8 Of Our Favourite Scenic Routes In South Africa

Sometimes the most beautiful parts of nature are right outside your car window. So best be sure to take these scenic routes on your next family trip.

Thaaqib Daniels, Photography by Casey Crafford |

“Life is a journey, not a destination. “You may or may not have heard this (rather dramatic) phrase before. You might have even used it as an Instagram caption – no shame in using quotes, bro. Although there’s some truth in the cheesy line– it’s applicable to many of life’s situations, and one of the first things that comes to mind when hearing it? travel!
Casey Crafford is a Cape Town based photographer who’s been snapping pics professionally for the past decade. He’s also shot many of our magazine covers and is one of our trusted cameramen. We’ve asked him to let us in on which roads in our country have some of the best views. Sometimes the most beautiful parts of nature are right outside your car window. So you best be sure to bypass these scenic spots en-route to your next family getaway:

1. West Coast

scenic routes
Photo by Casey Crafford

“One of my favourite places to visit is the West Coast National park,” says the 37-year-old. “You are able to drive for kilometres within the park, with a good chance of seeing eland and ostriches.”

“Make sure you go to the rocky outcrop that overlooks Langebaan and the lagoon for some spectacular views. I’d like to think of it as a place untouched by time,” says Casey.

2. Franschhoek Pass

scenic routes
Photo by Casey Crafford

“One of the most beautiful valleys to look upon. Let’s not forget the wine, too,” Casey says.

Pro tip: Make sure you’re atop the pass near sunset for a postcard perfect view.

Related: Take Date Night To The Next Level By Using This Wine Pairing Guide

3. The Garden Route

scenic routes
Photo by Casey Crafford

Driving through the Garden Route brings back treasured childhood memories for Casey. “One of my favourite things to do was ride the Knysna choo choo through Sedgefield and over Victoria Bay.”

“Unfortunately, the train doesn’t run anymore but there are plenty of options for the outdoor enthusiast, from fishing to mountain biking and even paragliding. Any trip that takes me to a destination filled with activities like that is worth making!”

Related: Master The Art Of Stress-Free Travel With These Tips From A Man Who Travels For A Living

4. Signal Hill

scenic routes
Photo by Casey Crafford

“A short trip around signal hill is a highly popular destination for tourists and for good reason. Panoramic views of the Cape Town CBD, the harbour and Atlantic seaboard.”

This spot is one of the perfect sweet escapes from the city, with Casey trying it for years. “I’ve been returning to this spot for years as a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

Related: Fun, Easy and Affordable Weekend Adventures For This Long Weekend

5. The Cederberg Mountains

scenic routes
Photo by Casey Crafford

For Casey, it’s all about being in the midst of nature, and this area is one of the best. “I love mountains and narrow winding roads that cascade down to the valleys below carrying fresh mountain water.”

“Make sure you pop in to Bains whiskey distillery if you ever pass by Wellington and onward to the Cederberg. Named after the man who built Bainskloof Pass, a beautiful stretch of road into the interior and an engineering marvel of its time.”

6. The Northern Cape

scenic routes
Photo by Casey Crafford

If you want to be a lone traveler and spend some quality time with yourself, the N14 to Pofadder is the perfect place. Nothing around for kilometres, just you and the open road.

Related: What You Need To Know About Google Maps’ New Features

7. N7 North And Beyond

scenic routes
Photo by Casey Crafford

“Some of the most dramatic landscapes and terrain I’ve ever driven was beyond our northern border towards The Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Absolutely spectacular.”

“I picked up a group of American students, ran out of fuel, and got two flat tyres on the same day – not for the faint hearted.”

8. Hermanus

scenic routes
Photo by Casey Crafford

The small town of Hermanus may be known for its tourist attractions such as whale watching, shark cage diving, its wine and incredible seafood, but the drive along the coast is not to be overlooked. The striking blue of the ocean opens up as the roads hug the mountainside. Check out the drive below, it’s one we highly recommend!

Related: 5 Reasons Why Small Towns Make The Best Holiday Destinations

Casey’s Pro Tip For Taking Travel Photos:

If you’re looking for that professional finish to your photos, invest in a filter system like Cokin. Using graduated ND filters helps balance the brighter sky with the foreground or slow down your shutter for those moody seascapes. Visit www.landscapegear.co.za for all you’ll need.

Follow Casey on all of his photographic expeditions:

Website: www.caseycrafford.com

Instagram: @caseycrafford

Twitter: @CaseyCrafford

Facebook: Casey Crafford – Lifestyle Photographer

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