Take a road trip, on five of the prettiest drives in South Africa!
You’re ready for your summer road trip. You’ve ticked off your pre-trip checklist. You've stocked up on all the right tools and accessories (including a first aid kit) and you've even taken care of toys and snacks. Just one last thing to take care of: Where are you going?
We’re here to help. We've compiled a list of the most scenic routes in southern Africa – now all you need to do is go and drive them.
The Panorama Route, Mpumalanga
Yes, it’s an obvious choice. But there are plenty of very good reasons why the Panorama Route always makes the “Best Drives” lists. Count them: the spectacular Mac-Mac Falls, the scenic Long Tom Pass, the picturesque Pilgrim’s Rest, the dramatic Blyde River Canyon, the curious Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the eye-popping God’s Window… the list goes on and on. Come in from the N12, and head north to the R37, R532, R533 and so on. Oh, and be sure to bring a camera! We like the Canon Powershot SX620 HS, with its 25X optical zoom for capturing distant details (R3 990, DionWired).
Route 44, Western Cape
Chapman’s Peak may be beautiful, but it’s also twisty, turny and touristy. Head out of Cape Town to the far side of False Bay, and take a drive on the R44 (also known as Clarence Drive) from Gordons Bay to Rooi-Els. It’s about 22km of uninterrupted sea views on a glorious road, with long, sweeping corners and plenty of places to pull over and snap a #selfie.
The Magalies Meander, Gauteng
Sometimes called “The Breakfast Run” because – if you leave early enough – you’ll be out of the city and in the wide open spaces before brekkie, the drive northwest from Joburg/Pretoria and into the Magalies Meander is well worth the pre-dawn departure. The R24 from Krugersdorp to Rustenburg takes in the gorgeous Magaliesberg and Witwatersberg. Both are a sight to behold for tired city slickers.
The Midlands Meander, KwaZulu-Natal
Running roughly from Pietermaritzburg north on the N3 to Mooi River, the Midlands Meander gives you the Drakensberg at its best. There are several Engen service stations dotted along the route – even when you leave the highway and start enjoying the good stuff on the R103. Places like Midmar Day, Nottingham Road, Howick and the Sani Pass are written into South African folklore. Now take a drive and go exploring!
The Garden Route, Western/Eastern Cape
Like the Panorama Route, it’s an obvious choice. But come on, when you have the forests of Knysna, the surf of Vic Bay, the rivers of Wilderness and the mountains of George and Mossel Bay to work with, you can’t really go wrong! This area can get quite busy in season – so that’s when side roads (like the secret route from Wilderness to Knysna via Karatara) make your drive even more enjoyable.
FILL ’ER UP!
Swipe your RCS Card at Engen service stations nationwide, and get the fuel you need for your journey. Need any pre-trip supplies? Remember, your RCS Card gives you access to the RCS shopping network of more than 21 000 top retailers.
* Prices were correct at time of publication, and are subject to change.