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 Southern Beach House provides self catering accommodation in Suiderstrand near Cape Agulhas in the Overberg / Whale Coast region in the Western Cape. 2 self catering options (sleeps 5 or 2) is situated in the tranquil little village of Suiderstrand...
Eastbury Cottage offers self catering accommodation in Hermanus, on the Overberg / Whale Coast, Western Cape. Eastbury Cottage is situated in the quiet, leafy suburb of Hermanus called Eastcliff where one awakens in the morning to the singing of birds or
Marine Drive Manor is a self-catering beach house situated on the beach front in the tranquil, seaside village of Vermont, a mere 10-minute drive from the popular coastal town of Hermanus. Sleeps up to 14 people with additional cottage included.
Looking for a pet-friendly and child friendly getaway to the lovely town of De Kelders just outside Gansbaai? Our fully equipped self-catering house (Sleeps 4, maximum 6 with extra 2 "trundle" beds suitable for children in the lounge).
Fig Tree Cottage offers self catering accommodation in Hermanus on the Overberg / Whale Coast. situated in the quiet suburb of Eastcliff, away from the hustle and bustle of the Hermanus village centre, yet conveniently close enough to leave your car and t
Experience self catering heaven in the heart of the Elgin Valley near Grabouw in the Overberg / Whale Coast region. We offer 3 cottages and a farmhouse, all on a self catering basis, set amongst orchards, offering spectacular views of the Elgin Valley...
Pacem offers visitors self catering accommodation in Hermanus on the Overberg / Whale Coast, Western Cape. Located in the Hermanus suburb of Voelklip it has a magnificent view on the mountain as well as sea views. Pacem is situated in a quiet area of this
Dreams offers self catering accommodation in Pringle Bay, on the Overberg / Whale Coast. You won't be dreaming when you wake up a mere 100m - 3 minutes walk - to the white sand of Pringle Bay's idyllic beach. Relaxation, comfort, family time, nature, suns
South Point offers self catering apartment accommodation in L'Agulhas, in the Overberg / Whale Coast region of the Western Cape. South Point is a small, personal, 3 star graded, highly recommended group of 6 apartments, (sleeping options: 2 to 5 people).
Tranquility is a 3 bedroomed self catering apartment in the popular coast town of Pringle Bay on the Cape's Whale Coast. Relax with friends and family in the spacious apartment (sleeps 6) or in the braai area, in this beautiful unique fynbos biosphere.
Whale Cove A104 offers self catering apartment accommodation on the beachfront at De Kelders, Gansbaai in the Overberg and Whale Coast region in the Western Cape. Whale Cove A104 (sleeps 6) is a four-star rated, three bedroom, two bathroom luxury apartme
The Boardwalk 6 offers self catering apartment accommodation in Struisbaai (Struis Bay) near Cape Agulhas area in the Cape's Overberg / Whale Coast. This idyllic town is a mere two hour drive from Cape Town. The Boardwalk is a modern complex (sleeps 6) an
Zuidste Gemak is a front-row, self catering beachfront holiday home (accommodates up to 6 people) with uninterrupted ocean views, in Struisbaai near the southern-most tip of Africa, a mere two hours from Cape Town. Unwind with literally a few steps to the
Chalet 10, Meerensee is a self catering chalet in Fisherhaven, Hermanus area on the Overberg / Whale Coast. Our self catering holiday home is about an hour's drive away from Cape Town International Airport and 6km outside Hermanus on the R43. It is situat
Pearly Beach house is a spacious self catering home, sleeping up to 12 guests on the Pearly Beach seafront, near Gansbaai, with 180 degree sea views and easy access to rock pools in front of house and two nearby beaches.
Destiny 3510 is a self catering holiday home designed for comfort and pleasure. Sleeps up to 12, 14 or 18 people. Situated at 3510 Disa Circle, Betty’s Bay, at the foot of a majestic mountain overlooking the lakes and sea.
Merlon provides self catering accommodation in Betty's Bay, Overberg / Whale Coast. Situated close to Stony Point, and within half a kilometre of Silversands Beach. Merlon offers self catering accommodation for 10 people, in 5 bedrooms and three bathrooms
Franskraals Heaven-On-Sea provides self catering accommodation in Franskraal near Gansbaai in the Western Cape's Overberg & Whale Coast region. This self catering house (sleeps 8) has the perfect location, right on the seafront.
Bayview 303 offers luxury self catering apartment accommodation in Hermanus Central in the Overberg / Whale Coast region, Western Cape. Our seafront apartment is centrally situated between the swimming beaches and the Hermanus town centre. This is a spaci