Africa overland holidays from London to Cape Town

Jul 09, 2013 BY Paul McWilliams

Travelling the world has never been easier. However, this does mean that everywhere you go there are tourists. And where there are tourists, true cultural experiences are harder to find. Which is why Africa overland holidays remain as one of the few genuine journeys of exploration.

Africa overland holidays flickr image by

The sheer scale of Africa is frightening. A vast desert the size of the United States sits on top of a jungle the size of India. This is a land whose scope is almost impossible to comprehend.

That’s why Africa overland holidays from London to Cape Town is one of the last truly great voyages. Travel through extraordinary landscapes visiting places most people will only see in their wildest dreams.

Stage 1: Overland from London to Accra

Ordinarily a trip through France and Spain would constitute a serious holiday, but this is barely even a warm up. The real adventure starts in Morocco. Cross the High Atlas Mountains, home to the almost mythical Berber people. Soak up the atmosphere of ancient medinas and bustling souks before following the coastline down to the deep deserts of Mauritania. Skirting the edges of the formidable Sahara, you’ll wonder at the ingenuity of the people who call this place home.

From there it’s down into the real West Africa, bursting with vibrant colours and cultural sites. Pass through Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone and the Cote d’Ivoire, camping out on the beach and meeting the incredibly friendly local people.

Africa overland holidays Wikimedia image by David Holt

Some of the challenges of Africa overland holidays

Of course, Africa overland holidays are not all fun and frolics. Africa is an extremely diverse place that comes with a whole truckload of problems. There will be days when it’s tough, when you encounter belligerent officials and where it gets risky. But then isn’t that what you’re looking for? If you wanted it to be easy you should have gone for two weeks in the Algarve. Some days are going to be hard but where else can you get experiences like this?

Stage 2: Overland from Ghana to South Africa

The Mole National Park in Ghana is a grassland savannah and one of the largest wildlife reserves in West Africa so great for a safari adventure. Home to 93 species of animals, you’ll get to see elephants, hippos and buffalo just going about their business.

Follow the coast round through Togo and Benin into mighty Nigeria. One of the most hectic places on earth, the capital Abuja has to be experienced, if only for a short time. After which, you’ll relish the peaceful beach camping at Limbe in Cameroon.

Africa overland holidays Wikimedia image by Dr. Thomas Wagner

By now you’ll be almost 100 days into your journey and just when you think you’ve got a handle on Africa, it’s all change again. You’ll travel through some of the densest jungle in the world, traversing some of the worst roads you can imagine. It’ll be a bumpy ride and a huge challenge but definitely worth it.

Once you’ve crossed through Gabon, the DRC and Angola you’ll be ready to tackle the last leg of the journey through Namibia and South Africa.

The final stages of your Africa overland holiday

The entire coastline of Namibia is one enormous national park, although the fact it’s called the Skeleton Coast might tell you it’s not the most hospitable of places. The Estosha National Park is a world-class game reserve and home to some of the world’s most endangered species, including the black rhino.

From there it’s down through the magnificent scenery of South Africa to Cape Town, one of the most progressive cities in Africa and a great place to finish any Africa overland holidays. Travelling from London to Cape Town will truly be the adventure of a lifetime.


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