The southern region of the African continent is the most familiar to European travellers. Fortunately, there are many great things to do and see as a backpacker. For the fourth and final part of this series, we will be looking at a number of different locales, including the country of South Africa.
On this final leg of your journey, you will see a plethora of landscapes, ranging from lush forests to vast desert plains to the spectacular South African coast. You will also discover a more welcoming environment. However, do not let your guard down, you still need to be careful as you travel through more remote areas.
When we left off in part three, we were travelling south through Angola. You might want to turn south-east to where Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia all come together. That's where you'll find the uber-impressive Victoria Falls. This incredible natural wonder stands 355 feet high and over 1 mile wide. With 500 million litres of water per minute tumbling over the falls during the rainy season, there is an impressive mist rising hundreds of feet into the air. It can be seen from 15 miles away.
While you are in the region, Zambia's South Luangwa National Park encapsulates just about everything you imagine when it comes to African wildlife. The park is home to 400 bird species and 60 animal species, including prides that can travel with as many as 30 at a time.
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Botswana's Chobe National Park is another national park for wildlife. It offers four distinct ecosystems that are home to all of your favourites including elephants, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, and buffalo. The largest concentration of African elephants is found in the park. What's more, there is a long list of affordable accommodations in and around the park.
As you leave Botswana, travel west into Namibia to take in the Sossusvlei region of the Namibia Desert. Remember all those impressive African sand dunes you've seen in film and pictures? Sossusvlei is where you will find them. They are the highest sand dunes in the world and home to some very interesting creatures. There are a number of campsites and affordable lodges offering accommodations in the area.
The country of South Africa is a great place to end this backpacking journey across the African continent. Of course, Cape Town has to be one of your destinations before you leave for home. The city is very beautiful as well as being historically important and culturally diverse. However, speak to a guide when you arrive. There are some parts of the city unsafe for Europeans. Your time in South Africa should also include Kruger National Park and the Wild Coast. Both areas offer a view of Africa that we do not normally see.
This concludes our backpacking tour across the African continent. If you go, be sure to be safe and have fun. It is a trip of a lifetime you will not soon forget.