South Africa offers many options for road trips. One of them is the Panorama Route. Picture: Mpumalanga Tourism
South Africa offers many options for road trips. One of them is the Panorama Route. Picture: Mpumalanga Tourism

6 scenic SA drives you should try

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Aug 20, 2019

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Fancy a road trip somewhere in South Africa? Here are some places you have to tick off your bucket list: 

KZN Midlands

Picture: Clinton Moodley.

Just an-hour-and-a-half from Durban lie the KZN Midlands, a popular attraction for travellers yearning to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Have your camera on hand as the views are stunning.

From the large stretches of farmland, quaint shops and eateries to a range of small towns, the Durban to Midlands route offers explorers a bit of everything. 

You will be spoilt for choices by the array of options for visitors, from art shops, eateries and leisure activities. Popular pitstops include Piggly Wiggly, the Nelson Mandela Capture Site and Nottingham Road. 


Picture: Clinton Moodley.

The Drakensberg, which translates to the mountain of the dragons, is a world heritage site. Located in KwaZulu-Natal, the Drakensberg is famed for its natural beauty and award-winning accommodation. Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Durban and a three-and-a-half-hour journey from Johannesburg, Drakensberg is a road trip everyone should experience once in their lifetime. 

Here you will get to soak in views of the mountain, rural towns, and if you are lucky many cattle on the streets. Popular pitstops include All Out Adventures, Cathedral Peak Wine Estate and a tour to the village called eMazizini.

Chapman's Peak

Picture: Katrin Lackner/Instagram.

Known as one of the world's most scenic drives, Chapman's Peak in Cape Town weaves its way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast on the southwestern tip of South Africa. The route also forms a getaway between Cape Town and the Southern Peninsula. 

“Chappies” as it's known was constructed during the World War II and is a must-see for any travel enthusiast.

Try the famous Chapman’s Peak walk (there’s a designated area to park your car) or drive north to Simon’s Town and Cape Point. 

Route 62 

Picture: Route 62 website.

Route 62 is famed for its towering cliffs, vineyards, valleys and its proximity to places like Barrydale, De Rus and Montagu. According to its website, it meanders between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn and Langkloof and Port Elizabeth. There’s plenty to do for all travellers - whether it’s spotting animals at a game reserve, cultural and historical tours or indulging in something adventurous like hiking, mountain climbing or canoeing. The route is also famous for its wine valleys including the famous Robertson Wine Valley and the Klein Karoo Wine Route.

Garden Route 

Picture: Gustav Schlechter.

Known as one of the world’s most remarkable coastal stretches, The Garden Route is the area between Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth. While you are on the Garden Route, try Bloukrans Bungy, which is the world’s highest bungy bridge, situated at Bloukrans River Bridge. This once-in-a-lifetime adrenaline high is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Eastern Cape. Other pitstops should include Redberry Farm home to the largest permanent Hedge Maze in the Southern Hemisphere called Hedge Maze, and the ziplining at Tsitsikamma forest. 

Panorama Route

Picture: Mpumalanga Tourism.

The Panorama Route is a stretch of road in Mpumalanga that starts at the foot of the Long Tom Pass just outside Lydenburg and ends at the border of the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. A six-hour drive from Johannesburg, this road trip will take you to some of the most incredible sites across SA. Make sure you capture the largest man-made forest of pine and eucalyptus plantations that stretch along the route. 

Attractions on this route include Lisbon Falls, Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke's Luck Potholes. Travellers should spend two or more nights on the route. 

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