Almost 2 weeks ago I got back from one of the most awesome road trips of my life. In about 10 days, 9 of my friends and I drove around and explored 3 countries. Many things were learned, some things were lost, hopefully this blog post will provide all prospective road trippers with some helpful do’s and do not’s for adventuring in Southern Africa.
- Go caving with Swazi Trails!! Hiking, chocolate, caving, and relaxing in hot springs with pizza and beer is all part of the package (the bigger the group the bigger the discount). Bonus: you get to wear super flattering, breaking bad-looking, jumpsuits.
- Stay at Sundowners Hostel. It’s cute, the beds are comfy, the showers are nice, and if you’re interested in the peace corps there are usually a few volunteers living there that are happy to talk.
- Trust me, there are cops everywhere, and they are sneaky. Stick to the speed limit, and pay attention to the signs, they drop from 120 to 60 even at the smallest villages.
- Arrive at the border crossings from South Africa to Swaziland too late in the day (especially on weekends), the lines are very long.
- Go hiking. Lesotho is the land of beautiful mountains and zero fences, take full advantage! There are hikes for all levels, as well as guides for hire if you don’t feel comfortable wandering on your own (none of the trails are marked).
- Stay at Malealea Lodge. There is a cute gift shop, bar area, and coffee shop. Live music is played almost every night and the owner has cute dogs if you’re a dog lover like me.
- Spend more than one night here. The drive from Swaziland was long, the lodge and the landscape are beautiful, you deserve to relax.
- Drive in Lesotho at night
- Go hiking without written directions, a compass, at least one buddy, and perhaps experience with exploring unmarked trails.
- Go Bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bridge jump in the world. The adrenaline, the bragging rights, the views, totally worth it.
- Stay at tube n’ axe near Bloukrans Bridge. Super clean, great atmosphere, great breakfast, great common spaces and pool. 10/10 hostel.
- Go to Cape Town. We chose to stay at an Airbnb in Hout Bay for most of the week which worked great. However, if you’re a smaller group there are great hostels in the city, we stayed at CapeTown HomeBase Backpackers for a few nights. It had a great location and very helpful staff.
- Take a bus tour. Can’t stress enough how amazing our little bus tour was, we hit almost every “must-see” tourist attraction in just one day. We used Lucky and Lost tour company, I highly recommend it, the guide was incredibly nice, funny, and knowledgeable.
- Hike Lion’s Head and Table Mountain
- Explore the V&A waterfront. Awesome market with diverse food, stores, people, you name it. The aquarium and the mall are also right there.
- Walk around alone at night. There are beggars everywhere and they will follow you for blocks.
- Carry a ton of cash on you when you go out.