Scenic Drives in South Africa
South Africa is as culturally diverse as it is rich in natural beauty. There aren't too many places in this world where you can see two oceans meet, explore high mountain ranges, picturesque valleys, deserts and everything in between. South Africa's roads are made for driving and travelling from one end of the country to the other is the best way to really enjoy the local wildlife and culture. When planning your trip, make sure that you consider the option of a one way car rental. Make your way from one major city to the next without giving the trip back a second thought.
Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal
The Western Cape is one of the most visited parts of South Africa. Cape Town is known as the Mother City since this is where the Dutch first settled. When in Cape Town, there is simply no way that you can miss the fabulous Table Mountain. Behind this grand mountain and beyond the Tokai Forest, you will reach Chapman's Peak Drive. Carved into the side of the cliffs that drop off into the big blue sea, this twisting and turning road has outstanding views to offer. The red rock face to one side, the dark blue ocean on the other and the fabulous sparkling white sands of Noordhoek Beach waits! If you have time to spare, you can take a little detour to Cape Town's naval harbour, Simon's Town and further down to Cape Point which is the southernmost tip of Africa.
If you fancy more of a mountain route, you can always navigate your way through the Little Karoo via the Swartberg Pass. Alternatively, you could also enjoy the more lush and green scenery that Grabouw and Ceres have to offer by making your way there via Franschhoek and the stunning Villiersdorp Valley. Each of these quaint towns has an abundance of cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy a meal or light snack.
If you enjoy warm weather conditions and you don't mind a bit of humidity, then you should definitely make your way up the East Coast. Starting in Cape Town, you will travel along some of the most beautiful coastal routes in the country and through cities like Port Elizabeth and East London until you reach the hot and sunny city of Durban. Set aside at least 2 to 3 days for this drive. Especially if you want to stop off along the way.
Other top South African driving routes
Another great way of travelling from Cape Town to Durban is via a more inland route. The trip via Bloemfontein is a bit longer but will allow you to really enjoy the rural areas of the country. In addition, you can take a detour and visit the famous diamond mining town of Kimberley or continue north to Johannesburg and the nation's capital, Pretoria. If you fancy a trip to the famous Kruger National Park, then simply keep on driving to Polokwane and then on to Phalaborwa in the Limpopo Province.
The West Coast is also extremely lovely to visit. Make your way from Cape Town to Langebaan and Saldanah Bay which is a famous fishing town. As you continue up the coast, you can visit other friendly towns like Lambert's Bay, Vredendal and Springbok. These are some of the colder parts of South Africa due to the cooling effect of the colder Atlantic Ocean but, in the summer, this is a truly pleasant drive.
Whether you prefer ocean views or mountain ranges, a road trip across South Africa will bring you a bit of everything! Just be sure to plan your route in advance as well as your accommodation and rental car.