Don’t have plans for your December holiday yet? It’s okay, we understand you’re busy, so we are making it easy for you. Pack the Frikadelle and boiled eggs because you are going on a road trip.
This trip, covering mostly Eastern Cape, is diverse without too much driving each day, you might even be inspired to add your own stops too. Most of these stops still have some accommodation options left, depending on your specific dates and budget, but of course it is best to book asap.
Day 1: Pretoria to Nieu-Bethesda
This little town is quiet and perfect for a one-night stay if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle. The main attraction is of course the owl house, but the brewery, pizzeria and overall charm will have you wanting more.
Stop 2: Graaff-Reinet
Often mistaken for a one horse town where you only grab a cold drink on your way to the coast, but boy are you in for a treat. Graaff-Reinet has lots to see and do. With a range of accommodation options, coffee shops and restaurants as well as the Valley of Desolation, boredom on the long road down is something of the past.
Look at our previous post on must-visit small towns for more details.
Stop 3: Port Elizabeth
Take a pit stop here to show off your beach body and perhaps take a day trip to Jeffrey’s bay and/or St Francis bay as these destinations are fully booked way ahead of December. There are a range of accommodation options in and around PE, ranging from hotels to B&B’s and camping, so take a day or preferably two here before continuing.
Stop 4: Hogsback
This little town is magic, very literally, with fairy gardens, waterfalls and bathtubs in the middle of the mountains. Tucked away in the misty mountains you cannot go wrong by visiting Hogsback. It might only be a stop on your way to the next destination, but if you can find accommodation that suits you, definitely grab it asap as it’s very popular.
Stop 5: East London
Have a good night’s rest and take a pause at Nahoon or Gonubie beach before heading to Coffee bay, although not far apart, the roads are full of potholes and cattle thus it can take you quite a few hours to reach.
Stop 6: Coffee Bay
Take in the beautiful greenery and views of the ocean before continuing to hole in the wall.
Just a warning, do not think you will get a spot to sleep if you just show up, although not big, Coffee bay has a lot of visitors and accommodation is packed over December.
We opted for a day trip and spent the night in Maclear which is up next.
Stop 7: Maclear
Centrally located to spend a night, we stayed in a lovely BnB on a hill, be sure to get a meal before you arrive or settle for a take-away if you arrive late. You would want to head back here in the winter months as the town gets covered in snow and turns out to be quite the fairy tale.
Stop 8: Moolmanshoek
Explore the surroundings on horseback, read a book in the library, go for a walk or just relax and take in nature at it’s best. Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve is the perfect last stop on your road trip. The evening buffet is very traditional and seasonally prepared, a lovely meal to end off your day. A delicious breakfast the next morning will prepare you for the road back home. All good things must come to an end unfortunately!
Last stop: Pretoria
Home sweet home… it’s always bittersweet to return, but at least you can start planning the next adventure, perhaps even a little further ahead of time…