A Sunday Drive for Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, spend quality time with Dad by taking a leisurely drive. You’ll be reminded what you love about family road trips.

At this point in lockdown, we’re all itching to get out of the house. And while the typical Father’s Day treats of a restaurant meal and a group activity are off the cards, you can still take Dad out. A Sunday drive is just the ticket to see new horizons and spend time together. To inspire you, we’re sharing some of our favourite drives.

Take note: Be sure to obey level 3 lockdown regulations when you plan your outing. Under the current restrictions you can travel within your metropolitan district for exercise (for example to a hiking trail, mountain biking route, golf course).

A quaint village tour near Cape Town

Speed is not really my thing, and as such I stay off the highways whenever possible and follow the road less travelled. In this way I stumbled upon the small village of Philadelphia one Sunday morning.  In stark contrast to the large city in the USA with the same name, it is a small, rustic village of less than 1,000 inhabitants. There are charming old buildings. Helena se Hoekwinkel is housed in a fascinating old building, with traditional Victorian Broekie Lace iron decorations around the patio. The picturesque Dutch Reformed Church, which was established in 1863, is also worth a photo stop. You could spend most of the day exploring Philadelphia, or head further north to the historic village of Mamre. This Moravian mission station was established in 1808 as a refuge for the remaining Khoi-Na tribe in the area. The first church building was erected in 1816 and was declared a National Heritage Site in 1967.

– Lizette Swart

A drive along passes from George

The ‘Old Seven Passes road’ might not be the quickest route between George and Knysna, but it’s easily the prettiest. The narrow road winds up the mountain through overhanging milkwood forest and across historic bridges. These days the road is only really used by farmers in the area and a drive along its quiet track will likely fill you with nostalgia. At the top of the Silver River Pass it’s well worth taking the detour to see the Map of Africa. From the viewpoint you look down onto the Kaaimans River, which forms the shape of the continent. Although this drive starts on tar, you’ll soon enough find yourself on a gravel road. After recent rains it’s probably better to use a 4×2 vehicle. Duiwelskop Pass takes you past the quaint hamlet of Hoekwil, followed by the forestry town of Karatara. Shortly after Rheenendal you can turn off to the Jubilee Creek Nature Reserve to see the Dalene Matthee Big Tree. The Seven Passes Road eventually joins the N2 and you can either head back to George, via Sedgefield and Wilderness, or on to Knysna.

– Janine Reyneke

A scenic circuit from Johannesburg

I grew up in Joburg, a big, bustling city that seems a world removed from the idea of a scenic countryside. But a short drive northwest connects you to the Crocodile (River) Ramble and its roads that wind in between the undulating hills of the Witwatersrand. Head out towards Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. This area is characterised by rocky crags, a reminder that there is still wilderness to be found close to the metropolis. The cliffs in the gardens have been home to a pair of nesting Verreaux’s eagles for years. From here drive on to the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site and the location of important humanid fossil finds. Be sure to return when the visitor centre at Maropeng is open. The road meanders past farms and smallholdings where horses graze in paddocks… You can almost forget you’re outside a big city. Loop back towards the city via Avianto where the sports park is open for cyclists and takeaway coffees are on offer.

– Magriet Kruger

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