Ethiopia, Gorillas & the Cape

Start: Cape Town Finish: Gondar

Visiting: Cape Town, Citrusdal, Noordoewer, Fish River Canyon, Sesriem, Solitaire, Swakopmund, Spitzkoppe, Etosha NP, Grootfontein, Shakawe, Okavango Delta, Makgadikgadi Pans, Bulawayo, Hwange NP, Kasane, Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Lower Zambezi Area, Luangwa River, South Luangwa NP, Lilongwe, Kande, Chitimba, Iringa, Mikumi, Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Lushoto, Arusha, Tarangire NP, Serengeti NP, Amboseli NP, Nairobi, Kericho, Jinja, Nakitoma, Kaniyo Pabidi, Murchison Falls NP, Mpanga Forest, Queen Elizabeth NP, Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Lake Mburo, Nakuru NP, Masai Mara, Naivasha, Naro Moru, Samburu Village, Samburu National Reserve, Moyale, Konso, Arba Minch, Wendo Genet, Bale Mountains NP, Lake Ziway, Awash NP, Harar, Addis Ababa, Debre Markos, Bahir Dar, Awra Amba, Lalibela, Mekele, Danakil Depression, Axum, Debark, Simien Mountains NP, Gondar


Duration: 113 Nights

Physical rating: Medium

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Please contact Dragoman with any specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Dragoman

Group size: 0 - 22

Age range: 18 plus

Tour operated in: English


Prices From:

Tour Overview

Experience some of the most awe-inspiring sights that East and Southern Africa has to offer; from the tribes, mountains, forests and plains of East Africa to the wildlife parks and deserts of the south.

Wander the streets of Lalibela as you go in search of the rock-hewn churches in the seldom-visited country of Ethiopia. As well as seeing some of this countries amazing historical architecture you’ll also witness its varied wildlife and landscapes, from the Danakil Depression to the lush vistas of the Simien Mountains National Park.

Along the way you will experience at very close quarters Africa's most spectacular wildlife and visit some of its finest national parks, such as the Serengeti, Masai Mara in the east and Chobe and Etosha in the south.

We’ll get you truly get off the beaten track as you overland between Ethiopia and Kenya, enjoying a homestay with the Samburu people of northern Kenya. Further along the way you’ll meet mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in Uganda and elephants, lions, cheetahs and more in Tanzania and Kenya and again in Botswana and in Namibia. However, it's the raw experience of walking safaris to find white rhino in Zimbabwe and canoeing down Zambian rivers in the Lower Zambezi region that get you right up close to Africa's flora and fauna.

A wonderfully varied journey, you’ll witness the staggering changes of the landscapes and cultures as you drive along this long but rewarding route.

Highlights

  • iconGuided tour of palaces and temples in historic Axum
  • iconVisit the Born Free Foundation at the old home of Joy Adamson
  • iconGuided tour of the ancient UNESCO city of Harar
  • iconCamp in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro
  • iconSpot geladas, ibex, Ethiopian wolves and many other endemic species
  • iconChill on the white sand Indian Ocean beaches of Zanzibar
  • iconView wildlife on safari in Amboseli NP
  • icon3 nights in the fabulously scenic Simien Mountains NP
  • icon2 day wildlife safari canoe trip along the Lower Zambezi river
  • iconVisit Konso and the Konzo Cultural Centre
Show all

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Cape Town

Location: Cape Town

Border Information: If joining in Cape Town, you will most likely enter South Africa at Cape Town International Airport (IATA code: CPT).

There will be a group meeting today at 18:00. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.

The rest of the day will be free to explore the city. There is the option tonight of joining the group for dinner.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cape Town before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cape Town.

In Cape Town we will stay in a hotel in the popular, lively and vibrant Kloof Street with a large variety of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and bars all within walking distance.

icon Day 2: Citrusdal

Location: Citrusdal

Our journey begins up the Western Cape to the wine region of Citrusdal. In the evening we will have the option for some wine tasting!

icon Day 3: Noordoewer

Location: Noordoewer

Border Information: Exit South Africa at Noordoewer, enter Namibia at Noordoewer.

Today we pass through Namaqualand to arrive at Noordoewer, next to the scenic banks of the Gariep (Orange) River - the natural border between Namibia and South Africa.

icon Day 4: Fish River Canyon

Location: Fish River Canyon

This morning if there is enough water in the river there is a chance for an optional canoe adventure on the Orange River, before we head west into the desert lands of Namibia towards the dramatic secnery of the Fish River Canyon. Here we will have a some time for exploration and taking in the beautiful sunset over the canyon. 

icon Day 5: Sesriem

Location: Sesriem

Today we have a full day drive to Sesriem, our base for exploring the the fabled sand dunes of Namibia. En route we will detour to the town of Keetmanshoop for food shopping. 

icon Day 6: Solitaire

Location: Solitaire

Today we have an early morning start to climb to the top of the famous Dune 45 for a dramatic and incredible sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. We will also have chance to explore the otherworldy landscape of the Dead Vlei.

We will then drive a short distance to the deserts at Solitaire.

icon Day 7: Swakopmund

Location: Swakopmund

Today we will continue to the old German colonial town of Swakopmund, where we will have 2 nights to explore the town and enjoy some of the many optional adventure activities on offer.

icon Day 8: Swakopmund

Location: Swakopmund

Today we have free time for all of the amazing optional activities available in Swakopmund

icon Day 9: Spitzkoppe

Location: Spitzkoppe

Today we will drive east to the stunning mountains of Spitzkoppe. This remote region has breathtaking sunsets and sunrises as the colour of the landscape takes on remarkable oranges and reds.

We will also have an included visit to Cape Cross en route to Spitzkoppe, to experience the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shore.

icon Day 10: Etosha NP

Location: Etosha NP

Today we head north to the stunning Etosha NP.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Etosha is one of the world's most pre-eminent wildlife areas, and we have an excellent chance to spot some of Africa's most famous animals such as elephant, lion, giraffe, zebra, leopard, oryx, impala, and rhino!

We will stay in the park for 2 days, giving us plenty of opportunity for game drives in our truck in search of the animals here.

In Etosha NP we will stay in a mixture of the campsites of Namutoni, Halali or Okaukuejo according to availability, all of which are superbly located within the NP, have excellent facilities and are situated next to watering holes where many animals come for a drink at night.

 

icon Day 11: Etosha NP

Location: Etosha NP

Today we will spend the day exploring Etosha on our truck

icon Day 12: Grootfontein

Location: Grootfontein

Today we will turn east and head to the area north of the town of Grootfontein. This region is home to many of the San people, and we will visit a village community project here - we will go on a fascinating 'bushwalk', learning all about the survival skills, crafts and traditional life from our local San guides! After this, we will head to our campsite for the evening.

icon Day 13: Shakawe

Location: Shakawe

Border Information: Exit Namibia at Muhembo, enter Botswana at Muhembo.

Today we will drive through the narrow Zambezi region of Namibia (also known as the Caprivi Strip), and cross the border into northern Botswana, arriving at our campsite near the small village of Shakawe.

Tonight we will prepare for our visit to the Okavango Delta.

icon Day 14: Okavango Delta

Location: Okavango Delta

Today we have a short drive south to the village of Sepupa, where we leave our vehicle and board boats out over to Mokoba island.

Here we will meet our 'mokoro' team, who will take us out into the stunningly beautiful area of the Okavango Delta. We'll board the mokoros (which are small dugout-style canoes) and get poled out into the reed beds of the delta. Each canoe takes two people and is poled through the meandering waterways by a local guide. 

We'll be camping out on an island in the middle of a wilderness area. All food will be provided by our local hosts.

 

icon Day 15: Okavango Delta

Location: Okavango Delta

Today we will explore the island on foot, and then take the mokoros out to a different island for more game walks, lunch, and then mokoro back to camp. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to swim in a safe area of the delta and have a try at poling the canoes ourselves! We will stay overnight at a houseboat.

icon Day 16: Makgadikgadi Pans

Location: Makgadikgadi Pans

Today we travel to the Makgadikgadi Pans NP. 

icon Day 17: Makgadikgadi Pans

Location: Makgadikgadi Pans

Today we will have the time for optional excursions into the Makgadikgadi Pans to see the incredible scenery and go in search of meerkats! 

 

icon Day 18: Bulawayo

Location: Bulawayo

Border Information: Exit Botswana at Ramokgwebana, enter Zimbabwe at Plumtree.

Today we have a long drive day across the border into Zimbabwe and the city of Bulawayo.

icon Day 19: Bulawayo

Location: Bulawayo

Today we will have an included day trip to explore the Matobo NP, home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros. We have an incredible safari to track them on foot, and also have the chance to visit the grave of Cecil Rhodes and learn all about Zimbabwe's past. 

 

icon Day 20: Hwange NP

Location: Hwange NP

After breakfast we head towards Hwange NP, stopping en route to visit the Painted Dog Conservation Group for an insight into the plight of the African Wild Dog. We will take an included afternoon game drive in local safari trucks through Hwange NP.

icon Day 21: Kasane

Location: Kasane

This morning we will head out on an early morning game drive within Hwange NP.

Border Information: exit Zimbabwe at Kazangula, enter Botswana at Kazangula.

After our Game Drive in Hwange we head across the border into Botswana and the town of Kasane, the gateway to the beautiful Chobe NP.

In Kasane we will stay in a well equipped campsite in the grounds of a safari lodge.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

icon Day 22: Victoria Falls

Location: Victoria Falls

In the morning we will visit the park by taking an included boat trip down the Chobe river - the boat trip provides a fantastic opportunity to take some stunning wildlife photographs, getting extremely close to the animals without disturbing them.

In the afternoon we will drive back into Zimbabwe.

icon Day 23: Victoria Falls

Location: Victoria Falls

Today we will have an included visit to the main viewpoints over the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.

Our well equipped campground is centrally located on the Zambezi River only 4 kilometres from the waterfalls, the perfect place to use as a base for the vast array of adventure activities on offer in the area. Please note that no meals are included in Victoria Falls.

icon Day 24: Victoria Falls

Location: Victoria Falls

Border Information: Welcome to Victoria Falls and the largest waterfalls in Africa! If joining the trip in Victoria Falls, you will most likely enter Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls Airport (IATA code: VFA).

There will be a group meeting at 10:00am at the Victoria Falls Rest Camp. Your leader will leave a note on the reception with the details of this important meeting - when you arrive you will easily spot the truck as well (usually to the right-hand-side of the reception), where you'll be able to meet one of our crew.

This afternoon we will have an included visit to the main viewpoints over the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.

If you would like to take advantage of the vast array of adventure activities on offer in the area, we advise that you arrive a day earlier than the meeting to give yourself enough time to do so. Please note that no meals are included in Victoria Falls.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Victoria Falls before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Victoria Falls.

icon Day 25: Livingstone

Location: Livingstone

Border information: Exit Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls, enter Zambia at Victoria Falls.

Today we start our journey with a short drive over the border into Zambia! We will head to the town of Livingstone, on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.

icon Day 26: Lower Zambezi Area

Location: Lower Zambezi Area

Today we have a full day drive across southern Zambia to our well equipped campsite on the banks of the Lower Zambezi. 

Tonight we will meet our guides who will take us on our two-day canoeing expedition on the Lower Zambezi on the following day - they will give us a full briefing about the canoeing trip when we arrive.

icon Day 27: Lower Zambezi Area

Location: Lower Zambezi Area

Today we head out on our 2-day/2-night canoeing trip on the Lower Zambezi river.

This is a fully participatory expedition - everyone will pair up, go out in 2-person canoes and paddle themselves, following the lead boat! Everyone also gets involved in setting up the camps and cooking. All of our gear will be carried in a supply canoe, and wild camps are erected on islands in the river along the way.

This is a fantastic way to see the river, the scenery and some of the wildlife in the area!

icon Day 28: Lower Zambezi Area

Location: Lower Zambezi Area

Today we have our second day out on the river. By now you will have a keen eye for wildlife and be well on your way to being a pro at paddling!

icon Day 29: Luangwa River

Location: Luangwa River

After breakfast, we have an early morning transfer from our second island wild camp on a fast barge back to the truck, and then continue our journey to the bridge over the River Luangwa.

icon Day 30: South Luangwa NP

Location: South Luangwa NP

Today our journey continues to the stunning South Luangwa NP, where we will stay for 2 nights.

If we make good enough time on the drive to the campsite, then there may be opportunity for an optional extra game drive upon arrival tonight.

South Luangwa NP is a hidden gem on the safari circuit; it is rarely visited due to its remote setting, but has some incredible populations of wildlife and is one of the only parks in Southern Africa that is open for night driving with spotlights when many of the big game is at its most active.

icon Day 31: South Luangwa NP

Location: South Luangwa NP

Today we will have an included early morning game drive and an included evening game drive, both in open-sided safari vehicles.

icon Day 32: Lilongwe

Location: Lilongwe

Border information: Exit Zambia at Mchinji, enter Malawi at Mchinji.

Today we will cross the border into Malawi and head to the capital Lilongwe. Hopefully we will arrive by mid-afternoon so that we have the chance to explore the city, its markets and its shops.

icon Day 33: Kande

Location: Kande

Today we will travel from Lilongwe to Kande beach on the western shore of Lake Malawi.

icon Day 34: Kande

Location: Kande

Today we will have a free day on Kande beach to relax or to get involved in some of the optional activities available here - there are watersports on the lake, horse riding through the forests and on the beaches, and village walks to see a little bit of the life of the local Tonga people.

icon Day 35: Chitimba

Location: Chitimba

Today we continue north along the coast of Lake Malawi to Chitimba, an equally beautiful campsite on the shore of the lake. If we arrive in good time, we may have to chance for a short village walk or a woodcarving lesson!

icon Day 36: Iringa

Location: Iringa

Border Information: Exit Malawi at Songwe, enter Tanzania at Songwe.

Today is a long travel day as we enter Tanzania and drive through its southern highlands.

We will stay on a working ranch 52kms south of the town of Iringa.

icon Day 37: Mikumi

Location: Mikumi

Today we will continue our journey north to the small village of Mikumi.

icon Day 38: Zanzibar

Location: Zanzibar

Border Information: If joining at Zanzibar, you will most likely enter Tanzania from Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (IATA code: ZNZ).

There will be an informal meet-and-greet and orientation of Stone Town with our local Zanzibar guide at 6:00pm - please meet at the reception of the joining hotel at this time if you wish to take part in this orientation. Please note that you will not usually meet your regular crew tonight, as they will be arriving in Dar es Salaam this evening and will travel to Zanzibar with members of their previous group tomorrow.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Zanzibar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Zanzibar.

In Stone Town we will stay in a good local hotel.

Please note that the first 4 days of this trip overlap with our "YDF - Victoria Falls to Zanzibar" trip, so some of the group that come to Zanzibar will leave before we take the ferry to Dar es Salaam. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not follow our Zanzibar itinerary twice!

icon Day 39: Zanzibar

Location: Zanzibar

Today will be a free day to explore Stone Town, the atmospheric old town on the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar!

Your crew will arrive on Zanzibar this afternoon, and there will be an important meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - there will then be the option going for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.

icon Day 40: Zanzibar

Location: Zanzibar

On our second day on Zanzibar we will join our local guide for a very interesting and informative tour around the sights of Stone Town and learn about the history of the island. We will then head away from town and take in a tour of a spice plantation, enjoy a local lunch with our guide, then head to Nungwi beach at the very north of the island. Nungwi is the Indian Ocean at its best - bright white sand, sparkling blue sea outstanding seafood and a fantastic chilled atmosphere.

icon Day 41: Zanzibar

Location: Zanzibar

On our third day on Zanzibar, we will have free time to enjoy Nungwi beach and relax, or to try snorkeling, diving, or other beach activities, or maybe go further afield looking for Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozani Forest.

icon Day 42: Dar es Salaam

Location: Dar es Salaam

Today we will return to Stone Town and then take a ferry from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, before travelling on the local commuter barge from the city centre to the suburb of Kigamboni. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax at the campsite.

In Dar es Salaam we stay on the southern side of the bay across from the city.

icon Day 43: Lushoto

Location: Lushoto

Today we join our overland truck and set off early to beat the morning trafiic in Dar es Salaam. We have a full day's drive to Lushoto, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.

icon Day 44: Arusha

Location: Arusha

After breakfast we head west to the town of Arusha, where we will stop for food shopping in preparation for our excursion to the Serengeti NP. On the drive to Arusha we will go past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro where we'll hope for clear skies and fantastic views from the road.

We will then head to our campsite on the outskirts of Arusha. On arrival we should have time to go on an optional walk to a nearby Maasai village, or visit a reptile house and snake-bite clinic that are run by the campsite. We will also prepare and re-pack for the Serengeti excursion starting the following day.

icon Day 45: Tarangire NP

Location: Tarangire NP

Today we will be met by our fleet of 6-person 4x4 jeeps - we will load the jeeps with our camping and personal gear, and then head out for our 4-day excursion to the Tarangire NP, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.

We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 4 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle (as there are no single use plastics or bottles available during this excursion), books and personal snacks, etc.

We will have a safety talk with our safari guides and then on to a day drive within Tarangire NP followed by a treetop walkway in the afternoon. You should have many oportunities for photographs so remember your cameras!

Once we make it into our camp site we will have our evening meal before the opportunity for a night game drive to Lake Manyara.

icon Day 46: Serengeti NP

Location: Serengeti NP

This morning we will make our way down into the plains of the Serengeti. We will take an evening game drive around the savanna before heading to our campsite - the area is one of the world's premier spots for wildlife viewing and we hope to able to find elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe and other big game during our time here!

Tonight we will stay at a campsite within the Serengeti NP. The camp where we stay is very basic (with showers and flush toilets, but no other facilities) but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and their nocturnal noises! Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.

icon Day 47: Serengeti NP

Location: Serengeti NP

The next morning we will get up very early and we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive in the heart of the Serengeti plains. The early morning is the best time of day for wildlife viewing, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool.

There is an option this morning to take a hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti instead of the game drive - demand is high for this activity, so this must be pre-booked at the time that you booked your trip with us.

We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti early afternoon. We will head back through the conservation area to our next campsite, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, where we will arrive in the early evening.

Again, the campsite tonight is very basic and unfenced. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take some warm clothes for this night.

icon Day 48: Arusha

Location: Arusha

This morning we will have another early start to descend into the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater for a morning game drive. Again, the Ngorongoro Crater is an outstanding area for wildlife spotting, often described as a 'natural wildlife enclosure'. This is the best chance on the excursion to spot black rhinos as well as a myriad of other big game.

We will spend as long as our entry tickets allow in the Ngorongoro Crater before departing, which will usually give us about 3-4 hours of game driving. We will then be dropped off at our campsite back in Arusha, where we are re-united with our truck.

We will have a well-deserved free afternoon to relax at our excellent campsite or to do some of the optional activites on offer here.

icon Day 49: Amboseli NP

Location: Amboseli NP

Border Information: Exit Tanzania at Namanga, enter Kenya at Namanga.

Today we will head to Amboseli NP. Here you can experience the iconic view of the African plain with Mount Kilimanjaro standing majestically in the background. We will drive through the park in our truck keeping a keen eye out for all of the animals we will pass.

icon Day 50: Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

Welcome to Nairobi, the final stop on our trip!

You will have time to explore Nairobi fully - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Your tour leader will let you know some of our reccommendations however you are more than welcome to move through the city independently for the day!

icon Day 51: Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

Border Information: If joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).

Welcome to Kenya! There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please do not be alarmed if there is no welcome note, as this will often be a travelling day for the crew who will be joining you.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.

icon Day 52: Kericho

Location: Kericho

This morning we will drive on to Kericho, throughout this drive you will have sights of the world famous tea plantations in the area.

icon Day 53: Jinja

Location: Jinja

Border Information: Exit Kenya at Busia, enter Uganda at Busia.

Today we have a full day's drive across the border into Uganda as we travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa!

icon Day 54: Jinja

Location: Jinja

Today we will have a free day to get involved in the many optional adventure activities available here, such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and boat trips on the White Nile!

icon Day 55: Nakitoma

Location: Nakitoma

Today we continue our journey and head north to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary close to the town of Nakitoma. Here we will have the chance to track rhinos on foot with a local ranger!

icon Day 56: Kaniyo Pabidi

Location: Kaniyo Pabidi

Today we continue to Kaniyo Pabidi in the Budongo Forest, in the southern part of the Murchison Falls NP. Here we will head out for our included chimpanzee tracking walk in the afternoon!

Please note that for conservation reasons the maximum group size to track the chimpanzees is 12 people, so if we have a large group we will split in half, one half going on the walk this afternoon and the other half going tomorrow morning.

icon Day 57: Murchison Falls NP

Location: Murchison Falls NP

If we had to split the group for chimpanzee tracking, the other half of the group will head out for the walk this morning. When we are ready to continue, we will drive to the central region of Murchison Falls NP to reach our campsite.

Please note that the roads leading into and around Murchison Falls are very poor and can be hazardous in wet conditions. If there has been heavy rain recently, it may not be possible to go into the NP beyond Kaniyo Pabidi - this is firstly for safety reasons on the drive in, and secondly due to the risk of extreme bogging that could cause us to miss the gorilla treks further along in our trip. We will always endaevour to reach the NP as per the itinerary; but when this is occasionally not possible, please respect the tour leader's decision in this matter. On these occasions we will be able to utilise this time with spending longer in Lake Bunyonyi.

icon Day 58: Murchison Falls NP

Location: Murchison Falls NP

Today, we will head out early in the truck for a included morning of game driving around the northern area of the NP - we will take a local vehicle barge to get over the Nile and pick up a ranger to show us around in search of wildlife!

We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then embark on an included launch cruise on the Nile to spot wildlife from the water and to see the spectacularly-powerful Murchison Falls.

icon Day 59: Mpanga Forest

Location: Mpanga Forest

This morning we will make our way out of the NP and head South to Mpanga Forest via Kampala. This is a chance to experience a new environment as we camp in the forest near traditional communities. We will hopefully be able to visit the Mpambire drum making village to experience their ancient traditions and culture.  

icon Day 60: Queen Elizabeth NP

Location: Queen Elizabeth NP

This morning we travel to the Queen Elizabeth NP, beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Lake Edward and Lake George, undertaking a game drive on our way to the campsite. 

During our time in the park we hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks. 

icon Day 61: Queen Elizabeth NP

Location: Queen Elizabeth NP

This morning we are up early to go on a full day game drive making our way the visit the volcanoes and salt mines onthe edge of the park. We will experience areas of the NP that are impossible to reach without a full days excursion!

icon Day 62: Bwindi Impenetrable NP

Location: Bwindi Impenetrable NP

Today we prepare for our Gorilla tracking by heading to Bunyoni and taking jeeps up into the mountains of Bwindi.

icon Day 63: Bwindi Impenetrable NP

Location: Bwindi Impenetrable NP

Here we will go on what is undoubtedly the highlight of the trip - trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas in their natural forest habitat. 

This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than 8 people per day can visit any one habituated family, and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals. 

Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid; however, the sheer thrill of coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk at least 4 hours - uphill and downhill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself! Once you find them, you will stay with the gorillas for one unforgettable hour!

When visiting the gorillas you will be assigned a trekking group and time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day.

In Bwindi we will stay in a campsite that occasinally has some very special visitors, the incredible mountain gorillas!

Please note that the gorilla permits are paid for in full by the trip kitty - however, we have to purchase the permits in advance on the customers' behalf, so a higher deposit is charged on the trip price to protect us from losing this money in the event of cancellation - please see the notes at the end for further detail.

icon Day 64: Lake Mburo

Location: Lake Mburo

This morning we will make our way into the stunning Lake Mburo NP. This drive will take us across the equator - a prime moment for some photos!

In the afternoon we may have time for a walking safari or even a boat trip on Lake Mburo.

We will stay in an incredible campsite close to the lake where you may be lucky enough to see hippos leaving the water in the evening.

icon Day 65: Jinja

Location: Jinja

After waking up in the beautiful Lake Mburo NP it is time to head back to Jinja and all of the comforts that it has to offer. You may even have time for an evening activity here.

icon Day 66: Nakuru NP

Location: Nakuru NP

Border Information: Exit Uganda at Malaba, enter Kenya at Malaba.

This is our base for tomorrow's excursion into Nakuru NP. If we make good time on the drive we may have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.

icon Day 67: Nakuru NP

Location: Nakuru NP

This morning we head into Nakuru NP for an included half-day game drive in local safari trucks. Nakuru is a beautiful park with a large lake and many forested areas - it is teeming with wildlife and there is an excellent chance to see both black and white rhinos.

In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.

icon Day 68: Masai Mara

Location: Masai Mara

Today we will be met by our 6-person 4x4 jeeps that will take us on our 2-night excursion to the Maasai Mara. We will load the jeeps with our personal gear and camping equipment and then head off to Maasai Mara, leaving our truck behind.

 

We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location in Nairobi), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 3 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle, books and personal snacks, etc.

 

On arrival, we will have the chance for a short evening game drive in the Maasai Mara NP before heading to our campsite. The Maasai Mara is an incredibly scenic area and is one of the world's greatest places for wildlife spotting which is absolutely teeming with giraffe, buffalo, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, and other big game!

 

icon Day 69: Masai Mara

Location: Masai Mara

Today we will go out for the full day game driving in the NP before returning to our campsite for a second night. There is also the opportunity for a balloon flight over the savannah - demand for this activity is very high so you must reserve this at the time of booking your trip to avoid disappointment.

icon Day 70: Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

Today we will have a final game drive in the Maasai Mara in the early morning, before heading back to Nairobi and our campsite in Karen, arriving at about 4:00pm or 5:00pm. This is where we will meet our overland truck and start using the truck's camping equipment.

icon Day 71: Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

Border Information: If joining in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).

There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting - your leader will need to check your Ethiopia visa (please see below for details).

If you would like to explore Nairobi fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier, or arrive early in the morning to give yourself a full day before the meeting in the evening. Possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.

icon Day 72: Naivasha

Location: Naivasha

Today we make our way to Naivasha, on the edge of a beautiful calm lake in the Great Rift Valley. Here we will have the chance to take an optional boat trip on the lake to spot hippos and African fish eagles, and also to visit the Elsamere Born Free Foundation at the old home of Joy Adamson.

icon Day 73: Naro Moru

Location: Naro Moru

Today we will have some free time for optional activities in Naivasha before we head through the hills of central Kenya through the area's beautiful scenery and tea plantations, to arrive at the small village of Naro Moru at the base of Mount Kenya.

icon Day 74: Naro Moru

Location: Naro Moru

Today we will have a free day in Naro Moru to take optional walks around the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, explore the nearby Mau Mau caves, or take an optional game drive in the nearby Sweetwaters National Reserve.

icon Day 75: Samburu Village

Location: Samburu Village

Today we will travel to the Samburu region near to the small town of Archer's Post, where we will visit a Samburu village. Here we will be shown around the village and their homes, play with the children and learn all about the way of life here for the Samburu people!

We will camp in the village in the heart of the community tonight, where there are no toilet or washing facilities.

icon Day 76: Samburu National Reserve

Location: Samburu National Reserve

This morning we will enter the Samburu National Reserve, where we will enjoy game drives in the truck (breaking for a long lunch during the heat of the day).

Samburu is a stunning National Reserve and is a great opportunity to spot big game such as cheetah, leopards, lions, and buffalo. The Reserve is also home to other animals rarely seen in the NPs further south, such as Grevy's zebras, Somali ostriches and gerenuk ('giraffe-necked antelopes').

Please note that during very wet conditions we may need to use locally-chartered 4x4 jeeps rather than our truck to get a good game drive in - in this instance we may make this option available at extra cost.

icon Day 77: Moyale

Location: Moyale

Today we will have an early start to travel through the very rarely-visited region of northern Kenya, crossing the infamous Marsabit-Moyale road to the very northern border town of Moyale. The scenery today is spectacular as we travel through the black lunar landscapes near Marsabit and pass mountain greenery, spectacular craters, watercourses, bush country and termite mounds.

Please note that due to security issues in this particular area, we will sometimes be accompanied by two armed police escorts.

icon Day 78: Konso

Location: Konso

Border information: Exit Kenya at Moyale, enter Ethiopia at Moyale.

For those on a longer combination trip starting in Cape Town or Victoria Falls, please play special attention to the visa notes in the information below.

Today we will cross the border into Ethiopia and have a full day of travel to Konso, home to the local Konso people and our gateway to southern Ethiopia.

icon Day 79: Arba Minch

Location: Arba Minch

Today we will arrive in the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo. On route we will visit Konso Village and a Cultural Centre.

icon Day 80: Arba Minch

Location: Arba Minch

Border Information: If you are joining in Arba Minch, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Arba Minch Airport (IATA code: AMH).

Welcome to Ethiopia! Today is the arrival day for those joining in Arba Minch, and will be a free day to explore the town.

There will be an important meeting with your crew at 6:00pm today. Look out for a note from them at the hotel reception letting you know where to meet.

icon Day 81: Arba Minch

Location: Arba Minch

Today we have time for optional activities such as taking an optional boat trip on Lake Chamo to the view the crocodiles that reside there (known locally as the crocodile market) or to take bike rides around the city.

icon Day 82: Wendo Genet

Location: Wendo Genet

Today we will head north to the small town of Awasa, where we can visit the local fish market.

After our visit we will head to Wendo Genet, a small town in the hills above Awasa, where we will stay for the night.

During our stay here we may have time to explore the region, go on an optional walk to some nearby waterfalls, or take a dip in the nearby hot springs.

icon Day 83: Bale Mountains NP

Location: Bale Mountains NP

Today we will leave Wendo Genet and drive to the stunning Bale Mountains NP.

We will enjoy 2 full days to explore the NP.

icon Day 84: Bale Mountains NP

Location: Bale Mountains NP

We will keep today completely free to head out for optional guided walks - there are several possibilities for routes, including highland routes up the hills and moorlands searching for mountain nyalas, or lowland walks through the forest areas to look for Bale monkeys!

icon Day 85: Bale Mountains NP

Location: Bale Mountains NP

Today we will drive in the truck up to the Sanetti Plateau, all the way to the second-highest point in Ethiopia (the 4359m summit of Tulu Dimtu) to explore the primeval landscape and search for Ethiopian wolves.

icon Day 86: Lake Ziway

Location: Lake Ziway

Today we will leave the Bale Mountains and head to the small town of Ziway.

icon Day 87: Lake Ziway

Location: Lake Ziway

Today we will take an optional boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, where we will have a short guided tour of the ancient monastery there and view some of the old religious manuscripts.

icon Day 88: Awash NP

Location: Awash NP

In the morning we will leave early and head for Awash NP.

In the afternoon we will take a park scout out with us to explore the surrounding area and to try to find game or just to enjoy the stunning scenery of this lovely NP. We overnight in the lovely Awash Falls Lodge; who said luxury was not part of overlanding! This is a stunning place to experience a great little NP .

icon Day 89: Harar

Location: Harar

Today we will have a long drive east through the mountains to the ancient trading city of Harar.

icon Day 90: Harar

Location: Harar

Today we have a free day in ancient Harar and will have an included guided city tour of the walled city of Harar (Harar Jugol). Enjoy its colourful markets, mosques and shrines. In the evening you can visit the Hyena Men who feed the hyenas every night just outside the walls of the city. 

icon Day 91: Harar

Location: Harar

Our final day in this incredible city is a free day to explore this amazing city on your own.  It is one of the most important historic sites on this trip and one not to be missed. 

icon Day 92: Addis Ababa

Location: Addis Ababa

Today we will have a long drive West through the mountains to the capital city, Addis Ababa  

icon Day 93: Addis Ababa

Location: Addis Ababa

Today we have a free day in Addis Ababa and will organise an included guided tour of the city including visiting St. George's Cathrdral, The Menelik mausoleum, The national Museum and the colourful city market. 

icon Day 94: Addis Ababa

Location: Addis Ababa

Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).

There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting.

If you are travelling to the Sudan and have arranged to pick the visa up in Addis Ababa, you will need to arrive at least 2 working days early to collect the visa.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Addis Ababa before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Addis Ababa.

icon Day 95: Debre Markos

Location: Debre Markos

We will start our journey today with a drive to the small town of Debre Markos. En route we will drive to the bottom of the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge and up the other side!

icon Day 96: Bahir Dar

Location: Bahir Dar

Today we will complete our drive to Bahir Dar, a small town on Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile.

icon Day 97: Bahir Dar

Location: Bahir Dar

On our first full day in Bahir Dar, we will have an included boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the famous old monastery of Gabriel Ure Kideth and to visit the spot where the lake outflows into the start of the Blue Nile. 

icon Day 98: Bahir Dar

Location: Bahir Dar

On our second day, we will head off in the truck to visit the Blue Nile Falls and take a short walk around the area to the historic Portuguese Bridge. We will have some free time in the afternoon to take optional visits to some other spots around Bahir Dar such as the 'Hippo bridge' and the Tigray war memorial.

icon Day 99: Awra Amba

Location: Awra Amba

Today we will drive to the ideological village of Awra Amba. Run by the infamous Zumra Nuru the village operates with the belief that everyone is equal and should have a say in how their home is run. We will take a tour of the village and camp on the outskirts.

icon Day 100: Lalibela

Location: Lalibela

Today we have a full day's drive through the beautiful scenery of central Ethiopia to reach the small medieval town of Lalibela.

icon Day 101: Lalibela

Location: Lalibela

On our first day in Lalibela, we will have an included full-day guided tour of the world-famous 13th-century rock churches of Lalibela. Our guide will be able to explain the fascinating history of Lalibela and its churches, and there will be plenty of time to explore, absorb the haunting atmosphere inside the churches, and take plenty of photographs of the incredible architecture and the religious rituals within.

icon Day 102: Lalibela

Location: Lalibela

On the second day, we will have a free day for further exploration or optional activities. We will have opportunity to hike up the nearby mountains to the Asheten Monastery, visit the Yemrehana Kristos cave church outside the town, or freely explore the Lalibela churches again at your own pace.

icon Day 103: Mekele

Location: Mekele

Leaving Lalibela behind us, we have a full days drive through increasingly mountainous scenery to reach the town of Mekele.

icon Day 104: Danakil Depression

Location: Danakil Depression

After breakfast meet your 4 x 4 vehicles and drive to Hamed Ella. On the way you will pass through the beautiful Tigre Villages and the escarpment of the Afar depression, this is commonly known as the cradle of mankind and is part of the Great East African Rift Valley. Along the way you will see camel caravans going to the traditional salt mine or to the North Eastern highlands of the country, loaded with salt bars in the old traditional way. We will also stop at Brehalle where we will get our permits and scouts for the trip into the Danakil Depression.

icon Day 105: Mekele

Location: Mekele

On the second day we drive to Dallol. Here in Dallol you will visit the beautiful land covered by salt, sulfur and different minerals that gives the area a spectacular colour. We will then continue on to Lake Asale to witness the beautiful salt flats.

This is an extremely intense environment and a very adventurous three days, certainly a once in a lifetime experience. However, if you feel like your personal fitness can not withstand this pressure then there is a chance this may not be the trip for you.

Today we will make our way back to Mekele ending our time in the stunning Danakil Depression.

icon Day 106: Axum

Location: Axum

Today we will visit one of the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray (either the Abraha Atsbeha or Wukro Chirkos church), then continue through the increasingly breathtaking mountain scenery of the Adwa mountains to reach the ancient town of Axum in the far north of Ethiopia.

icon Day 107: Axum

Location: Axum

Today we will have an included half-day guided tour of the incredible historical sites of Axum, the capital of the once-mighty Axumite Empire - included in this tour will be seeing the Stelae Field, the Tomb of King Kaleb, and the Palace of the Queen of Sheba. We will have a free afternoon to make optional visits to other places such as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.

icon Day 108: Debark

Location: Debark

Leaving Axum behind us, we continue our journey with a full day of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the small village of Debark. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery!

Debark is the gateway to the Simien Mountains NP, and on arrival we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options that we will have during our excursion starting the following day.

icon Day 109: Simien Mountains NP

Location: Simien Mountains NP

Today marks the start of our 3-day excursion into the Simien Mountains NP. The area is home to some of Africa's most jaw-dropping mountain scenery and is a great opportunity to enjoy some incredibly beautiful treks and breathtaking views!

The area is also home many indigenous animals, and during our time here we hope to spot Lammargeyer vultures, geladas, Walia ibex, and (if we are very lucky) klipspringers and Ethiopian wolves.

We will spend 3 nights in the incredible Simien Mountains NP. On each day we aim to provide an option for a long trek (of 5-8 hours), a short trek (2-5 hours) or no trekking.

Please note that we must keep a flexible itinerary in the Simien Mountains, as our options will largely be determined by the weather. 

Please also note that the camping areas in the NP are very basic, and are essentially wild camps with long drop toilets. Please also note that the food and provisions available in Debark and the NP are very limited, and it is also likely to be very cold at night (often dropping below freezing), so please be prepared! You will need to bring a suitable sleeping bag and mat with you from home to ensure you are ready for this environment.

icon Day 110: Simien Mountains NP

Location: Simien Mountains NP

Today we once again have the choice between joining a short trek or a long trek. Each one will have a guide and a superb route showing off the best the Simiens have to offer.

icon Day 111: Simien Mountains NP

Location: Simien Mountains NP

This is our final day of treking in the National Park. Once again there will be a choice between short and long routes as we soak in the final moments of the mountains.

icon Day 112: Gondar

Location: Gondar

Today we head back out to the mountains to Debark, and then finally join the tarmac road again to reach the ancient royal city of Gondar! 

icon Day 113: Gondar

Location: Gondar

Today, we will have an included half-day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church. 

icon Day 114: Gondar

Location: Gondar

Border Information: If you are finishing in Gondar, you will most likely exit Ethiopia at Gondar Atse Tewodros Airport (IATA code: GDQ).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Gondar. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Tour Staff

Two Dragoman Crew Members, Local Guides where necessary, African Camp Master

Transport

Overland Expedition Vehicle, Jeep, Mokoro, Private Bus, Ferry, Canoe, Boat

Your Peace of Mind Options

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Dragoman requires a deposit of 300 GBP to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 56 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Monday Nov 29, 2021

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113

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22

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Tuesday Dec 14, 2021

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113

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22

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Monday Nov 28, 2022

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113

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26

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Tuesday Dec 13, 2022

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113

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26

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Monday, Nov 29, 2021

113Nights

22Available

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Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021

113Nights

22Available

Instant Booking Available

Monday, Nov 28, 2022

113Nights

26Available

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2022

113Nights

26Available