Route 62 is quite simply the best driving tour you can take in the scenically splendid Western Cape. It is a wonderful route that takes you from Cape Town, via Oudtshoorn (Cango Caves) onwards to the Garden Route. Or you could drive via Langkloof to Port Elizabeth, always on predominantly traffic-free roads, through vast empty plains and fertile valleys, past towering cliffs and tumbling streams, dense shaded forests and rustic farm scenes, ancient geological outcrops and many charming towns and villages (one of the best being Barrydale of course!).
Route 62 is particularly popular with cycling tours and motor bike riders, this being likened to the Arizona of South Africa. It also allows a full circular loop, with the road trip returning to Cape Town via the faster, more developed N2, with splendid possibilities for overnighting all the way.
Aside from the many mountain passes on Route 62 (with a few optional detours, such as the unmissable Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert and then heading back via Meiringspoort), it is host to 69 wine farms and eleven specialist brandy cellars, making it the longest wine route in the Western Cape, and possibly the world.
Route 62 also provides access to some of the Cape’s best game reserves, cultural tours to view the ancient art of the San, hiking trails and mountain climbing, horse and ostrich riding, canoeing, caving, fishing and birding (look out for the truly elegant Blue Crane, South Africa’s national bird and an endangered species, often sighted en route). These are just some of the few exciting activities that can fill up your days when travelling along Route 62.
Possibly the most alluring attraction of Route 62 are the people who call this unique region home. Friendly and eager to assist, these characters will keep you entertained wherever your journey may take you – and there is no better place to experience this than the quaint Karoo village of Barrydale. Recently voted the second-friendliest destination in the Western Cape (piping Cape Town at the post!!), the bar at the Karoo Art Hotel is certainly one of best places to engage with locals – and see for yourself just how friendly they are!
It’s also a good base to explore the surrounding region – this is not a road trip you want to rush, so we recommend you spend at least two nights at the Karoo Art Hotel experiencing their old-fashioned hospitality, quirky décor and comfortable rooms.
With the ever-changing scenery of majestic mountains, plains carpeted with succulents, vineyards and orchards, as well as the multitude of attractions on offer, the Cape Route 62 will be an unforgettable adventure for all.
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