Stone Town to Vic Falls


Embrace the wilds of Eastern Africa on a 16-day adventure. Track rhinos on foot, discover the winding alleyways of Stone Town, journey through epic landscapes in search of zebras and elephants, explore ancient Zimbabwean ruins and gaze at the sweeping plains of the savanna. With a local leader and crew on hand to sweat all the small stuff, you can focus on exploring. This is your chance to spot the Big Five and escape the chaotic pace of the city for the quiet of villages Africa’s pride lands.

16 days, from

$1,998

per person

GROUP SIZE

22 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: YXOR
Style: Basix
Theme: Overland

Details

Countries Visited:  Malawi Tanzania, United Republic Of Zambia Zimbabwe
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night), Camping with facilities (14 nights)
Transportation: Overland vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 15 breakfasts
  • 11 lunches
  • 13 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 22
Minimum Age: 15

  • Spot elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, warthogs, wildebeest, impalas and more on not one but three included 4WD safari game drives in Tanzania and Zambia.

  • Discover the magic of South Luangwa National Park on morning and afternoon 4x4 safari game drives, and visit a workshop where local women transform poaching snare wire into jewellery to raise funds for conservation.

  • Explore the largest ruins in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Heritage-listed Great Zimbabwe, and discover the history and heritage of local communities with your knowledgeable local leader.

  • Eastern Africa isn’t just about animals and wide-open savannas. Get to know the colourful cities of the region, including Lusaka, Harare and Bulawayo.

  • Choose from a range of optional activities at Victoria Falls so you can see the cascades the way you want, and maybe treat yourself to a helicopter ride.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Stone Town

Welcome to Zanzibar. Today is a free day until the important welcome meeting at 6 pm. Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar has a colourful history – everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast evokes what the island must have been like in Livingstone's day. The old part of Zanzibar's main city is known as Stone Town. The best way to see this exotic port town is on foot, exploring the markets, shops, mosques, palaces and courtyards. When the sun is setting, perhaps enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront, and a seafood curry at a local restaurant. Spend a night in Stone Town at a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms and access to WiFi.

Day 2: Mikumi National Park

Embrace an early start to catch a 7.30 am ferry to the mainland, then make tracks for Mikumi. It’s approximately an 8-hour drive to your first camp spot, but you’ll get a great look at all that renowned Tanzanian landscape on the way. Gaze out at vast plains dotted with baobab and tamarind trees and maybe catch a glimpse of some of the elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and leopards that call the park home. Once you arrive at your camp spot, your leader will show you the ropes (literally) and help you set up and get comfortable for your night in the tent.

Day 3: Iringa

Wake up early this morning to head off on a 4WD game drive into Mikumi National Park with local expert guides. This less touristed park is home to impressive numbers of elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, warthogs, wildebeest and impalas – and maybe even a predator or two if you're lucky! Afterwards, we'll drive to Iringa (approximately 5 hours) and set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement. The area is filled with natural bush land which can make it a bird watchers paradise. Make the most of this rural setting by doing some stargazing before you retire for the night.

Day 4: Chitimba

Enter Malawi and travel to your campsite at Chitimba (approximately 10–12 hours). Malawi, the ‘warm heart of Africa,’ is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, fish traders and canoe and net makers all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is that of a fisherman in a bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day.

Day 5: Lake Malawi

Travel from Chitimba to Kande Beach on the shore of Lake Malawi (approximately 6 hours). There will be a chance to stop at a shop or market for any supplies you might need along the way. Enjoy a relaxing getaway from the commercialism and crowds with a few days on the lake’s more peaceful beaches. Your campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of Lake Malawi.

Day 6: Lake Malawi

Enjoy free time today and soak up your idyllic surrounds. As well as chilling out on the lake’s sandy shores, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians – easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.

Day 7: South Luangwa National Park

Journey through southern Malawi and enter Zambia, continuing to South Luangwa National Park (approximately 9–10 hours). There will be border crossing formalities on the way, and a chance to stock up on goods at a shop or market and visit an ATM. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River and its lagoons is some of the highest in Africa. Take in the beautiful scenery and the abundance of wildlife, watching out for colourful birds and herds of elephants.

Day 8: South Luangwa National Park

Rise early for an exhilarating morning game drive in a 4WD with a local guide, then head back to the camp for lunch (as this is the hottest part of the day).
Return to the park for another Game Drive late this afternoon

Alternatively, an optional village walk is another good option, if you'd like a snapshot of daily life in the local community.

Day 9: Petauke

After breakfast, pay a visit to a workshop where local craftswomen take snare wire recovered from poaching traps and transform it into jewellery inspired by the African bush. The women will show you around their purpose-built workshop and give you a chance to try coiling or hammering the wire yourself. For each sale made, a donation is given to anti snare patrols dedicated to the conservation of the region. After your visit, head further south to Petauke (approximately 6 hours).

Day 10: Lusaka

Head for your camp just south of Lusaka City (approximately 6 hours). Arrive, stretch your legs and take a stroll to discover the town. Though it's fast developing, Lusaka retains a strong African feel, and the locals are usually up for a chat.

Day 11: Harare

Travel to Harare today (approximately 8–9 hours). The first part of your journey takes you to the border with Zimbabwe. After crossing, continue to Harare. There will be a chance to explore the town, stock up on whatever you need at a market or shop and use an ATM.

Day 12: Great Zimbabwe Ruins / Masvingo

Drive to Masvingo (approximately 5–6 hours). This colonial settlement – the oldest in Zimbabwe – makes the perfect base for exploring the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. The ancient city, now a World Heritage site, was first constructed in the 11th century and is believed to have been the seat of power for a monarch. Spend a few hours exploring this intriguing site before heading off to camp.

Day 13: Bulawayo

Travel to Bulawayo (approximately 5–6 hours). Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city. There is some impeccable colonial architecture to take in here. Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore town. You might like to browse some local markets or chat with the locals. The Natural History Museum and National Art Gallery are also worth checking out.

Day 14: Bulawayo

Perhaps get up early and take the option to visit Matobo National Park. Home to a significant population of black and white rhinos, this optional activity gives you the unique experience to track these magnificent animals on foot. There will also be the chance to spot other game – klipspringers, leopards, warthogs and springhares, among others – while learning about local plant and tree species. This impressive wildlife park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes – the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to local San communities, and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place. Take a short hike to see San paintings and learn about local history and culture.

Day 15: Victoria Falls

Depart Bulawayo and make the 6-hour drive towards Victoria Falls. Stretching 1.6 kilometres wide and falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below, the falls for which the area is named are a sight to behold. Although a visit to the falls themselves is optional, it is highly recommended. The entrance fee to the falls is not included, as groups that book ahead are required to tour the site with a local guide, and we feel that seeing these waterfalls should be an uninterrupted sensory experience. In the wet season, the spray created from this feat of nature can rise 400 metres and can often be seen from kilometres away. It’s no wonder that the local name for Victoria Falls is Mosi oa Tunya, or the 'Smoke that Thunders'. Though dry season travellers should not despair! You’ll get an unobstructed view of the falls and the chance to see the islets in the river below. Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer.

Day 16: Victoria Falls

With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave the camp at any time. That being said, you may like to try some of the optional activities on offer here, and so, we recommend that you schedule any flights for later in the day. If you would like to spend more time in Victoria Falls, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).