Tours - Journeys Less Travelled - Johannesburg to Cape Town

Victoria West
Victoria West Credits: Freda
The direct route from Johannesburg to Cape Town on the N1 can be very stressful, given the amount of traffic especially heavy transport. There's an alternative route,  a little further, but quieter, very scenic and less stressful. In effect your holiday starts when you get in the car, not when you unpack at your destination.

Stop in the towns that you pass through, find the one real important/famous/unusual thing about the town and go see. It can be as much fun as you make it.

At the end of this we'll give you distances between towns, so you can plan your stops and stopovers, depending on what time you leave.

From Johannesburg take the N1 to Cape Town and just past Soweto take the Potchefstroom/Kimberley exit to the N12 and N14. You go through the following towns enroute to Kimberley. Potchefstroom, Klerksdorp, Wolmaranstad, Bloemhof, Christiana, Warrenton. Things to look out for are the Bloemhof Dam, Rob Ferreira Nature Reserve, Vaal Harts irrigation canals, The Vaal River just outside Warrenton.

From Kimberley you go past Hopetown, Strydenburg, Britstown and Victoria West and then join the N1 at Three Sisters. After going through Beaufort West turn left on the n10 to Oudtshoorn. You go through the beautiful Meiringspoort and the little village of De Rust before Oudtshoorn.

You drive straight through Oudtshoorn and on to Calitzdorp and Ladismith. After Ladismith you reach Barrydale and there you have two choices.

Alternative 1
You can turn left to go to Swellendam and then on to any one of the following places – On the N2, to Riviersonderend, Caledon, Grabouw,Somerset West and Cape Town.
En route you can turn off left to Bredasdorp, Napier, Cape Agulhas, Stanford, Gansbaai, Hermanus or turn off right for Villiersdorp, Mc Gregor and Franschhoek.

Alternative 2
You go straight on from Barrydale to Montagu Ashton Robertson and Worcester and there you rejoin the N1.

Johannesburg to Bloemfontein on the N1-382km.
Johannesburg to Kimberley on the N12 - 459km.
Kimberley to Three Sisters on the N12 - 418km
Bloemfontein to Three Sisters on the N1 – 469km

So far the difference in the two routes is 16km (Kimberley Route more)

From Three Sisters to Paarl on the N1 - 495km
From Three Sisters to Paarl on the N10 and N15 - 630km
From Three Sisters to Somerset West on N10 and N2 – 678km

So, for just more than an extra 150km you get to enjoy different scenery, meet different people, see less heavy transport, and you holiday from the get go.

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