meerkat

Road tripping along Route 62

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Buckle up for meerkats, hot springs and plenty of wine

Why take the N2 inland from Cape Town when you can embark on an impressive journey down South Africa’s own Route 62?

Reminiscent of the iconic Route 66 in the United States, this quirky meander takes intrepid travellers from Robertson to Oudtshoorn, through Ashton, Montagu, Barrydale and Calitzdorp, to name but a few of the highlights.

Route 62 appeals to anyone with a love for the open road and a keen sense of adventure and you are completely free to forge your own itinerary as you go, stopping where you like, for as long as you like.  

A good meal (washed down with a refreshing bevy) is easy to find on this ultimate South African road trip, and aside from that, here a few experiences that prove Route 62 really does have it all:

Adopt a meerkat

Just outside Oudtshoorn, discover a one-of-a-kind research reserve called Meerkat Magic, exclusively dedicated to studying the habits of these wild and fury little creatures. You can join guided tours of meerkat colonies with experts who teach about how their habits, and even adopt a meerkat for 12 months by donating to the establishment. You won’t be able to take one of these little guys with you along Route 62, but you will receive a special adoption certificate. Awww!

Visit: www.meerkatmagic.com

Visit Ronnie’s Sex Shop

Definitely not what you think, okay, maybe just a little bit…Ronnie’s Sex Shop and its owner (Ronnie) are well-known characters of the Little Karoo. Many years ago, he opened the shop as “Ronnie’s Shop” but, as the story goes, one night a few of his friends decided to amend the name to liven it up. It’s now a popular pit stop along Route 62, as seen by its walls that are covered with graffiti greetings from various travellers, with all sorts of underwear strung from the ceiling too. If you’re lucky, you might even be served by the Ronnie himself!

Visit: www.ronniessexshop.co.za

Get wacky in Robertson

Route 62’s world-class wine route has as its hub, the town of Robertson, where you can also visit the Klipdrift brandy distillery and gain first-hand insight into how this magical South African beverage comes to life. If you are heading through this area along Route 62 around the 31 May to 3 June, you’ll be just in time to attend the annual Wacky Wine Festival where you’ll get to sample some of the country’s award-winning wines.

Visit: www.wackywineweekend.com

Make a splash in the hot springs

Just beyond Robertson is the fabulous mountain town of Montagu. Not only is it the home of South Africa’s dried fruit and nut industry, it also boasts a natural hot spring. Avalon Springs is just a two-hour drive from Cape Town and offers relaxing resort accommodation. Once here, you can delight in comfortable, private suites, studio apartments or self-catering chalets – the perfect haven for a rest along Route 62. Paired with Avalon Springs’ warm hospitality, the even warmer natural spring pools provide an idyllic setting to soothe body and soul against the backdrop of surrounding orchards and mountains.

Visit: www.dreamresorts.co.za/hotels-resorts/avalon-springs/explore/ 

Big birds and dark caves

It might not be completely incorrect to call Oudtshoorn the Ostrich Capital of the World. With roughly 400 Ostrich farms in this area, these giant chickens pretty much run the town. You are welcome to get up close to these first-class citizens at some of the farms and even ride one, if you dare. However, if ostrich riding is not really your thing, but dim and dank caves are, be sure to explore the Cango Caves. These fascinating limestone caves are open 365 days a year and are situated at the foothills of the Swartberg just off Route 62. 

Visit: www.oudtshoorn.com