I have been living in Johannesburg for the past year and traveled throughout South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.
Johannesburg, South Africa
About a month ago, we drove from Kasane (northeast) to Maun (by Okavango Delta) and back for a trip. If you look on Google Maps, it will take you in a straight line between the two... Do not let this fool you. This "road" goes straight through the park and is not a road at all. It took us about 11 hours of driving through inches of sand, then mud, then dirt and finally potholes to reach the only way this was possible was with a 4x4 diesel pickup truck, and we still almost got stuck plenty of times. However, we did see amazing game along this route. So if you can afford to rent a large truck and feel confident handling it through off road terrain, this ended up being a great (but stressful) route. When we got to Maun, the locals were amazed that we went that path. If you head east from Maun, then north up to Kasane (basically take the two long sides of tube triangle instead of the straight line), there is a highway the entire way. Towards Kasane, it gets a bit bumpy, but they are working on fixing it up. We Sally many smaller cars make this route with no issues. about 8 years ago
We are traveling from PE to beaufort west and then cape town. what is fun to do on the way? (especially something active)
In between PE and George is the world's highest bridge that you can bungee jump off of, the Bloukrans Bridge. I just did it two weeks ago and it was a very well run business and incredibly safe. Also nearby is Monkeyland and an Elephant sanctuary. Further down the garden route, Mossel Bay is a great beach destination and you can great white shark dive in cages either there or in Gansbaii (closer to Cape Town). I definitely recommend doing that. about 8 years ago
I am visiting South Africa - flying on Cape Town - in October. Any tips to see? Is it better to hire a driver/guide or do it self-drive?
You can absolutely drive it, but I'd still recommend a GPS. If you're a wine town, Franshoek is a great town with wineries all around. For the more adventurous, I'd drive down to Gansbaii area (about an hour or two southeast) to go cage diving with the great white sharks. I've done it twice and it's exhilarating. Some other first time must-see's are the V&A waterfront, Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, and the penguins around that area. about 8 years ago