The ultimate Africa overland truck tour. Some opportunities in life only come round once. This is one of those. Your opportunity to discover Africa over 55 days driving across half of the continent seeing all of the major national parks, visiting tribes seeing the wildlife and having an amazing adventure with a fellow group of intrepid adventurers. Fully guided all transport accommodation and meals are taken care of, if you book with the activity pack there is very little else you need to spend your money on other than flights and visas. If you want to see Africa in all its glory once-in-a-lifetime you need to book this trip.
Ultimate Africa Overland: Trip Highlights
We call this the Ultimate Africa Trip for good reason, it will be the adventure of your life.
Travel through the untouched beauty of Namibia’s desert landscapes, the wilderness in the heart of the Okavango Delta and the thundering roar of the magnificent Victoria Falls. Venturing onwards into East Africa, discover the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of Zanzibar which are perfect for rest and relaxation before we make our way to Arusha and the Serengeti National Park where you are sure to see incredible wildlife. Embark on the final leg of adventure through Kenya and Uganda where you will meet the Masai Mara tribes and go on a trek in search of the endangered mountain gorillas.
Gorilla Trekking is part of this tour, however the cost of the Gorilla Trekking Permit is not included in your tour price or this booking. Gorilla permits cost $630 to 730. If you book this tour, we will confirm the availability of the permit and arrange payment. Please check at time of booking.
Read more about these destinations in our country info section.
- South Africa
Ultimate Africa Overland Photos
Leaving Cape Town we make our first stop at Table View and take photos of Table Mountain from across Table Bay. We will be heading north towards our stop for the first night, passing through the Cederberg Region. Upon arrival at our overnight stop, we will enjoy a wine tasting, sampling wines from the region. Tonight we will be treated to a traditional South African meal, followed by a full tour briefing from your guides.
After an early start, we continue north via the distant town of Springbok, best known for its diamonds, copper and spring flowers. We then proceed to our camp located right beside the Namibian border. The camp is situated on the riverbank that forms the border between South Africa and Namibia.
This morning there’s the chance to see the beautiful river valley by canoe or just relax at camp. After lunch we cross the border and travel to the Fish River Canyon. We enjoy a scenic walk along the edge of the canyon before enjoying our dinner, while watching the sunset. This is also a fantastic photo opportunity.
We arrive at the Namib-Naukluft National Park and set up camp, then enjoy a short hike into the Sesriem Canyon. Tonight we enjoy the star-studded sky and enduring silence of the Namib Desert, only occasionally interrupted by the call of a jackal or, a rather unique lizard, the barking gecko!
This is our earliest morning as we prepare for our hike up Dune 45 to marvel at the sunrise. After our hike, we will have the chance to visit Sossusvlei. Later we join a local expert on a guided hike and learn more about the unique desert ecosystem and how the Bushmen survived in the harsh desert conditions.
After a brief photo stop while crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, we travel onto Namibia’s Atlantic coast and the adventure capital, Swakopmund. Just before we arrive in Swakopmund, we stop at the Walvis Bay lagoon en-route, where there are often flamingos to be seen. You will be briefed on the many optional activities available here and there is time to explore the town before dinner out at one of the local restaurants.
Today is your chance to experience the adrenalin filled atmosphere that Swakopmund offers. Taking a walk around Swakopmund’s shops and having a leisurely lunch is also a great way to spend your day if you are not participating in the many activities available on offer here.
We visit a Himba community close to Kamanjab where you will have an opportunity to interact with the people who live there. This is a working village and is only a representation of a larger group of nomadic pastoralists. The semi-nomadic Himba people are extremely susceptible to Western influence and have lost a large portion of their land to farmers, engineers, miners and many were displaced during the wars that raged in Angola. The dwindling number of pastoralists that still exist in their natural environment are protected as far as possible by creating a “buffer zone”, or an “educational tribe” where tourists who would like to get a better understanding of the way of the Himba, their lifestyle and their traditions, can do so without interfering with those still living in their natural environment.
Visiting the Himba tribe can be a controversial topic that gets discussed at the camp fire, however not so much if the reason for visiting this particular tribe is understood beforehand. The income that this specific tribe generates from the visits goes towards the education of orphaned Himba children and assists the tribe in giving them a chance to learn about their own culture and heritage. There is a market at the end of your visit, this is a way for the women to establish a small income, used for their own private expenses, and it is up to you whether you’d like to purchase anything or not.
Leaving the city sights behind us, we travel into Namibia’s barren northern area. On the way we stop at a popular craft market where you can barter for handmade gifts to take home. We enter Etosha National Park and game drive through to our campsite for the night.
Etosha is the venue for some of the most unique game viewing experiences in Africa. The sparse grasslands allow great opportunities to see animals normally hidden in dense
vegetation. You may even see some of the amazing animals crossing the road in front of your truck! We will go on various game drives and spend our evenings at the abundant waterholes for some excellent game photography.
After an early morning game drive we set off towards Windhoek, the Capital city of Namibia. On the way we stop at a popular craft market where you can barter for handmade gifts to take home. Windhoek is not only the capital; it is also the cultural, social and economic centre of Namibia. On arrival in Windhoek our guide will take us on a short drive through Windhoek in our truck. Joe’s Beer House is an exciting dining experience for our optional dinner out.
After an early start, we say goodbye to Namibia and cross the Botswana border. Later we arrive at our lodge in Ghanzi and this evening we experience some traditional tribal dancing from the local San community.
This morning you will have the opportunity to participate in an optional bushman walk with the locals, before we continue our journey north towards Etsha and venture into the bush. We spend the night at our overnight camp on the banks of a beautiful lagoon. Please note: If you have not purchased the Activity Package you will stay at this campsite for the following 2 nights.
After a leisurely breakfast we depart on our boat cruise to Seronga via the winding channels of the Delta. A vehicle transfer sees us arrive at our base for the next two nights, where we settle in and prepare for our afternoon mokoro trip that ends with sundowners overlooking the waterways of the Delta. The evening is spent around the campfire. Note: Activities may vary depending on water levels. Please note: If you have not purchased the Activity Package you will stay at the campsite for the following 2 nights.
An early start sees us head off on the crystal clear waters of the Okavango. Water lily beds and palm islands make for the most scenic of experiences. We stop at an island for a nature walk, where we have the possibility of seeing wildlife. We return to camp to relax before heading out onto the water for a sunset cruise.
Today we bid farewell to the Delta and head north. After being re-united with our truck, we re-enter Namibia. Our overnight is located on the banks of the Okavango River in the Caprivi Strip of north-eastern Namibia.
This morning we travel through the Caprivi Strip and onto Kasane. This afternoon we will enjoy a sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River.
Established in 1968, the Chobe National Park covers approximately 11700 sq kms, encompassing floodplains, swamps and woodland. We will rise early to enjoy a game drive through the park, in search of vast herd of elephants and a multitude of antelope including the rare sable. After our game drive, we will pack our bags and head to Victoria Falls.
Most people will spend the day White Water Rafting, a not-to-be-missed experienceMost people will spend the day White Water Rafting, a not-to-be-missed experience of a lifetime! Vic Falls offers many exciting activities and today you will have the day free to participate in the activities on offer. of a lifetime!
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.
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.
Early in the morning we drive from Petauke to the border of the South Luangwa National Park where we will spend the next two nights right on the banks of the Luangwa River. Before our arrival at the South Luangwa NP, we will stop at the 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. This afternoon we enjoy a sunset game drive in the South Luangwa NP (the game drive may take place the following day due to time constraints).
In the morning you will have the opportunity to take an optional game drive through the South Luangwa National Park, which is known for its high concentration of leopards and hippos. You can often see hippos and other animals from the camp bar.
Today we depart the South Luangwa NP and head towards Lake Malawi. Our accommodation for the night is situated on the edge of Lake Malawi and if time permits, grab your snorkels and discover some of the interesting creatures residing in the lake.
It’s a short drive to our next destination, situated in the northern region of Lake Malawi. As we will be spending the next 3 nights here, you will have sufficient time to explore the area. Lake Malawi is regarded as one of the most beautiful freshwater lakes in the world, tropical fish (the colourful kind) swim past in schools of brilliant blues, yellows and purples. It may also be possible to book an excursion to the Livingstonia Mission (full day hike).
As you have the entire day, make use of your time here enjoy the sights and sounds of Lake Malawi or laze around the pool at our accommodation.
Today is our final day at Lake Malawi, so make the most of the day and enjoy snorkelling or swimming.
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.
We leave Iringa today and head north to the Mikumi National Park. Mikumi is home to lion, zebra, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and elephant. Here we have the opportunity to enjoy an optional afternoon game drive through the park.
Today we leave Zanzibar and catch a ferry back to Dar es Salaam and return to our truck and campsite.
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
Enjoy your time on Zanzibar by relaxing at the beach or exploring, snorkeling, scuba diving or taking a sunset boat cruise through the waters. Today is for relaxing.
On the 3rd day, we head south to Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, where we will spend the night. Here we have time to explore the historical and unique architecture.
Today we leave Zanzibar early and catch a ferry back to Dar es Salaam and return to our truck. It is a fairly short drive to reach our next destination, Bagamoyo, who’s name goes back to the days of slavery and means “lay down your heart”. We settle into our overnight spot which is situated on the beach. Here you will have the afternoon free to step into the inviting Indian Ocean or laze on the beach and enjoy the timeless views across the ocean. The town of Bagamoyo is a short walk away and you can explore this vibrant town on foot.
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.
The following days are set aside for the 3-night optional camping excursion into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. This area has one of the most densely inhabited large animal populations in Africa. The Serengeti excursion is in open topped 4×4 safari vehicles in order to tackle the challenging side roads in the parks. We leave our accommodation in the morning and drive to the Serengeti. On arrival we will start with our first game drive.
We spend the entire day game driving through the Serengeti. Our route is depending on the movement of the game and sightings.
Today we explore more of the Serengeti and make our way to the famous Ngorongoro Crater. We drive down to the bottom of the Crater, where we try and see as many animals as possible.
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.
After crossing the border into Kenya we continue to travel towards Nairobi. Founded by the British in 1899 as a simple rail depot, the town quickly grew to become the capital of British East Africa and eventually the capital of Kenya in 1963. Usually we enjoy a group meal out at one of Nairobi’s excellent restaurants.
We leave the capital of Nairobi and travel to the Masai Mara, world renowned for it’s endless plains of wild animals and spectacular beauty. The visit to the Masai Mara is operated in safari type vehicles and not the our truck. For this reason, you are asked to pack a small overnight bag to travel with. You will need your towel, sleeping bag, clothes, toiletries and camping essentials.
The rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities. Some of the other animals that could be found here include elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers, which traverse this reserve. Today we will spend the entire day game driving through the Mara in search of all the animals.
Jinja is Uganda’s second largest city and more famous as the point where the Nile (officially the Victoria Nile) flows out of Lake Victoria and begins the 6695 kilometre journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean.
The Murchison Falls, also referred to as the Kabaraga Falls, is a waterfall found on the course of the great Nile and are located within the Murchison National Park. The park is recognized as one of the best National Parks in Uganda. After settling into our accommodation, your guide will brief you on the activities for the following day. If time permits, you may have the opportunity to participate in the optional activity of viewing the falls, however please note that this is dependent on when we will be doing our chimp trekking and it’s not guaranteed that the viewing of the falls is possible.
Budongo Forest is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa and is home to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. It is believed that there are between 600 – 700 chimpanzees in Budongo and this morning we will meet up with our chimp guide who will take us on our trek through the forest in search of the chimps. We will also enjoy a game drive through the park in search of the great diversity of wild animals. Note: As the Chimp trekking is limited to 12 guests per trek, should there be more than 12 guests on a tour the trekking will be split between the morning and the afternoon. Therefore you may find that you will first do the game drive activity followed by the Chimp trekking or vice versa. Please allow for flexibility.
This morning is set aside to participate in any activities, should we not have been able to participate in them in the previous days. It’s then onto Kampala where you will have the afternoon free to take in the atmosphere of this bustling city.
Lake Bunyonyi is a small but attractive lake with steep sides and abundant birdlife. Ringed by mountains, the lake is best known for its dense Otter population and stunning scenery. We make use of this beautiful spot to relax the night before the final drive to the gorillas.
he mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers vary it is widely assumed that there are only around 650 left. Visiting the gorillas is a great way to support their future on earth as the money spent on permits is used for their protection. An extremely important part of the future conservation of the remaining gorillas rests in the community development work – as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach, the future of the mountain gorilla is assured.
As permits granting permission to visit the gorillas are extremely limited we require flexibility in both the tour itinerary and where we actually visit them. The home of the mountain gorillas is completely at odds with man-made borders and so their range encompasses Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Whenever possible we choose to make use of the National Park in Uganda, but this depends on the availability of permits.
Should we not obtain permits to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda then we will inform all passengers beforehand that the tour will travel to Rwanda or DRC.
On your free day in Bunyoni you will have the opportunity to participate in certain optional activities. You can also go hiking or explore the area on a mountain bike.
Although there are 2 days allocated to Gorilla Trekking you will only spend one day on the trek. The other days are there to provide a large enough window in which to obtain permits and to allow the entire group to trek if there are more than 6 of you on the tour. Today we will enjoy a visit to the Nyombi Village, a Pygmy village which is reached by motor boat from Bunyonyi Resort. We will have the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Pygmies and how they live.
Today we say farewell to the Gorillas and make the long journey back to Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
We depart Kampala early to arrive at Jinja just before lunch. This afternoon you will have time to relax and enjoy the various activities available here including swimming, quad biking, kayaking and rafting.
Returning to Kenya we visit Eldoret, the country’s 5th largest city. The Great Rift Valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region and the altitude at Eldoret is 2100 metres above sea level.
Returning to our final destination Nairobi, the largest city in the East Africa region, there’s an optional dinner, where we can swap stories and exchange contact details.
NB: The itinerary is flexible and can be changed without notice in order to accommodate the best possible viewing of the Gorillas. The Permit price to visit the Gorillas can also change without notice.Accommodation
On our camping tours you will be staying in two-man dome tents. We supply a mattress and you supply your own sleeping bag.
- All transport by Adventure Vehicle
- All Accommodation (Camping and hostels)
- All Camping Equipment
- Support 24/7 with 2 driver guides per vehicle
- Detailed predeparture packs covering all essential need to know details
- Support information covering Visas
- All activities as per itinerary (not including activity pack activities).
- Services of a tour guide
- Most meals: B x 52 L x 52 D x 46
- Side Trips as per Itinerary (not Serengeti 4 day trip)
- Flights to and from Africa
- Pre and post accommodation
- Travel Insurance
- Gorilla permit +/- 650 USD
- 4 day Serengeti excursion (about zar 7700)
Frequently Asked Questions
The Africa Overland Truck Tours are open to all ages and nationalities.
All people who join an adventure tour need to be in good health. Medical facilities are not always available. If you have a specific medical condition it is compulsory for you to advise us before departure.
Malaria is a real concern in many areas of Africa, especially during the rainy season. Our advice is simple, prevent getting bitten by using an insect repellent and use an effective prophylactic. Speak to your doctor before selecting your Malaria medication.
Please ensure you have the relevant vaccinations. Proof of innoculation is required on certain tours. The best is to contact your GP.
This is covered comprehensively in the pre-departure dossier. South African Rand and Credit Cards work in Southern Africa. In East Africa (incl. Zimbabwe and Zambia) USD cash is best
Passengers under the age of 18 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian. Passengers over the age of 65 require a medical clearance certificate from their doctor stating they are fit enough to travel.
A sense of fun and a flexible attitude! A full checklist of essential items is included in the pre-departure info document.
Your watch, cellphone, laptop, work, stress, concept of time, pre-conceptions about anything and any attitude that is not pure adventure.
Although we will do our best at all times to ensure that the tour remains on schedule we want to make it very clear that this is not always possible. There is always something unexpected on a tour, sometimes the truck gets stuck in mud, or sand, sometimes it rains… Anything can happen, but nothing that a good sense of humour cannot overcome.
Yes! Make sure your insurance covers being airlifted in case of serious illness/injury as good hospital facilities are often a long way from where our tours travel. Free credit card insurance is often insufficient, so a separate policy is recommended. As travel insurance is compulsory, you will be asked for the policy number before being allowed to board our vehicle.
The average number of passengers on a tour is 18. On the camping tours there is a maximum of 24 and minimum of 4. On the Accommodated tour the minimum is 4 and the maximum is 18. The maximum number on Gorillas, Serengeti and Masai Mara tours is 18. Single Supplements are limited to 4 per tour on all tours.
Of course not, but you will not make many friends! On our tours our guides do most of the work. On a camping tour your participation in camp chores is limited: taking turns to assist with washing-up duties, putting up and taking down your tent and loading your bags. On some of our accommodated tours we include a camp assistant.
You are responsible for your own visas. Please check the itinerary of your tour carefully and if you need a multiple entry visa be sure to get one. Your passport needs to be valid for 6 months after your departure date from Africa and you must have at least 3-4 blank pages available. Some countries will not allow you to enter without 2 blank pages in your passport
All of our tours are priced on twin share accommodation. The single supplement is not compulsory on our camping tours but if you want your own tent you need to pay the single supplement. If you are booking one of our accommodated tours alone you have to pay the single supplement. There are a maximum of 4 single supplements available on all tours.
All travellers will be required to sign our indemnity form on departure. Any person refusing to do so will not be allowed on the tour.