Just over the mountains and approximately one hour east of Cape Town, lies the Cape's most jealously guarded secret... The Overberg, sometimes referred to as the Whale Coast.
The Overberg ("the other side of the mountain") was the original name given by Dutch colonists in the Cape when referring to the land that lay east across the Hottentots Holland mountain range.
The region is an all year round destination, excellent for beach holidays. It is a playground of the earth and sea, a nursery of the Southern Right whales and a garden of delight, from its rare floral tapestry, to the fields of grain and orchard of fruit.
For beach holidays and to enjoy the sun of South Africa at its best December - February is the time to visit. The busiest time, however, is December which is the traditional holiday period for South Africans. A quiet period is March - May, when the weather is moderate and the area is fairly quiet. For the best land-based whale watching in the world and the floral spectacular at its best June - November is ideal, and especially August and September.
The Overberg enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The height of summer is in January with average temperatures 15C. The middle of winter is June with average temperatures from 5C to 22C.
Best land-based whale watching sites world-wide
The coming of the whales to the Overberg creates a stir along the coast when reports of sightings draws crowds who gather to watch the greatest mammal show on earth. The Overberg coast forms part of the MTN Cape Whale Route. There are three types of whales likely to be seen, The Southern Right whale, Humpback and Bryde's are the three types of whale likely to be seen.
The whales may be viewed along the Overberg coast and especially good vantage points are along Hermanus' Walker Bay and at Koppie Alleen in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, the world's most important calving and mating grounds.
In Hermanus a 12km stretch of cliff path provides one of the best land-based spots for whale watching world-wide.
A wealth of indigenous plants and animals
The diversity of the Overberg's natural environment is accompanied by an unsurpassed wealth of indigenous plants and animals.
The Overberg is the heart of the famous Cape Floristic Region and although it is the smallest plant kingdom in the world, it has an amazing 8500 species.
Some of the finest colonies of fynbos in the country are found in the Overberg. Fynbos (fine bushes) is the popular name given for the vegetation of the shrub lands of the Western Cape's winter rainfall area. Although fynbos is at it's most spectacular during late winter and spring, the region offers flowers to be enjoyed throughout the year. A similar variety of animal species includes many mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and terrestrial invertebrates and fish.
Food and Wine
Visitors to the Overberg can expect to find a superb coastal area of fine beaches and quaint villages in beautiful mountain settings. Every town and many of the farms have well preserved historical features, often still in use as part of their everyday life. Those interested in arts and crafts will find a vibrant mixture of indigenous crafts and modern art works to choose from including unique crafts such as decorative works on wagons and dried fynbos arrangements. There is also a variety of art galleries, exhibition venues, pottery clubs and art groups.
The Overberg has developed it's own style cuisine and is renowned for its excellent seafood and traditional 'beorekos' dishes. It's wine estates, many with cellars open to visitors for wine tasting, produce award winners listed on the SAA wine list and are exported to Europe. Wines range from crisp dry whites to full-bodied reds.
Outdoor lovers have a wide variety of activities to choose from. Bontebok National Park, De Hoop Marine Reserve, and the Fernkloof Nature Reserve are just a few of the nature reserves well worth visiting and walks and hiking trails are available including horse trails, mountain bike trails and 4x4 trails. For the more daring, great white sharks can be viewed in their environment whilst in the safety of an underwater cage. For the not-quite-so-daring, there's always angling, swimming, sailing and then there's golf...
South Point is a small, personal, 3 star graded, highly recommended establishment, situated in the southernmost town in Africa, L'Agulhas. The southernmost tip of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, is within the gates of Agulhas..
Tastefully and artistically decorated with attention to detail, the Garden Cottage is fully enclosed with its own private garden, outdoor living area and built-in barbeque. The main open plan bedroom has a king size/ or twin beds, a day bed in the...
You can expect the very best at this residence, from luxury bedrooms to quality service and fine cuisine. Each of the ten individually decorated en-suite bedrooms has a telephone, television and extra length beds with fine cotton linen...
Pearly Beach is a small coastal town approximately 20km from Gansbaai and about 2.5 hours' drive from Cape Town. The beaches of Pearly Beach are legendary with white Sandy beaches extending for miles where one can take long, lazy uninterrupted...
Swimming beach 1 minutes walk from house along a footpath. Whale watching can be enjoyed from the deck between June and February. Restaurants closely situated in Gansbaai, along with shark diving adventure. Golf course situated in Kleinbaai 10 ...
This lavish Mediterranean home defies description: An upper deck open plan kitchen-lounge-sunset balcony offers breathtaking views of the ocean and the main beach which is directly out front.
The name "Spatsels" (sea spray) says it all of this house 100 meters from the beach. A panoramic view from the open plan kitchen, lounge and dining room allows you to watch the whales at play
Anchor's Rest is situated in the quaint seaside village of Hermanus, 120Km from Cape Town. We are a mere 150m from the famous cliff paths boasting the best land based whale watching in the world! Anchor's Rest is a 1.5Km stroll to the village ...
The historic farm Compagnes Drift in Bot River was once an outpost for the Dutch East India Company in the 1700's and is now a family run farm producing a small range of quality wines.
High Lofts, a beautiful architect-designed home, full of light and air, has magnificent views across the florally rich wetland to the soaring Kogelberg mountains. Its covered verandah areas lead straight onto lawns making it ideal for outdoor-...
Follow the footpath across the footbridge over the "leiwater" and enter a traditional experience: of a flawless yet comfortably furnished home with authentic oregan pine finishes. De Oude Pastorie has excellent proximity in the centre of town and...
Kleinbaai, where Fort Wiltshire is situated (only 30 minutes from Hermanus), is a bustling little coastal town renowned for it's white shark cage diving and boat-based whale watching.
This large stylish home overlooks the Hermanus Lagoon and is ideal for any water sports enthusiast. A Self Catering House known as Lagoon View situated in Kleinriviers Vlei.Perfect for entertaining indoor or outdoors.
Bella Vista is a spacious double-storey seafront holiday house with spectacular panoramic sea and mountain views - see, hear, and smell the waves breaking in front of you! The ideal getaway for couples, friends and families.
A stylishly decorated and comfortable Tuscan/Provencal home with spectacular 180 degree front coastal views and towering mountain views from the back garden.
Tucked away in the Overberg Mountains outside Caledon, Black Eagle Lodge and Villa offer a tranquil farm-style retreat just 90 minutes from Cape Town. Revive your soul, surrounded by nature, from the privacy of these beautiful self-catering lodges