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Tour Southern Africa on a budgetby Dalene Ingham-Brown

Tour Southern Africa on a budget by booking an overland trip. Most overland trips include the cost of food, transport while on the trip and accommodation, so all your main expenses are paid for upfront. But why exactly is overland travel on Southern Africa tours so cheap? When you tour Southern Africa, or any part of Africa for that matter, there are certain things that make your overland travel option the cheapest way to travel to Africa. Here they are:

Food on a budget

With overland travel, ingredients are bought in bulk, making it cheaper for each traveller to be fed on the trip.  The food you'll eat on Southern Africa tours is of scrumptious quality and comes off of a well planned trip menu. Philani Mguni is an overland truck driver and chef whom we have booked many travellers a seat with. Philani says "Travellers will never get bored with the menu. If someone is doing 21 days of overland travel, they won't be having the same meal twice on the trip!" Food on an overland trip is included in the local payment cash you pay to your tour leader before you depart.

Transport on a budget

Transport is an overland truck. If a truck and a bus had babies, an overland truck would be the offspring. The front cab and exterior shape come from daddy-truck, and the hand luggage storage and interior seating come from mommy-bus. These babies seat about 24 passengers and are equipped up to their eyeballs with compartments for everything from teaspoons to camping chairs. When the trip cost is calculated, the petrol cost is divided by 24 passengers and you only have to pay your 24th of that. This is included in the overall trip cost, meaning transport is included. Even if there are only 10 people travelling with you, you won't have to part with a penny extra for your overland truck transport.


You can decide what activities you want to do while you tour Southern Africa. Depending on what kind of experiences you're travelling to Africa for will determine how cheap your trip is. If you intend to jump off of every possible bridge (with a secure harness), or out of every plane (in a parachute), then your trip is going to be more expensive. But if you're booking the odd game drive, going on an elephant back safari or sunset cruise, you'll find that your money stretches further and you're able to do a handful of activities you really want to do because the rest of your trip hasn't cost you so much. Just want to enjoy the route and no take part in any activities? No problem. It's all up to you, and activity fees are paid locally so there are no extra package handling fees involved on Southern Africa tours. Check out the video below for a montage of a satisfied traveller's journey on a Southern Africa tour:

Cheap accommodation

Accommodation is included in an overland Southern Africa tour price. Now all you have to do is decide whether to go on a camping, or accommodated overland trip. The difference? A camping tour of Southern Africa is cheaper than an accommodated one. The canvas tents used when camping are so thick it can almost stand up without poles. Accommodated is often dorms or chalets. If you’d like a little more of a run-down on each, check out our ‘camping vs accommodated’ post.

Extra expenses?

Okay, okay, I hear you! “Sure, Southern Africa tours are cheap, but flights and travel insurance are expensive”. False! Your overland trip budget of expenses doesn’t have to ring up into the gazillions. If you book far enough in advance you can grab amazing flight prices. USA Today's Ben Mutzabaugh commented on buying airline tickets early. "Airlines tend to offer the lowest prices on 21-day advance tickets. However, advance purchase fares can often be secured in as little as 14 or 7 days ahead of your departure date. If you wait until fewer than 7 days, you're unlikely to find a good deal." Also, your consultant is there to help you and will, with no worry, advise you where you might be able to find well priced flights and travel insurance for your tour of Southern Africa. Also, spending money is completely up to you. If you really want to travel with your purse strings tighter than a camel’s starfish in a sandstorm, then that’s great! All it will mean is you get home with a couple less curios than the other travellers.

Tour Southern Africa on a budget

Top three Southern Africa tours:

1. Southern Loop


Check out the overland travel itinerary for the Southern Loop Southern Africa tour.

2. Southern Africa Adventure


Check out the Southern Africa tour itinerary for the Southern Africa Adventure.

3. Best of South Africa


Check out the trip itinerary to tour Southern Africa with the Best of South Africa overland trip.

Want a longer list of options to tour Southern Africa? Check out a full list of tours starting in South Africa, pick, book and explore!

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