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What to do on a road trip from Cape Town to Namibia

Cape Town to NamibiaCape Town to Namibia
Cape Town to NamibiaCape Town to Namibia

 

What to do on a road trip from Cape Town to Namibia

From Cape Town to Namibia, it’s a 1481 km drive. That means you will be passing a variety of little towns over the two provinces you cross to get to the Namibian border. If you drive nonstop, it’s a 15-hour drive, but that’s not comfortable or safe for many drivers to do. Rather take your time and use the opportunity to explore your home country a little more.

You’ll be surprised at what many of the Western Cape and Northern Cape small towns can offer, and your body will thank you for the breaks in between trips. If there’s no rush to get to the other side, stopover in at least two towns along the way. For example, a town in the Western Cape on the way there and one in the Northern Cape on the way back if you don’t want to take an extra two days to get to your final destination. You won’t regret it.

 

Preparing for the road trip

Before anything else, you need to make sure you’re prepared for the road trip. Snacks, water and caffeine drinks for the early morning or late night stretches. If you’re bringing your kids along with you, you need to have activities prepared to keep them busy. If that means buying them a new colouring book, toy or children's book, do it. You want them to be occupied for as long as possible otherwise the trip will feel 10 times longer.

You need to book your stopover accommodation in advance and plan your days so you know how much leeway you have in terms of adding extra stops along the way to explore a few more towns. Try and stick to a schedule and keep to safer driving hours between sunrise and sunset. Especially if you’re unfamiliar with the route (although it’s pretty simple once you’re on the N7).

You also need to be prepared with the documents you need for when you reach the border. This includes passports, driver’s licence, vehicle registration and the necessary fee for crossing the border.  

 

Stopover towns in the Western Cape

If you’re wanting to do a stopover in the Western Cape before travelling the six odd hours through the Northern Cape, here are a few towns you can consider staying in. Please note that these towns are listed in ascending order from the closest to Cape Town city centre towards the Northern Cape.

  • Piketberg: If you’re going to stopover in this little town, you may as well enjoy some wine. In Piketberg there are places such as the Winkelshoek Wine Cellar, Org de Rac Domain vineyards and the Nieuwedrift Vineyards that are a must-visit for wine lovers. There are also zip lining, hiking, horse riding and paintballing activities for the whole family to do if there are little ones to think about as well.
  • Citrusdal: Citrusdal and the Cederberg area have plenty to offer nature lovers and get visitors involved through their Cape Flower Route, hikes, mountain biking and rock climbing activities in the surrounding mountains. It’s also a small town which makes it the perfect break away from the city and will be the perfect place to rest your eyes before heading on towards the Northern Cape and Namibia.
  • Clanwilliam: Clanwilliam is also in the Cederberg area, only 59 km from Citrusdal, but where you choose to stopover will depend on how far you’re comfortable with driving at a time and where you manage to find accommodation. There is the Clanwilliam Hotel where you can stay and enjoy river rafting on the Olifants River in the morning before you hit the road again. That will definitely tire the kids and help them pass out on the drive up North.

 

Stopover towns in the Northern Cape

If you manage to conquer the Western Cape in the first part of the road trip, you’ll need to stopover somewhere in the Northern Cape.  

  • Kamieskroon: At the foothills of the Kamies Mountain is the little town of Kamieskroon. If you want to spend some quiet time in nature then this is where you want to be. Drive along their Caracal Eco Trail (from mountain to sea) and find serenity in the desert landscape.
  • Springbok: You’re now driving through the Namaqua of the Northern Cape where the months of spring transform the desert into a sea of brightly coloured flowers. This is a sight you have to see at least once in your life and Springbok is the central place to do it as the largest town in the area. Book a room at the Springbok Inn Hotel and take a day to enjoy the surrounding nature through hikes, drives and cycling trails.
  • Vioolsdrift: If you want to be close to the border and enjoy the view of the Orange River from South Africa, then set your stop at Vioolsdrift. You’ll be about 800 km from Windhoek (if that’s where you’re headed to in Namibia) but about a 10-minute drive to the Namibian border.

There is so much to see in South Africa and the road trip from Cape Town to Namibia covers the beautiful yet underrated towns along the N7. Include these stops in your trip and explore as many corners of the country as you can. After all, that’s what road trips are for.  

Cape Town to Namibia