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Kimberley to Cape Town road trip: 8 things you should know

2018-03-30 09:45

Naseema Barday

Kimberley - In South Africa, any season is road trip season as there are always amazing places to visit; All it takes is some planning (the route, cost, and of course, the snacks) and some fuel, and you’re ready to go.

For me, driving from Kimberley to Cape Town has always been my personal favourite. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been on this route more times than I can count, if I hold the best memories between these trips or if it’s because I get to visit my family. But one thing's for sure, I could probably map out the route in my sleep (although not advisable).

This route spans across 955km, so it’s best to make the most of it and know what you’re getting yourself into.

I’m sure I don't have to tell you to not exceed 120km/h on highways, keep left, pass right, and make sure that both hands are on the steering wheel.

Instead, I'm going to focus on some of the road trip aspects motorists should be aware of on this route.

What's your favourite SA road trip? Do you have any valuable advice for motorists? Email us

Image: iStock

These are some key aspects I’ve experienced on numerous occasions along this route, which will hopefully optimise your journey:

1. Be vigilant: Be aware of many animals near the road especially along the Northern Cape stretch. Many motorists choose to drive at night as the road has fewer vehicles but do not take into consideration reduced visibility. Many crashes can be avoided and lives – of both humans and animals – can be saved if you remain vigilant.

2. Good to know: The N12 is relatively quiet until the road joins up with the N1. This can become especially busy during holiday periods.

3. Worst stretch: The road may feel endless between Beaufort West and Laingsburg as there is not much scenery along the way. This stretch is often the most dangerous as motorists become fatigued due to the monotonous road - a serious danger on the road. 

4. Best stop: The Shell Ultra City garage at the Three Sisters has always been my all-time favourite stopping and resting point. There is ample parking space, a picnic area where you can have your padkos if you are not keen on eating in the car. This is also the point where hundreds of motorists fill-up.

Image: Motorpress

5. Great view: The Du Toitskloof Pass along the R101 –  best known as 'The Old Road' – is a stunning scenic route throughout the year. This will, however, extend your journey by about 11km if you choose not to go through the Huguenot Tunnel along the N1. There are great picnic spots overlooking the Paarl valley below - be wary of troops of baboons (and do not feed them!).

6. Be alert: There is a road split between Touws River and Worcester and many motorists take risks by speeding along the section. Not only is this illegal but it also places you and fellow road users in danger. Always be on the lookout for reckless drivers.

7. Be careful: The Western Cape features amazing mountain passes but road users should be careful especially when there are only two lanes. It is easy to misjudge the curves and bends, and how far the next bend is. It also easy to misjudge the width of the road as often bends can be quite narrow.

8. Speed-trapping: You're going to encounter many traffic cops from Beaufort West and beyond. Don’t be in a rush to arrive at your destination; your family, friends and epic views will always be there, even if you are a few hours late. 
Rest often; many crashes occur due to driver fatigue. It only takes a few seconds of falling asleep behind the wheel to create a seriously dangerous situation on the road. Now that you’ve planned your trip and mapped out your route, it’s time to hit the road and enjoy the journey. 

Image: Motorpress

Read more on:    south africa  |  road trip  |  holiday

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