Travelling around South Africa
Countries to visit. South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana.
With South Africa being so geographically wide, and with the limited time frame and specifics of travel, my plan for this trip was to achieve 6 main adrenaline hits as well as combine local travel to each area visited.
Planning and research
Location is South Africa, the southernmost country in Africa.
South Africa is the only country bordering both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Cape of Good Hope is not the southernmost tip of South Africa but the adjoining oceans are treacherous throughout the varying seasons.
Travelling around and to neighbouring countries is relatively easy and visa's are usually not a problem to obtain.
Having only 10 weeks to accomplish my goals, timing was essential and to be able to jump the "Devils Pool" at the optimum time late August early September was the only time for me. So my travel plans revolved around 5 weeks either side of these dates.
Having researched budgets via a travel agent, I wanted to achieve a similar itinerary at approximately a quarter of the cost.
I had built up enough frequent flyer points for my return flights back to Australia, so my budget was just for travelling around on location.
Travelling by road down in the south kept my costs down and turned out to be an advantage in otherways. See "In Depth" section.
Food budget is comparable to back home until you travel further north.
As with my South East Asia trip, I took a 90 litre backpack but you really only need to take a 60 litre backpack with detachable day pack, anything else won't be as effective.
Depending on your travel time of year, clothing can vary and we refer you to our "luggage" section of this website.
Long trousers are advisable for walking about on safari and a good jumper or windproof coat and beanie for your early morning rises, when on safari. You really won't need any other heavy clothing, jumpers and the like but take plenty of mix and match clothes and a good quality light weight rain mac.
A good pair of hiking shoes/boots and think about taking some old "T" shirts, pants and socks that you can throw away as you go to lighten the load and create more space for anything you would like to bring home as mementos.
Make sure you have a good camera with zoom and a back up one too. Good vanity pack and first aid equipment. Micro towel and that's about it.
A full list of what to take will be within the "Lists, Inventories and Itineraries" section of this website, coming soon.
Do's and don'ts
Do take a pocket guide book, this will orientate you on the go.
Do eat with the locals. South Africans are extremely friendly and if you are fortunate enough to be invited for a "Braai," don't miss the opportunity. Find eateries where the locals eat and have an open mind in your diet.
Do be flexible. Allow time in your itinerary to stray a little, this is where your surprises happen. Also be prepared to change your itinerary should seasons change whilst travelling.
Do be open to travel suggestions and advice offered.
Do take your time. Take time to savour the moment.
Do ask advice from the staff at your accommodation, they want you to have a good time and either come back or recommend others.
Don't be afraid to ask.
Don't impose yourself, wait to be invited.
Don't leave your purse on top of your carry bag.
Don't walk around dripping with jewellery.
Don't flash your cash.
Don't get too drunk. You will get into trouble either by getting ripped off or worse.
Cape Town. Obviously head for Table Mountain and Lions Head. A visit to Khayelitsha Township is a must do. Head down to Cape of Good Hope and take in the parks, shops and restaurants within the city.
Garden route. This is a must and encompasses the beauty of the coastal route along the south east and the many towns along the way.
Port Elisabeth. A vibrant coastal city that is both modern and buzzing but still has that South African feel.
Durban. Again another coastal city that offers present day South Africa and is a central hub for travel to pretty much anywhere.
Johannesburg. Most central city for getting anywhere. This was my centre to get to and from my destinations the whole ten weeks.
The National and Private reserve parks. Like Makutsi Safari, Addo Elephant, Kruger National Park, the list is endless.
Places to see and this is just a quick snapshot
Both these countries I had no time to visit but head to the mountains and the Lowveld areas.
1,000 metres above sea level and slightly cooler of course.
Victoria Falls. Spectacular but check how and when you want to view. In full flow the mist will limit what you see and in low season you could be left just a little disappointed.
Livingstone Town. Another must go to place.
Lusaka. Zambias capital city. Sadly I never had a chance to go and see.
Kafue National Park. Another chance to see the "Big 5."
Victoria Falls. From a different vantage point.
The Zambezi river. White water rafting, full or half day. Small bungee jumping.
Harare. Zimbabwe's capital city. Sadly I never had a chance to go and see.
Okavango Delta. Many differing excursions in to this amazing Delta. Try at least one, you won't be disappointed.
Kalahari Desert. Again many excursions to be taken but sadly I had no time left in my limited itinerary. Hopefully next time.
This interactive section takes you to South Africa. Click on the pictures below to take you to the specific area/country of your choice, or read under all about our travelling experiences, tips and advice on our travels. We highlight our "7 main areas" which cover the following:- Areas/countries visited. Planning and research. Timings. Budget. Luggage. Dos and Don'ts. Places to see.
Durban Valley of 1000 hills