Thanks to Rob from South Africa Travel Online for this post on car hire and great scenic drives.
With the state of public transport in South Africa, it’s difficult to get by without wheels. However, what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts, and fortunately the country has a very well developed car hire market. Say for instance you’re entering SA on a Cape Town flight: there’s a plethora of options for car rentals from Cape Town (can be booked via South Africa Travel Online): from the big 2 – Avis & Europcar, to Hertz, Budget, First Car Rental, Thrifty and Tempest Car Hire.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, be sure to go for an unlimited mileage option, which is offered by most of the rental agencies. It’s recommended to rent a GPS to avoid getting lost – parts of Cape Town are safer than others, and the GPS will help minimise the chances of ending up a victim of crime. In the winter one can survive without air conditioning, but if you’re visiting Cape Town during the summer, it’s indispensable on the really hot days
Now that you’re sorted out with a rental vehicle, GPS & hopefully accommodation as well, it’s time to explore. Here are my top 4 road trips in Cape Town:
- A trip to Cape Point is very touristy, but for good reason. There is something special about being at the south-western tip of Africa. Do take a walk down to Dias beach, and hike down to the new lighthouse. Stop off at Boulders Beach to see the penguins, and then try back along Chapmans Peak to take in the views. Map
- Take a drive out north to get in the classic view of Table Mountain, and on the way stop off at all the beaches: Blouberg map. Lagoon Beach where the Diep River flows out, Milnerton Beach with its lighthouse, Sunset Beach which is great if you’re looking for a quieter option, Dolphin Beach where you can watch the kitesurfers on windy days (on not so windy days look out for the paramotors) and finally stop at the rocky outcrop of Blouberg to take photos of the views of Table Mountain. If you’re keen on a bit more fun, head to the Blue Peter for sundowners – you wont be disappointed.
- Drive to Betty’s Bay. The road has similarities to Chapmans Peak, as it is cut out of the mountainside, with views of the sea below (in this case False Bay). In fact, like Cape Point, there is also a land-based penguin colony – head out to Betty’s Bay to see our feathered friends. Then either come back the way you came, or if you’ve got time drive out to further to Kleinmond, and then cut across to the N2 for the return trip.
- Visit Franschhoek (map) for a little bit of France in South Africa. After visiting the Huguenot Monument, have lunch at one of the fine dining restaurants, and then visit some of the wine farms along the way (flip coins to see who is going to be the designated driver).