Middelburg is not so named by choice. It is in the middle of a fascinating area in the Great Karoo, the hub from which the tourist can enjoy a Karoo Experience with a difference. Middelburg is located halfway between Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein, as well as between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Wanderlust a strong desire to travel...
This desire lives in all of us, whether we would like to admit it or not. People talk about bucket lists… well Route 56 should definitely be a part of yours!
Route 56 is about capturing the spirit of the people, its’ diversity and love for the country. Whether you are an outdoor adventurer, skiing on the slopes of the Southern Drakensberg; a Scenic Adventurer, bird watching or hiking the foothills and mountain passes, Route 56 has it all. It is an exciting experience, even for the well-travelled.
Although known as the Gateway (the shortest route - all 765 kilometres of it) between the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, if you get caught up in the incredible scenery, it’s going to turn into a rather lengthy affair… Route 56 takes you through Middelburg, the heart of the Karoo, into the mountainous regions of the Eastern Cape, right on the edge of what would once have been known as No Man’s Land, through the lush grasslands of the Southern Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal and finally onto “mighty” Pietermaritzburg, the heritage heartbeat of KwaZulu-Natal.
There are 31 towns/villages on and around Route 56, just waiting to be explored…
Route 56 is ideal for travellers who like to take their time, travel at leisure, and get to know the country and the people en-route. With a number of farmstays, B & B's, hotels and backpackers in the area, visitors are perfectly positioned to explore the beautiful surroundings and experience the adventure, culture and friendliness of the warm and welcoming local people. It’s a quieter, easier and far more pleasant experience than the national highways but there are plenty of distractions, from visits to working farms and game reserves, bird spotting, cascading waterfalls, tribal art, cultural tours, museums and for the more adventurous: hiking trails and mountain climbing, 4x4 routes, white-water rafting, horse riding, fishing and caving...
If you want an outdoor adventure package that involves the ever changing colours of the majestic mountains and countryside, scenic passes, rivers, as well as the multitude of attractions, then book a week off and travel Route 56. Any time of year brings its joys and challenges, Winter snows and Summer blooms – take your pick. Follow Route 56 from either Middelburg Karoo or Pietermaritzburg (an ordinary sedan will do the trick).
Explore the Open Roads – Embrace the Detours – Enjoy the Journey
Explore the Open Road
Middelburg | Cradock | Schoombee | Hofmeyr | Venterstad
Steynsburg | Burgersdorp
Molteno | Aliwal North | Queenstown | Lady Grey
Dordrecht | Indwe
Elliot | Barkley East | Rhodes
Maclear | Mount Fletcher
Matatiele | Cedarville | Swartberg
Kokstad | Harding | Umzimkulu
Ixopo | Bulwer
Richmond | Baynesfield | Camperdown