Approximate Distance: 286 km Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (including border crossing) Today we will cross the border from Kenya to Tanzania. The name of the border posts are Namanga border post on both sides. Some nationalities do require a visa for Tanzania. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility; please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Tanzania. The currency in Tanzania is Kenyan shilling (TZS.)You will be able to change your left over KES at the border, Arusha or in Zanzibar. Most establishments, activities etc. do accept USD for payment. The journey begins early with a brief welcome meeting in the morning (7am) before we travel south from Nairobi (approximately at 8am) through the Masai lands into Tanzania, to our camp outside of the town of Arusha. Arusha, also known as Tanzania’s “safari capital”, is undoubtedly the most important center in northern Tanzania. With many protected national parks, reserves, and mountains nearby (on a clear day, you can see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance), Arusha is a modern town, and with its markets, services, and fine location, it is a great base for your safari trip. Arusha officially became a city on the 1st of July 2006. The primary industry of the region is agriculture with large vegetable producers sending high-quality produce to Europe. The city and its environs are also spotted with large coffee plantations, adding to the area’s charm. Though in recent years, due to the coffee crisis, many local farmers have been badly hit, and now subsistence farming is the most common source of livelihood. Arusha, who owes its name from the local Wa-arusha people who resided here for hundreds of years, is historically and politically significant city within East Africa. In 1961 the official documents ceding independence to Tanzania were signed by the United Kingdom in Arusha. Six years later the Arusha Declaration of Self Reliance in Tanzania was signed. On the 4th of August 1993 the Arusha Accords were signed by representatives of competing factions in the civil war in neighbouring Rwanda. After the Rwandan genocide, the UN Security Council decided by its Resolution 955 of 8 November 1994 that Arusha should host the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The establishment of the tribunal with its employees has influenced the local economy of Arusha. The tribunal is expected to end its mandate in 2008.
Approximate Distance: 320 km Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (including game drive into Serengeti) After breakfast, we begin our 2 night/3 day excursion to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, two of Africa’s premier wildlife areas. Changing to specialized 4WD 7-seater safari vehicles, we are met by experienced safari driver/guides, who will ensure us wonderful wildlife encounters. Our safari vehicles each have sliding windows and a large pop-up roof, perfect for game viewing. They are smaller than our overland truck, and will allow us to maneuver easily through the wildlife areas. As the vehicles are smaller than our overland truck, our group will split up among several vehicles,. The Serengeti is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times as large! The area where you will be staying and game viewing is in the central Serengeti 'Seronera' area, which lies in the southeast of the National Park. Because of the sheer size of the National Park other areas will not be accessible during your stay. As we drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and on to the Serengeti National Park, en route you will begin to experience the sheer vastness of this territory, and you will marvel at the multitude of animal and bird life while cruising through this acacia-spotted savannah. The next day, we continue your search for the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino - while taking in the vastness of the Serengeti plains with a game drives through out the day.
Approximate Distance: 160 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs (including game drive out of Serengeti) Before leaving the Serengeti, enjoy one last morning game drive to see the animal kingdom come to life in this incredible expanse of grassland savannah. You will return and break camp, and journey to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, famous for Africa's best game viewing. The views from the Ngorongoro Crater rim are stunning, and there is an ever-present abundance of wildlife, due to the permanent water supply on the crater floor. You will arrive at your campsite at the crater rim in the late afternoon. The 8,300 km² Ngorongoro Conservation Area is named after its central feature, the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, and arguably its most spectacular natural arena. Ngorongoro Crater has often been described as one of the wonders of the world, not only because of its inherent geological significance, but also because it serves a quite extraordinary natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s most dense population of large mammals. The Ngorongoro was part of the original Serengeti National Park proclaimed in 1951, but it was made a separate conservation area in 1956 so that the Masai could graze their cattle there. The Ngorongoro Crater became a World Heritage Site in 1978. Land in the conservation area is unique to Tanzania as it provides protection for the wildlife whilst allowing human habitation. The landscape is made up of a blend of volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests, where the wildlife is extensive. The southern and eastern boundaries are approximately defined by the rim of the Great Rift Valley, which also prevents animal migration in these directions. The annual ungulate migration passes through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with wildebeest and zebra moving south into the area in December and moving north in June. The area has healthy resident populations of most species of wildlife.
Approximate Distance: 200 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs (including game drive in the Crater) After breakfast we embark on a half-day crater tour. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a resident population of more than 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. They are not confined by the crater walls, and can leave freely; they stay because conditions are favourable. Since most of the crater floor is grassland, grazing animals predominate: zebra, gazelles, buffalo, eland, and warthogs. The swamp and forest provide additional resources for hippos, some of Tanzania's last remaining black rhinos, giant-tusked elephants, waterbucks, reedbucks and bushbucks, baboons and vervet monkeys. All these animals in turn support large predators such as lion and leopard, and scavengers such as hyena and jackals. After this fabulous experience within the crater, we have to leave the wildlife behind us and start heading back to Arusha, where we will set up camp for the night.
Approximate Distance: 680 km Estimated Travel Time: 11 hrs Depart Arusha, passing the majestic Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, and head towards the capital, Dar Es Salaam. The city started as a fishing village in the mid 19th century before becoming a port and trading centre. Dar Es Salaam - Arabic for “Abode of Peace” (a word closely related to the familiar “Yer u-salem” in Israel) - is the largest city in Tanzania. With a population estimated around 2,500,000, it is also the country’s richest city and an important economic centre. The city was founded in the 19th century by Sultan Majid bin Said, the Sultan of Zanzibar, because of its strategic location on the East African coast, and its natural deep waterways. Though it really did not become a prominent centre until after the sultan’s death, German colonialists seized Dar es Salaam from its Arab rulers and fought off an uprising by the Bushiri local tribe. They built the small port into a trading center, making their mark with several grand edifices scattered around the waterfront, most notably the German Hospital, the Lutheran Church and St Joseph’s Cathedral. The city changed hands to the British as the Germans lost their territories after World War II, and became Tanzania’s capital after independence. However, Dar es Salaam lost its official status as capital city to Dodoma in the mid-1970s, but it remains the centre of the permanent central government bureaucracy and continues to serve as the capital for the surrounding Dar es Salaam Region. Life in Dar es Salaam revolves around the huge harbour, with the business district fanning out from here in a series of fascinating side and main streets. The cruise liners, cargo ships, and traditional dhows dot the habour while the bustling fish market of Kivukoni Front comes alive in the morning as the dhows offload the night’s catch. In the Asian business district, along India Street and the intersecting Indira Ghandi Street, you’ll find some of the best restaurants in East Africa. Look out for the distinctive Makuti-palm roofed building that houses Nyumba ya Saana, the House of Art. Begun in 1972 by an American nun, the co-operative supports nearly 200 young artists, with work ranging from batiks through carvings, oil paintings, pottery, weaving and clothing. Other places worth a visit include the Kariakoo Market, the botanical gardens, and the adjacent National Museum, where archaeology buffs can see the skull of “Nutcracker Man”, antique tribal artifacts and some fascinating World War One memorabilia.
Day 6 - Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs (ferry ride) Day 7 - Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs (including 2hr Spice Tour) Day 9 - Estimated Travel Time: 2 hrs Please note that as this is a COMBO tour some of your fellow travellers might leave the tour after Zanzibar but you might also get new travellers joining the tour. After arriving on Zanzibar, spend the remainder of the day exploring Stone Town, the heart of the island. It has an intriguing maze of narrow, cobbled lanes hemmed in by Arabic buildings. The best way to see the Stone Town is, literally, to get lost. You can spend hours just wandering the alleys and squares, drinking potent coffee from pavement vendors, or buying sweetmeats from scores of tiny cafes. At this point you may be joined by other G Adventures travellers who are starting their tour here on Zanzibar. A group meeting with your tour leader for this portion of your trip is scheduled for the early evening. Please look for information from your tour leader on the hotel bulletin board regarding the time of this meeting. Zanzibar Island, 'the spice island,' has an extremely interesting history and culture as it was the centre of the slave and spice trade in the 1800s. Zanzibar is one of the most fascinating places in East Africa, despite a heavy increase in tourism since the early 1990s. Thanks to an ambitious and far-reaching preservation programme funded by UNESCO and the Aga Khan, many famous old buildings have been restored, or are in the process of being renovated. The following morning we head north to Nungwi for two days/ two nights at one of Zanzibar's major highlights. Here you can either relax on the idyllic white-sandy beaches, take an optional diving/snorkeling excursion, or take a wander through the village of Nungwi. No visit to Zanzibar would be complete without a visit to the spice plantations - an activity that is included on our way north to Nungwi on Day 7. Your senses will be aroused as you will receive a detailed description on the assortment of spices (black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, breadfruit, jackfruit, vanilla, lemon grass) and their various uses. It was the wonderful spice plantations that brought the beginnings of Zanzibar’s infamous slave trade dating back to the 1840’s. On our fourth day on the island, we head back south to Stone Town, for our final night on this enchanting island. It's your last chance to shop and/or enjoy all that Stone Town has to offer. This maybe the last night for some of your travel companions as some will be finishing their G Adventures tour here on Zanzibar. Remember that Zanzibar is a Muslim society, and immodestly dressed women, or men in shorts, will get harassed and cause great offence in Stone Town. In Nungwi, customs are a little more relaxed, but passengers are encouraged to be respectful of the islands culture and still cover up when walking around. Never try to take a photograph without asking permission. The polite way to ask is “Tafadhali (pronounced tougher-thaarli) naomba ruhusu kwa kupiga picha yako.” Many guidebooks say the correct phrase is “nataka kupiga picha yako”, but this is incredibly rude, the equivalent of saying “give me your picture”.
Approximate Distance: 200 km Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs (6 hr drive + 3 hr ferry ride) Catch the ferry back to Dar Es Salaam and continuing travelling west to Ruaha River on the edge of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
Approximate Distance: 180km Estimated Travel Time: 3/4 hrs Continue the journey south to Iringa, and spend the night just outside of town. Historically, Iringa was a centre of colonial administration. During German occupation, the German military constructed the town as a forti.ed defence against marauding Hehe tribal warriors intent on driving them out of the region. Gangilonga Rock, a site just outside of the town, is a legendary spot where the Hehe chief at that time, Chief Mkwawa, met with his people and decided how to fight the Germans. Iringa was also the site of several battles during the First and Second World Wars, and Commonwealth War Graves are located just outside of town.
Day 12 - Approximate Distance: 534 km ; Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs Day 13 - Approximate Distance: 235 km ; Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs Today we will cross the border from Tanzania to Malawi. The name of the border posts are Songwe border post on the Malawian side and Kasumulu border post on the Tanzanian side . We have been experiencing a lot of problems with people that need visas for Malawi. Malawian visas is not available at the border, so please make very sure if you do need a visa before arrival. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility; please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Malawi. The currency in Malawi is Malawian Kwacha (MWK.)You will be able to change your left over TZS at the border or only in Lilongwe. Most establishments, activities etc. do accept USD for payment. Cross into Malawi, which is known as 'the warm heart of Africa.' Spend three days relaxing on the shores of 'the Lake of Stars' taking long beach walks and swimming in the crystal clear water. Snorkel or scuba dive among the tropical fish (at your own expense). As you snake down the shores of Lake Malawi, visit various lakeside camps to overnight. This is Malawi’s main attraction and covers one fifth of the country. It is the third largest lake in Africa and is about 500km long. The lake has more fish species than any other lake in the world with around 600 different species. The largest family is the chichlids, which are exported all over the world to pet shops etc. The lake is also known for its good snorkelling and diving. The locals depend on the lake for fishing and survival and use dug out canoes to fish from and set out long nets. There are many different ethnic groups all speaking their own language, most are Christians and the rest have traditional beliefs as do most African countries Up in the hills above Chitimba Beach is a mission station named after David Livingstone. In 1859 Livingstone reached Lake Malawi when he was trying to put an end to the slave trade. He then returned in 1861 accompanied by seven missionaries. They opened a mission station in the south lake area, but suffered from malaria, illness and conflict with slavers. In 1864 the surviving missionaries withdrew to Zanzibar. Livingstone then returned to the region in 1866 as part of an expedition to find the source of the Nile. In 1869 he pushed north and was out of contact for two years. He was found by journalist Henry Stanley on the banks of Lake Tanganyika in 1871 and Stanley uttered the words “Dr Livingstone I presume.” Livingstone continued on his mission and died at a village called Chitombo in Zambia in 1873. His death rekindled a desire in missionaries to come to Malawi and eventually after setting up missions in various bad malaria areas, they set up a mission called Livingstonia in the high-lands of the eastern escarpment (with no malaria) It is still in operation today.The mission station is described as a small piece of Scotland transported into the heart of Africa.
Approximate Distance: 200 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs Today we head to the sleepy capital of Lilongwe, at one time a small village on the banks of the Lilongwe River. Check out the craft stalls and bustling markets in Old Town or just sit back and relax, finding your groove in 'Malawi time'.
Approximate Distance: 200 km Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs Today we will cross the border from Malawi to Zambia. The name of the border posts are Mwami border post on the Zambian side and Mchinji border post on the Malawian side. Some nationalities do require a visa for Zambia. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility; please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Zambia. The currency in Zambia is Zambian Kwacha (ZWK.)You will be able to change your left over MWK in Chipata. Most establishments, activities etc. do accept USD for payment. Traveling west, we cross into Zambia and head to the capital of the Eastern Province, Chipata. Previously known as Fort Jameson, Chipata is a popular refueling station for overlanders heading to South Luangwa National Park. Take the opportunity to change some money for your time in Malawi, or visit the Down Shops - traditional Zambian shops owned by the small Indian population who call Chipata home.