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Nairobi to Cape Town Overland

Author: Alan (More Trip Reviews by Alan)
Date of Trip: April 2006

We reached our campsite, set up our tents and went on a game walk. We were split into 3 groups and I thought we were lucky to have the main tour guide. But I'm sorry to say that the tour guides said virtually nothing, apart from pointing out a 2 week old anteater hole (and repeat this when we did a morning game walk). They could have made it a bit more interesting, pointing out animal tracks, explaining about the wildlife, insects and plants and maybe a bit of folklore.

It is certainly a unique experience being poled along the Delta, but as we brought and set up our own tents, brought and cooked our own meals, and washed our own plates, $110 for a one night bush camp is rather expensive. But they did sing very well around the campfire that night.

We entered Namibia in mid-May, which is Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. You need to wear 2 jumpers (in the evening and on the truck because of the wind chill factor) and there was even ice in the early hours of the morning. I bought myself a thermal inner lining for my sleeping bag to help keep me warm.

We went on game drives in Etosha National Park. The two we did in the early morning with the sun rising were bitterly cold, most who managed to get up, sat on the truck in their sleeping bags. We saw herds of springbok and zebra, and many other game. There were also lots of jackals in the park and at the campsites (which meant you couldn't leave your shoes outside as they would be stolen and eaten).

You can get very close to cheetahs at a Cheetah Park near Etosha, and you get to see (and smell) seals at the Cape Cross Seal Colony on the Skeleton Coast.

Like Vic Falls, Swakopmund is another adventure capital of Africa -- you get to go sky diving, quad biking over the dunes and sand boarding. All very recommended.

The Namibian Desert has some of the biggest dunes in the world and amazing landscapes. Jeeps can drive you in to see the sights for $10-$15 per person. But I chose the cheaper (free) option of walking.

South Africa
We stayed in Stellenbosch and went on a wine tasting tour. The region is very famous for its wine. It is also a very good place to eat, particularly if you want to try some of the different game (it is the only town where I saw Zebra on the menu).

The truck then took us to a hostel in Cape Town and this was the end of our tour. However, I had decided to spend a few extra days in Cape Town before flying home. This gave me the chance to climb Table Mountain, visit the Cape of Good Hope to see where the Indian ocean meets the Atlantic, look at the penguins on Boulder Beach, and sunbathe on pretty Camps Bay.

In summary, I don't think you could go anywhere else in the world and experience so many different landscapes, cultures, animals and activities, in so short a time, and certainly not for that price. The 54-day trip cost 680 GBP + a local payment of 330 GBP when you arrive -- 1,010 GBP in total (about $1,860 USD). This includes the majority of your meals, and quite a lot of excursions and National Parks. You have to also pay for the Zanzibar ferry (40 GBP return) and a hotel in Zanzibar. There are a few optional extras in each country, one of the most expensive being the Serengetti for 2 days, which costs 100 GBP. The other major expenses are your flights and visas. Your visas are paid as you cross each country border. I would recommend this trip to anybody.

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