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Trip Overview

View Roadtrip 2021 on SuPa-Xplorers's travel map.

Two days short of a full year since the last trip, we find ourselves embarking on our next cross-country adventure.

This one happened without much planning & after a completely spontaneous decision shortly after the relaxing of lockdown regulations in South Africa during early 2021.
We're fortunate to have the company of our Mum, who will be experiencing much of this trip for the first time.

Our trip will span 18 days & cover the routes across 8 of our 9 Provinces.

The first leg of our journey will take us from our gorgeous home Province of Western Cape, into the marvelous Eastern Cape & then onto the subtropical coastline & lush grasslands of wonderful KwaZulu-Natal.
We will pass many lovely coastal towns as we traverse the popular Garden Route.

Some historical sites are the reason for the brief detour inland to the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, after which we will rejoin the N2 National Route northward.
As we cross into the beautiful Mpumalanga Province, our first stop will be, what has become our favourite getaway, the spectacular Kruger National Park.

We spend some time in the Mpumalanga & Limpopo regions before starting the return trip via the provinces of Gauteng, Free State & Northern Cape.

Posted by SuPa-Xplorers 22:39 Archived in South Africa Tagged mountains south_africa roadtrip Comments (0)

Day 1

Cape Town to Knysna

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It's 6:30 am, and although we've just left home, we make our first stop.
Refuel the car, perform another pre-trip inspection & start the trip log.

Breakfast on the road, so since we're on holiday, we opt for something healthy.....Mcdonald's it is!

The sun is well above the horizon as we make that right-turn east-bound onto the N2 National Highway. It runs directly from the Cape Town city centre, all the way into Durban. This is the direction we will be heading.

Ascending Sir Lowry's Pass, we're officially on the outskirts of Cape Town & the trip has begun!

We stop to take pics & admire the beautiful scenery as we pass multiple towns along the way.

Stacks of hay bales on a farm just outside Riviersonderend.

Beautiful vast open fields in Stormsvlei.

Amongst others, we drive through Grabouw, Caledon, Riviersonderend & Stormsvlei, before our next brief comfort-break stop in the historic little town of Swellendam. Swellendam is the third oldest town in South Africa & has over 50 provincial heritage sites. The first two official towns being Cape Town & Stellenbosch, respectively.

At this point, we're roughly about halfway through today's journey. We continue along the N2 towards our next fuel stop in the harbour town of Mossel Bay, the beginning of the Garden Route.
The Garden Route is aptly named as a result of the diverse vegetation and wildlife, and abundance of lagoons, lakes, mountains, forests, and beaches found along its winding roads.

For the next 100 km's until Knysna, our stop-over destination for today; the N2 will mostly run alongside the Indian Ocean shoreline passing through various little towns while deviating away from the coast for a short stretch as we pass George, the second-largest city in the Western Cape Province.

As we enter the town of Wilderness, we pull over and park alongside the Kaaimans River to appreciate the serenity & peace of the sound of the river flowing slowly towards the mouth at the Indian Ocean.

Kaaimans River in Wilderness.

We make a lunch pitstop and take some time to briefly explore the Wilderness National Park.

Picnic spots at Wilderness National Park.

Wooden river cabins at Wilderness National Park.

We arrive in Knysna at roughly 15:30, and then proceed to unpack the car at the guest apartment we'll be staying at.
After freshening up, we take a drive out to explore the Knysna Lagoon & Quays, and watch the sunset from Thesen Island.

Aerial footage of Knysna Lagoon & Thesen Island

Travel time for today including stops: 8 hours
Approx distance travelled: 500 km

Posted by SuPa-Xplorers 15:00 Archived in South Africa Tagged landscapes waterfalls mountains lakes beaches bridges trees south_africa roadtrip Comments (0)

Day 2

Knysna to East London

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Thursday, 5 am, lying in bed watching the first signs of daylight appear. Still much too soon to be accustomed to a different routine.

By 7 am, we're up & about and ready to have breakfast on the balcony overlooking parts of the lagoon.

This morning we're visiting the Knysna Heads before we set off on the road towards East London.
We're packed and ready to depart by 8:30 am.

The 'Heads', as they are commonly known, separate the lagoon from the sea.
A 5 km drive from the N2, we arrive at the look-out point on the eastern head. The Knysna river mouth extends by roughly 230 m across from the eastern to the western head, which is accessible only by ferry, and forms part of the privately owned Featherbed Nature Reserve.

Western head as viewed from the look-out point at the eastern head.

Knysna Lagoon from the look-out point at the eastern head.

We spend a few minutes snapping some pics & taking in the beautiful sights at the Knysna eastern head look-out point. A short while later, we're back in the car, eastbound on the N2.

As we exit the Western Cape to enter into the Eastern Cape, we cross over a bridge spanning the width of the deepest gorge in the Garden Route area.
The Bloukrans bridge stands at a height of 216m above the Bloukrans River and is the site of the world's highest commercial bridge bungee jumping.

Bloukrans Bridge & Bungee Jumping.

Entering the Eastern Cape Province.

We continue on the N2, travelling through towns along the last stretch of the Garden Route.

Shortly after passing the major seaport city of Gqeberha, previously known as Port Elizabeth or simply PE, we branch off to the R72 Regional Route which will take us to the little coastal town of Port Alfred.
We make a quick stop at a fisheries owned by a local skipper/fisherman and get to enjoy a meal from his catch earlier this morning.
After a satisfying lunch, we complete the remaining 130 km's on the coastal route toward East London.

Our overnight stay will be in the suburb of Nahoon.
It is on the east bank of the Nahoon River which flows through an estuary and Africa's southernmost mangrove forest into the Indian Ocean. This is also the location of East London's most popular beach, Nahoon Beach.

We arrive at the guest apartment just before 5 pm. We quickly unpack & then drive the short distance down to the beach.

Although the skies are overcast, the weather is still quite warm.

We stroll along the beach and feel the water trickle over our feet as the waves gently meet the shoreline. It is surprisingly cold. Nonetheless, this is certainly not a bad way to end this leg of our journey...

Aerial footage of Nahoon Beach

Travel time for today including stops: 7 hours
Approx distance travelled: 550 km

Total trip travel time: 15 hours
Total trip distance: 1050 km

Posted by SuPa-Xplorers 12:31 Archived in South Africa Tagged waterfalls mountains bridges south_africa roadtrip western_cape bungee_jumping bloukrans eastern_cape Comments (0)

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