No matter where on the Cape Whale Coast you find yourself this season, your next adventure is only a day trip away.
Flanked by fynbos-covered mountains and the sea, Kleinmond boasts a Blue Flag beach that stretches as far as the eye can see. The lagoon is a favourite spot for family picnics and canoeing.
Visit Harbour Road, Kleinmond’s lifestyle waterfront destination, situated at the town’s working fishing harbour. Enjoy lunch at one of the eateries lining the cobbled street and browse the many shops and galleries.
Fancy a game of golf? Choose between Kleinmond Golf Club or the world-class Arabella Golf Estate, located a few kilometres from town en-route to Hermanus on the edge of the Bot River lagoon. The Arabella Hotel also offers five-star spa facilities for some premiere pampering.
This seaside town has two pristine sandy beaches – the main beach which is popular for swimming, surfing and sunbathing, and Silversands beach which is a favourite among divers and fishermen.
At Stony Point you’ll find one of the largest breeding colonies of endangered African penguins in the world. Be sure to visit the Stony Point Eco Centre, which features a whale museum and the remains of the old whaling station.
The Harold Porter Botanical Gardens provides the perfect setting for a lazy picnic and a wander through the spectacular cultivated garden and natural displays of fynbos. There are also a variety of hiking trails for the more energetic visitors.
The picturesque village of Stanford was founded by Sir Robert Stanford and declared a town in 1857. Much of its Cape Victorian and Edwardian architecture has been preserved and many historic homes have been turned into quaint guesthouses, eateries, coffee shops, art galleries and antique stores. Pick up a self-guided walking tour pamphlet from the tourism office and explore the village on foot.
The village and surrounding wine farms offer some of the best restaurants in the area where you can enjoy excellent country fare and wine wines. You’ll also find locally brewed beer and award-winning cheeses from Klein River Cheese at the Birkenhead Brewery. Stock up on fresh produce and home-made goodies at the Saturday morning market on the Stanford Hotel stoep.
There’s nothing more relaxing than boarding one of the river boats for a leisurely cruise down the Klein River. Some of the boats even have braai facilities on board. The area is a paradise for bird watchers, being home to over 200 species. At the nearby Panthera Big Cat Sanctuary, you can participate in an educational tour and hear the heartwarming stories of their rescued big cats.
Gansbaai is known as the Great White Shark Capital of the world. Among the area’s number one marine adventures are shark-cage diving and whale watching, with the opportunity of spotting all members of the Marine Big Five – sharks, whales, dolphins, seals and penguins.
A visit to the Klipgat Cave will take you back in history to a time when the cave provided shelter to early humans for millennia. Archaeological excavations have uncovered bones and artefacts dating as far back as 70 000 years to the Middle Stone Age. Another treat is the nearby Drupkelder, with its fascinating stalagmites and stalactites.
Take a fynbos hike through one of the reserves that are dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of the region’s floral paradise. Visit the Danger Point lighthouse, built in 1985, and climb the many steps to the top for breathtaking views. Stop off for lunch at Afrikanos, which offers the exhilarating experience of ‘free diving’ with Nile crocodiles.
Greyton has been called the most beautiful village in the Cape. Founded in 1854, the village is steeped in history and visitors can take a step back in time as they stroll the oak-lined lanes with quaint cottages and bountiful gardens. Pick up a printed map from the tourism office in the Main Road and take a historic walk to learn more about the town’s historical landmarks.
On Saturday mornings people flock to the vibrant market and you can even take a horse-cart drive around the village, a popular activity for children. When it comes to eating out you’ll be spoilt for choice as the village boasts a surprising number of fabulous coffee shops and restaurants. And don’t forget to stop off at The Old Potter’s Inn & Brewhouse and the Von Geusau Chocolate Shop.
With the Greyton Nature Reserve on its doorstep there are numerous mountain biking and hiking trails in the area where you’ll encounter bubbling streams, waterfalls, prolific birdlife and magnificent fynbos and wildflowers.
This charming rural town off the beaten track grew up around its major landmark, the Dutch Reformed Church, which was established in 1836. Stroll through the village, visit its quaint shops, galleries and farm stalls, quench your thirst at the local brewery and dine at one of the many excellent eateries. In the rolling fields surrounding the town you are sure to spot flocks of the majestic Blue Crane, South Africa’s national bird.
Cape Agulhas lies at the southernmost tip of Africa, where the warm Indian Ocean and the cool Atlantic Ocean officially meet. Climb the 71 steps leading the top of the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa (built in 1840) for incredible views, and be sure to pop into the unique lighthouse museum. Take a hike in the Agulhas National Park, which supports a diverse intertidal and marine life as well as exceptional fynbos and birdlife.
Cape Agulhas is home to the southernmost wine route in Africa, with several highly-acclaimed wine estates located between Gansbaai and L’Agulhas, most of them close to the quaint village of Elim, which was founded by missionaries in 1842. You could also stop off in Struisbaai, the popular holiday town right next to L’Agulhas, which is well known for its 14km of uninterrupted Blue Flag beach.