The quickest way to make the 853-mile (1,373 km) journey from Franschhoek to Johannesburg is a combination of private transfer or rental car and plane. This trip takes three hours. Alternatively, you can travel by car the entire way which will take at least two days—but budgeting in extra time to explore is recommended.
For time efficiency, travelers can get a private transfer or self-drive to Cape Town airport from Franschhoek and fly the rest of the way. After arriving in Johannesburg, you can use a private transfer, rent a car or opt for the Gautrain.
To explore some of South Africa’s top attractions along the Garden Route, travelers can self-drive or use a private transfer the entire way. This trip takes at least two days although we recommend travelers factor in extra time to visit the attractions en route.
By Private Transfer/Rental Car and Plane
Duration: 3 hours
This is the quickest method of travel. You will need to get from Franschhoek to Cape Town by car before flying the rest of the way. Private transfer options or the rideshare app, Uber, are available. Those who wish to self-drive should be aware that car rental is not easily available in Franschhoek. In such cases, we recommend that travelers rent a car prior to arriving in Franschhoek.
Travelers will be able to fly directly from Cape Town to Johannesburg. After arriving, you can get around Johannesburg by rental car, private transfer or the Gautrain which leaves directly from the airport. Those traveling by car should factor in extra time for traffic which is particularly bad in Johannesburg.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2-3 days (up to 21 days for an extended road trip).
This method of travel is best for adventurous travelers with extra time. Most private transfers offer a set fee irrespective of the number of travelers. Those wishing to self-drive can easily rent a car in Cape Town or Stellenbosch prior to arriving in Franschhoek or, alternatively, get a private transfer to a nearby town where car rental is easily available.
Those planning to explore the Garden Route will leave Franschhoek on the R45 and R43 before turning onto the N2 highway. Travelers can exit the N2 at Port Elizabeth via the N10 which will take you back onto the N1 highway to Johannesburg. This trip takes two full days of driving—excluding stops along the way.
The Garden Route offers an array of charming beach towns to stop at including Mossel Bay, Sedgefield, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Nature’s Valley, and Jeffrey’s Bay. Other notable attractions are kayaking through Storm’s River Mouth, bungee jumping or zip-lining at Tsitsikamma or visiting Addo Elephant Park. See this 10-day Garden Route itinerary for more details. Alternatively, you can drive through the Garden Route, Wild Coast, and the Drakensberg. This should be broken up over at least three days—or up to three weeks for an extended road trip.
There is a quicker, less scenic route that takes 14 hours without stops (though we recommend the trip is broken up over at least two days). Those who opt for this route will travel along the N1 highway. Recommended overnight stops are Gariep Dam or Hanover.
Those who are self-driving should keep cash or a credit card accessible for pay tolls.