The Overberg

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Linking Cape Town and The Garden Route is a key part of most people’s trips to South Africa, but it needn’t be a six-hour slog along the N2 motorway, or involve a flight. Instead, take the time to explore the Overberg region that lies between the two, and turn a simple transfer into one of the highlights of your holiday. The back roads from the Winelands down to the N2 merit exploration, the scenery is impressive and ever-changing. Hiding here you’ll find the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. This enormous tract of land has the sort of landscape that makes you run out of superlatives, and you’ll pretty much have it to yourself. Add in the white lions, and other wildlife, and it becomes a very special place. Further along the N2, break your journey to see the De Hoop Nature Reserve, one of South Africa’s least-known reserves. Here vegetated dunes slip down on to white sand beaches where whales can be seen from the shore. Cycle or walk through the delicate fynbos vegetation, keeping an eye out for ostriches, bontebok, or the enormous eland antelope. Staying in nearby Swellendam is a great option, or try the newly-opened accommodation right in the heart of the reserve. The beauty of the landscape and the proximity of the wildlife in the Overberg region easily matches that of the more famous Garden Route, so it’s worth stopping whilst everyone else hurtles through missing this little gem of a region.

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