Southern Africa Road Trip: Intro, Truck Rental, Packing Essentials and SIM card info
Reading time: 4 minutes
Table Of Contents
Part 1: Intro, Truck Rental, Packing Essentials and SIM card info
Part 4: Zimbabwe & Botswana Campsites and How To Book Them (Coming Soon)
Part 5: Favorite Sights (Coming Soon)
I’ve returned from Africa with a full heart and mind of incredible experiences. My road trip through the continent’s Southern lands is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done. In a travel guide of sorts, I’ll be covering the details of Fiona’s (writer of The Traveling Creative) and my trip.
I hope you visit these countries and I hope they impact your life like they did ours.
First things first,
My blog is not monetized. None of the links I’ve included in this guide are sponsored. For the love of my readers and my travels, I spend 100s of hours on my website, providing real stories and travel suggestions for free. All I ask in return is that you support me by sharing my content with friends, showing love on my Instagram posts with likes/comments and also by browsing my online market. Most of what is for sale right now is from my travels through Africa. Each purchase helps fund future trips & blog posts. Thank you so much!
Okay, let’s begin on the details of our route through Southern Africa.
Road trip length: 3 weeks
Start & end-point: Johannesburg, South Africa
Countries visited: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia
Total cost: Stay tuned. I’ll mention $ figures throughout these posts
How To Get Around
You’ll need your own vehicle, preferably with 4 wheel drive. There are no buses or taxis along the way. You’ll see a few tour groups when you get close to National Parks (with airports) but our road trip is nearly impossible without your own means of transportation.
Bushlore Africa: Self-Drive Safaris
”Wildee” is a Toyota Hilux 4x4 with one rooftop tent (sleeps 2 people)
She is fully equipped with gear for both camping (sleeping bags / pillows) and cooking (gas stoves / pots / silverware / + more), built-in 60 L water tank & spigot, fridge, storage space, a table and chairs
We paid for the full insurance package to have peace of mind. This would cover everything except hitting an animal at night or flipping the truck. We had no issues.
Cost of truck rental (w/ full insurance for 3 weeks): $2731.65 ($130/day) not including gas
Total cost of gas: $544.18
The road conditions turned out to be way better than we were warned about. Fiona did really well with the varying terrains and never got a flat tire. Our truck was brand new with less than 10 kms when we got her so that was a plus too. Along the way, it was important that we learn the traffic rules for each country. For example, in Namibia, you’re required to drive with your lights on at all times. We were casually pulled over for not knowing this.
Extra Supplies To Pack
Our truck was equipped with almost everything we needed but we also recommend bringing the following:
Hand soap (almost none of the bathrooms have public soap)
Binder clips (clamp tablecloth down in windy areas, close food, etc)
Matches/lighter/fire starter/firewood (bought locally)
External battery pack (for charging our phones)
Laundry detergent (you can also pay to have your laundry done in some towns)
Food, of course (we most often shopped at a grocery store called Spar)
“What’s the wifi password?”
This is a question you won’t be asking very much in Africa. Sure, some of the more prestigious places along the way will have wifi vouchers but don’t count on it. If you’d like to have cell service on the trip, you’ll need an unlocked phone with a local SIM card.
Fiona bought her South African SIM at the airport (on arrival) which was helpful for the start of our trip in Jo-burg and some driving, but no longer worked once we entered Namibia. I decided to be off grid for the first week and then get a SIM once we got to Sossusvlei, Namibia. There’s a service station at the Sossus Oasis Camp Site that sells MTC SIM cards and data packages. You can find MTC top up machines inside the gas stations of future towns when or if you run out of data.
Even if you have a SIM card though, prepare yourself to be off-grid for days at a time. More often than not, our campsites did not have cell reception. It became a game of driving each day and 3G unexpectedly hitting our phones in the most desolate of areas. *Sends parents an “I’m alive” text*
Cost of my SIM and 3GB of data: $30