how to plan a trip around south africa and neighbouring countries? what are the must gos?

Question by telllly: how to plan a trip around south africa and neighbouring countries? what are the must gos?
i’ll be going to Swaziland (in southern africa) for a study trip, after that i’d like to tour around south africa and other neighbouring countries, where are the places i must go and how should i start planning it? >.< no clue!! wanna go to some other exciting countries around that area too?? any suggestions?
i'll be going to Swaziland (in southern africa) for a study trip, after that i'd like to tour around south africa and other neighbouring countries, where are the places i must go and how should i start planning it? >.< no clue!! wanna go to some other exciting countries around that area too, any suggestions? ...i've got about three weeks for the trip, interests are mainly wildlife, cultural and historical stuff, budget not set yet, estimating..

Best answer:

Answer by esterretjie
The best way to start planning a trip is probably by going to a tour operator or to contact an independant guide. There are a few sites that could help you in your planning. If you are looking for cheap accommodation and travel the Baz Bus is your best option. Other sites include SA_Venues, Excape and the SA Environment website, it has all the tourism authorities contact details.

Must see places in South Africa:
* Gauteng Province (origins of gold)
* East Coast (Durban and surrounds)
* Drakensberg
* Limpopo Province (loads of private game reserves)
* Sun City (North West Province)
* Kruger National Park
* Bourke’s Luck Potholes (Mpumalanga)
* The Kalahari (Northern Cape)

Must see neibouring places:
* Namibia
* Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe – travel through Botswana and cross over the border to the falls)
* The coast of Mozambique

Give your answer to this question below!

3 comments

  1. df382 says:

    This is a very broad question you don’t give an idea of what’s your budget is and what are your interests.

    Swaziland – pretty boring small country but must sees are:
    Ngwenya mine – oldest evidence of human mining
    Milwane nature reserve – you can stay in a grass hut
    Other game reserves
    In August there is the Umhlanga (Reed Dance)
    If you are into fishing on the Mocambique border you can fish for Tiger fish at Big Bend

    South Africa
    If you are into wildlife there are a number of different game reserves: Kruger National Park is the biggest and best it is part of the Peace Park that extends across the borders of Mocambique.
    Near Johannesburg is the lion park, Karoo Mountain Zebra, Addo Elephant in KwaZulu Natal and if you are rich there is Pilansberg near Sun City
    The Pretoria Zoo is pretty fascinating – a night tour is great

    Human ancestry
    Sterkfontein – the cradle of humankind

    Night life
    Cape Town rocks

    Apartheid history
    There are guided tours of Soweto available and you can eat the staple foods like Mielie pap and mopani worms

    Wars The Zulu War and Anglo Boer war are considered the biggies
    Various battlefield tours are available

    Neighbouring countries

    Lesotho another small boring country
    Maseru has some nice pubs and hotels but very little else.
    Basutho ponies
    Drakensberg – highest mountains in Southern Africa
    The highest waterfall in africa

    Botswana
    Gaberones the capital has some nice pubs and hotels. The drivers are the worst in the world. Some mad town planner laid out the road system to cause the most number of accidents.

    17% of the country is national parks
    The Central Kalahari National Park is bleak and beautiful.
    The Okavango delta is stunning
    The North of the country has the largest elephant herds in the world. Chobe is a great place to stay. There are luxury hotels and cheap camp sites.

    Zimbabwe – Avoid unless you are interested in seeing how a mad dictator can destroy a country. Inflation has topped 1000% and the population is being starved. Most of the wildlife has been eaten

    Namibia
    Must sees: The national parks including the Etosha pan are stunning
    Windhoek has a german ambience and there are some great nightclubs

    Angola – haven’t been there so can’t make suggestions

    Mocambique
    Maputo – good hotels and nightlife
    bad bad roads
    The beaches are wonderful there are a lot of diving and fishing resorts along the coast
    Watch out for land mines

    Zambia
    Lusaka – the torture chambers put in by Kaunda are worth a visit.
    It is the better country to see the Victoria falls from.
    If you want a unique experience go and stay at the Chimfunshe Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Chingola. Jane Goodall is the patron and there is a tame hippo called Billie Jean. Nearest airport is Ndola

    Planning your trip

    Get a map and plot your destinations.
    Check for visa requirements
    Get an international driver’s license

    Search for guided tour companies on the web.

    Look at state department warnings.

    Southern Africa is violent (Bill Bryson (the travel writer) was in South Africa for three hours and was robbed at gunpoint in Johannesburg).

    Be sensible I have been to all these countries and the worst experience I had, was being strip searched at Uganda airport by security guards trying to extort a bribe.

    Look at getting traveller’s cheques and mastercards. Don’t travel with bling and don’t bring anything you will die to protect. Have a reserve fund that can be Moneygramed or SWIFTed to you in need.

    Travel
    are you going to buy or hire a car? There are lots of rental places.
    A lot of tours will drive you to your destination
    Hitching seems to be easier outside South Africa
    Most accommodation places will collect you from the nearest airport.

    This is very brief so contact me if you have any questions

  2. XhosaMoon says:

    I you are on a tight(ish) budget, I advise against tour operators. They charge European prices and offer nothing you can’t do on your own or with friends. I recommend the Lonely Planet Guide for Southern Africa – just make sure you get an up to date edition. Things change quickly in Southern Africa.

    Must do’s in Swaziland are few and far between, but I do recommend Swazi candles, a lovely little candle maker.
    In South Africa:
    - Johannesburg, especially the Apartheid museum. You should not leave Southern Africa without having learnt more about this sad chapter of history and the place brings it across brilliantly. As far as safety in Jo’burg goes, be cautious, don’t carry too much cash, but don’t be paranoid. It’s a great place and, if you behave sensibly, it is no more dangerous than New York or London.
    - Kruger National Park
    - For a completely different cultural mix head to Durban. It’s not as much fun as Jo’burg, but still well worth a visit.
    - If you want to venture further afield, check out the western Cape, espcially the Garden Route, the winelands and the area around Cape Town.
    Mozambique.
    Do not miss Mozambique! It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Most people speak very little English, so be prepared to communicate with you hands and feet, but they are so friendly, the beaches are gorgeous (especially for diving/snorkeling and shell collecting) and the whole atmosphere is uplifting.
    I saw someone suggesting Namibia. I agree that Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert and Etosha National Park are very nice, but all in all Namibia is quite boring and in my humble opinion not worth the trip from Swaziland unless you are going in that direction anyway. If you do, don’t miss the two places I’ve just mentioned.

    Lastly, let me utter a word of caution. You will hear a lot of bad things about crime and violence in Southern Africa. While both are a problem, don’t let anyone drive you crazy. Be sensible, try not to stand out, don’t carry large amounts of money, don’t walk around in flashy clothes and be friendly and open and you will have the time of your life.

  3. jangita says:

    come to kenya – it has it all. get in touch if u need a guide.

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