A 25 day journey from Jo'Burg to Cape Town via Botswana, Zambia and Namibia
Africa - it was the trip of a lifetime!!! I highly recommend that if anyone is looking for a place to travel they should go explore the Southern African countries!!
I signed up for a 25 day overlanding tour with Acacia Tours. Overlanding as described by the company is "arguably the ultimate way to experience Africa! Acacia’s fleet of self-sufficient, custom-built trucks are some of the finest in overland travel. Designed with comfort and durability in mind, they are more than simply transport - your vehicle becomes your home from home, and is stocked with all the facilities and equipment (and a few luxuries) to make your overland experience a great one. With forward facing seats and large windows, you won’t miss out on the amazing scenery or wildlife. As one of the team, you’re involved in day-to-day duties including setting up camp or shopping for provisions - a great way to mix with others and meet the local people."
The first 6 days of my journey took me from Johannesburg, South Africa up to Livingstone, Zambia. During this time I travelled with 11 people. Once we got to Zambia our group split. Two went home and 3 went north to see Eastern Africa. The 6 of us who remaining joined a group of 6 who came down from East Africa. We were also joined by 2 girls who were starting their tour in Livingstone. So our journey from Livingstone to Cape Town over the next 19 days was done with a group of 14 people. The majority of them were from the UK, along with 2 from Australia and 2 from New Zealand. They became my family and it was very hard to leave and say goodbye when the journey ended. I am planning meet up with some of them in SE Asia though so I am looking forward to that!
I took a lot of pictures and to get a sense of what I was up to over the past month I think that looking through them is the best way. All my pictures are posted on Facebook in 6 different albums. If you don't have Facebook (or we aren't friends on fb) you can still view the pictures by using the following links. To view my trip as I experienced it, click on the links in this order. Just a heads up that there are a lot of pictures, but definitely worth a look!!
A summary of the trip's highlights in point form are:
- Kruger National Park, South Africa – I did a 9 hr game drive starting at 6am. Saw 4 of the 5 Big Five, the four being Elephant, Rhino, Water Buffalo and Lion. No leopard I also did a night game drive. Was hoping to see some lions hunting but didn’t. I did see 5 wild dogs though and apparently they are a really rare sighting. They are South Africa’s most endangered large carnivore.
- Chobe River Cruise, Botswana – We did a sunset cruise on the Chobe River. It was a 2 hr boat ride down the National Park's river. The highlight was getting to watch over a dozen elephants cross the river. So cool!! Also amazing how close we were able to get to the animals.
- Big Air, Zambia/Zimbabwe – Jumped 111 meters off the Victoria Falls Bridge twice! Once bungee jumping and once as a gorge swing. Can’t believe I actually willingly threw myself off a bridge but I’m glad I did
- Lion Encounter, Zambia – Spent 2 hrs interacting with a pair of cubs. Got to walk them, pet them and watch them play.
- Okavango Delta, Botswana – We bush camped in the Delta for one night. We were transported to our camp in pairs in little boats called Mokoros. The boat rides were 1hr long. So cool to camp in the middle of the Delta. I got to try my hand at “driving” a mokoro. You use a long stick to push the boat and steer. It was harder than it looked!
- Bushman Walk, Botswana – We stayed at Ghanzi Trail Blazers camp where we went on a bushman walk and learned about the different remedies they use to heal their ailments. We got to hear them speak their name “click” language too!
- Etosha National Park, Namibia – Stayed at this park for two nights. It had an awesome watering hole that was dimly floodlit so you could sit and watch animals come drink at night. Over the 2 nights I saw a pride of lions, a herd of elephants, a couple giraffe, rhino and oryx.
- Spittzkoppe, Namibia – Here we climbed a big rock to watch the sunset and then slept under the stars. Absolutely breathtaking! The moon rose around midnight and lit up the sky. It was incredible!
- Swakopmund, Namibia – Played in the sand here. I did some sand boarding and 4 wheeling through the dunes. Sooooo much fun!!
- Dune 45, Namibia – It is one of the most photographed dunes in the world. I climbed this sand dune to watch the sunrise at 7am. It was a race to get up to the peak on time since the gate to the park didn’t open until 6am and the dune is 45km from the gate. And then it takes time to climb to the top! I was the first one up though and made it to the top just as the sun broke on the horizon
- Fish River Canyon, Namibia – Stopped for lunch here. It is the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon featuring a gigantic ravine, in total about 160 km long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres deep. Stunning views!
- Highlanders Winery, South Africa – Wine tasting here! Surprisingly I enjoyed most of them.
- Great White Shark Cage Diving, South Africa – Spent 3 hours in the channel at Dyer Island (2 hours south of Cape Town) with Ecoventure Shark Diving where we watched and got in the water with great white sharks. Crazy but fun experience!
- Driving to Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope, South Africa – Spent the day driving down the coast to Cape Point. Stopped at some beautiful look outs and Boulders Beach to see the penguins.
- Table Mountain, South Africa – Took the cable car up Table Mountain to see the views of Cape Town and watch my final African sunset.