Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Western Cape

The Western Cape of South Africa is known for its gorgeous landscapes, scenery, and scenic drives. Hiring a car in Cape Town lets you explore the Western Cape at your own pace, stop when you choose, and take in all its splendour. This article covers the best 10 scenic drives in the Western Cape, their nearest airports, and what to expect along the way. 

1. Chapmans Peak Drive

South Africa’s most picturesque beachfront drive. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Hout Bay Valley. 

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy:

  • Hout Bay sunsets
  • Vibrant fynbos
  • Picnic and swim at Noordhoek Beach

2. Garden Route

The scenic Garden Route runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, along South Africa’s southern coast. Anybody wanting to see Western Cape nature at it’s best, should take this drive.

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy:

  • Beautiful coastline vistas
  • Dolphins and whales playing.
  • Visits to Victoria Bay and Nature’s Valley beaches
  • Beautiful drives through forests and hills

3. Winelands Road

This picturesque trip through South Africa’s wine region lets you taste the Winelands’ best wines. The course winds through Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl, passing vineyard-covered hills.

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy:

  • South Africa’s top wineries offer tastings.
  • Explores Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
  • Vineyard hills and mountain views
  • Excellent local cuisine, including world-renowned Cape Malay cuisine
Vineyard landscape at sunset with mountains in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, South Africa

4. Whale Route

This journey down the southern coast of the Western Cape offers stunning ocean vistas and the rare opportunity to see whales that migrate here each year. The Whale Route will take you from Hermanus to Gansbaai. 

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy:

  • Visit Grotto Beach, Kleinmond Beach, and others.
  • Look out for whales, seals, penguins, and dolphins

5. Cederberg Route

This magnificent route passes through the rocky Cederberg Mountains, home to South Africa’s most picturesque rock formations and scenery. Following the Cederberg Route will take you from Cape Town to Clanwilliam. 

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy: 

  • Stops at spectacular natural attractions like Truitjieskraal Dam and the Cederberg Wilderness Area
  • Drives across fynbos-covered slopes and valleys
  • Look out for baboons, klipspringers, and lynx

6. Cape Point Route

Take a trip to Africa’s most southernmost point, the Cape of Good Hope. Cape Town’s coastal drive offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Peninsula.

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy:

  • Muizenberg and Simon’s Town beaches.
  • The Cape of Good Hope
  • Look out for baboons, seagulls, and ostriches
  • Cape Peninsula scenic drives

7. The West Coast National Park Route

This scenic journey passes through West Coast National Park, a stunning natural reserve with a rich and diverse fauna and flora. 

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy:

  • Visits to Langebaan and Paternoster beaches Flamingos, ostriches, and springbok sightings
  • Drives across fynbos-covered slopes and valleys
  • West Coast historic fishing villages

8. The Route 62

The Route 62 through the Western Cape offers breathtaking vistas of mountains, valleys, and vineyards. Taking you from Cape Town all the way to the charming town of Oudtshoorn.

Closest Airport: George Airport 

What to enjoy:

  • Visits to the Cango Caves and Meiringspoort Pass, among others,
  • Drives through vineyard-covered hills and valleys
  • South Africa’s top wineries offer tastings.
  • Look out for baboons and klipspringers 
Stalagmites and stalactites in the Cango Caves near Oudthoorn in the Western Cape Karoo

9. The Namaqualand Route

A majestic mountainous region known for its wildflowers. The Namaqualand Route will take you from Cape Town all the way to Springbok.

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy:

  • Visits to Namaqua National Park and Goegap Natural Reserve, among others.
  • Spring wildflower blooms
  • Drives across fynbos-covered slopes and valleys
  • Look out for ostriches, springbok, and meerkats.

10. The Overberg Route

This magnificent trip passes through the rocky Overberg region, home to some of the Western Cape’s most memorable landscapes. The Overberg Route is an engaging drive from Cape Town to Hermanus.

Closest Airport: Cape Town International Airport

What to enjoy:

  • Stops at beautiful natural sights like the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden and De Hoop Natural Reserve
  • Drives across fynbos-covered slopes and valleys
  • Look out for whales, penguins, dolphins, and seals
cape point penguins

Car Rental in Cape Town or George

Renting a car from Cape Town International Airport or George Airport is the best way to experience the scenic drives of the Western Cape. With a rental car, you can explore at your own leisure, stop whenever you want, and enjoy everything it has to offer. .

Explore Cape Town and surrounds by renting a car at Cape Town International Airport. SANI Car Rental is a South African homegrown car rental company. Vehicles available to rent include compact cars, economy cars, premium cars, people carriers and SUVs. SANI Car Rental serves customers throughout South Africa including at all major local and international airport.

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