South Africa is a country you fall in love with very easily. And when it’s time to leave, you will have tears in your eyes!
The journey between Johannesburg and Cape Town is 3200 km (or even more if you make detours) and there are things to see along the way. After only a few kilometres, you wil lwitness a whole host of different and beautiful landscapes. The road can sometimes be very long, when it is so hard to resist the call of the photo every 2 kilometers!
The journey begins here. If you love nature and hiking, don’t miss the opportunity to spend a few days in the Drakensberg. Its steep landscapes and beautiful mountains are worth a look! Most hostels also offer tours of the Kingdom of Lesotho, including a detour to the Tugela Falls.You can also enjoy a hike in the Royal Natal National Park, and spend a night or two at the Backpackers Amphitheatre. The park has breathtaking views, waterfalls, natural pools and so much more! Plus, admission is virtually free!
Our tip: did you know that Lesotho holds the record for the highest pub in the world? Go over the legendary Sani Pass in a 4×4 and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most beautiful views on the planet.
As you get closer to the coast, the landscape becomes wilder, more rugged. After all, this part of KwaZulu-Natal is not called the “Wild Coast” for nothing. At first glance, it almost looks like Ireland! Rock formations, cliffs, the deep blue ocean, small traditional huts and heavenly coves: welcome to Coffee Bay!It’s a place where backpackers always stay longer than expected… And we’re talking about experience! You will meet travellers from all over the world at the Coffee Shack Hostel, where you can also sit around a bonfire with a small cocktail in the evening.Coffee Bay also has a few spots not to be missed under any circumstances, and a hike to the Hole on the Wall is one of them. The incredible scenery makes the hike just as enjoyable as the destination. Add to your to-do list an evening out with the locals, eating delicious food, music and dancing will probably also be part of your to-do list. The icing on the cake: the Coffee Shack Hostel offers surfing lessons at a very good price, and we warmly recommend them.Our tip: If you visit South Africa at the right time of the year (between June and October) you might be lucky enough to spot groups of dolphins or whales from the coast.
If you are connected to endless white sandy beaches, Chintsa is for you! This seaside resort is located at the mouth of the Chintsa River. The population is only 1800, which means that you will be in the quietest of places, surrounded by lush subtropical vegetation, wild banana trees, and a beach covered with fine sand. The waters are shallow, and therefore rather suitable for young children (under the watchful eye of an adult, of course). Also, the water temperature is much higher than in Cape Town, because the village is on the coast bordering the Indian Ocean, much warmer than the cold waters of the Atlantic.
“Jaybay” can boast some of the most beautiful waves in the world. Every year, thousands of surfers come to Jeffrey’s Bay to enjoy its famous waves. The pros particularly enjoy surfing on the legendary 800 metre long “super tubes”, which sometimes reach up to 3 metres high! Simply huge! In addition to all this, Jeffrey’s Bay is also the site of the “JBay Winter Fest”, a sports and music festival. Of course, there is surfing there!
Addo Elephant National Park
Do you want to wave to elephants, zebras, wildebeest, and other hyenas from the window of your own car? Head for Addo Elephant Park. For an entrance fee of just €12, you will be allowed to drive through this huge park in your own car to observe the wild animals. The only negative point: there are no giraffes, but the experience is still very interesting! (Yes, we love giraffes).Our advice: bring your binoculars! That way you can observe the animals from a distance and you don’t have to get too close to your car. They will be easiest to observe early in the morning and late in the evening when they gather around the waterholes.
Tsitsikamma National Park
If you are not yet madly in love with South Africa, you will be after this visit! Tsitsikamma National Park is a MUST if you visit the coast. The landscape has all the treasures you could ever dream of: sea spray, cliffs, green hills, turquoise blue ocean and really cool spots.
Among them is a 77 m long suspension bridge over the mouth of the Storm River. On the other side, you will find a path that leads to a breathtaking viewpoint. And to climb it, a walk of only 20 minutes is enough!
Are you an adrenaline junkie? Don’t miss your chance to jump off the Bloukran bridge! Perched 216 m above the valley, this is the highest bridge on the entire African continent! Just as you find yourself contemplating the void, from the top of the platform, your body switches to automatic pilot: everything happens very quickly, and you’ll be asking for more!.