SA Tourism Routes

SA Tourism Routes.

Whether it's motorcycling along the wide rolling roads of panoramic waterfall country, dipping your toes in the Indian Ocean of the Garden Route or Elephant Coast or taking a tipple in the winelands, there's a tourism route to suit you on your South African holidays. Read this quick concise guide by independent travel writer Carrie Hampton and choose a route to suit.

A Route Around South Africa

PANORAMA ROUTE - Mpumalanga
Tumbling water, forest plantations and canyon views create the theme of this route. Enjoy this perfect self-drive or motorbike country on your South African holidays with wide roads, little traffic and small towns big on hospitality. There are nine waterfalls near Sabie and Graskop, with many crystal pools to swim in, and the added bonus of being only an hour's drive from Kruger National Park.

Take home: Gold dust from Pilgrim's Rest
Must Eat: River trout in Sabie and Harry's Pancakes in Graskop
Photo Op: Three Rondavels, Blyde River Canyon

GARDEN ROUTE & ROUTE 62, Western & Eastern Cape
Take the low road (N2) or high road (R62) into the Garden Route. Cruise the N2 through the lush coastal belt to where the road meets the Indian Ocean at Wilderness. Then stop often to laze on beaches or fill your days with adventure. Go on a dolphin watching boat or mountain biking in the forest. Cruise on Knysna lagoon or scare yourself silly on the world's highest bungee jump. Have close encounters with monkeys and birds at Monkeyland and Birds of Eden. The R62 can get you to these places too, via the winelands of Worcester and Robertson, then via the charming town of Montague and picturesque streets of Calitzdorp culminating in the ostrich capital Oudtshoorn.

Take home: Ostrich-feather duster.
Must eat: Knysna oysters
Photo op: Dolphins leaping in Plettenberg Bay

ELEPHANT COAST EXPLORER. KwaZulu Natal
Bask in sub-tropical sunshine of northeast KwaZulu Natal and be amazed at the variety of eco-systems supporting all sorts of life. Guests on South African holidays can see elephant and whales in the same day, not to mention antelopes, zebra, hippos, and turtles. Find them in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park, Mkuze Game Reserve, Tembe Elephant Park and Greater St Lucia Wetland Park. This amazing eco-tourism route extends 220km up the Indian Ocean coast the Mozambique border.

Take home: Zulu beadwork
Must eat: Sweet and delicious Hluhluwe queen pineapples
Photo op: Zulu dancers, elephant and turtles

CAPE WINE ROUTES, Western Cape
The Cape Winelands has 17 wine routes containing hundreds of estates offering wine tastings. Stellenbosch is the capital of the wine industry with beautiful old estates and some new trendy ones in the mountains and valleys of this genteel area. Pop over the Helshoogte Pass and you enter Franschhoek, literally translated as French corner. Taste noble cultivars in this beautiful valley hemmed in by high granite mountains. The estates have distinctly French estates names like; Dieu Donné (God Given) or Haute Espoir (High Hopes). Constantia Wine Route is closer to Cape Town, just 15 minutes out of the city, and contains the Cape's oldest wineries and historic manor houses.

Take home: Wine of your choice
Must drink: Pinotage - a South African red varietal
Photo op: Wine tasting on horseback on your South African holidays

© Copyright Carrie Hampton

South African Holidays & Self-drive Guide
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