About Alternative Route
Alternative Route is a website and guidebook for backpackers and other people travelling South Africa on a budget. We focus mainly on South Africa, but also have information on our neighbours: Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Alternative Route, like the name suggests, is for people who want a travel experience different from those of cookie-cutter tourists. Even if the route you take through South Africa is well-travelled, the way you travel it can still be different. Backpacking is fun and exciting, and you don't even have to be on a budget to enjoy it. We have information on the essentials for any trip - accommodation, transport, tours and safaris.
Admittedly, Alternative Route does focus on accommodation more than other things. Accommodation listed on this website are mostly backpacker hostels, but there are also some lodges and guesthouses. Even though most of the places on this website and in our guidebook pay for advertising, we have personally visited most of the places and we have given them our stamp of approval.
What we're looking for when we stay at a backpackers hostel is a good time, but atmosphere is not the only thing. Backpacker hostels also have to be good value for money (cheap, though hostel owners don't like to hear that) and in a good location. Everything has to be clean and comfortable. Staff have to be friendly and look after guests well. Finally, we find what really makes our stay memorable is the personal nature of backpacking - chatting to the staff and other travellers, swopping stories and embarking on adventures with our new, if only temporary friends.
We are a team of three who have all done our time in the backpacking industry and we do regular trips around the country visiting places, so we know of changes and keep the content on the site fresh.