Why road trips in South Africa will make you happier

There’s one very good reason to love road trips in South Africa: they’re essential to your happiness. If you’re visiting South Africa for the first time and are arriving in Johhanesburg hiring a car will be your best way of getting started.

We’ve long known that there’s no better balm for the soul than a few days on the road exploring this diverse and beautiful country. But you don’t have to take our word for it; adventure travel consultants G Adventures surveyed their global network and used the results to compile an enlightening infographic detailing the connection between happiness and travel. The numbers don’t lie: satisfying your wanderlust is paramount to keeping the blues at bay.

A whopping 83% of people surveyed rate travel as ‘very important’ to their overall happiness.

Only 1% of people would rather stay home than travel, while 16% say that travel is quite important to them. In fact, a startling 71% of people think travel is more vital to their happiness than having a baby or getting married.

68% of people value having new experiences above all else when they travel.

Road trips in South Africa allow for myriad new experiences and adventures. Muster up the courage to cage dive with Great White Sharks, channel your inner John Wayne while riding a horse down a white sand beach, dig into a plate of pap en sous (thick maize meal porridge served with tomato relish) or barter with vendors in a traditional African market. It’s all in a day’s work when you’re road tripping in South Africa.

15% of travellers say that experiencing a new culture is the aspect of travel that puts the biggest smile on their faces.

Big South African cities like Cape Town have buzzing arts and culture scenes for visitors to enjoy, but that’s really just the tip of the cultural iceberg. You’ll be exposed to a diverse array of cultural experiences in the smaller villages and townships typically encountered on road trips in South Africa. A journey through this multi-cultural society will throw you head first into a melting pot of different cultures, traditions and ways of life. Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, Indian, Cape Malay, English – South Africa isn’t called the rainbow nation for nothing.

Africa is the second most popular dream travel destination.

When participants were asked, ‘If you had a chance to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?’ Africa came in tie with Antarctica for second place. While a trip to the icy South would certainly make for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, road trips in South Africa are a much more affordable and accessible option.

Almost half of the people surveyed said that their favourite way to travel is to keep moving.

There’s no better way to stay on the move while travelling than by going on a road trip. Nothing quite stimulates the senses like being on the move in an unfamiliar area. Every day on the road brings new places, new scenery, new people and new experiences. We think that this constant flow of discovery is essentially what’s at the heart of our love for travel. With South Africa’s remarkably varied landscapes, people and traditions, no two days on the road are the same.

43% of people are happiest when they’re getting some sunshine on their travels.

Even during the winter months, road trips in South Africa are likely to bless you with more than your fair share of sunny days. In fact, in many parts of the country, winter is the best time to travel as it is cool, sunny and dry – great for outdoor activities like hiking and game viewing. If you really love the warmth, however, a long, hot, South African summer most certainly won’t disappoint.

Happiness and Wanderlust infographic

The G Adventures Happiness Survey


Courtesy of: The Looptail, the G Adventures online publication