ELLE DRIVES the Ford EcoSport through the Midlands
As one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) offers lots of open road, favourable weather and, of course, spectacular views. Take a scenic drive through the Midlands (situated just outside KZN), stopping in at galleries, crafters’ studios and cafés. (Side note: Pack warm clothing, because the Midlands can get as cold as Lesotho on a winter’s day.) A few hours on the R103 just outside Howick, there’s a gravel road offering the perfect opportunity to get your car a little dirty. Eventually you’ll hit the the must-visit 95m-high Howick Falls.
The new EcoSport has undergone minor adjustments, including updated, angular headlights and integrated daytime running lights. Compared with its predecessor, it has a sleeker appearance and while it isn’t a 4x4, it navigated the harsh, rocky terrain leading to the Tugela Lodge with ease. This compact SUV is cute, but also functional. Equipped with a one-litre EcoBoost engine, it drives surprisingly better than you’d expect from its 74kW/170Nm of torque. The EcoSport is an impressive and practical car which makes a leisurely drive that much more romantic.
THE PIT STOPS
Pit stops for pictures and food are absolutely essential; check out the charming pizzeria along the Midlands Meander, The Pizza Place at Piggly Wiggly. It’s conveniently situated right next to a train track that hasn’t been operational for years, but makes a perfect Instagram spot. Next to the restaurant is a glass manufacturer, as well as a darling little store with all sorts of goodies, in case you run low on your snack supply. A must-see on the route is the sculpture of former President Nelson Mandela, found 5km outside Howick. This national monument is on the spot where Madiba was captured while a fugitive, and is considered an important historical site.
Relaxed, but polished, in a pair of roomy trousers, the perfect white tee and a parka when the temperature drops.
Turn up DVSN and Roy Woods while exploring the Midlands Meander.
Sunglasses, R5 699, Moscon Optics; Coat, R1 199, Zara;Dress, R999, Billabong; Trousers, POR, Scotch & Soda; Bag, R5 400, Missibaba; Shoes, R759, Zara