Cape Whale Coast

South Africa

The Whale Route begins in Cape Town and follows the particularly pretty R44, also known as Clarence Drive, through the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The name gives it away, but nothing can quite prepare you for the sight of a humpback or southern right breaching just metres from where you sit – a phenomenon that occurs like clockwork between the months of June and November, the designated whale watch season in the region. Here, Mother Nature delivers a pristine stretch of coastline that separates the region’s mountains from the Atlantic.  The entire route is renowned for its generous whale sightings, particularly in the Walker Bay area from Hermanus to Gansbaai. Whales swim into the bay to reproduce and give birth, and give onlookers a show with their breaching theatrics. Quaint villages, small touristic towns, rivers, fynbos-covered valleys and hamlets combine to give the Cape Whale Coast a magical touch with whales and sharks as equally celebrated as the flora in the region. Keep an eye out for the graceful blue cranes – the only crane that’s found naturally in the Western Cape and the bird emblem of South Africa.

In the heart of the Fynbos kingdom, unassuming little settlements from Hangklip to Kleinmond sit in an area of such botanical significance, that UNESCO stepped in and declared it to be the first Biosphere Reserve in all of southern Africa. The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, dominating the biosphere, boasts more than 1600 species of indigenous fynbos and is a mecca for bushwalking and hiking.