Embarking on a South African road trip is always fun, but it’s even better if the views are as phenomenal and memorable as these coastal roads described below.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route (also known as the N2) is a popular route to travel as many consider it one of the most beautiful and scenic coastal roads to drive in South Africa. The amazing scenery begins just outside of George and continues all the way to Tsitsikamma and even beyond. From this road, travellers are able to admire the variety of natural scenic attractions that are synonymous with the Garden Route. With splendid scenic views over still glistening lakes and the cobalt blue Atlantic Ocean on one side of the road, and lush forested mountains on the other, you needn’t even stop your car to appreciate the breath-taking beauty of coastal towns, including George, Wilderness, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Keurbooms River, Nature’s Valley and Tsitsikamma.
Hop in your car and treat yourself and your family to a leisurely scenic drive along the coast to the most southern tip of the Cape Peninsula, Cape Point. A drive along this route will not only provide you with pretty photographs for you to share on social media, it’s also a pivotal part of the Cape’s heritage and history. Bartolomeu Dias, one of the first explorers to South Africa’s shores, aptly named Cape Point, the ‘Cape of Storms’ as sailing close to the craggy coastlines was treacherous, especially during the region’s notorious stormy weather. Park at the allocated bays and stroll along a narrow path to the furthest point, which is marked by a historic lighthouse.
Attractive suburbs to explore and visit en route include Simons Town and Fish Hoek.
Chapmans Peak, which dates back to 1910, is the most driven and distinguished coastal route in the Cape Peninsula. The seascape is so spectacular that this pass is one of the top five things visitors to Cape Town simply must do. Capetonians affectionately refer to it as “Chappies.” When driving along its snaking road, it’s best to take your time and to stop at lookout points along the way, so you can admire the seemingly endless blue panorama. If you’re visiting Cape Town during October or November, you may be fortunate enough to see a Southern Right whale or two breaching in the ocean. Be sure to carry your wallet with you though, as a toll fee of R40 is charged.
Suburbs to stop over at are Hout Bay and Noordhoek.
Clarence Drive is surely one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the Western Cape. It winds its way between the mountains and the ocean all the way from Gordon’s Bay to Rooi-Els. As you drive along this road, you’ll be rewarded by impressive vistas that stretch far out to where the ocean becomes one with the horizon over False Bay. If you’re driving Clarence Drive in the late afternoon, pull off at a designated parking on the edge of the road to admire the striking sunset. Clarence Drive is one of the more popular routes for whale watching and, as a result, it can become rather busy, especially during peak holiday season. It’s also an alternative route for when travelling to popular coastal holiday towns, such as Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond and Hermanus, the whale capital of South Africa. Not to be missed!