Short Gaps via Africa
Africa is the second largest continent in the world and it’s great to travel around. It has more than a few countries too; 54 to be exact!
There are plenty of options to choose from for your stop gap, but the two most popular countries are Kenya and South Africa. There are a number of wildlife reserves and it’s the African wildlife that’s the major pull for tourists.
Gambia, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt a very popular in the north, especially as holiday destinations for a few weeks. Morocco is a lot closer than people think, and it’s a cheap country to fly to; you can even go for a weekend break.
There’s more than enough to see and do in Africa - visit the Maasai Mara tribe in Kenya ; dive in some of the words best dive sites in Madagascar; sandboard the Skeleton Coast in Namibia; test your nerves cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa; climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania the highest point in Africa; stand before the largest waterfall on the planet in Zambia; and watch the countless animals on safari. All you have to do is get there…
If you have any time between school, university or a job then a stop gap is for you. You’ll be amazed what you can do in a short amount of time.
Key stops in Southern Africa
The vast majority of flights fly into/out of Johannesburg and/or Cape Town in South Africa, although some routes take you via Nairobi in Kenya.
Popular routes that include Southern Africa
London >> Cape Town >> Port Elizabeth >> Johannesburg >> Nairobi >> London
Most popular countries in Africa
The most popular countries in Africa are South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
South Africa is the most advanced country in Africa and home to a number of adventure activities, such as the world’s tallest bungy jump and cage diving with a great white. There’s plenty to see and do in South Africa – most travellers take three to six weeks to see the country, making it perfect for a stop gap.
Lesotho and Swaziland are countries within the borders of South Africa. They’re surprisingly different and extremely independent compared to South Africa and well worth the visit.
While there’s plenty of game in South Africa, we rate Botswana as the best and cheapest place to see the ‘big five’ (buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhino) in Southern Africa.
For those wanting to try something new then head on up to Mozambique: it has some of the most amazing wildlife and the diving is out of this world. There is coral that hasn’t been disturbed by tourists for decades due to the war and is now open for the world to see.
Kenya and Tanzania are the next stops up the coast from there. One has amazing safaris; one has the tallest peak in Africa.
Other popular countries are Egypt, rich with history, and Morocco, home to one of the world’s biggest bazaars.
The Garden Route
The first question you’re going to ask is “what’s the garden route?” The garden route is a stretch of coastline in South Africa. It’s the stretch between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, though some people say the garden route continues through to East London, and it’s considered one of the most scenic coastlines in the world.
A popular route in South Africa is:
Cape Town - Garden Route - Johannesburg (or vice versa of course)
When you look at the map you'll see that Southern Africa is big. Very big. Travel is cheap, but pretty haphazard, and it can take a long time to get from place to place. That’s why we would recommend an overland tour with one of the overland truck companies. They’re loads of fun and one of the best ways to see each country from the grass level with like-minded people. There are a number of companies, packages and tours to choose from, so make sure you do your research to find the best one for you…
What we recommend...
If you want to have a real African experience on your stop gap, then go to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. You can do it in less than two months and it’s relatively cheap to travel around.
Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya are great if you have a bit more time... or you can save them for another stop gap…
For many people, Africa holds a fascination that no other continent can ever hope to rival. There is something about the place that stirs primal instincts in even the meekest amongst us. It's impossible to describe the sensation you feel when sitting alone under the stars, listening to the sound of lions roaring in the darkened distance. Starting in glamorous Cape Town, on Africa's southern tip, within a few days you can have seen whales, dived with sharks and witnessed some of the world's most spectacular wildlife. Oh, and enjoyed some wicked night life. As you head further up, you'll encounter a series of fascinating and friendly countries, each of which offer their own rewards and challenges. Expect to see, almost every day, something that you'll remember for the rest of your life.
What others say…
Volunteering at Turtle Bay, vacation with a conscience
This Eco-friendly, multi award winning hotel continues to be a huge support to local organisations and communities around Watamu, through encouraging guests to get involved as well as direct hotel resource and financial assistance. With the perfect blend of all the facilities of this fantastic All Inclusive resort, an exotic East African beach setting and a myriad of volunteering opportunities in the immediate vicinity – Turtle Bay provides the perfect backdrop for a ‘VolunTourist’s’ dream vacation!
Vic Falls to Cape Town
Duration: from 21 Days
Combine excellent game viewing with pristine natural environment, add a dose of adrenalin-fueled activity and a splash of culture, and you've got a great value Gecko's southern African safari.
Big 5 Conservation
Duration: from 1 Months to 3 Months
£75 discount for volunteers who combine more than one PoD project! Experience amazing Big 5 encounters (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo). Receive a 1 week bush craft training course and contribute to importnat wildlife conservation research whilst living on a private game reserve.
Serengeti & Zanzibar
Countries: Kenya, Tanzania
This fun-filled tour showcases the best of East Africa's natural and cultural talents. From the vast open spaces of Serengeti National Park to the diverse flora and fauna of Ngorongoro Crater, there are wonderful safari experiences on offer. The serenity of Zanzibar Island provides a cultural contrast, with its delicious spices, controversial slave trade history and elegant Arab architecture, while its glorious sun-kissed beaches are not to be missed. Adventure For Less! - Book now and get 15% Off this tour.
Egypt and Jordan
Duration: from 18 Days
Immerse yourself in the man made wonders of Egypt, chill out on the Red Sea Coast, drive through the desert at Wadi Rum, see the stunning Rose Red City of Petra and float on the Dead Sea at the lowest place on Earth.
Duration: from 7 Days
Take on the peaks of Kilimanjaro on the trip of a lifetime! You’ll trek through lush rainforest, explore open moorland and feast your eyes on some of the most stunning views in the whole of Africa with Tanzania and Kenya at your feet.
Egypt, On a Boat
Duration: from 8 Days
IMAGINE A SEA OF CARS, BUSES, TRACTORS, MOTORBIKES, HORSES, PUSHBIKES AND PEOPLE ALL HEADING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS ON ROADS WITH NO DISCERNIBLE LANES AND NO TRAFFIC LIGHTS. WELCOME TO CAIRO.
Building in Ghana
Duration: from 2 Weeks to 12 Weeks
£75 discount for volunteers who combine more than one PoD project! Volunteer with a team of local builders and carpenters whilst experiencing life in a rural tropical village in West Africa.Get involved in charity projects and with other roles such as child care, teaching, photography and sports coaching.
Cape Town - Victoria Falls
Countries: South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Worldwide Experience are excited to introduce an Overland travel option to add on to your volunteer placement or simply to experience the best of Africa in this epic adventure. If you are looking for a small group safari in Southern Africa then look no further than the Cape Town to Victoria Falls Adventure. Your journey takes you through Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe covering Fish River Canyon, the wildlife in Etosha National Park, the Okavango Delta, Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert & the awesome Victoria Falls! This truly is the best way to see Africa on the road.
Kenya to Vic Falls
Duration: from 24 Days
Seek Africa's most iconic animals in the Serengeti, Spot the Big Five in the Ngorongoro Crater, Bask on Zanzibar's spectacular beaches, Taste fresh farm produce on Kilimanjaro's slopes, Get to know friendly Malawians on a village walk, Listen to the roaring waters of Victoria Falls, Experience the beauty of Africa's Rift Valley...
Africa: Big Overlander - 47 Days
Countries: Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Visit eight African countries, spotting wildlife in some of the world’s best game parks, trekking to find gorillas high up in their mountain home, unwinding on the beaches of Zanzibar and more.
Colours of Morocco
Duration: from 15 Days
Experience medieval Morocco in Fes, Discover the ruins of one sultan's Versailles dream in Meknes, Have a camping adventure on the sandy dunes of the Sahara, Have lunch with locals in a Kasbah, Trek through the impressive Todra Gorge, Relax with mint tea in remote Imlil, Kick back in the stunning coastal town of Essaouira, Indulge your senses in the souqs of Marrakech...
Drunk on Colour
Duration: from 14 Days
HOW TO SURVIVE A CAMEL RIDE IN MOROCCO: - APPROACH WITH CAUTION, THEY CAN SMELL FEAR A MILE AWAY - LEAN BACK AS IT STANDS UP - WEAR LONG TROUSERS AND SOCKS (BUT NOT WITH SANDALS, THAT’S JUST EMBARRASSING) - BRING SOME PAINKILLERS (YOUR BACKSIDE WILL ACHE IN PLACES YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED)
Vic Falls to Cape Town
Duration: from 22 Days
Encounter iconic wildlife in Chobe National Park, Camp out in the lush Okavango Delta, See animals come to drink at Etosha National Park's waterholes, Experience the San Bushmen's hunter-gatherer traditions, Feel the thunder of Victoria Falls, Slither down a slippery sand dune in the Namib Desert, Put amazing Fish River Canyon in your viewfinder...
Duration: from 11 Days
MOROCCO IS THE LAND OF LEGENDARY HOSPITALITY, SO MIND YOUR MANNERS. BRING A SCARF TO COVER YOUR SHOULDERS AND TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES IF YOU ENTER SOMEONE'S HOME (PLAN AHEAD AND WEAR CLEAN SOCKS).