Tour type: Overland
Group size: Min: 4 | Max: 20
Accommodation: 2 to 4-star hotels, lodges or camping
Transport: Overland expedition vehicle & ferry
Highlights: Incredible wildlife of the Ngorongoro Crater, Endless savannahs of the Serengeti National Park, Coral reefs and beautiful beaches of Zanzibar, Stone Town
A perfect mix of wildlife and relaxation, this tour combines the amazing wildlife of the Serengeti National Park with the relaxing tropical paradise that is Zanzibar Island, and offers a great introduction to Tanzania. This is an overland tour, travelling in a fully equipped comfortable expedition truck, with two options available for your accommodation each night, either staying in hotels and lodges or mainly camping.
Starting from Nairobi we head south across the border to Arusha, gateway to the wildlife heart of Tanzania. From here we head on 4x4 safari vehicles into the Serengeti National Park, with stops at the Ngorongoro crater, home to an unrivalled density of wildlife, and the Seronera region in the heart of the park.
After our wildlife experience we head towards Zanzibar and the coast. We spend the last three days of our tour relaxing on the tropical paradise that is Zanzibar Island. There is plenty to do including the historic World Heritage Site of Stone Town, bustling markets, spice tours, swimming, snorkelling or just a bit of sunbathing. We finish with a transfer back to Dar es Salaam where the tour comes to an end.
We start our tour today by leaving the bustling city of Nairobi and driving towards the Tanzanian border. Once we have completed all of our formal border checks, we cross over and head towards the buzzing hub of Arusha. Here, we will stop over for the night and those who purchased the optional Serengeti Excursion upgrade package will be briefed by our local guide. The guide will provide you with all the information you need to prepare for the coming days.
Ndoro Lodge or similar
We spend most of our day travelling to Karatu, close to the famous Ngorongoro Crater. Once we arrive in Karatu, our experienced local guide will provide you with a full briefing on the exciting full day excursion into the Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow.
Kudu Camp or similar
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
An early start today as we leave our camp and head to the Ngorongoro Crater in specialist 4x4 safari vehicles. The Ngorongoro Crater has one of the densest concentrations of wildlife in Africa and we'll spend most of the day exploring the crater floor in search of different animals. In the afternoon we arrive at our camp in the Seronera region, right in the heart of the Serengeti. There are spectacular views and abundant wildlife around the camp, and we can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature passing right in front of your meru style tent this evening.
Kananga Private Tented Camp
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
It's an early start today to make the most of our game drive through the Serengeti National Park. We'll spend most of the day in search of the abundant and varied wildlife that the park is famous for, before arriving back into Karatu late in the afternoon. We can then spend our evening looking back at all the animal encounters we've enjoyed over the last two days.
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
As we bid farewell to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, we board our truck and head back to Arusha with unforgettable memories.
Meru Mbega Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Off to an early start, we begin our journey to our overnight accommodation on the sunny coast towards the town of Bagamoyo. The town of Bagamoyo lies north of the port of Dar es Salaam and was formerly known as the epicentre of the East African slave trade. The atmosphere of African travel envelopes us as we experience the hustle and bustle of one of Africa’s major travel routes. Taking in the buzzing markets and rural villages, we are able to take a glimpse into the window of African rural life. Our evening shall be spent relaxing and preparing for our exciting Zanzibar Excursion that begins tomorrow.
Bagamoyo Travellers Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today, we take a short drive towards Dar es Salaam where we leave our truck behind and take a leisurely ferry ride to Zanzibar Island. We'll then drive north through the island to the coastal town of Nunwi which will be our base for the next couple of days. There are plenty of excursions both on land and on the water which you can enjoy and your guide will be on hand to help arrange these.
Amaan Bungalows or similar
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Your day is free today to enjoy some of the many attractions and activities on offer, or just to chill out and relax. Nungwi offers fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and various boat safari activities. You can also rent a scooter to explore the island independently.
Amaan bungalows or similar
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Our time at Nungwi comes to an end today and we drive to Stone Town, en-route taking a spice tour with a local guide, learning more about the island's important role in the historic spice trade. You'll see how the farm workers climb the trees and search out specific plants, and you'll also be able to purchase fresh spices directly from the farms to take home with you. We'll then continue to Stone Town, which is a bustling port, rich with history and culture as it was for many years an important landmark on the Slave and Spice routes, This afternoon there is the option for a boat trip to Prison Island.
All Seasons Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Options available while on tour (KEOVSS)
With some final free time to explore, we spend our morning soaking up the rich history and culture of Stone Town. Taking in the bustling markets and enveloping fragrances, we enjoy our final few hours exploring this island paradise. We then board the ferry back to the port of Dar es Salaam where our tour comes to an end.
Route: Stone Town to Dar es Salaam
Extra day in Dar es Salaam - post-tour
Departure airport transfer in Dar Es Salaam
This tour departs Nairobi early in the morning on Day 1 so please plan to add at least 1 extra day to your travels before & after the tour dates below. Extra hotel nights and airport transfers are available on request.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
Offering an outdoor pool and a spa and wellness centre, Amaan Bungalows is located in Nungwi. Free WiFi access is available. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath or shower and free toiletries.
Offering an outdoor pool and a spa and wellness centre, Amaan Bungalows is located in Nungwi. Free WiFi access is available.
Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath or shower and free toiletries. Extras include a safety deposit box, bed linen and a fan.
At Amaan Bungalows you will find a restaurant. Other facilities offered at the property include water sports facilities, a tour desk and luggage storage. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including fishing, diving and windsurfing. The property offers free parking.
Kisauni Airport is 34.2 miles away.
Sentrim Boulevard Hotel
Offering an outdoor pool and a restaurant, Sentrim Boulevard Hotel is located in Nairobi. Free WiFi access is available in public areas. The Kenyatta International Conference Centre is 1.9 miles away.
Offering an outdoor pool and a restaurant, Sentrim Boulevard Hotel is located in Nairobi. Free WiFi access is available in public areas. The Kenyatta International Conference Centre is 1.9 miles away.
Each room here will provide you with a flat-screen TV, a fan and a balcony offering views of the pool and garden. There is also a refrigerator. The private bathroom has a bath or shower, with free toiletries. Extras include a desk and a safety deposit box.
At Sentrim Boulevard Hotel you will find a tennis court. Other facilities offered at the property include a tour desk and luggage storage.
The hotel is 2.5 miles from Railway Museum and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is 11.8 miles away.
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.
All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.
Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.
The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.
We provide two options for the accommodation on this Overland tour, both available on the trip. Each option stays in the same place each night, just using a different level of accommodation. On some nights both options will use the same rooms or tents - please see the itinerary for details.
Camping: As the name suggests, the majority of your time will be spent camping. We include easily erected tents and camping mattresses; all you need to bring is a sleeping bag & towel (and pillow if you need one). Some nights spent in towns and cities may be spent in hotel or lodge rooms instead of camping - please see the itinerary for details.
Accommodated: This level is designed to bridge the gap between a basic camping tour and an expensive lodge holiday. So, we use good quality hotels, lodges and camps rated at the local 2 to 4-star level, with the majority of rooms en-suite. In some places more basic properties with separate bathrooms, or permanent safari tents may be used. We aim always to use accommodation that is in keeping with the local area so there is a good variety. Local star ratings may vary slightly from international standards. Accommodation is based on twin or double rooms, chalets, bungalows or safari tents.Please check the Single Room Supplement option for details on room sharing options and charges for solo travellers on this tour.
Note - Accommodation providers are subject to change without notice. The properties listed are our preferred options, but sometimes due to availability or other issues with the property, we may substitute another property of similar standards.
Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks. Beautifully situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, the city has a temperate climate due to its position on the slopes of Mount Meru. It is close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as having its own Arusha National Park on Mount Meru.
The primary industry of the region is agriculture, with large vegetable and flower producers sending high-quality produce to Europe. Small-scale agriculture was badly affected by the coffee crisis of recent years and is now largely subsistence farming. Arusha has several factories including a brewery, tyre and fibreboard plant, and a large pharmaceuticals maker.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is the most photographed and filmed game reserves in Africa. With an incredibly dense population of wildlife and never-ending rolling plains, the Serengeti offers an authentic and idyllic wilderness safari. This is the Africa many of us dream of: an abundance of wildlife, beauty, tranquillity and endless clear, summer days. The Serengeti National Park is located in Tanzania and is over 14 763 square kilometres in size. The park can be divided into three parts, according to their vegetation; the Serengeti Plains, the Western Corridor, and the Northern Serengeti. The Serengeti is a conservation area; people are prohibited from living in the park unless they are part of park or tourist lodge staff.
The parks huge wildlife population and annual migration is its greatest claim to fame. Around October, over 1.5 million herbivores travel from the northern hills toward the southern plains, crossing the Mara River, in pursuit of the rains and is a true site to behold as many predators snatch up prey along the way; a spectacle of predator verses prey. In April, they then return to the north through the west, once again crossing the Mara River. This phenomenon is sometimes called the Circular Migration. Over 250 000 wildebeest alone will die along the journey from Tanzania to Masai Mara Reserve in upper Kenya, a total of 800 km. Death is often caused by injury, exhaustion, or predation.
Approximately 70 larger mammal and some 500 avifauna species are found in the Serengeti. This high diversity in terms of species is a function of diverse habitats ranging from riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands and woodlands. Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffalos are some of the commonly found large mammals in the region.
The Ngorongoro area is part of the Serengeti ecosystem, and to the north-west it adjoins the Serengeti NP and is contiguous with the southern Serengeti plains. These plains also extend to the north into the unprotected Loliondo division and are kept open to wildlife through transhuman pastoralism practiced by Masai. The south and west of the area are volcanic highlands and the southern andeastern boundaries are approximately defined by the rim of the Great Rift Valley wall, which also prevents animal migration in these directions.
In order to explore the park and see everything that it has to offer, we’ll take you on an 4X4 safari along its back roads, allowing you to see the more hidden gems of the park.
Ngorongoro crater tours are essential part of any visit to Tanzania. This UNESCO world heritage site holds a wealth of fascinating areas of interest for historians and the general public. Some of the oldest hominid remains have been found near the crater as well as artefacts dating back to early human evolution. The animal life is abundant with some of the best game viewing in the whole of Africa, and the craters amazing historical footprint extends into the animal kingdom too with fossilised remains having previously been found. Hominid hunter gatherers inhabited the area three million years ago, being replaced by pastoralists a few thousand years ago. The Masai took control of the area in the 1800s through a series of battles with the local tribes and have inhabited the area ever since. Today the area is run as a multi-purpose reserve which allows subsistence farming and limited dwelling.
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, and is made up of several small islands, forming an archipelago. The islands lie between 25km and 50km off the coast of mainland Africa, and have become a popular tourist destination in recent decades. With African, Arab and Portuguese influences, Zanzibar is alive with a vibrant culture and diverse people. The largest and main island of Zanzibar is Unguja, which is unofficially known as Zanzibar amongst locals, the other smaller islands are known by their names. This island is lie six degrees below the equator and is approximately 108km long and 32km wide. Zanzibar was once a separate state with a long trading history within the Arab world; it united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964 and still enjoys a high degree of autonomy within the union. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City and its historic centre, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site.
Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia and tourism. Zanzibar is also the home of the extremely endangered Red Colobus Monkey.The word “Zanzibar” probably derives from the Persian, Zangi-bar (“coast of the blacks”). However, the name could also have been derived from the Arabic Zayn Z’al Barr (“fair is this land”). “Zanzibar” often refers especially to Unguja Island and is sometimes referred to as the “Spice Islands,” though this term is more commonly associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia.
Tourists are drawn to the beautiful, pristine beaches of Zanzibar and for the incredibly diving opportunities that the fringing coral reefs offer off the coast. The historical and unique architecture of Stone Town is another enticing attraction of Zanzibar holidays, as guests have the opportunity to explore the ancient buildings and evidence of a thriving historical world. Stone Town is claimed by many to be the only historical functioning town in East Africa, fusing tradition and modernity gently together.
The temperatures are hot in the summers and mild in the winter; however throughout the year gentle sea breezes cool down the islands. The long rainy season is between April and May, however during the rest of the year, Zanzibar is a tropical paradise.
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam (Arabic translation: “harbour of peace”), formerly Mzizima, 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. Though Dar es Salaam lost its official status a scapital city to Dodoma in the mid-1970s, it remains the centre of the permanent central government and continues to serve as the capital for the surrounding Dar es Salaam Region.
In 1859, Albert Roscher of Hamburg became the first European to land in Mzizima (“healthy town”). In 1866 Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar gave it its present name. Dar es Salaam fell into decline after Majid’s death in 1870 but was revived in 1887, when the German East Africa Company established a station there. The town’s growth was facilitated by its role as the administrative and commercial centre of German East Africa and industrial expansion resulting from the construction of the Central Railway Line in the early 1900s.
Being situated so close to the equator and the warm Indian ocean, the city experiences generally tropical climatic conditions, typified by hot and humid weather throughout much of the year. Annual rainfall is approximately 1,100 mm and in a normal year there are two distinct rainy seasons: "the long rains", which fall during April and May and "the short rains", which fall during October and November.
The busy main streets and colourful markets enchant each visitor who goes to Dar es Salaam – it’s quite an unforgettable scene. Dar as Salaam is rich in history and there are various museums to be visited like the Village Museum and the National Museum which has two million year old exhibits from Oldupai Gorge. You will find many Arabic shops and restaurants in this city and to the north and south sides of the city also good beaches. The white sands of South Beach are situated on the Kigamboni Peninsula and are only a short ferry ride away.
Visitors can wander the streets and visit the numerous markets like the Kivukoni fish market. You can also visit the Botanical Gardens and shop for various crafts at the Nyumba ya Sanaa arts centre. At Bagamoyo you can see 13th century Kaole Islamic ruins and watch wooden dhow sailing boats being built and unwind on the gorgeous beach. Karikoo Market is where you go to, to bargain on anything from textiles to tropical fruit and this market is massive and alive every day of the year!
This tour is run in conjunction with our local partners based in South Africa. You will travel in one of their specially designed overland trucks throughout this tour, giving you a great vantage point from which to enjoy the scenery and incredible wildlife. Our professional and knowledgeable local guides will help to make your experience unforgettable and fun. The maximum number of people on this tour is 20 (the trucks have 25 seats)
The vehicles we use are amongst some of the finest on the road. However, do not forget the nature of an adventure tour. This is not a bus trip. Nor do we provide up-market tours. These are still tours aimed at the adventurous traveller. Though the vehicles are comfortable with large windows and great visibility, there are no onboard toilets or air-conditioning.
Each expedition vehicle is fitted with the following:
Partaking in an adventure tour in Africa involves covering hundreds if not thousands of kilometres in a truck, and our tours are as much about this journey as they are about the destinations we visit. Use your time in the truck to talk to your fellow travellers, play card games, have a drink, walk around, take note of the world passing by your window and make the most of this unique opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.
Some roads you travel on will be smooth and easy while others could take up to an hour to cover 1 kilometre. There is just no telling what could happen with road, weather, traffic and other conditions that may exist that will either increase or decrease the amount of time you spend on the road so take your watch off, put your iPad away, turn off your phone and just relax. An average driving day could take anything from 5 to 14 hours in the truck, it all depends on the day. We will stop for shopping, bathroom breaks, photo stops, activities and a whole lot more. If you are looking to only experience specific destinations and are not interested in the journey, perhaps overland adventures are not for you.
Some game safaris are carried out using 4x4 jeeps/safari vehicles - see your tour itinerary for details. These may be open-roofed or enclosed. You must not leave the vehicle or lean out through windows without express permission from the guide.
International Flights: We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people living in different places and with varying travel plans, except on some Escorted Tours and package promotions, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.
The vast majority of our tours are designed such that you can arrive and depart at any time on the first and last days of the set tour itinerary, with your arrival and departure airport transfers included in the tour price. However, on our Overland tours, you should not arrange your onward international flights or other travel for the day the tour is due to end (unless the final day does not involve any travelling and finishes after breakfast). Similarly, many of our Overland tours depart their first port of call on the first morning, and you will therefore need to plan for any flights to arrive at least one day beforehand.
Airport Transfers: Arrival and departure airport transfers are included on Small Group, Shoestring and Tailor-made tours but available as extra options on all our African Overland tours, as long as you have accommodation booked with us on that day. If you add extra accommodation before and/or after the tour that you do not book with us, then you will also need to arrange your own airport transfers.
Departure Taxes: Various countries may require that you pay an Airport Departure Tax when departing on an international flight. Please note that all departure taxes must be paid in hard cash currency and US Dollars are normally the best currency to use for this. Departure taxes can vary from US$10 - US$60 depending on the departure point.
Flight inclusive packages: We do also sometimes advertise flight inclusive packages from selected airports. Where these are shown on our website, prices are correct at the time of quoting, but are subject to continued availability of the fare used. Prices will be reconfirmed at the time of booking, and we will also provide the flight times and airline details before tickets are issued.
Flight inclusive prices are based on the cheapest Economy ticket class available which is generally non-refundable and non-changeable unless the flight is cancelled for reasons such as Covid-19, in which case the airlines are more flexible. More flexible ticket options, as well as Premium Economy and Business Class tickets are available on request for an additional supplement. Any changes made to flight inclusive bookings will be subject to the airline rules on your ticket.
We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. So, the expedition vehicles we use on our South & East Africa overland adventure tours have a maximum of 25 seats and on this tour will carry a maximum of 20 travellers.
In South & East Africa we provide fully trained, local English-speaking tour leaders, drivers and crew for all our tours. This tour will feature 2 crew – a driver, and assistant/cook who will help with washing up, clearing away, cleaning of the truck etc. You may assist with this if you wish, and a limited amount of help is expected and appreciated (eg. Washing your own plates & cutlery) but you are not obliged to do any more than that unless you wish to. During the tour we may also use a variety of local specialist guides for activities and tours included in the itinerary.
In general tipping in restaurants is expected and is around 10% for good service, more if you have received exceptional service, and, feel free not to tip at all if you received poor service. Tipping taxi drivers etc is really at your own discretion and not always expected. If in doubt please ask your guides. It is expected to tip porters and car guards etc. Ask your guides how much is appropriate in local currency. The recommended amount for Serengeti and Masai Mara guides is around USD5-7 per client per day. Our guides do work hard but they are also paid at (and often above) industry levels for this work. Our Crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty. The best way to arrange tips is to elect one person in the group to collect the money. We recommend USD1-2 (or about R10-R20) per day per person, per guide as a fair tip. So if you have 2-crew on a tour, we would recommend that 2 envelopes are used and each crew member’s name written on one. Place what you feel is fair into each envelope and the elected person can give these to the crew at the end of the tour. If you do not feel that the crew deserve a tip, please, do not tip them. You must remember that tipping is only for exceptional service and is not at all compulsory or expected.
On all our Overland tours we strive to strike a balance between including plenty of meals, tours and activities and being accessible and affordable.
The main tour price covers all your accommodation, transport, most meals and a range of tours and activities.In addition, there are further Locally Available Options on this tour. These have been chosen to give you more of a taste of what is available in the region and sometimes to offer an adrenaline rush during a relatively sedate tour. All these local options are offered and operated by professional local activity providers and Encounters Travel is not responsible for your booking or time while taking any of these options. Prices for these options may be given on our website, but please bear in mind that are given as a guide only and may very seasonally and can change from time to time. Availability is subject to seasonal daylight hours and our time-keeping that day.
Finally we also offer an optional 3-night camping excursion into the Serengeti National Park for those wishing to do more extensive wildlife viewing, but still on a budget.
Please check the Options section for more information and prices.
You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:
South Africa: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Namibia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Botswana: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted or travelled through an infected area.
Zimbabwe: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Zambia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Malawi: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Tanzania: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Kenya: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Uganda: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Sudan: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area. A certificate may also be required for those departing Sudan.
Morocco: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria not normally present. Yellow Fever certificate not required.
The above information can change at short notice. For up to date health information & vaccination requirements we recommend that you contact your medical practitioner or a travel clinic.
Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting.
Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation is often required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view this US CDC information about where the virus is present and follow the links to further information detailing which countries need you to have a Yellow Fever vaccination as part of their entry requirements. Please ensure you have this certificate organised in advance and with you and to hand during the trip.
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.
If you are travelling on an Overland tour or your trip includes wildlife safaris then please bear in mind that you may be travelling on bumpy roads and/or rough ground for several hours at a time. This can be very uncomfortable or painful if you have a bad back, and make such conditions worse. Please contact us if you have any concerns.
Due to the nature of the overland trip, the majority of your meals will be cooked by our cook and eaten beside the vehicle. Meals will not normally be eaten within the accommodation. The reason we run our trips in this way is that we feel it fits in better with this type of trip and it also helps to keep our prices competitive with other companies offering similar tours.
Breakfast: As breakfast is served very early in the morning (if there is driving or activities to be done) it is a simple but filling breakfast: Tea and coffee, breads and spreads, cereals, yoghurts, fruits and on occasion, when there is time for a later breakfast, guides will serve a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, porridge, bacon or beans.
Lunch: Lunch is generally served at a picnic spot next to the road en route to a destination. As the guides only have approximately 45 minutes to get everyone off the truck, prepare lunch and then get everyone back on the truck again, lunches consist of sandwiches and salads (rice salad, pasta salad, tuna salad and green salad) which are quick and easy to prepare but which are quite filling. They do have meal plans which they should stick to, to ensure that there is variety on a day to day basis.
Dinner: This is when the guides get time to prepare a delicious meal and they focus on a substantial protein, vegetable and carbohydrate dinner. We serve traditional cuisine consisting of braais (BBQ), potjie (stew), bobotie (mince), spaghetti and fish and chicken dishes. All meals (on both accommodated and camping tours) that are included in the itinerary are prepared at the full service adventure truck. This is a unique adventure in itself where you get to dine under the stars with your new found friends and experience the real sights and sounds of Africa!
Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities. Encounters Travel will not be held responsible if travellers are denied entry because they are not in possession of the relevant visas. We therefore recommend you re-check requirements with the relevant embassy/consulate around 4 weeks before travel.
You should also be in possession of a valid onward or return flight ticket, or proof of other means of transport enabling you to leave the country that your tour passes through or finishes in. In addition you should carry proof of sufficient funds to cover you during your time in the country (eg. credit card).
Should your tour be re-entering a country, please ensure that you have a multiple entry visa that allows this. Some countries have a visa on arrival service which can be more convenient and cheaper. However, for peace of mind and to speed up the border crossing process, Encounters Travel advises that you to get your visas prior to your trip if possible.
LUGGAGE ALLOWANCES: Most international airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 23kg per person of luggage to go in the hold of the plane. Domestic flights often have smaller allowances around 15kg. As airline rules vary we recommend that you take no more than 20kg of luggage if your tour just includes international flights, and no more than 15kg if there are any domestic flights included in your itinerary. Please ask us for details if you are unsure about luggage allowances on your tour. Any excess baggage fees will be your responsibility to cover. Most airlines allow between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage so we suggest that you take no more than 5kg unless you have confirmed that your airline(s) will allow more than this.
OVERLAND AND SAFARI TOURS: Please keep in mind that these are adventure tours in an adventure vehicle (truck or 4x4) and luggage should not include any solid Samsonite style suitcases. On our accommodated overland tours most of our trucks have lockers for the luggage (locker sizes: 37,5 cm high, 32 cm wide, 80 cm deep). Only a soft bag will fit in these lockers. A suitcase is far more difficult to store and make secure in our vehicle and this is part of the reason we ask for a backpack or tote bag to be used as your luggage. The other reason is that you need to walk from the truck to the accommodation and often over sand or uneven terrain. Your luggage on our Overland tours is limited to ONE backpack and ONE daypack weighing no more than 20kg. As a general rule, if you cannot lift your own luggage - you’ve got too much stuff! Most people make the mistake of bringing too many clothes. A quick reminder - suitcases are not suitable on our overland tours – especially huge Samsonite-style cases! Small wheeled cases are OK for safari tours.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST: Kit for all weather conditions including: • 2/3 shorts/skirts • 1 jacket/anorak • Tracksuit/pullover • 2 pairs of long pants/jeans • 2 pairs of walking shoes/boots/trainers • 1 pair of sandals • 3 or 4 T-shirts/short sleeve shirts or sundresses • 2/3 Long Sleeve Shirts • Smart casual change of clothes • Swimwear • Underwear & socks • Sun Hat – preferably that covers the back of your neck. • Raincoat • Kikoi/sarong
Your clothing should be easy to wash and dry and should preferably not need ironing. Avoid synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Many people underestimate how cold Africa can be – remember that jersey/jacket! There are also nights that are warm but you must still wear clothes that cover arms and legs from mosquitoes. Take a set of casual but smart clothes for the occasional evening out in a restaurant or club. If you wear glasses (or contacts) it is also advisable to bring a spare pair.
While on wildlife safaris it is important to wear dull coloured clothing - olive, mushroom, brown, khaki, stone are ideal.
You should avoid white (stands out too much), black or blue (attracts tsetse flies), and camouflage (illegal in many countries for civilians)
Additional Items: • Towel & facecloth • Baby wipes/ Wet Wipes • Personal toiletries • Sleeping bag • Torch & enough spare batteries • Camera & spare batteries and memory cards • Water bottle. (A 2-litre Coke bottle works well...) • Penknife • Insect and Mosquito repellent • Suntan lotion, sun block & after sun lotion • Sunglasses • Watch • Biodegradable laundry detergent • Passport (plus a copy of your passport & visas) • Extra passport photos • Vaccination certificate • Money • Travel plug • Neck pillow • Small sewing kit • Plastic bags • Clothes line and pegs • Small scrubbing brush • a small padlock for your luggage locker in the truck • Small basic First Aid kit (painkillers, band aids, after-sun lotion, eye drops, anti-diarrhoea tablets etc.)
DAY PACKS: Please check the itinerary for your specific tour if you will need a little daypack. For example on our Cape Town to Vic Falls overland tour you will need a smaller bag, big enough to bring basic equipment (toiletries and clothes) for 2 nights. The daypack is for your Okavango Delta Excursion, where you cannot bring your entire luggage.
If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...
You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.
Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.
If your tour includes car hire, ior if you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.
If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.
IMPORTANT: We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour. If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.
Before purchasing any travel insurance, please check the coverage provided for situations related to Covid-19, and for the rules about government travel advice. Your normal policy may not be suitable. Details about our own policies cover levels are given on our website.
We are a UK registered company and are committed to providing our customers with financial protection to provide peace of mind and to allow you to book with confidence.
We have therefore partnered with Trust My Travel Ltd., which provides financial protection services to over 2000 partners around the world. Funds paid to us by our customers are protected via an Insurance policy held by Trust My Travel. Each traveller and the description of services sold is declared against Trust My Travel’s insurance policy directly against our financial failure. In the event of our insolvency, you will be refunded for any unfulfilled products and/or repatriation to the UK (where applicable). Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.
All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).
You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.
General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.
You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.
Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.