They say nothing says ‘South Africa’ quite like the Karoo.
Thanks to Wiggle Car Hire, we embarked on a girls road trip to the Klein Karoo. Instead of taking the N2 out of Cape Town, we chose a shorter, scenic alternative Route 62, the longest wine route in the world. It has also recently voted by CNN Travel as the world’s best road trip destination.
One of the best things about a road trip is that there are no set schedules like there are on plane or train journeys, that meant we had (almost) all the time in the world to explore our scenic drive in the Range Rover Evoque that Wiggle gave us for this journey. We took the freedom as an opportunity to step out of our comfort zones and do something different. I narrowed down some of my favorite places during our trip.
Our first stop was at Pampoen Farm Stall. Located at the Memel Guesthouse in the Breede Valley, the Farm Stall is famous for its gigantic pile of Pumpkins that welcome you to the terrace of the building. The pumpkins are also specially grown on the farm for the farm stall which can be purchased for decoration or to eat.
Next up was Robertson. With 150 years of history, Robertson has grown into one of the most attractive Cape Winelands towns. Victorian buildings, jacaranda-lined streets, rose boarded vineyards, columns of red and yellow cannas, as well as bright bougainvilleas all form the back drop to this delightful town.
One of my favorite routes during our trip was the 6.5km stretch of splendid landscapes of towering rock formations on the Cogmanskloof pass. We also drove through the famous Old English Ford and Cogmanskloof Tunnel before reaching Montagu, a small town with Cape Dutch architecture. This peaceful town is steeped in history and is famous for its awe-inspiring rock formations, orchards, vineyards, local herbs and healing hot mineral springs.
At the foot of the towering Warmwaterberg Mountains lies Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, our home for 2 days. Sanbona boasts 58, 000 hectares of sculpted Cape Fold Mountains, wide-open Karoo plains, indigenous flora and fauna and rare examples of San rock art, some dating back more than 3, 500 years. I will share more about Sanbona in an upcoming blog post.
On our last day, before heading back to Cape Town, we decided to stop over at Barrydale. It is one of those beautiful little villages that entice you to stay longer than you should. Barrydale we discovered is small but bursting with energy, history, and creativity, not to mention its quirky characters.We opted for a unique dining experience at vintage diner, Diesel & Crème. This on-site diner buzzed with live music acts and bikers who love stopping over for the legendary burgers and milkshakes.
I understand now why CNN calls Route 62 “a journey to the unexpected”. It truly has something for everyone, highlighting the natural beauty of the region’s “fauna, rivers, valleys and plains” and the diversity of activities available that turn the seemingly mundane commute into an adventure. Everything and anything from wine tours and safari drives, heritage and art tours, hiking and mountain climbing, water sport and fishing, or just quiet contemplation while watching one of a kind views with a cold drink and a good meal, Route 62 has it all.