Johannesburg to Nairobi Overland: Waterfalls & Beaches

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Overview

Now's the time to explore Africa on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. Tuck into a meaty month of adventure as you embark on an epic overland journey from Johannesburg to Nairobi, crossing the stunning wilderness of seven countries in between. Track Africa’s "big five" on safari drives in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro and head to the Okavango Delta for a wildlife walk and mokoro canoe excursion. Inhale the mists of Victoria Falls and the fragrant air of spice plantations in Zanzibar. You'll make your discoveries from a rugged Lando, ready to take on any adventure. Hop in for a ride you won't want to hop off.

Itinerary

Day 1: Johannesburg

Arrive at any time.

Tonight, get to know your group on your first night out together in Johannesburg. After your welcome meeting at the hotel choose to enjoy an Amarula cocktail at the bar or go to Emperors Palace with a wide array of restaurants and bars to choose from. Sit back, relax, eat some grub, sip a cocktail, and get to know your fellow travel buddies as the adventure begins.

If you arrive a day or two early, we recommended booking an excursion to Soweto or the Apartheid Museum.

Day 2: Johannesburg/Serowe

Get ready to check another country off those travel lists as you and the group pass across the border into Botswana. We’re not going to lie today will be a lot of driving, but use this opportunity to talk with your group, swap stories, and watch as the landscape changes around you from the desolate scenery of central-eastern Botswana to the wild bush within the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. The group will stop here for the night to set up camp, enjoy each other's company around a fire, and fall peacefully asleep beneath the stars.

Today's travel takes us through a very desolate part of central-eastern Botswana. We cross into Botswana and finish the day at a campsite within the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, a unique community-based initiative in wildlife conservation.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Serowe/Maun

You didn’t think the group was leaving before taking part in a wildlife drive through the Khama Rhino Sanctuary did you? Good, because there’s not a chance. Get out there in an open air vehicle with a guide to spot some of these beautiful creatures. Bump along as the light turns everything gold before your eyes and be on the lookout for rhinos, zebras, and ostriches before returning to your campsite.

Jump in the Lando and continue on to Maun, scroll through your camera roll checking those pictures while the land outside your window becomes more fertile as you approach the area of the Okavango Delta. You might be looking for something adventurous after a day of travel so choose to take a scenic flight over the delta to get those hearts thumping like the beat of African drums.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Maun/Okavango Delta

Today is going to be busy, but fun and man do we wish we were going with you on this epic adventure.

You’ll wake to the sound and smell of the bush around you and then dive right into some nature with a wildlife walk. The cool thing about being on foot is that you will get to learn about tracking the animals and gain insight into their movement patterns and behaviour on a much more intimate level.

From there the group will begin an exciting excursion deep into the Okavango delta in a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) to do some birdwatching on the way to our basic bush camp for the evening (get ready to completely unplug). Set up camp, sing with the locals, and simply unwind with a sundowner around the campfire… cheers!

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Okavango Delta/Gweta

Africa is home to some of the most beautiful sunrises in the world and today (if the weather is just right) you will get to experience the almost too vibrant colours of that quintessential sunrise that we all picture when we think of going on safari to Africa.

Then, tip your heads back, take a deep breath, and feel the mokoro cut through the crystal clear channels as you ride out of the Okavango Delta. The group will take some time to freshen up in Maun (showers everyone!) before embarking in the Lando to Gweta where the group will camp under massive baobab trees for the night.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Gweta/Kasane

Rise early to the sounds of nature around you and choose to embark on a morning safari or river cruise through Chobe NP (home to the largest elephant population in southern Africa) before travelling north with your group to Kasane.

“I bless the rains down in Africaaaaa” ahh we can just hear it now... (and it has never sounded so good!) because surely someone is bound to play this song as you drive through the verdant lands between Gweta and Kasane. Turns out Toto knew what they were talking about because the rains in Africa are no joke. Rain brings life to the pans awakening the dormant fish and aquatic shrimps from the mud. The surrounding grasslands also teem with life and are home to many antelope, which attract a wide variety of predators. Keep your eyes focused as the world passes you by and then reward yourself with a group toast as you camp under the great big African sky.

Today we journey to Chobe National Park, home to the largest elephant population in southern Africa. The best way to appreciate one of Botswana's national parks and its thousands of resident elephants, crocodiles, and hippos is on an optional sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. You can pre-book this on the checkout page, or through your Global Connection Officer or travel agent. You may also choose to embark on a open vehicle safari drive in search of lions, antelope, and, of course, elephants.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Kasane/Victoria Falls

Buckle those seat belts and cross the border from Botswana to Zimbabwe; home of epic Victoria falls. All that driving is bound to make you hungry and we have a treat for you today! The group will be having a traditional lunch at the G Adventurers supported Lusumpuko Women's Club. With full bellies and even more full hearts get ready to feel the mist in the air as you enter the town of Victoria Falls.

Get up close and personal with one of the largest waterfalls in the world. For the adventurous we recommend going whitewater rafting, taking a scenic helicopter flight over the falls (epic selfies anyone?), or taking the plunge (literally) while bungee jumping with Victoria Falls in sight. (Oh man... just thinking of that makes our heads spin and our palms sweat!) Not looking to turn your hair gray today? That’s okay we understand, you could also enjoy a nice cold beer at a bar overlooking this world wonder. Either way the choice is yours, but remember you’re here now so why not escape those comfort zones?

Opt to prebook the Chobe National Park Safari Drive and head out early into the park before crossing crossing the border into Zimbabwe, then continue on to the town of Victoria Falls. Opt to get up close (and wet from the spray) to the awesome Victoria Falls, or bungee jump (with Victoria Falls in sight).

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Victoria Falls

Get close and personal with one of the largest waterfalls in the world on this free day in Victoria Falls. Feel the strength of the water splashing your skin on the observation deck, taking in the sound of tons of water thundering in over the edge of the falls in the distance and make your day as relaxing or hair-raising as you like.

For the adventurous we recommend going whitewater rafting, taking a scenic helicopter flight over the falls (epic selfies anyone?), or taking the plunge (literally) while bungee jumping with Victoria Falls in sight. (Oh man... just thinking of that makes our heads spin and our palms sweat!)

Not looking to turn your hair gray today? That’s okay you could also enjoy a nice cold beer at a bar overlooking this world wonder. Either way the choice is yours, but remember you’re here now so why not escape those comfort zones?

Day 9: Victoria Falls/Lusaka

Buckle those seat belts, set off early around 6am, and cross the border from Zimbabwe into Zambia. The long journey across rough and bumpy roads will take you to a private farm 29km (18 mi) outside the capital of Zambia and will have you feeling so accomplished because we all know now that driving on rough terrain is no picnic!

Get out, stretch those legs and marvel together at the zebras, buffalo, and the bok that freely roam the property. Then grab a cold drink at the camp’s bar (cheers!) or relax by the pool to celebrate the success of your long journey.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Lusaka/South Luangwa

Rise and shine and begin today’s journey. We have a lot of ground to cover so be prepared to set off early and arrive late in the afternoon in your next destination. Use this time to get to know the members of your group better, swap stories, share some laughs, or even sit quietly and reflect, there’s time for both. The group will travel across the Zambian countryside before arriving at the campsite along the banks of the Luangwa River.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: South Luangwa

Guess where you’re going today! South Luangwa National Park. The day is yours to spend in this wildlife haven. Choose to go on a walking safari (just remember it’s seasonal), a night drive, or visit a nearby local village. No matter what you decide to do remember to have fun and be in the moment because life’s more fun that way in general and hey, so is travel. Get rid of those expectations and let this place dazzle you for what it is.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: South Luangwa/Chipata

It’s another day in the wilds of Africa so have those cameras at the ready as you head out on an optional morning safari drive. Try to snap some pictures of giraffes, elephants, and Cape Buffalo in this hidden gem of a place that also happens to be home to the largest populations of these creatures. Then the group will stop for lunch and visit the Tribal Textiles Market & Courtyard a G Adventures-supported craft workshop. In the afternoon you will continue onwards to Chipata.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Chipata/Kande Beach

Check another country off your travel lists as you pass into Malawi and head to Lake Malawi affectionately known as “Lake of Stars”. The group will spend four nights relaxing on the shores of this massive lake; think clear shimmering waters with schools of colourful cichlid fish swarming in the depths of a place where nature is king and the people are some of the friendliest you’ll ever meet. Beach walks, leisurely swims, and snorkeling are what’s in store for you over the next few days.

The locals depend on the lake for fishing as well as survival by using dugout canoes to fish from and setting out long nets. There are many different ethnic groups all speaking their own language; most are Christians and the rest have traditional beliefs.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Kande Beach

Imagine this; you wake to the sound of birdsong around you, the sun is shining, and the waters of Lake Malawi are calling your name begging to be set upon. Grab your camera and swim suit and head out for some fun. Wander the shore on foot, grab a snorkel and see what life under the shimmering surface is all about, take a leisurely swim, or choose to experience a village walk at the nearby Tonga Village. Then the group will get to take part in a traditional dinner at a local home in the evening before falling asleep under the stars.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Kande Beach/Chitimba

It’s off to another beautiful destination along Lake Malawi today. From oceans to mountains to lakes you’re getting to see some of the best scenery that Africa has to offer. The group will head north to picturesque Chitimba Beach where there are gorgeous views of the mountains in the background and you can see Tanzania from just across the lake. Once here you can choose to get out onto the lake or you can hike along the shores and enjoy the scenery that surrounds you.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Chitimba

Enjoy a final day at Lake Malawi. Now that you have gotten a feel for this area take the day to further experience your surroundings and appreciate them. Bask in the sun, take a swim, walk to the local village that you didn’t visit yesterday or hike to Livingstonia along the Nyika Plateau for wonderful views of the lake. Along the way cool off under the Manchewe Falls (we know we would if we were there with you).

In the evening, relax along the lake and rest up as the journey continues tomorrow.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Chitimba/Iringa

Another day, another country; you’ll be a pro at border crossings in no time. Today the group will head into Tanzania en route to Iringa. Gaze out the window as the Lando climbs out of the Great Rift Valley through some spectacular mountain passes, viewing tea plantations and highlands as you go. You could also use this time to journal, take a nap, or share inside jokes with the rest of the group (you’re bound to have some by now).

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Iringa/Dar es Salaam

After the jam packed first few days of this trip where you are going next is going to be just what you needed. Wake in Iringa before driving to Dar es Salaam. Watch as the Tanzanian countryside passes by and the blue waters of the Indian Ocean make their debut. The city started as a fishing village in the mid 19th century before becoming a port and trading centre. The group will spend the night here before embarking for the island beaches of Zanzibar.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Dar es Salaam/Zanzibar Beach Resort

Today is the day your group will discover true paradise. Hop on a ferry and transfer to Zanzibar. Get ready for picturesque island beaches that will make you contemplate staying here and living off the grid. Few places on this planet are as entrancing and exotic as this Tanzanian archipelago so get ready to enjoy it, take loads of pictures, and relax in a place that has long lured backpackers and adventurers to it’s sandy shores.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 20: Zanzibar Beach Resort

Wake up in this island paradise and get ready to seize the day. You’ll be exploring one of the world’s great cultural crossroads… think Africa meets Arabia and add the Indian Ocean into the mix as the cherry on top.

The day is yours to spend as you choose; head out for a diving experience, grab some goggles and go snorkelling, hop aboard a sailing trip, or just lounge on the beach and relax. Zanzibar’s tropical setting, unique culture, and active beach-party scene make this place a very enjoyable East African Indian Ocean experience.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 21: Stone Town

Your most difficult task today is going to be pulling yourself away from the beauty that surrounds you in Jambiani. But, if it makes you feel any better you still have one final night to spend on this enchanted island just in a more local spot. Travel back to Stone Town from the other side of the island, enjoy a guided tour of a local spice plantation on the way, and explore the heart of Zanzibar. Wander the winding historic unpaved alleyways of Stone Town passing by balconies and gigantic wooden carved doors along the way.

Get lost and spend hours exploring the streets and squares, drinking potent coffee from pavement vendors and buying sweetmeats from tiny cafes. Keep an eye out for tinga-tinga paintings, antique shops, beautifully printed cloths (kangas and kikois worn by local people), little carved chests with copper inlays, and spices – all beautiful presents or memories to take home.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 22: Stone Town/Bagamoyo

It’s time to kiss this underrated paradise good-bye as you catch the ferry back to the mainland and head north to the historic coastal town of Bagamoyo. This town was recently named a World Heritage Site and used to be one of the most important trading ports of the central east African coast in the late 19th century. Stroll through Bagamoyo’s narrow, unpaved streets on your own and feel as if you stepped back in time.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Bagamoyo/Arusha

Hit the road for a long day of driving. Enjoy the varied landscapes on the way to Arusha. Be on the lookout for views of Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. Consider yourself lucky if you are able to see the mountain as it is hidden behind a veil of clouds most of the time.

Arusha sits at the foot of rugged Mt Meru, Africa's fifth highest mountain.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Arusha/Serengeti National Park

Well folks it’s time for the Africa you have all imagined; the experience that has been depicted over and over again in books, movies, and television. So grab those cameras, purchase a quirky bucket hat, and head out on a wildlife safari drive into one of the most famous national parks in Africa; the Serengeti.

Get ready for abundant wildlife, vast golden plains dotted with thorny acacia trees, and hippo-filled rivers as you begin a 3-day and 2-night excursion into the park itself and the great Ngorongoro Crater.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro

Grab your buddies and jump aboard for one last morning safari in the Serengeti. As the sun rises higher in the sky watch the animal kingdom come to life in this grassland savannah before returning to break down camp. Then it’s on to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, famous for Africa’s best wildlife viewing.

Experience epic views from the crater rim and watch as animals meander around below drinking water from the permanent supply on the crater floor. You’ll be setting up camp in the late afternoon at a site near the crater rim and then you can spend the rest of the day enjoying one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on the planet.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: Ngorongoro/Arusha

It’s time to experience “Africa’s Garden of Eden” on a more personal level. Today, venture down to the crater floor where the group will embark on a final safari experience. Have those cameras charged and at the ready because, let’s face it if you are going to see any wildlife this would be the place (and we are so excited for you)!

The animals are bound to this area by the crater walls and the enclosed nature of the crater means that its own ecosystem has been created think; rich grasslands, swamps, acacia forests, and Lake Makat; so get ready to see some magic.

With full camera rolls the group will exit the crater in the late morning and travel back to Arusha. Swap stories along the way, pick those favourite photos from earlier, or simply sit back and let yourself enjoy the passing scenery as you cruise along.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 27: Arusha/Nairobi

Depart Arusha as the sun rises in the morning and travel overland to Nairobi; Kenya’s capital city. The tour ends upon arrival to Nairobi at the Hotel Boulevard. In order to avoid any unnecessary issues with timing, please book ongoing travel from Nairobi in the evening.

Not ready to go home just yet? That’s ok, stay for a few extra days to explore more of Kenya and beyond.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

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