Cape Whale Coast/Overberg

Places To See

Named after the HMS Arniston, a British troop ship that sank in 1815 killing more than 300 on board, Arniston is a beautiful little coastal fishing village with one of the longest beaches in Africa. Azure blue water, rocky coves and authentic fisherman cottages add to the magical beauty of this coastal jewel.

Here you are still able to buy fresh fish off the fishing boats as they come into the little harbour daily. There is a typical holiday atmosphere in Arniston where you can watch whales at play in the bay annually (September to November), visit the De Mond Reserve and discover the many bird species.

What To See
  • Die Waenhuis Restaurant
    Soetpatats to die for!
  • Kassiesbaai Craft Centre
    Craftword created by locals in addition to traditional meals, home baked breads, delicious fish dishes and more.
  • The Arniston Hotel
    Magnificent seaviews from the terrace where many a sundowner has been enjoyed.


A stone’s throw from Franskraal and not to be missed is the enchanting hamlet of Baardskeerdersbos which is fast becoming a sought after haven for city slickers as a weekend getaway. Made up of a fascinating patchwork of rolling farmlands and small holdings with quaint

homesteads, the hamlet has a fascinating history in terms of how it gained its name, which directly translated means Beard Shavers Bush!!! One can only deduce that it was so named after the fearsome looking but harmless spider the Jerrymanglum, known for its “hair cutting/shaving abilities”.

The productive Baardskeerdersbos Valley is carpeted with a contrasting landscape of vineyards, flower and cattle farms. Verdant Fynbos stretches for miles as you traverse this enchanting multicoloured landscape to reach your final destination where you will find an interesting fusion of locals who welcome you with open arms to their little hamlet.

Quaint little trading stores dot the main road with a store where you’ll be able to get a good cup of coffee and something delicious to subdue the hunger. You may even be charmed to stay and perhaps invest in this delightful village!


A typical rural town with a large farming community known predominantly for farming with Merino sheep and wheat. Bredasdorp offers a fabulous day trip with several little speciality shops with pottery, antiques and local delicacies on offer.

Not to be missed is the renowned Shipwreck Museum which is the only one of its kind in South Africa. The museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts and furniture from ships wrecked along the coast.

Audrey Blignault who was born in Bredasdorp has a room especially dedicated to her fine history as one of South Africa’s most prominent writers.

What To See
  • Kapula Candles
    Famous for its more than 1000 candle designs
  • Antique Warehouse
  • Craft Corner
  • Heuningberg Nature Reserve
    For short hikes - a must for birders.
  • Julian Keyser Ceramics
  • Klippen Coffee and Gift Shop
  • Paleishuis
  • Pandoras Box
  • Shipwreck Museum - Bredasdorp

Situated on the Danger Point Penisula, Buffeljagsbaai is home to a very small fishing community who live only from the sea. This pristine coastal gem offers magnificent visuals of stark beauty with its magnificent untouched sweeping seascapes. To the west of Buffeljagsbaai is a small caravan- and bungalow-park situated in between the dunes with access to a beautiful secluded beach and bay.

Impressive solidified sand dunes tower above Jessie se Baai which is situated on the other side of Buffeljagsbaai. Jessie se Baai was named after a ship which was wrecked there many years ago.

L'Agulhas is the southernmost town in Africa and marks the point where the mighty Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Agulhas is a lively little seaside resort which comes alive during the holiday seasons with visitors from far and wide.

Several people have taken up permanent residence in this charming resort town with its panoramic seaviews.
There are several activities in nearby Agulhas to keep you busy when visiting.

  • Fynbos hiking trails
  • Mountain Biking
  • Golf
  • Swimming (Struisbaai)
  • Bird Watching
  • Rock and boat angling
  • Farm visits
  • Visit the famous Agulhas Lighthouse and Shipwreck Museums
  • De Hoop and De Mond Nature Reserves

Die Kelders, so named after the “Drup Kelders” which are naturally formed caves which have deep freshwater rock pools filled by water seeping from a freshwater fountain, known also as one of the natural wonders of the old Colony. The natural formation of stalagmites and stalactites are evident throughout the caves and tours are conducted regularly by appointment.

De Kelders is an expansive coastal town stretching from Perlemoenbay to the well-known "Plaat" a popular fishing spot where thousands of silver-grey fighters are caught.

De Kelders offers one of the finest vantage points from which to view whales. The sweeping seascapes offer unimpeded views of these gentle giants who frequent our shores and predominantly De Kelders, where they come to calve before migrating to Antarctic waters to feed until the following season.

Whale watching trips are easily arranged from Walker Bay by licensed operators who will take you within meters from these gentle giants of the ocean.

De Kelders offers a wonderful day trip for whale watching, hiking and cave exploration. There is a bakery, excellent coffee shop with the most awesome view of Walker Bay, restaurant and bar and several lookout points to stop and just take in the magical scenery.


Elim, long been declared a national monument is famous for its thatch roofed homes as are the thatchers from Elim who are sought after as masters of their fine craft.

The quaint white washed cottages are painted each year before Easter as a tradition symbolizing purity and simplicity – integral to the lifestyle of the village people who live their lives close to their Church.

The picturesque town is one of the oldest surviving mission stations and is inhabited mainly by members of the Moravian Church.

  • The Water Mill
    Built in 1833 and restored in 1990, has the largest wooden water wheel in South Africa and is again grinding wheat as it did in the past.
  • The Slave Monument
    T he only monument of its kind to commemorate the liberation of slaves in the Cape.
  • Elim Bakery
    Delicious home-baked products can be bought here.
  • Moravian Church and Clock
    A thatched-roof church in the heart of the village. The clock dates back 235 years.

Gansbaai Harbour

Gansbaai is located at the foot of the Duyenefontein Mountains and has grown from a small seaside village to a bustling tourist attraction during the past few years as a result of its White Shark Cage Diving Industry.

Renowned as the world's premier White Shark Cage Diving destinations in the world, the cage dive operators launch their specially equipped boats daily from the Kleinbaai Harbour to take visitors out to view these magnificent predators.

Dyer Island near Gansbaai is a breeding colony for jackass penquins while seals breed on nearby Geyser Island. A warder, stationed on Dyer Island, protects the birds breeding there. A number of these are endemic species, such as the Oyster Catcher and the Swift Tern.
There is a narrow channel in the sea between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island which is home to up to 60 000 Cape Fur Seals. The sea around these islands has become the feeding ground of the endangered Great White Shark. Since the area around Dyer Island has been declared a nature reserve, boats may only enter this area with a permit issued by the Department of Nature Conservation.

Fishmongers are stocked with fresh catches daily. Gansbaai is a popular holiday resort for boating and fishing enthusiasts and whale watchers.

Despite the enormous income from the shark diving industry, Gansbaai is still sustained by its fishing industry. Fishing boats are seen taking to the waters daily making fresh catches regularly available to purchase.
There are several little eateries and pubs in the town which are worth a visit and not to be missed is a visit to the Abalone Farm which produces this culinary delicacy for export.

Don't Miss Out On
  • Great White Shark Cage Diving or Surface Viewing
  • Whale Watching
  • Hiking
  • Horse Riding
  • Rock or Boat Angling
  • Gansbaai Harbour
  • Strandveld Museum (Relics of the HMT Birkenhead)
  • Danger Point Lighthouse
    Open: Mon to Fri 10H00 to 15H00
  • Caving


The fishing village of Hawston is located between Fisherhaven and Onrus en route to Hermanus. Hawston was named after Charles Haw who settled in Caledon in June 1859 often visiting Hawston for vacations.

The village of Hawston is rich in traditional history and the locals are eager to share their beautiful beach and ocean's bountiful catch with visitors.

Spend a funfilled day at Hawston's olympic sized swimming pool (the only one in the Overberg), enjoy a delicious seafood meal at Hawston Abalone Village Restaurant, watch the whales and dolphins at play, take in the breath taking ocean and mountain views surrounding you and take a walk along the magnificent blue flag beach.

  • Olympic size swimming pool
  • Hawston Abalone Village Restaurant
  • Whales and Dolphins
  • Caravan Park
  • Beach walks
  • Fynbos
  • Bird watching
  • The famous wild horses

Hermanus Old Harbour

Hermanus was often referred to as the Riviera of the South in bygone days and for all intents and purposes, has maintained its status albeit with a modern fusion of luxury holiday homes dotting the pristine coastline, funky cafes, coffee shops and eateries overlooking Walker Bay, speciality shops to delight even the most selective shopper and craft markets to keep you busy for hours.

Probably best known for its renowned Cliff Paths which meander along the coastline, Hermanus has become a whale watchers paradise. Visitors come annually from far and wide to view one of nature's spectacular events when whales come close into Walker Bay to calve. Their antics will amuse you for hours on end, so be prepared. Pack a picnic or have lunch at one of the many little eateries along the magnificent coastline where the uninterrupted views of Walker Bay will ensure endless pleasure during Whale Season.

The Fernkloof Nature Reserve offers nature lovers a paradise of flora and fauna with more than 1 474 species of flora having been identified to date. Also present are up to 92 various bird species e.g. Cape Sugar Bird, Sunbirds, Rock Thrush, Rock Jumper and Raptors amongst many others. Grey rhebok, Cape grysbok, klipspringer, baboon, mongoose and dassie are often seen when hiking through the reserve. Fernkloof Nature Reserve offers a 60 km network of hiking trails through the reserve providing an ideal opportunity for visitors of all fitness levels to enjoy the beauty of the reserve with its spectacular views of Walker Bay. the Hemel and Aarde Valley and Maanskynbaai.

Beaches in and around Hermanus are amongst the finest in the world offering great surfing, sailing, familiy picnic spots,swimming, tanning and great walks for the family.

Hermanus is a hive of activity with its regular craft and produce markets, speciality stores, coffee shops, restaurants, galleries, wine wanders and many varied outdoor activities e.g. land and boat based whale watching, white shark cage diving, paragliding, windsurfing, sailing, hiking, scuba diving and more.

Steeped in history, there are several museums documenting Hermanuspietersfontein's illustrious past, it's growth from a small seaside resort to the burgeoning tourist attraction of today. Beautiful buildings and well preserved homes can still be seen which date back to the early 1900.

There is truly something for everyone in this scenic town and a day is most certainly never enough time in which to explore all of the fascinating aspects of this beautiful coastal town in the Overberg.


Summers are pleasant, perfect beach weather often with high temperatures but thankfully, being a coastal town, a welcome sea breeze will cool things down in the late afternoons.
Being in a winter rainfall area Hermanus will often have several consecutive days of much needed rain during the winter months. Storms are not unknown during winter but these are thankfully few.
Summer Average 26.4°c
Winter Average 14°c
Average annual rainfall: 546m

Things To Do on the Cape Whale Coast

Situated just 3 kms outside the town of Gansbaai, this is where it all happens when it comes to White Sharks. Licensed White Shark Tour operators launch their well equipped boats from the Kleinbaai harbour out to Dyer Island and Geyser Rock where all the action takes place on a daily basis, weather permitting.

Whale watching tour boats are also launched from this bustling little harbour which has become a veritable tourist attraction since White Shark cage diving has become so popular.

A tidal pool exists along this rugged coastline with its many rock pools. The views are absolutely spectacular and sunsets are a photographer's dream.

Kleinbaai boasts several fine eateries, coffee shops and bars in addition to a 9 hole golf course laid out in the indigenous Fynbos vegetation


Napier, Cape Overberg: The town, named after the governor of the day, Sir George Napier, was founded 12 April 1838 when the first erven were sold. The town is central to a prosperous wheat and wool producing area in addition to producing large quantities of strawberries in summer.

Napier lies beneath the Soetmuisberg surrounded by bright yellow canola fields, barley and wheat. A typical country town steeped in history with its main road lined the prominent Dutch Reformed Church, houses and interesting stores selling antiques and various specialities. It's not unusual to find a little shop operating from the front stoep of a home in Napier. Photographers, nurseries, artists, potters and restauranteurs all exist side by side in harmony.

There's a spirit of kinship and understanding in this country town where everyone knows everyone. Breads, croissants, jams and preserves are made locally and you'll find these delicious homemade goodies in many accommodation establishments as the locals support their own.

Restaurants, pubs and farmstalls abound in this village where you can enjoy traditional country fair, French cuisine or a delicious pizza or pasta. The choices are endless. Farmstalls offer anything from olives, olive oil, jams, preserves, farm fresh breads and cakes, fruit and vegetables to West Coast Bokkoms (dried mullet - traditional salted and dried fish).
Napier is proving to be an ideal wine producing area as new vineyards are planted for production. Already there is a wine tasting boutique in Napier where you can sample wines from the area.

The town is a shoppers paradise when it comes to antiques and collectibles. Speak with the locals and you'll find what you're looking for.

  • Moerse Farmstall
    Delicious country fare, West Coast Bokkoms, fresh produce. An absolute must.
  • Art & Toy World
    Art Gallery • Toy Museum • "Rose" Toy Steam Boats
    5 Almond Street "Chris Vilas Arts & Crafts"
  • Green Chameleon Shop
    T-Shirts, Keyracks, Cards, Coasters, Games, Pet Mags, Doggy Bandanas and 100% Napier Products
  • Greta's Place
    Collectable's • Antiques • Bric a Brac
  • Napier Antiek
    Antiques and Collectibles
  • Napier Farmstall and Restaurant
  • Jean Daniel Wines (Boutique Winery)
  • Vindigo Wine Tastings
    Specialising in wine sales, local arts and crafts.

Onrus is a typical laid-back holiday town and home to several famous artists and authors such as Jan Rabie, Elsa Joubert, Uys Krige, Gregoire Boonzaaier and Marjorie Wallace amongst others.

Typically known for lush growth of Milkwood trees, this tranquil seaside village offers ideal water sport opportunities. Swimming is safe and the lagoon is warmer than the sea where lifeguards are generally on duty during season time.
Whales come extremely close to the shoreline and are an absolute joy to watch from the Milkwood Restaurant where you can enjoy a great meal on the waters' edge.

There are several local art galleries which should not be missed in addition to craft and speciality shops.

  • Gallery Gregoire
  • The Mission House Gallery
  • The Atelier d'art Gallery
    Main Road
    Tel: 028 316 3238
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Swimming

Pearly Beach

Situated 20 minutes (25 km) from Gansbaai, this peaceful little town is still relatively undeveloped. Although the concentration of permanent residents is increasing, over half the houses still belong to holiday-makers.

Things To Do in Pearly Beach
  • Angling
    Pearly Beach is a popular angling spot, and on some weekends the beach is lined with fishermen. The Angling and Recreational Club holds competitions on a regular basis, as well as offering meals and a big-screen TV.
  • Hiking
    Unspoilt pristine white beaches are perfect for long walks.
  • Whale Watching
    Southern Right Whales visit from about July to January.


With the Klein River meandering through this picturesque village, Stanford offers one of the finest bird watching venues in the Overberg.

A popular weekend getaway for city slickers, this town is home to several permanent residents who prefer the fresh air and tranquility of this interesting little Overberg town.

There are a multitude of country restaurants serving excellent cuisine made from the freshest ingredients, art and craft shops, hiking trails, cruising down the Klein River on the African Queen or kayaking on the river.

Not to be missed is the Birkenhead Brewery which not only produces its own local beer but has planted extensive vineyards which will soon come into production. You can also enjoy a great meal at the restaurant on the premises. Magnificent views.

  • Birkenhead Brewery
  • Bird Watching
  • Kayaking
  • Browse antique and craft shops
  • Picnic on the river
  • African Queen River Boat
  • Restaurants

Easy Coastal Splendor From booking Amanda made it evident that our stay would be memorable, her friendly and pleasant manor opening up her home to total strangers made us feel like royalty. Excellent service and impeccable.
Traumlage Sehr herzliche Gastgeberin, super Frühstück, sehr sauber und komfortabel eingerichtet. Direkt am Meer. Nutzung einer wunderschönen Terrasse würde uns gestattet, der Sonnenuntergang war stimmungsvoll. Das Essen im empfohlenen Restaurant war gut.
Sehr nette Gastgeber Hatte zwei Übernachtungen auf dem Weg von CT nach DanaBay. Habe mich sehr wohl gefühlt. Schönes großes Zimmer in ruhiger Umgebung. Tolle Spaziermöglichkeit direkt am Meer. Und sehr freundliche Gastgeber. Hat alles gepasst!
Fabulous home opposite the beach Really loved our stay in Franskraal. Serene peaceful and beautiful area with the most charming hostess Amanda was very helpful and the breakfast was amazing Would stay there again ! We lunched / dined locally and it was excellent
Charming host! Wonderful location on the water front. Very comfortable bed and silky sheets. Great use of main living room area overlooking the sea. Unfortunately it was wet and windy when we stayed or we would have sat on the balcony. Easy to find, left too early to have breakfast so cannot comment. 10 minute drive to Gainsbaai to shark dive. Host was helpful and recommended place for dinner and made reservation.
Vanessa W
Vanessa W
Simply wonderful The B&B is in a lovely location, only a few minutes walk from the beach with lovely views over the coast on the sunny terrace. The host, Amanda, is such a lovely lady and will make you feel welcome and at home from the moment she opens the door.
Immer wieder gerne Es ist immer eine Freude bei Amanda im B&B Franskraal zu wohnen. Super Gastgeberin und wunderschönes sauberes Haus. Tolle Lage direkt am Meer. Sehr gutes Frühstück herrliche Aussicht .Walbeobachtungen direkt vom Haus aus.
Charm and hospitality Amanda is a perfect host and makes you feel at home even at 9000 km away, in a spectacular location. Great attention to details that make the difference. Her advices are valuable both for restaurants and places to visit
Whales watcbing Weer was erg fris toen we aan kwamen en ruwe zee dus konden niet uitvaren jammer maar we hebben ons goed vermaakt perfect lodge TOP Tevens heerlijk gegeten in klein twietig restaurantje vergeet niet te reserveren. Vol is vol
Lovely host, lovely stay! What a lovely lady who owns the b&b! She has oodles of personality and gives a warm welcome into her home/the b&b. She went over and above for us. Lovely location looking onto the sea where you can spot whales. Highly recommend!

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