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. This self catering house and flat (sleeps 8 + 5 = 13 total) is situated in the tranquil little villag
Crayfish Lodge Sea & Country Guest House offers bed and breakfast accommodation in De Kelders, Gansbaai in the Overberg and Whale Coast in the Western Cape. Crayfish Lodge is a TGCSA graded 5 Star and AA Quality Assured Superior Guest House. Newly built,
Aire Del Mar Guest House provides bed and breakfast accommodation in Gansbaai in the Overberg / Whale Coast region in the Western Cape. Aire del Mar is ideally situated in Kleinbaai (sometimes referred to as Van Dyks Bay) for the viewing of the Great Whi
Spatalla is situated in Kleinmond, a luxuriously furnished private self catering residence that offers the finest finishing touches including 4 spacious bedrooms with private balconies, all have en suite bathrooms...
Lidiko Heritage House offers boutique hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in Onrus in the Overberg / Whale Coast region. Lidiko Heritage House is an iconic and historical 1879, lovingly restored, seaside villa. The villa used to be visited by
Situated right on the exquisite natural beauty of the Klein River; 21 hectares, north facing with uninterrupted views of the Klein River mountains that run parallel to the river. Five beautiful double rooms each with en suite bathrooms and covered...
Seesig offers 2 self catering accommodation options (sleeps up to 13) in Struisbaai (Struis Bay) near Cape Agulhas in the Overberg / Whale Coast region of the Western Cape. Seesig accommodation is a spacious holiday home in the street, directly adjacent t
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
Olive Tree Country House offers spacious self catering accommodation in the Hemel en Aarde Valley area of Hermanus in the Overberg / Whale Coast region. Situated approximately 120 km from Cape Town, in the heart of the whale route, the seaside town of Her
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
Bucaco Sud Guesthouse offers stylish bed and breakfast accommodation in Betty's Bay, Overberg / Whale Coast. A Provencal style home, with great ambience and attention to detail. Set against the Kogelberg, with a swimming pool and towering mountain in the
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
House on Westcliff provides bed and breakfast accommodation in Hermanus on the Overberg / Whale Coast, Western Cape. A stone's throw from the cliff paths overlooking Walker Bay is House on Westcliff. This boutique Bed and Breakfast comprises six charming
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, re
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...