Route to Cape Town
West Coast Route to Cape Town
Inland Route North N7:
Driving distance: Approximately 500 - 600 km.
Suggested minimum travelling time: 3 Days
The N7 is the major artery connecting Cape Town with our northern neighbour, Namibia. It’s an easy drive, and you could be tempted just to whiz along without stopping - but you'd miss some of the Cape's rarest gems if you did.
Follow our suggested route, with its twists, turns and cut-backs, and you’ll discover a region where Nature is Queen - and where our people serve her with reverence and dedication in a host of reserves, wilderness areas and conservancies. And whilst it may look dry in places, this is one of the most fertile parts of South Africa and produces excellent wine, olives and fruit all available for tasting.
Along the way you'll meet friendly, hospitable people, visit museums and galleries and find fascinating shops - and you'll discover kilometres of walking, biking and riding trails, huge open spaces and our wide, clear wide skies.
All these combine to offer an experience which shows that, whilst South Africa may have a strong European heritage, we are - and our roots are - truly African.
Cape Town - Malmesbury:
Begin your journey in Cape Town and follow the N7 to Malmesbury - a picturesque farming town with beautifully restored buildings. Your first detour will take you through the Riebeek Valley and the twin villages of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West. This area is particularly pretty in spring, when fruit blossoms cover the valley in clouds of pink and white. This area forms part of the West Coast wine route. Also be on the look-out for olives and wheatfields grown in this area.
Continue on the R311 to Mooreesburg, which boasts one the world’s few wheat museums. From here you can choose to follow the N7 northwards again, or take a 50 kilometre detour via Hopefield - with its important archaeological sites and fossil fields - and Koringberg.
On the N7 again, the next stop is at Piketberg, an area of vast contrasts, of rugged mountains and sheltered, fertile valleys - and an excellent wine producing region. Don’t miss the drive to the top of the mountain to see the hidden valleys and enjoy a great view. From here you could detour westwards along the R399 to Velddrif at the coast - stopping to visit the Goedverwacht Mission Station along the way - or you could travel eastwards to Porterville.
The gateway to the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness area, Porterville is near to one of the world’s best hang gliding sites - and it’s the only place in the world where you’ll find the rare yellow disa orchid.
Overnight at the mountain resort on the top of the Piekenierskloof-pass, overlooking the the valley of Citrusdal and the Cederberg Mountains.
From Piketberg, two roads lead northwards to your next destination - Citrusdal. The N7 is the most direct route, but you might prefer to follow the R365 via Eendekuil, where the local co-op produces choice cheddar and gouda cheeses.
Citrusdal - literally 'Citrus Valley'is home to some of the tastiest, juiciest citrus fruit, and offers natural mineral springs and facinating examples of ancient rock art.
Cederberg Wilderness Area:
About 25 kilometres north of Citrusdal you’ll come to the turn off to Algeria and the Cederberg Wilderness Area. This is a gravel road so be sure to check on the condition of the road before you set out. Also ensure you are able to cross the low bridge over the Olifants River on route. This is a detour not to be missed for the spectacular mountain scenery- it will take you via Grootkloof and the Clanwilliam Dam to Clanwilliam itself.
The 162,000 ha Cederberg Wilderness Area is a must for fresh air friends. There are more than 250 km of hiking paths, many campsites, 4x4 trails, river rafting and rock climbing areas. The area is particular beautiful in spring (September) when the wild flowers put on their annual show, sometimes completely covering fields with bright flowers.
Clanwilliam - which is known for the quality of its historical buildings - is the only place in the country where our traditional rooibos and buchu tea is grown. Both are tasty herbal teas, delicious cold or hot.
From Clanwilliam you could take a 75 kilometre detour on the R364 via the little commercial centre of Graafwater to the coast at Lambert’s Bay. Alternately you could follow the N7 via Trawal to Klawer and turn off onto the R362 to Vredendal - a good base from which to explore the flower region, especially during flower season - July to October.
Clanwilliam - Vanrhynsdorp:
Continue via Lutzville to Koekenaap and Nuwerus - where you can explore entrenchments built during the second Anglo-Boer War - and turn right onto the N7 for the drive to Vanrhynsdorp. This area is rich in succulents, some found nowhere else in the world.
Vanrhynsdorp - Cape Town:
From Vanrhynsdorp, return to Cape Town along the Coastal Route – via Vredendal, Lambertsbay, Velddrif and Saldanha.
Kruger Safari Winner
Reviews & Feedbacks
- International Countries
- Mauritius Reviews
- Egypt Holidays
- Kruger Park Reviews
- Overland Adventures
- Cape Town Tours