To experience the true essence of South Africa,
one needs to leave behind the busyness of the cities and visit some of the small dorpies and long country roads that dot the interior of the country.
Route 62 manages to offer these, while still retaining enough memorable towns, quirky farm stalls and interesting activities to make it onto our list of must-do road trips.
Technically, Route 62 is the road between Montagu and Humansdorp in the Western Cape, but the tourist route has
now been extended to include many other inland highways to link Cape Town to Port Elizabeth.
The logical question is why miss the world-famous Garden Route, which hugs the beautiful coastline all the way between these two cities.
The answer is an interesting one, involving hot springs, wine, ostriches and Ronnie’s Sex Shop.
Everyone except the driver would be forgiven for passing through the first bit of the route in a wine-induced blur.
Leaving Cape Town, Route 62 is one of the longest wine routes in the world, passing through the famous wine regions of Paarl, Wellington, Tulbagh, Worcester and Robertson.
Expect to see endless vineyards and fruit orchards, with plenty of great restaurants and guesthouses to visit.
Montagu is worth an overnight stop for the natural hot springs, which are great to relax in. The area also has some amazing rock formations, so it’s a popular town for mountain climbers and hikers.
The road passes through Barrydale, where most people stop at the bar called Ronnie’s Sex Shop as much out of curiosity as for the pub lunches.
Visitors will also see the historic former mission stations of Zoar and Amalienstein on the way to Calitzdorp, famous for its port wines.
Heading further up the coast the landscape changes, becoming drier and more barren Route 62 in the Western Cape.
Oudtshoorn is the next town on the route, famous both for its difficult pronunciation and its ostriches.
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