Monday, 28 May 2012 9:31 AM
If you're looking for a truly epic holiday, South Africa is one destination you should definitely consider visiting. From its 3,500 km of coastline and world-famous vineyards to bustling cities and the chance to go on safari, there's plenty for you to explore.
In fact, it's easy to spend months here and not see everything this nation has to offer, so it is important you make the most of the amount of time that you do have. With so many wonderful attractions and activities to catch your interest, it's a good idea to think about using car hire while you're there. That way, you've got the freedom to travel at your own pace and see the sights that really interest you.
Driving along South Africa's highways is a great way to explore so here's a guide to some of the best routes the country has to offer.
Starting off in Reddersburg and ending in East London, the delightful Friendly N6 route allows you to really get under the country's skin. Not only will you see fantastic natural scenery and landmarks as you drive along the N6 national road, but all along the highway you'll meet restaurateurs, hotel owners and other locals who will go out of their way to welcome you, so it won't be too hard to see how the road got its name.
As you drive, you'll catch a glimpse of sheep farms and see the towering Maluti Mountains, while artefacts from the Anglo-Boer War are to be found in Reddersburg. You can even come across ancient rock carvings, not to mention having the chance to see the big five game species - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino.
Perhaps South Africa's most famous road, the Garden Route section of the N2 goes from Heidelberg in the Southern Cape right through to Storms River Village on the Eastern Cape border. Like its name suggests, the trail takes you past rich green forests and exotic flora.
If you're driving along a coastal stretch, you should pull your car over and look out to sea where a range of creatures - from bottlenose dolphins to humpback whales - can be spotted.
Make sure you stop off at Knysna, as you can learn about the town's gold rush story before sampling traditional South African dishes such as umnqusho and bobotie. The town is also home to the only forest elephants to be found anywhere in South Africa, while a range of birds - including the African fish eagle and malachite kingfisher - can be seen around the nearby lakes.
Another highlight of driving along the Garden Route is the Western Cape town of Oudtshoorn. Not only is the settlement home to the Cango Caves, which is one of the largest cave systems in Africa, but it is also regarded as the ostrich capital of the world and you can visit a number of farms to spot these beautiful birds.
Things to remember
Driving through South Africa is certainly a wonderful experience, but there's some things you'll need to remember when getting behind the wheel. It's compulsory for everyone in the car to wear seatbelts, while you must also keep your driver's licence with you at all times. If you plan on driving along a national road, meanwhile, be prepared to pay a toll in order to do so.