Cape Agulhas and Route 62.

We visited South Africa during a 3 months roadtrip through southern Africa
(South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland).
October - December 2014.

Average Exchange rate: 1€ = 14 Rands

Following our route from Cape Town to Lesotho, after Hermanus, we visited Cape Agulhas and took the Route 62. We prefered this small route to head east, if not, you can go trought the national route N2 with trucks and more traffic.

   Cape  Agulhas   

Cape Agulhas is the southern point of Africa, kind of symbol. Don´t expect high cliffs like in Cape Point. No, here´s just a "one more place", just a rocky flat coast. Only if you have time, it´s a 40 km detour (one way) from Bredasdorp. So if heading east from Cape Town to the Garden Route, you can stop and have a look. But if visiting only around Cape Town (more than 200 km away, and 130 km from Hermanus), reaching Cape Agulhas can be to far away and maybe not worth the long drive there.
Cape Agulhas is just to find yourself at the top south of the continent.
They say the place is really impressive under a storm! In november, it was blue sky and flat ocean.
No entrance fee to reach the southern point. You pay for visiting the lighthouse and its small museum (24R).
If you want to enter the Cape Agulhas Reserve and campsite, west of the cape, there´s an entrance fee (128 R, included with the Wild Card).

Struusbaai is the closest town, just north of the cape, with lots of holiday houses, so the area is not really remote anymore. There you find accommodation (campings and backpackers) and all the services. Quiet place, small port and wild dunes beaches all over the inside bay. A few abandon old fishermen houses on the sides of the road.

Bredasdorp (40 km north of the cape) is a big rural commercial town with many supermarkets.

Note: the road from Cape Agulhas to Gansbaai following the coast is not tarred and seems to be in bad conditions (according with the local people). You have to go via Bredasdorp and Stanford to connect with Gansbaai or Hermanus. Maybe in the future they will upgrade this coast road.


If heading east from Cape Town to the Garden Route, from Cape Agulhas it´s a long drive till George where the Garden Route starts, west.

You can drive straight, following the main road, N2, with traffic, east of Swellendam (320 km from Agulhas to George). Or take the Route 62, longer (400 km), but without traffic, a small road through empty places. A tourist and scenic route.


Even if it´s a tourist route, not so many people around, it´s about promoving this lonely area, the Little Karoo.The area is nice, quite scenic in some places, some wineyards, but not so many things to do or to see, just rural empty areas.
But if you like driving slowly and without traffic, much nicer than through the N2.

Note: Route 62 starts in fact further west, around Montagu, and goes east till Oudtshoorn (240 km long). We just follow it from Barrydale heading east (180 km).

Things to do on the way:

- Visit the Bontebok National Park.  Near Swellendam.
Price: 84 R for foreigners, included with Wild Card.
Small park with river and campsite but don´t expect to see many animals, this is what some neighbors told us ( the loop route inside the park is just 20 km long, gravel road). 
Access is via gravel road, 6 km south of Swellendam but we did not go because of rain.

- Enjoy the lookouts on the Road R324, from Swellendam to Barrydale, beautiful Tradouw Pass through a gorge, many lookouts.
- Then it´s Route 62, crossing the Little Karoo, just a few villages, quite tourist with restaurants and wineyards in the few villages of the road, empty region, surrounded by mountains.

- See the ostriches and do shopping in Oudtshoorn. A big commercial town, turistic and famous for its ostriches shows and farms in the surrounds. Cool town with many trees in its streets, plenty of accommodation as many groups and travellers around (ostriches and the caves are big tourist attractions). We did not go to the ostriches shows but it´s easy to see the animals around (not wild, farms).
Many supermarkets, gas stations, banks, etc.

- Visit the Cango Caves, around 30 km north of Oudtshoorn.  
Entrance fee: 80 R for 1 hour and 100 R for 1h30 adventure tour. 
We did not go but many tours and groups do, and we don´t like this kind of crowded places.

- Cross the Outeniqua Pass, from Oudtshoorn to George. A few lookouts. Just fine, lots of deforestation around.

- George. It´s the big town in the area. Golf clubs, hotels, restaurants and nothing special to stop there, many supermarkets, banks, etc. Many groups around. 
The tourist steam Outeniqua train from George to Knysna is not working anymore (since 2006).


We stayed 1 night with Juliette and Kersten in Stormsvlei, rural valley near the national N2, 40 km west of  Swellendam. Thanks to Couchsurfing.
They have a campsite there, near their farm, so this place it´s another option. We don´t know the price. Quiet area, nice, rural.

- A few options for accommodation/camping in Calitzdorp and Ladysmith.

- In Oudtshoorn, you have many options to sleep because it´s very touristic, but the prices usually are higher, specially at the hotels. Looking for cheap accomodation, we found a few campsites and backpackers, with good price. 

We stayed at Kleinplaas. It´s a nice place, a big campsite and also rooms. Pool and wifi. We got a discount.
Price for camping: 150 R/2p is what we paid (maybe cause low season), but it seems that the normal price is 225 R

Other cheap options in Oudtshoorn are to camp in Attakwas(small camping, rustic WC) but only 50 R/pp or at the Oudtshoorn backpackers (80 R/pp) where you can camp in the small garden.


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