map of the Overberg
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Overberg - In the early days of the European occupation of the Cape,
very few people ventured far from the foot of Table Mountain.
vast Cape Flats to the east of the fledgling city were a treacherous stretch
of shifting sands, wetlands and - of course - wild animals. And at the
eastern extreme of that huge, sandy plain was a formidable mountain range,
which is now - a couple of hundred years later - easily traversed by virtue
of the scenic Sir Lowry's and Houwhoek Passes on the N2. But in those days,
these mountains presented a serious barrier to movement and the land beyond
them, which was visited only by the very adventurous and became known as
the 'Overberg' - the land over the mountains.
Overberg extends from the high-lying apple orchards of the area between
the two passes in the west, to just past the lovely historical town of
in the east and - to the south - as far as you can go. Cape
Agulhas is the most southerly point of the African continent and
- officially - the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.
interior is dominated by grain farms interspersed with cute country towns,
and the coast is a series of beautiful bays, beaches, wetland and dramatic
Bay, which lies between the towns of Hermanus
Gansbaai, has two claims
to fame. It is reputed to be the best land-based whale watching in
the world, as the huge southern right whales swim close in shore and there
is a beautiful and convenient, fragrant, flower-rich cliff-top walk that
offers an excellent vantage point to observe these, South Africa's biggest
tourists. They turn up here in late winter to escape the harsh Antarctic,
give birth, nurse their calves and - while they're in a nice romantic honeymoon
destination - work on the next crop of baby whales.
second claim to fame is as the most southerly vineyards in Africa - and
it's well worth doing a tasting. This is not just a gimmick.
other big attraction of this area is the great white shark. Dyer
and Geyser Islands, off the small fishing village of Gansbaai
offer probably the best shark cage diving in the world. A number of boats
operate in the area - chumming to attract the sharks' attention and vying
with each other for the best position. Do it soon, as there is increasing
resistance to a practice that many people consider to be morally indefensible,
ecologically destructive and dangerous.
loads more to do. There are three great nature reserves. Kogelberg
in the west, which is a major hotspot of botanical diversity, offers fantastic
hiking and an exciting white water rafting day trip. De Hoop, in
the east, has some small game, great easy mountain bike trails, an escorted,
portaged hiking trail, fun snorkelling, wonderful beaches and some awesome
land-based whale watching. Slightly further east, the Bontebok National
Park was proclaimed to protect the last few remaining bontebok - a
beautiful antelope that is found only in the Western Cape. The Breede
River, in the eastern part of the Overberg, has some quite fun rafting
and canoeing trips and the only remaining hand-operated ferry in the country
and fantastic fishing.
is great paragliding and fun canoeing and sea kayaking near Hermanus, a
gliding club in Swellendam, a good horse trail, great hiking and some fabulous
mountain biking trails. There are fun boat trips and a long and exciting
foefie slide (flying fox) on the Buffelsjag Dam, near Swellendam.
the more culturally inclined, the mission villages of Genadendal and, particularly,
Elim, hark back to a much quieter era. Interesting museums include the
Drostdy Museum in Swellendam,
the Old Harbour Museum in Hermanus,
which has exhibits relating to fishing and whaling, and the small but fascinating
Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp. This area is, in fact, littered with historic
wrecks. A noble tradition was born when the troopship Birkenhead went down
near Gansbaai in 1852. For
the first time in recorded history, the troops and sailors lined up on
the deck in disciplined ranks while the women and children passengers got
into the lifeboats and were ferried to shore. The men then took their chances
with the icy water and the legions of sharks.
historic wreck nearby was the Arniston,
which gave its name to the town that has officially been called Waenhuiskrans
- which means wagon house cave, and refers to an enormous sea cave big
enough to house an ox wagon (although you'd struggle to get a bicycle to
the spot, never mind an ox wagon). But everyone knows the place as
- a great beach destination.
OVERBERG ACCOMMODATION - WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
is a coastal village in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is
situated at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa. Agulhas is also
the southern most city on the continent of Africa. Agulhas Current
is a strong ocean current known for its rogue waves.
map of Agulhas
Agulhas (Portuguese: Cabo das Agulhas, "Cape of Needles") is the geographic
southern tip of the African continent and is defined for hydrographic purposes
to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Historically,
the cape has been known to sailors as a major hazard on the traditional
clipper route and is sometimes regarded as one of the Great Capes.
BED & BREAKFAST / GUEST HOUSE / BACKPACKER ACCOMMODATION - OVERBERG
accommodation in Agulhas
Country Lodge, Country House, AGULHAS
in the protected alcove know as 'Ghost Corner' at the entrance to the southernmost
town in Africa, lies the Agulhas Country Lodge, built of limestone and
century old Oregon pine sash windows and doors. Stunning seaviews and authentic
relics from shipwrecks and bygone days are the rule here. Experience
the southern most tip of Africa, where the two oceans really meet. Built
from natural stone, set against the hill, Agulhas Country Lodge has spectacular
sea view from nearly every vantage point. Guests can enjoy hospitable
service and exceptional cuisine with the emphasis on fresh seafood in the
Country Lodge's own restaurant. En suite bedrooms each have private balconies
and sea views.
Agulhas Backpackers, Backpacking Hostel, AGULHAS
Agulhas Backpackers is situated 400m from the Main Beach and has being
described as a little hotel with Backpackers character. We are the most
southern backpackers in Africa. We supply you of fluffy Goose down Duvets
and towels. For those who want to chill out there are hammocks in
the front garden and a great DVD library in the lounge or for the more
energetic a vibey courtyard with a swimming pool, bar, pool table and a
spacious braai area. Come and join in the fun and adventure, meet new fellow
travelers and take the Most Southern experience in Africa with you.
Agulhas Guest House, Bed & Breakfast, AGULHAS
in the Town of L'Agulhas, which is at the most Southern tip of Africa.
This guest house an affordable holiday with double bedrooms, each with
en-suite showers. 5 of the bedrooms have beautiful sea views and
the other 4 have mountain views. Some of our rooms have satellite TV and
there is a TV with satellite in the lounge. We have a restaurant
with a seating capacity for 20 guests and provide other meals on request.
We also have a fully licensed bar on the premises. There are lounges
available for guests to relax in front of a log fire in winter and on cold
winter nights and 2 reading rooms. We are walking distance of the
famous Agulhas Lighthouse and only 2 km from the most Southern Tip in Africa.
SELF-CATERING ACCOMMODATION, OVERBERG WHALE ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
accommodation in Agulhas
Point Self-Catering & B&B, AGULHAS
Point is situated 150m from the sea and 300m from our historic lighthouse
which houses a unique restaurant. We offer 4 very affordable, tastefully
decorated, upmarket, extremely clean units in a tranquil garden setting.
The units are fully equipped, from linen and towels (not beach towels)
to microwaves, washing up liquid and dish cloths, braai grids. TV's have
1, 2, 3, e-TV, M-Net, Movie Magic channel. We are not situated on the sea
front, but only the caravan park is in front of us and we have partial
sea views from patios. Stunning view of lighthouse. Smoking is allowed
on patios only. Three of the units consist of one bedroom, en-suite
bathroom, lounge with sleeper couch and open plan kitchen, and a private
patio with built-in fireplace, table and chairs.
RECOMMENDED BY OUR TRAVEL PARTNER:
Song, Holiday Rental Apartments, AGULHAS
a garden and barbecue, Tides' Song is located in Agulhas, just 1.8 km from
Cape Agulhas Lighthouse. Southernmost Tip of Africa is 2.7 km away. Free
WiFi is available throughout the property and free private parking is available
on site. All units include a dining area and a sitting area with a satellite
flat-screen TV. There is also a kitchenette, equipped with a microwave
and refrigerator. There is a private bathroom with bathrobes in each unit.
Towels are featured. Tides' Song also includes a terrace. You can play
darts at the property, and the area is popular for fishing and hiking.
ACCOMMODATION, OVERBERG WHALE ROUTE, WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
Arniston is a pretty beach destination, with excellent surf, great sun
tanning, swimming and fishing, one of the main attractions is the lovely
map of Arniston
|This rather schizophrenic
town is officially known as Waenhuiskrans but everyone calls it Arniston.
The official name, which means “Wagon House Cave”, refers to an enormous
sea cave that is big enough to park an ox wagon (and a team of oxen) in.
It’s a beautiful cave and it’s a lovely walk to get to it but watch the
tides. You absolutely do not want to get caught there at high tide! The
more familiar name refers to the wreck of the Arniston, which ran aground
in 1815, with the loss of 372 lives – only 6 hardy souls managing to struggle
ashore. There is a small monument near the beach.
Thatched, white-washed cottages
dotted amongst the dunes stand out against the clear blue sky and attract
photographers and painters from miles around. Here’s a challenge – take
a photograph or do a painting of an Arniston cottage that isn’t kitsch.
It can be done.
Arniston is also close to
Agulhas, which is the most southerly point of Africa and the official
meeting point of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
all accommodation options in the Overberg area
On Main, Self-Catering Apartment, ARNISTON
in the coastal village of Arniston lies 16 On Main, within 1 km from the
beach and 43 km from Cape Agulhas. It offers a garden and barbecue facilities.
The six bedroom house features brightly decorated rooms, a living room
with plush sofas, a satellite TV and the en-suite bathroom has a bath and
shower. Guests can prepare meals in their fully equipped, open plan kitchen
which contains a stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher and a dining area.
16 On Main's barbecue facilities offer an outdoor dining area which overlooks
the garden. De Mond Nature Reserve is 22 km away and Struisbaai is a 45-minute
drive from the property.
Spa Hotel, ARNISTON
Arniston Spa Hotel is set in one of the Cape’s most exquisite locations,
next to an old fishing village, surrounded by pristine beaches and nature
reserves. The luxurious 4-star Arniston Spa Hotel is internationally known
as one of the world’s great getaways. Touched by the spray from the Indian
Ocean, we welcome you with panoramic views of the unspoilt ocean and endless
beaches. The luxurious 60 en-suite rooms are all elegantly decorated
with the comforts of a world-class hotel. Most rooms have fireplaces for
those cosy winter evenings. Our deluxe sea-facing rooms have private balconies
with panoramic ocean views. The patio-facing rooms open onto a tranquil
garden and swimming pool with sun loungers. Unforgettable, seductive
Arniston, where time stands still and whales play in the sheltered bay.
browsing the Overberg Whale Route