Hermanus and Overberg

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Hermanus and Overberg

Overview
Activities and Highlights
Seasons
Region Map

Description

"Caressed by both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, eastward from the rage of Cape Town City and southward from the elegance of Cape Winelands, you will find the lush hills and valleys of the Overberg. The region is a rural sanctum of natural diversity; distant mountains, abundant in bird life, abundant varieties of plant and animal species, and of course, gorgeous sun kissed sandy shores. Scattered within the confines of the Overberg are many quaint towns and fishing villages, each with their own hidden jewels just waiting to be discovered by you.

The most well known among these towns is Hermanus; famously known as Africa’s best land-based vantage point to view the magnificent southern right whale. The giant marine dwellers grace the coastal waters of the Overberg to breed and calve from June to November each year. The cliffs around Hermanus form excellent vantage points where you will get a chance to see these gigantic creatures sailing through and breaching the surface of the water, or creating major splashes as they lobtail and spyhop along the coast. The Overberg and its many towns are ideal to get away from the craze of city life and revitalize while enjoy the calming landscapes and coastal treasures.

Access Details

Hermanus lies 115 km southeast from Cape Town and is about a 2 hour drive on the N2 from the city centre, or a more leisurely 3 hours if following the coastal road through Gordons Bay and Bettys Bay..

Suggested Stay Details

We suggest you spend between two and three nights in the town to fully embrace Hermanus. If you are driving through the Garden Route, Hermanus and the Overberg would be the ideal destination to stopover and unwind for a night.

Type of Experience

"The Overberg is known for its beauty. The landscape rolls and changes with the seasons, from golden summer rich wheat to spring yellow canola fields. Rich in protected lands, indigenous fynbos and milkwood trees are scattered around the region. Visit some of the nature reserves and enjoy the tranquillity offered by De Mond Nature Reserve, or stroll through the vast countryside in Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. If you are adventurous, visit Fernkloof Nature Reserve which is becoming increasingly popular amongst paragliders due to the changing weather conditions.

Bask in the history of the little town or admire the architecture of the grandly designed Dutch churches in the area. Visit Hemel-en-Aarde estate and taste their delicious wine while dining with the backdrop of natures rugged mountains."

Infrastructure

The rural towns of the Overberg are equipped to cater to the needs of visitors whenever they flock in during whale season. Accommodation is characterised as modern and elegant with clean lines to historical country glamour. Hotels, lodges and beach villas are ideally positioned to offer views of the ocean and its gigantic marine dwellers, with magnificent champion gold courses and lavish spa facilities to occupy your time.

Geography

The regions of the Overberg and especially Hermanus are rich and lush inland; forest, wine estates and wild ravines. The coastal regions are graced with Mediterranean climate and the shoreline ranges from sandy to rock scattered.

History

"The little quaint town of Hermanus has an equally quaint story behind its origins. In the year 1815, a man named Hermanus Pieters arrived in Cape Town and trekked to Caledon where he taught students. As the story goes, Hermanus Pieters was a farmer and during summer he led his herds in 1820 from Caledon through Hemel-en-Aarde valley, which was initially known as Elephant Pass, toward the coastal regions where he found fresh water and allowed his herd to graze. Following in Hermanus Pieters footsteps, literally, farmers and fisherman too trekked to the coastal region which was referred to then as Hermanuspietersfontein.

In 1902, with permission, the postmaster shortened the name of Hermanuspietersfontein to Hermanus allowing the town’s name to fit neatly on the postal stamp and in 1904; Hermanus was officially recognized as a municipality.

Activities & Highlights

"WHALE WATCHING: Get the rare chance to see hundreds of Southern Right Whales in their natural habitat along Hermanus’ famous Walker Bay. The whales migrate annually from Antarctica to the protected coastal waters of South Africa’s south eastern coastline during the months of June and November. Known to swim as close as 10 meters from the shoreline, these whales show off their whale skills by leaping out of the water and splashing around while their seashore audiences marvel in amazement.

CUISINE: The towns within the Overberg district are quite boastful about their culinary skills. Little fishing villages are the ideal place to try the delectable selection of seafood, and the hotels and restaurants within these towns and villages offer delicious food paired with exceptional wines. The cuisine is a must when visiting Hermanus.

SHARK CAGE DIVING: Brave enough to enter shark infested waters? Off the coastal region of Gansbaai there floats two spots in the ocean, the bigger is Dryer Island and smaller spot is Geyser Rock. Separating these two islands is Shark Alley; a stretch of ocean which bustles with Great White Sharks, the most feared in the vast ocean. If you are brave enough to encounter these ferocious sharks up close with nothing but a steel netted cage between you and razor sharp teeth, then take the plunge and cage dive with the sharks.



Season Travel Details

Mediterranean climate graces the areas of Hermanus with hot dry summers and cool wet winters.

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