The most southern corner of the African continent, in South Africa, is where you’ll find the Whale Coast and Overberg Country.
Overberg literally means ‘over the mountain’ and is derived from the early settlers in Cape Town who went over the mountains by ox-wagon to see what was on the other side.
The fertile coastal belt discovered by the settlers is a soft, undulating landscape that sways with golden wheat fields in summer and in spring boasts sunshine yellow canola fields that cover the Overberg landscape.
The treacherous coastline of this area has doomed ships for centuries, with many shipwrecks littering the seashore.
However, this southern coastline, known as the ‘Whale Coast’, is a safe haven for the many whales – mostly Southern Right whales and a few humpbacked – that migrate from the icy Antarctic to breed and play in the relatively warmer waters of the Cape in South Africa.
The Whale Coast is a popular weekend destination for Cape town residents (it’s less than two hours drive from Cape Town to the heart of the Whale Coast and Overberg region) and during ‘whale season’ – June to November – the coast positively hums with activity.
The Whale Coast offers stunning scenic coastal drives overlooking sweeping bays and rocky shorelines. Cut across the Overberg, through idyllic rural landscapes to quaint agricultural towns and isolated fishing villages.
The villages and towns of the Overberg and Whale Coast are all charming and quite unique.
The fashionable, bustling town of Hermanus has built up a reputation as the best whale-watching spot in South Africa, although further up the coast, at De Kelders, you can watch the whales and their calves without the crowds.
Pass through the friendly hamlet of Elim, unchanged for centuries, and the agricultural centres of Bredasdorp and Napier with their typically ostentatious Dutch Reformed churches.
Visit the southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas and the quaint village of Arniston (voted by Time magazine as one of the world’s best kept secrets) and the traditional fishing community of Kassiesbaai.
Fynbos, the pretty, indigenous wildflowers unique to the Cape, line the country roads and cover the protected areas of the various nature reserves on the Whale Coast and in the Overberg, South Africa.