A purring engine. Miles of open road ahead. Sunshine above, scenic beauty all around. It’s the stuff that dreams and bucket list items are made of.
Whether it’s on the iconic US Route 66, the Great Ocean Road in Australia, or the Karakoram Highway that runs from China to Pakistan, the long-distance drive has always been the adventurer’s weakness.
Roads in Africa are generally not known for the self-drive holidaying experience, but major roads in South Africa are well-tarred, well-maintained and signposted well enough to allow you to discover the diverse offerings of the country’s natural and historic attractions with little effort and minimum fuss.
South Africa’s three main highways chart courses between the country’s four major cities – all of which have airports that the Woodford Group operates and where you can hire a car from – and provide routes that stretch across a variety of panoramic landscapes and climates.
The National Route 1
The N1 from Cape Town that passes through Johannesburg on its way towards the Beit Bridge on the border with Zimbabwe, takes you through five of South Africa’s nine provinces, spanning some 2,000 kilometres (roughly 1,200 miles).
In the Western Cape, the route passes under and around the Du Toitskloof Mountains, through the lush Hex River Valley before entering the desert area of the Karoo. Crossing over the Orange River, the N1 runs along the first single carriageway built in South Africa, with the national road moving through Bloemfontein and then over the Vaal River into Gauteng towards the city of gold, Johannesburg and the country’s capital, Pretoria.
The National Route 2
For a more staggered long distance trip, the N2 provides a link between Cape Town and Durban with the friendly city, Port Elizabeth. The N2 road takes you on the famed Garden Route, and begins by rolling in between perfectly picturesque wine estates in the Western Cape, along the coastal paradise towns of Wilderness, Knysna and Plettenberg, and into the evergreen Tsitsikama region. The Bloukrans Bridge on the border between the Western and Eastern Cape is the site of the world’s highest bridge bungy – for those thrill-seekers that want a bit more excitement than the breathtaking scenery of the Tsitsikama National Park.
After Port Elizabeth, the route passes through significantly historical towns, including the settler city of Grahamstown, and through the rich, natural beauty of the Amathole region towards Mthatha. KwaZulu-Natal features the sites of many of the clashes during the Anglo-Zulu wars. If history doesn’t interest you that much, the province’s south coast has some of the continent’s best beaches, from South Africa’s Wild Coast to Port Shepstone through to Durban – where Woodford’s head office is located – and up to Richard’s Bay, one of the largest ports in the country. The route ends in the province of Mpumalanga, but not before running into the heart of Zululand – the home of the Zulu monarch.
See it all with Woodford
With Woodford Car Hire, it couldn’t be easier to explore South Africa’s natural treasures on an extended, relaxing drive. Simply fly into one of the airports in any of South Africa’s major airports, and enjoy the driving experience by pre-booking the long distance promotion the car rental agency is offering. The promotion features three classes of vehicles to choose from with a massive 200 kilometres free, and a lower cost per additional kilometres travelled. For more information, click here. (A link should be added in to the promo page).
The heart and soul of the self-drive experience for the wandering explorer in South Africa doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag, especially with Woodford Car Hire.