Supersized Africa - Reverse
Cape Town is real priddy – love it then leave it for sandboarding in Swakopmund and the San bushmen in the Kalahari. Hippos in the Okavango, rhinos in Matobo National Park, giraffes in Mikumi National Park. Water in Victoria Falls, cocktails in Zanzibar – fun-ness anywhere you care to have it.
If you only take home one piece of African wisdom, let it be this: 'the buttocks are like a married couple. Though there is constant friction between them they will still love and live together.'
Day 1 - Cape Town
Get your game face on (pun intended) because there's 60 days of African animal-spotting ahead.
- Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1
- Enjoy a host of optional activities in Cape Town such as abseiling, kloofing, scuba diving, a harbour cruise and much more besides
- Perhaps visit the Botanical Gardens, the District Six Museum, the national gallery or spend some time on Table Mountain
Day 2-3 - Western Cape/Orange RiverIt's really happening. You are in Africa! Grab your tent buddy and canoe down the Orange River or laze riverside to celebrate.
- Leaving Cape Town behind, travel up the Western Cape and spend the night on a working farm (290 km, approx 8 hrs)
- Head for Orange River the following day (540 km, approx 9 hrs)
- Pitch the tents on the scenic banks of the Gariep (Orange) River
Day 4 - Fish River Canyon
Take some jealousy-inducing photos at Fish River Canyon #nofilter #fromwhereyoudratherbe #everyonehatesaholidayshowoff
- This morning there's a chance for an optional canoe adventure on the stunning Orange River
- Head further west into the desert lands of Namibia towards Fish River Canyon (270 km, approx 4-5 hrs)
Day 5-6 - Sesriem/Bush Camp
Scramble to the top of the dunes to watch an incredible sunrise. Resist the urge to tumble down the other side. Sand is not delicious.
- This is a long driving day towards the dunes of Namibia (520 km, approx 10 hrs)
- Wake before dawn and scramble to the top of these dunes for a dramatic sunrise
- Jump in the back of a pickup truck for a trip to Sossusvlei (approx 30 minutes each way)
Day 7-9 - Swakopmund
Seal colonies, sky-diving, sandboarding – crushing the bucket list today.
- Continue on to the town of Swakopmund (360 km, approx 9 hrs drive)
- Plenty of time to go dune-bashing by quad bike or sand boarding in the surrounding desert.
- Spend lively evenings in the town's many good restaurants and bars
Day 10 - Spitzkoppe
Watch spectacular rock formations change colour as the light changes at Spitzkoppe. RAVE!Travel to Spitzkoppe (290 km, approx 6 hrs).
- Visit the olive-coloured seals on the shores of Cape Cross while travelling up the Atlantic Coast
- Visit the wild lands around the mountain of Spitzkoppe - 'the Matterhorn of Namibia'
- Bush camp for the night in the midst of this remote region and have the chance to witness the renowned sunsets and sunrises
Day 11-12 - Etosha National Park
Keep your eyes peeled for big cats while roaming the the dry plains of Etosha Park. Video them being weird and become a LOLcats hero.
- Travel to Etosha National Park (480 km, approx 9 hrs)
- Set off on game drives through the park, staying at two different campsites - Namutoni and Okaukuejo
Day 13-14 - Grootfontein/San Bushmen
Observe the genius of the San Bushmen of the Kalahari on a desert tracking and gathering trip. Feel grateful for Google maps.
- Take the opportunity to go out tracking and gathering with the San Bushmen
- Spend some time with the bushmen and listen to their stories and songs
Day 15 - Bagani
Travel a bit, travel a bit more, then meet your luscious campsite in Bagani.
- Head north on a straight drive to the town of Bagani where you spend the night (625km, approx. 10 hrs)
- Optional boat trip in Bagani
Day 16-17 - Okavango Delta
Take a dugout canoe through the Okavango Delta and camp on an island in the wilderness. Think of every American teen horror movie you’ve ever seen and enjoy that middle-of-nowhere silence.
- Drive across the border into Botswana and head south to Seronga, where you join your transport for the journey into the delta (140 km, approx 4 hrs)
- Boarding boats out into the swamps, travel to Gao Island to meet your mokoro team and to begin exploring the Okavango Delta
- Out in the middle of a wilderness area, on the first night you'll camp on an island away from civilisation
- Continue your trip around the delta and then return to Gao Island before heading to the relative civilisation of Umvuvu Camp
Day 18 - Bagani
Go hang on a boat in Namibia. Wild birds, zebra and ostrich are common barbecue delicacies in Namibia. Safari barbecue. Awkward.
- Return to Bagani for the night, where there's time relax
- Perhaps enjoy optional activities such as boat trips, fishing or hikes
Day 19-20 - Chobe National Park
Seek out wallowing hippos in Botswana's Chobe National Park. The collective noun for a group of hippos is a bloat, pod or siege. A bloat of hippos. Yesssssss.
- Drive from Bagani to Chobe National Park (430 km, approx 8 hrs)
- Enter Botswana at Goma border which is also the gateway to the park
- Take a cruise down the Chobe River - one of the best ways to enjoy the park's animals
- Enjoy an early morning game drive and get up close to the wildlife, hopefully spotting lions, buffaloes, birds and elephants
Day 21-23 - Victoria Falls
Vic Falls is impressive at the best of times, but during a full moon there’s an additional perk - a moonbow. Yes, a lunar rainbow. Keep an eye out for unicorns and drop bears.
- Visit Victoria Falls
- Perhaps enjoy a range of optional activities such as abseiling, canoeing, flying fox, gorge swing, helicopter flights, horseback safaris or rafting and river boarding
Day 24 - Hwange National Park
The Hwange National Park has been transformed from a royal hunting ground into a sanctuary for Africa’s most precious animals. When you're not watching they’re all lying around in robes having pedicures.
- Head to Hwange National Park (approx 3-4 hrs)
- Explore the park in open 4x4 vehicles.
- Stay within the park at one of its campgrounds with shared facilities
Day 25-26 - Bulawayo
Hang in the City of Kings and track black and white rhinos at Matobo National Park. As a side note, they are neither black or white. They are grey. Both of them. Misleading.
- Travel to Bulawayo (360 km, approx 5-6 hrs)
- The afternoon is free to explore the city
- Get up early and venture out to explore the Matobo National Park - home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros
- Perhaps visit the Natural History Museum or the Railway Museum
Day 27 - Masvingo
Drive to Masvingo and explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
- Take a short drive to Masvingo (320 km, approx 5-6 hrs)
- Explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Day 28 - Harare
You can do whatever you want in Harare. Let loose. Live a little. Run wild. Visit the museum? Ok so that last one didn't really work.
- Enjoy free time to explore Harare
- Perhaps head to the National Gallery, the museum, the botanical gardens or simply wander through the many shops and markets
Day 29-30 - Lusaka/Chipata
Pop your travelling pants on today, cos you’ll be hauling cross country to Zambia. Spend the night in Lilongwe, recovering your will to live.
- Cross into Zambia and over 450Kms, approx 8hrs
- Camp just outside Lusaka
- The next day. head through the heartland of Zambia towards the border with Malawi, spending a final night in Zambia
- Travel distance covered is 600Kms – approx 10hrs
Day 31-32 - Lake Malawi
Chill out at Lake Malawi. This marks the half-way point of your trip. Refrain from dutch ovening your tent companion in all the excitement, there's still time for retribution.
- Stop in Lilongwe to replenish supplies
- Head to camp on the shore of Lake Malawi
- Enjoy a few days on the lake's more peaceful beaches
- Relax on the beach and participate in the many optional water activities on offer
- Make the time to meet some local Malawians, easily some of the friendliest people in Africa
- Camp on Kande Beach,right on the shore of Lake Malawi
- Perhaps head out scuba diving or horse riding
Day 33-34 - Chitimba/Iringa
On to Mikumi National Park for more animals. Sure, giraffes might be able to eat leaves from towering trees, but they can’t cough. You can't have it all, pal.
- Drive 235 km (approx 5-6 hours) to camp in Chitimba
- Set up camp on the northern shores of Lake Malawi
- The following day is a long travel day into Tanzania and its southern highlands (approx 9-10 hrs).
- Set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse
Day 35 - Dar es Salaam
Sweet, happy beach times in Dar es Salaam tonight. The first person to crack out a ukulele wins*.
- Travel through Mikumi National Park
- The journey today is 560 km - approximately 13 hours of drive time
Day 36-38 - Zanzibar
Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar. Scoff down a spicy seafood curry and sing Bohemian Rhapsody at top of your lungs in his honour.
- Catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar (approx 90 mins)
- Drive to the spice plantations for a guided tour
- Perhaps buy some of the locally grown spices
- Explore Stone Town on foot - taking in the bazaars, shops, mosques, palaces, courtyards and myriad intricate alleyways
- Head to the northern beaches and enjoy white sand and sparkling blue sea
- Try snorkelling and diving, eat sumptuous seafood or relax in a hammock
- Why not head out to Prison Island for a tour
Day 39 - Dar es SalaamThe paradise portion of this trip continues. Return by ferry to Dar es Salaam.
- Reboard the ferry and return to the beach outside Dar es Salaam
Day 40 - Marangu
What do you get when you combine a tropical rainforest, Mount Kilimanjaro and a tent? A foolproof way to get in touch with your adventurous side, that’s what.
- Back on board the truck, climb high onto the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the village of Marangu, via Moshi (270 km, approx 5-7 hrs)
- Camp in the grounds of the Marangu Hotel
Day 41 - Mto wa Mbu
There are over 30 different varieties of banana in Mto Wa Mbu. Keep an eye out for apple bananas, green bananas that go perfectly with a side of meat and sweet, creamy red bananas. Oh, and that pink frothy drink everyone is sipping on? That's banana beer.
- Rise early and on a clear day you'll be greeted with views of Kilimanjaro
- Take a walking tour of Mshiri Village, the base for the Village Education Project
- Walk around a Chagga shamba (farm) and have the chance to sample the local Chagga food
- After an early lunch, head towards Mto Wa Mbu where you camp for the night (450 km, approx 8-9 hrs)
Day 42-43 - Ngorongoro Crater/Serengeti National ParkAt the Ngorongoro Crater you might spot rhinos, elephants and zebra. Try saying Ngorongoro five times in a row after a six-pack of Tanzabeer.
You'll notice many Maasai villages in the region of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. While it's of course fascinating to visit different cultures, past experience has shown that these villages exist primarily as tourism businesses offering somewhat contrived performances of their traditional ways. You'll be charged an entry fee of approx US$20-35 and the Maasai will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. While many clients still enjoy the experience, others have found it artificial and uncomfortable. We recommend our travellers bypass this activity as our Kenyan colleagues observe that it negatively impacts the Maasai culture and travellers' perception of this culture.
- Rise early and leave the truck behind to head out for your excursion into the Serengeti
- View plenty of animals and birdlife, from members the Big Five to perhaps some creatures you don't expect
- Camp out at night and perhaps hear lions off in the distance
- An optional sunrise balloon ride makes for an unforgettable memory
- Rise with the sun and leave the Serengeti for Ngorongoro Crater, home to some 30,000 animals (approx 3 hrs drive)
- After a picnic lunch, descend onto the floor of the crater for a safari lasting four-five hours
- Depart the crater in the afternoon and relive the safari experience at the bar
Day 44 - Arusha
Next stop is Arusha, before setting up camp in a Tanzanian village.
- Stroll through farming areas of Mto Wa Mbu
- Perhaps visit a kindergarten, milling machine and some local homes
Day 45 - Nairobi
You can't leave without trying a dawa cocktail. It's Kenya's signature drink. The name is Swahili for 'medicine' or 'magic potion' and it's promised to cure whatever ails you. The most common ailment it cures is sobriety.
- Set off early, heading for the border with Kenya and on to Nairobi (390 km, approx 7-8 hrs)
- Share dinner together to bid farewell to those who are leaving and to welcome new group members
Day 46 - Lake NakuruHang with some hot birds at Lake Nakuru before a game drive to spot flamingos and rhinos.
- Drive north-west past views of the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park, situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley (170 km, approx 3-4 hrs)
- Stop along the way in the town of Gilgil and learn about the Saidia Children's Home Project
- Arrive at Lake Nakuru in time for a short evening game drive along the shore of the lake
Day 47-48 - Eldoret/Kampala
If you request a toilet stop in Uganda you’ll be asked if it's a 'long call' or 'short call'. Ease up on the beans, guys.
- Rise early and head back into the park for a morning game drive
- Return to camp for brunch before driving to Eldoret (200 km, approx 5-6 hrs)
- Cross the border into Uganda and travel on to its capital city, Kampala (390 km, approx 8-9 hrs)
- Camp on the outskirts of the city
Day 49-50 - Kibale Forest National Park
Go chimp spotting in Kibale National Park today. It's home to the highest concentration of primates in the world. What’s black and dangerous and lives in a tree? A monkey with a machine gun. Yeah it is.
- Travel on to Kibale Forest National Park (350 km, approx 6-7 hrs)
- Enjoy a 2-4 chimpanzee hike and view these creatures in their natural habitat
- Perhaps enjoy walks to villages, tea plantations, rivers, lakes or simply relax around the campsite
Day 51 - Queen Elizabeth National Park
Time for some wildlife lovin' at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Elephants, lions, buffaloes and antelopes are among the many critters you might spy on safari. No corgis though (Lizzie blames the lions).
- Travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take a game drive en route to the camp
- Keep eyes peeled for elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks
- Take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel and spot pelicans, eagles and other birdlife - perhaps even a few hippos
Day 52 - Lake BunyonyiMokoros used to be made from tree trunks and carved by hand. But that's tricky and trees don't grow on, um... trees. So now they're mostly made from fibreglass. Doesn't change the fact that it's an awesome way to glide along the water.
- Travel on to Lake Bunyonyi (250 km, approx 6-7 hrs)
- If time allows, perhaps hire a traditional dugout canoe (mokoro)
Day 53-55 - Gorilla TrekTrek through Rwandan terrain to see rare mountain gorillas up close today. You might think yourself an enlightened being, but you share 98-99% of your genetic makeup with these beasts. That guy could be your brother.
- Cross the border into Rwanda and travel toward Ruhengeri, via Kigali (200 km, approx 6-7 hrs)
- Explore Kigali on foot - from its market areas to the infamous Hotel Rwanda
- Visit Kigali's genocide memorial
- Embark on two-day gorilla trek and enjoy an hour with the gorillas (once you've found them!)
Day 56 - Lake Mburo
You might see a giant antelope today. There will be other animals too, but - GIANT ANTELOPE.
- Travel to the border with Uganda and complete border formalities, then head to Lake Mburo (420 km, approx 9-10 hrs)
- Perhaps spot the eland antelope as well as zebras, impalas, buffalo, leopards, hyenas and jackals
- Keep your eyes on the water for hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds
Day 57-58 - JinjaAs the African Hema proverb goes, ‘Wisdom is like fire. People take it from others.’ Deep. Back to Nairobi today.
- Take a two-hour guided walking safari through the Lake Mburo National Park, viewing the animal and birdlife
- Travel from Lake Mburo to Jinja via Kampala, stopping en route at the equator (340 km, approx 7-8 hrs)
- Make the most of time in Jinja - a haven for adventurers, adrenaline junkies and eco-travellers
Day 59-60 - Eldoret/NairobiIt's all over red rover. Time for home.
- Begin the journey back to Nairobi, making an overnight stop outside Eldoret along the way (300 km, approx 7-8 hrs)
- Continue on to Nairobi early the next morning (370 km, approx 7-8 hrs)
On arrival in Nairobi we'll be dropped at our finishing point hotel. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but we are able to book you additional accommodation in Nairobi. Please ask at time of booking.Important: Please don't book any international flights until after 9pm this evening.
**This trip is run by our sister company Intrepid**
What to Know
On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver.
Cape Cross seal colony, Chimpanzee Trekking Kibale National Park, Chobe - Boat Cruise, Chobe - Dawn game drive, Fish River Canyon, Game drives, Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Hwange National Park, Kazinga Channel boat cruise, Kigali - Genocide Memorial, Lake Mburo Walking safari, Lake Nakuru - Game drive, Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari, Mountain gorilla trek & permit, Mto Wa Mbu - Village Walk & market Visit, Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive, Okavango Delta - Mokoro trips & bushwalks, Queen Elizabeth National Park Game Drive, San Bushman cultural experience, Serengeti - Game drive, Sesriem - Sand dunes visit, Sossusvlei 4x4 Tour, Visit Victoria Falls, Zanzibar Spice tour
55 breakfasts, 49 lunches, 48 dinners
- International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed, any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.
It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.
Geckos strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Geckos makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
UNFENCED CAMP SITES: On some trips where you will be staying within a national park, please note that at times you will stay in unfenced camp sites. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules that must be adhered to. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price Kitty Payment Total Price 14 Aug 2014 - 12 Oct 2014 Fully Booked US $4,170 US $3,555 US $7,725 Contact us 02 Oct 2014 - 30 Nov 2014 Fully Booked US $3,970 US $3,555 US $7,525 Contact us 27 Nov 2014 - 25 Jan 2015 Fully Booked US $4,045 US $3,555 US $7,600 Contact us 18 Dec 2014 - 15 Feb 2015 Available US $4,045 US $3,555 US $7,600 Book Now 15 Jan 2015 - 15 Mar 2015 Available US $4,045 US $3,555 US $7,600 Book Now 19 Feb 2015 - 19 Apr 2015 Available US $3,910 US $3,555 US $7,465 Book Now 12 Mar 2015 - 10 May 2015 Available US $3,795 US $3,555 US $7,350 Book Now 04 Jun 2015 - 02 Aug 2015 Available US $3,930 US $3,555 US $7,485 Book Now 25 Jun 2015 - 23 Aug 2015 Available US $3,930 US $3,555 US $7,485 Book Now 20 Aug 2015 - 18 Oct 2015 Available US $3,970 US $3,555 US $7,525 Book Now 17 Sep 2015 - 15 Nov 2015 Available US $3,970 US $3,555 US $7,525 Book Now
Kitty payment is required in cash. It needs to be paid before the end of your trip, in the local currency stated above. It is generally paid on Day 1, and covers most on-ground expenses. Kitty payments calculated using exchange rates valid on 1 Jan 2013.
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