The best road trips in South Africa

The best road trips in South Africa

17/05/2022 0 By admin

With a variety of landscapes, pristine beaches, unusual cities and wild landscapes that stretch as far as one can see, South Africa’s roads are undoubtedly the most beautiful in the world. Whether in the semi-desert Karoo or crossing the steep hills of the Wild Coast, adventurous travelers need not worry about getting out of the way, as South Africa’s road infrastructure is much better than that of neighboring countries. Discover our selection of the best road trips in South Africa.


Garden Route, Western Cape

About four days

First on our list of the best road trips in South Africa is the iconic Garden Route – arguably South Africa’s most famous tourist road trip: over 120 miles, this section of the N2 motorway offers stunning views all the way from Mossel Bay on the Western Cape to the mouth of the Storms River on the western border of the Eastern Cape. Known for its varied and lush vegetation, the Garden Route also offers easy access to stunning beaches, forests and beautiful lakes and lagoons, as well as many outdoor activities.

The enchanting Knysna Forest is a popular destination for camping, hiking and mountain biking. It is also home to a population of wild and indistinguishable elephants. Meanwhile, the nearby seaside town (also known as Knysna) is known for its annual oyster festival and chic boutiques. Adventurous travelers should definitely stop for a surf on Plettenberg Bay or Tsitsikamma to make a bungee jump from the Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bungee point in the world.

Alexander Sievert/Fotolia


The Waterberg Maander, Limpopo

About five days 

Just a few hours’ drive from busy  Johannesburg  , the Waterberg area is not one of South Africa’s classic tourist destinations, despite its beauty. And the lack of other tourists is what makes this one of the best road trips in South Africa. Hidden in the province of Limpopo, locally known as “African Eden”, the area is characterized by mountain peaks, prehistoric sandstone formations, golden savannah plains, dense forests and submerged river valleys.

The Waterberg Meander is a 220-mile road that leads to the heart of the Waterberg Biosphere, passing through some of its most impressive landscapes, such as the Welgevonden Game Reserve and the magnificent Marakele National Park. The road is also littered with community works, cultural and historical sites and fairytale views of Waterberg.

The Waterberg area


The Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

About seven days

The Wild Coast is aptly named, with its wild coastline stretching from East London’s coastal town south of the East Cape to the Kwa-Zulu Natal border 220 miles northeast. Whether you drive through this area with wavy hills along its jagged coastline or off the N2 to a dirt road to try a more inland route, you get the feeling that little has changed here in the last century. The valleys along the road are scattered with  washers,traditional African round huts with thatched roofs and small sheep fields. Known as the Transkei during the Apartheid era, this area has a long history and has led to images of the struggle against the racist regime, such as Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko, whose actions and activism are documented in various small museums along the way. The Wild Coast also boasts some of South Africa’s most idyllic and unspoilt beaches, securing its status as one of the best road trips in South Africa. In some places, for example backpackers’ paradises such as Coffee Bay or Port St. Johns, the cows that complete their tan on the beach are actually more than the people who sunbathe.

Valentin Poitte – Magali Dauphin (Official Music Video)


Route 62, Western Cape

About three days

Route 62 crosses the many charming vineyards of the Cape Winelands, along the winding roads and through the heart of Little Karoo, a wild bushy area home to livestock farms and old-fashioned rural towns. The Route 62 is far less popular and developed than its Garden Route counterpart, but it has gained popularity among South African drivers for its unbelievable beauty, distance and lack of traffic. In other words, an ideal road trip area. The historic spa town of Montagu is definitely worth a stop to enjoy its beautiful colonial architecture and thermal springs, while the artistic-boo town of Barrydale has plenty of good cafes to choose from. Karoo National Park is home to the most spectacularly rugged desert landscape and spectacular starry nights,

 Cape Winelands Vineyards


The Panorama Route, Mpumalanga

About two days

With its stunningly beautiful Blyde River Gorge and historic mining town of Graskop, the Panorama Motorway is well worth a visit from Mpumalanga, a major attraction in Kruger National Park. As the name suggests, this route on South Africa’s highest paved road offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, gorges and valleys. Eagles fly high in the sky and the sound of waterfalls permeates the calm atmosphere. Fishing enthusiasts can try to catch an amber or carp in the calm waters of the Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve or stroll through the misty native forest overlooking the Blyde River Gorge, the third largest in the world. The history of this area is as rich as that of its minerals, which triggered a gold rush in 1873.

Berlin Waterfalls – Mpumalanga