FEA­TURES CLAS­SIC ROAD TRIP

Seventy days. That’s all you need for this amaz­ing Clas­sic Road Trip through Zam­bia, Tan­za­nia, Rwanda and Malawi. Thought this kind of trip was be­yond your reach? Read our story and you’ll soon change your mind…

go! - - Contents - BY TOAST COETZER

You don’t need a Land Cruiser and a bush trailer to travel in Africa. Check out our 70-day dream itin­er­ary through Zam­bia, Tan­za­nia, Rwanda and Malawi – it’s for ev­ery­one!

The SUV in your drive­way will do, a dou­ble-cab bakkie too. And you al­ready own all the camp­ing gear you’ll need. So now for the plan­ning… In this ar­ti­cle, we pro­vide a 70-day travel itin­er­ary with rec­om­mended places to stay (usu­ally camp­sites) and info about na­tional parks and other at­trac­tions. In last month’s is­sue (#146) we pub­lished two ac­counts from read­ers who re­cently did a self-drive tour through Africa. That ar­ti­cle gives in­for­ma­tion about how other South Africans ap­proach a long over­land trip: what food to pack, what the roads are like and how to make your rands go fur­ther. The two ar­ti­cles work in tan­dem. Our route starts in South Africa be­fore zip­ping through Botswana and Namibia into Zam­bia. From there we go into Tan­za­nia and down to the coast, be­fore swing­ing back west to Rwanda. Even­tu­ally you’ll make a U-turn and head home via Tan­za­nia and Malawi, with brief tran­sits through Mozam­bique and Zim­babwe. (See map on page 33.) You can ad­just the route to suit your needs. You can stay longer at places you like, or skip some parks al­to­gether. If you’re in a real rush you can do this route in 40 days, but 70 is bet­ter; 90 is per­fect. En­trance into na­tional parks is expensive. De­cide be­fore­hand which ones you want to visit – each has its own ap­peal. A moun­tain go­rilla trek and a day in the Ngoron­goro Crater are top of many peo­ple’s bucket lists, but each of those ex­cur­sions will take a sig­nif­i­cant bite out of your bud­get. Your own in­ter­ests will de­ter­mine your itin­er­ary: Se­ri­ous bird­watch­ers might not need to go into any fa­mous parks to see the rare birds they’re af­ter. The good news is that the roads are de­cent and you’ll be on tar for 95 % of the time. South Africans are savvy self-drive tourists. We know all about camp­ing, cook­ing our own meals and nav­i­gat­ing our way through new places. I hope that this itin­er­ary will be the nudge you need to ex­plore deeper into Africa – you’ll love it!

A POCKETFUL OF LIONS. The Ngoron­goro Con­ser­va­tion Area is an all-time clas­sic. The crater part is unique: You’ll feel as if you and the an­i­mals are mov­ing around in a gi­ant fish­bowl.

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