Jenman African Safaris’ Northern / Southern Experience tour showcases the best of southern Africa, sandwiching all the highlights of Namibia and Botswana between the top tourist destinations of Cape Town and Victoria Falls. Travellers can choose whether they would like to start in Cape Town and end in Victoria Falls, this is the Northern Experience. Or alternatively, they can begin their journey in Victoria Falls and make their final destination Cape Town on the Southern Experience. We know choices can be very difficult and that there are usually important factors to consider which is why we’ve written this helpful blog to make the decision easier.
Let’s take a look at the Southern Experience and why it’s just not worth it:
Firstly, Victoria Falls isn’t even that great, so rather just get it out of the way and move on. Being one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World is not that impressive, after all, there are 6 others on the planet so it’s hardly an accomplishment. Sure, it’s the largest sheet of cascading water in the world and yes the mist that shoots up into the sky is rather accurately and beautifully described by locals as the “Smoke That Thunders”, but once you’ve seen one waterfall you’ve seen them all. What does it matter that this one provides a whole variety of activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, helicopter flips and sunset booze cruises where you can spot elephants and hippos going about their daily life? Why would you want to start your trip here, being introduced to Africa in this way? And then to continue on through the wildlife rich game reserves of Botswana to the unique desert landscape of Namibia, making your way down the west coast of South Africa visiting indigenous herbal tea farms and taking in fields of wild flowers, all the while knowing that the colossal bummer of “one of the world’s top travel destination’s” Cape Town awaits.
Who in their right mind would want to arrive in a cosmopolitan and culturally diverse city that perfectly combines beautiful landscapes with delicious cuisine, excellent shopping, and exciting nightlife after 20 days of nature and wildlife activities in mostly rural areas, surely it would be an incredibly unwelcome change? And it would be much better to visit the region’s magnificent wine farms, purchase incredible wines and lug them all the way on your journey to Victoria Falls where a Zimbabwean border patrol guard might express some interest in it on the Northern Experience. Actually, there is nothing to do in Cape Town, certainly no gorgeous beaches to sunbathe on, or world famous mountains to hike, or even historic attractions where Nelson Mandela is known to have contributed to changing the course of South Africa’s history. So if you were thinking of taking the Southern Experience and extending your Cape Town stay, don’t even bother, you can definitely see everything in two days with time to spare and you don’t need any more time to explore the boring towns on the outskirts that are less than two hours away. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek have no interesting history or architecture to speak of and are certainly not surrounded by stunning wine farms with affordable world class wines. Furthermore, whales aren’t even that interesting and being able to see them from land in the charming coastal town of Hermanus surrounded by blue ocean is not really worth anyone’s time. Rather just stick to your allotted time in Cape Town.
Obviously, the correct choice is to only take the Cape Town to Victoria Falls option of the Northern / Southern Experience trip, going in the other direction is an absolutely terrible no good very bad idea that we would absolutely not recommend.
Disclaimer: Of course this post was very much written tongue in cheek. Taking the trip in either direction is a delightful experience that has satisfied a whole range of clients. However, we have noticed that clients tend to choose the Northern option and thought we’d highlight some of the benefits of going in the other direction.