Africa vs America: Most Iconic Routes Compared

Start your engines! But this time, trade the familiar hum of the American roads for their African counterparts. Shift gears and get ready for a wild ride because Africa's collection of routes is calling your name. Here's how the big names of American road trips compare to Africa's most iconic routes. Grab your best sunnies, most fabulous hat and camera – we're going on a road trip through Africa, baby!

Route 66, Meet Route 62

The iconic Main Street of America, stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, is one hell of a ride. But hold onto that hat, darlings, because Africa's Route 62 is a thrill of its own! This scenic route forms the path from Cape Town to Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) in the Eastern Cape, and trust us, it's one journey you won't want to rush. So, take it slow, smell the fresh ocean air, and visit the idyllic towns along the way.

Scenic-view-of-Americas-famous-Route-66-small-AdobeStock_332379969.jpg America's route 66 is amazing, but Africa's got a thing or two to show you...

Wine, Zipline, and All Things Fine

En route, you're treated to landscapes with weaving vineyards, quaint towns and mountain ranges casting dramatic shadows (offering countless reasons to whip out your camera!).

Route 62 boasts the longest wine route globally, offering wine enthusiasts a sip of heaven. And follow the boozy detour road to enjoy the brandy route, too. But you can't have all those drinks without something to line the stomach! Luckily, you'll be spoilt for choice with a range of eateries, distilleries, and wine farms lining the route, making it a gastronomic delight. This route is filled with views, experiences, and tastes that will leave you gagging for more.

For the brave at heart, enjoy the adrenaline rush of rock climbing, ziplining, and bouldering expeditions. Or, for a more zen experience, explore hiking trails, go birding, or embark on a cheeky safari at the opulent Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

So, you may have gotten your kicks on Route 66, but you just wait... Route 62 is an adventure you'll reminisce about forever!


Grand Canyon, Meet Fish River Canyon

While the Grand Canyon proudly flaunts the gold medal for being the world's largest canyon, Namibia's Fish River Canyon gracefully claims the silver – and we're thrilled to introduce you not only to this remarkable canyon but also to the extraordinary country it calls home.

The-grand-canyon-united-states-AdobeStock_158229385.jpg Swap the familiar Grand Canyon for Africa's take on the iconic attraction

Desert, Shipwrecks, and Rock Art

Located on Southern Africa's west coast, Namibia is a sizable chunk, double the size of Germany – because, let's be honest, size does matter! Namibia's diverse and sometimes downright contrasting landscapes promise unique and unforgettable experiences.

Start your adventure in the sought-after Sossusvlei and Namib Desert, where the famous "larger than life" dunes await. In particular, Big Daddy, which is as delightful as it sounds! Rawr. Then, make your way to Skeleton Coast, a place that feels like a different planet, with shipwrecks with tales to tell, historical rock art, and wildlife adapted to thrive in the harshest terrain. There's something ooh-la-la about feeling like you're the only ones left after a zombie apocalypse, isn't there? The kind of "just the two of us" feeling does it for us.

But the adventure doesn't end there, honey. Don't even think about leaving until you've savoured the surreal experience of a Namibian bush safari in the iconic Etosha National Park, the surrounding reserves, or the captivating Waterberg region.

If you think the Grand Canyon is grand, just wait until you experience the Fish River Canyon and its home!

Sunset-over-the-Fish-River-Canyon-in-Namibia-AdobeStock_449459182.jpg The Fish River Canyon will bring you to your knees with its beauty...

Rocky Mountains, Meet The Panorama Route

Sure, the major mountain range of North America is a natural showstopper, but the underdog, Panorama Route, knows how to compete and steal the spotlight! Hidden in the often-overlooked Mpumalanga Province, The Panorama Route is a scenic masterpiece, bound to make you shriek with pleasure. Get ready for grand waterfalls, jaw-dropping views, and charming towns that make up one of South Africa's most beautiful road trips.

Rocky-Mountains-The-Loch-lake-with-mountains-panorama-resize-AdobeStock_228761490.jpg Rocky Mountain sure rocks, but have you met Africa's Panorama Route?

Vistas Galore, Waterfalls, and More

As you cruise along, peel your eyes away from the views (if you can!) and focus on the winding road of the Long Tom Pass – the highest tarred road in the country.

Now, set your GPS to the most iconic stops in the area. First up? God's Window, an outlook point where you will stare and stare at the celestial views. Keep in mind that it's a bit of a climb to take this staircase to this heavenly lookout. Then, on you go to the Blyde River Canyon, best admired from the position overlooking the Three Sisters or by boat on the Blyde River dam. And, of course, Bourke's Potholes, where nature plays architect with interconnected rock pools that deserve a standing ovation.

With waterfalls to admire, trails to hike, and towns to acquaint yourself with, you'll need to carve out enough time to soak it all in. Oh, and did we mention it's conveniently close to the Kruger National Park? It's like the Panorama Route whispered, "Why settle for one experience when you can have it all?".

Pack your camera, darling, but trust us when we say it's impossible to fully capture this journey's sheer magnificence.

blyde-river-canyon-three-rondavels-view_272286563.jpeg It's called the Panorama Route for a reason, and it's one of the most iconic routes in Africa

Pacific Coast Highway, Meet The Garden Route

If the Pacific Coast Highway is a popular road trip that teases you with magnificent mountain passes, coastal panoramas, and roads that wind through some of America's most breathtaking scenery, then so is the Garden Route in South Africa – but with a wilder ending.

The-Pacific-Coast-Highway-Bixby-Creek-Bridge-Big-Sur-California-resized-AdobeStock_117334023.jpg We sure love the Pacific Coast Highway, but we also adore our African version, the Garden Route

Wild Forests, Ocean, and Adrenaline

The entire route from Cape Town to Gqeberha is a treasure trove of unique activities, awe-inspiring views, and mouthwatering food and wine. But, the pièce de résistance lies between Mossel Bay and Storms River.

For complete immersion, stay in Knysna or Plettenberg Bay for a day or two, where blue-flag beaches and a menu of adventure activities await – think hiking, canoeing, biking, and boating. Watch in awe as whales breach and calf along the shoreline, and immerse yourself in the local scene at markets and restaurants that tantalise the taste buds.

As you continue your trip eastward, the Tsitsikamma welcomes you with open arms. Cross over the Storms River into the Eastern Cape, where your Big 5 safari begins. Take your pick from a variety of safari lodges and reserves for the ultimate wild encounter. Alternatively, catch a flight to the famed Kruger National Park or the luxurious Phinda Private Game Reserve.

The Garden Route adventure awaits, and the Pacific Coast Highway might've just met its match!

garden-route-road.jpg One of Africa's most iconic routes, the Garden Route

Bonus: Florida and Hawaii, Meet Zanzibar and Mauritius

After all that driving, you deserve to pamper yourself by sinking your toes into silky sand and sipping on bottomless cocktails! While Florida and Hawaii are enticing with their sandy shores and swaying palms, their Indian Ocean counterparts are equally irresistible. Travel to two of Africa's heavenly treasures, Zanzibar and Mauritius, for a tropical retreat you won't want to end.

Beautiful-Tropical-Island-Paradise-of-Maui-Hawaii-resize-AdobeStock_232666278.jpg Florida's a vibe but Zanzibar and Mauritius are twice as nice

Spicy Vibes, Sandy Beaches, and Warm Waters

Zanzibar's spice-scented streets of Stone Town are seasoned with a rich history. Meander through bustling markets and intricate alleyways, uncovering the captivating tales woven into the fabric of this island jewel. Then, let the crystal-clear waters transport you to an exotic dreamscape. Sip on your piña colada poolside or stroll to one of the beaches to bask in the sun on the powdery white sand. To cool off, admire the vibrant marine life with activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, and boat trips.

As for the equally enchanting allure of Mauritius, it boasts a haven of coral reefs, pristine white sands, and a rich cultural tapestry. What truly sets it apart is the fusion of Indian, African, and French influences. Bask in the warmth of Mauritian hospitality, or go on a journey through its markets, where the enticing aroma of Creole spices and tropical fruits intertwine, creating an unforgettable experience.

Chase the sun in paradise and revel in the soft life you were created for. These African havens beckon, promising an indulgent escape into a world where time seems to move in deliciously slow motion.

tropical-crystal-ocean-with-le-morne-mountain-and-luxury-beach-in-mauritius-split-view-adobestock290542623-1.jpg We could sing love songs to Mauritius all day long

Meet Africa's Most Iconic Routes in Real Life

Africa is not just about luxury Big 5 safaris although that's certainly one of our favourite things to do, and know you'll love it too! These most iconic routes will take you through so much African fun that we won't blame you for feeling like you've cheated on America!

Our fab Travel Experts are ready to get this show on the road. Contact them now, and let's help you make memories that will last a lifetime – the African way. Your gay-friendly African escape awaits!


Stories from our Africa Experts


"Without a doubt one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Out2Africa truly has made my african dream come to life"

Jessica Sanchez

View on Trustpilot
Let one of our Travel Experts tailor-make your LGBTQ+ African adventure

Let one of our Travel Experts tailor-make your LGBTQ+ African adventure

Start Planning