The scenic ‘Route 62’ is the historical road that passes from CERES (the fruit area at the foot of the Cederberg Mountains) to Worcester and Robertson through the Breede River Valley and the Klein Karoo. It used to be the main link between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town before the N2 Highway was built in I958.
This scenic route has been rediscovered, and serves as a 70 km shorter option between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn. The route passes through 14 beautiful preserved towns and villages where time has stood still for 40 years. WORCESTER on Route 60, where a visit to the Kleinplasie open-air museum portrays the lifestyle of the early pioneer farmers. The KWV Brandy Cellar, largest of its kind in the world, offers cellar tours and brandy tasting and will serve as a good introduction to the other smaller distilleries on the Brandy Route. The Robertson wine route forms part of the Breede River wine route which is reputed to be the longest wine route in the world.
MONTAGU at the heart of Route 62 and the start of the Klein Karoo, is a romantic village surrounded by majestic mountains. The village became famous for its healing, natural, hot springs and for the aphrodisiac quality of the water: The area is popular for its healthy dry climate, nature walks, 4X4 routes, cycling, country living and good fresh country cooking. Forget about having ‘your kicks on Route 66’ in the USA; rather enjoy the wine, brandy and views on Route 62, RSA! From Montagu and Bonnievale the Route 60 (an extension of Route 62) links back through a beautiful valley and pass to the N2 Highway and another historic Cape-Dutch town, Swellendam. From Swellendam it is an easy drive to the southern-most part of Africa, Cape Agulhas and the De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Overberg. Drive back to Cape Town via the Hermanus.
KLEIN KAROO and – GREAT KAROO: The Langeberg Mountain range forms a natural barrier between the fertile farmlands of the Breede River valley and the sunburned rock garden of the Little Karoo.
Fertile valleys are linked to the Garden Route on the one side and the ‘Groot Karoo’ on the other side by rugged, beautiful mountain passes such as the spectacular old “Seweweekspoort Pass”, the “Huisves Pass” and Schoemanspoort.
Pass through the picturesque towns of Barrydale known for its Joseph Barry Potstil Brandy; Ladismith at the foot of the Swartberg mountain; and the historic mission stations of Amalienstein and Zoar where life goes on in the traditional way.
CALITZDORP is renowned as the Port wine capital of South Africa. The Boplaas Brandy Cellar has been exporting brandy to London since the I 800s and at the Grundheim Brandy Cellar the Grundling family have farmed the land for more than 100 years.
OUDTSHOORN the capital of the Ostrich feather industry was the world centre for ostrich farming in Victorian times. Many grand houses (“feather palaces”) date from 1810 and are kept in pristine condition. Visit the Cango Caves – an enormous complex of caves where strange and wonderful shapes are formed by the stalactites and stalagmites and stretch deep into the Swartberg Mountains.
PRINCE ALBERT a peaceful village at the foot of the famous Swartberg Pass, an oasis in the dry Karoo, offers traditional Karoo hospitality. Streets are lined with water furrows along blooming gardens, and flourishing orchards. The town is an ideal spot for star-gazing and well-known for cheese, olives & wine.
Continue east on Route 62 where the Kammanassie and the Kouga Mountain ranges flank the long fertile ‘Langkloof’ valley – one of South Africa’s oldest farming communities. This narrows down to a small valley in the shadow of the Ttsitsikamma Mountains as you make your way back to the coast and the N2 Highway to Port Elizabeth.
It is also possible to return to the coast from Oudtshoorn through the R328 and the scenic ROBINSON PASS to Mossel Bay or on the OUTENIQUA PASS to George, Wilderness lakes and Knysna.