During a time when social distancing is key, holiday destinations that can be found off the beaten track are more in demand than ever before. Here is a South Africa road trip itinerary perfect for those who intend to explore the country by car and indulge in a hard-earned, much-needed getaway this December.
Lakgalameetse Provincial Park
Think natural beauty in the form of towering mountains shrouded in mist, glistening rivers, crashing waterfalls, and plenty of scenic hiking trails to choose from and you will have a basic idea of what to expect from a visit to Lekgalameetse Provincial Park. The park is nestled along the border of Wolkberg Wilderness and is a go-to destination for hikers, mountain bikers, nature lovers and birding enthusiasts alike.
Darling is the cultural hub of the Cape Floral Region in the Western Cape. Despite its amazing wildflowers, theatres, restaurants, craft breweries, and museums, Darling remains severely under-marketed. Those who are lucky enough to stumble upon the little village are in for a treat that involves all the senses. Whether you catch a side-splitting show at the Evita se Perron theatre, located at the old Darling train station, or you head over to Darling Brew for a drink, it is certain to be a stop-off to remember.
Pongola Game Reserve
Situated in the northern region of KwaZulu-Natal, Pongola Game Reserve is a haven for elephants and everyone and anyone who wishes to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Guests can embark on sunrise and sunset game drives, head out onto the crystal waters for a leisurely boat cruise, partake in elephant or rhino tracking, or simply settle down at the lodge, drink in hand, to savour the view.
Gannabos Quiver Tree Forest
At first glance, the Gannabos Quiver Tree Forest might not look like much. It is small and the succulent quiver ‘trees’ are sparse – but what makes this destination such a must-see is the fact that some of these naturally-occurring aloe plants (none within the forest have been planted by man) are over 250 years old! Despite not actually being trees at all, they earned their nickname because some of the local Hottentot tribes would use their branches and bark to make quivers for their arrows. As simplistic as it may seem, the forest is a joy to explore and makes for the perfect backdrop for a few Insta-worthy travel snaps.
Those keen to wander through South Africa’s spawling winelands without coming into contact with the crowds in Franschhoek or Stellenbosch can quietly make their way to Elgin Valley. Known for its cool climate and rich soil, Elgin Valley is an underrated, rustic wine region of the Western Cape. It is home to the certified organic and biodynamic wine estate known as Elgin Ridge, along with numerous other award-winning wine farms offering insightful cellar tours and a never-ending stream of opportunity to sample the region’s abundance of velvety wines.
Wherever the road less travelled takes you, your trip simply won’t be complete without a breather and a brekkie at an Engen Wimpy pit stop along the way. Recharge with a cup of premium coffee and select from a wide variety of quintessentially South African breakfasts to help energise you for the many adventures that await.