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4 Amazing Road Trips in Africa for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Hitting the open road with a camper van, car or motorbike is becoming an increasingly popular way for independent travelers to explore. Many people think of the vast and diverse United States of America or the huge country/continent of Australia for the best road-tripping adventures. If you’re looking for something different, however, how about exciting road trips in Africa?

Check your vehicle is road-worthy and that your belongings are well secured (check out Valut Cargo) buckle up and head off for memorable experiences aplenty.

1. The Garden Route, South Africa

Covering 124 miles from Mossel Bay to Storms River, the stunning Garden Route is one of South Africa’s most sought-after destinations. Natural beauty radiates along the route, with varied activities to immerse yourself in the surroundings. Relax on gorgeous beaches along the coast and head inland to discover sublime lagoons and lakes.

Visit the Da Gama Museum Complex in Mossel Bay and see the spot where Europeans first entered the country. The mild weather means you can spend a few days taking it easy before starting your South African road trip. Explore the attractions of George before moving onto Victoria Bay.

Wildnerness is, unsurprisingly, home to an abundance of wildlife. Knysna, Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve and Nature’s Valley are other highlights along the Garden Route.

African Elephants

2. The Atlantic Coast, Morocco

The well-maintained roads that lead along Morocco’s Atlantic coast make it easy to enjoy the diverse towns, cities and beaches. Start at Tangiers and make your way down to Agadir or, if time permits, beyond. This is perhaps one of the easiest DIY road trips in Africa and covers almost 500 miles.

Take time to enjoy the port city of Tangier and visit attractions such as Hercules Cave and the Kasbah Museum before setting off. You’ll come to Asilah, known for its street art and Spanish influences, before the harbor town of Larache. Follow the coast road through Kenitra and the country’s capital of Rabat, eventually reaching the economic heart of Casablanca.

El Jadida, with its Portuguese heritage is worth a stop. You’ll then come to Oualadia, a popular summer vacation spot for Moroccans with a picturesque lagoon and resident flamingos. Safi is known for its surfing scene and Essaouria is a great place for kite surfing. Finally, enjoy the beaches of Agadir.

Camel on the beach at Taghazout

Photo credit: Heather Cowper via Flickr

3. Maputo Circle, Mozambique

Soak up the tropical jewels of Mozambique with a route that starts and ends in the country’s capital of Maputo. Discover the Portuguese-inspired architecture before beginning your road trip.

Drive to the small village of Marracuene where you can see colonial-era buildings. Inhambane is popular for its golden beaches and verdant forests. Be sure to try some of the locally grown cashews.

The next stop on your Mozambique road trip is in Vilanculos, a popular tourism destination. Take a boat ride to the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago and enjoy activities like swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling.

Continue to Xai-Xai, where you can go bird spotting and take trips on the waters to look for whales and dolphins. Enjoy varied activities in Xai-Xai before returning to Maputo.

4. Northern Loop, Ethiopia

Some rights reserved by mariusz kluzniak via Flickr

Ethiopia offers some of the most thrilling road trips in Africa. The Northern Loop travels through Amhara and Tigray, including some of the country’s well-known historic sites.

Departing from the capital of Addis Ababa, the road passes through eucalyptus forests that line the slopes of the Entonto Hills. The lush uplands and traditional villages are photogenic and you’ll likely spot farmers working in the area.

Debre Libanos Monastery is one of the most revered places for Orthodox Ethiopians. Enjoy the vistas before stepping inside the sacred church. Enjoy the countryside as you continue to the source of the Blue Nile and then onto Gondar, home to magnificent castles and known as the Camelot of Africa.

Explore the Simien Mountains National Park, uncover the historic gems of Aksum and loop back down to travel through Mek’ele en route to Lalibela. Allow plenty of time to explore the old cave churches hewn into the rocks.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

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