Scenic Drives in South Africa
South Africa is still a land of wide-open spaces, towering mountains, a stunningly beautiful coastline that stretches over 2700 kms from east to west, and thousands of kilometres of excellent roads just waiting to take you to all the far-flung corners of this diverse country. Although the country has lagged somewhat when it comes to public transport, the road system is good and it is easy to drive just about anywhere in just about any vehicle.
This is a great country for campervan or motor home holidays and there are very good campsites and caravan parks all along the highways and byways. Your biggest problem when planning your trip will be choosing which part of the country to explore. There are great scenic drives in all the provinces, but the Western Cape is generally acknowledged as one of the most picturesque and 10 of the best scenic drives in the country are to be found there. Let us have a look at a few of the best routes in a couple of provinces.
Western and Eastern Cape
The very best of a good bunch must be Chapman’s Peak Drive between Noordhoek and Hout Bay; this road is the result of absolute engineering genius and offers 180 degree views of the coastline
Cape Town to Cape Point via Simons Town
The Cape Point coastal route is a great scenic drive that will take you past all the pretty villages on False Bay to Cape Point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans converge. Along the way you can stop at lovely Boulders Beach to visit the penguin colony and have a swim. This is a great drive that can be combined with the one above over a couple of days, and you will see the very best of the Western Cape coastline.
Cape Town to Grabouw
Moving inland and into the Western Cape’s premier wine growing region, this route will take you to Stellenbosch, Franschoek (the culinary capital of South Africa – (do spend a few days here to enjoy the wonderful hospitality, food and wine) and over the mountains to the fruit growing towns of Elgin and Grabouw. This scenic drive should be enjoyed at a slow pace, stopping all over to sample olives, wine and cheese.
The Garden Route
This is the poetic name given to the stretch of road that parallels the coastline from Mossel Bay to Knysna. The road is sandwiched between beautiful mountains and azure Indian Ocean, and there are great places to stay overnight so that you can enjoy all the attractions of the area. You could drive the Garden Route in about 4 hours, but doing it over a few days is a much better idea. A very popular return route (or alternative) is Route 62, which meanders inland from Paarl to Port Elizabeth, passing through the Breede River Valley and many delightful rural farming towns.
Mpumalanga – The Panorama Route
By far the most noteworthy scenic route to be found in the northern part of the country is the Panorama Route, which showcases the marvels of the Blyde River Canyon, decending over 1000m from the Northern Drakensberg mountain range to the Lowveld, and the famous Kruger National Park.
There are many, many more beautiful corners of South Africa to discover and dozens more world-class scenic routes to drive. Book your trip right now – we guarantee you will be back for more!