Zanzibar to Vic Falls

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Zanzibar to Vic Falls

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Description

This trip takes in four fascinating countries on a journey from the east of Tanzania down through Malawi, Zambia and finishing in Zimbabwe. Begin on the flawless beaches of Zanzibar, then travel though rolling savanna and forest on eye-opening game drives. Get close to incredible wildlife in remote nature reserves and enjoy a warm welcome in busy cities and traditional villages.

Trip Name
Zanzibar to Vic Falls
Last Updated
2019-09-17
Days
19
Capacity
22
Highlights
  • Chill out on the northern beaches of Zanzibar enjoying white sand and sparkling blue sea of the Indian Ocean
  • Explore the bustling city of Harare
  • Enjoy the many optional activities on offer at South Luangwa National Park
  • Discover the largest ruins in sub-Saharan Africa – Great Zimbabwe. A 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.
  • Feel the power of mighty Victoria Falls as view them from the Zimbabwe side on an optional visit
  • Travel with 3 local crew members; Group leader, driver and cook.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA: Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Essential Trip Information is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders. DRIVE TIMES: The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! Additionally, the travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure.

Day 1 - Stone Town
Welcome to Zanzibar. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm where you'll meet your tour guide and travel group. Aside from this important meeting, there are no planned activities for the day and you are free to explore on your own. Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar has a varied and sometimes dark history. This is a place rooted in slavery and where Arabian sultans once lived. It's also know for its fruit exports. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast evokes what the island must have been like in Livingstone's day. The old part of Zanzibar's main city, known as Stone Town, is an enticing mix of vibrant markets, shops, mosques, palaces and courtyards. And its best explored on foot. Take the time to explore its historic streets, then perhaps enjoy a drink from a bar overlooking the seafront as the sun is setting. A seafood curry at a local restaurant is also a great choice. Spend a night in Stone Town at a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms and access to Wi-Fi.
Day 2 - Zanzibar Northern Beaches
Check out of your Stone Town hotel and either drive to the spice plantations for your optional guided tour, or head directly to the perfect northern beaches. On the spice plantations guided tour you can learn all about the history of this town's renowned spice trade. You will also have the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger. Sample some teas made with these spices too. After lunch here you will head to the northern beaches, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await, and reunite with your group. This is the Indian Ocean at its best.
Day 3 - Zanzibar Northern Beaches
Enjoy free time in this beautiful archipelago today. There are many ways you can spend your day – perhaps talk to your leader for any recommendations they might have. Snorkelling in search of exotic fish is an excellent option. You might also like to feast on a sumptuous lunch of grilled local seafood, or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
Day 4 - Stone Town
Enjoy a luxurious sleep in and maybe one last dip in the warm waters of the northern beaches. After check-out head back to Stone Town for a cruisy afternoon of free time. Maybe grab an octopus curry or biryani for dinner with your crew. There’s long day of driving ahead tomorrow, so get your R&R in while you can!
Day 5 - Mikumi National Park
Embrace an early start to catch a 7.30 am ferry to the mainland, then make tracks for Mikumi. It’s a six-hour drive to your first camp spot, but you’ll get your first look at that famous Tanzanian landscape on the way. Gaze out at vast plains dotted with baobab and tamarind trees and maybe catch a glimpse of some of the elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and leopards that call the park home. Once you arrive at your camp spot, your leader will show you the ropes (literally) and help you set up and get comfortable for your first night in the tent.
Day 6 - Iringa
This morning there is a chance to wake up early and take a 2 hour 4x4 game drive into the Mikumi National Park. Perhaps get a better look at that lion or zeal of zebra you saw from the main road yesterday. Then drive to Iringa (approximately 5 hours). You will set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement. The area is filled with natural bush land which can make it a bird watchers paradise. Make the most of this rural setting by perhaps doing some stargazing before you retire for the night. Camp facilities, WiFi and accommodation upgrades are available.
Day 7 - Chitimba
Enter Malawi and travel to your campsite at Chitimba (approximately 10–12 hours). Malawi, the 'warm heart of Africa,' is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, fish traders and canoe and net makers all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is that of a fisherman in a bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day. Camp facilities, WiFi and upgrades are available tonight.
Day 8 - Lake Malawi
Travel from Chitimba to Kande Beach on the shore of Lake Malawi (approximately 6 hours). There will be a chance to stop at a shop or market for any supplies you might need along the way. Enjoy a relaxing getaway from the commercialism and crowds with a few days on the lake's more peaceful beaches. Your campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of Lake Malawi. Accommodation upgrades are again possible (subject to availability). There is no WiFi, however.
Day 9 - Lake Malawi
Enjoy free time to soak up your idyllic surrounds. You might like to participate in one of the many water-based activities on offer – ask your leader for a recommendation. As well as chilling out on the beach, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians – easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Day 10 - South Luangwa National Park
Journey through southern Malawi and enter Zambia, continuing to South Luangwa National Park (approximately 9–10 hours). There will be border crossing formalities on the way, and a chance to stock up on goods at a shop or market and visit an ATM. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River and its lagoons is some of the highest in Africa. Take in the beautiful scenery and the abundance of game, watching out for colourful birds and herds of elephants. Your camp tonight has flush toilets, showers and WiFi. Upgrades are also offered (subject to availability).
Day 11 - South Luangwa National Park
Rise early for an exhilirating morning game drive in a 4X4, then head back to the camp for lunch (as this is the hottest part of the day) and then perhaps return to the park for an optional game drive at night. A village walk is another good option, if you'd like a snapshot of daily life in the local community.
Day 12 - Petauke
Head further south to Petauke (approximately 6 hours). The camp tonight has facilities, WiFi and upgrades (availability dependent).
Day 13 - Lusaka
Head for your camp just south of Lusaka city (approximately 6 hours). Arrive, stretch your legs and take a stroll to discover this cosmopolitan yet traditional town. Though it's fast developing, Lusaka retains a strong African feel, and the locals are warm and friendly. Your camp tonight has facilities, a pool and upgrades available. WiFi is not available at this location.
Day 14 - Harare
Travel to Harare today (approximately 8–9 hours). The first part of your journey takes you to the border with Zimbabwe. After formalities, enjoy a nice scenic drive of 60 kilometres or so, then continue to Harare. There will be a chance to stock up on whatever you need at a market or shop and visit an ATM. Upgrades are available at camp; there is no WiFi, however.
Day 15 - Great Zimbabwe Ruins / Masvingo
Drive the short stretch to Masvingo (approximately 5–6 hours). This colonial settlement – the oldest in Zimbabwe – makes for the perfect base to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. The ruined city, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, was first constructed in the 11th century. It's thought to be the former royal palace of the Zimbabwean monarch. Spend a few hours exploring this intriguing site before heading off to camp. Your campground in Masvingo has shared facilities, with upgrades and WiFi available.
Day 16 - Bulawayo
Travel to Bulawayo (approximately 5–6 hours). Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city. There is some impeccable colonial architecture to take in here. Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore town - a 10 minute walk from the campsite. You might like to browse some local markets or chat with the locals. The Natural History Museum and National Art Gallery are also worth checking out. Tonight you will stay in a campground with shared facilities. Upgrades and WiFi are available.
Day 17 - Bulawayo
Perhaps get up early and take the option to visit Matobo National Park. Home to a significant population of black and white rhinos, this optional activity gives you the unique experience to track these magnificent animals on foot. Here there will also be the chance to spot other game (the park is home to klipspringers, leopards, warthogs and springhares among many others). while learning about the various local plant and trees, wild pear and paperbark among them. This impressive wildlife park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people, and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.
Day 18 - Victoria Falls
Depart Bulawayo and make the six-hour drive towards Victoria Falls. Stretching 1.6 kilometres wide and falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below, the falls for which the area is named are truly a sight to behold. Although a visit to the falls themselves is optional, it is highly recommended. The entrance fee to the falls is not included in the price of this trip as groups that book ahead are required to tour the site with a local guide, and we feel that seeing these waterfalls for the first time should be an uninterrupted sensory experience. In the wet season, the spray created from this feat of nature can rise 400 metres and can often be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name for Victoria Falls is Mosi oa Tunya, or the 'smoke that thunders'. Though dry season travellers should not despair! You’ll get an unobstructed view of the falls and the chance to see the islets in the river below. Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended for safety reasons. It is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles. 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. Tonight's campground is an ideal base, centrally located in the town of Victoria Falls. Upgrades and WiFi are available.
Day 19 - Victoria Falls
You may also want to try some of the optional activities on offer here so we recommend that you schedule any flights for late in the evening if you wish to participate. If you wish to book post trip accommodation to enjoy the activities on offer here, please speak with your travel agent or an Intrepid representative before departure. 

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
30-09-201918-10-2019AUD $ 2,155-
07-10-201925-10-2019AUD $ 2,155-
14-10-201901-11-2019AUD $ 2,155-
11-11-201929-11-2019AUD $ 2,435-
09-12-201927-12-2019AUD $ 2,435-
13-01-202031-01-2020AUD $ 2,415-
10-02-202028-02-2020AUD $ 2,415-
02-03-202020-03-2020AUD $ 2,415-
30-03-202017-04-2020AUD $ 2,415-
18-05-202005-06-2020AUD $ 2,415-
01-06-202019-06-2020AUD $ 2,415-
08-06-202026-06-2020AUD $ 2,510-
29-06-202017-07-2020AUD $ 2,510-
13-07-202031-07-2020AUD $ 2,510-
03-08-202021-08-2020AUD $ 2,510-
17-08-202004-09-2020AUD $ 2,510-
24-08-202011-09-2020AUD $ 2,510-
07-09-202025-09-2020AUD $ 2,510-
05-10-202023-10-2020AUD $ 2,415-
09-11-202027-11-2020AUD $ 2,415-
30-11-202018-12-2020AUD $ 2,415-
07-12-202025-12-2020AUD $ 2,415-

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (14 nights),Bungalow (2 nights),Hotel (2 nights)

Transport

Overland vehicle,4X4 safari vehicle,Ferry,Minibus

Map