Tucked into the south-west corner of the African continent, the Whale Coast is the Indian Ocean coastline of the Overberg, a fertile region of small farming towns, orchards, wheat fields and vineyards. Possessing a casual rural charm and home to fabulous local food and wine, the region's proximity to Cape Town (it's under a 2-hour drive) and wealth of country-style accommodation have made it a firm favourite for weekend getaways at any time of the year.
However, the Whale Coast’s main appeal – as its name suggests – is the large number of southern right whales that migrate each year from the icy Antarctic to display, mate and breed in the warmer waters of the Cape.
During Whale Season, which runs from July until November (peaking in September) the Overberg's coast positively hums with activity. The bustling town of Hermanus lies at the centre of the whale watching experience and is filled to overflowing at this time of year due to its reputation as the world's best land-based whale-watching destination. For a more exclusive experience, head further up the coast to De Kelders where you can watch the whales and their calves but without the crowds.
Other than whale watching, a Whale Coast holiday offers beautiful coastal drives and mountain hikes, tranquil sandy bays and rocky beaches. Visit the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas and the nearby charming fishing village of Arniston or take a trip to Gansbaai, the Great White Shark capital of the world, and get close to monstrously large sharks while on a shark-cage diving adventure.
At a Glance