Travel the scenic route Durban to Cape Town via country roads or coastal routes. If you’re keen to see a bit of both, choose a third option which offers you bucolic landscapes and sea views.
The Coastal Route
Durban-Cape Town via the Transkei and the Garden Route (The N2)
Swaying green hills of sugarcane and remarkable sea views will be the world through your window as you travel the N2 on the scenic route Durban to Cape Town. The Hibiscus Coast is a wonderful place to explore. Take a stroll to Uvongo Beach and let the kids play in the lagoon while the teenagers swim in the sea. Back on the N2 you’ll head inland through the Transkei. Keep an eye out for livestock “hanging out” on the road!
While you’re in East London, be adventurous and try sandboarding on Bonza Beach. Enchanting Grahamstown is home to the beautiful Rhodes University campus and has distinct historical character. From there you’ll move on to Port Elizabeth; a fantastic holiday destination which is also the beginning of the renowned Garden Route, a marvellous drive from PE to Heidelberg. The Tsitsikamma National Park is a highlight of the journey. Various places along the Garden Route offer hiking, birding, trail-riding, swimming and watersports in profusion. If possible, take a detour to stunning Gordon’s Bay on your way into Cape Town. The vistas will take your breath away.
The Country road (through the interior)
Durban-Cape Town via Bloemfontein and the Karoo
Head up the N3 through the “Highway” (a corridor of suburbs) and out into the country. If you want an even more pastoral experience, take the R103 from Hillcrest and journey Botha’s Hill and the Valley of a Thousand Hills. There are plenty of wonderful places to eat and rest. Visit PheZulu for a 4x4 game drive or a traditional Zulu culture tour. When you reach the gorgeous Natal Midlands, take some time (overnighting at a farm or lodge is even better) to do the delightful Midlands Meander. If you’re a watersports enthusiast, you might like to spend a day at Midmar Dam (Howick); Spioenkop Dam (Ladysmith); or Sterkfontein Dam (Harrismith) sailing, paddling, or boating.
The N1 from Bloemfontein through Beaufort West will lead you through the endless skies of the Karoo with its unique, arid beauty. Rest and relax in a place where time seems to stand still. A traditional Karoo farm is a good place to stay over. Be prepared for hearty Afrikaans hospitality-you’re going to eat well!
The glorious mountains, orchards and vineyards of the Cape Winelands will lure you out of the Karoo and into the Boland. Relish driving through the picturesque Hex River Valley. Enjoy touring the various kelders (cellars), cruising down the Breede River, and horseriding through the vineyards. When you’ve had your fill of scenic wine route drives, get back on the N1 and head for Cape Town.
Country road and coastal route
Durban-Cape Town via Bloemfontein and the Garden Route
Travelling the scenic route Durban to Cape Town can offer you both country road and coastal route. Drive up from Durban through the Battlefields to Bloemfontein, down to East London and then to Port Elizabeth to get onto the Garden Route. The Bloemfontein-East London (N6) part of this drive will give you a diverse display of the Free State Highlands, the Karoo plains and the coastal dunes of PE. Stop along the way to discover historical sites, walking trails, Bushman paintings and to spot some wildlife.