Explore the winding roads from the Stellenbosch Winelands to Hermanus - considered to be the best land-based whale watching spot in the world - to visit the tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas on this thrilling itinerary. Begin your journey in the midst of the Stellenbosch Winelands as you experience some of the finest wines the region has to offer. Explore the quaint French Huguenot town of Franschhoek and travel to the southernmost tip of Africa – where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Whilst the Big Five draw many visitors to Africa, on your second day of adventure, the Marine Big Five – whales, dolphins, seals, penguins and sharks – are the stars of the show, with cliff path hikes and the opportunity to go kayaking in the ocean. During whale season (June - November) you`ll also have a chance to gaze upon enormous southern right whales from one of the best land-based whale watching sites in the world. If the big blues didn’t tickle your fancy then the visit to the Stony Point Reserve in Betty’s Bay (home to one of the largest successful breeding colonies of African penguins in the world) will certainly do the trick! These feathered entertainers always come dressed to the nines and are bound to waddle their way right into your heart. Learn about the conservation efforts of the reserve and have a peek into the many artificial penguin homes littered along the shores. End off your adventure with a delight for the senses as you drive along Clarence Drive, with dramatic twists along steep mountainsides, the perfect vantage point to view the vast False Bay. On a clear day, you can even see waves crashing on the tips of the Cape Peninsula!
Day 1: Cape Town to Cape Agulhas:
Start with a morning pick-up from your accommodation in Cape Town.
Discover the roads between the Cape Winelands toward the tranquil Overberg region as you journey like a local on this tantalising day. Set off toward the colourful lean-to houses of Kayamandi where you’ll be treated to colourful stories, tea or home-made gingerbeer and an array of local Xhosa treats such as amagwinya (vetkoek) and chakalaka.
With the fragrance of local delights lingering on your palate, you`ll travel to the picturesque Simonsig, home of the country’s first ever produced MCC. Enjoy a bubbly tasting from the masters as you take a moment to soak in the fresh country air and the beauty of the Stellenbosch Winelands. Your next destination sees you venture into the quaint town of Franschhoek for some fine wine paired with hazelnut, cranberry or rich mint chocolates. You could also opt for a bit of local flair and choose an optional wine and biltong pairing instead where you’ll taste how the wine flavours are enhanced by beef and game biltong.
As lunch nears, you’ll have time to explore the charming streets of Franschhoek, dotted with restaurants, cafés, galleries and quaint shops. This historic town was settled by French Huguenots in the 17th and 18th Century, but today is best known as the culinary and wine capital of South Africa with around 30 wine cellars and a similar number of restaurants including eight of the top 100 in the country.
Take in the views of the mountainous Overberg region as you travel to Cape Agulhas. Here, at Africa’s southernmost point, the warm Agulhas current that flows along the east of the continent meets the colder Benguela current of the Atlantic and turns back on itself. The marked beacon is the ideal spot for that must have photo, and if you`re daring enough, you can try and dip your toes into the icy waters while keeping an eye out for the resident stingrays. Soak in the deep colours of the rich sunset against the silhouette of shipwrecks as you spend the night in the area.
Hermanus to Cape Agulhas to Cape Town:
Wake up to the sound of the ocean in Cape Agulhas and take a moment to breathe in the fresh sea air. You’ll then start the short journey to the coastal haven of Hermanus where winding ocean cliff paths await and are sure to enthral. Meander along coastal paths lined with indigenous fynbos, lulled by the crashing sounds of ocean waves against the adjacent rocky shoreline. Nature lovers will be thrilled by the rich birdlife and the chance to see local marine life frolicking about. Hermanus is also one of the best land-based whale watching locations the world, so you can look forward to trying to spot a few southern right whales during whale season from June to November. The hike will take around an hour, after which you’ll have a choice of how to spend the rest of your morning.
You could hop on an optional whale cruise in search of some cavorting whales (during whale season), or choose to stretch those sea legs with an optional guided sea kayaking experience. Test your grit as you glide across the open ocean and spot various marine life. For a tamer pace, have a whale of a time in the seaside town of Hermanus, littered with curio shops, fine restaurants and an unmistakable old world charm.
The African penguins of Stony Point are waiting to greet you in Betty’s Bay. Watch these endangered waddlers in one of the largest successful breeding colonies of African penguins in the world. Journey home via Clarence drive and soak in the scenery. Be sure to look out for the Cape Peninsula across the bay, and keep an eye out for baboons and the abundant birdlife. You’ll return to Cape Town by the late afternoon.
Accommodation will vary depending on the time of year.
Backpacker accommodation will usually have a communal kitchen to prepare food.
3* guesthouse accommodation will include breakfast
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Trip Name: Winelands and Whale Coast
Duration: 2 Days
From Price: $272
Supplier Tour ID: CPTWWC/159050
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