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The 3 Best Road Trips in South Africa

21 August 2019 | 0 comments | Posted by Shelley Trupert in Hit the Road

road trips to try in South Africa

South Africa is a fascinating country with a lot to offer the modern traveller. Spread out over that land is a significant amount of diversity makes it a great place to explore by campervan or RV.

There are major metropolitan areas and significant rural stretches.

Mountains, forests, plains, grasslands, and a considerable coastline is here. Here we will look at three of the best road trips in South Africa that will tap into some of that diversity.  

1. The Garden Route – Western Cape from Cape Town to Storms River Mouth

The Garden Route is one of the most famous road trips in South Africa. The route itself runs from Mossel Bay in the west to Storms River Mouth on the edge of the eastern cape.

The most accessible point for this trip will be from Cape Town. There are several big draws which make this trip so attractive to tourists.

First and foremost is the scenery. The lush vegetation well earns the Garden Route moniker you'll experience during the trip.

There is also excellent access to several beaches and parks along the way, including Knysna Forest which is home to a group of forest elephants. It is also a great place to camp along the way.  

The Garden Route is an ideal road trip for those who enjoy the outdoors. There is plenty to do along the way, including hiking, mountain biking, bungee jumping, surfing and more.

Plan on at least a week for this road trip, maybe more if you want to explore the towns along the way as well. For a bonus, pick up R62 between Cape Town and Wilderness or Mossel Bay. This road features outstanding scenery and runs through a vast stretch of South African wine country.  

2.The Panoramic Route

For an unforgettable road trip into the mountains of South Africa, head to the northeastern section of the country. From Johannesburg or Pretoria, travel about 5 hours northeast into the Blyde River Canyon. Here you will be treated to incredible panoramic vistas from the highest paved road in South Africa which overlooks Blyde River Canyon, the third-largest canyon in the world.  

Kruger National Park is also in the area and well worth a visit. The park has several campsites and can be a road trip in and of itself.  

There is plenty to do here, including hiking, waterfall hunting, visiting local historical sites and watching wildlife. Plan on at least a week and up to 4 weeks if you want to get in and explore Kruger National Park.  

3. The Waterberg Biosphere

Located about 3 hours north of Johannesburg, the Waterberg Biosphere is a mountainous area with lush forests, grasslands and lots of wildlife. There are many things to do in the area including hiking, mountain biking, shopping and The Waterberg Living Museum.  

There are also several national parks in the area including Marakele National Park which is the only national park in the area that allows self-driving tours. While touring the park, keep an eye out for the 'big 5'.

These are the most abundant game animals in South Africa and include lion, rhinoceros, leopard, cape buffalo, and elephant.  

While this area is not far from Johannesburg you should still plan on a week minimum for the trip, longer if you want to explore Johannesburg or Pretoria as well.  

Here we have looked at 3 of the top road trips in South Africa. Through these trips, you can find a cross-section of what South Africa has to offer.

Mountains, valleys, beaches, grasslands, cities, wine country, national parks and rural areas are all represented here. Access to these trips is accessible from the major cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg or Pretoria.

Whether you choose one of these trip suggestions or use them as inspiration to create a tour of your own, we hope you'll get out and complete a road trip in South Africa.

It is a truly fantastic place and well worth a visit.

About the author

Shelley Trupert is a content writer for Outdoorsy, an RV marketplace. Shelley enjoys sharing favourite camping spots discovered on her quest to hike all of North America's national parks.

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