Best Road Trips in South Africa

As South Africans, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to breath-taking landscapes, pristine coastlines, small towns, and wide-open spaces that are just waiting to be explored.

It’s easy to climb into your bakkie and go off the beaten path in the semi-desert of the Karoo or to find yourself overlooking the ocean. With your bakkie, your Beekman Super Canopy, and a lust for adventure, we’ve got the 5 best road trips in South Africa for you!

The Garden Route
The Garden Route is definitely one of the best-known road trip destinations in South Africa. It shows off beauty no matter where you look on the 200km stretch of the N2, between Mossel Bay and the Storms River Mouth.

It’s also well-known for the varied vegetation and easy access to serene beaches, mountain forests, lagoons, and lakes; while offering outdoor activities for everyone. The Knysna Forest is a popular spot for camping, hiking, mountain biking, and home to the forest elephants!

If you’re looking for even more adventure along the Garden Route, head up to Plettenberg Bay to catch some waves or leap off the Bloukrans Bridge.

The Waterberg Meander, Limpopo
It might just be a few hours from the hub of Johannesburg, but the Waterberg Region remains one of the most underrated travel areas. Known to locals as Africa’s Eden and tucked away in Limpopo, you’ll find soaring mountain peaks, sandstone rock formations, savannah plains, forests, and river valleys.

The 350km self-drive route takes you through the heart of the Waterberg Biosphere and showcases many of the areas highlights like the Marakele National Park. You’ll also notice several community projects along the way.

The Wild Coast, Eastern Cape
This aptly named Wild Coast runs from East London to the border on Kwa-Zulu Natal and 350km to the northeast.

When you drive along the region, you’ll take in rolling hills, jagged coastlines, or veer off onto gravel roads that cut inland. Little has changed over the past hundred years and the hillsides remain dotted with rondavels and farming plots.

The Wild Coast showcases the most idyllic beaches and at backpacking paradises like Coffee Bay or Port St Johns, you’ll find more cows lazing on the sand than people!

Route 62, Western Cape
Route 62 is named after the road that cuts across the vineyards and through mountains passes into the heart of the Little Karoo. Route 62 is less popular than its coastal counterpart, the Garden Route, but has a following for its untouched beauty and lack of traffic.

Make a stop at Montagu for its architecture and hot springs, while Barrydale boasts roadside cafes like Diesel & Crème, known for its milkshakes and nostalgic American memorabilia. The raw landscapes and star-studded night skies are to be found in the Karoo National Park, while the Breede River Valley is a favourite for riverside camping and kayaking.

The Panorama Route, Mpumalanga
Found along the jaw-dropping Blyde River Canyon and the mining town of Graskop, the Panorama Route is worth the detour from the Kruger National Park. The route takes you along the highest tar road in South Africa and offers views of the mountains, canyons, and valleys. You’ll see eagles soaring overhead and the sound of waterfalls puncture the stillness.

You can fish for yellowtail or carp in the Ohrigstad Dam Nature River, or take a walk through the mist-covered indigenous forest above the Bylde River Canyon.

Whichever road trip you choose, your Beekman Super Canopy is the perfect adventure companion!