What are you looking for

Close search

5 Scenic Self-Drive Routes to Explore in South Africa

Whether you’re a local or visiting South African from foreign shores, if you’re an adventurous traveller exploring this vast country via a self-drive holiday is hard to beat. From stunning coastlines to rugged mountains, South Africa offers some of the most breath-taking landscapes in the world. Here are five top scenic routes that will take you on an unforgettable journey through this beautiful country.

On the road in the Kruger National Park

Route 1: The Garden Route (Cape Town to Port Elizabeth)

The Garden Route is one of the most popular self-drive routes in South Africa, and for good reason. This 300-kilometer stretch of coastline takes you through some of the country's most beautiful landscapes, from lush forests to pristine beaches, dotted with charming towns in-between.

Go off-road in the majestic Knysna forest

Starting in Cape Town and ending in Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route offers plenty of opportunities for adventure, from hiking and surfing to whale watching and bungee jumping. Don't miss highlights like the Knysna Heads, the Tsitsikamma National Park, and the Cango Caves.

Go Here With Sure

Explore the Garden Route with this 7-night Gqeberha, Garden Route, Winelands and Cape Town self-drive package, priced from R4,490 pps. Or add on a stopover in Sedgefield for 2 nights at Simbavati Fynbos on Sea from R4,842 pps, or 2 nights at the Fancourt Hotel in George from R4,220 pps.


Route 2: Panorama Route (Via Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park)

The Panorama Route is a scenic self-drive route that takes you through the stunning Blyde River Canyon and the world-renowned Kruger National Park.

The magnificent Blyde River Canyon

This route offers breath-taking views of the canyon's towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and lush vegetation. Visit bucket-list attractions along the way, including God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, and the Three Rondavels.

And of course, no trip to South Africa is complete without a safari in Kruger National Park, where you can spot the Big Five and other wildlife in their natural habitat.


Route 3: Route 62 (Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, through the Klein Karoo)

Route 62 is a scenic self-drive route that takes you through the picturesque Klein Karoo region of South Africa, from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth.

Get up close to giants in the Addo Elephant Park, Eastern Cape

You’ll pass through charming towns like Montagu, Barrydale and Oudtshoorn, known for its ostrich farms and Cango Caves. 

The famous Cango Caves

The route also offers stunning views of the Langeberg and Outeniqua mountain ranges, as well as opportunities to taste local wines and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and hot air ballooning.

Go Here With Sure

Start your self-drive holiday in style with a 2 night stay at the infamous Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, from R6,000 pps, and/or stopover in the winelands en-route with a 2 night stay at Boschendal Wine Farm from R2,170 pps.


Route 4: Wild Coast (East London to Durban, along the Indian Ocean)

The Wild Coast is a less trodden but no less incredible self-drive route that takes you along the rugged coastline of the Eastern Cape province, from East London to Durban.

The striking Hole in the Wall, Transkei

You’ll pass through traditional Xhosa villages, untouched beaches, and lush forests. Highlights of the route include the Hole in the Wall rock formation in Transkei, the iconic Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, and the stunning beaches of Coffee Bay and Port St. Johns. This route is perfect for nature lovers and those looking for a more off-the-beaten-path adventure.


Route 5: West Coast (Cape Town to Namibia, through the Namaqualand)

The West Coast self-drive route takes you from Cape Town all the way up to Namibia, passing through the ruggedly gorgeous Namaqualand region.

This route is best taken during the spring months (August to September) when the West Coast wildflowers are in full bloom, creating a colourful carpet across the landscape.

Wildflowers en-route in Namaqualand

On this route you'll pass through charming towns like Paternoster and Lambert's Bay, and have the opportunity to spot wildlife like whales and dolphins. The route also includes a stop at the iconic Orange River, which marks the border between South Africa and Namibia.

Go Here With Sure

Continue onto Namibia with a 6-night self-drive Northern Namibia and Skeleton Coast Camping package from R21,660 pps and/or explore Etosha and Swakopmund with this 3-night self-drive adventure from R15,950 pps.

Explore Namibia via 4x4


Take The Hassle Out of Self-drive Holidays

If you want the experience of a roadtrip without all the DIY hassle, remember that travel agencies offer incredible pre-packaged self-drive holidays locally and abroad. These include fly-in and car rental deals, often including accommodation and, sometimes, even activities en-route.

Cape Town's infamous Chapman's Peak Drive

For more info on organised self-drive holidays, contact your nearest Sure Travel agency. Or book your own self-drive accommodation here and your activities here.


Log In to Access Your Suitcase

You need to log in to add packages to, and manage, your suitcase. Please log in or register.