21 of the best road trips in South Africa
Everyone loves a good road trip – and with a country as beautiful as South Africa, it’s easy to see why. So here we’ve collected some of our favourite road trip stories from Getaway’s years of travelling, and now it’s your turn. From barrelling across the North West province in search of the perfect beer to a pet-friendly wander down the Garden Route, what’s next on your list?
Ed’s note: some of these stories were published a year or two ago, so make sure to check the details before you hit the road!
1. The Waterberg
Just three hours from Johannesburg is a place that will make any wildlife enthusiast rejoice. Melanie van Zyl returns to her childhood stomping ground.
2. The Panorama Route
If the name hasn’t got you packing a suitcase already, then the rest of Ishay Govender-Ypma‘s story will. The sights were comparable to paradise and the imminent lowveld clouds added to the sought-after feelings of peace and isolation.
3. Joburg to North West (Beer Route)
Chris Davies was determined to find a local beer that any Belgian would approve of. His trip took him through Gauteng where he tested nine microbreweries. You can bet he found a winner.
Winter is the perfect reason to stay indoors: unless you’re Getaway’s Melanie van Zyl. She decided to break the ice and make snow the subject of her roadtrip to Clarens.
5. The ultimate Kruger roadtrip
If you’ve been dreaming of a lengthy stay at Africa’s largest game reserve, you’ll want to read about how Madeleine van Heerden pulled off 18 days at eight Kruger campsites, from north to south. There are some really useful tips and recommendations for an unforgettable visit.
6. Or a week-long Kruger trip
Kruger experts, Villiers Steyn and Tabby Mittins, devoted seven days of travelling from the south to the north of the national park on an atypical path. Moving in the opposite direction proved to be rewarding.
After reading this you’ll want to do more than just pass by. Paul Maughan-Brown befriended a few of the locals to find out if there was more to the often overlooked town of Howick.
8. Midlands Meander
It seems there is a story at every turn along the Midlands Meander. Getaway photographer, Teagan Cunniffe discovered this when she spoke with a few of the locals who guided her around the place they know best.
9. Karoo to Durban in a campervan
It sounds like the plot to a family comedy but for the Rogers clan, it turned out to be a convenient way to travel. There was plenty of room to explore as they made their way from the Western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal in their hired camper van. What better way to travel than with a house on wheels?
10. The Karoo
Helen Walne offers insightful advice on how to travel with your pet from Cape Town to Cradock. With plenty of highs came hilarious lows thanks to her dog, Lily. Find out how they took on the Karoo.
11. The Garden Route
Megan King and her dog set out to find pet-friendly and affordable accommodation on a meander down the Garden Route and through the Eastern Cape. Their finds were well worth the trip, not to mention the picturesque surrounds of the Garden Route.
12. Karoo and the Garden Route on a motorcycle
Tyson Jopson discovers what it is about the Karoo that sees him returning time and again. This time it’s on a classic motorcycle with two of his favourite people revving beside him. He found out why the magic of the Karoo never wears off.
13. The ‘other’ Route 62
Getaway’s Associate Editor, Caroline Webb resisted the urge to head to the coast from Port Elizabeth and meandered along the path overshadowed by its more famous counterpart, Route 62. These backroads took her through the Langkloof where she found many rural delights.
14. Lesser-known wine routes near Cape Town
15. Surf the West Coast
Justin Fox relives his days as a student and hits the waves of the West Coast – Blouberg, Melkbos and Langebaan to name a few spots. His road trip also goes beyond the surf and into the other exciting stops that you must take along the R27.
16. Overberg motorbike route
Tyson Jopson and Chris Davies tackled the gravel roads of the Overberg, trying to get as far from the highway as possible. Their goal to find the best route was challenging and unpredictable but they wouldn’t have had it any other way.
17. SANParks off the N2
What’s the best way to experience wildlife? A SANParks-themed road trip of course! Chris, Tyson and Scott Ramsay spent a week off the N2 from PE to Cape Town and stopped at our best national parks along the way.
Outside of South Africa
An opportunity to travel off-the-beaten track is irresistible but Chris Davies chose to stick to what he knew best when it came to the Fish River Canyon. It’s a road he’s very familiar with, but his sense of wonder was renewed as he took in the Namibian landscapes. He started his action-packed adventure from another southern African delight, the Orange River.
19. The best of Botswana in ten days
A 10-day self-drive through Botswana is just as adventurous as it sounds. Pore over Melanie van Zyl’s itinerary to see how she pulled it off and why she can’t wait to do it again.
20.A baobab roadtrip
All that you need to know about a road trip to Nxai Pan National Park if you want to get out there to see the iconic baobabs.