7 epic road trips every South African should take

South Africans have voted for their best 'bucket list' road trips - and they're a long and windy journey with 1‚110km being the shortest route

11 October 2017 - 13:20 By Staff Reporter
Ballooning over the Hartbeespoort Dam.
Ballooning over the Hartbeespoort Dam.
Image: SOUTHAFRICA.TO

ROUTE 1 - SUN CITY TO KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Distance: 1‚110km

Start in the North West province‚ exploring Sun City‚ Pilanesberg Game Reserve and Hartbeespoort before heading towards Johannesburg.

On your way‚ stopover in Soweto‚ “the township that never sleeps” and explore true South African urban culture at one of the many vibrant restaurants.

Pass through the city towards Mpumalanga‚ a paradise of natural scenery‚ with charming towns like Dullstroom and Sabie along the way.

Before arriving at the Kruger National Park‚ be sure to view some of the region’s most spectacular waterfalls.

ROUTE 2 – KRUGER NATIONAL PARK TO SAINT LUCIA

Distance: 1‚173km

On this road trip‚ enjoy some of Mpumalanga’s delights – after enjoying game sightings in the Kruger and Marloth Park‚ be sure to visit the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden and the Sudwala Caves.

Cross over into Kwazulu-Natal at Paulpietersburg‚ a pretty little town nestled in the foot of the Dumbe Mountain.

Take up some fishing at Lake Jozini or Sodwana Bay as you head down to the final destination on this route‚ Saint Lucia.

ROUTE 3 – SAINT LUCIA TO PORT SAINT JOHNS

Distance: 1‚788km

While much of this route enjoys coastal scenery in popular destinations such as Umhlanga and the rest of the Dolphin Coast‚ it includes a detour inland towards the Drakensberg – a road trip that offers the best of both worlds with sea and mountains on the itinerary.

ROUTE 4 – PORT SAINT JOHNS TO TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK

Distance: 1‚725km

For the first portion of this road trip‚ explore the Eastern Cape coastline with visits to Coffee Bay‚ Hole in the Wall and Kenton on Sea.

Travel inland to explore the quaint town of Nieu Bethesda and explore nature at its best at the Valley of Desolation in Graaff Reinet‚ Hogsback and the Addo Elephant Park.

Head back to the coast for a drive through Jeffreys Bay‚ Cape Saint Francis and Storms River Mouth before ending your journey at Tsitsikamma National Park.

A hiker pauses on the bridge over the Storms River in the Tsitsikamma National Park.
A hiker pauses on the bridge over the Storms River in the Tsitsikamma National Park.
Image: Supplied

ROUTE 5 – TSITSIKAMA NATIONAL PARK TO CAPE TOWN

Distance: 1‚555km

Hugging the coastline for the first part of this road trip‚ make your way through coastal gems such as Plettenberg Bay‚ Knysna and Wilderness.

After Mossel Bay‚ head inland over the Swartberg Pass towards the Karoo. This route will take you back in time with little towns like Prince Albert‚ Matjiesfontein and Montagu.

Before arriving in Cape Town‚ enjoy the Cape Winelands in and around Franschoek and Stellenbosch.

ROUTE 6 – CAPE TOWN TO RICHTERSVELD WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Distance: 1‚384km

This route includes a number of must-see towns and villages on South Africa’s west coast‚ like Darling‚ Yzerfontein‚ Langebaan and Paternoster. A small detour inland will take you to Beaverlac and the Cederberg Mountains.

Drive through Honderklip Bay and Port Nolloth before arriving at the mountainous desert area of the Richtersveld World Heritage Site.

ROUTE 7 – RICHTERSVELD WORLD HERITAGE SITE TO PILANESBERG NATIONAL PARK

Distance: 2‚775km

The longest journey by far‚ this road trip cuts across South Africa’s interior.

Plan your trip around August to October so you can enjoy the magnificent display of flowers at the Goekap Nature Reserve and Namaqualand.

Soak up the natural hot springs at Riemvasmaak Hot Springs and the Eye of Kuruman in the Northern Cape‚ and enjoy the history of the Big Hole at Kimberley.

As you get closer to Pilanesberg National Park‚ stop off at Mountain Sanctuary Park and Hartbeespoort Dam. - TimesLIVE

Map the routes here.


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