June 24, 2024
How to prepare for Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town South Africa Journey by car.

How to prepare for Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town South Africa Journey by car.

Mandatory requirements while using a car

– Passport

– Yellow Fever Card

– Car Logbook (make several copies), Carry your original logbook & keep it safe. Don’t leave it at any border point.

– Driver’s License

– Comesa Insurance (Helpful in Malawi & Zambia)

1. Driver’s License and International Driving Permit (IDL):

Throughout the journey, you can use a Kenyan driver’s license and might not encounter any requests for an International Driving Permit (IDL) at any border crossing.

2. Carnet de Passage: Even though you will not use a Carnet de Passage during the trip(Unnecessary when traveling South) no significance at any of the border crossings.

3. Car Breakdowns: You need a stable and mechanically sound vehicle with regular servicing.

4. Car Services: You’ll have three to six car services during the journey.

5. Covid Certificate: Interestingly, you won’t be asked for a Covid certificate at any of the border crossings.

Road Conditions:

It’s important to note that certain road stretches on the trip had extremely poor conditions with numerous potholes.

Specifically, the Nakonde-Kapiri Mposhi stretch in Zambia, the Katima Mlilo-Livingstone stretch in Zambia, and the Salima-Nkhotakota-Rukuru-Chiweta stretch in Malawi had particularly challenging road conditions. However, roads in South Africa, Namibia, and Tanzania are generally good and enjoyable to drive on.

While driving in Namibia always keep your lights on during the day, as failing to do so could result in a fine of 1000 Namibian Dollars. The authorities argue that this is a safety measure aimed at reducing accidents.

Memorable Experiences

South Africa: South Africa is an advanced country ( miles ahead) with beautiful landscapes, especially in the Western Cape region.

The hype about South Africa is real. Arguably the most advanced country I have ever visited in Africa.

Namibia: Namibia is a stunning country although internet speeds were quite slow during our visit. Their deserted roads might come as a surprise.

Botswana: The Pula country! Botswana is known for its abundant elephant population, and the architectural diversity in Gaborone fascinated us.

Lesotho: The kingdom on the hill. Interestingly, their currency has the same value as South Africa.

They have the most beautiful women on the whole continent – trust me on this one 

Tanzania: Tanzania stood out for its exceptional hospitality, good roads, and affordable food.

How to prepare for Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town South Africa Journey by car.
How to prepare for Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town South Africa Journey by car.

Zambia: Zambia offers plenty of food options, but be prepared for toll roads and fees.

Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is a must-visit! Would pay to see those falls for the first time again.

Malawi: People were kind and welcoming, and Lake Malawi is a spectacular sight!

They have the cheapest internet rates(Airtel Malawi to be specific).

Kenya: Kenya has the best internet, which you will definitely miss as you travel further south.

Border Crossings Charges

Tanzania: Zero, East Africans travelling in Tanzania for less than 7 days pay absolutely nothing.


Here are the costs that we incurred crossing into Zambia- Tunduma to Nakonde(A tiring and hard-to-navigate-through border post):

1. Interpol charges: 200 Kwacha per car (Ksh. 1400)

2. Road poll charges: 20 USD per car (Ksh. 3000)

3. Car search and scan: 100 Kwacha per car (Ksh. 700)

4. Carbon tax: 370 Kwacha per car if the car is higher than 1500ccs. (Ksh. 2590)

5. Council levy: 50 Kwacha per car (Ksh. 350)

6. Agent facilitation fee: 650 Kwacha (Ksh 4550) an agent here is inevitable.


Charges for entering into Botswana via the Kazungula Border(A seamless border this one)

Road Permits

I) National Road Safety Fund – 50 Pula

II) Motor Vehicle Insurance- 150 Pula

III) Road Transport Permit – 270 Pula

IV) Kazungula Bridge Toll Fees: 150 Pula

Total cost for entering a car into Botswana: 620 Pula equivalent to Ksh 6,820.

South Africa 

Charges for entering: ZERO

Kopfontein Border Post is one of the fastest border posts I have ever used in my life. You’ll get the best and Kindest staff too 


Visa-Free for Kenyans …!

We used the Maseru Bridge Border Post. Another seamless border crossing 

Charges: paid 80 Rands… equivalent to about Ksh 670.


Entered using Noordoewer Border Post.

Another seamless border crossing 

Road Charges: 371 Namibian Dollars equivalent to Ksh 3300.

Unrelated: The Namibian Dollar has the same value as the South African Rand.


Here are the charges for entering a car into Malawi:

– Processing Fee: 20,000 Malawian Kwacha

– Carbon Tax: 8,000 Malawian Kwacha

– Toll Fee: 20 USD, paid in cash. I bought the 20 dollars at 46,000 Malawian Kwachas. 

NOTE: 1 Kenyan shilling is equivalent to 10.56 Malawian Kwachas.

A very expensive border border crossing. Kindly use Mwami/Mchinji One Stop Border Post.

All in all, the trip to the South is worth every coin 

Would I do it again? Absolutely! Can’t wait to explore the Eastern side of South Africa especially Mpumalanga, Durban & many more!

Africa is diversely beautiful! Let’s explore it!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This beautiful journey experience was made & compiled by Victor Matara and his crew.

How to prepare for Nairobi, Kenya to Cape Town South Africa Journey by car.

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