Easily one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa, the Western Cape’s Overberg region has a number of attractions that are sure to catch the eye of tourists.
With its rolling hills and wheat farms inland and its picturesque coastline, the Overberg region offers an escape from hectic city life and is the perfect place to plan a road trip.
The Overberg: the ‘Breadbasket Of South Africa’
Heading east from Cape Town, the Overberg has long been known as the breadbasket of South Africa due to its high production of wheat. The area is also one of the main breeding grounds for South Africa’s national bird, the blue crane, which breeds in the wheat fields during the month of October.
The Elgin Valley is another major farming community in the region and produces a significant proportion of the country’s fruit for export. Renowned for its apple and peach orchards, Elgin contributes about 60 percent of South Africa’s apple production.
The Fishing Village of Gansbaai
These massive farming areas provide an ideal backdrop for anyone traveling the winding Overberg roads. But, the area’s charm is not limited to the interior; the coastline is one of the most picturesque in South Africa.
The small fishing village of Gansbaai attracts a significant amount of tourists throughout the year because of their large population of a variety of shark species, particularly the great white.
Shark cage diving is the main attraction in Gansbaai, and thrill-seeking visitors can enter a steel cage and dive with these massive predators in their natural habitat.
The Seaside Town of Hermanus
Another great destination along the coast is Hermanus. This seaside town is especially popular during the months of September and October during which it hosts the annual whale festival.
The festival coincides with the migration of the Southern Right Whale to Walker Bay and visitors can see these huge mammals returning to colder waters for the summer.
Further up the coast is Cape Agulhas. Located just over 200km from Cape Town, Cape Agulhas is the southernmost tip of Africa, and is arguably the most famous attraction in the region.
Often confused with the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Agulhas is the true tip of Africa and was discovered by Portuguese explorers in the late 15th century. It is considered one of the Great Capes of the southern hemisphere, along with Cape Horn in South America and Australia’s Cape Leeuwin.
One of the more striking coastal roads in the country, the R44, is not to be missed on your drive through the region and is home to the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a vast and impressive mountain range that spans a large part of the coastline.
Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond and Grabouw are all found along the road and offer the perfect opportunities to take a rest.
As year-round tourist destinations, all of the places mentioned have a number of accommodation options if you are looking to break up your trip.
Hermanus and Gansbaai, in particular, have budding backpacker cultures due to the numerous foreign visitors they receive, and are probably the best options if you are looking to spend the night somewhere.