South Africa + Lesotho: Solo 5-Week Road Trip

My hit list for South Africa + Lesotho was short, and I did plenty more that was not planned prior to landing in Cape Town (yes, I know I’m a terrible trip planner, but I tend to have pretty great trips— trade-offs). Please use the search tool (magnifying lens) at the top of this page to bring up all blog posts. Just enter ‘Lesotho’ or ‘South Africa’.  If you would like info on anything not yet posted, please message me! No pretty photos on this page, so you don’t have to scroll forever and ever.

1. General

Car Rental – Costs, things to know. Other transportation options. I rented in South Africa and drove it through Lesotho.

Safety for South Africa + Lesotho – some of my general tips, and some I received from locals.

Straight off, I want to let you know: I did not visit Kruger National Park. Why not? Because it is super far from Cape Town, where I started + ended my road trip. Plus, I saw soooo many animals at Addo National Park (keep reading!), that I didn’t feel the need to visit another park with animals (I’ve also been to Masai Mara in Kenya). However, if I were visiting Kruger, I would love an overnight hiking trip tour (# of nights varies by trip). You are accompanied by a park guide, prices are totally reasonable (cheaper than any other tour I researched), + someone I know raves about how great the experience was– it was the highlight of his 3-country trip. You provide your own camping and cooking gear, food, and a tent is 100% required. Here’s the web page you should start with: Kruger – South Africa National (SAN) Park.

2. South Africa Places

Cape Town

  • 2-day itinerary for getting over jet lag
  • Lion’s Head. I enjoyed this hike and did it 3 times, each at a different time of day. Here’s what you should know, including getting there.
  • Walking Tours – I took all 3 of the ‘free’ walking tours: District 6; Historic; Bo-Kaap
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Cape Town’s Surrounding Area

  • Gordon’s Bay
  • Muizenberg for the colorful beach shacks
  • Penguins at Boulders Beach – Amazing! Don’t skip this.
  • Cape of Good Hope

Garden Route

Kynsna – Spectacular hiking and eating in this coastal town.

Hermanus + Gansbaai – What I did apart from cage diving

Stormsriver – Horseback riding and eating. I did not bungee jump (highest in the world), because I never ever ever will. However, the gorge is amazing! I really enjoyed my overnight here, and there is great overnight hiking in the area, I hear.

Addo Elephant Park – a National Park the size of Belgium with elephants, lions, rhino, and so much more! Don’t miss it! Self-drive, short tours, day-long tours, horseback riding in the park…the list goes on and on. I spent several days here.

Chintsa + Hogsback

  • Chintsa – Good wifi for work + surfing lessons + eating potjie
  • Hogsback – Off the grid and very hippy-dippy. The people are so nice, and I loved the outdoor shower and horseback riding and communal suppers. Maybe I’m more hippy-dippy than I admit. The most tranquil place I stayed.

Tsitsa Falls – This was by far my favorite place on the entire trip, and I could totally live in a place like this. It’s off the grid, not too hippy-ish, out in the middle of nowhere. An amazing waterfall hike where you can see cave paintings. Wonderful homemade food. Apparently, this is the go-to place for river kayakers. Who knew?

Drakensberg, Underberg, Sani Pass – This town borders Lesotho and is within the UNESCO World Heritage area. I would have liked to see more of the Drakensberg region, but this part was a nice stop. The Sani Pass Tour is great!

Gariep Dam – the perfect overnight stop between Lesotho and Cape Town. Two nights would be even better!

3. South Africa Activities

Hiking in South Africa – Links outside my blog

Cage Diving with Great White Sharks in Gansbaai

Photo Safari – Addo Elephant Park photos of an adorable baby zebra, sweet baby elephants, and so many other animals.

4. Lesotho / South Africa Border Crossings

Click here for Road conditions, Time, My Experience

  • Qachas Nek Border Crossing into Lesotho – I entered Lesotho here, since a 4x4 is required to enter via Sani Pass border crossing.
  • Maseru Border Crossing exiting Lesotho – some details, so you do not get stuck.
  • Sani Pass – 4x4 required. Also, possible to cross by public transportation. The Sani Pass Tour is a fun day trip, if you are in the area! It includes culture, animals, plants, history, food, beautiful landscapes.

5. Lesotho – All

General InfoCulture, driving, + more.

Semonkong Lodge – Pony trekking, hiking + walking through town.

Ramabanta Trading Post – Horse riding + a hot, hot hike where I find crystals! Plus, a walk through the town where I learn how to load a donkey (it farts a lot!).

6. Travel Agent for South Africa + Lesotho + Namibia + more

Recommended by my Aussie friends who did a self-drive tour in South Africa + Namibia: Sylvia is happy to help you with all your ideas and bookings. Email her at [email protected] (I did not use a travel agent or tour for my trip).

If you’re interested in a tour in South Africa, click here to review lots of options!

If you want a hiking / backpacking trip in Krueger National Park for a very affordable cost, click here for the SAN website and then click on “Backpacking Trails”.