Self-drive in Africa

This item appears on page 75 of the November 2011 issue.

Open Africa (Cape Town, South Africa; phone +27 21 683 9639, fax 683 8013), a nonprofit organization, has helped set up 60 “off-the-beaten-track, self-drive travel routes” in six countries. The majority are in South Africa, with others in Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Routes can be driven without a 4-wheel-drive vehicle in most areas. Examples — “Kalahari Oasis Route” in South Africa and the “Caprivi Wetland Paradise Route” in Namibia.

On the website, each route listing provides a map (with downloadable GPS coordinates); a list of accommodations from participating sponsors along the route; suggested activities and services, and information on history, festivals, weather, visas and currency plus travel tips and weblinks. Lodging and rental cars can be arranged by e-mail.