Nairobi to Dar-Es-Salaam overland tour

“Paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, this epic 33-day overland tour takes you from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam. Diverse landscapes and cultural encounters abound, as do opportunities for adventure and relaxation.”


Nairobi | Great Rift Valley | Lake Naivasha | Elsamere | Lake Nakuru National Park | Jinja | Kampala | Lake Bunyonyi | Mountain gorilla trekking | Musanze | Kigali Genocide Memorial | Lake Victoria | Maasai Mara game drives | Arusha | Ngorongoro Crater | Serengeti National Park | Maasai village walk | Hiking around Mount Kilimanjaro | Dar Es Salaam | Zanzibar Island |

Description of Nairobi to Dar-Es-Salaam overland tour

This East Africa overland tour is one of those trips where it pays to know your camera inside and out. You certainly won’t be short of subjects.

Alongside a small group of like-minded travellers you’ll traverse challenging terrain in purpose-built vehicles, often camping rough, and taking turns to prepare meals from food sourced at local markets. You’ll cross the equator as you leave Nairobi for the Great Rift Valley and the stunning Lake Naivasha. You might explore Hells Gate National Park by mountain bike, the only park in Kenya where you can do so, or head into Crater Lake Game Sanctuary.

In Uganda you’ll pause in Jinja, source of the mighty River Nile and home to a spectacular range of adrenaline activities. , Uganda, is also home to one of the tour’s undisputed highlights - an optional trek to see mountain gorillas, man’s closest cousin.

Amazing game drives across the Maasai Mara, Serengeti National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park will bring you up close and personal with lion, rhino, hippo, giraffe and elephant - and perhaps even a shy leopard or cheetah. Knowledgeable guides will be close at hand throughout, helping you to find the finest viewpoints.

You’ll be invited to visit a school for orphans in Uganda, meet the inhabitants of a Maasai village to learn about their way of life, and swim with dolphins off the picture-perfect coast of Zanzibar Island.

And all this, believe us, is just the half of it. This itinerary moves as fast as a big cat on its quarry, with new experiences to anticipate at every sunrise.

Travel Team

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Check dates

2021: 15 Feb, 28 Mar, 3 May, 7 Jun, 11 Jul, 16 Aug, 26 Sep, 8 Nov
2022: 4 Jan, 13 Feb, 28 Mar, 9 May, 12 Jun, 11 Jul, 22 Aug, 26 Sep, 7 Nov
Holiday type


If you’re looking for adventure, an opportunity to travel with like-minded travellers and to get off the beaten track then this type of trip is for you! We will sometimes be covering long distances over a period of a few days but will then most often be camped up for a few days with opportunities for adventure activities, visiting local communities, time in a town or city to chill out or wildlife viewing experiences. The roads are sometimes bumpy and you need to expect the unexpected! This type of travel is through regions where things can change and experiences are more important than luxury – borders sometimes close and there may not always be hot water in the showers! You will generally be camping out under the stars, sometimes out in the bush, but generally more on campsites. (Our South America and Central Asia trips also use small locally-run hostels and guest houses). The trips are fully participative so you will be involved shopping for food in local markets, cooking for your group (on a rota system), collecting water and setting up camp. If you’re not confident about doing any of these things beforehand, don’t worry our crew are there to help you and you’ll be good at it by the time you finish!

You will be travelling on one of our own purpose built overlanding vehicles with up to 24 travellers, many of whom will be travelling on their own. It is a great way for solo travellers to travel. We have lost count of the number of travellers who have met their future spouse on one of our trips! Our vehicles are fully equipped with tents and cooking equipment and are designed for great all-round viewing and a sociable seating plan. You will be accompanied on your trip by a Driver and Tour Leader and, depending on your trip, we often use local guides at sites of specific interest for more detailed information.

This type of travel will provide you with a plethora of memories and stories to tell, new-found travelling companions and friends and a well-exercised spirit of adventure!

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Visiting the mountain gorillas is one of the ultimate wildlife-viewing experiences. There are thought to be only 700 of these magnificent creatures left in the world. They are essential to the tourist economies of both Uganda and Rwanda and somewhat controversially the tourist dollar is essential to the survival of the gorillas. The gorilla trek and permit money is used for anti-poaching programs and maintenance of the National Parks-the gorillas natural habitat.

Visits to the gorillas are very well controlled by the Parks Authority in order to minimise the potential negative impact on the gorillas. Group sizes are limited to eight; visits last for one hour (and there is only one visit allowed per day) and a distance of seven metres has to be maintained. Every effort is made to ensure that the gorillas are not exposed to human bacteria. Physical contact is not allowed and visitors are not allowed to trek if they are suffering from a cold. A tourist infrastructure has also built up around the gorilla trekking points-providing accommodation, food, transport and souvenirs-creating lots more local employment.
We also visit a number of other conservation /community projects en route-that support local communities and conservation initiatives. In Uganda for example, our clients have the opportunity to visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary which cares for rescued or orphaned chimpanzees. In Kenya clients can visit Elsamere-the home of the Elsa Conservation Trust which has donated millions to wildlife and conservation projects and has an on-site conservation centre.

We support local wildlife directly in Kenya , by sponsoring an orphaned elephant named, Kamboyo, at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, just outside Nairobi .

The Impacts of this Trip

On this trip we stay at small, locally run campsites and where possible buy our food in local markets, thereby directly supporting local communities. We use local companies to run all our excursions. We have been working with our Gorilla trekking co-ordinator for many years now and indeed, have known him since he was a child selling us cakes and drinks before our gorilla treks. He has expanded his range of activities, available to our travellers over the years to include things like banana beer making with the local community. This provides extra income to the local community and great opportunities for immersion in the local culture.

At Lake Bunyoni, in Uganda our crew and travellers have helped us support a local pygmy village. When possible we have lunch with the villagers. They cook us a traditional meal which we pay for and this helps bring an income into the village. Some of the villagers also make handicrafts which our crew and travellers buy further supporting local skills and traditions and providing much needed income. We have also helped the village purchase some land and materials to build their own school.

We try as often as possible to support small-scale cafes, bars and restaurants on our tours. One of our crew's favourite places is The Equator café in Uganda-unsurprisingly , situated very close to the Equator! The café's proceeds helps to support Aids orphans. Supporting them is easy as they make the best muffins and smoothies! Our crew love it so much that they usually phone in advance to ensure they have enough muffins! They café also doubles up as an art gallery, so plenty of time to browse and purchase the artwork before indulging in the food!

Before commencing the tour all our clients are provided with detailed pre-departure info which includes information on Responsible Travel. This information is re-emphasised by our Tour Leader at the start of the trip-clients are, for example, advised about respecting local customs particularly in terms of dress and behaviour; water conservation; respecting and conserving wildlife and their habitats; purchasing of endangered species products and so on.


1 Reviews of Nairobi to Dar-Es-Salaam overland tour

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Watching lions and Cubs playing

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for long hours on a a pretty uncomfortable truck - roads are often very bumpy. Cook groups - better to see what the supermarket offers before deciding what to cook! As mentioned in the trip notes, showers were very variable so be prepared for cold water or little pressure.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I do. Money from the game reserves obviously helps protect the animals. Local people? I am not sure. We were not encouraged to use local markets, which many of us would have preferred. Otherwise, contact with local people was fairly minimal unless we took the initiative ourselves.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very much as described, however some of the optional trips were not either offered or available, which was disappointing.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Philippa, thank you for taking the time to review your trip with us. It's great to see that you gave our trip 4 stars. Wildlife viewing is something we could do all day long!
Shopping in local markets is a central tenet of the way we operate our business so we were very surprised to read your comments about, 'not being encouraged to shop at local markets' We have discussed this matter with the crew that ran your trip and they were similarly surprised. We are sorry if you felt that this was the message that was communicated to you. Our local Tour Leader, running this trip, is fully committed to shopping in ways that best support local communities so we're not sure what happened in the communication here!
Regarding contact with local people, the most meaningful, genuine interactions generally come when our travellers take some initiative themselves, so we actively encourage this. Sitting in a local bar, or restaurant, and striking up conversations can lead to some great conversations and insights!

On the matter of 'Optional Trips' our Tour Leader could not think of any that we advertise that you were not able to do. We are very sorry if this was the case . If you could let us know which ones they were, this will help us look into this matter further.
Again, thank you for taking the time to submit this review and thank you for choosing to travel with us. We hope to see you on another of our trips in the future.

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