So you’ve travelled extensively and you’re looking for your next great adventure, but aren’t sure where or what to do. If Africa is calling, and surely it will at some point, you should consider maximising the opportunity and taking a road trip throughout the continent, perhaps from Cape Town to Cairo, which would be the most obvious choice. That being said, despite the fact that it’s been done before, it isn’t for the faint hearted. This route is around 12,000 kilometres long and includes driving on some rather… interesting roads. Depending on the route you take as well, it could take you through some very unusual and perhaps even not-so-safe countries, so it’s important to plan well in advance.
Depending on your adventurous nature, the route you take is up to you. There are three main possibilities, although one of these is not advisable in the present day due to serious security issues experienced in some of the countries. The routes are as follows:
Route One: Cape Town – Namibia – Angola – Republic of Congo – Gabon – Equatorial Guinea – Cameroon – Nigeria – Niger – Algeria – Libya – Egypt.
Route Two: Cape Town – Botswana – Zimbabwe – Zambia – Tanzania – Uganda – South Sudan – Sudan – Egypt.
Route Three: Same as Route Two, but substitute South Sudan for Kenya and Ethiopia.
Some of the countries mentioned above have issues these days – Libya, South Sudan and to an extent Nigeria all suffer from issues surrounding terrorism and general aggression towards westerners, so it could be advisable to swap these for other countries that are more friendly.
How To Pull This Off
Firstly you’re going to need a really reliable vehicle, preferably a four wheel drive that is good for off-roading as well as in possession of four good tires. It’s advisable to also have some basic car repair skills under your belt too as well as an extra tire to change in case you get a flat (and that’s a very real possibility on some of the roads you could encounter). The second thing to think of is whether you will camp on the roadsides or if you will stay in hotels/hostels along the way. In some places it’s possible to camp, but it can be dangerous so be prepared to drive off-road a length to find a spot that will be unlikely to be seen from the road.
Also make sure that you stock food and water as well as extra blankets, clothes and the like in your car or van in case you get stuck roadside with more than one flat. It could be awhile waiting for someone to come by that can help out – even if you phone roadside assistance!
How Long Does This Take?
It depends entirely on how long you want it to take. Driving straight through it can take between a week and ten days, which allows for quick restful naps, but if you want to stop off wherever and whenever you want with time allowed to explore and just sit and appreciate where you are, a more reasonable kind of time frame would be 2.5-3 weeks, if not longer.
What Is There To See And Do On The Way?
In a word, tons. Between stopping off at beautiful, picturesque points such as along the Nile in Uganda to see some stunning waterfalls and rapids as well as stopping off at view points, museums, small dusty roadside villages where people are welcoming and life seems to go by at a snails pace, you won’t be disappointed. You can even stop off to go on a professionally led game drive safari, so as you can see, there is almost an endless number of things to see and do, it just depends what your interests are and what you’re looking to experience.
So there you have a couple of great ways, including routes to use to plan your trip from the very southern tip of Africa all the way up to the north. With such a diverse and beautiful continent it will be easy to find things to see and do along the way for both you and anyone you’re travelling with. Stay safe and have fun on this almost once in a lifetime trip!