42 days

Grand Africa - Cairo to Cape Town

Grand Africa - Cairo to Cape Town

Cairo Museum

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cairo

Edfu and Komombo temples

Luxor's open air museum

The Valley of the Kings

Nile cruise

The Great Pyramids and Sphinx

Nubean Aswan

The flamingos of Lake Nakuru

Lake Naivasha's hippos

Game drives in the Masai Mara

Masai Mara's mammal migrations

Tented camp stays

The children of East Africa Mission Orphanage

Game drives in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Serengeti

The 'Garden of Eden' of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater

The black-maned tree-climbing lions and flamingos of Lake Manyara National Park

‘The smoke that thunders' - Victoria Falls

Chobe National Park's river

Okavango Delta by 'mokoro'

Etosha National Park - game drives and floodlit waterholes

Seaside holiday town of Swakopmund

Skeleton Coast's Cape fur seals

The orange blaze of Sossusvlei's desert dunes

The wine-growing region of Cederberg Mountains

Cape Town - South Africa's 'Mother City'

The beaches, cultural diversity and slave history of the 'spice islands' of Zanzibar

Trip rating
  • Travelling through Africa's top national parks makes for one of life's most rewarding adventures. Couple that with an in-depth look at the ancient sites of Egypt, and you have a very special itinerary. Let our local leaders introduce you to Africa's lions, leopards and pyramids of Giza!

     

     

    Why we love it

    • This grand adventure takes us from one end of the African continent to the other and offers an in-depth experience that combines ancient history with wildlife and breathtaking scenery.
    • uncover the mysteries of Egypt and admire pharaonic treasures as we embark on a cruise up the Nile, witnessing the local rural life along the river as we meander along
    • the ‘Big Five’ await us as do many other members of the animal kingdom. Zanzibar is our perfect halfway stop with its stunning beaches and evocative old town.
    • Southern Africa offers us more stunning wildlife experiences, Mother Nature’s landmark places such as Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta, Fish River Canyon and Table Mountain.

    Itinerary

    Day 1-2 - Cairo

    • On arrival at Cairo International Airport, you are met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day so you may arrive in Cairo at any time. Note that hotel rooms are generally only available after midday. The balance of the day is free to explore your surroundings, but normally a Welcome Meeting is held in the evening where you meet your tour leader and fellow travellers.
    • After breakfast the following morning, we drive out to Memphis on the edge of the Western Desert, where a small museum marks the site of the ancient city. We then continue to its necropolis, Saqqara, where our guide explains the significance of the various temples and colonnades. At the centre of the complex is the step pyramid of King Djoser, believed to be over 5000 years old and the predecessor to the great pyramids at Giza. Nearby we visit the tombs of the nobles, containing exquisite bas-reliefs of everyday life in ancient times. At the conclusion of our visit we return to Cairo, where the balance of the day is at leisure to explore this busy metropolis or just relax at our hotel.
    Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Cairo - overnight train

    • The Egyptian Museum is simply one of the world's great museums, home to a stupendous collection of antiquities and the perfect introduction to our tour, exhibiting many of the region's treasures. We head there after breakfast and our expert guide takes us through Egypt's rich and fascinating dynastic history. You will then have some free time to explore on your own; you may wish to visit the Royal Mummy Room (optional and at extra cost). We then drive out to Giza, home to perhaps the greatest iconic structures ever created by man - the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Instantly familiar yet retaining a mystique and power, getting up close to these incredible pharaonic tombs is captivating. For an additional charge you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), although occasionally it may be closed to visitors. Afterwards we return to our hotel, where there is plenty of time to freshen up and pack before we are transferred to the railway station for the overnight sleeper train to Luxor. Sleeping berths (beds and linen) are provided in private cabins and an airline-style dinner is served. It is worth bringing additional snacks and your tour leader can help you to arrange this. A toilet is located at the end of each carriage.
    Sleeper Train
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 4 - Luxor

    • After an early breakfast on board, the train rolls into Luxor - a buzzing place with a great bazaar and situated close to some of ancient Egypt's most important and extraordinary sights. We transfer to our Nile cruise boat, which will be our home for the next four nights. We can relax by the pool on the boat or explore the town. Later in the day we take horse-drawn carriages to Karnak - one of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 200 years. Our guided tour of the temple reveals the complex's finest sections. For the rest of the afternoon and evening we are free to relax, shop in the bazaar (open until quite late) or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local tea house.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 5 - Valley of the Kings - Luxor - Nile Cruise

    • We rise early this morning (very much earlier during summer!) and head into the Valley of the Kings, where buried under the arid hills are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. It's a compelling place, vast and spectacular, and discoveries are still being made. Tutankhamun's final resting place is also located here, but entry to this small tomb is quite limited. It is at additional cost, but you will be given some free time when you will have the opportunity to visit it. Our guide explains the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. We visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Our final stop is at the Colossi of Memnon - giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade. We return to our boat and enjoy lunch on board. There is time to relax on deck or in your cabin before we set sail for Edfu. Departure time may vary, depending on river traffic – please refer to the note regarding cruise schedules in the 'Other Information' section. We pass through Esna Lock, which can sometimes be a slow process depending on the number of vessels waiting to get through, and continue our journey upstream.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Nile Cruise (Edfu - Komombo)

    • Morning finds us moored near Edfu, an excellently-preserved temple dedicated to Horus - the falcon-headed god. We disembark and explore the temple as well as experiencing the bustling town centre. Returning to our cruise boat we continue travelling upriver, relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the surrounding sights - desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working their land. Arriving at Komombo, our short walk around the Temple of Sobek (the crocodile-headed god) that lies picturesquely ruined on the river's edge provides an interesting insight into the Greco-Roman period.
    Riverboat
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - Aswan

    • We arrive in Aswan, Egypt's southernmost city and a place with an easygoing charm that is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Depending on our arrival time, we may visit the beautiful Temple of Isis that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island (alternatively we will visit it tomorrow). It is an absolute gem, its decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt's finest carvings - definitely one of the highlights of Upper Egypt. The rest of our day is free to wander – and Aswan is a great place for it. The Nubian Bazaar is a must, while the excellent Nubian Museum is recommended by many. The waterfront promenade, or Aswan's 'corniche', runs alongside the one of Nile's most appealing stretches and is the perfect place to stop for a mint tea. In the evening we visit a Nubian village and enjoy the hospitality of our hosts as we dine out on some delicious local cuisine. We are also treated to some Nubian dancing and may even have the chance to perform some of the moves ourselves!
    Hotel Basma or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8-9 - Aswan - overnight flight

    • We disembark our cruise boat and check into a hotel. Day 8 is a free day for us to make our own discoveries in Aswan and its surroundings. Aswan is one of the most pleasant cities in Egypt, so it's also an ideal place to relax and chill out. The visit to Abu Simbel will take place on the morning of Day 8 for those of us who booked this option with our tour leader back in Cairo. This optional trip is well worth it. With the four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, this is one of Egypt's most memorable sights. A popular afternoon option in Aswan is a sailboat ride around the islands in a traditional felucca, stopping off at the botanical gardens on Kitchener's Island. Alternatively, take a camel ride to the Monastery of St Simeon - an abandoned 7th century fortress monastery located in the desert on the Nile's west bank.
    • After breakfast on Day 9 we are transferred to Aswan airport for the short flight back to Cairo where we are transferred to our hotel. Today we dive into another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. We head to Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo's oldest mosque and the Gayer-Anderson Museum. The 'Khan', sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience - a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes and retaining a distinctly medieval and sometimes carnivalesque feel. It's Cairo's finest area for you to practise your bartering skills! We explore the gold market, 'perfume street' and the spice market, where heady aromas hang in the air like a thick blanket of Damascene cloth (which can be purchased next door in the cloth market!). The beautiful 9th century Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest, largest and arguably the most beautiful mosque in Egypt – the perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret both help to mark it out as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture, Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas (dating to the 16th and 17th centuries AD). Once owned by an English army officer, the two houses contain a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia, giving us a great insight into Cairene life during the Ottoman period. We then continue into the Khan el Khalili bazaar, which sprawls around an old area of Cairo known as Al Azhar. The tortuous streets and alleyways - and attendant hawkers - look like a scene from 1001 Nights as our tour leader takes us into the heart of the bazaar. We explore the gold market, 'perfume street' and the spice market – where the scent of cumin, coriander and cardamon hangs in the air like a thick blanket of Damascene cloth (which can be purchased next door in the cloth market!). There's time for you to do some last-minute shopping here before you are transferred from your Cairo hotel to the airport for your overnight flight to Nairobi (flight not included).
    Overnight Flight
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Nairobi

    • On arrival in Nairobi, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Although you arrive at an early hour of the day, your hotel room in Nairobi will be ready for you. Upon arrival in the hotel our local representative will meet you to ensure that all is well. This representative will also provide details of a trip briefing on the East Africa sector of your tour to be held in the evening at the hotel, as well as any additional tours or activities that you may wish to enjoy whilst in Nairobi. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, was established at the turn of the century by the Europeans as a stores depot during the building of the East African Railway. Without plan or design it established itself as the capital of the British protectorate, and today has a population of around three million comprising a mixture of Africans, Asians and Europeans. While the predominant tribe is the Kikuyu, the city does not have one single dominating ethnic group. Its accidental choice as capital, virtually located on the meeting territories of three important tribes, has been diplomatically fortunate for the economic growth of the country. If you have spare time before the tour there are many places to visit in and around Nairobi. Options include Daphne Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage, the Karen Blixen Museum, Langata Giraffe Centre and a meal at the famous Carnivore Restaurant, where meat lovers can taste a variety of barbecued game meat.
    Panafric Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 11 - Lake Nakuru

    • We depart Nairobi after breakfast and head north, driving along the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley.
    • AM visit to Elsamere lunch and boat activity - freshwater Lake Naivasha – the second largest lake in Kenya and the highest of the lakes (1884m) in the Great Rift Valley. We visit a house that contains much history. 'Elsamere' is the former home of the writer, Joy Adamson. 'Born Free' was written in 1960 and did much to bring the issue of African wildlife conservation into the mainstream. The house is a veritable museum that dedicated to the works of Joy and George Adamson, and of course there are many photos of Elsa – the lioness that started it all! It's also a great place to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, with the lake as a serene backdrop. We get to enjoy a boat trip on the lake, where we look out for some of the many resident hippos that live on the waters.
    • After lunch heading to the East Africa Mission Orphanage, just outside Nakuru. Here we meet the children who call this orphanage home. They love to practice their English skills and also are excited to know more about the world - be warned they will have lots of questions for you! The East Africa Mission Orphanage looks after more than 100 children ranging in age from just a few days old to 15 years years of age. The complete needs of the children, including full school education, are provided for by the orphanage. This orphanage is actually the result of the dream of one family, who arrived in Kenya in 1997 with nothing more than two suitcases each. It is a charitable institution, registered with the Kenyan Government for the purposes of caring for the thousands of homeless orphans that would end up either dying a premature death through malnutrition, walking the streets in search of food or turning to prostitution as a means of survival. The orphanage is taking up the challenge to reach out to these children before they have to fend for themselves out in the streets. We are proud to help support the efforts of this family and their incredible orphanage, and is excited to be able to take clients right into the orphanage itself! on completion we return to our lodge for the night.
    Sleeping Warrior Camp or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12 - Lake Nakuru

    • This morning we visit Lake Nakuru National park the centrepiece of the park is the lake itself. Lake Nakuru is a soda lake which is home to massive numbers of flamingos - up to two million on occasion - and thousands of other birds. It has been described as the world's greatest ornithological spectacle and, at times, the lake is literally a sea of pink. In addition, the park itself also boasts substantial numbers of other species, including waterbuck, reedbuck, kudu and gazelle. Leopards are also to be found here, providing good chances for sightings (although there are no guarantees!). Perhaps we may also be fortunate enough to encounter one of Africa's most endangered animals - the rhinoceros. There is quite a good chance of seeing white rhinos, whilst black rhinos may prove to be more elusive.
    Sleeping Warrior Camp or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 13-14 - Masai Mara National Reserve

    • We head south-west to our next destination, the Masai Mara - arguably one of the finest game reserves in Africa. The area is known for its rolling green plains and riverine woodlands, and amongst the many species of game, we may be lucky to observe black-maned lion, leopard and cheetah. These predators find an abundant food supply in the massive herds of wildebeest, zebra, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle that roam the grasslands. We arrive at the park in time to enjoy lunch and settle in. In the afternoon we embark on a game drive, pausing to enjoy sundowners prior to heading back to camp in the early evening. As dusk falls we may see a variety of animals in the vicinity and listen to the sounds of the African night from our lodge. The next day we explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives and witness the wonderful procession of wildlife that inhabit this area. Wildebeest, zebra and gazelle are plentiful and, with luck, we may spot the predators keeping a casual eye on their movements. Elephant, giraffe and eland are also commonly sighted, along with plenty of bird life.
    JK Mara Camp or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 15 - Migori

    • We leave the Masai Mara behind and make our way onward to Migori. On the way we will stop for lunch (own expense) and visit a local Soapstone factory in Kisii.
    • Kisii town is home to the best soapstone carvers in the continent. Their products are very popular in Australian, Europe and the USA. Kisii is a favourite stopover for tourists who want a taste of the exquisite Kisii cravings.
    Grabo County Dream Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 16-17 - Serengeti National Park

    • This morning at 7am cross into Tanzania before heading to the Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti, which means 'endless
    • plains' in Masai, is Tanzania's largest park, covering an area of 14,700 square kilometres. Its main claim to fame lies in the fact that
    • it is home to over three million animals including a multitude of plains animals that provide for the greatest wildlife spectacle in the
    • world. A unique phenomenon is the annual migration. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra trek the route annually, in
    • some places simply grazing, in other places rushing madly across rivers and plains. The game most likely to be seen in the
    • Serengeti in addition to the wildebeest and zebra are gazelle, lion, cheetah, warthog, hyena, hippo and ostrich. In all there are more
    • than thirty-five species of plains animals, as well as a great profusion of bird life. The landscape changes within the park from the
    • vast treeless central plains to thick scrub and forest in the north. Linking these areas is the savannah, dotted with acacia trees and
    • magnificent rock outcrops.
    • In addition to wildebeest and zebra, the game we’re most likely to come across in the Serengeti are gazelle, lion, cheetah, warthog,
    • hyena, hippo and ostrich. In all there are more than thirty-five species of plains animals, as well as an abundance of birdlife.
    • The Serengeti landscape varies from the vast treeless central plains to thick scrub and forest in the north. Linking these is the
    • savannah, dotted with acacia trees and magnificent rock outcrops.
    • We’ll enjoy a further full day of game drives on Day 17 in the magnificent Serengeti.
    • Perhaps the ultimate way to go game viewing is on a hot air balloon safari over the great plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara.
    • Hot-air ballooning in East Africa offers an unforgettable way to see a truly spectacular part of the world and we strongly recommend
    • booking this activity prior to departure.
    Kati Kati Tented Camp or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 18 - Ngorongoro Highlands

    • After an early morning game drive we depart for the Ngorongoro Crater. Upon arrival we check into our accommodation just outside on the other side of the crater.
    Ngorongoro Farmhouse or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 19 - Ngorongoro Highlands

    • In the morning we descend to the crater floor, where we hope to see some, if not all, of the 'Big Five'. Ngorongoro Crater is indisputably one of Africa's most beautiful nature reserves and is certainly one of the most spectacular settings found anywhere. It is the largest intact crater in the world and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1978. Geologically, Ngorongoro is the remnant of a volcano that blew apart, leaving a flat plain area ringed with steep walls. The Ngorongoro volcano, before it exploded and collapsed 2 million years ago, was one of the world's tallest mountains. Unlike the Serengeti and Masai Mara, the migration in the Ngorongoro Crater is scant, as it has an abundant year-round food and water supply, and the walls of the collapsed volcano discourage migration. Animals within the Ngorongoro Crater are less shy of people and safari vehicles, so it's easier to view the animals up close. Views from the rim of the crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and hills. The Masai are permitted to water their cattle at the permanent lake and can be seen leading their animals in and out of the crater. The most commonly seen animals are lion, wildebeest, zebra, eland, bushbuck, cheetah, jackal, buffalo, Grant's gazelle, Thompson's gazelle and black rhinoceros.
    • Afternoon at leisure to do walking activities, coffee tour.
    Ngorongoro Farmhouse or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 20-21 - Lake Manyara National Park - Zanzibar (East Coast Beaches)

    • Early morning game viewing into Lake Manyara National Park with picnic lunch before heading to Arusha - Zanzibar It is then time for fond farewells, as some of us may be leaving the trip in Arusha, along with our tour leader from the East Africa sector. Those of us continuing to Zanzibar are transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport for our flight. You will be unescorted for the Zanzibar sector, but our local representatives will be on hand to look after you. On arrival you are transferred to the east coast of the island. During your time by the beach you can enjoy safe swimming, excellent snorkelling, diving and other water sports including wind surfing and water skiing. There is a fitness centre for those who want to do some exercise prior to the excellent meals served in the restaurant. Our wonderful resort is situated along a white sandy beach. There is a swimming pool, water sports, restaurants, bars and shopping bazaar. It's a perfect place to unwind in the middle of our busy safari.
    Breezes Beach Club or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 22 - Zanzibar (Stone Town)

    • Our third day in Zanzibar is spent in Stone Town, where the remainder of our day is at leisure to explore around the winding alleyways and streets. The historic buildings hark back to a bygone era and the magnificent doors are features to look out for as impressive examples of Swahili heritage. Alternatively you might like to join a highly recommended tour of the spice plantations, which can be easily arranged through our local operator, Zanzibar Unique. On this spice tour you should see and taste a variety of spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, etc.), as well as tropical fruits. Your guide may also introduce certain rare plants including the henna bush and lipstick tree before you are driven back to Stone Town.
    Tembo Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 23 - Johannesburg

    • Today you fly south to Johannesburg - the largest city in South Africa. You will be unescorted during this portion of the tour. You can expect to arrive at the Peermont Metcourt Hotel Johannesburg by mid-afternoon. On arrival please make your way to the shuttle terminus located in the Parkade building, between the domestic & international terminals. Wait for the Emperors Palace bus at the terminus. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes. Emperor's Palace houses a selection of restaurants for you to enjoy.
    Peermont Metcourt or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 24 - Victoria Falls

    • This morning you take the courtesy airport shuttle from your hotel to Johannesburg International Airport, for your flight to Victoria Falls. The shuttle service departs from the hotel at 20 minute intervals. On arrival at Victoria Falls you are met and transferred to our boutique lodge. Ideally situated in the centre of town, the lodge is also one of the closest to the falls. So close in fact that we can see the spray of the falls from your balcony. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to wander around town and to book any optional tours or activities through local agents. Tonight we are transferred from our lodge to experience an incredible meal and musical performance at the Boma Restaurant, also known as The House Of Eating. Here we are welcomed with a taste of the local beer, Chibuku, which starts off our culinary adventure. Soups, freshly baked breads and salads are the first courses. Then the main meal arrives - a buffet style array of local meats, which may include warthog, buffalo, crocodile, impala and many more, and are cooked before your eyes on a flamed grill. A range of locally inspired, tasty dishes complement the meats. To complete the feast a number of delicious desserts are on offer. Throughout the meal we are entertained with local song and dance, whilst traditional storytellers may stop by with a colourful story or two. After dinner every guest is given African drum so that we can join in the entertainers. After we are taught how to hold the beat, all restaurant guests and musicians combine together to create some great African music, whilst the dancers continue to amaze us with their athletic ability. Please note that if you do not wish to join in with the drumming you may wish to choose an earlier session for dinner. A suggestion for this evening is to be transferred earlier to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, where it is possible to enjoy a 'sundowner' at their outdoor bar that overlooks a waterhole. From here we are transferred the very short distance to the Boma for dinner.
    Victoria Falls Safari Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 25 - Victoria Falls - Chobe National Park

    • This morning we visit magnificent Victoria Falls, named by Dr David Livingstone in honour of his English queen. These falls are also commonly referred to by their Kololo name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, or 'the Smoke That Thunders'. Before we start our guided tour, we need to pay US$20 entry fee to the falls at the national park gate and this must be paid for in US dollars cash. (These are Zimbabwean Government regulations. Please ensure you have the correct money and that the notes are not issued prior to the year 2000.) Once inside the park our guide takes us through the falls area, stop at the different viewpoints and explain about the history of the falls and its surroundings. These magnificent falls are considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world and, when in full flow, form the largest sheet of falling water in the world. We then follow the Zambezi River to Botswana and make our way to Chobe National Park, where we enjoy a cruise on the Chobe River. Along the way we look out for elephants and lions without having to reach for our binoculars. We may even get close enough to the wildlife for close-up photography. The bird life on the water is often spectacular and we are sure to be enthralled by sightings of saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles, goliath herons and beautiful bee-eaters, to name but a few. There are good numbers of hippopotamus in the river and from time to time we may see crocodiles on the river banks, although they are surprisingly shy, or perhaps a large monitor lizard seeking to make a meal of crocodile eggs. We also spend the night in a mobile camp inside Chobe National Park itself and get to experience this African nature wonderland at night, long after all the day-trippers have left.
    Thebe Safari Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 26 - Chobe National Park - Kwando River - Mudumu National Park Region

    • We enjoy an early morning game drive in Chobe National Park, where we may see elephants drinking at the waters' edge. The park also boasts large herds of cape buffaloes. Please note that a visit to Chobe National Park itself is not a complete wilderness experience, as we are sure to see other people, boats and vehicles when inside the park. We leave Botswana and enter Namibia travelling west along the Caprivi Strip, a 500 kilometre narrow finger of land that connects the rest of Namibia with the Zambezi River. Midway along this strip we stop to spend a night at our lodge just outside the Mudumu National Park. This afternoon we have the option to partake in several activities offered by the lodge. These range from a boating, fishing, birdwatching (over 400 species recorded here) or joining a guided game drive or a game walk. In this subtropical region we get a chance to photograph animals that are rare to other areas of Namibia, such as hippo, sable antelope, lechwe, tsessebe and buffalo, to name but a few.
    Namushasha Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 27-28 - Okavango Delta

    • This morning we exit Namibia and re-enter Botswana at the Muhembo border. After completing immigration formalities we continue along the edge of the Okavango Delta to Sepupa, where we turn off the main road and on to the sandy river paths that take us to the edge of the Okavango River. At Sepupa we transfer to motorboats to travel along the upper reaches of the Okavango Delta system to our home for the next two nights, which is a houseboat in the middle of the Okavango Delta. From our floating home we have the chance to experience the intricacies of the waterways using basic, traditional dugout canoes, known as mokoros. Normally it's a case of two passengers and one poler per mokoro, with the passengers sitting down whilst the poler stands at the back and navigates the way through the myriad waterways, passing palm islands and travelling through lagoons sometimes covered in water lilies or boasting wonderful reflections in the more open areas. Travelling in this manner allows us to delve further afield into the delta in a manner that seems entirely appropriate to our surroundings - a fine way to enjoy the tranquil waterways in this unspoiled part of Africa. The silence may only be broken by the quiet 'whoosh' of your canoe moving on the water or the calls of the many species of birds that live in the area. In the afternoon we return to our houseboat to take a motorboat ride out to witness the often breathtaking sunset.
    Delta Boathouse or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 29 - Rundu

    • Today we drive through Kavango Region to the border at Muhembo, where we re-enter Namibia. We leave the sandy river paths along the edge of the Okavango River; the contrast between the lush and green riverine setting we've been travelling in and the fairly arid country to which we are heading is quite remarkable. We arrive at our accommodation in the late afternoon and have time to explore the area on foot and enjoy a sundowner in this unusual desert wetland.
    Nkwazi Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 30-32 - Etosha National Park

    • This morning we drive to Etosha Nationl Park; Namibia's largest and best known national park and the third largest wildlife sanctuary in the world. The Etosha Pan (the word 'pan' meaning either a wet or dry waterhole) that forms about a third of the park is a vast shallow depression 139 kilometres long and 50 kilometres wide, and is the all that remains of a once great inland sea. Most of it is dry for much of the year, resulting in a shimmering sea of white salt. However, a number of permanent springs are located along its southern shores and these sometimes hold water left by the rainy season, which provides sustenance for the large quantities of wildlife. Many wild animals are attracted to these springs and, during the course of our stay, we hope to see wildebeest, zebra, springbok, kudu, giraffe, jackal, elephant and, with a little luck, lion, leopard, hyena or perhaps even a cheetah. Upon arrival into the park, we check into our accommodation before taking a short game drive before sunset. We spend three outstanding nights in Etosha National Park and explore the varied regions of the park by staying in the park's rest camps. Included breakfasts are taken at the restaurants, whilst lunches and dinners are at your own expense. For these other meals, you may like to eat in the restaurants localed within the camp. There are small local shops that sell groceries at each of the camps. The usual routine involves waking up a little before dawn to start our morning game drive when the sun comes up, as this is often one of the most productive times of the day when most animals tends to be more active. After what is hopefully an exciting morning's drive (every game drive is different and, as you are not in a zoo, there are no guarantees!), we return to camp for brunch and to relax during the heat of the day. Alternatively you may wish to take a swim or spend some time at the waterhole, before the next drive. We set off again in the afternoon and expect to return to a little before sunset. It is always a treat to watch the sunset before enjoying supper and then going out to view the star-filled night sky.
    Okaukuejo Chalets or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 33 - Himba Village - Otjitotongwe - Gelbingen

    • Leaving Etosha we continue south to visit the Himba people in their village. Descendants of Herero herders, they are semi-nomadic people and are unique in that they have rejected modern ways in favour of traditional beliefs and methods. The women have elaborately plaited hair and incredibly smooth skins, due to an ointment that they make purely from natural products. The struggle for the Himbas will be retain their identity in the face of a modern world that is fast encroaching, bringing with it the inevitable changes. We can also make a optional visit to Kamanjab and visit the Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park. Many cheetahs are being persecuted in Namibia by farmers because they pose a threat to livestock, so this centre helps to protect them and provide them with a home. A drive in a truck around the large enclosed areas out the back enables us to meet several cheetahs. We may also get a very close-up encounter with lodge's tame cheetah near the house.
    Gelbingen Guest Farm or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 34 - Khorixas

    • Heading on, we pass through some small towns and continue deeper into Damaraland, an incredibly picturesque region where prehistoric water courses merged with open plains, grasslands, massive granite koppies and distant mountains to carve out a unique landscape. The area is also home to several free roaming species including desert elephant, black rhinoceros, ostrich and springbok. We spend the day exploring, by travelling through impressive and sometimes breathtaking semi-desert scenery, distinguished by amazing shapes and colours and sometimes weird vegetation. This is literally a land of vast open spaces and far horizons. On arrival at the great rock amphitheatre of Twyfelfontein, we stop to view some of the hundreds of rock engravings and imagine what life must have been like here thousands of years ago. Some of these etchings actually date back to the early Stone Age. In 2007 these were put on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Unbelievably, some 2000 figures are engraved here into the rocks and serve as key artefacts which help archaeologists to uncover more information about the traditions, rituals and beliefs of local tribes. It is a bit of a scramble to reach some of the best etchings, but well worth the effort. We then continue a short distance to Khorixas, the capital of the region.
    Igowati Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 35-36 - Cape Cross - Swakopmund

    • We travel south away from the heart of Damaraland and then head across the gravel plains of the Namib Desert towards the Atlantic Ocean coastline. Upon reaching Swakopmund we turn north to Cape Cross, on the southern end of the Skeleton Coast. Cape Cross is a huge breeding site for Cape fur seals, with numbers reaching up to 100,000. With so many seals concentrated in a small area we are greeted with an incredible sight and sometimes an incredible smell, especially if the winds are blowing the wrong way! The shoreline here and the surrounding waters are usually a seething mass of seals. We wander along the coastline and seek out some great photographic opportunities. The site also contains a large cross and an informative plaque about the person whom left the cross there - Diego Cao, who in 1485 was the first European person to land on Namibian soil. Our base for the next two nights in Swakopmund is a centrally located lodge, walking distance to the town's many attractions. Your time in Swakopmund will be free to explore the many options available in this beautiful coastal place. You may decide to wander through the numerous (and often eclectic) shops, stroll along the stretches of beach, barter for souvenirs in the open-air curio market, enjoy a coffee at one of the cosy cafes, explore the excellent local museum or get nautical at the Namibian National Marine Aquarium. Alternatively, there are various optional activities that can be arranged (at additional cost). These include such adventures as, scenic drives to Sandwich Harbour, fishing trips (both from the beach or in a boat), quad biking (4 wheel motorbikes) or sandboarding trips in the nearby dunes, amongst others.
    Hotel Zum Kaiser or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 37 - Sesriem - Namib Nauklift

    • We leave Swakopmund and head south to Walvis Bay to look at the bird life that is attracted to the large lagoon. Flamingos can often be found here in large numbers. We then re-enter the stark flatness of the Namib Desert and traverse Kuiseb Canyon, experiencing spectacular mountain desert vistas and sand dunes. We stop at the single store of Solitaire for some scrumptious afternoon tea (own expense) created by Moose, which is renowned throughout Namibia! As we are now at the easternmost edge of the dune fields of the country, the scenery is stunning, with the grassy savannah interspersed with free roaming wildlife such as springbok, oryx and ostrich. We reach our accommodation in the late afternoon, in time to settle in and enjoy the sunset. This is sure to whet our appetite for the even more impressive sights to come and is a perfect way to end the day. On both evenings here, we get to enjoy excellent country-style meals in the dining area.
    Sossus Desert Camp or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 38 - Namib-Naukluft National Park

    • The effort required getting up and departing before dawn should be well and truly worth it! As we drive in towards Sossusvlei the stars fade and, as pre-dawn light brushes the dunes, the full impact of this incredible scene begins to hit you. When dawn arrives, the scene becomes breathtaking. The colours of some of the greatest dunes blaze orange, as the sun first strikes their slopes. The sheer size of it all, together with the impact of light and shade on the ridgelines, leaves most people speechless. Later in the morning we walk into Sossusvlei, which is the end of an ancient riverbed. Usually it is devoid of water, but in recent years some unseasonal and heavy rains on occasions have turned it into a lake, surrounded by mountains of sand. There is the opportunity to climb Dune 45, depending on how energetic you feel. It can be quite hard work as your feet seem to slip and slide away from beneath you, but the rewarding views make it all worthwhile. This afternoon we visit nearby Sesriem Gorge - a small, but fascinating area where the desert strata has been cut away by the force of occasional floodwaters over thousands of years. A trip out to Elim Dune is the perfect way to end our experiences in Namib-Naukluft National Park.
    Sossus Desert Camp or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 39-40 - Fish River Canyon - Cederberg

    • Travelling south, we reach our destination at Fish River Canyon. In a country of scenic superlatives, this canyon is perhaps the 'jewel in the crown'. Nearly 30 kilometres across and 160 kilometres in length, it is reportedly the second largest (and one of the least visited) canyon in the world. We walk along the rim and, in the late afternoon, watch the canyon walls change colour, as they are tinged with golden rays from the setting sun. We then wind our way across a mountainous plateau to reach the Gariep River, which marks the border between Namibia and South Africa. Beyond the border are the dramatic mountains of the Cederberg range. Laden with citrus farms, Cederberg is also the highest wine-growing region in the country and, time-permitting, we may get to sample some of the local wines. Please note that in the early days of spring after the desert rains have fallen, the fields are transformed by an explosion of colour with the onset of the annual wildflower season (August and September only).
    Canyon Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 41 - San Cultural Centre - Cape Town

    • Travelling south we stop 70 kilometres northwest of Cape Town is !Khwa ttu, a cultural centre showcasing the unique customs and traditions of the San people. Also known as 'bushmen', these people are considered the original indigenous people of southern Africa. After a fascinating guided tour where a San guide tells us the story of his people, we enjoy lunch. We then continue on the road into the heart of Cape Town, set dramatically at the foot of Table Mountain. Our hotel is located just a few minutes away from the V&A Waterfront with its restaurants and live entertainment or you may choose to stay closer to home, there is a selection of cafes and restaurants literally at the doorstep of your hotel.
    Cape Milner Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 42 - Cape Town

    • Our tour ends after breakfast. If you have not been to Cape Town before and can spare the time, then its definitely worth extending your stay a few days to discover this vibrant city and its beautiful surrounding regions in depth. Not-to-be-missed excursions include catching the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain, taking the ferry across to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, and a day trip down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope peninsula.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Peregrine tour leader, specialist local guides, experienced driver, arrival transfer, transport, accommodation, meals, game activities and entrance fees.

    Not Included

    • International flights, airport departure taxes, visas, meals unless specified in the itinerary, insurance, laundry, any optional tours or activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.

    Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS:
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS:
    You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    BALCONIES:
    Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.<

    SEAT BELTS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Grand Africa - Cairo to Cape Town

    Brian - Canada, 22 Jun, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    This is an excellent trip segment. It covers a lot of ground and has several very early morning days - I guess that is a necessary evil if we are to include all the sites or activities that we had to do.

    Grand Africa - Cairo to Cape Town

    terrie& greami - Australia, 31 Aug, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    We were overwhelmed by the professional skills, kindness and knowledge that Huda provided throughout the tour. Huda ensured that all members of the tour were attended to to ensure all members enjoyed the same amazing experience.her vast knowledge provided us with a greater understanding of Egyptian history as well as the day to day customs of her people. Our tour exceeded all expectations. Thank you Peregrine for providing such an amazing and talented tour leader for this tour.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PFGA
Group size 6 - 10
Start City: Cairo
End City: Cape Town, South Africa

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