12 of our favourite road trips to add to your 2019 sho't left list

2018-12-08 06:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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It's almost a new year, the petrol price is dropping and your car is itching for a lekker road trip to somewhere and nowhere.

Dust off those maps, update your GPS and make sure you grab a travel buddy that won't drive you up the wall. Unfortunately, family isn't optional.

Traveller24 has been all across South Africa and beyond, on road trips through wild bushveld, along pristine coastlines and through deserts and forests that will rejuvenate you in the new year.

Here's roundup of our top road trips of 2018 that will rev your engines.

SEE: How to save on fuel this holiday season

Be seduced by the isolation of Die Hel

Nature is the perfect balm for when you want to retreat into yourself, and despite its ominous name, a road trip to Die Hel in Swartberg Nature Reserve is just what the universe ordered. 

Besides the stunning vistas of gorges and golden-hued mountains, the biodiversity is another mind-blowing experience. As you travel, the scenery changes from shrubs to proteas to spekboom forests to a variety of succulents that will make a flat-living Capetonian's heart burst.

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The bumpy roads of the Wild Coast

It's very easy to get lost on South Africa's Wild Coast, wandering its many magical beaches, combing for lost relics washed up by the ocean, or listening to the lively twitterings of the birds that are unseen in the forests' canopies.

From the strange rocks on Dwesa's beaches to the famous Hole in the Wall to the moonlit sands of Mdumbi to the zebra-filled forests of Hluleka - this region is a must-do trip that should be on every South African's bucket list.

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A guide to the Kalahari Red Dune Route

Beginning in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, it showcases the Kalahari through a wide range of activities including desert walks, dune-boarding, 4x4 trailing for the adventurous, game drives, guided walks, birding expeditions and other eco-inclined activities for nature-lovers.

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Why you should add Hartenbos, Klein Brak and Ruiterbos to your Mossel Bay road trip

Mossel Bay - set so far on the tippy end of the Garden Route and regularly unmentioned that one might think it has been put in the naughty corner since the beginning of time.

But despite its reputation for big December crowds, the town and its surrounds has a lot to offer when driving through this part of the Western Cape.

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Discover the less-explored road trip wonders of the Free State

Hop on a bike and glide through the mielielande of the Free State, where you should check out the road winding through Clarens, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the Basotho Cultural Village and Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge.

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(Photo: Joe Fleming, Bonafide Moto Co, Johannesburg)

Take on the Namaqua Coastal Route

One of the greatest ways to see some of the best of the Northern Cape's offerings is to explore the Namaqua Coastal Route. The route includes hidden gems like Garies, Kamieskroon, Hondeklip Bay, Koiingnaas and Kleinzee and much more.  

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A wine road trip to the Olifants River

If you've done the Franschhoek wine trams more than once, can tell the Constantia wines apart by smell and have had your fill of Stellenbosch's oak trees, then a trip up the West Coast is what you need to dust off those taste-bud cobwebs. 

Far north up the coast you'll hit the wineries, and one brewery, of the Olifants River - from Klawer all the way up to Lutzville, and you can even make a detour to a coastal vineyard in Doringbaai, a short drive from the river. 

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Road tripping from the Garden Route to the Eastern Cape

If you're looking to check off one of South Africa's great beach and bush hidden gems, then the Eastern Cape is where you should point your digital compass to.  

Unathi Nkanjeni went on a five-day trip through the Garden Route and ending off in the Eastern Cape, and was surprised at what was sitting just six hours from his doorstep in Cape Town. 

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Enjoy a bush to beach escape in the Eastern Cape
(Photo: Inzolo Private Game Lodge)

The wonders and secrets of Cederberg 

Nestled at roughly 300 kilometres north of the Mother City, Cederberg is a beautiful, remote escape and break from city life. 

From sleeping luxuriously outdoors at Kagga Kamma's hand-crafted cave suites or traditional huts to rock formations that would make the set of Westworld quake.

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From camping with wild elephants to watching the sun set over dhows in Mozambique

The land of fresh seafood, sweet local rum, really wild animals and friendly people - Mozambique offers a quick escape to recharge your batteries while adventuring through gorgeous landscapes. From bush to beach, it offers all that you might fly thousands of kilometres to find overseas, but is really just a quick hop over to our Southern African neighbour.

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Farm stays to make you want to linger longer in the Great Karoo

The Karoo might look like a moon landscape in parts, but scratch just below the surface of these three farm stays and you are bound to find real magic.

For many people, the Great Karoo is just that large hot, dry and inconvenient stretch you have to get through when you travel between many of SA's big cities. Next time, make it part of your holiday – and stay for at least two nights.

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Road tripping Africa's sky country Lesotho

Sani Pass has been synonymous with Lesotho ever since the road was built in the 1950s. For off-road enthusiasts the combination of hairpin bends, plunging drops and steep gradients is a rite of and a valid excuse to get into those low range gears and crawl your way to the top to enjoy a cold one, or some gluhwein, at Africa’s highest pub.

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