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IIf you haven't thought about it yet, how about planning a last-minute escape to Durban? Not only is Durbs one of the best coastal spots in SA to soak up summer, but the road there can be part of your holiday if you take a few pointers from our handy Durban road-trip planner.

There are two main ways travellers head to Durban and we know how to make the road trip worthwhile from every angle. 

From Johannesburg 
You might think of the N3 as a one-way street to the sea, but don't miss out on all the great stops along the way. Take two days to get to the coast, and two days on your way back to Johannesburg. And be sure to go a little off-course every now and then. 

Some favourite diversions along the way 

This quaint place is a great stop-off if you happen to be travelling from Gauteng to KZN and vice versa. Clarens is a key point along the scenic Highlands route, which includes the Golden Gate Highlands National Park – linking the towns of Harrismith, Bethlehem and Fouriesburg, all along the Lesotho Highlands, the Malutis and the Drakensberg. 

Situated roughly three hours' drive from Johannesburg, in the embrace of the beautiful Maluti Mountain range, the charming town is known as the Jewel of the Free State – and there is so much more to it than its outstanding art. Some have called it a brewery with a town built around it, so expect some great craft beers to quench your thirst after a long drive.

Did You Know?
TThe world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon, the Comrades Marathon, takes place here.

TThe Drakensberg 
If you're looking for a road trip to remember, the road around the iconic Drakensberg Mountain range is something every traveller should enjoy at least once in their lives. 

This mountain range, which is also the highest in South Africa, is like a playground for adventure seekers. Whether you’re a tame hiker, extreme mountain biker or vertigo-seeking climber, this mountain rangewill have you coming back for more and more. It's also the perfect spot to train your little ones, from a young age, to let the adventure spirit find them.


When to visit
How to get here

TThe Midlands 
Four potters, a weaver and a couple of artists. This almost sounds like the start of a joke, but as a matter of fact, they were the ones who came up with the idea of the now famous Midlands Meander in KwaZulu-Natal. When this group of artists got together on a summer’s evening in 1985, the concept of a Rolling Exhibition, where visitors could come and see their work a few times a year, was born. Over the years the Midlands Meander family has grown and now has more than 150 members, with many of the original members still remaining.

This collection of routes in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal leads to artistic, exciting and beautiful places. Small towns and places like Howick, Underberg and Nottingham Road are all scattered around here, and make for magical exploring.

Farm stalls you need to stop at 

Rotunda Farm Stall 
The shop provides fresh locally-sourced produce from farms in the Midlands area, as well as a selection of imported items.

What to buy: Locally-made cheese

Piggly Wiggly 
Piggly Wiggly has grown into a formidable force in the Midlands, offering a one-stop-shop for all good country experiences. The Coffee Shop serves up generous breakfasts and is the perfect lunchtime spot. There's everything from fresh organic food, to incredible home decor, ceramic painting, candle dipping, and plenty of kid’s activities.

What to buy: Locally-produced cheeses 

Zandspruit Farm Stall
Some of the very best biltong in South Africa comes from this small roadside farm stall at the bottom of Van Reenen’s Pass, just off the N3. A South African road trip staple. 

What to buy: Biltong

Through the Eastern Cape 
If you're not coming from the northern side of the Drakensberg and Lesotho, you'll most likely be heading through the Eastern Cape to Durbs in KZN. If you are, consider yourself lucky. The Eastern Cape is one of the most beautiful destinations and perhaps one of the most forgotten as a holiday-destination. 

Take time to explore this wild child of South Africa on your way to the coast. But be warned, you might get hooked on the Eastern Cape and choose to stay on for the whole holiday. Whether you're in the mood for an informal seaside escape, a safari, or a choice of scintillating city diversions, you're sure to find what you're looking for in the Eastern Cape. Scenic beauty is one of the most striking characteristics of the region, ranging from the lush, evergreen Tsitsikamma Forest to the rugged Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, the southern slopes of the Drakensberg and the arid Great Karoo.

Some favourite diversions along the way 

Sunshine Coast 
There is a stretch of coast in SA that's as beautiful as the Garden Route and the East Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, though not as main stream. And what you'll find along the Sunshine Coast is a unique slice of coastal paradise that makes for a pretty special beach holiday break. 

The route meanders past the sights of the coastline between Port Elizabeth and East London, taking you through a number of villages such as Colchester, Bathurst, Alexandria, Kenton-on-Sea, Port Alfred and Kidds Beach.

This unique route’s most striking attraction is the spectacular sandy coastline, consisting of a variety of river channel connections, resorts and great activities for everyone to enjoy along the way. It's also home to perhaps the most secretive of secret beaches in SA - which is why we love it. 

Apart from the beaches, though, there is so much more to explore. 


The small village of Qunu seems like any other in the Butterworth surroundings. 

Even the large pink home built for the Mandela family does not overshadow the colourful, round huts standing alongside. It pales in comparison to the stately residence erected for South Africa’s latest president. Life in Qunu is quiet and peaceful. Goats frequent the streets of the village hub, where a single fuel station and one or two supply stores can be found.

But people don’t come to Qunu for supplies or spectacles. They come to remember and see what it was that made Mandela the ‘Father of a Nation’.  

King William's Town 
The Eastern Cape is the birthplace of many of our great South African democratic leaders. Not only is it where the first democratic leaders of our country were born, but also where they first implemented their democratic practices. 

Among their members are Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki and Steve Bantu Biko – who has a museum and memorial centre in his honour in King William's Town, Eastern Cape. 

Some people argue that Biko would have been a leader as great as – if not even greater than – Nelson Mandela had he not been murdered by the small, fearful minority who ruled during Apartheid. 

King William's Town is a place of reflection in South Africa – a place all South Africans should visit in their lives. 

Farm stalls you need to stop at 

Mac Bananas & Banana Cafe & Pancake House

This spot is a local-loved shopping, entertainment and destination hub which offers a Lifestyle Centre anchored by a Food Emporium, many restaurants and over 20 activities for the whole family to enjoy. It's a road trip haven if ever there was one. 

What to buy: Pancakes 

Red Apple Farm Stall

The Red Apple is a treasure trove of exquisite and interesting things. Apart from the typical 'padstal' finds and moreish food, the Red Apple prides itself on creating and drinking master coffees.

What to buy: Good coffee 

Oakly Farm Stall

A sweet spot with delectable fresh bread and homemade pies which are baked daily. The homemade gingerbeer is also a win. 

What to buy: Fresh farm bread

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