Here are the Best 6 Backpacking Routes in South Africa


Backpacking through South Africa can be an enjoyable and exciting way to explore the country, especially if you are young and are looking to travel on a budget. It is no wonder that around 90 000 backpackers and youth travelers throng the nation to get the experience of a lifetime, contributing R900-million to the economy each year.

As a young backpacker, one of the major mistakes you can make is expecting to cover the whole country in a few days. Since the country is massive, you will be able to make the most out of your trip if you cover these six routes thoroughly. 

Garden Route

The garden route stretches from Mossel Bay to Storms River, and this has some of the most scenic locations you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Apart from local flora and fauna, you can revel at the sight of the picturesque forests, rivers, beaches, lakes, and mountains. If you want an outdoor adventure in the company of spellbinding natural sights, you can always go to the Tsitsikamma National Park.

Cradle of Humankind

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cradle of humankind has thirteen locations dotted with various caves and archaeological sites that hold immense historical significance. One of the highlights is that you can crawl through the captivating Sterkfontein Caves. Also, you can marvel at the award-winning exhibition at the Maropeng Visitor Centre.

Table Mountain in Cape Town

Getting to the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town can be an utterly satisfying experience, and the view from the top is another bonus for taking the hike. If you don’t feel like making an effort to do the climb, you can always enjoy the view from the cableway.

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park’s vast expanses hold some of the most exotic creatures known to man. If you’re going on a safari, there will be something to cherish for a lifetime if you catch the big five— African elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and buffalo. 


The South Western Townships/ Soweto is home to not just historical sites and cultural landmarks but also activities that get your adrenaline pumping like crazy. You can get a rich insight into the locals’ lives by mingling with them at the traditional eateries and bars that populate Soweto. 

The Waterberg Meander, Limpopo

Aptly named Africa’s Eden, The Waterberg Meander is home to beautiful river valleys, golden plains, tall mountain peaks, mesmerizing forests, and sandstone rock formations. Other highlights include the Marakele National Park and the Welgevonden Game Reserve. The Waterberg Meander is a 350km self-drive route, where you can also feast your eyes on cultural and historical sites alongside the many community projects that dot the area.

Now that you know the best 6 backpacking routes in South Africa, you can start making plans for your next adventure. You will certainly have an authentic experience filled with memorable adventures, great food, friendly people, and wildlife in its natural glory.