My Personal Top 4 Overland Routes In Africa: From Cape Town To Naïrobi.

Going on an overland tour is an incredible way to experience Africa’s diverse beauty and get a sense of its sheer scale.

Imagine the roar of waterfalls, the stark silhouettes of baobab trees against an African sunset, and the impressive wildlife and cultures on the way – these are the scenes that you’ll carry with you for a lifetime, it did for me!

So, if you’re ready to take on the vast and varied continent, I’m here to talk about my best overland experiences, some of them are recent, others some time ago though when I was younger haha! But it was like it was only yesterday!

From the Cape In South-Africa to Namibia: Scenic Routes of Southern Africa

One of my first overland trips was when I started at Cape Town, and ended back at the Victoria Falls, for the second time in my life!

But that was a long overland tour, and a lot of people go for these shorter versions, so let’s describe them:

1. Capetown- Windhoek.

Starting at the foot of the iconic Table Mountain, you’ll travel through South Africa’s winelands before crossing the border into the sweeping red sands and rock formations of Namibia. So basically you’ll start at:

  • Cape Town, South Africa
    • Starting Point: The journey begins in the vibrant city of Cape Town, known for its iconic Table Mountain, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage.
      You will for sure find a place to park your overlander in or near Cape Town, it’s the land of overlandering haha!
      I would advise you to spend at least three days in this coastal city, as there is a lot to see, to do and enjoy.
Table Mountain in Cape Town

  • Cederberg Mountains, South Africa
    • Distance from Cape Town: Approximately 250 km
    • Highlights: Famous for its rugged, dramatic landscapes, ancient San rock art, and unique flora. Great for hiking, rock climbing, and lots of star gazing 🙂
      I also stayed here for 2 days, but you can enjoy the area as long as you want!
      As you can see in the video below, the terrain of these mountains is quite rough, so you definitely can use your overland camper when needed!

  • Namaqualand, South Africa
    • Distance from Cederberg: Approximately 300 km
    • Highlights: Renowned for its spectacular springtime wildflower displays. Namaqua National Park is a popular spot for viewing the colorful blooms. I wasn’t there in the blooming season, but I am considering going back just to see this magnificent view!
namaqua national park

  • Springbok, South Africa
    • Distance from Namaqualand: Approximately 130 km
    • Highlights: A small town in the Northern Cape, often used as a rest stop. Known for the Goegap Nature Reserve and its diverse succulent species.
      I only stayed one night, as a stopover, but I did enjoy the surroundings.

  • Orange River, South Africa/Namibia Border
    • Distance from Springbok: Approximately 120 km
    • Highlights: The natural border between South Africa and Namibia. Popular for canoeing, rafting, and camping along the riverbanks.

  • Fish River Canyon, Namibia
    • Distance from Orange River: Approximately 250 km
    • Highlights: One of the largest canyons in the world. Offers stunning viewpoints and hiking trails. The Fish River Hiking Trail is a popular multi-day trek.
      I followed a hiking trail in group, all the way down to the river. But beware that you do need to be in a basic shape, and take enough water with you, because it can get HOT down in the canyon!
me at the Fish river Canyon
me at the Fish river Canyon, ready for a hike down
  • Keetmanshoop, Namibia
    • Distance from Fish River Canyon: Approximately 160 km
    • Highlights: Known for the Quiver Tree Forest and the Giant’s Playground, which feature unique and ancient quiver trees and fascinating dolerite rock formations.

  • Mariental, Namibia
    • Distance from Keetmanshoop: Approximately 230 km
    • Highlights: A gateway to the Kalahari Desert. Nearby attractions include the Hardap Dam and Game Reserve, which is a good spot for bird watching and wildlife.

  • Windhoek, Namibia
    • Distance from Mariental: Approximately 270 km
    • Final Destination: The capital city of Namibia. A bustling city with a mix of modern amenities and German colonial architecture. Key sites include Christuskirche, the National Museum of Namibia, and vibrant markets.

2. Garden Route Overlanding Route (Port Elizabeth to Cape Town)

A different kind of journey is the Garden Route, known for its coastal treasures and forested paths stretching from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. And these are the places I stayed:

  • Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), South Africa
    • Starting Point: A major city known for its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and vibrant culture. Key attractions include the Donkin Heritage Trail, the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex, and the Addo Elephant National Park nearby, which I visited and enjoyed immensely.
addo elephant park baby elephant

  • Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
    • Distance from Port Elizabeth: Approximately 80 km
    • Highlights: World-renowned surf destination known for its long, fast waves. The town also offers great beaches, shell collecting, and a relaxed vibe.

  • Storms River, South Africa
    • Distance from Jeffreys Bay: Approximately 70 km
    • Highlights: Home to the Tsitsikamma National Park and the Storms River Mouth. Popular activities include canopy tours, bungee jumping from Bloukrans Bridge, and kayaking in the Storms River Gorge.

  • Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
    • Distance from Storms River: Approximately 70 km
    • Highlights: A beach lover’s paradise with stunning coastline and marine life. Activities include visiting the Robberg Nature Reserve, exploring Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, and enjoying water sports.

  • Wilderness, South Africa
    • Distance from Plettenberg Bay: Approximately 70 km
    • Highlights: Famous for its serene beaches, wetlands, and lagoons. The Wilderness National Park offers excellent hiking, bird-watching, and water activities like canoeing.

  • Mossel Bay, South Africa
    • Distance from Wilderness: Approximately 60 km
    • Highlights: Known for its beautiful beaches and rich history, including the Diaz Museum Complex and the Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse. Popular for whale watching and adventure sports.

  • Hermanus, South Africa (Optional detour)
    • Distance from Mossel Bay: Approximately 370 km, I admit, it is a bit of a long detour!
    • Highlights: Famous for whale watching, particularly during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter and spring months. Visit the Old Harbour Museum and enjoy the cliff path walk.

  • Cape Town, South Africa
    • Distance from Hermanus: Approximately 120 km
    • Final Destination: So here we are again, in Cape Town, a vibrant city with stunning natural scenery, cultural landmarks, and diverse activities! Must-see attractions include Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Robben Island, and the Cape Peninsula.

From Windhoek to Victoria Falls: My amazing experiences with Namibia and Botswana.

Imagine shifting from the stark beauty of red desert dunes, over a wet Delta, and to the thundering majesty of waterfalls.

Let’s talk about my overland trip further up North a little bit: from Namibia, over Botswana , ending at the Victoria Falls.

Overlanding Route: Windhoek to Victoria Falls

  • Windhoek, Namibia
    • Starting Point: Here we are again: at the capital city of Namibia, known for its German colonial architecture and vibrant markets. Key sites include Christuskirche, the National Museum of Namibia, and Daan Viljoen Game Park.

  • Etosha National Park, Namibia
    • Distance from Windhoek: Approximately 415 km
    • Highlights: One of Africa’s greatest wildlife parks, Etosha offers incredible game viewing opportunities. The park’s vast salt pan attracts diverse wildlife including elephants, lions, and rhinos.
me at the Etosha Pan national park

  • Rundu, Namibia
    • Distance from Etosha National Park: Approximately 400 km
    • Highlights: Located on the banks of the Okavango River, Rundu is a gateway to the Kavango and Caprivi regions. Enjoy river cruises and cultural interactions with the local Kavango people.

  • Divundu, Namibia
    • Distance from Rundu: Approximately 200 km
    • Highlights: Situated near the confluence of the Okavango and Cuito rivers. Visit the Popa Falls and Mahango Game Park for bird watching and wildlife viewing.

  • Kasane, Botswana
    • Distance from Divundu: Approximately 360 km
    • Highlights: Located near the borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, Kasane is the gateway to Chobe National Park, famous for its large elephant population. Enjoy boat cruises on the Chobe River and game drives.

  • Okavango Delta, Botswana (Optional Flight from Maun)
    • Distance from Kasane to Maun (by road): Approximately 600 km
    • Flight from Maun to Okavango Delta: Short scenic flight
    • Highlights: The Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest inland deltas. The Delta’s unique ecosystem offers exceptional wildlife experiences, including mokoro (dugout canoe) trips, guided bush walks, and luxurious safari lodges.
      BUT, you need to fly in, you can’t exactly go there with your own vehicle, so it can’t be a part of your overlanding trip!

If you want to skip this, you can go straight to the next step:

  • Nata, Botswana
    • Distance from Maun (by road): Approximately 300 km
    • Highlights: Known for the Nata Bird Sanctuary, where you can see large flocks of flamingos and pelicans. Nata is a good rest stop before heading to the Makgadikgadi Pans.

  • Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
    • Distance from Nata: Approximately 300 km
    • Highlights: Zimbabwe’s largest national park, Hwange is renowned for its large elephant herds and diverse wildlife. Enjoy game drives and the chance to see the Big Five.
      I remember this was a pretty dry and very hot region, but you won’t miss out on wildlife for sure! 🙂

  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
    • Distance from Hwange National Park: Approximately 190 km
    • Final Destination: One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls is an awe-inspiring sight. Activities include guided tours of the falls, helicopter flights, white-water rafting on the Zambezi River, and visits to the Victoria Falls National Park.
      In the video below, you can see that I have rafted the Zambezi! Would I do it again? Heck no haha!

Eastern Expeditions: The Heart of Africa from Johannesburg to Nairobi

The journey from Victoria Falls to Nairobi is, frankly, a photographer’s dream and a forever-lasting memory for me.

I started in Johannesburg, through Zimbabwe and Zambia, over to Malawi and Tanzania, and a stop in Zanzibar.

The adventure goes on as you push through Tanzania, with opportunities to witness the Great Migration in the Serengeti or visit the impressive Ngorongoro Crater.

It was my longest overlanding trip ever in Africa and here is the route in short:

  • Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Starting Point: The economic hub of South Africa. Highlights include the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, and Soweto for a rich historical and cultural experience ( have a guide for the latter if you want to visit it)
what to do in Johannesburg

  • Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe
    • Distance from Johannesburg: Approximately 700 km (it’s best to drive this distance in 2 days)
    • Highlights: Known for its dramatic rock formations, ancient rock art, and rhino population. The park also holds historical significance with the grave of Cecil Rhodes at World’s View. Activities include hiking, game drives, and cultural tours.

  • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
    • Distance from Matobo National Park: Approximately 470 km
    • Highlights: One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Activities include guided tours, helicopter flights, white-water rafting, and visits to Victoria Falls National Park. Yes indeed, I visited these falls a second time and I don’t regret it haha!

  • Livingstone, Zambia
    • Distance from Victoria Falls: Just across the border
    • Highlights: Adventure hub with bungee jumping, microlight flights, and river cruises on the Zambezi. The Livingstone Museum provides historical and cultural insights.

  • South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
    • Distance from Livingstone: Approximately 700 km
    • Highlights: Known for walking safaris and rich wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, and diverse bird species.

  • Lake Malawi, Malawi
    • Distance from South Luangwa National Park: Approximately 500 km
    • Highlights: Africa’s third-largest lake, famous for clear waters and diverse marine life. Popular spots include Cape Maclear, Likoma Island, and Nkhata Bay. Activities include snorkeling, diving, and exploring local fishing villages.

  • Mbeya, Tanzania
    • Distance from Lake Malawi: Approximately 450 km
    • Highlights: A gateway to Tanzania with beautiful scenery and cultural experiences. Visit local markets and enjoy the views of the surrounding highlands.

  • Iringa, Tanzania
    • Distance from Mbeya: Approximately 340 km
    • Highlights: A charming town with nearby Ruaha National Park offering excellent wildlife viewing. Explore local crafts and the historic Isimila Stone Age site.
ruaha national park crocodile

  • Dodoma, Tanzania
    • Distance from Iringa: Approximately 260 km
    • Highlights: The capital city of Tanzania with a relaxed atmosphere. Visit the Gaddafi Mosque and local markets.

  • Arusha, Tanzania
    • Distance from Dodoma: Approximately 470 km
    • Highlights: A hub for safaris to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Explore Arusha National Park and enjoy views of Mount Meru.

  • Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
    • Distance from Arusha: Approximately 320 km
    • Highlights: The Serengeti, who doesn’t know this National Park! Renowned for its annual wildebeest migration and abundant wildlife. Experience game drives, hot air balloon safaris, and witness the Big Five. And, you can also camp in it with your overlander. But, beware of the wildlife!

  • Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
    • Distance from Serengeti National Park: Approximately 140 km
    • Highlights: A UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. Explore the crater floor on guided safaris. I would DEFINITELY ADVICE A GUIDED TOUR TO THIS CRATER!

  • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Optional detour to Zanzibar by ferry)
    • Distance from Ngorongoro Crater to Dar es Salaam: Approximately 600 km
    • Highlights: A major city and port. Relax on beaches, visit historical sites, and take a ferry to Zanzibar if desired. Zanzibar offers pristine beaches, Stone Town, and spice tours, and I enjoyed it very much.

  • Nairobi, Kenya
    • Distance from Arusha: Approximately 280 km
    • Final Destination: The capital of Kenya. Attractions include Nairobi National Park, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (I’m still a member after all these years!), and the Giraffe Centre. Enjoy vibrant nightlife, markets, and local cuisine.

Conclusion: Embracing Africa’s Overland Experiences!

I hope my trips have triggered your curiosity and inspired you to pack your bags and just go! If you’ve enjoyed this journey in words, imagine what the real experience could offer, you won’t regret it, trust me!

If you have any more questions or would like to comment on something, feel free to do so in the comment section below or join me on my social media channels for more pictures and stories of my travels to Africa!

I wish you happy travels!

Kind regards,


I now have a YouTube channel as well!


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