The Top 5 Drives In South Africa

We are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Every province offers a totally unique experience with incredible scenery. From the shores of the Western Cape, all the way into the heartland of Mpumalanga. Breathtaking scenery can be found around every corner.

We thought we would take a look at some of the best drives in the country. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, or just a day drive an hour or so from you, here are our top picks of drives to do in SA!

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1. Chapmans Peak

This is an obvious number one for drives in South Africa.

It offers everything you would look for in a drive. From sheer cliff faces, winding roads, and ocean for as far as the eye can see, it has everything. We recommend starting the drive in Hout Bay, at either sunrise or sunset. You will need to pay a toll half way into the drive, which goes to the maintenance of the road.

As you wind your way around the cliffs, you are hit with the magnificence of the Western Cape and, by the time you come face-to-face with the stretch of Noordhoek beach, you will just want to do it again. You can continue the drive through Noordhoek, stopping for lunch in the village if you please, and carry on through the mountains. Ou Kaapse Weg will open up onto spectacular views of Cape Town and you will find yourself being able to circle back into Cape Town. It is a must-do!

2. The Garden Route

Driving from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape is one of the most spectacular drives, if you are wanting a short weekend away. Not only do the smaller towns like Knysna, Sedgefield, and Plett offer the most relaxed spots to kick back, they are absolutely picturesque. Lush, green forests, road-side rock pools, and coastal roads will lead you through your journey down the N2.

There are plenty of places to stop and take photos. But, keep in mind that there are a lot of hidden traffic cameras. One downhill, in particular, is a tricky one. It’s as you come into Wilderness. You are so captivated by the forest sprouting out onto the road that you can easily miss it.

3. The Midlands Meander

Kwa Zulu Natal is not only known for its golden brown beaches, sticky humidity, and sugar-caned rolling hills. It is also home to some of the giants in mountain beauty. The Midlands, Clarence, and Berg regions prove to be a getaway that you will want to take a few days to do.

The Meander offers everything you want from a country drive. Rolling green hills, tiny farm stalls, and cottages. Spectacular rises of mountains and, if you get there at the right time, almost unending mist. While you are in the area, make sure to take a drive, and possibly a hike in the Drakensburg. The sheer magnitude of the mountains and views from the top will make you feel absolutely tiny in this huge, beautiful world.

4. Panorama Drive

If forests, waterfalls, and unending views is what you are looking for, you cannot miss out on this. It is not called God’s Window for nothing. Not only will you feel absolutely dwarfed by the expanse of unending beauty in front of you, but you will also be faced with some of nature’s most incredible wonders.

This is a drive to do over a few days, stopping in at some of the inns and cottages along the way. Make sure to stop for as many waterfalls and hikes as you can. They are all different and delicately beautiful in their own way. Among the idyllic walks and things to do are the waterfalls, which include Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls, and Mac Mac Falls. Take in the views at Wonder View, the Pinnacle, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels, and God’s Window. Take a camera. You won’t regret it!

5. Clarence Drive

If Chapmans Peak is still roaring through your blood, this is the next best drive to do. Take the N2 out of town, and, instead of climbing Sir Lowy’s pass, follow the R44 through Gordons Bay and out toward Bettys Bay. The drive weaves around the coastal road with reminiscences of Chapmans Peak around the corners. Before you hit Betty’s Bay, you will drive through an almost barren landscape of hills and open mounds. Keep going into Hermanus!

The Hemel en Aarde drive will take you in between rises of mountains around you, packed with vineyards. The coastal road through Hermanus, however, will lead you onto the rocks where you could possibly come face-to-face with the resident whales. Whale season is from June to October, so don’t be disappointed if you arrive during the “off season”.

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