Best Music To Drive To In South Africa

Happiness is a car full of fuel and an open road with nowhere in particular to go. When you think about it what else do you really need, besides some good driving music to help satisfy the aural senses. And since it’s a South African road trip, we think it’s apt that the list should be picked from a pool of South African artists from all walks of life. Here are our top picks of all time in no particular order:

1. Nkalakatha, by Mandoza

Dubbed as South Africa's unofficial national anthem, this award-winning kwaito song is a must on our list. Even though Mandoza himself grew tired of performing this song, we haven’t grown tired of listening to it.

Listen to it here:

2. Vulindlela, by Brenda Fassie

Another South African award-winning song, this one by the Queen of South African Pop who also gave us the Weekend Special. Vulindlela,  meaning ‘to make way’ or ‘open the gates’ is an apt song for a pleasant road drive to nowhere in particular.

If you haven’t seen this video clip of three young men jamming to Vulindlela that went viral this year, then you saw it here first:

3. ParadiseRoad, by Joy

This song went to no. 1 on the charts and stayed there for nine weeks, becoming the unofficial South African national anthem at the time. Recorded in 1980, the song was a song of hope that still holds true today, and is bound to bring a lump to your throat as you drive into the blazing South African sky.

Listen to it here:

4. GreatHeart – Johnny Clegg

Even those born after the 90s will know the name Johnny Clegg. This legendary South African musician needs no introduction, just a few lines out of the song to illustrate why we chose this as one of the best South African songs to drive to:

There's a highway of stars across the heavensThe whispering song of the wind in the grassThere's the rolling thunder across the savannaA hope and dream at the edge of the skyAnd your life is a story like the windYour life is a story like the wind

Listen to it .here:

5. Fords Nissans Toys en Beetles, by Brasse vannie Kaap

South African music is as diverse as its landscape and culture. One of the pioneers of Afrikaans hip-hop was was a group that hailed from the Cape Flats. Their style of music was predominently ‘Caperikaans’ rap as it was then dubbed, or adialect of Afrikaans as spoken in the Cape Flats. 

Listen to it here:

6. Weeping, by Bright Blue

This list would not be complete without the huge sound of this iconic South African song. What’s a drive on the wide, open road without dramatic drums and smooth sax?

7. Another Universe, by Arno Carstens

Another South African music great, Another Universe is sometimes referred to as ‘A Galaxy of Blue’. Few songs can beat driving to with lyrics that say, “nobody needs to know where we’re off to.”

8. Homeless by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Paul Simon said this about Ladysmith Black Mambazo: “It isn’t merely the grace and power of their dancing or the beauty of their singing that rivets the attention, but the sheer joy and love that emanates from their being.” We believe the sheer joy of their music can have a positive effect on a drive, which is, after all the whole idea.

Watch the video here:

Bonus tracks that need no introduction or explanation:

Another Country, by Mango Groove

AfricanSky Blue, by Johnny Clegg


Little is known about the impact of music while driving on our physiological state and performance. Studies demonstrate that listening to music while driving influences mood which in turn can impact driving behaviour,and that listening to music can positively impact mood while driving, which can be used to affect state and safe behaviour.

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