4 Alternative Holiday Routes

December is road trip season. Whether the journey is to get to a holiday destination, or simply for the sake of road-tripping, there is no better way (and safer, thanks to less traffic) to do it, than to take the odd detour. Here’s a handful of our favourite alternative holiday routes.
1. Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal

Arguably the route with the heaviest holiday traffic. Grin and bare it until Harrismith, then leave the N3 behind and take the R74 past Sterkfontein Dam, via Bergville and Winterton to Estcourt.

Looking to stopover for a night? Try Little Switzerland Resort, 35km from Bergville on the slopes of the Drakensberg.

From there cruise the Midlands Meander on the R103. If you stop at only one place, let it be the Shongweni Brewery, a family-owned brewery in the Valley of a Thousand Hills just inland of Durban. Stock up so the driver can enjoy his share later.

SEE ALSO: Our round-up of the best things to do in Botha’s Hill 

Get the route here.

2. Gauteng to the Cape

The great arterial N1 is the default, but take a couple of days and tackle the N12 ‘treasure route’. Go via Kimberly and its Big Hole, then head via Beaufort West to De Rust and Oudtshoorn.

Ride an Ostrich at Highgate, the oldest ostrich show farm in the district, before taking the R62 (where you’ll find the infamous Ronny’s Sex Shop) to Worcester and Cape Town. Or, over the mountain to George and the Garden Route beyond.

Stay over at the under-rated Camdeboo National Park and check out our article on how to spend three days in Camdeboo.

It works the other way too. Cape Town to the Eastern Cape – try the R62 through Oudtshoorn and then on through the Langkloof. It might take you an hour or so longer, but it’s more than worth the extra time.

If you take this back road, be sure to stop for a bite at The Sweaty Dutchman coffee shop.

SEE ALSO: 6 of the best Karoo pit stops

Get route here.

3. North by East

If you’re heading to the Lowveld, the R532 from Sabie through Graskop and on toward the R36 and the JG Strydom Tunnel is the area’s must-drive.

It’s stacked with A-list viewpoints: God’s Window, the Three Rondavels in the Blyde River Canyon and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.

SEE ALSO: 10 must-do stops in the “slowveld” 

Get route here.

4. Dodge the worst of the N2

If you’re on a coastal trip, detour off the N2 and go via the Seven Passes dirt road route from George to Knysna (or the other way).

You’ll cross seven rivers (including the Swart, Hoogekraal, Homtini, and Kaaimans) and pass through places with ‘what-the-hell-happens-there’ names such as Karatara.

It’s Daleen Matthee country and a favourite attraction on route is Millwood, one of the early gold-rush towns in the Outeniqua Mountains.

Stop for a coffee and a bite to eat (or a bike ride!) at Garden Route Trail Park. They also have a range of accommodation options on the website.

SEE ALSO: All the best stops on the Seven Passes route 

Get route here.

 

Words: Jazz Kuschke

Picture: Pexel

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