Backpacking Southern Africa Countries
A good journey will take you to fascinating places where you will be able to take a lot of pictures and compare your experiences with others. A great journey will take you to the deepest depths of your soul, change you and become an inseparable part of your personality. If you are not satisfied with a simple journey, then direct your eyes towards Africa. Trust the words of the famous novelist Doris Lessing: “Africa gives you the knowledge that a man is a small creature, among other creatures, in a large landscape” and begin the quest of discovering yourself by exploring Southern Africa and stepping outside your comfort zone.
The Countries of Southern Africa
The region of Southern Africa consists of five countries: Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland. All of them should definitely find their place on your travel route when discovering the region, but if you do not have the time or the possibility to explore them all, choose according to your preferences. One of the first ones to visit is surely Botswana, a country blessed with wildlife and iconic landscapes, which together make Botswana the wild Africa at its best. Namibia is the headquarters of the adventure activities in the region, and if you have an itch for exploring the desert road, you should not miss it. Though a vastly underrated travel destination, Lesotho is a safe, culturally rich and affordable destination. Perhaps the most intriguing destination in the region is the small kingdom of Swaziland. It may sound weird to you, but it is the country where you can experience the true feeling of Africa untouched by outer influences. In the end, the most popular destination of the region, deservedly so, South Africa will provide you the most diverse landscapes and the amazing richness of wildlife.
Let us first cover the practical side – if you go for the Southern Africa road trip, you will have to feel free enough to travel by backpackers’ busses, such as Baz Bus, hitchhike (though it is not recommended) or rent a car. At some places you will have to stay the night, or even a couple of nights. Sleeping under the roof of stars is adventurous, but the safety is not guaranteed. Sometimes, booking a hotel room can be quite an adventure too, so it is advisable to rent an apartment or even a house in advance via propertymaputo.com or a similar agency.
Experiencing the Magic of the Region
The sites you can see in Africa will completely change the way you see the world, so choose them carefully. In South Africa, you simply must see the world from the Dragon Mountains and feel the breeze on the Cape Point. Visiting some of the numerous wildlife parks in each country is a must. Because Swaziland is the one true example of Africa in all its unvarnished glory, you should most definitely visit its local villages and tribes. In the end, it is the people that change you the most on your journey outside your comfort zone. Elephant Trail, Kubu Islands and Okavango Delta are the most astonishing places in Botswana, while Lesotho will take your breath away with Semokong and Malealea. If you have a thing for spooky destinations, make sure you visit Namibia’s Ghost Town, Kolmanskop. Wherever you are, try to get familiar with local customs and culture, and always be respectful to the things you do not understand. The locals are usually very friendly, but you should not take advantage of their good will by mocking their traditions and beliefs.
Visiting places where few have ventured before enriches you with experiences that can make you a storyteller for a lifetime. So pack your bags, your adventure book is about to be written.