year round. The Mara offers us everything, amazing scenery and abundant wildlife including the big five.
An early start, we cross the Ugandan border. The scenery changes to tropical rain forests and tea and sugar plantations. On route to Jinja or Kampala city, our overnights stop.
Day 45 We pass from the dramatic landscape of the Rift Valley to the highlands and spend our first night on the highland route to El Doret.
Day 46 We enter Uganda and head on via Jinja on Lake Victoria to Kampala. This capital city is bustling and friendly. A well run green and fertile country.
Day 47 – 50 Stopping for photos as we cross the equator, we continue southwest to Kabale town; gateway to the Mountain Gorilla Reserves.
Climbing through lush terraced hills to Kisoro, there are panoramic views of the Ugandan hills on every turn. From the road we have outlooks over three countries - Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda; and the Virunga Mountains - Mountains of the Moon, the home of the rare Mountain Gorillas, an optional side trip.
As the groups going to the gorillas are small it takes a couple of days for everyone to do the trek. Whilst others are searching for the great apes, you can take in the local markets; walk to the nearby mountain lakes or go to Magahinga National park for a day hike up a volcano or a guided nature trail. We normally visit the gorillas in Uganda, but depending on conditions may see them in Rwanda.
Day 51 We return from the Mountain Gorillas to Kampala for the evening.
Day 52 From Kampala to Jinja - Crossing the Owen Falls dam we arrive at Jinja on the shores of Lake Victoria. Our campsite for the next few days above Bujagali Falls is a welcome break from travelling; we can have a lazy afternoon to put up our tents on the grassy terraces overlooking the Nile River. - You can spend an action-filled day white water rafting down the Nile. As well as grade 5 rapids this river has a lot of bird and wildlife to view while drifting between the rapids. The rafting is rounded off with a sunset BBQ and drinks, then back to camp to re-live it on video. There are no shortages of other activities in Jinja; quad biking, bungee jump, fish on Lake Victoria, take a guided village walk or give up a day of your holiday to volunteer for the local community education project.
Day 53 Leaving Uganda, we head back into Kenya and Lake Nakuru
Day 54 You can take the side trip for the day to Lake Nakuru, viewing game in a park; famous for its soda lake surrounded by thousands, sometimes millions of pink flamingos. The park is home to over 400 species of bird, and we should spot leopard or black and white rhino among the zebra, waterbuck, impala, giraffe and tree climbing lions. Leaving the park we cross the Rift Valley to camp on Lake Naivasha
Day 55 To Naivasha, we camp beside the lake. Close by is Hell's Gate National Park where you can hire bikes to take you around the park and see the herds of zebra, buffalo and antelope. You can also wander in the predator free reserve amongst African game. There is spectacular scenery here; red cliffs, grassy plains and rock towers made of hardened lava and the remains of ancient volcanoes. Also on the lake is Elsamere; once the home of Joy Adamson and Elsa the lion of 'Born Free' fame. Elsamere is now the centre of the Born Free Foundation and you can find out more about their work and take afternoon tea in the gardens. Lake Naivasha, camping under the fever trees on the shore of Lake Naivasha, with hippos grazing on the shore in the evening
Day 56 We return to Nairobi, the end of our trip. Visit the Langata Giraffe Centre and see the baby elephants at Sheldrick's Elephant sanctuary.