The Cape Town to Nairobi Overland Tour is an epic adventure of more than 40 days. The tour departs from Cape Town in South Africa and ends in Nairobi, Kenya.
You will see lots of wild animals on safaris during this trip. We visit some of the most legendary National Parks in Africa such as the Serengeti, the Ngorogoro Crater, Chobe, Etosha, South Luangwa..
This overland tour also combines some of the diverse cultures of Africa with spectacular natural landscapes. You will meet the Bushmen, Himba and of course the Masai tribes. When it comes to nature, you can expect to see pristine white beaches, one of the 7 wonders of the world and everything in-between!
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This tour is offered in two travel styles:
1. Camping: Clients mostly overnight in comfortable two-man dome tents, with built in mosquito nets and of course a mattress… and a couple of nights are upgraded to budget rooms. As described below.
2. Accommodated (hotels/ lodges): Clients overnight in a comfortable twin rooms or permanent safari tents, mostly with en-suite bathrooms. Click on the link for all the info
|Camping option||How much|
|Tour price||ZAR 43 560|
|Single supplement||ZAR 4410|
|Optional activity package||ZAR 16 800|
|Serengeti excursion (optional)||ZAR 15 950|
|How long||41 days|
|Group size||24 clients max (during the first 20 days)|
|20 clients max (during the last 21 days)|
|Start point||Cape Town, South Africa|
|End point||Nairobi, Kenya|
|Meals||Breakfast x 40, Lunch x 34, Dinner x 34|
|Countries||South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya|
Included: Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary, transport, registered guides and selected activities as per itinerary.
Excluded: Optional activity package, flights, all items of a personal nature, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities etc.
Day to day description l Cape Town to Nairobi Overland Tour l Camping
When you book the optional activity package, the tour will run as follows:
Day 1 South Africa – Cederberg Region
We start our big 41 day Cape Town to Nairobi overland tour as we make our first stop at Table View and take photos of Table Mountain from across Table Bay. We then travel to the famous winelands region of the Western Cape to enjoy a wine tasting at one of the local wine farms.
We will also make a stop at the Spice Route, bordering the town of Paarl. The Spice Route is an estate that brings together a collection of flavors unique to the Cape Culture - including a beer garden, artworks studio, chocolate makers and coffee makers and much more.
No road trip is complete without a stop at a traditional “Padstal”. These small farm stalls dot the byways of South Africa and offer a variety of homemade treats and bakes. The Cederberg region not only boasts spectacular mountains and orange farms, but it is also the home of the Rooibos bush. Indigenous to the mountain slopes of the Cederberg, this herbal beverage has earned an international reputation as a healthy and refreshing alternative to regular tea. A dinner at our overnight stop, offers an opportunity for us to get acquainted while enjoying some South African hospitality.
Activity Package: Wine tasting
Day 2 Namaqualand - Gariep (Orange) River
After an early start, we continue north via the distant town of Springbok, best known for its diamonds, copper and spring flowers. We then proceed to our camp located right beside the Namibian border. The camp is situated on the riverbank that forms the border between South Africa and Namibia.
Day 3 Namibia - Gariep (Orange) River - Fish River Canyon
This morning there’s the chance to see the beautiful river valley by canoe or just relax at camp. After lunch we cross the border and travel to the Fish River Canyon. We enjoy a scenic walk along the edge of the canyon before enjoying our dinner, while watching the sunset. This is also a fantastic photo opportunity.
Included Activities: Scenic walk along the rim of Fish River Canyon
Optional Activities: Half-Day Canoe Trip
Day 4 Namib-Naukluft National Park
We arrive at the Namib-Naukluft National Park and set up camp, then enjoy a short hike into the Sesriem Canyon. Tonight we enjoy the star-studded sky and enduring silence of the Namib Desert, only occasionally interrupted by the call of a jackal or, a rather unique lizard, the barking gecko!
Day 5 Sossusvlei Dunes - Namib-Naukluft National Park
This is our earliest morning as we prepare for our hike up Dune 45 to marvel at the sunrise. After our hike, we will have the chance to visit Sossusvlei. Later we join a local expert on a guided hike and learn more about the unique desert ecosystem and how the Bushmen survived in the harsh desert conditions.
Included Activities: Sunrise hike up Dune 45, Walk into Sesriem Canyon
Day 6 Swakopmund
After a brief photo stop while crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, we travel onto Namibia’s Atlantic coast and the adventure capital, Swakopmund. Just before we arrive in Swakopmund, we stop at the Walvis Bay lagoon en-route, where there are often flamingos to be seen. You will be briefed on the many optional activities available here and there is time to explore the town before dinner out at one of the local restaurants.
Included Activities: Stop off in Walvis Bay (to view flamingos)
Activity Package: Guided desert walk with local expert
Optional Activities: Dinner out Swakopmund
Day 7 Swakopmund
Today is your chance to experience the adrenalin filled atmosphere that Swakopmund offers. Taking a walk around Swakopmund’s shops and having a leisurely lunch is also a great way to spend your day if you are not participating in the many activities available on offer here.
Optional Activities: Dolphin Cruise 4/5 hours, Sky Diving, Sandboarding, Quad Biking (2 hours), Dinner out Swakopmund
Day 8 Spitzkoppe
Leaving the coast we drive through arid landscapes to Spitzkoppe Mountain. The enormous granite monoliths dominate the otherwise flat landscape and we set up camp in the wild plain at the base of the mountain. This afternoon our guide will take us on a guided walk to explore the unique rock formations. The more adventurous among us may want to try some mountain climbing for some stunning views of the landscape.
Included Activities: Guided Walk through Spitzkoppe
Day 9 Himba Tribes: Outjo
We visit a Himba community close to Kamanjab where you will have an opportunity to interact with the people who live there. This is a working village and is only a representation of a larger group of nomadic pastoralists. The semi-nomadic Himba people are extremely susceptible to Western influence and have lost a large portion of their land to farmers, engineers, miners and many were displaced during the wars that raged in Angola. The dwindling number of pastoralists that still exist in their natural environment are protected as far as possible by creating a “buffer zone”, or an “educational tribe” where tourists who would like to get a better understanding of the way of the Himba, their lifestyle and their traditions, can do so without interfering with those still living in their natural environment.
Visiting the Himba tribe can be a controversial topic that gets discussed at the camp fire, however not so much if the reason for visiting this particular tribe is understood beforehand. The income that this specific tribe generates from the visits goes towards the education of orphaned Himba children and assists the tribe in giving them a chance to learn about their own culture and heritage. There is a market at the end of your visit, this is a way for the women to establish a small income, used for their own private expenses, and it is up to you whether you’d like to purchase anything or not.
Activity Package: Himba Tribe Visit
Day 10 Etosha National Park
Rising early this morning we drive to the Etosha National Park. Etosha is the venue for some of the most unique safari experiences in Africa. Today we explore the edges of Etosha Pan in search of the abundant wildlife that occurs in the park. Our truck offers us an elevated platform and we will spend some time at the many waterholes dotted throughout the park.
Included Activities: Entrance to Etosha National Park, Afternoon game drive (safari) in overland truck
Day 11 Etosha National Park
Our second day in Etosha allows another full day to continue our exploration of the park. No day on safari is ever the same and the suspense before that special sighting is the motivation that keeps our eyes wide open. We will exit the park in the late afternoon and make our way to our accommodation outside the park.
Included Activities: Full day game drive (safari) in overland truck.
Day 12 Windhoek
We rise early and set off towards Windhoek, the Capital city of Namibia. On the way we stop at a popular craft market where you can barter for handmade gifts to take home. Windhoek is not only the capital; it is also the cultural, social and economic centre of Namibia. On arrival in Windhoek our guide will take us on a short drive through Windhoek in our truck. Joe’s Beer House is an exciting dining experience for our optional dinner out.
Included Activities: Drive through Windhoek with the overland truck
Optional Activities: Dinner out Windhoek
Day 13 Botswana - Ghanzi
After an early start, we say goodbye to Namibia and cross the Botswana border. Later we arrive at our lodge in Ghanzi and this evening we experience some traditional tribal dancing from the local San community.
Included Activities: Bushman Tribal dance in evening
Day 14 Gateway to the Okavango Delta
Today we head towards Maun and the Okavango Delta. On arrival in Maun this afternoon, we transfer by 4×4 to our waterside camp where we spend the next 2 nights in these tranquil surrounds. This unique and unusual ecosystem sees the annual flood waters of the Okavango River fan out into the sands of the Kalahari Basin. The seasonality of the flood waters lends the Delta its ever changing character. While water levels may fluctuate the tranquility of this wilderness area remains constant.
Please note: If you have not purchased the Activity Package you will stay at this campsite for the following 2 nights.
Day 15 Okavango Delta
While the programme of activities is flexible to accommodate the seasonal changes, today you will have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional mokoro ride and nature walks. The Okavango Delta is not only a natural wonder, but represents one of the last great wilderness areas in the world today.
Note: Activities may vary depending on water levels.
Day 16 Maun
Leaving the Delta behind us this morning we make our way to the outback town of Maun where we will spend the night. This afternoon you may have the opportunity to participate in an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta (weather permitting).
Day 17 Nata
Our journey today takes us across the northern reaches of the Makgadigadi Pans, the road to Nata is lined with majestic examples of the iconic Baobab tree. While we will pause to experience a finger of the pan on our journey from Maun, those who would like to can join an optional excursion to the Pans this afternoon.
Day 18 Kasane - Chobe National Park
We get up early again this morning as we travel north to our camp on the banks of the Chobe River. This afternoon is set aside for exploring the Chobe National Park. Established in 1968, the Chobe National Park covers approximately 11700 sq kms, encompassing floodplains, swamps and woodland. We begin our exploration in 4×4 vehicles, which allows us an up close and personal experience with the many elephants that frequent the river in the afternoons. The afternoon ends with a leisurely boat cruise and a meal served around the campfire.
Activity Package: Chobe National Park Boat Cruise, Chobe National Park Game Drive (Safari).
Day 19 Zimbabwe - Victoria Falls
With the memories of our wildlife encounters firmly etched in our minds, we cross the border into Zimbabwe this morning and travel the short distance to the town of Victoria Falls. Today we visit the spectacular Victoria Falls, also known by the local name of “Mosi-oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders).
While much of today is dedicated to viewing the mighty Zambezi River as it drops into the Batoka Gorge below, the bustling adventure town of Victoria Falls also offers a range of optional activities for those wanting a dose of adrenaline in the afternoon. For the more relaxed traveler there are craft markets and coffee shops on offer as well. Tonight we enjoy an optional dinner out, your guide will assist you to decide on the many options available.
Activity Package: Victoria Falls National Park Entry
Optional Activities: Dinner out Victoria Falls
Day 20 Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is also known as the adventure capital of Zimbabwe. Many clients will spend the day White Water Rafting, a not-to-be-missed experience of a lifetime! Vic Falls offers many exciting activities and today you will have the day open to participate in the activities on offer.
Optional Activities: Zambezi Sunset Cruise, Bungee Jump – Solo, Dinner out Victoria Falls, Helicopter Flights, White Water Rafting.
Day 21 Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) - Lusaka
Setting off early from Victoria Falls, we catch a last sighting of the mighty falls before crossing the border into Zambia. While we have a long day travelling today, we get our first impressions of the Africa that awaits us. Colourful markets, busy villages and rural scenes form the backdrop of our journey to the outskirts of Lusaka. We enjoy a prepared meal on arrival as our guides brief us on the days ahead.
Included activities: View of Victoria Falls from the bridge
Day 22 Petauke
This morning we drive through Zambia’s busy capital Lusaka before turning east towards Petauke, our destination for the night. As an important link between Lusaka and neighbouring Malawi, the Great East Road winds through rural Zambia and we will cross the mighty Luangwa River along the way. Dotted with villages and subsistence farms, todays landscapes serve as a stark contrast to the developed countries so many of us call home.
Day 23 South Luangwa National Park
Early in the morning we drive from Petauke to the border of the South Luangwa National Park where we will spend the next two nights right on the banks of the Luangwa River. Before our arrival at the South Luangwa NP, we will stop at the community run tribal textile project. The Tribal textile production factory is closed annually from December to March, when we will not be able to view the fabric production, however the textile shop is open all year round. This afternoon we enjoy a sunset game drive in the South Luangwa NP (the game drive may take place the following day due to time constraints).
Highlights: Textile Project Visit in South Luangwa
Day 24 South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is a world-class safari destination and we have a full day to explore the park in search of the variety of wildlife found in the park. This morning you can partake in an optional morning safari or during the dry season (April to December) you can join one of the iconic walking safaris on offer in the park. This afternoon we will enjoy a Sunset Drive in the park, we split our time between day and night with a sundowner stop in between. The unique opportunity to explore the park at night gives us a chance to spot the elusive nocturnal species that are rarely seen in the day.
Optional activities: Morning game drive (safari) in South Luangwa, Safari Walk (seasonal)
Activity package: Sunset game drive (safari) in South Luangwa National Park
Day 25 Lake Malawi – Malawi
This morning we board our truck and set off for Malawi, the warm heart of Africa. Our destination tonight is the shores of Lake Malawi, the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system. As one of the ten largest lakes in the world, the lake stretches for over 500km along the western boundary of Malawi and is home to more species of fish than other lake. We spend the night on the shores of this natural wonder.
Day 26 Northern Lake Malawi
It’s a short drive to our next destination, situated in the northern region of Lake Malawi. As we will be spending the next few days here, you will have sufficient time to explore the area. Lake Malawi is regarded as one of the most beautiful freshwater lakes in the world, tropical fish (the colourful kind) swim past in schools of brilliant blues, yellows and purples.
Day 27 Lake Malawi
Amongst the myriad of optional activities to fill your days, we will pay a visit to a local community this morning to meet the people of the lake. Hikers will find a selection of trips, including a rather strenuous outing to the mission village of Livingstonia, set high above the lake. Snorkeling in the crystal waters offers the chance to see first-hand the brilliantly coloured tropical cichlids, tiny fish often found in colourful aquariums around the world. Your guide will assist you to plan your activities for the coming days, or you can simply slow your clock to Africa time relaxing on the lake shore.
Optional activities: Community volunteering, Livingstonia day trip (hike), snorkeling in Lake Malawi
Included activities: Local village visit
Day 28 Lake Malawi
This morning we set aside some time for a visit to Karonga, this interesting town has a turbulent history as a centre Malawi’s slave trade. Home to a museum that boasts a dinosaur amongst its displays, we learn more of the rich history of both people and the natural world. We return for a final afternoon of relaxation and a final sundowner on the shores of this great lake.
Included activities: Museum visit, Karonga Town
Day 29 Tanzania – Iringa
Today we leave Malawi and enter Tanzania. We ascend out of the Great Rift Valley through some spectacular mountain passes, passing vast tea plantations in the highlands before arriving at our camp outside Iringa.
Included Activities: Traditional Local Dinner
Day 30 Mikumi
This morning we complete our journey to the doorstep of Mikumi National Park. Mikumi ranks as the fourth largest park in Tanzania, but forms part of a 75 000 square kilometre wilderness that centres on Selous, Africa’s largest game reserve. Abutting the northern border of this vast wilderness, Mikumi offers us an opportunity for an afternoon of game viewing.
Activity package: Mikumi National Park game drive (safari)
Day 31 Dar es Salaam
Today we continue onwards to the bustling port of Dar es Salaam, tonight we have an opportunity to dinner out on the town as we prepare for our upcoming excursion to Zanzibar. Dar es Salaam grew from a humble fishing village and today is one of the largest cities in Africa.
Day 32 Zanzibar Excursion
Boarding the ferry to Zanzibar this morning we make the ocean crossing to the island of Zanzibar. On arrival we will join a Spice Tour before reaching Nungwi on the northern point of the island where we will stay for the next 2 nights. Nungwi offers a perfect stop to enjoy the beaches and activities on offer.
Activity Package: Zanzibar Excursion plus Ferry
Please note: If you have not purchased the Activity Package you will stay at the accommodation in Dar es Salaam for the following 3 nights
Day 33 Zanzibar Excursion
Enjoy your time on Zanzibar by relaxing at the beach or exploring, snorkeling, scuba diving or taking a sunset boat cruise through the waters. Today is for relaxing.
Optional Activities: Zanzibar Meals (per meal), Swimming with Dolphins – Full Day (min. 2 people), Scuba Diving – Per Dive
Day 34 Zanzibar Excursion
On the 3rd day, we head south to Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, where we will spend the night. Here we have time to explore the historical and unique architecture.
Optional Activities: Zanzibar meals (per meal)
Day 35 Dar es Salaam - Bagamoyo
This morning we have some time to explore the sights and sounds of Stone Town. We bid farewell to the island this afternoon and board our return ferry, on arrival in Dar es Salaam make the short journey north to Bagamoyo where we make our stop for the night.
Day 36 Arusha
Heading north this morning we travel across the northern reaches of Tanzania, our destination tonight is the bustling town of Arusha which is our launching point for the Serengeti. Northern Tanzania is home to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain on the African continent). This evening we will briefed on the excursion to Serengeti by our local guide as we prepare for the coming days.
Please note: clients who are not taking part in the optional Serengeti Excursion will remain at the lodge in Arusha. This presents the opportunity for a variety of day tours that can be booked on arrival in Arusha this afternoon. These include day tours to Arusha National Park, Tarangire and Lake Manyara. For those who prefer to immerse themselves in the Masai Culture, why not join a 2-day trip to Olpopongi Masai Village. All activities are optional and are subject to availability with a local tour operator. More information can be found in the detailed tour dossier. Pre-booking is not essential, but may be advisable to ensure availability of your preferred option.
Meals are not included for those not participating in the Serengeti excursion.
Day 37 Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater Excursion
The following days are set aside for the 3-night optional camping excursion into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater (Cost: ZAR 15 950 in 2018). This area has one of the most densely inhabited large animal populations in Africa. The Serengeti excursion is in open topped 4×4 safari vehicles in order to tackle the challenging side roads in the parks. We leave our accommodation in the morning and drive to the Serengeti. On arrival we will start with our first game drive (safari).
Optional Activities: 4 Day Serengeti Camping Excursion, Tips for Guides
Day 38 Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater Excursion
We spend the entire day game driving (safari) through the Serengeti. Our route is depending on the movement of the game (wild animals) and sightings. The Serengeti is one of the best locations in Africa to see all the wild animals Africa is famous for.
Day 39 Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater Excursion
Today we explore more of the Serengeti and make our way to the famous Ngorongoro Crater. We drive down to the bottom of the Crater, where we try and see as many animals as possible.
Day 40 Arusha
Today the group meets up again and we have the chance to exchange stories of the various adventures that we participated in over the past few days.
Day 41 Kenya – Nairobi
After crossing the border into Kenya we continue to travel towards Nairobi. Founded by the British in 1899 as a simple rail depot, the town quickly grew to become the capital of British East Africa and eventually the capital of Kenya in 1963. Usually we enjoy a group meal out at one of Nairobi’s excellent restaurants. Your tour ends upon arrival in Nairobi.
Optional Activities: Dinner out in Nairobi.
Interested in this tour?
Before and after the tour services
To help with the planning of your trip, you are more than welcome to book these hotels before and/ or after your tour through us. These hotels are either the starting or end point of your tour, or it will be conveniently close to it. These hotels also offer airport transfers. For information on prices, just click "Hotels and Transfers" at the bottom of this page.
Strand Towers Hotel is located in the centre of Cape Town and is within easy walking distance of vibrant Long Street and the V&A Waterfront… and of course from where this tour departs. The views from this 4 Star hotel will keep you spellbound…
Sentrim Boulevard Hotel is located close to the Nairobi National Museum and the University of Nairobi. It is within walking distance of the city market, a Barclays ATM on the University grounds and there is a grocery store nearby…