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UK to Cape Town Overland

Listed under Road Trips in Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
  • Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
  • Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
  • Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
  • Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
  • Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
  • Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
  • Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
Photo of UK to Cape Town Overland
Photo by flickr user zongo69
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The UK to Cape Town Trans Africa journey is a classic overland route, travelling via the Sahara Desert and West Africa. There’s no better way to see Africa than by its network of roads and tracks that connect remote villages, sprawling cities, National Parks packed with wildlife, palm fringed beaches, forested mountains, desert dunes and savannah plains.

Whether you’re brave enough to travel with your own vehicle or go on an organised trip, you will have an amazing adventure. Routes have varied over the years in line with the opening or closure of borders, changes in political stability or development of tourist sites. Currently, the most popular route to take is from southern Spain to North Africa, travelling from Morocco across the Sahara to Mauritania, inland through Mali and down to Ghana and the West African coast. The wet, muddy, potholed roads of Nigeria and Cameroun lead on south to Angola, Namibia and finally the southern tip of Africa and Cape Town.

This journey is certainly not for those who don’t like to rough it. With hotels few and far between and of varying quality, camping is the best option, sometimes in campsites with good facilities but more often those that are basic or free camping in the bush. There can be long days on rough roads, pushing your vehicle out of the mud in the pouring rain or laying down sand mats in the scorching heat of the desert. But this is all what makes this such a fantastic, adventure! Cooking over the camp fire and sleeping out under a blanket of stars in the middle of nowhere, haggling in the local markets, visiting little-known National Parks, meeting great people, Africans and travellers alike – although not too many of the latter as this is about as off the beaten track as you can get these days.

You need at least 5 months to travel this route plus organising everything you need for an expedition beforehand - the vehicle, insurance, visas, vaccinations, medicines, camping equipment... Going on an organised trip means there’s a lot less to arrange before you go but you still need a lot of patience to deal with all the bureaucracy and long border crossings along the way! It’s best to depart the UK in spring or autumn so you miss the worst of the heat and the rainy seasons although it’s likely it will still get very hot and very wet at some point.

There is so much to see and do along the way and most of it won’t take much from your wallet until you reach Namibia. Marrakesh’s Djma el Fna Square with snake charmers and story tellers, the mud mosques and Dogon tribes of Mali, a boat trip to Timbuktu, walking to see elephants in Ghana, voodoo markets in Togo and da Quicama National Park in Angola are some of the best. Namibia and South Africa are more expensive but you wouldn’t want to miss out on the Kalahari Desert, Addo National Park or the biggest bungee jump in the world at Bloukrans Bridge (well, I wouldn’t mind missing the last one!)

This is a truly adventurous route that will take you to parts of Africa most people will never see or experience.

Written by  Ceris.

Other expert and press reviews

“48 hours in: Cape Town”

By Lucy Corne for The Independent. First published 3rd January 2009. South Africa's most beautiful city is the perfect destination for those in search of stunning scenery, warmer temperatures and good value...With its dramatic location, tumultuous hist… Read more...

Written by press. See the full article in The Independent, 3rd January 2009.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

My Cape Adventure Garden Route Safari

It has always been my dream to visit South Africa, I have read and heard so much about South Africa’s natural beauty and wanted to experience it for myself.

I did some research on the internet to find the best local packages at an affordable price. This is when I came across , one of Jenman African Safaris website filled with many great local tours and accommodations.

Finding the perfect tour for me was a breeze as I stumbled across Cape Adventure Garden Route Safaris - a safari perfect at highlighting many great places such as Albertinia, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay, Swellendam, Knysna and Cape Town.

Immediately I sent through an enquiry and got a response before the day had ended. By the end of the week I had my tour booked and was very impressed by the professional Jenman sales consultant. My itinerary was sent to me and all was in place.

We went on a 5 day tour of the some of the greatest highlights along the garden route in South Africa – the tour was filled with rich African culture, scenery and some of the most amazing wildlife. The Jenman guide was brilliant – he was clued up on basically everything, he answered all our questions perfectly. Besides his incredible knowledge he was easy to get along, too.

The group we travelled with made our tour – they were all very friendly and we laughed and had so much of fun everyday.

The highlight of my trip was definitely the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn and Tsitsikamma Forest. I thought I would get stuck in those caves and was happy once I was out there again – but what an adventure! Tsitsikamma is almost like one of those rainforests you see in the travel books – purely fantastic!

I can definitely recommend Jenman Safaris to anyone!

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