Vic Falls to Kenya Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : IYXOA
  • Trip length : 24 Days
  • Trip starts in : Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Trip ends in : Nairobi, Kenya
  • Maximum group size : 22
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals : 19 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 18 dinners
  • Accommodation : Bungalow (2 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts), Camping (with facilities) (16 nts), Hotel (1 nt)
  • Transport : 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Ferry, Overland vehicle

 

daily-itinerary1

Days
1-2

Victoria Falls

Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.

For those of you who arrive early, there are various activities and excursions available - either on the water, on land or high above it all. Choose from whitewater rafting, canoeing, horse riding, abseiling or gorge swinging (please see the 'Optional Activities' section of these notes for more details on what you can see and do around Victoria Falls).

If you are interested in the Optional Helicopter flight ( 12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we endorse the following operator only: Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe. Your leader can help you arrange this activity.

Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.

The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Days
3-4

Bulawayo

Depart Vic Falls and travel toward Bulawayo (440 km, approx 6-7 hrs).

Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city and has a very interesting historical past.

We will have the afternoon free to explore the city, giving you plenty of opportunity to explore local markets, chat with a local or perhaps find a game of football or rugby to watch.

The following day is free to explore Matobo National Park.

Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National 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 the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.
In Bulawayo, stay in a campground with shared facilities - upgrades are available.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Day
5

Masvingo

A short drive takes us to Masvingo (310 km, approx 5-6 hrs).

Masvingo is the oldest colonial settlement in Zimbabwe and the perfect base to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.

Spend the afternoon exploring the ruins.

Great Zimbabwe is the national monument the country is named after. A Unesco World Heritage site, the ruined city was first constructed in the 11th century and is thought to be a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch.

Our campground in Masvingo has shared facilities.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Day
6

Harare

Travel to Harare (320 km, approx 5-6 hrs).

Harare is Zimbabwe's capital city and also its largest.

Arriving in time for lunch we have the afternoon to explore the city on our own or relax at our campground.

There is plenty to see and do however you will only have an hour or two to explore. You might want to head to the National Gallery, the museum, the botanical gardens or simply wander the city centre and explore the shops and markets.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Day
7

Lusaka

Day 7 will see us crossing over to Zambia. Starting with a scenic drive to the border, we cover 450Kms, approx 8hrs today. We camp just outside Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia.

One of the fastest-developing cities in southern Africa, Lusaka is cosmopolitan but still retains a traditional African feel with its busy markets and friendly people.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
8-9

South Luangwa National Park

Today we make our way through the heartland to South Luangwa National Park. This is a long travel day so please sit tight and enjoy the scenery (600kms, approx. 10-12hours).

The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa. The River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of this 9059 square km Park. South Luangwa is noted for its beautiful scenery and abundance of game, particularly large herds of elephant, buffalo, leopard, Thornicroft’s giraffe and lion. There and over 400 species of birds recorded in the area.

Famed for its walking safaris, South Luangwa National Park holds an abundance of Africa's favourite animals and classic savanna scenery.

On Day 9, you have the opportunity to enjoy many optional activities. You can opt to rise early for a morning game drive in 4X4’s, then head back to the camp for lunch, as this is the hottest part of the day, and then return to the park later for a night game drive.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Days
10-11

Lake Malawi

We cross the border into Malawi on Day 10 and head straight to our camp on the shore of Lake Malawi.
Distance travelled is approximately 9-10 hours (520 Kms) from South Luangua to Lake Malawi.
Malawi is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, canoe and net makers, and fish traders all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is of a fisherman in his bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day.

We enjoy Day 11 on the lake's more peaceful beaches. As well as chilling on the beach and participating in the many optional water activities on offer, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians, easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.

Our campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of Lake Malawi.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Days
12-13

Chitimba/Iringa

Drive 235 km (approx 5-6 hours) to our 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. Sit back, relax and watch as the countryside passes by (530 km, approx 9-10 hrs).

Set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Day
14

Dar es Salaam

Heading for Dar es Salaam on the coast, travel through Mikumi National Park. The journey today is 560 km which will take approximately 13 hours of drive time.

Situated at the foot of the thickly wooded Uluguru Mountains, Mikumi National Park is home to large herds of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and leopards. It's Tanzania's fourth largest national park.

Although we don't take an off-road safari into the depths of the park, a good selection of the wildlife that resides in Mikumi can usually be seen on our way through to the southern Tanzanian highland town of Iringa.

The camp is on the grounds of a hotel and has flush toilets and showers. Feel free to jump in the ocean and have a swim.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
15-17

Zanzibar

Catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar (approx 90 mins).

Our first night is spent in the exotic port town of Stone Town in a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms.

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 bazaars, shops, mosques, palaces, courtyards and myriad intricate alleyways. When the sun is setting, why not enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront before trying one of the island's local seafood curries at one of the town's many restaurants.

Drive to the spice plantations where you'll receive a guided tour and the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger, as well as teas made with these spices. At the end of the day there will also be an opportunity to buy some of the locally grown spices.

On our second and third days here we head to the northern beaches and enjoy white sand and sparkling blue sea - the Indian Ocean at its best. Try snorkelling and diving, eat sumptuous seafood, or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.

Accommodation: Bungalow (2 nts), Hotel (1 nt)

Day
18

Dar es Salaam

Reboard the ferry and return to the beach outside Dar es Salaam.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Day
19

Marangu

Leaving the beach behind, it's a long travel day. We catch the morning ferry to take us back to the mainland, and then we start our journey driving towards the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the village of Mshiri (560 km, approx 9-10 hrs).

Half-way between Marangu Mtoni and Mshiri village is where we we set up camp for the night. Our camp ground is basic with flush toilets and showers and situated on the lush green slopes of Kilimanjaro.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Day
20

Mto Wa Mbu

Rise and shine early and on a clear day you'll be greeted with unforgettable views of Kilimanjaro.
Take a walking tour of Mshiri Village, the base for the Village Education Project, and witness the day-to-day life of the Chagga people, long established as crop-growers on the fertile slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Walk around their shamba (farm) and have the chance to sample the local Chagga food, which is very filling. For more information on the Village Education Project visit www.kiliproject.org.

Visit nearby waterfalls and stop to admire the view of the plains below. If the weather is clear, get a view of Kilimanjaro - the magnificent snow-capped mountain and Africa's highest peak at 5,895 m (19,340 ft).

After an early lunch, head towards Mto Wa Mbu where we camp for the night (230 km, approx 4-5hrs).

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
21-22

Ngorongoro Crater/Serengeti National Park

Wake up very early and leave our truck behind, putting our camping and personal gear into (6-person) jeeps and heading out for our two-day excursion.

From Mto Wa Mbu, we descend to the floor of the famous Ngorongoro Crater and make the most of our safari here - we spend between four and five hours exploring this area.

A huge, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals including endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round and the photographic opportunities here are unrivalled.

Departing the crater in the afternoon, head for the gates of the Serengeti and arrive at our camp in the early evening. The following day, enjoy a full day game drive in the Serengeti.

The wide, open plains of the Serengeti - green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season, and home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators - are perhaps the quintessential image of Africa. Flat and rolling with long grasses and dotted with acacia trees, the plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringitu - 'the place where the land moves on forever'.

Game viewing in the Serengeti is amazing and as you camp out at night, don't be surprised to hear lions in the distance as you recount your wildlife sightings from the day. In normal circumstances, we would expect to see the Big Five during our stay in the Serengeti.

For an unforgettable experience, you might like to do an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and it is recommended you book this activity in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to secure this optional activity.

If you have pre-booked this activity, you'll be picked up and driven to the launch site where you receive a safety briefing from your pilot and help inflate the balloon. You'll then float over the Serengeti as the sun comes up gaining an overview of the immensity of the Serengeti, seeing the abundance of wildlife in their early morning activity and sometimes descending to tree height for amazing wildlife photography opportunities. Upon landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast before being returned to your accommodation.

Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.

You'll notice many Maasai villages in the region of the 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.

Accommodation: Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)

Day
23

Arusha

Today we leave the Serengeti behind and head towards Arusha (280 km, approx 6 hrs), stopping en route in Mto Wa Mbu to jump back on board our truck.

A small village community, Mto Wa Mbu offers an excellent way to get a close-up look at life in an African town away from the main tourist trail.

Tonight we'll camp on the outskirts of Arusha where we'll enjoy our final dinner together.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Day
24

Nairobi

Set off early, heading for the border with Kenya and on to Nairobi (390 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.

If you're staying on, why not head out to explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa), or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.

This is a transport day to Nairobi. You can finish your trip in Arusha this morning if you wish to travel further in Tanzania or catch a flight.

 

included1

  • Visit Victoria Falls
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins
  • Zanzibar Spice tour
  • Village Education Project (Marangu) visit, village walk & lunch
  • Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive
  • Serengeti - Game drive

 

optional-extras

  • Canoe trail, Victoria Falls - USD185
  • Canoe trail (half day), Victoria Falls - USD100
  • Flying fox, Victoria Falls - USD50
  • Gorge swing, Victoria Falls - USD110
  • Helicopter flight (12 mins), Victoria Falls - USD175
  • Helicopter flight (25 mins), Victoria Falls - USD334
  • Wine Route Canoe trail, Victoria Falls - USD55
  • Village & township tour, Victoria Falls - USD50
  • Natural History Museum, Bulawayo - USD10
  • Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari - USD85
  • Railway Museum, Bulawayo - USD2
  • National Archives, Harare - USD3
  • National Gallery, Harare - USD1
  • National Botanical Gardens, Harare - USD5
  • Guided village walks, Lake Malawi - USD10
  • Zanzibar Dhow trip - USD60
  • Zanzibar Snorkelling - USD60
  • Zanzibar Prison island tour - USD25
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village Walk & market Visit - USD17
  • Balloon ride, Serengeti (from price) - USD500
  • National Museum, Nairobi - USD10
  • Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi - USD12
  • Karen Blixen museum, Nairobi - USD14
  • Carnivore Restaurant, Nairobi - KES3500
  • Langata Giraffe Sanctuary, Nairobi - KES1200
  • Nairobi National Park safari walk - USD30

 

not-included1International flights, departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

 

tripgrade1

Overland

Overland journeys are all about freedom and discovery. By travelling in a purpose-built truck you’ll see all the must-see highlights but also get far off the beaten track. These are real adventures where itineraries are changeable and the number of nights in hotels or camping can vary. The tours are highly inclusive and very much hands on. Led by professional crew, groups consist of up to 22 adventurous passengers, sharing the cooking, food shopping and setting up camp.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.

 

visa1A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.Please click here for more information.

 

medical-preparation1We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.

 

Money1Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later

 

travel-insuranceYou must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information.

 

responsible-travel1Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.For further information about responsible travel please click here.

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