“As the herd moved it became a carpet of rust-brown and grey and dull red. It was not like a herd of cattle or of sheep, because it was wild, and it carried with it the stamp of wilderness and the freedom of a land still more a possession of Nature than of men. To see ten thousand animals untamed and not branded with the symbols of human commerce is like scaling an unconquered mountain for the first time, or like finding a forest without roads or footpaths, or the blemish of an axe. You know then what you have always been told – that the world once lived and grew without adding machines and newsprint and brick-walled streets and the tyranny of clocks.” – Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Guided Expeditions
Accompanied by a Professional Guide

Backroads Africa provides extraordinary tailor-made safaris guided by a professional. Some areas are best explored as a team.

Self drive itineraries with detailed information and advice, giving you the confidence to safari on your own

Self-navigated travel is Backroads Africa’s core business. Most people prefer to be independent, prefer to travel alone, even, or perhaps especially, when travelling in a strange country.

Photographic Safaris
For Professional and Amateur photographers

Tailormade and specialist photographic safaris and workshops for the nature and photography enthusiast.


Understanding the varying needs of independent travellers that come to
Africa on holiday, to work, study, or sometimes fulfil a dream.

Borne in the Netherlands, Ingrid lived in The Hague until 2000. Her desire to travel was always strong and after high school she struck a balance of exploring Europe and working in the Netherlands to pay for her travels. In 1996 she decided to go back to school and studied Communication Management at the University of The Hague, where she also joined an exchange program with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (USA). Two months after earning her degree (2000), the travel bug hit home once more, and Ingrid travelled to South Africa on holiday. This time, there was no returning home.

Ingrid worked as a tour guide for Baobab Reizen, a Dutch overland company, for three years. During this time, Ingrid travelled extensively throughout Southern Africa. In 2003, Ingrid finally settled down in the town of Hoedspruit, Limpopo, where she joined Transfrontiers Wildlife Walking Safaris. Having worked in the safari industry for nearly 15 years now, Ingrid understands the varying needs of independent travellers that come to Africa on holiday, to work, study, or sometimes fulfil a dream. Ingrid combines her love and passion for travel and Africa with a personalized approach and a 100% commitment to not just meet but exceed the expectations of her clients.

I feel no fear, no pain, no vain perplexity,
I feel deep, heartfelt joy that closely clings,
Lessons of love and earnest piety,
From all created things.

I feel, in every midge that hums,
Life, fugitive and infinite,
And suddenly the world becomes,
A part of me and I of it.


What is it that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man’s breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery!



“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.”– Robert Frost

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“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes


Giving Back with Nourish

I have been extremely lucky in life, but not without the help of many people, sometimes from corners where I least expected it. When you are achieving your goals, it should be shared, utilised to enhance and inspire others to progress in life. This can be done in many ways, but part of my ‘giving back’ strategy is the cooperation with Nourish. Every booking placed with Backroads Africa results in a tree being planted, sometimes indigenous, sometimes a fruit tree. So, when you book with Backroads Africa, you will not only have an unforgettable African experience, but you will also be giving back to our local communities.

Nourish is a South African non-profit organisation dedicated to uplifting local communities, promoting social responsibility and encouraging environmental education. Nourish believes that the environmental integrity of a community is inextricably linked to the strength of its people, body and soul.

Where to go..
in Southern Africa

South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland…Backroads Africa specialises in Southern Africa, adventure-style!

On a budget?
Most of us are...

Backroads Africa is all about giving you value for money, without compromising your experience. Travelling can give you the world, but does not have to cost you the earth.

Integrity & Heart
It is all about you...

My advice, assistance and services are for free, you will not pay a cent more than you would if you would do this alone. So let me help you. This is your holiday, your dream, your money. It is not taken lightly.

Talk to me...

Communication is everything. You are not just a client, I genuinely want to connect with you. Email, Skype, Facebook me. I will ask you a lot of questions and when you talk, I will listen.


When you think ‘safari’, what images run through your mind? When you think ‘Africa’, what do you feel? A well-known saying is ‘The Map is not the Territory’ and this principle certainly (if not specifically) applies to travel as well. Your thoughts and expectations are personal and unique, and so should be your safari. Below are just a few examples of what can be done.


Clients share their amazing experiences.


Black Mamba goes window shopping in Hoedspruit!

A two metres long black mamba ruffled feathers after it was seen “window shopping” outside a Pep store at a shopping centre in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, this week. The snake, which

Zimbabwe makes Chinese yuan legal currency after Beijing cancels debts

I know this is old news, but the agreement has just been signed. Will the rest of Africa, including SA, please wake up and see what’s happening? Really, really scary

Do people still recognise beauty, or has it become irrelevant?

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. — from “Leisure,” by W.H. Davies — Fantastic article written by Pulitzer Prize winner

The Travel Bug of 2015/6

5,476 km, 14 days, 9 provinces, 1 girl, 1 dog. Reconnecting with South Africa. We drove, we walked, we played, we met many interesting people and dogs, and fell in

Christmas Picnic on the Highest Point in the Lowveld

I cannot think of a more special or romantic way to spend some time on top of Mariepskop, the highest accessible point of the Transvaal Drakensberg, just outside of Hoedspruit.

Strikes affect residents, visitors and lodges in Hoedspruit

For the last three weeks disgruntled residents of The Oaks have been affecting the access roads to Hoedspruit. The R36 has been closed for nearly three weeks already, and the Strydom



Ingrid Geertsema is committed to helping tourists become travellers, creating custom itineraries for clients who dream of exploration, discovery, and bumbling along the Backroads of Africa. Contact Backroads Africa now for a guaranteed life-changing adventure…



South Africa



Phone:+27 (0)73 573 9622

Skype: backroadsafrica