Self Driving in South Africa

by Lara Behrens
13th May 2017

Self Drive


sep gray

For those looking to explore South Africa at their own pace, the Bench experts recommend a self-drive holiday from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, which offers everything from vibrant cities to vineyards, gorgeous beaches to game parks! South Africa drives on the same side of the road as Australia and the major roads are tarred, well-maintained, and very well sign-posted with plenty of friendly service stations along the way. Enjoy driving through scenic countryside, rugged coastline and magnificent mountain passes at a leisurely pace, never travelling more than 5 hours in one day.

The Cape is one of the easiest and most rewarding self-drive holidays in Africa. Below are the areas that are typically included on a self-drive itinerary in this area:



With its majestic backdrop of Table Mountain, spectacular coastline and harbour, Cape Town is quite rightly regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful and interesting cities. Nearby at Cape Agulhas is where the ‘two oceans meet’. Just an hour away are the superb vineyards with their lovely Cape Dutch homesteads, and then there is the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront where one can while away the hours or even days – wining, dining or shopping. Cape Town appeals to just about all types of holidaymakers with various accommodation and activity options to suit families, honeymooners, adventure-lovers, gourmets, and friend groups.

Cape Town - 'The Mother City'



An easy hour’s drive from Cape Town, the Cape Winelands are characterised by picturesque valleys, craggy mountain peaks and sun-drenched vineyards. The quaint towns are full of award-winning restaurants, boutique shops, cafes, art galleries, and beautiful old estates which attract locals and international visitors alike. While the boutique hotels and luxurious manor houses make this area an obvious choice for couples, there is also a wide selection of family-friendly properties and outdoor activities (biking, horse riding, quad biking etc.) to suit families and friends.

The Beautiful Cape Winelands



South Africa’s world-famous Garden Route is a sunny stretch of southern Cape coastline featuring a plethora of beautiful beaches, dappled forests, secluded lagoons and buzzing coastal towns. What makes the Garden Route so remarkable is that it combines the fun of a classic beach holiday with the excitement of adventures unique to Africa. Outdoor activities take centre stage with numerous hiking trails, boat excursions, mountain biking, kayaking, several ethically run wildlife sanctuaries, horse riding, golf courses, forest canopy tours – the list goes on and on!

The Scenic Garden Route



Just a short drive from the popular beaches and seaside towns of the Garden Route lies the Eastern Cape Game Reserves. Most of these reserves boast the 'Big Five' amongst diverse and beautiful scenery, offering a variety of safari activities including game drives, bush walks, river cruises and horse riding. Being a malaria-free region, the Eastern Cape Reserves are well-known for their family-friendly accommodation and activities, but there are also plenty of stylish luxury lodges and romantic tented camps that cater for adults only. Once you arrive at your safari lodge you will leave your car parked and be in the care of professional guides and fully equipped 4x4 safari vehicles so you will have an excellent game viewing experience.

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve


Based on your wish list and budget, the experts at Bench will be happy to tailor-make your self-drive itinerary complete with hire car, carefully selected accommodation and detailed directions. Alternatively, you can browse our recommended itineraries which were skilfully created to include the highlights but also give you time to relax and explore the areas.

Order Your 2019/20 Africa Brochure

sep gray