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Top activities on an African overlanding safari

Travel to Africa on an overlanding safari and you’ll embark on a journey of a lifetime to the world’s wildest continent, which is packed full of wildlife and adventure. African overlanding safaris allow you to take in the best of Africa, as you get to travel to various different countries in the space of just a two-week journey. But the best thing about African overlanding safaris is just how many unforgettable activities you can fit in on one trip – everything from kayaking on the Nile, skydiving over the Namibian desert and scuba diving in Zanzibar to snorkelling with whale sharks in Mozambique.

Flying over the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Take in the majesty of one of Africa’s greatest wilderness areas, the vast and untouched Okavango Delta, in a tiny five-seater plane. Getting a bird’s eye view of this magical place will allow you to fulyl appreciate its natural beauty, and you’ll be able to spot some of the amazing wildlife, from hippos to elephants, on the way.

Walking safari, Kruger National Park, South Africa

It’s one thing to see Africa’s wildlife from the back of a 4×4, but it’s quite another to encounter these animals on foot. That’s just what you’ll do on a walking safari in South Africa’s flagship National Park, Kruger. With a qualified guide, you’ll step out of the car and into the bush, and track animals on foot, coming within a safe distance of animals such as lions, rhino and elephant. Your heart may start pounding, but it definitely makes for an unforgettable bush experience!

Scuba diving, Zanzibar

Explore the underwater aquarium world of the east African island archipelago of Zanzibar when you don a mask and regulator to descend into the warm Indian Ocean. Around the small Mnemba Island, a conservation zone, are healthy coral reefs home to hundreds of species of fish, turtles, dolphins, whale sharks and the rare dragon moray eel.

scuba diving

Tracking mountain gorillas, Uganda

Coming face to face with a family of mountain gorillas in the wild is pretty unbeatable when it comes to wildlife experiences. First, you have to find the gorillas, which isn’t always easy in the thickly forested, muddy, steep and slippery National Park where they live. Then, once you reach them, you get to come within a few metres of them (and sometimes they even come up to touch you), watching them as they feed, play, groom and sleep, marveling at just how human-like these peaceful apes are.

White water rafting on the Zambezi, Zambia

The Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth largest, offers some of the best white water rafting on the continent. Nearly half the rapids on the Zambezi have been categorized as Grade Five, which is just about as challenging as you can get! Be prepared for a wild (and wet) ride as you navigate the churning rapids on this fast-paced heart pumping adventure.

whitewater rafting in africa

Hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti, Tanzania

Taking off at dawn in a giant balloon as the sun turns the plains of the Serengeti golden is one of the most memorable activities you can do on a two-month Kenya to South Africa overlanding adventure. As you glide gently through the sky, you can take in the giant horizons and the grassy plains dotted with elephant, giraffe, lion, wildebeest and zebra – a totally different view of a magical world.

whitewater rafting in africa

Tandem skydive, Namibia

For the fearless, a tandem skydive above the desert in Namibia is a truly unforgettable adrenaline pumping experience. Jump out of a plane at 4000 metres above the Earth and float down towards the desert buoyed by a parachute as you take in the spectacular views of dunes and sand as far as the eye can see.

skydiving in africa

Bungee jumping Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

While Victoria Falls, Africa’s most spectacular waterfall, is an amazing sight to see, what’s more fun is the adventure activities on offer on both sides of the falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe. The most adventurous adrenaline-inducing thing you can do is jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge on the 111-metre famous bungee jump that has you plummeting down to the raging rapids of the Zambezi River, with a view of Victoria Falls in the background.

Wine tasting, South Africa

Sample Africa’s best wine straight from the vineyards on one of South Africa’s wine routes in the Western Cape. Sip Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and taste Shiraz and Malbec from award-winning wineries, learning about the wine making process as you enjoy the wines.

Wine tasting south africa

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Africa’s highest mountain is also one of the continent’s most spectacular sights: a 5986-metre high volcanic cone covered in rainforest, alpine meadows and barren rock that looks like the surface of the moon. Climbing to the top is arduous but hugely rewarding – and it can be done without any technical climbing experience, making it an accessible adventure for anyone with a good level of fitness.

Kayaking on the Nile, Uganda

Experience the source of the world’s longest river – the Nile – at Jinja in Uganda, gently gliding across the water in kayaks spotting birds along the way and getting a history of one of the world’s most important rivers from a local guide.

Sandboarding, Namibia

Love a bit of adrenaline? Climb the towering sand dunes of the Namib Desert (the highest desert dunes in the world) and hop on a board to glide to the bottom for a thrilling ride. Just be prepared to get mouthfuls of sand when you bail!


Snorkelling with whale sharks in Tofo, Mozambique

The laid back beachside backpackers’ haven of Tofo, on the southern coast of Mozambique, has been rated as one of the best places in the world to swim with whale sharks. A big supply of plankton means that Tofo has one of the highest concentrations of whale sharks in Africa. Swimming with these gentle giants in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean is a marine-lover’s dream!


Now you know what you’ll experience on an African overlanding safari, are you inspired to book one? Check out our range of budget African overlanding safaris, which range from a few days to a few months. Our most popular trips, our Kenya to Cape Town overlanding tours, take in most of the amazing activities listed in this blog. 


About Sarah Duff

Documentary filmmaker/ travel writer/ photographer - www.sarahduff.com
Article by: Sarah Duff
on February 16, 2016
Filed under  Africa Blog • What to do 
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