From Cape Town to Victoria Falls through 5 countries
We do not like winters; this is why we head for the nice climate of southern Africa. The Trails of Afrika will be crossing much of the lands which were once inhabited in great extend by Dutch settlers and later also by Germans. This is why we use the Germanic spelling of the word Africa.
We will be starting with the Western Cape province, covering many of South Africa’s great tourist destinations and attractions. Actually we were very tempted to make a rally only in this one province.
Yes Africa is big and has a varied geography.
From Cape Town we go as far east as the “must do ”Swartberg Pass” before going west again. On the other side of the Pass the landscape changes completely as we are in the Great Karoo, a semi desert area.
Driving west the scenery changes gradually until we are in the garden of South Africa, at least the vine gardens of South Africa.
We will be spending a day here, meeting the local classic car enthusiasts at the Franschhoek Motor Museum and circuit.
To get the “real Africa” impression we drive up north into Namibia with its dunes, plains and national parks.
However, to get the best of the best, we have to charter a plane to Botswana. Here we have two days of safari in one of the most beautiful parks of South Africa. The reward of all this driving.
It is only a 100 km drive via the Zambezi National Park to the Grand finale at the Royal Livingstone Hotel overlooking the Victoria Waterfalls.
The rally is open to well prepared pre-war cars and pre-war models built after the war. There is a slight competitive element, based on navigation and on small tests with the car.
We will provide transportation from the Netherlands and the UK and from other places on request.
We are planning to cover 3.550 km in 19 days, including 6 days with no driving (in your car).
We have chosen a very lively location for our first hotel. While having all the luxuries it is situated at the buzzing wharf area of Cape Town. The surrounding area provides ample shopping and entertainment opportunities, from craft markets to cinemas and amphitheatres. The Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island is within 250 m of the hotel.
We suggest you book an extra night here before the rally.
On Saturday we will be picking up our cars from the warehouse. We provide shipping from the Netherlands and the UK and other places on request.
We suggest you book an additional night from Friday to Saturday so that you can acclimatise and discover lively Cape Town.
What better way to forget the winter back home then sniffing up the fresh ocean air while driving in the pleasant sun ? The drive is just exalting, cliffs perched high above the rough blue immensity separating the Atlantic from the Indian Ocean. And with some luck you will see wales on their migration.
We have lunch at one of the fisher’s villages along the coast. Life is slow, but we have to move on.
The destination for the night is perched on top of the cliffs overlooking Hermanus’s Bay and offers first-class spectacular seascape, with imposing views extending across Western Capes Walker Bay and beyond.
We leave the coast for our first crossing of the Great Escarpment, a mountain range not far from the coast running in the east to west direction. This is driving at its best: roads are excellent and the scenery is fabulous.
Top Gear would not have chosen a different route. We leave the highlight as a surprise. What we can tell is that we will be going the the southern-most point of Africa.
Most of the nights we stay in fancy resorts, not today. We stay in lodges overlooking the Indian Ocean in the small fishers village of Witsand. Diner is a few kilometers down the road.
Today is a short day, we drive the inner roads of the West Cape to the Gondwana Game Resort. Those arriving early can have a refreshing swim and relax before the afternoon program.
We will be having two game drives, one at the end of the afternoon and one early the next morning, before breakfast.
This is Africa at its best:
We start the morning with a safari. The best time of the day to see the wild animals.
After lunch we drive the Garden Route, one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline and one of the main attractions to South Africa. It will be an easy and enjoyable ride. It is a short stretch allowing for some time in Knysna.
Knysna is the most famous town on the Garden Route. Situated on the edge of a huge estuary Knysna is flanked by swathes of indigenous forest, it is laid-back and a great place to stay.
We will be having dinner on the only peddle boat in South Africa boat and visit the Knysna lagoon. This actually is the estuary where 5 different rivers coming from Outeniqua Forest meet.
Today we leave the southern coast for good. This will be one of the most memorable days first we take the Phantom Pass, the Seven Passes Route, the Outenaqua Pass, and finally the Meiringspoort Pass. Don’t be afraid, it is not the Alpes, and most passes are merely scenic.
The seven passes crosses 10 rivers and 7 gorges, is 75kms long and was the main connection road between George and Knysna for more than 70 years until 1952 when the N2 was opened.
After this exalting day it is time for the bar at the pleasant Swartberg Hotel.
Today is the day for the infamous Swartberg Pass. This spectacular pass is one of Africa’s finest and was constructed in the 1890’s. It is also the reason that Prince Albert is so lush in the middle of the Karoo Desert. The pass is Prince Albert’s lifeline, not only because it links the farming town to the coast, but also because water channeled off the side of the pass ensures that Prince Albert collects every last drop of any rainfall. Much of the Swartberg is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is not tarred.
The Swartberg is amongst the best exposed fold mountain chains in the world, and cuts through scenic geological formations. The pass is famous for the geology at its northern end. At the northern end of the pass, 700m high quartzite cliffs of the upper Table Mountain range can be seen. Arguably the most famous of all these cliff faces is the spectacular ‘Wall of Fire’.
Lunch will be at very unlikely place, Calitzdorp with the Swartberg (in the North), Rooiberge (to the South) and the Mountains of the Huisrivier Pass (to the West) giving Calitzdorp a challenging landscape with floods, droughts and extreme weather, from very hot to snow clad mountaintops in the winter. It is here that grows the best port vines from South Africa.
We will be staying in Matjiesfontein, and we ill be thrown back to the time of our cars. Is it a museum, is it a hotel or what is Matjiesfontein ?
We continue west on the Great Karoo, the semi desert natural region in South Africa. The roads are much less demanding and allow for good progress. On our way to Franschhoek we make a detour via Montagu, The scenery is unreal, mountains all around and the increasing number of green vineyards on he ocre-colored hills. This set against a deep blue sky.
Franschhoek is a town with centuries-old vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture. We will be staying two nights in the comfortable Le Franschhoek Hotel. There are plenty of things to do, we will keep you occupied.
The history of Franschhoek stretches back more than 300 years and begins in France in the 1600s where at this time there was widespread religious persecution by the ruling Catholics towards the Protestants.
Because of this, more than 200 000 of these Protestants became refugees as they fled their home country for others in Europe, many of them making their way to the Netherlands. At this time the Dutch East India Company governed a small colony on the tip of Southern Africa, the Cape colony.
The Cape is where the refugees were sent, on ships that were originally designed to carry cargo, and after a long and grueling trip which lasted several months they arrived on soil that was foreign to them, but were fully prepared to start a new life.
Franschhoek or ‘Olifantshoek’ as it was then named for the herds of elephant that roamed the area, was where nine of these Huguenot families ultimately settled after having being given land by the Dutch authorities and through determination and perseverance they transformed the wilderness around them into one of the most beautiful valleys in the Cape if not the world.
We will be the guest of Johann Rupert, the owner of the Franschhoek Motor Museum. We will not only visit the museum, but also have a small test on his private race circuit.
And Franschhoek being at the center of the wine region, we will be having some wine tasting, no walking or driving needed, we take the double-decker tram.
As we leave the mountains behind us the planes becomes more arid and less fertile. To be honest, it is not the most exciting driving.
The welcoming people in the little fishing village of Yzerfontein make op for the eventless driving. On the menu “original Dutch cooking”. Paul Bocuse would have been stupéfait.
It is also a short day, allowing us to enjoy the comfortable hotel in Shelley Point to the maximum.
Reluctantly we leave the hotel and swimming pool in Shelley Point, we drive along the coast, feel the cool and salty sea breeze while driving through the specific coastal vegetation. We pass some quint fishing villages en route to a fine lunch with wonderful sea views at Lamberts Bay. Driving on we catch our first glance at the magnificent Cedarberg Mountains as we approach the Oliphants River valley and our overnight hotel in Clanwilliam.
Those wishing so can take the Cederberg Mountain Pass and enjoy the stunning scenery and rock formations. It is a detour of 40 km and also adds 50 km of good track.
We continue north towards Namibia and very quickly the scenery changes. You should start to see the surrounding scrubland exploding with colour as this area is called “The Garden of the Gods”and is famous for the wondrous display of flowers.
Our overnight halt is in the town of Springbok, known as the “Gateway to Namibia” due to its proximity to the border.
We stay in the best hotel in the region, however, this is not the hotel which you will remember when home.
Today we head for Namibia. We cross the very straightforward border crossing as we cross the Orange River. Soon we hit the gravel roads, which Namibia is known for. We head for the Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep. We stay in lodges owned by the Godwin Collection, a company steeped in Wild Life Preservation.
Today is by far the longest day. We drive the Karas region, the southernmost and least densely populated region of Namibia. Besides stunning scenery and smooth gravel roads there simply isn’t much. In Helmeringhausen we will have the chance to have a lunch with some German apple cake. Suitably refreshed and refuelled, you’re sure to enjoy this afternoon drive across the awesome Namib desert and the Tsarius-Hoogte Pass to our halt close to the famous dunes at Sossusvlei.
It is a rest day, but you surely want to get up early in order to see the sun rise on the famous dunes. We will enjoy breakfast in the middle of the dunes before returning to our hotel, where you may enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
We will also offer you the possibility to book a balloon flight over the dunes. A life-time experience, being detached from the world over this overwhelming landscape.
We could go straight to the finish of the rally, however we feel obliged to give you the chance to enjoy the contrast-rich scenery some more. We are heading for Solitaire.
Solitaire sits just below the Tropic of Capricorn at the center of the 45,000 acre Solitaire Land Trust, dedicated to preserving the grassland ecosystem and the wild animals that reside here. Land Trust holdings reach from the base of the Great African Escarpment to the Namib, the oldest desert in the world.
We suggest a guided tour to the Cheetah Sanctuary. These animals, unfortunately, cannot be released.
On our last day of driving we take the Gaub Pass and the Kuiseb Pass with unforgettable views over the planes all around. We drive along the mountains to the coast. The number of villages slowly increases.
In Walvis Bay we leave our car behind in a safe and secluded warehouse from where it will be shipped home. A minibus brings us to the hotel in Swakopmund, only 50 km away.
The day draws to a spectacular close as we reach the finish of the rally in Swakopmund, a coastal city with a German colonial feel and sandy beaches.
Being in Africa you want the best possible rally experience. And to be honest a group of 25 noisy pre-war cars is not the most recommendable way to spot wildlife. Since the route to these parks is not very enjoyable and takes many days, we decided to rent a plane and to fly you in.
We will fly directly to the Chobe river, flowing towards the Victoria Falls. Chobe itself is the central staging point for all the safaris in the region. We will be staying in a very comfortable five star lodge on the river. The lodge has a spa, a nine hole golf course and the most fantastic view on the Chobe River.
Shortly after checking in we take a boat for a cruise on the Chobe river. The river is a beguiling location during daytime, with hippos wallowing in the water and a variety of other wildlife wandering on the riverbanks. Yet, not many visitors have the opportunity to truly experience the setting from the water when the sun goes down. A dinner cruise under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of nature and the unique surroundings of the Chobe, is a thrilling way of taking in the true splendour of Botswana.
The best times of the day to spot wild animals being early in the morning or late in the afternoon, we will leave early for another boat trip along the Chobe River and see how the animals come to the river to feed themselves. Of course you can opt for staying in the comfortable lodge, enjoy the spa, enjoy the view of the river and just relax. Or you could go for the 9-hole golf course. In The afternoon we will have a 3 hours 4×4 trip into the Chobe flood plains.
The last day of the rally, however it will be a memorable one. It is not even 100 km to the final destination. But first we take the air-conditioned bus through the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe. While not a really safari, the high position will allow us to have a different view on the wildlife along the Zambezi river.
Of course we have to visit the Victoria Falls. With a length of more than a kilometer and a height of more than hundred meters it is considered to be the largest fall in the world. The noise of Victoria Falls can be heard from a distance of 40 kilometers, while the spray and mist from the falling water is rising to a height of over 400 meters and can be seen from a distance of 50 kilometers.
The Victoria Falls is really something you must experience to get a full sense of its grandeur. From the actual falls, our comfortable hotel is just a border crossing away, on the other side of the Victoria Falls.
This is the day the group will split. It would be a pity to go home immediately. We suggest you stay another night in the wonderful Livingstone Hotel. You could just relax, play some golf and plan your next safari in the region. The Livingstone Hotel is just the perfect staging point for adventures in central Africa or just a wonderful place to forget about winter in the northern hemisphere.
To truly appreciate the grandeur of the Victoria Falls you need to see it from the air. Just book one of the many small planes.
Or book a trip to the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is a vast inland river delta in northern Botswana. It’s known for its sprawling grassy plains, which flood seasonally, becoming a lush animal habitat. Dugout canoes are used to navigate past hippos, elephants and crocodiles. On dry land, wildlife includes lions, leopards, giraffes and rhinos.
Flights home go via Nairobi or Johannesburg.
Or just take the luxury train and continue your journey into Africa.
Luc Hanegreefs (B)
Cornelia Beeckman (B)
Luc Slijpen (NL)
Sjo Kohlen (NL)
Frans van Haren (NL)
Leony Hendriks (NL)
Willem Vermeulen (NL)
Ellen Vermeulen (NL)
Barry Lowe (USA)
Bart Kleyn (NL)
Leo Schildkamp (NL)
Frank van Min (NL)
Jacqueline van Min (NL)
Neville Jordan (NZ)
Hugo Modderman (NL)
Daniel Hooft (NL)
Rene Verbiest (B)
Carina Aerts (B)
Cees Willemse (NL)
Ingeborg van 't Hof (NL)
Bernd Dannenmaier (D)
Christiane Dannenmaier (D)
Penny Morris (UK)
Richard Morris (UK)
Andrew Davies (UK)
Anne Davies (UK)
Rolf Furrer (CH)
Matjaz Kritaj (SLO)
David Biggins (UK)
Gabrielle Baigent-Blaber (UK)
Peter Aarts (NL)
Nanette Aarts (NL)
Start: Saturday February 27
Finish: March 18
3350 total rally kilometers.
Booking fee for a crew of two: 15.450, –
Downpayment of € 3.000, – in after October 31, 2019.
Second instalment of € 7.000, – must be in by January 30, 2020
Remaining and shipping fee no later than October 31, 2020
Update (you are on top of the list for the best rooms): € 1400, –
See the terms section for the cancelation policy
|Late booking fee for a crew of two: 16.750, –
Downpayment of € 4.000, – in after Janaury 31, 2020.
Second instalment of € 9.000, – must be in by June 30, 2020
Remaining and shipping fee no later than October 31, 2020
Update (you are on top of the list for the best rooms): € 1400, –
GPS Global is our partner in shipping. Cars will be shipped in containers to Cape Town and back from Walvis Bay. GPS has extensive experience in shipping (pre-war) cars.
From the Netherlands/Antwerp: € 5.700, – *)
Other locations on request.
*) Indicative price taking into account increased fuel and shipping cost for 2021.
An international drivers license might be required depending on your nationality. However it is required when renting a car.
All cars need a carnet in order to pass easily through Customs in the different countries. Usually they can be obtained at your National Automobile Club. Our shipper, GPS, can assist you. Dutch participants can get their carnet through the ADAC.
A visa might be required, depending on your nationality. (For Dutch citizens a pasport which is still 6 months valid is enough, visa are required for Zambia and Zimbabwe).
We advise you to check the coverage of your personal travel and medical insurance. It is compulsory.
We are working with Tysers, an insurance intermediary specialised in classic car rallies. An application form will be send to you upon receipt of your first payment. Having received the completed form, Tysers will issue a quotation for a full comprehensive insurance, third party insurance, repatriation services for your car as well as marine insurance. Of course you are free to use your own insurance.