Local is lekker: 10 summer road trips to add to your Mzansi holiday bucket list

Summer road trips are a big hit for South Africans. Picture: Deva Darshan/Pexels.

Summer road trips are a big hit for South Africans. Picture: Deva Darshan/Pexels.

Published Nov 10, 2020


If you are thinking of ditching flights and opting to travel by car, you should read on. Road trips are big in South Africa, and no matter where you are, you are bound to find a route worth exploring.

Volker Heiden, Marriott International’s Area Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa says: “We love that people are taking to roads this summer because South Africa has so much to explore when it comes to self-driving holidays."

Marriott International shares the top 10 road trips to plan this summer:

Cape Town - Garden Route

Journey along 300km of the beautiful south-eastern SA coast with frequent overnight stays so that you can explore the many top holiday towns and attractions along the way.

You will experience stunning mountains and forests, lakes, and lagoons, as well as many of SA’s finest beaches. Places to stay include Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Sedgfield, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

Cape Town - West Coast

Explore one of the most evocative areas of SA where the wild, cold Atlantic Ocean washes the shores of the Strandveld. Enjoy excellent wineries and seafood, the West Coast National Park, Langebaan lagoon and charming small towns expressing the uniqueness of West Coast culture. Places to stay include Darling, Yzerfontein, Paternoster and Saldanha Bay.

Cape Town – Winelands-Overberg

An ideal road trip for those who want short daily drives and frequent stops where there are lots to see and do, with plenty of food and wine. Explore the acclaimed Cape Winelands before traversing the mountains to the Overberg destination holiday towns offering boutique wineries, whale watching, fishing, shark-cage diving and much more. Places to stay include Elgin, Hermanus, Stanford, Gansbaai and Cape Agulhas.

Port Elizabeth - Route62-Cape Town

Route 62 takes you on a coast to coast journey of incredible diversity through the craggy mountains and plains of the Karoo and the Cape Winelands. Visit historic farming towns and enjoy the attractions including the stunning Cango Caves and boutique wineries. Places to stay include Jeffrey’s Bay, Uniondale, DeRust, Prince Albert, Calitzdorp, Barrydale, Montagu, Bonnievale, Ceres, Tulbagh, Paarl and Cape Town.

Gauteng - Durban

This traditional SA holiday route is often done in one sprint but there’s so much to discover if you rather stop along the way. The centrepiece of the road trip is the magnificent Drakensberg mountain range which can be accessed first through the town of Harrismith.

Take a diversion to the charming Free State town of Clarens and visit the spectacular Golden Gate National Park. Slow down along the Midlands Meander before heading into Durban. Places to stay include Harrismith, Ladysmith, Escourt, Mooi River, Howick, Hilton and Durban.

Gauteng - Mombela-Kruger

It’s hard to beat summertime in SA’s iconic Kruger National Park, but don’t rush to get in there. Situating yourself just outside the Park gives you easy access, as well as the opportunity to explore many other Mpumalanga attractions such as God’s Window, Blyde River Canyon, Pilgrim’s Rest and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Places to stay include Dullstroom, Mombela, Hazyview and White River.

Gauteng - Polokwane-Kruger

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There’s so much to discover when you travel the Great North Road in a leisurely fashion. Visit the warm baths of Bela Bela, discover the Waterberg game reserves before making your way to Polokwane.

This is a comfortable base to explore picturesque Magoebaskloof and Tzaneen; the Soutpansberg Mountains and Venda. You also have easy access into the central and northern regions of the Kruger National Park. Places to stay include Modimolle, Polokwane, Tzaneen and Louis Trichardt.

Gauteng - Cape Town

Many travellers on the N1 route do break the long haul with a Karoo overnight stay, especially families with children. However, there’s a lot more to take in by turning the journey into a real road trip with more stopovers. You can also explore the alternative route via Kimberley to Beaufort West, and then choose the road to Outdshoorn which then leads you to Cape Town through the Garden Route town of George. Places to stay on the N1 route include Bloemfontein, Colesberg, Richmond and Beaufort West before entering the Cape Winelands or alternatively Kimberley, Beaufort West and Oudtshoorn before traversing the Overberg en route to Cape Town.

Durban - Route 66-Zululand

Journey into the heartland of KwaZulu-Natal, rich in Zulu heritage and culture. Travelling up the North Coast opens up some of the best wildlife and bird-watching adventures at reserves such as Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, St Lucia Wetlands, Mkuzi, Lake Sibaya and Pongola. Places to stay include Richard’s Bay, Ulundi and Nongoma.

Durban - Wild Coast-East London

Due to rural road conditions, this is a more rugged road trip to be taken at an easy pace. The rewards for the wild-at-heart is some of the most spectacular unspoilt scenery and beautiful off-the-beaten-track spots, as well as unforgettable adventure activities. Places to stay include Port Edward, Port St Johns, Coffee Bay, Mazeppa Bay, Cintsa and East London.

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