From the Cape Peninsula over the Hottentots-Holland Mountains, a trip through the Overberg on a Western Cape getaway in South Africa gives tourists the opportunity to experience an enchanting country getaway.

Each village or small town is driven by unique characteristics and tourists are welcomed by hospitable locals. An Overberg exploration through this scenic region offers serene rejuvenation and outdoor adventures.

Notable Towns and Villages
Some of the beautiful villages and towns to be explored in this region include Arniston; Barrydale; Betty’s Bay; Bredasdorp; Caledon; Gansbaai; Grabouw; Hermanus; Kleinmond; Pringle Bay; L’Agulhas; Pearly Beach; Stanford; Swellendam; and Witsand just to name a few.

Should you wish to experience the countryside as well as the coastal routes then the Stanford area is an ideal base. The rural town of Stanford is indescribably peaceful and offers many activities and attractions such as a trip on the famous African Queen boat down the Klein River or walks on the Stanford Wandelpad hiking trail along the river. Be sure to also pay a visit to the Stanford Trading Post while you are there. Close to Stanford, Blue Gum Country Estate is a great place at which to base yourself.

A twenty-minute drive towards the coast will bring tourists to the resort town Hermanus. This sought after holiday destination has a reputation as one of the world’s foremost land-based whale watching spots from June through to November each year. Whale season culminates in September with Hermanus’ annual Whale Festival. Dotted with pristine beaches, the picturesque town has many activities and attractions which are sure to entertain the whole family.

Overberg Scenic Routes
Two of the recommended scenic routes in the Overberg region are the Uitkraals Fynbos and the Coastal Scenic Route.

The Uitkraals Fynbos Route is predominantly on a gravel road and begins at the quaint village of Stanford. From there the route takes a turn at the small Salmondsdam Reserve before continuing to the Uitkraals Valley and then towards Baardkeersdersbos, taking you between the Swart- and Witkransberge (mountain ranges) past the Flower Valley Conservation Area and Baviaanskloof.

The Coastal Scenic Route begins at Gordon’s Bay where the Hottentots Holland Mountains tower over the incredible Clarence Drive that runs along the edge of the sea up to Kleinmond. The route continues all the way to Kogel Bay, approximately 13km from Gordon’s Bay. This seaside holiday destination is popular amongst surfers, fishermen, and families. From Kogel Bay the route stretches along the edge of False Bay, with views extending to the Cape Peninsula and Cape Point. There are a number of rest areas and picnic spots with striking scenery and lookout points; just remember that fires are not allowed and neither is feeding the baboons.

As the Coastal Scenic Route continues for about 23km, you’ll reach the seaside village of Rooi Els that tells much of the Khoi people who used to reside in this area as well as runaway slaves who reportedly sought sanctuary in the nearby mountain caves. From there to the tranquil Pringle Bay, the route continues on to Hangklip, Betty’s Bay where a penguin colony resides at Stony Point, to the Harold Porter Gardens. The last stretch of the Coastal Scenic Route ventures to the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve past the popular swimming and picnic spot at the Palmiet River and then eventually comes to an end in the beautiful town of Kleinmond.

Attractions and Activities in the Overberg
The Overberg offers an astonishing number of activities suitable for the whole family as well a few exciting activities for true adventurers. There are numerous 4×4, hiking and bike trails, horse riding spots, bird watching sites, and a number of eco reserves and nature parks.

At many of the coastal villages and towns, fishing and whale watching are recommended. For thrill seekers, Great White Shark Cage Diving is sure to get the heart racing, and if that doesn’t you can always get the adrenalin pumping by trying the bungee jump from the Gouritz River Bridge.

Museums and cultural sites are plentiful, including the historical shipwrecks along the Overberg coastline and the Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp. This treacherous coastline was the cause for shipwrecks such as Birkenhead (1852), Johanna (1682) and Nicobar (1783) in the Gansbaai area and the De Grendel (1673) wreck at Hangklip. L’Agulhas, the place where the two oceans (Atlantic and Indian) meet, is often referred to as the “graveyard of the sea” due to the large number of ships that were wrecked at this particular point.

An Overberg exploration has infinite possibilities. With such immense beauty and endless options when it comes to activities and attractions, it is easy to understand why it has become such a sought after area for holiday-makers throughout the year.

Author Bio:
Exclusive Getaways South Africa is a collection of celebrated South African country getaways, including the luxurious getaway near Stanford, Blue Gum Country Estate perfectly situated in the Overberg area, Western Cape.