Day 2 - Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs (including 2hr Spice Tour) Day 4 - Estimated Travel Time: 2 hrs Arrive on Zanzibar at any time, and make your way to the joining point hotel. 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 will be joining other G Adventures travellers who are continuing their tour here on Zanzibar. A group meeting with your tour leader is scheduled for the early evening of Day 1. 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 2. 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 may be 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 traveling west the Baobab Valley. Our campsite is on the edge of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and on the banks of the Ruaha River.
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 7 - Approximate Distance: 534 km ; Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs Day 8 - 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
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 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. 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.
Approximate Distance: 544 km Estimated Travel Time: 10 hrs Today’s long journey across rough and bumpy roads takes us to a private game farm just outside of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Here you can marvel at the Zebras, Buffaloes, and the Boks that roam the property, or relax by the pool or at the rest camp’s bar. Lusaka, like many African capitals, is a bustling metropolis developing around its colonial roots, its socialist history, and nowadays its drive for independence. It’s an example of how many African cities are trying to find their “independent” way in a world that’s surging ahead. Situated in the southern part of the country, Lusaka is considered one of the fastest growing populations in Africa, and is the governmental and administrative centre of Zambia. Please note that as today is a long driving day, we will not be able to pay the city of Lusaka a visit.
Approximate Distance: 543 km Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs Please note that as this is a combo tour some of your fellow travellers might be ending their journey in Livingstone and you might also get new people joining the tour. We will spend the next few days of our tour here, a great base to see both some natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities. Get up close (at wet from the spray) while awing at the immense Victoria Falls, raft the whitewater of the mighty Zambezi, for the more adventurous, bungee jump with the Victoria Falls in view. Please note that the entrance fee for the Victoria Falls is not included in the tour. David Livingstone was born on March 19, 1813 in the village of Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. He first studied Greek, medicine, and theology at the University of Glasgow and while working in London, joined the London Missionary Society became a minister. He originally planned to gain access to China through his medical knowledge. The Opium Wars, which were raging at this stage with no signs of peace on the horizon, forced Livingstone to consider other options. From 1840 he worked in Bechuanaland (present-day Botswana), and in the period 1852–56, he explored the African interior, and was the first European to see the Mosi-oa-Tunya waterfall (which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch, Queen Victoria). Livingstone was one of the first Westerners to make a transcontinental journey across Africa. The purpose of his journey was to open the routes, while accumulating useful information about the African continent. In particular, Livingstone was a proponent of trade and Christian missions to be established in central Africa. His motto, inscribed in the base of the statue to him at Victoria Falls, was “Christianity, Commerce and Civilization.” The town of Livingstone is a regional transport center, being located near the borders of Botswana and Zimbabwe, and serves as a base for the many visitors to see this part of Africa, and the impressive Victoria Falls, a mere 12km from Livingstone. The Victoria Falls waterfalls occur in a country that is perfectly flat. From its source on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Zambezi River meanders for 1300 km across the wooded plateau of Zambia, eroding for itself a shallow valley on its mild descent to the site of the falls. The river eventually found a weak spot on the lower lip of the surface over which it passed, and forced a passage which was steadily deepened into an exit gorge. During the last half million years the river has scoured out eight of these cracks across its bed. The Victoria falls occurs where the river is 1688 m wide, presents the spectacle of an average maximum of 550 million liters of water a minute tumbling over the lip of the trench in five main falls, the Devil’s Cataract, Main falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow falls and the Eastern Cataract. The highest of these is Rainbow falls, on an average 108 m high. A peak flood sees 750 million liters of water in one minute hurtling over the falls. The name Zambezi comes from the Tonka tribe, also meaning Great River, but the Sotho-speaking Kololo people of the upper reaches of the river gave it the well-known name of Mosi o a Thunya (smoke that rises). The Lozi people call it by the same name but translated it into smoke that sounds. The Ndebele call it aManza Thunqayo (the water that rises like smoke). The Namibian people call it Chinotimba (a noise-making place like the distant sound of digging).
Approximate Distance: 120 km Estimate Travel Time: 4 hrs (depending on ferry crossing) Today we will cross the border from Zambia to Botswana. The name of the border posts are Kazungula border post on both sides. Botswana 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 Botswana. The currency in Botswana is Botswana Pula (BWP.)You will be able to money in Kasane. To arrive to Chobe National Park in Botswana, you will cross the Zambezi River at a significant point, where Chobe and Zambezi rivers meet, creating a border area of four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. You will stay over just outside of the park near the town of Kasane. This afternoon, take an optional game drive in the park, or an afternoon sunset boat cruise along the Chobe River - your best opportunity to view hippo, crocodiles and watch many elephants wallow in the water. Chobe National Park is Botswana’s first national park, and is situated along the Chobe River. It has one of the largest concentration of wildlife in all the Africa continent and one of the world's last remaining sizeable wilderness area. By size, this is the third largest park (11,000 sq km) of the country, though it is definitely the most diverse and spectacular. The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: with over 120,000 it has the highest elephant concentration of Africa. Moreover, most of them are probably part of the largest continuous surviving elephant population on Earth. The elephant population seems to have solidly built up since 1990, from the few initial thousands. By chance, they have not been affected by the massive illicit exploitation of the 1970's and 1980's. Elephants living here are Kalahari elephants, the largest in size of all known elephant species. Yet they are characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks. Damage caused by the high numbers of elephants is rife in some areas. In fact, concentration is so high throughout Chobe that culls have been considered, but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected. During the dry season, these elephants sojourn in Chobe River and the Linyanti River areas. During the rain season, they make a 200 km migration to the south-east region of the park. Their distribution zone however outreaches the park and spreads to north-western Zimbabwe. Chobe National Park is also known for its lion population, who on occasion do hunt the elephants. The original inhabitants of this area were the San bushmen (also known as the Basarwa people). They were nomadic hunter-gatherers who were constantly moving from place to place to find food sources, namely fruits, water and wild animals. Nowadays one can find San paintings inside rocky hills of the park.
Approximate Distance: 350 km Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs Today we head south from Chobe National Park travelling to Gweta. When the rain comes, it brings life to the pans, as it fills just a few centimetres awaking the dormant fish and aquatic shrimps from the mud. The surrounding grasslands also team with life and are home to an impressive number of antelope that attract a wide variety of predators. What is known today as the Makgadikgadi Pans is only a relic of what used to be one of the biggest inland lakes Africa has ever seen-Lake Makgadikgadi. The Makgadikgadi pan consists of two main pans, Namely Ntwetwe and Sowa pan, both of which are surrounded by myriad smaller pans. The pans are situated between the Nata-Maun road and the Francistown-Orapa-Rakops road. The pans are about 12 000 square km. Makgadikgadi Pans National park is situated 162 km east of Maun and 143 km west of Nata (to the left of the Makgadikgadi pans). It was declared a game reserve in 1970, but in December 1992 it was enlarged and declared a national park. Today it comprises 4900 square km. It was initially state land. Although it is totally devoid of any water, people used to live there before it was declared state land. Villagers where allowed to graze their livestock inside the boundaries during dry season.
Approximate Distance: 300 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs Today we'll leave Gweta early for Maun. Once we are in Maun, you can pick up any supplies and prepare for your excursion into the Okavango Delta. Or if time permits take the optional flight over the Okavango Delta. After leaving some of our luggage in Maun, we begin our fantastic 3 day/2 night excursion into the delta as we drive in customized safari vehicles about 1-2 hours (depending on which dock we go to) to the "dock" where we hop into a mokoro (dug-out canoe) that'll take us deep into the delta (approximate time in the mokoro is 1-2 hours depending on which campsite we go). For 2 full days, enjoy game walks, mokoros (occasionally unavailable due to seasonality), birdlife and game viewing in the pristine wilderness area of the Okavango Delta (or Okavango Swamp), the world's largest inland delta. "Where all this water goes is a mystery", Aurel Schultz, 1897 The area of the delta was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that dried up some 10,000 years ago. Today, the Okavango River has no outlet to the sea. Instead, it empties onto the sands of the Kalahari Desert, irrigating 15,000 km_ of the desert. Each year some 11 cubic kilometers of water reach the delta. Some of this water reaches further south to create Lake Ngami. The water entering the delta is unusually pure, due to the lack of agriculture and industry along the Okavango River. It passes through the sand aquifers of the numerous delta islands and evaporates/transpirates by leaving enormous quantities of salt behind. This precipitation processes are so strong that the vegetation disappears in the center of the islands and thick salt crusts are formed. The waters of the Okavango Delta are subject to seasonal flooding, which begins about mid-summer in the north and six months later in the south (May/June). The water from the delta is evaporated relatively rapidly by the high temperatures, resulting in a cycle of cresting and dropping water in the south. Islands can disappear completely during the peak flood, then reappear at the end of the season.
Approximate Distance to Maun: 150 km Estimate Travel Time to Maun: 2 hrs After we say goodbye to the Okavango Delta, the group travel back into Maun to have a shower and to be reunited with your luggage. Note: If you pre booked the Okavango by plane theme pack, you will be flying today. Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and has for a long time enjoying the reputation of being Botswana’s own frontier town. Today it is one of the fastest growing towns in Africa. It was originally established in 1915 by the Batawana, a splinter group of the Bangwato. The name Maun means “place of reeds”. Maun, although officially still a village, is the fifth largest town in Botswana. It is an eclectic mix of modern buildings and native huts. Maun is the "tourism capital" of Botswana and the administrative centre of Ngamiland district. Maun has developed rapidly from a rural frontier town and has spread along the Thamalakane River. It now boasts good shopping centres, hotels and lodges as well as car and 4-wheel drive vehicle hire. It still retains a rural atmosphere and local tribesmen continue to bring their cattle to Maun to sell. This community is now distributed along the wide banks of the Thamalakane River where red lechwe can still be seen grazing next to local donkeys, goats and cattle.
Approximate Distance: 350 km Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs Today we continue through the western part of Botswana, the heart of the Kalahari to Ghanzi. Take the opportunity to walk with a local San Bushmen to learn fascinating bush skills (local guide may not be San due to nomadic lifestyle of San Bushmen). Ghanzi, located western part of Botswana on the northern rim of the Kalahari Desert, is the administrative center of Ghanzi District, and is also known as the "Capital of the Kalahari". Ghanzi is an intriguing town, and is primarily a farming community that supplies the Botswana Meat Commission with most of the required beef produce. In fact, it is the starting point of a 800 km long cattle trek—one of the longest in the world. Cattle are driven on horseback or by truck across the Kalahari southeastward to slaughterhouses at Lobatse. Ghanzi mostly consists of a variety of ethnic cultures for instance the Bushman, Bakgalagadi, Baherero, Batawana as well as Afrikaners. Other spellings include "Gantsi," which is more consistent with the national language of Botswana, Setswana, "Ghansi," and "Gantsi."
Approximate Distance: 500 km Estimate Travel Time: 9 hrs (depending on time at the border) Today we will be crossing the border from Botswana to Namibia. The name of the border posts are Transkalahari border post on the Namibian side and Mamono post on the Botswana side. We have been experiencing a lot of problems with people that need visas for Namibia. Namibian 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, so please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Namibia. The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$). You will be able to change money in Windhoek. Please note that as this is a Combo tour some of your fellow travellers might be ending their tour in Windhoerk and you might also be getting new travellers joining the tour. Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, It has a population of 230,000 and is a major trade centre of sheep skins. Windhoek was originally the centre of a Nama chief, who defeated the Herero inhabitants of the region in the 19th century. Germany occupied the region in 1885, and it became the seat of colonial rule in 1892, as the capital of the colony of South-West Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika). During World War I, Windhoek was captured by South African troops and became a British dominion. Until the independence of Namibia was inaugurated in 1990, Windhoek was recognized as the capital of South West Africa as administered by the South African government. It continues today as the capital of the Republic of Namibia. The city of Windhoek is traditionally known by two names: Ai-Gams, from the Nama people, which literally refers to the hot springs that were once part of Windhoek, while the second name, Otjomuise, meaning a place of steam, was given by the Herero people. Both traditional names reference the hot springs. Possible things to visit: Christuskirche & Alte Feste
Approximate Distance: 300 km Estimate Travel Time: 5 hrs Head north to Waterberg Plateau Game Park, where in the afternoon you can take a scenic forest walk to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.