Road Trips Reimagined: Map Your Route

The open road is calling your name.  This month, we’re taking you on a scenic road trip through SA’s most beautiful places. From the lush Garden Route and meandering midlands to the tranquil wilderness of Mpumalanga and more, there’s an unforgettable experience around every corner.

The Wild Coast – Eastern Cape

Leave the city behind and head to the untamed beauty of the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast. Drive past dramatic seaside cliffs, serene bays and crashing ocean waves. Then stop off at one of the many quaint seaside towns for a tasty lunch of freshly caught fish. Take a break from behind the wheel and hike through lush ancient forests, explore the surrounds on horseback, go on a fishing expedition or dive for treasures among the ghostly shipwrecks at the bottom of the ocean. This one’s for the real adventurers.

Protea Hotels Nearby: Protea Hotel by Marriott Marine

The Sandstone Route – Free State

Take a leisurely drive along the foothills of Lesotho’s beautiful Maloti Mountains. Famed for its dramatic rock formations and rugged scenery, the Sandstone Route will take you on a journey of ancient history, rambling streams and vibrant culture. Go cherry picking in the quaint towns of Ficksburg and Fouriesburg, then make your way to artsy Clarens where cosy restaurants, colourful crafts and a lively brewery await. Last but most certainly not least, take a drive to the Golden Gate National Park where the iconic Sentinel Rock dominates the skyline, turning fiery shades of red as the sun sets on the horizon. Better get going!

Dark & Misty // Road to Golden Gate #MeetSouthAfrica #TheGiantFlag

A photo posted by Roy Potterill | South Africa (@roywrench) on

Protea Hotels Nearby: Protea Hotel by Marriott Clarens

Mpumalanga Escarpment & Lowveld – Mpumalanga

When it comes to amazing scenery, incredible wildlife and fascinating culture, Mpumalanga has plenty to offer. It goes without saying that Kruger National Park should be right at the top of your must-see list. But for those in search of something a little more hair raising, take the plunge with some shriek-worthy rafting on the fast-flowing rapids of the Sabie, Blyde and Olifants Rivers. Then take it easy with a gentle meander through the many spectacular nature trails teeming with colourful birdlife. With so much to see and do, you might even spend more time outside your car than in it.

 The Valley of the Olifants Route – Limpopo

Every wondered what a 1000-year-old Baobab tree looks like? Hop in your car and head to Sunland Farm to find out. There’s even a fully stocked bar inside the tree trunk for thirsty travellers. And that’s just the beginning. The Olifants Route in Limpopo has plenty of impressive sites and natural beauty to keep you going. Wind your way through the dramatic passes of the Northern Drakensburg. Keep an eye out for roaming elephants. Meet the mythical Rain Queen, and get in touch with nature at the lush Modjadjiskloof Cycad Forest. From jaw-dropping scenery and elephant encounters to fascinating culture, this is one road trip you don’t want to miss.

The Garden Route – Western Cape

Pack your swimsuit, hiking boots, binoculars, wet suit, snorkelling gear and pretty much everything else. You’re going to need it all. The Garden Route stretches all the way from the Southern Cape to the Eastern Cape border, with tons of towns, beaches, lagoons, forests, nature reserves and more along the way. Love art? Visit one of the many artists’ communities on the route. Beach bunny? Head to the coastline for some swimming, surfing and diving. Hikers will have plenty of peaks to conquer, while bird lovers, whale spotters and flora fundis won’t be disappointed either. Whatever you’re into, you’ll find it on the beautiful Garden Route.

Protea Hotels Nearby: Protea Hotel by Marriott King George, Protea Hotel by Marriott Knysna Quays 

Midland’s Meander – KwaZulu-Natal

Also known as the ‘arts and crafts’ route, the Midlands Meander isn’t just one of the most beautiful routes in SA, it’s also the tastiest. With over 80km spanning between Pietermaritzburg and Mooi River, the route winds through plenty of picturesque towns famous for their home-made cheeses and locally brewed beer and wine. Work off some of those extra calories with a range of exciting adventures and activities. Go horse riding through beautiful forests, get wet with some river tubing, whizz through the air on a thrilling canopy tour or trade your car for a quad biking tour through the rugged terrain. Whether you have a taste for adventure or delicious artisanal treats, the Midlands Meander is right up your alley.

Quintessential Midlands farm entrance …

A photo posted by Marita Nell (@marita_elements) on

Protea Hotels Nearby: Protea Hotel by Marriott Hilton