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Some advice re driving from Durban to Capetown via Umtata

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My husband and I will visit South Africa for the 9th time in 40 years so you could say we are SA Veterans. We have seen a lot of this spectacular country which we regard a little bit as our "home away from home" not in the least because we have lots of family members living there. Back in 1974, together with a friend, I drove the entire length and width of the country in an non-airconditioned VW Beetle. My husband has never driven the distance between Durban and Capetown before though and we are thinking of filling in that "gap" during our next trip which will be in February 2013. We plan to visit a cousin who lives in East London, hence the idea of driving instead of flying.
Questions: Can anyone give me advice regarding this particular route? Can it be considered a safe drive? Any advice on accommodation along the way? Is it worth to make a detour via the the Wild Coast and if so what place can you recommend? Any advice welcome

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