What are the most spectacular roads in South Africa?

Drivers, get ready to rev up the engine on the roads of South Africa. Tarmac, gravel, or dirt, the roads in the country have it all, from dangerous mountain passes, to coastal drives. Located at the southern tip of the African continent, South Africa covers an area of approximately 1,221,037 square kilometers. It’s bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Lesotho. It has a very varied climate, from arid to subtropical and rainfall patterns influenced by the Indian and Atlantic oceans.

The country hosts 85 roads listed as the most spectacular in the world, and becomes a true dream for every driver. You can’t miss the road to Swartberg Pass, with switchbacks and breathtaking views at every turn, climbing up to 1.574m (5,164ft) above sea level in the Western Cape province, or the world famous Sani Pass, a hairy drive to the roof of Africa, climbing up to 2.876m (9,400ft) above sea level, on the border with Lesotho. If you prefer the seaside, Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the world's most spectacular coastal drives, offering unparalleled scenic beauty and thrilling twists along the way. If you’re searching more defiant drives, don’t forget to check out our content about the highest roads in South Africa.

Swartberg Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.574m (5,164ft) above sea level, located in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Sani Pass is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.876m (9,400ft) above the sea level, located on the border of South Africa and Lesotho. It’s one of the highest roads of the country.

Die Hel is a valley located in the Western Cape Province, on the southwestern coast of South Africa. The road to Die Hel is rather dangerous.

Located on South Africa's Atlantic Coast, Chapman’s Peak Drive ranks among the world's most breathtaking coastal drives, offering unparalleled scenic beauty and thrilling twists along the way.

Bainskloof Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 597m (1,958ft) above sea level, located in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It’s said to be one of South Africa’s finest scenic passes.

Montagu Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 741m (2,431ft) above sea level, situated in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Prince Alfred's Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1,040m (3,412ft) above sea level, located in South Africa.

Eselbank Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 978m (3,208ft) above sea level located in the Western Cape province of South Africa. This route is not recommended for normal cars.

Located on the southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa is one of the most geographically varied countries of the continent. The mountain ranges of the country are some of the oldest and most beautiful in the world, and several of the highest peaks have snow in the Southern hemisphere winter season.

Rooiberg Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 798m (2,618ft) above sea level, located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Naude's Neck Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.592m (8,503ft) above sea level, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. This pass is not for the faint-hearted, and even in full 4WD, vehicles can slide around on the muddy surfaces. It’s one of the highest roads of South Africa.

Tradouw Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 352m (1,154ft) above sea level, located in the Western Cape Province in South Africa. It is truly one of those mountain passes that you must drive.

Van Reenen's Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.777m (5,830ft) above sea level, located in the Free State province of South Africa. This pass produces a fair portion of South Africa’s trucking accidents.

De Beer's Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1,722m (5,649ft) above sea level, located in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. This is considered one of the most dangerous roads in the country and has been the site of a number of fatal accidents.

Bosluiskloof Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.124m (3,687ft) above sea level, located in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Focused attention by drivers required.

Carlisleshoek Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.563m (8,408ft) above sea level, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. You don't need 4x4, but you do need controlled power, particularly where the cement strips zigzag their way up the most extreme section. It’s one of the highest roads of South Africa.

Lootsberg Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.781m (5,843ft) above the sea level, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

Outeniqua Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 800m (2,600ft) above the sea level, located in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Joubert's Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2,234m (7,329ft) above sea level, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, near the border with Lesotho.

Barkly Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.018m (6,620ft) above the sea level, located in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Hela Hela Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.199m (3,934ft) above the sea level, located in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

Cala Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.517m (4,977ft) above the sea level, located in the Eastern Cape, province of South Africa.

Volunteershoek Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.567m (8421 ft) above the sea level, sea level, located in Eastern Cape, South Africa. This is strictly a 4x4 only route. It’s one of the highest roads of the country.

Misverstand Dam is a combined gravity & arch type dam located near Porterville, Western Cape, in South Africa. It’s a perfect place for any water enthusiast.

Penhoek Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.852m (6,076ft) above the sea level, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

Katbakkies Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.198m (3,930ft) above the sea level, located deep in the Swartruggens Mountains, in Western Cape, South Africa.

Garcia's Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 548m (1,797ft) above the sea level, located North of Riversdale in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Long Tom Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.151m (7,057ft) above the sea level, located in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Matroosberg is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.249m (7,378ft) above the sea level, located in Western Cape (South Africa).

South Africa is a country renowned for its varied topography and occupies the southern tip of the African continent.

Located in the heart of the Eastern Cape, in South Africa, the R332 Road is a real adventure. Mostly a single lane gravel road this is a beautiful area but drive slowly and carefully. It should be driven only by a 4x4.

Swaershoek Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.981m (6,499ft) above the sea level, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

Molteno Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.204m (3,950ft) above the sea level, located in Western Cape province of South Africa. It’s said to be South Africa's first mountain pass.

Mike's Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.931m (6,335ft) above the sea level, located in the KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Private vehicles are no longer allowed on the pass.

Otto Du Plessis Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.115m (6,938ft) located in the Eastern Cape, in South Africa. The pass has all the elements a classic gravel road pass of intrigue, danger, views and technical driving.

Donkey Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.394m (7,854ft) above the sea level, located in the Free State province of South Africa. It’s a 4x4 track with concreted strips. 

Griffin's Hill Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.590m (5,217ft) above the sea level, in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

Old Mill Drift 4x4 is an amazing drive in the Free State, South Africa, with a length of 28.6km. The trail requires a 4WD vehicle with low range and good ground clearance.

Mariepskop Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.942m (6,371ft) above the sea level, located in Mpumalanga. It’s one of the great South African passes.