Self drive tour through South Africa

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For the next trip we choose the destination South Africa. South Africa is the most southern country of the African continent. In the north South Africa is bordering Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

At the east boarder of South Africa is Mozambique and Swaziland. Lesotho is lies in the middle of South Africa and is completely surrounded. In the west and south of South Africa are the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean.

South Africa has an area of approximate 1 million km2. And it has about 50 million inhabitants, of which most are living in the big cities. South Africa has three capitals. Cape Town is the capital of the legislature, Pretoria is the capital of the administrative power and Bloemfontein is the capital of the judiciary power. Other big cities in South Africa are Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. There are 11 official languages in South Africa, but there are more spoken languages. Zoeloe is the biggest official language (24%). African, related to the Dutch langue, is a large spoken langue, but since 1983 it isn't an official langue anymore. Moreover, almost everyone speaks English.
The currency in South Africa is Rand. And it is a left side drive country. It isn't hard to drive at the left side, since the driver is also at the other side of the car, compare to right side driving.

We left for a trip for three weeks to South Africa. Our flight in was a direct flight from Amsterdam (NL) to Johannesburg. We picked up our rental car at the airport of Johannesburg and went to Pelgrim's Rest. We drove on to Kruger National Park, where we stayed a couple of days on different locations. After Kruger NP we drove through Swaziland and stayed in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary for a night. The next destination was St. Lucia at the south coast of South Africa. After St Lucia we drove to the southern Drakensberg, near the border of Lesotho. We left the southern Drakensberg and went to the Northern Drakensberg. We left the Drakensberg area and went to Golden Gate Highlands National Park and had an overnight stay with a perfect view. We drove along the north boarder of Lesotho in the direction of Aliwal North. This was, considered the distance, only an overnight stay. Next we arrived in Cradock, near Mount Zebra National park. The next day we drove to Addo Elephant National Park, where we spent the night. Along the southern coast of South Africa we stayed in Tsitsikamma National Park, one of the most beautiful parks we have seen in South Africa. We drove towards Oudtshoorn, the start of the Garden Route. Our last destination in South Africa was Cape Town, where we drove to over the Garden Route. We had a night flight back from Cape Town to Amsterdam (NL).

Our trip was a combination of spotting wildlife and enjoying the most beautiful nature of South Africa. We have visited several National Parks, and where possible, we walked in the parks. In the National Parks where wildlife was where present, we stayed in the car and drove ourselves. For us, the combination nature and wildlife was a successful combination for our trip through South-Africa

We did, during the preparation of this holiday, some reading about criminality in South Africa. There is not one moment that we felt unsafe in South Africa. Of course there were some areas where we decided not to stop, or big cities where we decided drove around. Some distances were far, so we left early in the morning. Therefor we arrived every day before sunset on our next destination. We made sure there was nothing on the backseats of the rental. Our entire luggage was in the trunk of the car, which makes the changes of a robbery less likely.

We haven't been pulled over by fake police and our bankcards were not skimmed. Although we heard some stories along the trip that it had happened to them. In South Africa there is a big gap between rich and poor, so stay alert!

At the parking lot we paid the guys when we arrived back 2 rand. For washing the windows of the car, standard after every fill up, we paid about 2-3 Rand. The tip in the restaurants was between 5 and 10 % depending on the service.

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