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Cape Whale Route

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Imagine looking out across the Atlantic Ocean from the boardwalk and you spot a dark figure gliding through the surf in front of you. As more start to appear, you realise that this is your first sighting of a pod of Southern Right whales. Every year they come into the Cape waters to give birth between June and October. A more special and moving sight is hard to come by, and seeing these large animals so up close and personal will forever be implanted in your memory.

The Cape Whale Route is the perfect outdoor family adventure. On this route, you’ll check-in to charming towns like Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond, Hermanus, Pringle Bay, Stanford and Gansbaai. The route offers some of the best land-based whale watching spots on the planet, but it doesn’t stop there.

The road trip from Betty’s Bay, along the coast towards the other towns on the Cape Whale Route, is an idyllic experience, with the Atlantic Ocean on the one side and mountainous Fynbos terrain on the other. The Fynbos in this region is the epitome of unique as most species exist nowhere else on earth. Travellers will pass through several quaint villages in between the more established towns.

Hermanus is the largest town along the Cape Whale Route, boasting excellent accommodation, restaurants and adventure activities. This beautiful little nook has become particularly famous for its whale watching, so the annual Hermanus Whale Festival is a must-do event.

If you are interested in knowing more about these gentle giants of the sea, there are a number of tour operators specialising in whale-watching boat tours. Once you’ve seen some whales, it’s time to step it up a notch with one of the many additional activities on offer, including hiking, shark-cage diving, sea kayaking, quad biking, parasailing and horse riding.

If golf is more your thing, there are also several golf courses along the Cape Whale Route. Arabella Country Club is famed for its pristine fairways and luxury infrastructure, while the Hermanus Golf Course has become one of the most popular courses in Africa. It offers 27 breathtaking holes and a variety of challenges for golfers of all levels.

Whatever you’re searching for, the Cape Whale Route certainly offers more than just whales. Restaurants, towns, scenic beauty and adventure will keep you busy throughout. This special route has something for everyone and can be considered a once in a lifetime holiday.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact numbers

Hermanus Tourism Bureau
Tel: +27 28 312 2629
Email: [email protected]

How to get there

The Cape Whale Route starts in Betty’s Bay, a 15-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport. Follow the signs from the R44.

Recommended tours

Take a whale-watching boat tour with Southern Right Charters, a sea kayaking journey with Walker Bay Adventures or a zip-sliding tour with Hermanus Forest Adventures.

Where to stay

Hermanus is the largest town on the Cape Whale Route, offering the most accommodation options. Hermanus Backpackers is a great option for travellers on a budget, while Misty Waves offers 34 luxury rooms and some excellent ocean views.

How to get here

FLY

Apart from the world-class international airports, there are a number of domestic airports scattered throughout the country including Bloemfontein, East London, George, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth , Upington and more.

Drive

Many major international car-hire companies operate in South Africa, offering anything from small, budget-friendly cars to luxurious sedans. It’s best to hire vehicles in advance, especially if you are coming to South Africa at a high traffic season.

BUS

If you’re on a budget, travelling by bus is the cheapest way to travel the country. As a result it has become the go-to travelling option for the more economically-conscious locals. There are a number of bus operators, offering both economy and luxury rides.

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