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A recent survey showed the famed Route 62, which connects Cape Town with Port Elizabeth, has some 28,000 hashtags on Instagram, making it one of the most Instagrammed road trips in the world. This feat, however commendable, pales somewhat in comparison to being named the top road trip destination in the world by a CNN Travel poll in 2017. No matter with what gravity you rank them, its accolades are most well-deserved. Let’s run through just a few must-see stops along this wonder of the Cape.
Route 62 also boasts being the world’s longest wine route! From the wines of the Witzenberg and Breede River Valley to Robertson’s brandy and home-brewed witblits in De Rust, Route 62 is a connoisseur’s paradise! Almost all the roadside vineyards and distilleries offer tastings which can be enjoyed at leisure while taking in the diverse yet invariably breathtaking scenery.
What started as a prank has since blossomed into an attraction in its own right. Farmer Ronnie decided in the mid ‘70’s to open up a roadside farm stall, dubbing it simply, “Ronnies Shop.” Some locals seized the opportunity to change it to “Ronnies Sex Shop,” and the name has stuck. It is now a road hog’s hideaway, complete with a countless lingeries pieces as dangling ceiling decor.
This small town has big roots as one of the Cape’s top fruit and nut producers. It’s also known for its hiking trails and rock climbing courses, as well as its natural warm springs that offer the ultimate spa retreat. There’s also a local functioning fruit farm that gives orchid tractor rides (with as much fresh and dried fruit as you can eat) which is a great way to get an inside peek into Montagu’s main agricultural industry.
This twisting limestone labyrinth of caves reaches almost 300m underground and dates back millions of years. Located just outside Oudtshoorn, you can explore the caves in the traditional walking tour or, if you’re feeling particularly brave, in the adventure tour, which involves climbing over, crouching under, and even tunneling through some of the more enclosed areas of the system.
Like much of South Africa, Route 62 offers bountiful wildlife as part of its attraction. The renowned Garden Route is rich with plant life, which can be experienced in full blooming glory in the spring months. Oudtshoorn is home to ostrich, meerkat and crocodile ranches, while the Sanbona reserve just outside Montagu offers a heritage tour which gives visitors an insight into the indigenous San culture of the region, as well as the chance to see the world’s only wild white lions.
Located on the southern edge of the Great Karoo, Prince Albert is a small town with a surprisingly formidable foodie reputation. It’s filled with a number of notable eateries, and the Saturday farmers market is not to be missed when travelling through. You can sample fresh milk from the local Gay’s Guernsey Dairy, and stroll through the many art installations and exhibitions between meals. The Prince Albert Hotel is a dinner favourite, so be sure to book if you want to see what the fuss is about.
Who would’ve thought that one stretch of road could meander through so many enticing local landmarks? And if you’re planning the ultimate South African road trip, remember to stay connected with one of our travel SIM options.
Sources: https://www.traveller24.com/Explore/SAHolidayGuide/sa-insider-the-complete-guide-to-the-cape-route-62-20160911, https://www.brandsouthafrica.com/tourism-south-africa/south-africas-route-62-is-worlds-best-road-trip, https://thewc.co.za/besides-being-the-longest-wine-route-in-the-world-western-capes-route-62-also-accounts-for-one-of-the-worlds-most-instagrammed-road-trips-97902-2/
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