Southern Africa Overland is one of the most popular journeys in Africa, a trip involving some unique and spectacular destinations in one of the best developed regions of the continent. The circular route through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia connects the major centres of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Victoria Falls on the Zambia/Zimbabwe border, with many subsections of the full loop available. There are wildlife reserves here to rival the best in East Africa, from Kruger National Park in South Africa, to Chobe in Botswana and Etosha in Namibia. Zimbabwe also offers some unique wildlife experiences including walking safaris with rhinos, elephant rides and the exhilarating option of walking with lions. The diversity of natural landscapes and attractions are perhaps the journeys main draw - there's the amazing spectacle of Victoria Falls, the unique wetlands of the Okavango Delta, Namibia's dramatic desert landscapes and the beautiful Garden Route east of Cape Town. Depending on the exact route chosen, Cape Town and Victoria Falls make great start or end points for your trip - the former one of the world's most beautifully located and exciting cities, the latter offering the chance for unforgettable adrenaline pumping activities near one of the natural wonders of the world.

Okavango Delta Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon Cape PeninsulaMap for Southern Africa Overland

Countries Visited

South Africa

Interested in continuing north to Zanzibar, Kenya and the Gorillas? Then check out The Great African Journey.

Routes for Southern Africa Overland

Southern Africa Full Circle (Joburg/Vic Falls/Cape Town)

This full round trip through Southern Africa connects the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg and the wonder of Victoria Falls with a journey through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa, offering a trip packed with wildlife experiences, cultural insights, spectacular natural sights and adventure activities.

Tours: 1 available View highlights of this route

Vic Falls - Cape Town (via Botswana/Namibia)

One of the most popular routes in Southern Africa connects Victoria Falls with South Africa's Mother City of Cape Town, via a journey through the amazing landscapes and wildlife reserves of Botswana and Namibia.

Tours: 9 available View highlights of this route

Vic Falls - Namibia

Travel from Victoria Falls to Namibia's dramatic landscapes via the extraordinary beauty of Botswana - a journey of spectacular wildlife and natural wonders.

Tours: 3 available View highlights of this route

Namibia - Cape Town

Namibia's stunning desert and mountain landscapes are the highlight of this route which also encompasses the magical city of Cape Town and South Africa's western coast.

Tours: 6 available View highlights of this route

Joburg - Cape Town (via Vic Falls)

This route connects South Africa's two main cities via a long overland route through Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, offering the chance to see natural wonders like Victoria Falls, the Okavango Delta and Sosssvlei, numerous wildlife safaris and blood pumping activities at Vic Falls and Swakopmund.

Tours: 1 available View highlights of this route

Joburg - Vic Falls (via Cape Town)

The long route allows the traveller to see many of the highlights of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, exploring the eastern provinces and Garden Route of South Africa, Namibia's unique natural and cultural landscapes and Botswana's magical inland Okavango Delta.

Tours: 0 available View highlights of this route

Vic Falls - Cape Town (via Joburg)

This route allows you to see the best of South Africa while travelling between Cape Town and Johannesburg, while the trip to or from Vic Falls can be via Zimbabwe or Botswana.

Tours: 4 available View highlights of this route

Joburg - Vic Falls (via Zimbabwe)

This short route on the eastern part of the journey allows for an exploration of western Zimbabwe on the way from Johannesburg to Vic Falls, with wildlife experiences at Antelope Park, Hwange National Park and Matobo Hills, as well as the chance to explore the fascinating ruins at Great Zimbabwe.

Tours: 1 available View highlights of this route

Joburg - Vic Falls (via Botswana)

This route connects Joburg with Vic Falls via a trip through the natural and wildlife highlights of Botswana which include the Okavango Delta, and Moremi and Chobe game reserves.

Tours: 2 available View highlights of this route

Joburg to Vic Falls to Joburg

A round trip from Johannesburg to Vic Falls and back takes you through both Botswana and Zimbabwe for a trip packed with wildlife experiences in addition to historical attractions, some natural wonders and adventure experiences at Vic Falls.

Tours: 2 available View highlights of this route

Guidebooks for Southern Africa Overland

Guidebooks for this journey from all the major travel publishers are listed below. Links to Amazon (UK, US and Canadian stores), Waterstones (UK) and selected publisher websites allow you to purchase the guidebooks online at best value with one simple click (individual chapter downloads are also available for selected Lonely Planet titles).

Amazon Store: | |
Lonely_Planet Southern Africa

Multi-country Guides

Southern Africa

Aug 2013 (6th ed.)
760 pages

Author(s): Alan Murphy, Anthony Ham et al.

Download Individual Chapter PDFs (2.99) - Click here to view chapters.
Bradt Southern African Wildlife

Wildlife Guides

Southern African Wildlife

Jul 2011 (2nd ed.)
288 pages

Author(s): Mike Unwin

Lonely_Planet Watching Wildlife Southern Africa

Activity Guides

Watching Wildlife Southern Africa

Sep 2009 (2nd ed.)

Author(s): Matthew D. Firestone, Kate Thomas et al.