Introduction and Itinerary

Hello All,

I would like to take this time to introduce myself as well as the following blog.  I am Scott Biales, as most of you likely already know. I will be traveling to Southeast Africa for a camping safari and ending my trip in Amsterdam.  I will be gone for a total of 30 days, from December 6th thru January 5th.  For the first leg of my trip I will be in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya for about 25 days.  I will then be flying from Nairobi, Kenya to Amsterdam where I will spend three nights with my friend Kim for the second leg of my trip. 

Although I will not be visiting the following locations, I will be stopping at their airports:
  • London, England  (I have two layovers in London that are ~9 hours long so I may get some time to spend there.)
  • Johannesburg, South Africa

In the past I've kept a travel blog alongside a personal written journal.  Given the nature of this trip (long bus rides) I will not be keeping a personal handwritten journal.  I will use this blog as my main travel journal.

Nomad Tours Video


(NOTE: "Organized Portion of Trip"  is a trip provided by Nomad Tours.  Day 1 denotes 1st day of tour.  A negative number indicates relative time with respect to tour start date.)

Day -5 Philadelphia (Philadelphia -> London)
Flight leaves Philadelphia at 10:00pm, 

Day -4 London (London -> Johannesburg)
Flight arrives in London at 10:10am. 8hr 35m layover in London then 6:45pm departure to Johannesburg

- 8hr 35m layover in London -

Day -3 Johannesburg (Johannesburg -> Victoria Falls)
Flight arrives in Johannesburg at 7:35am.  3hr 50m layover in Johannesburg then 11:25am flight to Victoria Falls.  Arrive Victoria Falls at 1:05pm.  Have half day to check in to my hotel for the next three nights and relax after a 3 legs and 2 long days of flights.

Victoria Falls, white water rafting, game drive in Botswana, etc.

Victoria Falls, white water rafting, game drive in Botswana, etc.  Get rest for early start tomorrow, when our tour meets up and leaves early.

Victoria Falls (START) to Nairobi (END)

Day 1 Lusaka (Zimbabwe)

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.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 Chipata (Zimbabwe -> Zambia)

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

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early in the morning we drive from Chipata to the border of the South Luangwa National Park where we spend the next two nights right on the banks of the Luangwa River. 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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 South Luangwa National Park (Zambia)
In the morning you have the opportunity to take another game drive. The park is known for its high concentration of leopards and hippos. After lunch we visit the community run tribal textile project and a local village. Optional Activities: Morning Game Drive, Game Walk inside park.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Lilongwe (Zambia -> Malawi)
Today we visit the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi’s only sanctuary for rescued, orphaned and injured wild animals. The Centre is set in 180 hectares of beautiful woodland, Lilongwe’s only protected wilderness.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6/7 Kande Beach (Malawi)
This morning we have the opportunity to participate in a 2 hour city tour, before we take a scenic drive to Kande beach. We will spend the next 2 days enjoying the many optional activities available, such as horse riding and different water sports. We will go on a guided village walk in order to meet the local people and learn more about Malawian life. Optional Activities: Scuba diving, snorkeling etc.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Lake Malawi - Chitimba (Malawi)
We travel further north and spend our last day in Malawi at Chitimba beach.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Tanzania - Iringa (Malawi -> Tanzania)
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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Mikumi (Tanzania)
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.  Optional Activities: Afternoon game drive in Mikumi NP.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12/13/14 Zanzibar (Tanzania)
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. On the 3rd day, we head south to Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, where we will spend the night. Here we have time exploring the historical and unique architecture. There are also spice and seafood markets to be explored. Optional Activities: Lunch and Dinner, Motorbike hire, Spice tour, Walking city tour, Swimming with Dolphins, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling etc.

Meals: Breakfast x 3

Day 15 Lushoto  (Tanzania)
Today we leave Zanzibar and catch a ferry back to Dar es Salaam and return to our truck. We continue on to Lushoto, the major town and district centre, albeit small, in the Usambara Mountains, halfway between the coast and the parks. The popular pot plant Saintpaulia has its only wild occurrences in Tanzania, and particularly in the Usambara Mts. Here you will have the chance to hike in the surrounding area, or just relax.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16 Karatu (Tanzania)
Today we take a scenic drive via Arusha to the picturesque town of Karatu. The area’s cool climate, verdant hills, and pleasing views made it popular with settlers and farmers. Vast and extensive fields cover the slopes of the volcano and the lands around Karatu town. Karatu is also a stone’s throw away from the world famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17/18/19 Serengeti and Ngorongoro Excursion (Tanzania)
These 4 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. For those not going to the parks, take this chance to absorb some of the fascinating local culture. 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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20 Arusha (Tanzania)
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. In the afternoon we visit the local Masai Mara Museum and Snake Park in Arusha. Optional Activities: camel ride to local Masaai village.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21 Kenya - Nairobi (Tanzania -> Kenya)
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.  Check into my hotel for the evening and likely lay low for New Year's Eve..

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

- End Organized Tour.  New Year's Eve Tonight -

Day 22 Kenya - Flight Out (Kenya -> 11pm Flight)
Spend New Years Day in Kenya keeping a low profile and repack for this evening's 11pm flight to Amsterdam via 9hr layover in London, England

- 9 hour layover in London -

Amsterdam Portion of Trip

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Day 23 Arrive Amsterdam 4:55pm
My friend, Kim de Winter, has offered to have me as her guest during my stay in Amsterdam.  She has also offered to both pick me up and drop me off from the airport.

Day 24 Amsterdam

Day 25 Amsterdam

Day 26 Amsterdam (Amsterdam -> Philadelphia)
Depart Amsterdam at 10:35am.  Arrive London at 11:00am with 1hr 15m layover.  Depart London at 12:15pm and arrive Philadelphia at 3:10pm.

- End of Entire Trip -