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: 357 km Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs (6 hr drive + 3 hr ferry ride) Catch the early morning ferry back to Dar Es Salaam and then head towards the Baobab Valley. Our campsite is on the banks of the Ruaha River and 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 fortified 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 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.
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. As today is a long driving day we will not be able to visit the city of Lusaka
Approximate Distance: 543km Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs Please note that ass this is a combo tour some of your fellow travellers might be ending their journey in Livingstone but you might also have new travellers joining here. We will spend the next two 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 to 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).