Travel in Africa – My Great Southern Africa Itinerary

Published by Kendrick. Last Updated on August 26, 2019.

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Since I was traveling to South Africa, I figured I might as well visit the neighbouring African countries to be efficient with my sight seeing, and to see more within a shorter period of time. I can honestly say, I don’t regret any of the travel destinations I have been to, and everything worked out in the end.

Before coming to South Africa, a friend of mine who has been to this country with his wife on their honeymoon, told me it is the single best country he has ever visited in his life. He raved about how safe it really is, and how the media blew the dangers out of proportion. He also told me the best way to get around, while being able to see the entire country is by doing a road trip.

With that information in mind, I planned meticulously how I was going to do a road trip in South Africa. Because we were only staying in the African continent for a month, I also wanted to visit countries such as Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. Is that possible? Can we do it?

After looking through my frequent flyer miles, and consulting with the hostel owner at Johannesburg’s Shoestring Backpacker, this is the itinerary I followed:

Johannesburg to Kruger National Park and Swaziland Segment

Africa road trip

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• Stay 3 days, 2 nights stay at Shoestring Backpacker, with one full day to relax and to recover from our brutal trip to Egypt
• Rent a car from Hertz at the Johannesburg International Airport for four days
• Drive to Kruger National Park and stay at Protea Gate Hotel using Marriott Hotel points for 3 days, 2 nights
• Do a self-driven safari tour through Kruger National Park (highlight of my trip!)
• Do a day trip to Swaziland and drive back to Johannesburg to stay another night at Shoestring Backpacker

Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe segment

• Do an open jaw flight to Zambia using Aeroplan miles
• Stay 3 days, 2 nights at Livingstone’s Jollyboys Backpackers
• Visit Victoria falls on the first day
• Do a day trip from Livingstone, Zambia to Chobe National park in Botswana on the second day
• Visit the Zambia-Zimbabwe Victoria Falls bridge/border on the third day (and officially stepping foot in Zimbabwe)
• Take a gruelling 23 hour bus from Livingstone, Zambia to Windhoek, Namibia

Namibia segment

• Arrive at Windhoek, Namibia and stay at Cardboard Box Backpacker for 2 days, 1 night
• Drive to Sossusvlei and stay for 2 days, 1 night
• Climb Dune 45 to watch the sunset
• Explore Deadvlei and climb the Big Daddy Dune on the 2nd day
• Drive back to Windhoek after exploring Sossusvlei (and was in a car crash on the way back)
• Stayed for one night at Marriott’s Windhoek Protea hotel using hotel points
• Fly back to Johannesburg the next day

From there, we will begin our road trip across South Africa.

Africa road trip

Cradle of Humankind, Drakensberg, Lesotho

• Stay 3 days, 2 nights at Johannesburg’s Shoestring backpackers
• Rent a car from Hertz and drive to the Cradle of Humankind on the 2nd day
• Drive to Amphitheatre Backpacker in Drakensberg mountain range on the 3rd day
• Stay at Amphitheatre Backpacker for 4 days, 3 nights
• Join a full day tour of a remote village in Lesotho on the 3rd day
• Drive from Amphitheatre Backpacker to Durban


• Stay 2 days, 1 night at Durban’s Happy Hippo Backpacker
• Drive to Coffee Bay the next day

Coffee Bay

• Stay 2 days, 1 night at Coffee Bay’s Sugarloaf Backpacker
• Drive to Jeffrey’s bay

Garden Route drive and Jeffrey’s Bay

• Stay 4 days, 3 nights in Jeffrey’s Bay
• Spent the next 3 days relaxing and recharging by the Jeffrey’s Bay’s beach
• Drive to Gansbaai on the 4th day

Gansbaai’s Shark Cage Diving

• Stay 3 days, 2 nights in Gansbaai’s White Shark Backpacker (not to be confused with White Shark Guesthouse)
• Great White Shark cage diving on the 3rd day
• Drove to Cape town on the 3rd day

Cape Town

• Stay 4 days, 3 nights in Cape Town
• Visited Table Mountain and the Bo-kaap in Cape Town on the 3rd day
• Return car to Hertz and fly out of South Africa on the 4th day

Exploring the various South African countries and doing the road trip across South Africa has been an amazing experience and I highly recommend it!

Looking for more Africa stories and advice? Check out our summary of an Africa participation camping safari, or tips for visiting the kingdom of Swaziland.

About Kendrick

Kendrick from Travel and Live Free

About the Author: Kendrick of Travel and Live Free was a contributing author to share stories from his trip around the world from 2016 to 2017. He now has the goal to visit every country in the world in the next few years.

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