As of May 16, update March 18
In nearly every little village you can find a supermarket. Spar – the German Discounter chain – is very visible here. International products and brands you can easily find – shopping like at home!
All of the campsites and gasoline stations offer drinkable water, most of the times for free.
Petrol stations are well spread over the country. At least every 100km you find one. The quality of the Diesel is good, works for modern engines as well. Just make sure that you get the 50ppm diesel. Most of the time you can pay with credit card.
ATM you will find in any bigger village. Often the maximum withdrawal amount is 3’500 ZAR. Most shops though accept the common international credit cards.
Apart from the national parks, where it is not allowed to camp outside the camp sites, you can stand free – with the usual respect of course. The biggest obstacle for free camping are the many fences. However, if you find the appropriate farm, you can always ask and usually get the permission to stand somewhere on the farm site.
With the local MTC SIM card you have internet access almost everywhere. A prepaid card can only be bought with the verification of your home address. That works only well in the official and bigger Vodacom (respectively other telecom brands) shops.
The main roads (north/south/east/west) are paved all the rest are gravel or earth tracks. We though found the gravel roads often better than the paved ones.
Our personal highlights
- Malealea children festival, Lesotho (great children party for adults)
- Valley of Desolation (Candeboo NP) S32 15.838 E24 29.604
- Cheetah in Sanbona (on foot watching her feeding a springbok, 20m distance)
- Hogsback Nature Reserve (hikes) S32 35.850 E26 56.336
- Wupperthal to Eselbank (for Globi not really wide enough)
- Golden Gate NP (gorgeous colored rock formations)
- Lake Eland (hike- and adventure paradise) S30 41.605 E30 10.576
- Cheapman’s Drive (touristic road, which we drove in the right direction – luckily)
- Greylings Pass R396 (fantastic, beautiful landscape) S31 06.913 E27 18.226
- Mokjabong Pass Lesotho (a pass of superlatives)
Our highlights are listed on the route map as waypoints H01 – H10.
Regulations for heavy motor vehicles
We have not found any differences to those from Europe.
It’s not a big problem to get 3 month visa at the border. But it’s important to clearly state that you want a 3 month visa and to control it. Theoretically you can only apply for a new visa after 12 months when the old visa is expired. If you come back within that time from overseas you get without a problem a new visa. Other traveller told us, that this rule is not always applied completely strict. The retirement visa is valid for 4 years, but you can only apply for it in your home country. The procedure is quite complicated.
The carnet de passage doesn’t need to be stamped within the customs union (SACU, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Southafrica, Swasiland). It seems that the customs officers are not yet trained well on that matter. It took us never longer than 45 min to cross boarders.
Visa costs for 2 people: 0 ZAR
Facilitator: 0 ZAR
Copies: 0 ZAR
Roadtax Globi: 0 ZAR
Roadtax Ernstli: 0 ZAR
Daily expenses for 2 people:
Internet / Tel
The country seems to develop backwards. Because of the actual political situation, a lot of experienced and well educated South Africans leave their country, a dangerous development. After the departure of President Zuma though, the mood seems to be more positive now.