A Guide to The Best Halfway Stops from Johannesburg to Cape Town

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You can drive from Johannesburg to Cape Town in one day by starting early and finishing late, but this is tiring. Many people complete the trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town over two days by staying overnight at one of the halfway stops from Johannesburg to Cape Town. 

The choice of a halfway stop from Johannesburg to Cape Town depends on whether you drive to Cape Town via Bloemfontein or Kimberley. Here are the popular halfway stops from Johannesburg to Cape Town:

Route 1: Johannesburg to Cape Town via Bloemfontein

When travelling to Cape Town via Bloemfontein, these are the best halfway stops between Johannesburg and Cape Town:

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Halfway Stops from Johannesburg to Cape Town: Gariep Dam

Gariep Dam is located in the Free State Province of South Africa. It is 585 km from Johannesburg and 825 km from Cape Town. Although it is a slight detour from the N1, it is a paradise for boating and water sports lovers. The town has several restaurants to choose from. 

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/kareljj-9051042/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4910384">Karel Joubert</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4910384">Pixabay</a>
Image by Karel Joubert from Pixabay

Things to Do in Gariep Dam

Gariep Dam offers the following activities:

  • The Gariep Dam Nature Reserve has the largest population of Springboks in South Africa. The reserve has an abundance of wildlife. 
  • Visit the Gariep Dam: The Gariep Dam is the largest in South Africa. Here, visitors can participate in water sports and explore the nature reserves surrounding the Dam. 

Read here about the Free State Province’s attractions.

Where to Stay in Gariep Dam

Some of the best accommodation options in Gariep Dam include:

  • The Stoneridge Guesthouse offers value-for-money accommodation. It has a swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms. 
  • Midway Accommodation is an air-conditioned apartment near Gariep Dam. It offers one bedroom and a kitchenette. 

Colesberg

Colesberg is another popular halfway stop between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The town is in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Overnight here after completing about 628 km of the journey, leaving you with 780 km to drive the next day. 

Things to Do in Colesberg

Colesberg does not offer any attractions, but it is close enough to Hanover to visit the Hanover attractions.

Where to Stay in Colesberg

The best accommodation options in Colesberg include:

  • Luxury option: If you want luxurious accommodation, consider staying at the Big Sky Ranch. The Big Sky Ranch offers deluxe king and queen rooms. There is a swimming pool, a terrace and a garden. In addition to free WiFi, the property has a hot tub and barbecue facilities. 
  • Budget option: Skietberg Lodge offers a variety of rooms, including double rooms, family rooms or even basic double rooms. They offer free WiFi, a swimming pool and a garden. Units have a kitchenette with a microwave. Guests can cycle in the area.

Hannover

Hanover is halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, with approximately 700 km of your journey completed and left when you reach this town. This town is in the Northern Cape Province. The town was established in 1854 and is named after Hanover in Germany. The main activity in the town is sheep farming, focusing on Merino sheep.

Things to Do in Hanover

If you want to do sightseeing, Hanover offers the following sights:

Where to Stay in Hanover

If you want to stay overnight in Hanover, here are some of the accommodation options:

  • The Boutique Guesthouse Hanover offers a variety of rooms, including double rooms, twin rooms, triple rooms and family rooms. It has a swimming pool, garden and a shared lounge. Breakfast is available at an affordable price. There is a restaurant on-site and free WiFi.
  • Bun Clody offers double rooms, family rooms and triple rooms. There is an on-site restaurant, a garden, a terrace and a shared lounge. WiFI is free, and breakfast is available at an extra cost. 
Hannover is a small town in the Karoo region of South Africa. It is considered the middle of South Africa. It lies halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town and is the mid-point when travelling from Cape Town to Durban and from Upington to Port Elizabeth

Richmond

Richmond is a small town situated in the Northern Cape Province. It is 762 km from Johannesburg and 645 km from Cape Town. The town has several restaurants and shops.

Things to Do in Richmond

Richmond only offers a few activities, including: 

  • Modern Art Project: The Modern Art Project, or MAP, is an art gallery offering a collection of contemporary art by South African artists. They also do bookbinding on-site.
  • Richmond Horse Museum: There are only two museums globally focusing on riding horses, and this is one of them. The museum displays include saddles, harness ware, carriages, vintage dresses, and household and workshop artefacts from the pioneers in the Karoo.

Where to Stay in Richmond

Richmond’s best accommodation options include:

  • The Kliphuijs Richmond offers double, triple and family rooms. The property has a garden, a restaurant and a terrace. 
  • Seisoen Richmond features a swimming pool and a concierge service. It is located near the Richmond Horse Museum.

Read more about the Northern Cape Province’s attractions.

Halfway Stops from Johannesburg to Cape Town: Beaufort West

Beaufort West is a town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. It is situated about 930 km from Johannesburg and 460 km from Cape Town. 

Things to Do in Beaufort West

Of all the halfway stops between Johannesburg and Cape Town, Beaufort West offers the most activities, including:

  • Karoo National Park: One of South Africa’s many national parks, the Karoo National Park offers mountain biking trails, guided and unguided walks, 4×4 trails and guided game drives. 
  • Beaufort West Museum Complex: The complex comprises three museums focusing on Chris Barnard, the surgeon, his parent’s home and the mission church where his father ministered. 
  • Boeteka Padstal: The Boeteka Padstal sells preserves, biscuits, curios and there is a restaurant. This is an excellent place to buy Karoo Lamb Chops for a traditional South African braai. 
Karoo National Park near Beaufort West - a halfway stop from Johannesburg to Cape Town
Photo by Marlin Clark on Unsplash

Where to Stay in Beaufort West

Beaufort West has a plethora of accommodation options, including:

  • Karoo National Park: The Karoo National Park offers a range of accommodations, including chalets, cottages, family cottages and camping sites.
  • Bakgat Blyplek: The Bakgat Blyplek is a two-bedroom apartment with everything you may need for an overnight stay. 
  • Lemoenfontein: If you’ve always wanted to stay at a South African homestead, Lemoenfontein is a good choice! The property has a swimming pool and free WiFi. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Karoo.

Route 2: Halfway stops when travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town via Kimberley

When travelling via Kimberley, these are the best halfway stops between Johannesburg and Cape Town:

Kimberley

Kimberley is the capital city of South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. It is 495 km from Johannesburg and 955 km from Cape Town. There are many accommodation options, sights and restaurants to explore.

Things to Do in Kimberley

Kimberley offers some exciting things to do, including:

Old tram near the Kimberley Mining Museum
Old tram near the Kimberley Mining Museum

Where to Stay in Kimberley

Visitors to Kimberley can choose from the many accommodation options available, including:

  • At the Kimberley Club Boutique Hotel, guests can enjoy the hotel’s terrace and garden or have a meal at the bar or restaurant. 
  • My favourite place to stay in Kimberley is the Protea Hotel by Marriott Kimberley. Read my review of this hotel. This hotel is situated next to the Kimberley Big Hole and Mining Museum, making it the perfect option for sightseeing. 

Beaufort West

Whether you drive to Cape Town via Bloemfontein or Kimberley, Beaufort West is a good destination for a halfway stop. 

Things to Do in Beaufort West

Of all the halfway stops between Johannesburg and Cape Town, Beaufort West offers the most activities, including:

  • Karoo National Park: One of South Africa’s many national parks, the Karoo National Park offers mountain biking trails, guided and unguided walks, 4×4 trails and guided game drives. 
  • Beaufort West Museum Complex: The complex comprises three museums focusing on Chris Barnard, the surgeon, his parent’s home and the mission church where his father ministered. 
  • Boeteka Padstal: The Boeteka Padstal sells preserves, biscuits, curios and there is a restaurant. This is an excellent place to buy Karoo Lamb Chops for a traditional South African braai. 

Where to Stay in Beaufort West

Beaufort West has a plethora of accommodation options, including:

  • Lemoenfontein: If you’ve always wanted to stay at a South African homestead, Lemoenfontein is a good choice! The property has a swimming pool and free WiFi. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Karo0.
  • Karoo National Park: The Karoo National Park offers a range of accommodations, including chalets, cottages, family cottages and camping sites.
  • Bakgat Blyplek: The Bakgat Blyplek is a two-bedroom apartment with everything you may need for an overnight stay. 
Best Halfway Stops from Johannesburg to Cape Town

Halfway stops from Cape Town to Johannesburg

If you are driving from Cape Town to Johannesburg instead, the order of these halfway stops will reverse but remain the same.

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By Sunelle

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.

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