The Ultimate Lockdown Road Trip, From SA’s Top Personalities
Road trip? Google Maps and Men’s Health have it all planned out. Best part? you get to #supportlocal.
Level 2 lockdown has been announced and we can finally take those road trips we have all been dreaming about since March. If you’re looking for ideas – we’ve put together the ultimate MH South African road trip, using Google Maps and ideas from some of SA’s top journalists and personalities.
Google Maps has made it easy to plan and share trips just by creating a list and adding the places these personalities want to visit – like this Google Maps list that we’ve created for this article. Share privately to friends, or publicly, so other people can benefit from our experiences.
Start in style at Cape Town’s theLab Tarragona, an eco-friendly 4-star hotel in Hout Bay. “theLab is not just any hotel, it’s an experience you’ll talk about for some time to come,” says MH digital editor Nadim Nyker. “With rooms that are fully voice-activated, whether it’s setting your alarm, playing your favourite track or just turning off the lights while you’re sitting in the jacuzzi, all you have to do is ask your room’s voice assistant – named ‘Echo’. This is an epic choice to get you revitalised for the long road ahead, plus if you’re driving electric, theLab has car charging stations, too!”
After theLab, adventurer Nicole Eddy says her first port of call will be a weekend away camping in the Cederberg Wilderness Area. “Apart from having access to some beautiful and long hikes, camping in winter can make for such a cosy and fun experience if you have the right gear (and the campsites are typically A LOT quieter than in the summer months),” she says. A quick 2-hour hop out of Cape Town, into the interior, the Cederberg is known for its hiking, rock climbing and San rock art.
Slice of Matt says he’d love to take a road trip down to Arniston, a picturesque fishing village that has been declared a national monument in its entirety. “I have so many great memories there from my childhood and I haven’t been back in what feels like forever (even though I was there last year),” he comments.
The route from Cederberg to Arniston takes you down R303 past Porterville and its fabulous Jan Danckaert Museum, a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the surrounding area. It’s kid-friendly, too!
If you prefer to take a slower route – Google Maps highlights alternative routes in grey, so you can decide if you want the fastest option, or the going nowhere slowly option. You can also add stops, search along your route, and set departure or arrival times to get the most up to date options when you want to leave.
From Porterville, the R46 takes you past Tulbagh where you can visit the Earthquake Museum (we kid you not), and Ceres, famous the world over for its fruit. If you have the time, take a sho’t left and visit the Transport Riders Museum, or take a quick Zipslide if you’re feeling adventurous.
Once you hit Arniston, you’re well positioned to take a doddle down some of the Garden Route. Says travel lover and Chica Travel podcast host Lelo Boyana, “I would like to go on a road trip around the Garden Route to just take in the beauty of our majestic country and also because I believe you could never see enough of SA. There’s always something new to discover.”
On the Garden Route that is certainly the case. From Witsand to Plettenberg Bay, there’s a treasure trove of places to visit and things to do. Pro tip? Take the Seven Passes Road that links Knysna and George for some truly spectacular scenery.
“I would love to take a road trip to the Kruger National Park,” says model and entrepreneur Twiggy Moli. “During lockdown, I got to catch up on lots of reality TV and came across a lovely game lodge called Kapama in the greater Kruger and I think reconnecting with nature after being cooped up in the house for so many days would do me good.”
Plettenberg Bay to Kruger National Park is a road trip on its own. But, if you have the time…. A stop-over in Bloemfontein might do the trick. Check out the Oliewenhuis Art Museum if you’re in the mood for something cultural, in park-like surrounds.
“I’d love to make my way to the Dolphin Coast for a long weekend,” says tech writer Papi Mabele. But this is no usual road-trip, I’d take it via Clarens for breakfast and stop at Hartford House (Mooi River) for lunch. Sjoe, writing this sommer makes me want to pack my bags right now and head out.”
With such a great road trip planned, how could you not want to head out? Tag us if you do!