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EAST AFRICAN ODYSSEY

Price from
US$2,169
(per person)
Duration
21
Days
Tour Type
Overland

HIGHLIGHTS

Victoria Falls, South Luangwa National Park, Lake Malawi, Diving & Snorkelling, Zanzibar, Serengeti National Park (optional), Ngorongoro Crater (optional)
COUNTRIES : Tanzania, Malawi... 3 more

This amazing 3-week wildlife odyssey tour takes you through the heart of East Africa, from Vic Falls all the way to Nairobi. It takes in all the major sites en route, including South Luangwa National Park, Lake Malawi, Zanzibar and the Serengeti. This is an 'accommodated' tour, staying in hotels and lodges rather than camping. 

Starting in Victoria Falls you'll head east to Zambia's finest game reserve, the South Luangwa National Park, which is notable for its large population of Leopards. Heading east we cross into Malawi to visit the vast Lake Malawi, third largest in Africa and eighth largest in the world. Heading north we travel up through Tanzania stopping off for a visit to the beautiful spice island of Zanzibar, most well known for its amazing beaches and of course spice tours. Continuing north our next stop is Arusha where there is an optional safari to the world famous Serengeti National Park, scene of one of the greatest animal migrations in the world when thousands upon thousands of wildebeest make their annual crossing of the enormous grassy plains. The optional safari will also pay a visit to the Ngorongoro crater, a true wildlife phenomenon, before continuing north into Kenya and our tour end in the capital Nairobi.

Note: the itinerary below is written with the optional Activity Package and Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater excursion included - please check the Options tab for full details.

We leave Victoria Falls this morning so we recommend you arrive at least 1 day pre-tour. If you need help in booking extra nights and airport transfers we can assist with this.
Leaving behind the natural wonder of Victoria Falls we begin our expedition. After Livingstone we journey towards the bustling Zambian capital of Lusaka. You will notice the vegetation becoming sub-tropical and the roads a little rougher.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Eureka Camp
  • MEALS:
    Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Single room supplement (TAOVAO), Extra day in Victoria Falls - pre-tour, Arrival airport transfer in Victoria Falls, Activity Package - East African Odyssey

Today is a long drive through lush country, crossing rivers en-route to Petauke, the gateway to the South Luangwa NP. Zambia is truly African and an adjustment from the more Western ways of Southern Africa.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Chimwemwe Executive Lodge
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early in the morning we drive from Petauke to the border of the South Luangwa National Park where we spend the next two nights right on the banks of the Luangwa River. Before arriving at the South Luangwa NP, we will make a short stop at a community run tribal textile project. The Tribal textile production factory is closed annually from December to March, when we will not be able to view the fabric production, however the textile shop is open all year round. In the afternoon you'll arrive the camp where you can often see hippos and other animals from the camp bar. This afternoon we enjoy a sunset game drive in the South Luangwa NP.

Included Highlight: Textile project visit
Activity Package: Sunset game drive in South Luangwa National Park

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Wildlife Camp
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Activity Package - East African Odyssey

In the morning you have the opportunity to take another game drive. The park is known for its high concentration of leopards and hippos.

Optional activities: Safari walk outside South Luangwa NP, Morning game drive in South Luangwa NP

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Wildlife Camp
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Options available while on tour

Today we depart from South Luangwa and head for the Lake Malawi. Our base here will be in Ngala Beach which lies on the shores of beautiful Lake Malawi. The accommodation we use here is located on the shores of the lake and if time permits today you should grab your snorkels and discover some of the interesting life beneath the surface.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Ngala Beach Lodge
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We have just a short drive today to our next destination in the northern parts of Lake Malawi. We'll be spending 3 nights here, so you'll have plenty of time to explore the area. Lake Malawi is widely regarded as one of the worlds most beautiful fresh water lakes. Here you'll find tropical fish swimming past in schools of brilliant colours. It may also be possible to arrange an excursion to the Livingstonia Mission which will be a full day hike.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Maji Zuwa
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

You have a full day free today. You can make use of your time here to enjoy some of the local sights and sounds of Lake Malawi, or relax around the pool at our accommodation.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Maji Zuwa
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today is our final day at Lake Malawi, so make the most of your day and enjoy the fantastic snorkelling or further explore the local town.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Maji Zuwa
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we leave Malawi and enter Tanzania. We ascend out of the Great Rift Valley through some spectacular mountain passes, passing vast tea plantations in the highlands before arriving at our camp outside Iringa. This evening our dinner is in a local Masai Hut where we enjoy a traditional Tanzanian evening.

Included highlight: Traditional Dinner in a local restaurant

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Kisolanza Farm
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We leave Iringa today and head north to the Mikumi National Park. Mikumi is home to lion, zebra, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and elephant and today we have the opportunity to enjoy an optional afternoon game drive through the park (only included for those who have purchased the activity package).

Activity Package: Afternoon game drive in Mikumi NP

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Morio Motel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Activity Package - East African Odyssey

Our journey today brings us out of the cool highland region to the humid Indian ocean coastal city of Dar es Salaam. Meaning 'house of peace' in Arabic, Dar es Salaam is the economic and trade capital of Tanzania, but inland Dodoma remains the official capital city.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Kariakoo Hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A local ferry will take us from Dar es Salaam (where we leave the truck) to Zanzibar. We take a transfer to the northern part of the island where we will spend our time relaxing on the beach.
Please note: If you have not purchased the Activity Package you will stay at the accommodation in Dar es Salaam for the following 3 nights.

Activity Package: Zanzibar Excursion plus ferry
Included Highlight: Spice Tour, City Tour

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Ocean View Hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Activity Package - East African Odyssey

Today you can spend your time relaxing by the beach or exploring, scuba diving, snorkelling or even taking a sunset boat cruise through the waters.

Optional Activities: Zanzibar Meals, Swimming with Dolphins, Scuba Diving

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Amaan Bungalows
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Activity Package - East African Odyssey
Today is for relaxing on the beach or taking part in one of the many activities available here.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Amaan Bungalows
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Activity Package - East African Odyssey

Today we leave Zanzibar and catch a ferry back to Dar es Salaam and return to our truck. The drive today is fairly short to our next destination, Bagamoyo. The name Bagamoyo comes from the days of slavery in the region and means 'Lay down your heart'. Our accommodation for the night is on the beach and you have the afternoon free to step into the Indian Ocean. The centre of town is just a short walk and you could explore this vibrant town in the evening.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Bagamoyo Travellers Lodge
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Today we take a scenic drive to Arusha. The city of Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks. Situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, the city is close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro and The Arusha National Park. The following day we will prepare for our journey into the Serengeti.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Ndoro Lodge
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

These 3 days are set aside for the optional 3-night camping excursion into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. This area has one of the most densely inhabited large animal populations in Africa. On the first day from Karatu to Ngorongoro, there will be time for visiting the Oldupai gorge and museum. The Serengeti excursion is in open topped 4x4 safari vehicles in order to tackle the challenging side roads in the parks. 
The campsites we visit are fully owned by the Tanzania National Parks Board. Over 90,000 tourists visit the Serengeti National Park annually. These facilities are sadly not sufficiently maintained by the Parks Board and we have attempted to offer our services to improve the situation, however our offers were not accepted. We do ask that you have an open mind when visiting the ablutions in the Serengeti National Park. Please supply your own wet wipes and toilet paper.
For those are not taking part in the optional Serengeti Excursion, you will remain behind at the accommodation, take this chance to absorb some of the fascinating local culture. Optional Activities available to be booked at the accommodation

Optional activities for those not doing the Serengeti excursion: Various Serengeti & Ngorongoro Excursion packages, Lake Manyara game drives, day hiking & village tours and many more various day trips

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Seronera Campsite
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Options available while on tour
We spend the entire day today game driving through the Serengeti. Our route will be decided on the day as this is dependant on the movement of game and local sightings.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Seronera Campsite
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Options available while on tour
Today we will explore even more of the Serengeti whilst we make our way to the famous Ngorongoro Crater. We'll drive down to the bottom of the crater and try to see as many animals as possible.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Simba Campsite
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Options available while on tour

Today the group meets up again and we have the chance to exchange stories of the various adventures that we participated in over the past few days.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Ndoro Lodge
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After crossing the border into Kenya we continue to travel towards Nairobi and the end of our journey. Usually we end the tour with a group meal out at one of Nairobi's excellent restaurants.

Optional activities: Dinner out

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra day in Nairobi - post-tour, Departure airport transfer in Nairobi
Included:
  • 20 night's accommodation in hotels/lodges/guesthouses and camps
  • All transport using our 25-seat expedition vehicle
  • All 'included highlights' as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 2 truck crew (driver/guide plus assistant/cook)
  • Local guides for sightseeing tours and activities as per the itinerary
  • Meals: 20 breakfasts, 16 lunches and 16 dinners

Excluded:
  • International Flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees if required
  • Activity Package and optional activities (see itinerary)
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for guides & drivers
  • Entrance fees and activities not mentioned above
  • Any other items not mentioned above
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use 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.
rainbow-hotel-vic-falls.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Rainbow Hotel
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Rainbow is a stylish hotel within walking distance from the Victoria Falls, the town centre, close to the railway station as well as the commercial district.


Rainbow is a stylish hotel within walking distance from the Victoria Falls, the town centre, close to the railway station as well as the commercial district. This hotel offers incredible attention to detail, personal service and offers the base from which to pursue adrenaline pumping sporting activities.

It is easily reached by tarmac road and falls within the Victoria Falls district's confines. The distance from the lodge to the airport is roughly 25km and the town centre is a mere 4km away.

The lodge is located next to the Zambezi National Park and it's possible to spot some hippos, crocodiles or game coming in for a drink from the rooms. And if you'd like to see even more of these beasts, the nearby crocodile farm and various game parks offer good close-up views

All rooms have air conditioning, colour television, computer hook up, telephone, ensuite bathrooms, and enclosed balconies. Suites have, in addition, a separate lounge, mini bar and another TV lounge. The hotel has 88 rooms in total.

Facilities include:

  • Enticing swim & sip pool bar
  • Open for both in-house and walk in guests
  • Serves an assortment of ice cold beverages
  • Provides all patrons with Complimentary snacks whilst enjoying their drinks
  • Open from  1000hrs to 2200hrs
sentrim-boulevard-nairobi.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Sentrim Boulevard Hotel
Nairobi, Kenya

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 you're 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.

Single room supplement (TAOVAO)
Price from
US$504
per person



Single room supplement (TAOVAO)
Min numbers: 1 person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Extra day in Victoria Falls - pre-tour
Price from
US$54
per person



Extra day in Victoria Falls - pre-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Airport transfers are not included, but are available as an additional option. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Nairobi - post-tour
Price from
US$114
per person



Extra day in Nairobi - post-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Airport transfers are not included, but are available as an additional option. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Options available while on tour
Price from
On
Request

per person



Options available while on tour
Min numbers: 1

These options are available from local activity providers while you are on the tour.


These options are availabile while you are on the tour from local activity providers who your booking will be with. Prices are given in US Dollars as guide and are subject to change due to seasonal variation and current exchange rates.

Country Area Activity Price Range
Zambia South Luangwa NP Game Walk - Inside National Park  $44 to $55
Zambia South Luangwa NP Morning Game Drive Min 3 people  $50 to $55
Malawi Kande Beach  Scuba Diving - Per Dive (licensed divers)  $50 to $55
Malawi Kande Beach  One day Scuba Diving for PADI Open water course  $385 to $430
Malawi Kande Beach  Dinner at Local Restaurant  $18 to $30
Malawi Kande Beach  Snorkeling  $17 to $19
Malawi Chitimba Beach  Local Boat Trip  $30 to $36
Tanzania Mikumi  Mikumi NP game drive (p.p. with minimum 6 clients) $35 to $45
Tanzania Zanzibar Scuba Diving - Per Dive $55 to $70
Tanzania Zanzibar Zanzibar Meals - Per Day $18 to $28
Tanzania Zanzibar Motorbike Hire - Per Day $33 to $50
Tanzania Zanzibar City Tour - Half Day (Min 2 x Clients), walking tour $22 to $28
Tanzania Zanzibar Spice Tour - Half Day (Min 2 x Clients) $30 to $38
Tanzania Zanzibar Swimming with Dolphins Full day (Min 2 x clients) $39 to $50
Tanzania Karatu Kudu Lodge to Karatu – various day safaris options $260 to $275
Tanzania Karatu Guided mountain biking to villages & plantations $20 to $25
Tanzania Serengeti Serengeti Camping Excursion 4-Days $900
Tanzania Serengeti Tips for Guide - Per Day $20 to $25
Tanzania Serengeti Ballooning over Serengeti National Park – Pre Book $599 to $660
Tanzania Serengeti Guided day walk – Ngorongoro Forest (plus transfer) $290 to $350
Kenya Nairobi Dinner at Local Restaurant>/span> $35 to $45
Arrival airport transfer in Victoria Falls
Price from
US$29
per person



Arrival airport transfer in Victoria Falls
Min numbers: 1 Adult

This option adds an arrival airport transfer in Victoria Falls to your Overland tour with us (arriving at Victoria Falls airport).


This option adds an arrival airport transfer in Victoria Falls to your Overland tour with us. You will need to also book at least one night of pre-tour hotel accommodation with us in order to book this transfer.
Note: We subcontract our airport transfers, so your transfer representative will not have any information about your tour with us, or be able to assist you beyond the transfer itself.
Departure airport transfer in Nairobi
Price from
US$54
per person



Departure airport transfer in Nairobi
Min numbers: 1 Adult

This option adds a departure airport transfer in Nairobi to your Overland tour with us (going to Nairobi airport).



This option adds a departure airport transfer in Nairobi to your Overland tour with us. You will need to also book at least one night of post-tour hotel accommodation with us in order to book this transfer.
Note: We subcontract our airport transfers, so your transfer representative will not have any information about your tour with us, or be able to assist you beyond the transfer itself.
Activity Package - East African Odyssey
Price from
US$614
per person



Activity Package - East African Odyssey
Min numbers: 1 Person

This optional payment covers what we consider highly recommended activities on the tour. Separating these activities out is designed to help people with differing budgets. Prices may be revised at time of payment based on current local exchange rates


This optional payment covers what we consider highly recommended activities on the tour. Separating these activities out is designed to help people with differing budgets. If required, the Activity Package should be pre-purchased prior to your arrival to guarantee availability and to help your guides plan ahead to help the smooth running of the tour.

Note - Prices may be recalculated at the time of payment based on current local exchange rates.
Note - Prices shown are for 2016; please check the website reservation form or contact us for 2017 prices.

Activity Country
Sunset Game Drive in South Luangwa National Park  Zambia
Mikumi National Park Game Drive Tanzania
Zanzibar Excursion plus Ferry Tanzania
east-african-odyssey-map.jpg
East African Odyssey tour notes

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.

This tour is run in conjunction with our local partners 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 18 (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:

  • Freezers to keep food fresh in the African heat.
  • Individual seats with seat belts and ample leg-room
  • Overhead luggage racks.
  • Lockers for your backpacks (~35 cm square, 80cm deep)
  • A safe for your valuables.
  • A well-stocked first aid kit is on hand for emergencies.
  • Reading material (fiction & field guides), games and recreational gear to keep you well entertained.
  • I-pod/MP3 points
  • Charging facilities for cameras, batteries etc
  • PA System
  • Kitchen and stove
  • Water tank
  • Cooler boxes
  • Table for food preparation
  • Hand-dishwashing facilities

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.

The tour itinerary shows an indication of the distance to be covered on a particular day. Please don’t assume that your travel time will be equal to that which you can travel in your car on the autobahn… no, it will be much, much slower! 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.

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!

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 18 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.

The accommodation on this tour 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, the majority of it en-suite. In some places more basic properties 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 en-suite rooms, chalets, bungalows or safari tents. All couples will be given a private double room. Friends booking together will also share a room. Single travellers will need to pay the additional single room supplement. At some of the places we stay basic camping is also available but your tour is based on proper accommodation throughout.

In the Serengeti, the campsites we visit are fully owned by the Tanzania National Parks Board. Over 90,000 tourists visit the Serengeti National Park annually. These facilities are sadly not sufficiently maintained by the Parks Board and we have attempted to offer our services to improve the situation, however our offers were not accepted. We do ask that you have an open mind when visiting the ablutions in the Serengeti National Park. Please supply your own wet wipes and toilet paper.

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.

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. We then offer an additional 'Activity Package' which includes a range of activities and tours which we consider to be strongly recommended to make the most of the destinations you will be visiting. Our itineraries are written with this optional activity package included, with notes on each day of the itinerary where this applies. While you may still be able to book these activities while you are on the tour, they are then subject to availability. So, if you would like to do any of these activities, to avoid disappointment you should book the activity package in advance. You can do this any time before arrival.
Note: While our principle is to offer these activity packages at 'cost price', you may find that sometimes there is a difference between the price of our Activity Package and the sum of activity prices available locally. This can happen for several reasons; we set an annual rate while many of our suppliers have seasonal pricing; suppliers may charge in various different currencies, and we need to fix long term term exchange rates; and finally sometimes we may need to estimate prices where suppliers have not yet released them when our rates are published.

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 are 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. 

Please check the Options section for more information and prices.

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.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please keep in mind that this is an adventure tour in an adventure vehicle and luggage should not include any solid Samsonite style suitcases. On our accommodated 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.

WHAT TO BRING? Your luggage 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. Suitcases are not suitable on tour – especially huge Samsonite-style cases! Bags with wheels are of no use when you are moving you bag from the truck to your tent/chalet through sand.

YOU SHOULD PACK THE FOLLOWING: 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.

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 • 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 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.

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.

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.

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 may be 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 a World Health Organisation map of areas where the virus is present in monkeys and therefore a potential risk to humans. Please ensure you have this certificate with you and to hand if necessary.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. 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.

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial protection is also provided through International Passenger Protection for passengers not booking flights.
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.

  • Don’t prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn’t make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don’t expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don’t worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don’t waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don’t litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you’re travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It’s important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

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.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')

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, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to book your flights for you. Our ATOL (UK flight sales license - No. 10467) protects all holidays booked together with a flight from the UK.
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 set tour itinerary. 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 available as extra options on all our African Overland tours, as long as you have accommodation booked with us on that day. Airport transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour on Tailor-made and Family tours. 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. 

Lusaka
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. The two main languages spoken in Lusaka are English and Nyanja. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau of the country at an elevation of 1300 m and has a population of 3,100,000 (2007 estimate). With one of the fastest growing city centres in Africa, Lusaka is located in a productive farm area and is the administrative, financial and commercial centre of Zambia. It is thought that with proper and effective economic reforms, Lusaka as well as Zambia as a whole will develop considerably. Lusaka is home to a diverse community of foreigners, many of whom work in the aid industry as well as diplomats, representatives of religious organizations and some business people.
According to history, Lusaka was once the site of a village named after its headman Lusaka which was located at Manda Hill, near where the National Assembly building now stands. In the local Nyanja language, manda means graveyard. The area was expanded by European (mainly British) settlers in 1905 with the building of the railway. In 1935, due to its fairly central location on the railway and at the crossroads of the Great North Road and Great East Road, it was chosen to replace Livingstone as the capital of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia. After the federation of Northern and Southern Rhodesia in 1953, it was a centre of the independence movement which led to the creation the Republic of Zambia. In 1964 Zambia became the ninth African state to gain independence from the British crown and President Kaunda took power, with Lusaka as its capital.

Chipata
Chipata has a population of around 75,000 and is the capital of the Eastern Province of Zambia. Formerly known as Fort Jameson, the city is located near the border of Malawi on the highway connecting the capitals Lilongwe (130 km) and Lusaka (550 km). As we drive from Lilongwe to Chipita in Malawi there is a steady stream of people and transport bringing in supplies that are not always readily available elsewhere in Africa. You will also find colourful fruit & vegetable markets and an unexpected amount of ornate mosques due to its large Islamic Indian community.

South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia is a world-renowned wildlife haven, and famous for walking safaris. It supports large populations of Thorneycroft’s Giraffe, and herds of elephant and buffalo often several hundred strong, while the Luangwa River supports abundant crocodiles and hippopotamus. Founded as a game reserve in 1938, it became a national park in 1972 and now covers 9 050 square km.
Hippos thrive here due to the patches of flooded grassland habitats (floodplains) that are found close to the river, on which they graze at night. It is possible to see pods of up to 500 hippos in the dry season as the river shrinks and they are confined to areas of deep pools. On average there are probably 35 – 42 hippos per km! They are integral to the ecosystem here, their dung released into the river fertilises its waters and sustains the fish population which in turn sustains the crocodiles. The park is also reputed to have the highest concentration of leopard in Africa. It is estimated that there is one leopard for every km of river in the Luangwa Valley, so your chances of seeing this elusive nocturnal cat are very high.

Lake Malawi
The lake, third largest in Africa and eighth largest in the world, is situated between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The lake's tropical waters teem with more fish species than any other lake on earth and offers wonderful snorkelling and diving experiences. The fish also support the local people, who depend on the lake for survival, using dug-out canoes to set out long nets. There are many different ethnic groups living in the vicinity and many different dialects are spoken. Many are Christians, as a result of the numerous missionaries that passed through the area, while many have retained their traditional belief systems.
In 1859 David 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 famous 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 highlands of the eastern escarpment (with no malaria). It is still in operation today and visitors can hike to the mission. The walk is quite strenuous and you should be reasonably fit especially if it’s hot. It’s about a 6 to 8-hour round trip.

Tanzania
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest freestanding mountain, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.
Tanzania has a tropical type of climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10˚C and 20˚C during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20˚C. The hottest period extends between November and February (25˚C - 31˚C) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15˚C - 20˚C).
Along the main highway artery that connects Dar es Salaam and Iringa, one travels through Baobab Valley. An endearing local saying goes that if you see a tree small enough to put your arms around, all your dreams and wishes will come true. Living up to its name, the valley is heavily populated by baobabs, one of the great symbols of Africa. This bizarre tree, known as the “upside down tree” is surrounded by myth and folklore, and has a multitude of uses for the local people and wildlife: the fruit is eaten; gum and fibre is made into rope, paper, and cloth; and bark and oil from the baobab seeds have medicinal properties.

Etosha National Park
Etosha, meaning “Great White Place”, is dominated by a massive mineral pan, part of the great Kalahari Basin. The Etosha pan, originally a lake fed by the Kunene River, covers about 5 000 square km, a quarter of the Etosha National Park. The lake dried up thousands of years ago and is now a dusty depression of salty clay which occasionally fills with the rare heavy rains. This temporary water supply stimulates the growth of algae which attracts wading birds and flamingos by their thousands. Large concentrations of wildlife gather year-round at the perennial springs on the edges of the pan. This amazing abundance of wildlife makes Etosha one of Southern Africa's finest and most important game reserves. Covering an area of 22 270 square km, it is home to 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, surprisingly, one species of fish.

Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam (Arabic translation: “house 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 ascapital 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.

Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of the United Republic of Tanzania. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres off the coast of the mainland and consists of a number of small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, informally referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba. 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.
Some trivia: Zanzibar was the first region in Africa to introduce colour television, in 1973. The current TV-station is called TvZ. The first television service in mainland Tanzania was not introduced until some twenty years later.
The musician Farrokh Bulsara (a.k.a Freddie Mercury) of Queen was born in Unguja, Zanzibar on September 5, 1946 to Indian-Parsi parents, who were employed by the British colonial administration. There is a restaurant named ‘Mercury’s’ on the beachfront of Stone Town. In September 2006, a radical Islamic group on the archipelago, Uamsho, forced organizers to abandon plans to mark his 60th birthday, saying he violated Islam with his openly gay lifestyle. Zanzibar criminalized homosexuality in 2004 but despite this it remains a popular resort destination for the South African gay community.

Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti is most famous for the largest and longest overland migration in the world. This migration is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. Around October, nearly 2 million herbivores travel from the northern hills toward the southern plains, crossing the Mara River, in pursuit of the rains. 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 mammals and some 500 avifauna species are found there. 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 and eastern boundaries are approximately defined by the rim of the Great Rift Valley wall, which also prevents animal migration in these directions.

Arusha
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.

Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city in Kenya. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Masai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is surrounded by several expanding villa suburbs.
Founded in 1899 as a simple rail depot on the railway linking Mombasa to Uganda, the town quickly grew to become the capital of British East Africa in 1907 and eventually the capital of a free Kenyan republic in 1963. During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a centre for the colony's coffee, tea and sisal industry. Nairobi is the most populated city in East Africa, with a current estimated population of about 3 million.
Nairobi is now one of the most prominent cities in Africa politically and financially. Home to many companies and organizations, including the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN Office in Africa, Nairobi is a hub for business and culture. The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is one of the largest in Africa, ranked fourth in terms of trading volume and capable of making 10 million trades a day. The Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) defines Nairobi as a prominent social centre.

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 'Know Before you Go' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Know Before you Go' campaign

East African Odyssey dates & prices

We recommend booking at least 6 months in advance to guarantee availability on your preferred dates. You should plan to add at least one extra day before and after the main tour dates. Private charters are also available.
Start Date End Date Price (P/P) Offer Price Note
21 Dec, 2016 10 Jan, 2017 US$2169 - - Book now
28 Dec, 2016 17 Jan, 2017 US$2169 - - Book now
18 Jan, 2017 07 Feb, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
28 Jan, 2017 17 Feb, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
01 Feb, 2017 21 Feb, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
18 Feb, 2017 10 Mar, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
01 Mar, 2017 21 Mar, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
15 Mar, 2017 04 Apr, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
22 Mar, 2017 11 Apr, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
01 Apr, 2017 21 Apr, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
22 Apr, 2017 12 May, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
26 Apr, 2017 16 May, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
03 May, 2017 23 May, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
24 May, 2017 13 Jun, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
03 Jun, 2017 23 Jun, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
07 Jun, 2017 27 Jun, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
24 Jun, 2017 14 Jul, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
05 Jul, 2017 25 Jul, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
19 Jul, 2017 08 Aug, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
26 Jul, 2017 15 Aug, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
05 Aug, 2017 25 Aug, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
26 Aug, 2017 15 Sep, 2017 US$2499 - - Book now
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tripadvisor winner 2014 and 2015
EAST AFRICAN ODYSSEY Reviews
Service

Posted Aug 04, 2016
I have received excellent service from Encounters travel with my booking. I received prompt and helpful answers to a number of queries.
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