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Amazing Africa: 5 routes for traveling on wheels

Dal Kikin
November 7, 2018

Photo: iStock/jacoblund

South Africa is considered a country ideal for traveling by car or motorbike. A developed road network connects big cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg with small farmer villages, and the rocky ocean coast with mountains, forests and deserts of the continent. South Africa is like a colorful canvas sewn with strong threads of highways and highways. We talk about the five favorite tourist destinations.

1. Garden Ruth

This route along the Indian Ocean from the city of Mosselbai to the mouth of the Storms River is one of the most popular with travelers. It accommodates the beauty of South African nature with its wide sandy beaches, dense forests and blue lakes, and modern attractions and entertainment. African exoticism begins at the beginning of the journey: Mosselbai is famous for the flocks of whales sailing to its shores, and the name of the city literally translates as “Mussel Bay”. It is believed that they are really tasty here.

For another sea delicacy - oysters - travelers go to the city of Knysna: it is located in the middle of the “road of gardens”. In addition to the festival of oysters, the city is famous for bohemian parties and an elephant park, which you should definitely go to. After that, you can soak up the golden sands of the resort of Plettenberg Bay, and from there “jerk” to the end point of the path - Tsitsikamma National Park. Wildlife here is adjacent to a developed tourist infrastructure: auto camping, restaurants and the center of extreme sports. So lovers to jump with a bungee - here.

2. Route 62 - Western Cape

Photo: iStock/Thomas_Moore

In contrast to the “Road of Gardens”, the next route does not go along the ocean coast, but among the mountain peaks and arid semi-deserts of the country. It connects Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and mainly runs along the R62, because of which it got its name. Along the way, tourists discover landscapes of low vineyards and mountain passes, and at night you can see the bright starry sky of the southern hemisphere.

“Civilized” recreation is also possible - for example, if you visit the city of Montagu, famous for its colonial architecture and thermal springs, or the village of Barridale, famous for roadside cafes, delicious milkshakes and monuments. It is also worth a little deviate from the road and visit the Karu National Park, which attracts travelers with its semi-desert landscapes and impressive views of the endless starry sky, as well as see the picturesque valley of the Bride River. One of the largest in South Africa, it is especially loved by rafting tourists: there are no crocodiles in Breed, which makes the river safest for rafting.

3. “Panoramic route” (Mpumalanga)

Photo: iStock/Daniele Codegoni

Mpumalanga province. The name itself can be translated from the Zulu language as “a place where the sun rises”: tourists who choose this route are awaited by breathtaking landscapes of mountains and valleys. One of the main attractions is the canyon by the Blyde River, which is not just called the pearl of the natural collection of the entire African region. This is one of the largest and greenest canyons in the world, surprising travelers with an unusual combination of red sandstone and subtropical vegetation. The gorge is impressive in its size: it stretches for about 26 kilometers, in some places reaches 1,400 meters in depth, and its mountain peaks in some places rise above sea level by almost 2 kilometers.

Photo: iStock/Utopia_88

Choosing the "Panoramic Route", do not forget to visit the oldest national park in South Africa, Kruger, as well as Pilgrims Rest, where you can immerse yourself in the history of the place and even try yourself as a gold miner.

4. Waterberg Mountain Range (Limpopo)

Photo: iStock/SL_Photography

Locals call this region a paradise: it includes breathtaking mountain peaks, unusual sandy cliffs, dense coastal forests, sunny plains of savannah and picturesque forest valleys. The entire journey is approximately 350 kilometers and passes through the heart of the Waterberch biosphere reserve.

On their way, travelers will visit the colorful Nature Reserve Velgevonden, where you can see more than 350 species of birds and the so-called “big African five” - a lion, a rhinoceros, a buffalo, an elephant and a leopard. Another point of the route is the Marakele National Park. This place is famous for a large colony of Cape vultures, as well as many other representatives of the African fauna, including rare ones.

5. Wild Coast (Eastern Cape)

Virgin nature, pleasant climate, warm sea, picturesque beaches - this is how you can briefly describe this favorite route of tourists. It passes close to the coastal city of East London, located on the southern part of the Eastern Cape, to the border of KwaZulu-Natal. You are waiting for the hilly slopes, jagged coastline, as well as landscapes of untouched and secluded places.

If you slightly deviate from the highway N2 in the direction of gravel roads, then you seem to be transported back in time a hundred years ago: the slopes are dotted with round huts with thatched roofs and pasture farms. The wild coast acquired notorious fame because of the wrecks of the ships of the Portuguese sailors, who on the way to India skirted the coast of South Africa crowned with giant sand dunes. The place is also known for Australian whales, often sailing close to the shore - travelers can observe their parking between May and November.