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

 

daily-itinerary1

Day
1

Nairobi

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya.

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.

Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.

If you arrive early, you can head out and 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.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

Day
2

Mto Wa Mbu

Set off early, heading for the border with Tanzania. Once border formalities have been completed, we will head to our campsite in the village of Mto Wa Mbu (400 km, approx 8-10 hrs).

Situated at the base of Mt Meru, Arusha is the safari capital of Tanzania and there's plenty to see and do. There are lots of good bars and restaurants. Markets and shops have most things you could want or need alongside various arts and crafts from the region.

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.

Stay at a campsite with flush toilets and hot/cold showers.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
3-4

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, we head for the gates of the Serengeti and arrive at our camp in the early evening.

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
5

Mto Wa Mbu

Leave the Serengeti and travel back to Mto Wa Mbu.

Join the local community with a guided stroll around the farming areas - including visits to a kindergarten, milling machine, local homes and farmlands. This is a great way to have fun and find out more about the life of the locals. You'll also have the chance to look around the town and visit the local market. You may wish to indulge in a spot of shopping - wood carvings and local artworks are the specialities of this area.

Stay at a campsite with flush toilets and hot/cold showers.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Day
6

Marangu

Back on board our truck, we make our way towards to the village of Marangu, via Moshi (230 km, approx 4-5 hrs).

Camp in the grounds of the Marangu Hotel, a beautiful turn-of-the-century farmhouse set in 12 acres of delightful tropical gardens on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Upgrades are available on request and the hotel also has a great bar and pool.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Day
7

Dar es Salaam

Leaving the mountains behind, it's a long travel day heading further south towards the coastal city of Dar es Salaam (560 km, approx 9-10 hrs).

Once in Dar es Salaam, set up camp on a balmy beach outside of the city.

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
8-10

Zanzibar

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

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.

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.

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

On our second and third days here, 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.

Our accommodation in Zanzibar is in twin-share rooms.

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

Day
11

Dar es Salaam

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

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
12-13

Iringa/Chitimba

Travel further south through Mikumi National Park (550 km, approx 10-11 hrs).

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.

Set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement.
Enter Malawi, the 'warm heart of Africa', on the way to our campsite at Chitimba (510 km, approx 10-12 hrs).

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.

Set up camp on the northern shores of Lake Malawi.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)

Days
14-15

Lake Malawi

Travel from Chitimba to Kande Beach on the shore of Lake Malawi (230 km, approx 6 hrs).

Get away from the commercialism and crowds and enjoy a few days 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
16-17

South Luangwa National Park

Today we make our way through southern Malawi and enter Zambia. After border crossing formalities we proceed to South Luangwa National Park.

Distance travelled is approximately 9-10 hours (560 Kms) from Lake Malawi to South Luangwa National Park.

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.

On Day 17, 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)

Day
18

Lusaka

Today is a long drive day as we head for Lusaka but our camp is 15 minutes south of the city. Travel for the day is about 600Kms – approx 10-12hrs.

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)

Day
19

Harare

Leaving the camp early, we drive for approx 3 hours to the border with Zimbabwe. After formalities, we enjoy a 60Km scenic drive before covering the rest of the distance to Harare. Total distance covered today is 450Kms – approx 8hrs.

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

The afternoon is free to explore the city on your 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
20

Masvingo

Take a short drive to Masvingo (320 km, approx 5-6 hrs).

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

Spend the afternoon exploring the ruins.

Our campground in Masvingo has shared facilities.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

Days
21-22

Bulawayo

Travel to Bulawayo (310 km, approx 5-6 hrs).

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

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

The following day get up early and venture out to explore the 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)

Days
23-24

Victoria Falls

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

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.

Our campground is centrally located in the town of Victoria Falls, the perfect place to use as a base for the vast array of activities on offer in the area. Upgraded accommodation is available, please ask at reception.

We visit the magnificent Victoria Falls either today or the following day depending on how we go for time.

Tonight we will share a final dinner together.

We recommend that you do not book any flights out on Day 24 until late evening. It is most likely we will visit the falls today. You may also want to try some of the optional activities on offer here, before our adventure comes to an end.

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.

Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)

 

included1

  • Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive
  • Serengeti - Game drive
  • Zanzibar Spice Tour
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins
  • Visit Victoria Falls

 

optional-extras

  • National Museum, Nairobi - USD10.00
  • Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi - USD12.00
  • Karen Blixen museum, Nairobi - USD14.00
  • Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi - USD12.00
  • Carnivore Restaurant, Nairobi - KES3500
  • Langata Giraffe Sanctuary, Nairobi - KES1200
  • Nairobi National Park safari walk - USD30
  • Balloon ride, Serengeti (from price) - USD500
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village Walk & market Visit - USD17
  • Zanzibar Dhow trip - USD60
  • Zanzibar Snorkelling - USD60
  • Zanzibar Prison island tour - USD25
  • Guided village walks, Lake Malawi - USD10
  • National Archives, Harare - USD3
  • National Botanical Gardens, Harare - USD5
  • National Gallery, Harare - USD1
  • Natural History Museum, Bulawayo - USD10
  • Railway Museum, Bulawayo - USD2
  • Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari - USD85
  • 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

 

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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