Below are some of the major travel highlights for Southern Africa Overland. For more in-depth attractions of each country on this route, click on the country names below or select a route to see the highlights on this section of the journey. Click on the icons below to focus on specific types of features (click again to return to all).
|In-depth highlights: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe|
Historical attractions of Southern Africa Overland
The Great Zimbabwe National Monument, located near the city of Masvingo, is the remains of the medieval city of the Shona Bantu civilisation that gave the country its name (it means "great stone houses" in Shona). The city was occupied between the 11th and 15th centuries and was once the greatest medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa, evidence of a highly skilled civilisation.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Great Zimbabwe National Monument
Matobo Hills is characterised by huge granite boulders that have been shaped over time into all manner of bizarre shapes. These have provided shelter to people for millennia and contain very impressive collections of rock paintings. Many of these depict black and white rhinos which still live in the national park in great numbers. Expert guides can take you on walking safaris that allow you to get within metres of groups of black rhino, an exhilarating experience. The park also contains populations of leopards and cheetahs and more than 300 bird species including the black eagle, hawks and owls.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Matobo Hills
Robben Island was used as a prison between the 17th and 20th centuries, most infamously when incarcerating Nelson Mandela and fellow anti-apartheid campaigners. These days, the island acts as a museum offering tours of the island and prison buildings. Visits guided by former prisoners offer a fascinating insight to the brutal regime.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Robben Island
|uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park|
uKhahlamba or Drakensberg Park is a dramatic and spectacular mountain landscape. With deep river valleys. Rocky gorges, waterfalls, grasslands and forests, it's an area of exceptional natural beauty and a great destination for hiking and trekking. The park is also home to the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara, made by the now extinct San people over 4,000 years.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park
The battlefields of Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana were the scene of hugely important events in Zulu history, the battles between the Zulus and the British in 1879, which have been immortalised in film. A visit to the site, almost unchanged since the battles, with an expert guide can bring the historical events to life.