With international travel restrictions, South Africans who are in desperate need of a holiday are geared up to explore their own country by car and rediscover its many treasures and charms. Here is a quick roundup of the top five pitstops to help you plan the perfect road trip with friends or family.
A Garden Route road trip is a popular go-to for South Africans and international tourists alike. The Knysna Forest can be found along this route, and offers the perfect opportunity to savour the fresh mountain air and stretch your legs. Embark on a hike beneath the thick canopy of lush greenery as you savour Mother Nature’s many masterpieces. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked up for the colourful Knysna Loerie and its distinctive call.
Isinuka Mud Caves and Sulphur Pools
If the goal is to journey through the scenic Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, a stop at Isinuka Mud Caves and Sulphur Pools is a must. The Pondo people of the region view this as a revered healing site and believe that the mud has powerful restorative properties. Take part in their ancient tradition by lathering up with the syrupy earth before hopping out and allowing the mud some time to dry and work its wonders. Next, take a short, refreshing swim in the sulphur pools, followed by a dip in the river before heading back to the car feeling riveted, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the next leg of the road trip.
The Nelson Mandela Capture Site
Revisit South African history with a stop at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick, en-route from Johannesburg to KwaZulu-Natal. The site commemorates this important historical moment and is home to a visitors’ centre, a café, and a breathtakingly, mind-bending sculpture. The sculpture is made up of 50 steel columns, each varying in height. If you angle yourself just right when standing about 35 metres away from the columns, a magnificent portrait of Nelson Mandela appears.
The Blyde River Canyon
Will you be travelling the Panorama Route through Mpumalanga towards the Kruger National Park? Then there is no doubt that the Blyde River Canyon is certain to be the highlight of your trip! This colossal canyon stretches 26 kilometres and is celebrated for being the third largest in the world. Be sure to set aside a few hours to drive along the canyon’s ‘lip’ to really appreciate its views, as well as a few more of Mpumalanga’s most talked about must-sees, such as the quartzite column known as ‘The Pinnacle’ and ‘God’s Window’ where you will find panoramic vistas showcasing the unique beauty of the South African Lowveld.
No South African road trip would be complete without a pitstop at an Engen Wimpy along your travel route. After all, these pitstops have been an essential part of every South African’s end-of-year holiday for almost 40 years! Slurp your way through a creamy Wimpy shake, re-energise with a generous cup of coffee, and make the most of summer with a Sweet Chilli Mayo Double Cheese Burger or a Kids’ Combo Meal for the little ones.
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