Whale Coast & the Overberg 365

South Africa is famous for its marine wildlife and coastal reserves and people visitors from all over the world to see the natural phenomena and spectacular sightings this stretch of the southern Cape offers. 

Hermanus – a town under two hours from Cape Town – is known as the ‘whale watching capital of the world. Here, between June and November, Southern Right whales migrate to calve and nurse their young, allowing visitors unforgettable viewings only metres from the coast. Hermanus also offers renowned wineries, and beautiful hiking trails and beaches.

Gansbaai – one of the only places where visitors can still view the Great White shark in its natural habitat – affords incredible viewing opportunities, with visitors also able to cage dive (enter the water in protective cages for up-close encounters). Close to Gansbaai, you’ll also find Grootbos Nature Reserve, a sanctuary with 740 species of plant life and an excellent spot for whale watching (it overlooks Walker Bay, a haven for the marine mammal) by land, boat or air. Other activities include flower safaris (especially spectacular in spring), birding tours, horse riding, 4×4 drives and walks along unspoilt beaches.

Slightly further out from Cape Town, De Hoop Nature Reserve is a protected marine area and encompasses the breeding grounds of the Southern Right whale and the starting point of the famous sardine run – its high sand dunes offering an excellent vantage point for viewing.