Zimbabwe History | Overland Africa

South Africa Overland Travel

Stunning scenery, diverse cultures, excellent wildlife and cheap food and drink - what’s not to like about South Africa overland travel?

South Africa has all the necessary ingredients for overlanding: great infrastructure, communications and services on the one hand, and extraordinary destinations, fascinating people, packed game reserves and mile after mile of open road on the other. With its intoxicating mix of Africa, Asia and Europe, South Africa is rich in history - both tragic and triumphant - and it’s impossible to visit the country without absorbing something from the past.

It’s a country that is also trying to move on from the past: the “Rainbow Nation” has transformed itself almost beyond recognition in the last 20 years and the pace shows no sign of letting up. Allow your preconceptions to be challenged on your South Africa overland adventure; itineraries have been created to reflect the many faces of this country and beyond - South Africa combines well with iconic safari destinations such as Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls.

South Africa Overland Travel Guide


• South Africa is the continent’s powerhouse: in terms of population, energy production and GDP, it occupies the same position in Africa as the United States does in the world.
• There are 11 official languages in South Africa but English dominates business, the service industry, tourism and the media.
• The population is estimated at around 50 million but this does not include millions of immigrants and refugees - a 2011 census is planned.
• With a land surface area of around 1 220 000, South Africa is twice the size of Texas or as big as France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy combined.
• Pretoria is the official capital city (executive), Cape Town the legislative capital (parliament) and Bloemfontein the judicial capital (Supreme Court). Johannesburg remains South Africa’s business and financial centre.
• South Africa has nearly 3 000km of coastline and environments that range from snow-capped mountains to dense forests, and from game-filled savannahs to echoing semi-deserts.
• It’s home to 10% of the world’s plants which includes the unique Cape Floral Kingdom, extraordinary plants precariously poised on Alpine-style mountains.
• Most of South Africa’s interior has a wet, warm summer (November to April) and a cool, dry winter (May to October). The Western Cape - and Cape Town - has a hot, dry summer and cold, wet winter.
• South Africa has an amazing diversity of wildlife and many Big 5 destinations. Bird watching and game viewing opportunities are plentiful.

Travel Tips:

  • Most nationalities don’t need a visa, but find out before you go
  • South Africa is very first world when it comes to getting & exhanging money
  • The South African Rand can also be used in Namibia and parts of Botswana
  • It’s wise to take malaria precautions in certain safari destinations, like Kruger
  • If you’re in South Africa during summer, sunscreen is a necessary!

Dont forget to:

  • Stalk the Big 5 on Safari
  • Ascend Table Mountain by cable car - or climb it!
  • Swim in the warm Indian Ocean
  • Explore the Garden Route
  • Learn a few words of an African language
  • Do something adventurous like abseiling or bungee jumping
  • Go shark-cage diving for the biggest thrill
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Quick Facts:

  • South Africa covers around 1 220 000sq km and is twice the size of Texas
  • There are 11 official languages, but English dominates most sectors
  • The diverse landscape includes coastline, mountains, forests, savannah and semi-desert
  • It’s also home to 10% of the world’s plants which includes the Cape Floral Kingdom
  • Cape Town’s climate differs to the rest of the country during Summer and Winter