London to Cape Town, on public transpot!!!

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East London to Cape Town, on public transpot!!!

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1. Posted by metheidiot (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Has anybody ever gone from london to cape town on public transport?Going in 6 months,any help will be apreciated!

2. Posted by Strider (Budding Member 34 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I did a backpacking trip in 2003 through Mozambique on foot with friends, we used mostly public transport whenever we got lazy, it wasn't bad but it was interesting.

I would advise doing allot of research, don't mess about, Africa is ruthless and the central areas are dangerous.

A very good book to get is the Bradt Guide - Africa overland. Get the latest edition, it will help with planning and practical info on where to stay, what to take along and what to leave behind. It also explains border crossings etc...

Good luck...

3. Posted by baluba (Respected Member 407 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I travelled the Cairo to Cape Town route with an overland company which was fantastic. What route were you planning to take and how long have you given yourself to complete the trip? You may come accross some obstacles coming through Sudan from Egypt but otherwise I can't see you having any major problems apart from time.
What an amazing adventure, I hope you are going to keep a blog

4. Posted by metheidiot (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

The route I am planning is to Italy and ferry over to Tunis, then travel by bus to Egypt, Problem 1, from Egypt I would like to ferry down to Djiboutie, or even Eritrea, train to Addis adaba, bus down to Moyale, Problem 2, Hitchhike to Isiole, from there the bus to Nairobie.Nairobie, I want to catch the train to Mombassa, from where the bus to Dar es Sallaam, Where I will take a short break to Zanzibar,.
Then I will get on the Tanzam Rail to Mbeya, from there I will ruff it out to Itungi port, then ferry, or a number of ferry’s down to Cape Mclear, problem 3, from there bus to Harare, Victoria falls, then bus down to my hometown in JHB, last part will be by train down to Cape town, and a well earned rest!

Problem 1: I read somewhere that you can’t apply for an individual visa for Libie?this true?
Problem 2: Is Moyale safe?read a few nasty thing about it.
Problem3: I don’t seem to find information on ferry’s on Lake Malawi?

5. Posted by joey22 (Respected Member 561 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

that sounds like a fantastic trip!! best of luck with it.

6. Posted by aussiecat (Budding Member 12 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

So your hometown is Joburg and your still thinking about a train to Cape Town? It might have changed by now but 5 years ago the last thing you would do in SA was even consider getting on a train. Are you travelling alone?

7. Posted by metheidiot (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Yes at the moment I am traveling alone, but the moment my dates are fixed I will open it up to anybody who would like to join.
JHB is my home, but it just seems right to go to the most southern point of Africa, to end it right. Train travel in SA has 2 parts, the one between the city and the townships and then the ones like the Shozaloza meyel which is between JHB and Cape Town. And really safe.

8. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 386 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

if you check out the Africa Overland Network you will find trips with people who have travelled overland via public transport as well as every other mode of travel all over Africa from Europe. its a great resource. As for the visa in Lybia, I don't think its that you can't apply for an individual visa, but I think you have to travel in that country with an escort. I stand to be corrected, but that is something to look into. In Malawi, you can probably hitch rides with local fisherman but there was a ferry called the ilala ferry which runs up and down the whole length of the lake once a week. It also stops at Chizumulu and Likoma Islands. good luck with your planning.

9. Posted by Jennig (Budding Member 12 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I didnt do the whole of the trip you are talking about but i did a part of it that may help.
The bus to Moyale from Addis will take 1.5 days (if you get the big buses, the minibuses are more expensive but will do it in 1 day if you want to start at 2am or so). Moyale was fine to me, ihad no problems at all. I then got a ride on a truck from Moyale to Nairobi. It took 2 days and 2 nights. You can go in the cab of the truck or on the top with everyone else. The road is said to be dangerous, but the driver of my truck said that was some time ago and he drives the route non-stop and hasnt had a problem in well over a year. The really troublesome part just before Moyale the trucks travel in a convoy with a police escort.
I would say be careful in Dar and Zanzibar, dont not go there, just take care. The rail to Mbeya is good but you may have to book in advance if you are travelling as more than 1 person and want to go in 1st class. I got lucky with someone not turning up. Also allow time for it to breakdown as that is a regular thing. Getting from there to the ferry in Malawi is possible to do in 1 day. The ferry does only go one day per week south and one north, i cannot remember which day (sorry!). The Ilala is quite good. They may not offer you any ticket other than 1st class but 2nd and 3rd are available - it depends on your budget really but i found 2nd and 3rd fine. The only good info i found about it was from people who had travelled that way, i was unable to find other info (but i also didnt look too hard). i am not sure about the bus to harare as i came over from mozambique.

After doing a trip like this in 6 months i think that you will deserve the rest in Cape Town. The trip sounds really good, enjoy yourself! It is a good way to get home ;)

10. Posted by lukewise (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

hi, i'm planning to do the same thing, can't decide yet whether to go in feb or wait a few months to go to glastonbury! from what i've read you have to be on an organised tour in libya, although it seems this can mean just yourself so long as you have a guide. i'm planning on going through the middle east, not sure if it's easier than your plan though to be fair. good luck.