So you have booked your car or camper from a respected South African car hire company or camper-hire operator and are extremely excited for your self-drive tour of South Africa. You are ready to travel wherever the north wind takes you and nourish the deep wanderlust of your nomadic soul.
But with so much to see and do in South Africa, holiday routes and itineraries can be a pain especially if you are looking to really experience the country ‘voetstoets’ (as is). Where should you go, what can you expect and what should you do?
Don’t fret, we at Drive South Africa have outlined three of our best-kept tours of South Africa for you to travel and explore.
The Kwa-Zulu Natal Meander
[photo By Warren Tyrer]
Suggested Route: Durban-Richards Bay- Sodwana Bay- Umfolozi-Hluhluwe Game Reserve-Empangeni-Kosi Bay-Eshowe-Pietermaritzburg
Start by sampling the hot and spicy culture weather and curries of Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal’s tourism and travel Mecca. Be sure to steer clear of the spicier curries and sauces if you don’t want to be left hot under the collar.
After a few well-spent days exploring the unique ecosystems and natural reserves drive into the magnificent hills of Zululand and travel to the small town of eShowe, seek out the King George Hotel and savor the delightful taste of the locally brewed Zulu Blonde beer whilst watching one of the most spectacular sunsets you will ever see.
Finally, head to the vibrant capital city of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg and learn about the incredibly rich cultural and historical diversity in which the town is deeply steeped.
A list of all accommodation types for your Kwa-Zulu Natal holiday, including camping and caravanning sites is available at KZN Live. For more info, contact details or things to do visit the Kwa-Zulu Natal Tourism Page.
The Heritage Trail of the Klein Karoo
[Photo By Christian Botha]
Suggested Route: Port Elizabeth-Steytlerville-Graaff-Reinet-Nieu-Bethesda-Aliwal North, Maclear-Queenstown-Grahamstown
The city of Port Elizabeth is the beginning of the journey and host to a rich colonial and anti-apartheid history. The interactive exhibits of the Red Location Museum are a wonderful way to learn about the role of the local Port Elizabeth heritage in South African history.
Half-an-hour from Graaf-Reinet, Nieu-Bethesda is only accessible via a drive through the spectacular cliff views of the Valley of Desolation. The enchanting town still has no tarred roads or cell phone signal and is a village frozen in time and is home to the Owl House.
Finally, the heart of the beautiful Frontier Country lies the crown jewel of the Settler Heritage, Grahamstown- the City of Saints. The lively student town is home to 56 churches, the 19th Century panoptical Provost Prison Museum as well as some of the oldest natural history collections in the world.
Galavanting through the Great Karoo
Photo by Cristian Cruz
Suggested Route: Prince Albert-Matjiesfontein-Oudtshoorn-Ladismith-3 Sisters-Die Hel-Laingsburg
At the foot of the dramatic Swartberg Mountains lies the delightful rustic town and the beginning of the Karoo holiday route, Prince Albert. The enchanting Karoo village is the perfect base from which to explore the spectacular scenic views of the Thomas Bains Swartberg Mountain Pass.
About an hour from Prince Albert lies Oudtshoorn, Karoo tourism’s veritable soul of splendor and hospitality. There is plenty on offer from the scrumptious local cuisine, to the natural wonder of the Cango Caves and festivities of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival it won’t be hard to find what you are looking for.
Finally, you will arrive in the geological wonderland of the Karoo, Laingsburg. Strewn with spectacular fossilized evidence of the continental drift the town is the ideal base from which to explore the majestic mountain passes and beauty of surrounding nature reserves.
For more information on towns to visit and things to do visit the Cape Karoo Tourism Page.
There is so much to explore; experience and enjoy on a South African holiday that there aren’t enough words to scratch the surface of all the tours in South Africa. The best way to really discover the country is simply to get in your car pick a route and drive whilst stopping off in and absorbing the quirky little towns and magnificent expanses that envelop you.
Tell us about your favorite hidden treasure in South Africa, or even send us links to your photos and videos. If you are planning a trip visit our useful distance chart to help plan your route