Don't go Chasing Waterfalls - Reverse
Soak up the spray in Vic Falls, then watch elephants workin’ it in Hwange National Park. Chill out lakeside at Lake Malawi, game spot a bit in Mikumi National Park… then game spot some more in Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.
Actually, on this trip you will go chasing waterfalls. It's pretty much the entire point. We were being ironic, ok?
TRIP CHANGE FOR 2015:
In 2015 this trip will no longer visit Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and as a result, you will now be visiting South Luangwa National Park in Zambia for 2 nights. South Luangwa National Park is famously known as it was the first park in Africa to offer 'walking safari's'. Also, by adding in South Luangwa we can also break up the long drive days to Lusaka and Chipata.
Day 1-2 - Victoria Falls
Perhaps indulge in a little luxury to see you through the next 24 days of travel. For some, this means high tea at Victoria Falls Hotel. For others, it's a plate of crocodile Caesar salad. Taste kind of like chicken.
- 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 3 - Hwange National Park
Once the royal hunting grounds of the the Ndebele warrior king, Hwange is now home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa (up to 110,000 in peak season). That's a lot of trunks.
- 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 4-5 - Bulawayo
There's always a rugby or soccer match on at one of the local pubs, so pull up a chair and get to know the locals (pick your side wisely). See rhinos and elephants on a game drive in Matobo National Park.
- 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 6 - MasvingoExplore ancient ruins thought to have once been a palace for Zimbabwean royalty. It's a royally interesting experience.
- Take a short drive to Masvingo (320 km, approx 5-6 hrs)
- Explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Day 7 - Harare
We're going to assume there's a bit of cabin fever setting in, so take some free time to zone out in a museum, hunt down a coffee, email your mum or just stare at the walls.
- 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 8-9 - Lusaka/Chipata
We've got about 1100 kilometres to cover in the space of two days. That's like Sydney to Melbourne with fewer fast food stops along the way. Make sure your snack and water supplies are fully stocked.
- 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 10-11 - Lake Malawi
Apparently Lake Malawi is home to more species of fish than any other freshwater lake on earth. That's great, but we're more excited about the beaches, horse riding and a cold Chibuku beer.
- 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 12-13 - Chitimba/IringaWe won't lie to you, there's a fair bit of travel during this part of the trip. Think of it as the intermission, or the ad break (without all those annoying toilet paper commercials featuring wrinkly dogs).
- 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 14 - Dar es SalaamTravel through Mikumi National Park spotting elephants, buffaloes and giraffes. Camp on the grounds of a beachside hotel outside Dar es Salaam.
- Travel through Mikumi National Park
- The journey today is 560 km - approximately 13 hours of drive time
Day 15-17 - Zanzibar
Ah, the joy of not having to set up your tent for a few days. Fun stuff: grab a latte at Zanzibar Coffee House, sip a sunset cocktail on the balcony of Africa House and practice getting gracefully out of a hammock.
- 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 18 - Dar es Salaam
Your camp is right near the beach and there's bound to be a Kili baridi sana (very cold Kili beer) ready and waiting.
- Reboard the ferry and return to the beach outside Dar es Salaam
Day 19 - MaranguSpend a night amid acres of tropical gardens in Marangu, situated on the green slopes of Kilimanjaro. It's nice. Real nice.
- 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 20 - Mto wa Mbu
Mto Wa Mbu is swahili for 'river of mosquitoes', so keep your DEET close by. We'll camp on the grounds of Marangu Hotel, but if you need a break from the tent, why not treat yourself to a room and snore to your heart's content.
- 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 21-22 - Ngorongoro Crater/Serengeti National Park
Get another taste of African wildlife (not literally). Watch baboons go about their daily routines (lots of picking, scratching and plucking), while baby elephants play in a muddle of mud. It's not all about the big cats, you know.
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 23 - ArushaPeruse the craft market of Mto Wa Mbu and admire the colourful fabrics, crafts and wood carvings on offer. Spend the night in Arusha.
- Stroll through farming areas of Mto Wa Mbu
- Perhaps visit a kindergarten, milling machine and some local homes
Day 24 - Nairobi
Plenty to keep you entertained before your departing flight. We suggest Karen Blixen Museum (she's from that Meryl Streep movie your mum loves).
- Spend time exploring Nairoibi
- Perhaps enjoy a final meal with the group
**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.
Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Hwange National Park, Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari, Serengeti - Game drive, Usambara Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch, Visit Victoria Falls, Zanzibar Spice tour
22 breakfasts, 17 lunches, 18 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 04 Sep 2014 - 27 Sep 2014 Fully Booked US $1,630 On Sale Sale: US $1,467 US $1,265 US $2,732 Closed 23 Oct 2014 - 15 Nov 2014 Available US $1,630 On Sale Sale: US $1,467 US $1,265 US $2,732 Book Now 18 Dec 2014 - 10 Jan 2015 Available US $1,585 On Sale Sale: US $1,426 US $1,265 US $2,691 Book Now 08 Jan 2015 - 31 Jan 2015 Available US $1,585 US $1,265 US $2,850 Book Now 05 Feb 2015 - 28 Feb 2015 Available US $1,585 US $1,265 US $2,850 Book Now 12 Mar 2015 - 04 Apr 2015 Available US $1,540 US $1,265 US $2,805 Book Now 02 Apr 2015 - 25 Apr 2015 Available US $1,540 US $1,265 US $2,805 Book Now 25 Jun 2015 - 18 Jul 2015 Available US $1,540 US $1,265 US $2,805 Book Now 16 Jul 2015 - 08 Aug 2015 Available US $1,630 US $1,265 US $2,895 Book Now 10 Sep 2015 - 03 Oct 2015 Available US $1,585 US $1,265 US $2,850 Book Now 08 Oct 2015 - 31 Oct 2015 Available US $1,585 US $1,265 US $2,850 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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