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...
The Breede Riverine is only a three hour drive from Cape Town's busy city life, which is close enough to serve as a relaxing weekend getaway for city dwellers.
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
Cactus Lodge provides self-catering accommodation for up to 12 people. It is ideal for a romantic getaway, a relaxing family holiday, a group of friends wishing to reconnect or for corporate motivational groups.
Experience champagne air, sweeping panoramic ocean and mountain views, majestic meandering mountain walks and the best land based whale watching destination in the world. The Nantucket is nestled high against the slope of the Olifantsberg mountain...
Klip River Cabin is a self-catering cottage, situated on Worcester Road on the banks of the Klip River in Grabouw and can accommodate 8 guests.
Whale Cove A104 on Cliff Street, De Kelders, is a four star rated, three bedroom,two bathroom luxury self catering seafront apartment with spectacular sunsets and views across the bay to Hermanus. It is one of the best land based whale watching spots in
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..
Situated a few minutes' walk from a beautiful beach with several rock pools, which are perfect for children, Tshayile is simply ideal for a family holiday. Slleeps six, one bedroom has a queen size bed, the other two have two single beds...
Jack's Place is a 3 bedroom farmhouse that is situated in a game camp. Guests might be welcomed by eland, zebras and springbuck that graze on the lawn around the house.
At 5th Avenue 171 in Kleinmond we pride ourselves in die peace and serenity of our comfortable up-market self catering accommodation with its breath-taking mountain views and enclosed sparkling pool.
Norfolk Guest House is ideally situated within easy walking distance to all the amenities and a stones throw from the cliff path, famous for unforgettable whale viewing.
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.
Whale Cove presents a sophisticated self-catering apartment, situated a mere 30 minutes from the seaside Village of Hermanus, offering visitors to this world-renowned area a modern accommodation opportunity, bound to meet even the wildest expectation
Relax at this waterfront property on the Klein River Estuary! Perched above the waters edge is this perfect upmarket retreat set in a security estate to get away from the hustle and bustle of town living.
The Breede River getaway home is a home from home on the banks of the Breede river. Ideal for fishing, water skiing, bird watching, hiking and relaxing. Set in tranquil surroundings this oliday home offers a complete break from the hustle...
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 cottage is on the slopes of the mountain very close to the Fernkloof Nature Reserve with its abundance of fynbos, the major vegetation type of the small botanical region known as the Cape Floral Kingdom. Fynbos, or "fine bush" refers to the fine nee
Plum Cottage sleeps four persons and is the only private two bedroom, two bathroom (main en-suite) luxurious self-catering cottage in the centre of Greyton. It has a fully fitted kitchen boasting a selection of fresh coffee beans (and grinder of ...