Hey Camilla! Seriously overland tours are complete shit in my opinion so definitely avoid them. Where were you at in Africa? There are definitely a lot of other travelers depending on where you go. In fact I would run into the same people over and over. I met one American guy in Malawi, ran into him in Zanzibar, and then again in Uganda. It was crazy. I also met some Dutch backpackers and somehow our group got bigger and bigger so it ended up being about 10 people traveling together for almost 1-2 months with a few people coming in and out of the group. It’s pretty natural to meet someone and then just travel with them for a week or so. So yes you definitely won’t always be alone. In fact, I highly recommend starting in South Africa. That’s the country with the most backpackers.
After a couple of months of my journey I felt comfortable enough that I liked to break away and get off the grid for a while. So there were some places I’d go to where I was told only 2-3 foreigners visit a year. But if that’s not your style you can just stick to the main areas too. The places with the most backpackers are: All of South Africa, Tofo and Vilianculous in Mozambique, Victoria Falls, Lake Malawi (Cape Mc Clear and Nkahata Bay), and Zanzibar.
I typically stayed at Backpacker resorts/hostels and that’s how I met other people. To find a lodge you can check hostelworld.com or buy a Lonely Planet
But you’ll have such a good time I promise! And you definitely won’t be alone. Honestly, I never felt alone because even on a bus the people beside me would talk. In fact, I can be somewhat introverted at times, so I ended up buying a tent, partly to save money, but also partly to have a place to be alone. lol. So trust me you won’t get lonely, and you’ll have such an amazing journey! African countries are sooo beautiful, have the kindest locals, and you’ll meet backpackers from all over the world. I still keep up with almost all the people I met along the way, and I”m sure you will too. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any more help 🙂