Livingstone Self drive 4x4 Safari

Livingstone Self drive 4x4 Safari

From AUD 5,600.00 + LTP: US$ 2400.00
Trip Length 28 Trip Code 003-AES
Tour Group 2 - 18 Age Range Open

Livingstone Self drive 4x4 Safari: Tour Information

This is a guided self drive 4x4 safari perfect for those who wish to get away and explore some of the best highlights between Nairobi, Kenya and Livingston / Victoria Falls, Zambia. You will drive one of our fully equipped and setup 4x4 vehicles through the Masai Mara Game Reserve famous for lions and the Wildebeest Migration; the lessor known but as impressive Amboseli National Park with its herds of elephants and the stunning Mt Kilimanjaro as a background, we spend a night on the slopes of Mt Kili while overlooking Lake Chala, Zanzibar the spice Island, Livingstonia a historical town in the south of Lake Malawi, South Luangwa NP and Livingstone, Zambia and the mighty Victoria Falls

Day 1: Nairobi (driving distance 15kms)

Day 2 and 3: Masai Mara Game Reserve (driving distance approx. 220 kms plus game driving)

Day 4: Nairobi (approx. 220kms plus game driving)

Day 5: Amboseli NP (driving distance approx. 200kms plus game driving)

Day 6: Lake Chala (driving distance approx. 100 kms)

Day 7 and 8: Pangani River and Dar Es Salaam (driving distance approx. 190 kms and approx 400kms)

Day 9, 10 and 11: Zanzibar

Day 12 and 13: Dar es Salaam and Baobab Valley (driving distance approx. 400 kms)

Day 14 and 15: Farmhouse, Iringa and Mbeya (driving distance approx. 175kms and 330kms)

Day 16 and 17: Chitimba beach (driving distance approx. 180kms and 30kms)

Day 18: Kande Beach (driving distance approx. 230kms)

Day 19: Lilongwe (driving distance approx. 340 kms)

Day 20: Chipata (driving distance approx. 155kms)

Day 21 and 22: South Luangwa (driving distance approx. 130kms)

Day 23 and 24: Chipata and Lusaka (driving distance approx. 130kms and 570 kms)

Day 25 and 26: Livingstone (driving distance approx. 500kms)

Nairobi to Livingstone

Day 1: Nairobi (driving distance 15kms)

Starting our journey in Kenya's vibrant Capital city, Nairobi. We stay on the outskirts of the city in the leafy suburb of Karen. We take some time getting to know our vehicles and the rest of the group before visiting the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage a short drive from our base. The baby elephants have play time every morning, an hour of entertainment watching the babies play in mud pools, kick a soccer ball and slurp massive bottles of formula. This not a zoo but a place where orphaned elephants are hand-reared before being re-educated and released back into the wild. It is possible to adopt a baby elephant or rhino - the perfect gift for animal lovers back home.

In the afternoon we visit Karen Blixen Museum. Karen Blixen's home has been converted into a museum. Karen Blixen lived in this house from 1914 to 1931 when she returned to Denmark permanently. "Out of Africa", staring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford was filmed in this original home as they depicted and relived Karen Blixen's and her lover Denys Finch-Hatton's life in Kenya.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: ensuite rooms

Day 2 and 3: Masai Mara Game Reserve (driving distance approx. 220 kms plus game driving)

We bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of the city and make our way toward the 7th Natural Wonder in the World - Masai Mara Game Reserve.

The drive takes us along the top of the escarpment overlooking the Great Rift Valley before dropping into the valley and through Masai Land to the Masai Mara. If clear we will stop at the top of the escarpment for a chance to take some photos and maybe buy a Masai blanket from one of the many curio shops dotted along the road.

We arrive at the gates in the afternoon just in time for a late afternoon game drive, as we make our way to our camp we will hopefully spot elephant, lion, zebra, gazelle, reedbuck, topi, giraffe, and cheetah before reaching our night stop and setting up camp for the evening.

The following day we have a full day to explore this wondrous game reserve.

The Masai Mara is Kenya's most famous park; bordering Tanzania and the Serengeti; it boasts the famous Migration which sees 1 million wildebeest and zebra closely followed by predators move from the Serengeti NP to the Masai Mara NP.

We spend the day game viewing at leisure, as you have your own vehicle you can take your time to stop and watch the animals as they cohabitate together. While game driving you will have the opportunity to photograph wildlife like: leopard, wildebeest, lion, rhino, warthog, cheetah, gazelle, zebra, giraffe, elephant, buffalo plus many more.

At night we camp falling asleep to the sounds of Africa.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 4: Nairobi (approx. 220kms plus game driving)

We spend the morning game driving through the famous Masai plains before departing the reserve and making our way back to Nairobi for an overnight stop. We will have a chance to stock up on any essentials at one of the well equipped supermarkets before making our way to Amboseli NP.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: hotel ensuite

Day 5: Amboseli NP (driving distance approx. 200kms plus game driving)

Departing Nairobi it will take us approximately 6 hours drive to reach Amboseli National Park. Gazetted in 1974 it is just short of 400 square kilometers in size. Although not a very large park it boasts both stunning scenery and an abundance of wildlife. Most famous for large herds of elephant, zebra, giraffe and predators as Mt Kilimanjaro provides a dramatic backdrop at its imposing 5,985m.

We spend the afternoon game driving at leisure before setting up camp.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 6: Lake Chala (driving distance approx. 100 kms)

We enjoy an early morning game drive before departing Amboseli NP and Kenya as we enter Tanzania. Our first stop in Tanzania is on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro overlooking Lake Chala. Lake Chala is unknown to anyone outside of East Africa but for those of us living in the region know that this is a stunning location.

Lake Chala is an ancient caldera lake; it is believed to be over 2.5 miles deep and is a result of a volcanic eruption some 750,000 years ago. The area boasts an abundance of bird life and a variety of antelope roaming through the bush.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 7 and 8: Pangani River and Dar Es Salaam (driving distance approx. 190 kms and approx 400kms)

We have a relaxing morning before heading off on the next leg of our journey to Dar Es Salaam or "Haven of Peace" in Kiswahili, the commercial Capital of Tanzania and the base from where we will explore the World famous spice island of Zanzibar. It takes us 2 days to arrive in Dar es Salaam.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: camping

Day 9, 10 and 11: Zanzibar

We leave the vehicles in Dar es Salaam and make our way by ferry to Zanzibar. The ferry arrives in Stone Town - a classic Arabic old city, with narrow cobble stoned streets, sweet smell of spices floats through the air, and the local mosque hums in the background. At sun-down the plaza changes form and as the sun disappears over the Indian Ocean, the Plaza comes alive with the smell of barbecuing fresh seafood, colorfully dressed women mix dough in preparation to make Zanzibar pizzas and the men stand around talking politics. For the true Zanzibar experience a visit and a meal in the plaza is an absolute must.

A visit to Zanzibar would not be complete without taking one of the many spice tours on offer and a couple of days relaxing on the tropical beaches and swimming in crystal clear waters. For those wanting to partake in aquatic activities Zanzibar will not disappoint - snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, sailing and windsurfing are all on offer.

We spend a few days to relax and enjoy.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: hotel ensuite rooms

Day 12 and 13: Dar es Salaam and Baobab Valley (driving distance approx. 400 kms)

We return to Dar es Salaam for an overnight stop.

Leaving Dar es Salaam behind us we head west through Mikumi National Park and reach the border of Malawi. Driving through Mikumi NP it is not uncommon to have to stop on the main highway to give way to herds of Elephants or zebra or a pride of lions crossing. We continue to an ancient valley filled with Baobab trees on the edge of the Udzungwa Mountains. Arriving in the afternoon there is plenty of time to explore the area by foot, spotting numerous birds species, and a variety of plant species growing amongst the Baobab trees.

The Baobab tree is incredibly important to many tribes as it is known as the "tree of life". The Baobab can provide shelter, clothing, food and water. The bark is fire resistant and is used to make clothing and rope, the leaves are used as condiments and medicines, the fruit is edible and full of vitamin C; the tree can store thousands of liters of water which is tapped during drought; the trunk is often hollow offering shelter.

We spend the night at a quaint rustic campsite on the edge of the great Ruaha river.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 14 and 15: Farmhouse, Iringa and Mbeya (driving distance approx. 175kms and 330kms)

We continue our journey through some of Tanzania's prime farming areas before crossing the border and entering Malawi. Approximately 100kms before the border to Malawi we begin to descend from the highlands to the low lands and finally to the shores of Lake Malawi.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 16 and 17: Chitimba beach (driving distance approx. 180kms and 30kms)

Lake Malawi with its beautiful beaches and coves not only gave the country its name it also covers one third of the county's surface. We make our way along the Lake stopping at idyllic spots for some time to chat to the locals and watch local craftsmen carve Malawi chairs.

Our first stop in Malawi is on the shores of Lake Malawi in the small fishing village of Chitimba; a small friendly relaxed place.

From Chitimba you have to option to take a day trip to Livingstonia. Livingstonia originally a Mission established in 1894 named after David Livingstone as a tribute to his work and dedication to Missionary work in Africa up until his death in 1873. Today Livingstonia has gradually developed into a small town but the buildings are still reminiscent of the period. The Mission station is perched 800m above Lake Malawi it offers some of the most spectacular views of Africa in Malawi.

Livingstonia became known as a scholars hub for the Tumbuka people who were open to Western ideas. Many graduates ended up working in neighboring countries in influential positions.

Livingstonia is a living museum. The town is architecturally Scottish and many building are protected. The mission is still in existence today and houses "Stone House" a museum that records David Livingstone's adventures and history of missionaries. The local church has a stained glass window of Livingstone, the town has a local market and of course a visit to the Mushroom Farm is a must.

For those up for a bit of a walk you can visit Manchewe Falls, approximately 2 hour walk from Livingstonia. The walk can be strenuous.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 18: Kande Beach (driving distance approx. 230kms)

We bid farewell to Chitimba and Livingstonia and continue driving along the lake shores to our night stop at Kande Beach. The drive takes us through rubber plantations and if we are lucky enough we will spot young children making soccer balls from the rubber and playing a game of football with their brand new rubber ball.

Arriving at Kande Beach by mid afternoon there is plenty of time for those wanting to swim in the cool lake waters. For those interested in rare fish species maybe some snorkeling or diving to spot some of the 800 species of Cichlid fish - a rare fresh water tropical fish species only found in Lake Malawi. Or you can simply take a good book and relax in one of the hammocks around the campsite overlooking the lake.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: camping

Day 19: Lilongwe (driving distance approx. 340 kms)

Today's drive hugs the lake and as we weave our way through small villages we see the busy lives of the local people from wood carvers to bicycle repair shops to women taking the kernels off cobs of maize. The colorful clothing, huge smiles and hearty waves add to the vibrant friendly atmosphere that makes Malawi such a special country.

Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi is split into sections, the old and new cities. We prefer to stay in the Old town where the atmosphere and vibe is alive.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: camping

Day 20: Chipata (driving distance approx. 155kms)

We have the morning to explore the local souvenir markets and stock up on essentials before making our way to the border to Zambia. Crossing into Zambia you notice the scenery change from the lush green of Malawi to drier landscape of Zambia.

Chipata is our first town, a service town for those travelling to and from Zambia and Malawi Capital cities and a stopover for visiting South Luangwa National Park.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 21 and 22: South Luangwa (driving distance approx. 130kms)

South Luangwa National Park is one of Zambia's more challenging parks to reach by road but the effort is well worth it.

Overlanding on some particularly bad roads we arrive at our "home" for the coming 2 nights - Croc Valley Campsite. The campsite is situated on the banks of the Luangwa River - a natural fence separating the campsite from South Luangwa National Park. It is not unusual for Elephants to wander into camp at breakfast time to check-out the breakfast menu; be warned Kellogg's Cornflakes are one of their favorite foods and they are not shy in helping themselves!

South Luangwa National Park is famous for leopard, lion, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, hyena and aardvark. It is one of the few parks where night game drives are possible and we take up this opportunity in one of the camp vehicles with heavy duty spot lights to spot nocturnal animals. If we are lucky we will see leopard, aardvark, hippos out of the water grazing, cervel cats, caracals and other nocturnal animals.

A spectacular park situated in a spectacular part of Africa.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 23 and 24: Chipata and Lusaka (driving distance approx. 130kms and 570 kms)

We make our way back to Chipata for an overnight stop before continuing to Lusaka, the Capital of Lusaka. The drive between Chipata and Lusaka takes us through farming areas of Zambia. Some of the most popular produce to farm in this part of the country is cotton, maize, sunflowers, and tobacco.

Lusaka, a once sleepy town, has been transformed into a major city thanks to the increase in global Copper prices - copper being one of Zambia's prime exports. Lusaka now boasts shopping malls, major supermarkets, and designer clothing stores to name a few. We pass through this city on our way to Livingstone and the famous Victoria Falls

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Accommodation: camping

Day 25 and 26: Livingstone (driving distance approx. 500kms)

6-7 hour drive from Lusaka we arrive at our final destination

"Scenes so lovely must be gazed upon by angels in their flight" said David Livingstone on 16 November 1855 when, being the first European, set eyes upon the Waterfall and promptly named them Victoria Falls as a tribute to Queen Victoria.

The Zambian's call the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya literally meaning "Smoke that Thunders" due to the noise and misty spray that can be seen for miles.

Victoria Falls is not the only attraction in Livingstone. For those wanting some adventure there is microlighting, helicopter rides over the falls, walking with lions, and rhino trekking. For those after a more subdued time in Livingstone there are sunset cruises, Livingstone Museum home to original letters and diary entries from David Livingstone.

Livingstone is where we will spend the last 2 nights of our Africa adventure, having driven some 4500 kms through 4 countries we hang up our Land Rover keys. Our final night we enjoy watching the sun set over the Zambezi River chatting and laughing about our adventures, the highlights and the unforgettable memories that we will take home and treasure for a very long time.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel/Lodge ensuite room

Local Tour Payments (LTP) or a Kitty payment, if stated is paid direct to your tour leader / crew on day 1.

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