South Africa is a beautiful part of the continent to backpack through. Still, this part of Africa isn’t really cheap, now is it? On the contrary – it is widely regarded as a backpacker’s heaven. However, no matter how beneficial for the fans of it – each backpacking trip entails planning and dedication, before embarking on a potentially life-changing experience that is South Africa. Even if you are an experienced backpacker, it would be smart to review the tips and advice we’ve prepared for you in this article, just to make sure you’re on the right path, proverbially, as well as literally.
Get a travel book. No, seriously, you will need this. You do not want to find about all the great places you could’ve visited. This part is especially important, because Africa’s southern regions have so much to offer. From fantastic beaches for surfing, to a plethora of wildlife – you’ll find it all here. The Insight Guide to South Africa or The Rough Guide to South Africa may be the perfect choices for preparing for your backpacking trip. Once you’ve reached your backpacking destination, the two mentioned guides maybe won’t be enough. Therefore, do not refrain from visiting all the provincial tourist offices out there, to further outline your backpacking trip plan.
Means of Travel
For starters, you won’t be able to hitchhike through Southern Africa. It is a region, where knowing where, when and how to go will pay off with numerous enjoyable benefits. When it comes to the cities of Africa’s southern capitals, such as Johannesburg, Mozambique or Harare, you have three choices: public transport, travelling by cab, or renting a car. While visiting the car rental place certainly is the most beneficial, as it gives you the freedom to move about, the former choices are far from bad ones, seeing as how they will pay compliments to your pocket. If you’re really in the money, however, buying a used car is a solid choice. This is especially true if you’re not travelling on your own. Even if you are doing a solo trip, find a peer and save a ton! Simply sell the car at the end of your trip to the likes of you, who have yet to experience this wonderful part of the African continent. The best part is – your foreign license is valid for six months!
Food and Drink
Another aspect Southern Africa excels at is the variety of food available. For example, Zimbabwe focuses mostly on maize-based meals, drinks and snacks. In South Africa, there is a food variety consisting of everything from chicken kebabs, over Chinese, American, and Italian food, to the fried mopani worms. Namibia’s specialties include kingclip and kabeljou. This variety is yet another reason this destination is a prime one for many backpackers. When it comes to beverages, however, you are probably unaware of just how good the South African beer is. Moreover, both beer and wine come cheap here, so you won’t be forking out wads out of your pocket, if you follow the advice of local people. If you do your research properly, you can expect to pay no more than $5 for a bottle of wine at a local grocery store. As for beer, you can find it at prices as low as about $2 dollars per bottle.
Where to Stay
The bed rates in this country are staggeringly cheap! Even a quality double room is available at cheap prices, ranging from $30 – $50! You can find real estate news online. Real estate portals are an excellent way to find yourself a nice place to stay in Mozambique for your grand African adventure. If you plug into the backpacker community here, you can find a wide array of places to eat, drink and have fun at. However, it all depends on what type of backpacking trip you’re aiming for. Luckily, African countries such as Botswana and Namibia are popular backpacker hotspots, so you can rest assured that you will find those sharing your interests. Okavango River is a beautiful refuge for many of such travelers, while Namibia offers many beaches that are popular among surfers. By visiting these countries, you’ll get to meet a ton of new, likeminded, or not, people, and there is a plethora of opportunities to hope for!
Backpacking through Southern parts of Africa can be a wonderful experience, especially if you follow these guidelines and prepare yourself properly. Rich with a myriad of interesting and beautiful places to visit and experience, the Southern part of Africa offers a lot, at prices which are quite cheap. Do your research, find a place to stay and devise a proper plan – you won’t regret it!
Oliver Hyde is an experienced business consultant from the UK. His job allows him to travel, which also happens to be one of his greatest passions. He has been exploring Africa this past year and this journey is something he will never forget.