Along the coast of the Western Cape in South Africa is a phenomenal drive known as the Cape Whale Route, also known as the Overberg Whale Route. It starts just south of Cape Town and carries along the southern shores of South Africa for over 1200 miles. It has exceptional sights and is considered one of the premier whale watching destinations in the world. If you want to catch a glimpse of Southern Right whales, or Humpback whales the best time to visit is June through November. We did our trip in December – and this is how it played out.
I didn’t have a plan set in stone, I just knew we had about a 3 hour drive time to get from Cape Town to Hermanus. I left the entire day open for us to take our time and stop along the way, and we stopped EVERYWHERE. Even places that aren’t considered as route stops we were out of the car climbing over rocks and down cliffs just to get closer to the magnificent shoreline. The water was cold and rough with a fierceness that made you want to get closer….and then never look back.
Not only did we have an ocean seething with life on our left, we had incredible mountain scenery to our right. It was nothing I expected to see in South Africa. Honestly I was so caught up in the shark dive, wine route, and safari planning I had overlooked the sensational beauty of this coastal landscape. I didn’t want the day, or the drive to end.
Even though we traveled in December we saw so many whales!! In fact we also took a bush flight over the coastline and saw multiple whales, calves, sharks, and even flew over Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean. Walker Bay, between Gansbaai and Hermanus is considered a whale haven, and is also the beach where we were married!
Another favorite stop was Betty Bay. It has a penguin colony! Yes penguins…and they are everywhere. It was fun to walk along the trail and sit on the rocky coast watching them play in the water and waddle along the shore!
This was a lovely drive, and if you ever head to South Africa you should absolutely consider staying in Gansbaai or Hermanus and experience it for yourself!