Project Exploring Soldier

Road tripping Africa for beginners

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Planning on traveling Africa on a budget? If so you can follow my favorite travel route from Johannesburg to the Okavango delta, Chobe national park and Victoria Falls with a wide range of transport methods. My advice is for all budget travelers, campers, backpackers and road trippers in search of local travel knowledge.

Watch my short travel video and find out about the best new year’s party in Africa called the Victoria falls carnival, it is held every year with a big gathering of people coming to party it out for 3 days.

Traveling to Africa:

No matter where in the world you are traveling from you will most likely have a stopover in OR Tambo international airport. It is in Johannesburg South Africa and even though this city has a bad reputation for being dangerous, it will still be your most cost effective stop and a good place to start navigating your trip from.

Some choices you have for exploring Africa from the airport:

  • You can jump on a connecting flight to anywhere in Africa for cheap.
  • Grab a Baz bus (a bus system that moves between backpackers in South Africa).
  • Hire a car or 4×4 if you want to travel to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique or even if you just want to see South Africa.
  • Take an organized Overland tour package that includes everything from food, accommodation and transport that can take you anywhere without any hassles from your side.

Travel route through Botswana and Zimbabwe:

Okavango Delta:

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The Okavango is the world’s biggest inland delta and a quick flight from OR Tambo international airport to Botswana. Maun is the nearest city to the delta and in my opinion one of the most central traveling spots in Southern Africa.

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The Delta could possibly be Africa’s Eden while supporting a wide range of wild life, May to August is high water season and September to October is dry season and the best time to view migrating animals in search of water.

Best way to see the Okavango Delta:

  • By speed boat.
  • By small airplane.
  • Local canoe “Mokoro”

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There is a wide range of budget accommodation in Maun ranging from camping to backpackers and even some fancy hotels, but I would recommend the “Old bridge backpackers” for they are cheap and have tour packages that run from the backpackers.

Chobe National Park:

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The Chobe national park is the third largest game reserve in Africa and has one of the highest concentrations of animals in Botswana. It is only a short drive from the Okavango Delta and a good place to see the Big 5.

Just after the Chobe national park there is a small town called Kasane, it is hands down my favorite place in the country and is close to the four corners of Africa were Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe almost meet.

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This is a beautiful place for camping while you decide where your next stop will be, all the photos were taken with an old Nikon camera that was lying around.

Victoria Falls:

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You will have to cross the Kasane border and after only one hour’s drive you would have reached the small town of Victoria Falls. This town is much more modern than you would think and offers a wide range of fancy little coffee shops.

Victoria Falls new year party:

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This is the destination of one big party called the Victoria Falls carnival, it is a 3 day new year’s festival with some of the best South African artists on show. There’s a wide range of activities to choose from and cheap accommodation to stay in. It is held every year and is a bucket list worthy party.

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The 3 day Victoria Falls Carnival program:

  • Day 1: normally starts with a secret train party that takes you in the bush felt for one unforgettable party.
  • Day 2 is the colour festival and they have a count down for when to throw your colour.
  • Day 3 is the big party that has a final count down to new years, being in the middle of Africa on the start of a new years is a spiritual experience and one to remember.

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Thanks for reading and please leave a comment.

Safe travels.

8 thoughts on “Road tripping Africa for beginners

  1. Theo

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  2. Charel Post author

    As a foreigner you could rent a car if you take insurance. Public transport is not very good but the Bazz buss system works well when backpacking and can take you around most of South Africa.

  3. joss

    Great read, do you think it would be possible for a foreigner to just rent a car in SA or is public transportation or hiring a driver a must?

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