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Above: Bushman, Deception Valley
The first part of good planning is figuring out your exact route.

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South African Road Trips

Good planning is essential if you want your holiday to be a success. You should always find out what you will need from your tour operator or ask someone who has had some experience with travelling in the area.

Where to go?
The first part of good planning is figuring out your exact route. What sort of places interest you? Are you interested in meeting indigenous people and experiencing local culture and customs or are you more interested in meeting the local wildlife than socialising?  Perhaps you want to do a bit of everything.  Spending time on the internet and in travellers’ book shops will help you to find the ideal route.

Highlights of South Africa

  • Cape Town – The Mother City is a great place for travellers of every description. Art buffs will be thrilled by the myriad galleries in the Waterfront, on Church Street and in Kalk Bay and Noordhoek. Sports fans can watch cricket at Newlands, racing at Killarney and soccer almost anywhere! Gourmet cuisine can be had in five star restaurants but you can also turn almost any corner and find deep-fried samoosas or fish ‘n chips.
  • Garden Route – The magnificence of the Garden Route is internationally renowned; from the endemic Proteas and Ericas that throng the Cape peninsula to the deep, cool green canopy of the Knysna Forest’s yellowwood trees. There is something magical about watching the changing landscape as you travel up the east coast. Every stop seems more beautiful than the last and cameras rapidly fill with thousands of jaw-dropping shots of the masterful artistry of nature.
  • Wild Coast – If you just want to get away from it all then the Wild Coast is for you. Mother Nature still reigns supreme over the rolling hills and infinite skies of the western shores of South Africa. So achingly quiet as to almost seem desolate, these tranquil hills are a riot of colour in spring as sleeping bulbs rouse from there winter-long siesta and flaunt themselves unashamedly, vying for the attention of the pollen-hungry bees. The display brings thousands of tourists every year so forget about a quiet getaway in spring time!
  • Kruger National Park – African Safaris are the be all and end all of any trip to the Dark Continent. If you have never been on a safari then this would be the perfect time and place for it. Africa’s “Big Five” are abundant, especially in the carefully patrolled and protected South African areas of the park. Here you will see elephants, lions, rhino, hippo, wildebeest, giraffe, springbok, kudu, baboons, ostriches …the list goes on and on. Accommodation in the park caters for every taste and preference. Those who love to “rough it” can sleep in well protected, sturdy tents under the big African night sky. The lap of luxury is just as easily available for those who need a little pampering on their well earned holidays.

Once you have decided on the options that interest you, a good tour agent will be able to help you plan your route or recommend a popular route to suit you.

Sleep Easy
It’s a good idea to plan your accommodation beforehand. If you are planning to stay at a hotel or in bed and breakfast accommodation, make sure they are not going to be full when you get there. If you are planning to stay in less formal accommodation, make sure you have packed essentials of your own like bio-degradable soap and extra blankets

Packing for fun and safety
Speaking of things to bring, here is a useful list for anyone who is going on a road trip in Africa for the first time:

  • Sun cream – the African sun is not to be trifled with!
  • Insect repellent – pesky flies and mosquitoes can be a real pain.
  • Wet-wipes – there is always an accidental spill of some sort.
  • Hand/body lotion – the tremendous change in climate and humidity can play havoc with your skin.
  • Extra towels – bring them out when the wet-wipes aren’t enough, they also make a great sunscreen when draped over a closed car window!
  • Lip balm – sunburn and dehydration are almost inevitable when you travel so keep the discomfort to a minimum.
  • A fully charged mobile phone – you may need to call for help if you get stuck or if there is an accident. Crime is also a concern in South Africa so make sure it is an older model of phone, it’s less likely to attract attention.
  • First Aid kit – there is no need to take pointless risks when you’re on holiday
  • Bottled water – for the car and for you!

The freedom of the open road and the pleasure of good company make a road trip an ideal way to see South Africa.

About the Author:

RoadTravel is an accredited and well established tour operator specialising in tailor-made road trips in South Africa. Their vision is to share the magic that is Africa; to encourage clients to return again and again and above all to create authentic and memorable experiences for their clients.

Contact RoadTravel today to start planning your South African road trip!

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