There’s nothing like a road trip to reacquaint you with nature, reunite you with loved ones and set your mind at ease as unchartered miles of open road roll out before you. Fortunately, here in South Africa we’re lucky enough to have many road tripping routes waiting to be enjoyed. These among them:
1. Curling around Cape Town’s fabulous Atlantic and False Bay coastlines.
This trip brings people from across the globe – and country to Cape Town’s shores with the alternately bustling and secluded beaches of the Atlantic and False Bay coastlines leaving you filled with wanderlust. This is the Cape Peninsula at its varying beautiful best.
Take the N2 from the CBD, join the M3 and make for Muizenberg. Once there
enjoy a pitstop at Muizenberg Beach or just beyond cosy St James beach. Thereafter, the road feeds into Kalk Bay with it’s charming harbour, Fish Hoek and the naval town Simon’s Town. Visiting Boulders Penguin Colony is always a must, as is Cape Point, so curl along the coastline past Smitswinkel Bay until you reach this wildly stunning Nature Reserve with the Cape of Good Hope contained within it.
Later pass on through Scarborough, Misty Cliffs and Kommetjie towards Noordehoek, and depending on the route you choose you can either head back into the Mother City via Ou Kaapse Weg past Silvermine Nature Reserve and Tokai – or pay your way to enjoy the magnificent, world-famous Chapman’s Peak Drive which bleeds into Hout Bay Camps Bay and Cape Town proper.
Boulders Beach penguins, in Simonstown.
Looking down at Diaz Beach from the Lighthouse at Cape Point.
2. The Glorious Garden Route and beyond.
Arguably one of our country’s most fertile and scenic regions, this is South Africa’s own Garden of Eden.
To get to the Garden Route take the N2 out of Cape Town and join the R44 towards Clarence Drive, said to be one of the most scenic coastal roads in the world. The cliffs meet ocean drive will take you into the Overberg. or alternately opt to pass through Paarl, Worcester and Swellendam.
Once you reach Mossel Bay you’re officially in the Garden Route where you’ll discover emerald Wilderness and the wetlands, lagoon, dense forestry and Lake District that is Knysna and surrounds. Beyond lies Plettenberg Bay – Or Plett as it is affectionately known – famous for its seaside bustle, wildlife sanctuaries and beautiful beaches.
For a different view, either take the Route 62 back to Cape Town or drive onto Port Elizabeth. Either way aim to enjoy the Eastern Cape’s famous game reserves like Shamwari or Addo Elephant Park before heading home or further down the road.
The view across the Knysna lagoon towards Thesen Island.
3. Meander in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands
Extending across 80km between Pietermaritzburg and the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, the Midlands Meander takes you through South Africa’s famous ‘arts and crafts’ route – started in 1985 by several potters and weavers – and makes for a truly magnificent road trip with the region’s picturesque scenery.
Sights to see include: the scenic Karkloof valley, Howick Fall some 95 metres high and situated along the Umgeni River, the pint-sized yet incredibly beautiful town Nottingham Road and finally, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and its famous snow-capped peaks.
Photo Credit – Underberg Hideaways.
4. Mpumalanga’s picturesque Panorama Route
Another must-try road trip is the Panorama Route which takes you along Mpumalanga’s escarpment and is complete with forests, expansive grasslands, plunging waterfalls, sub-tropical bush and beautiful mountains.
Take in the iconic and appropriately named landmarks such as: Pilgrim’s Rest, Mac Mac Falls and pools, God’s Window, Wonder View and The Pinnacle to name but a few as you restore and rest.
Photo credit – Portfolio Collection.
With all that said there’s no reason to pack your bags and head abroad, South Africa has amazing and truly memorable road trips to enjoy close to home.
Rent a vehicle from Around About Cars from any one of their branches throughout South Africa and get road tripping along some of these incredible routes.
Read about my day spent with Around About Cars in Cape Town – Around About Cars Cape Town Exploration. #AroundAboutCT.