The South African version of Route 62 is a scenic, ambling trajectory which follows the regional road called Route 62 from Montagu in the Western Cape to Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape. The tourist route is slightly longer and provides a quieter and far more absorbing trip than the N2 national highway.
Route 62 is favoured and recommended by many travellers, locals and visitors alike, thanks to the stunning landscapes it passes through as well as the many small towns which are dotted along it. Unlike shooting up the N2, Route 62 embraces a slower pace of life and casts a light on small-town South Africa. It offers the perfect opportunity to take a road trip for the road trip’s sake, no more. Along the way you will discover plenty of things to do, fascinating sights and friendly hospitality.
Starting from the Cape Town side of Route 62, you can either travel up the N1 turning off the highway at Worcester, or you can head up the N2 and turn off towards Bonnievale at the turn-off after Riviersonderend. Either way, you will find yourself in the heart of the Breede River Valley, the first notable part of the route.
Robertson & Montagu
Robertson is home to numerous award-winning wine estates as well as a brandy distillery and both Montagu and Robertson boast a wealth of dining opportunities. Robertson is considered one of the best areas for parachuting and Montagu has some great rock climbing routes.
Barrydale, Ladismith & Ronnie’s Sex Shop in between
Beyond Montagu, Route 62 stretches out into the Klein Karoo, skirting along the northern part of the Langeberg Mountain Range. Before long though, you’ll be in another town – Barrydale. Barrydale, like most of the small towns on the route, is a very pretty settlement filled with friendly, quirky people. There are plenty of little coffee shops, an art gallery or 2 and farm stalls.
Barrydale and its cousin Ladismith, the next small town along the route, are renowned hiking destinations which also boast scenic mountain passes, 4×4 trails and brandy distilleries.
Between Barrydale and Ladismith the landscape becomes typical of the Klein Karoo; flat, semi-arid and punctuated with small shrubs and lone windmills. In the heart of this apparent nothingness is one of Route 62’s most famous attractions. The name Ronnie’s Sex Shop may be startling for some, but for years it has done its job of catching the attention of passing travellers exceptionally well.
Within the humble structure you’ll find a pub with a fully-stocked bar and small pub menu. The place is full of character too, with all kinds of paraphernalia hanging from the ceilings, and the walls adorned with messages from adoring fans.
Oudtshoorn and beyond
The last truly significant town on Route 62 is the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. Apart from the impressive Cango Caves, which are just outside town, Oudtshoorn is at the heart of the Karoo’s ostrich farming industry. As a result you can buy decorated eggs, ostrich leather products as well as enjoy the novel experience of riding an ostrich.
After Oudtshoorn you can zip over the Outeniqua Mountains and find yourself in the heart of the Garden Route, and back on the N2’s main drag.
Route 62 can easily be completed in a day, but given the wealth of potential stops, it is nice to take it easy and spend a night or two in towns or on farms along the route.
Route 62 Highlights
- > Sipping a beer at Ronnie’s Sex Shop or pulling over for a full-on braai on the stoep
> Brandy tasting and distillery tours in small towns like Robertson, Ladismith and Barrydale
> Pulling over at a Padstal (farm stall) for scrumptious car snacks and fresh home-made goodies
> Rock climbing at Montagu
> Wine tasting in the Breede River Valley