The Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape

Literally over the Hottentots-Holland Mountains via Sir Lowry’s Pass, approximately two and a half hours drive out of Cape Town, lies a region of such immense beauty that it attracts thousands of visitors a year to its orchards, forests, grain fields and vistas surrounded by rolling mountain ranges.

Did you know? When in the Overberg make sure you visit the De Hoop Nature Reserve, a beautiful reserve and wonderful place to view whales; you could spend days here. Or visit De Mond Nature Reserve which is on the mouth of the Heuningnes River and great for a picnic.

What would have been a momentous journey in days gone by is today simply a case of driving "over the berg" (mountain) and into the Elgin Valley, one of the major apple-growing areas in South Africa today. The Cape Overberg is a great expanse of beautiful and diverse landscapes.

The Overberg stretches from the Hottentots-Holland Mountains in the west, to Swellendam in the east. In the north it reaches as far as the Riviersonderend Mountains and ventures south to include an incredible coastline that draws regular annual visits from those great beasts of the ocean, the Southern Right and the Bryde's whales (also see Cape Agulhas).

From Elgin and Grabouw the N2 wends its way through the incredible Houw Hoek Pass en route to Bot River. Here one's journey can either continue inland via Caledon and Riviersonderend to Swellendam or south towards a coastline that is rich in beauty and fast becoming one of the most famous coastlines in the country.

The towns of Hermanus and Gansbaai are particularly popular during the whale season between June and December - Hermanus boasts the best land based whale watching along its cliff path as well as the popular whale crier, whilst Gansbaai is famous for sightings of whales and the Great White shark. Yet it is other more remote and lesser known villages that offer the true 'jewel' of the Overberg. Each and every one of them has something to offer the visitor and is pretty on the eye.

The Overberg fruit route takes one through the villages of Barrydale, Elgin and Villiersdorp; wine is a product of Bot Rivier, Grabouw, the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Villiersdorp, Elim and Stanford; whilst nature reserves and gardens abound – the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and the De Hoop Nature Reserve.

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South Africa Accommodation / Western Cape Accommodation / Cape Town Accommodation / Cape Overberg Accommodation

Destinations in the Cape Overberg Region

Arabella Estate

The Arabella Country Estate is a prime golfing hotspot that is situated just off the coast of the Western Cape. It is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and less than 30 kilometres outside the whale-watching town of Hermanus. Despite this fairly centra...

Baardskeerdersbos

Overnight? Baardskeerdersbos accommodation
The little village of Baardskeerdersbos is seated at the foot of the spurs of the Koueberge and the Bredasdorp- berge 25 kilometres from Gansbaai. It is also known as “B’bos” by those for whom the lengthy title that names not only the pretty hamlet bu...

Barrydale

Overnight? Barrydale accommodation
The little town of Barrydale lies nestled at the foot of the beautiful Langeberge in the heart of the Tradouw Valley, close to where the northern exit of the Tradouw Pass winds through the mountains to meet Route 62, the longest wine route in the world, e...

Bettys Bay

Overnight? Bettys Bay accommodation
This sleepy little seaside village offers visitors to South Africa gorgeous overnight accommodation in Bettys Bay on the beach, with breath-taking views and a laid-back vibe. Although less developed than her neighbour, Hermanus, the Harold Porter Botanica...

Botrivier

Overnight? Botrivier accommodation
The small, picturesque village of Botrivier lies in the foothills of the Houw Hoek Mountains, en route to Hermanus. The Bot River, after which the hamlet is named, meanders its way through a fertile valley surrounded by mountains covered in fynbos, histor...

Buffeljagsrivier

Overnight? Buffeljagsrivier accommodation
Buffeljagsrivier is a very small town in the heart of the Overberg region of the exquisite Western Cape Province. It is an official part of the Overberg District Municipality as it is part of the historical and scenic little town of Swellendam. The Ov...

Caledon

Overnight? Caledon accommodation
Set against the backdrop of the Swartberg, surrounded by fields of barley and wheat, is the little town of Caledon, just 110 km east of Cape Town. Caledon is famous for its hot springs, discovered by the early Khoi-Khoi people before the Europeans att...

Cape Agulhas

Overnight? Cape Agulhas accommodation
Cape Agulhas, or the place where two oceans meet, lies at the furthest tip of Africa, a region that includes the towns of Arniston, Bredasdrop, L’Agulhas, Napier, Elim and Struisbaai. Historically, the cape has been known to sailors as particularly hazard...

De Hoop

Overnight? De Hoop accommodation
The De Hoop Nature Reserve and adjacent marine reserve lie on the southern Cape coast between the towns of Arniston and Witsand, just 50 km east of Bredasdorp. This is one of the most biologically diverse sanctuaries in the world and rates as one of th...

De Kelders

Overnight? De Kelders accommodation
The little village of De Kelders, which lies just 5 km north of Gansbaai and about 25 minutes’ drive from Hermanus, has managed to remain largely immune to the large scale tourism that envelopes this part of the country, and is still essentially a fishing...

Elgin

Overnight? Elgin accommodation
Pretty getaways to the guesthouses, hotel and accommodation in Elgin really showcase the spectacular countryside of the Cape Overberg for those that want to see South Africa’s prettiest areas. The Elgin Valley, one of the Cape’s most beautiful fruit growi...

Fisherhaven

Overnight? Fisherhaven accommodation
As one of the top whale-watching destinations in the world and a scenic seaside town, Hermanus certainly promises much in the way of a fun, exciting destination with plenty to see. It is quiet for most of the year. But, when the whales visit (between Jun...

Franskraal

Overnight? Franskraal accommodation
Situated right outside the shark cage diving centre of South Africa (Gansbaai), Franskraal is a quaint seaside village with an awesome array of things to do. These range from outdoors excursions for those who want to savour the gorgeous countryside of the...

Gansbaai

Overnight? Gansbaai accommodation
The unpretentious village of Gansbaai - named after a flock of wild Egyptian geese that are alleged to have congregated at the freshwater fountain next to the harbour - has a large reputation. Both Southern Right Whales and Great White Sharks frequent...

Genadendal

Genadendal is a quaint little historical village just six kilometres outside Greyton - one of the most popular towns to visit in the Western Cape. Genadendal is the oldest Moravian mission village on the continent and at its heart are the original little ...

Grabouw

Overnight? Grabouw accommodation
Reaching the town of Grabouw entails a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town over the Hottentots Holland Mountains with a descent into one of the most beautiful valleys in the Western Cape - the Elgin Valley - filled with flowers, fruit, fynbos and wine. G...

Greyton

Overnight? Greyton accommodation
From classic B&Bs in old farmhouses to luxurious safari tents, the holiday accommodation in Greyton is fantastically varied to suit any traveller’s budget. The peaceful little hamlet of Greyton lies surrounded by the Riviersonderend (river without end) mo...

Hawston

Just past Hermanus, between Fisherhaven and Onrus, lies the village of Hawston, which is notably famous for its beautiful beach, more than the attraction Hawston might hold for visitors. The beach, tucked away in the little town, is truly beautiful. Sw...

Heidelberg

Overnight? Heidelberg accommodation
The little, rustic town of Heidelberg, regarded as the western gateway to the Garden Route, lies midway between the towns of Riversdale and Swellendam on the N2, just 276 km from Cape Town. Set on the banks of the Duiwenhoks River, with the soaring La...

Hermanus

Overnight? Hermanus accommodation
Thanks to the many beautiful options for accommodation in Hermanus, this is a stunning destination that is one of the best whale-watching spots for anyone visiting South Africa. It is a thriving holiday resort offering residents and holiday-makers modern ...

Kleinbaai

Overnight? Kleinbaai accommodation
The appealing little village of Kleinbaai has suffered the unmerited disadvantage of being the smaller of two towns that lie at Danger Point Peninsula, where shark diving and whale watching are world-renowned draw cards. As a result Kleinbaai, which i...

Kleinmond

Overnight? Kleinmond accommodation
Kleinmond lies on a lagoon at the small mouth - hence the name - of the Botriver on a narrow strip of land hugged on the one side by the Palmiet Mountain range and on the other by the Atlantic Ocean. Kleinmond is within easy driving distance from Cape...

Malgas

Overnight? Malgas accommodation
The little town of Malgas, only 30 minutes from Swellendam, is a perfect stopover for exploring the Overberg and the De Hoop Nature Reserve. Set on the west bank of the Breede River, which supports a significant variety of fish and birds and is one of...

Onrus

Overnight? Onrus accommodation
The Cape Overberg region in the province of the Western Cape comprises some of the most scenic and popular parts of South Africa. These include the shark cage diving Mecca of Gansbaai as well as the whale watching hub of Hermanus. Onrus is part of Hermanu...

Pearly Beach

Overnight? Pearly Beach accommodation
Not even 20 km from Gansbaai, Pearly Beach has been described as the longest undisturbed sand beach in the Western Cape, and even if this is a little grandiose a description, the beach nevertheless seems endless. Pearly Beach is known for its wild bea...

Pringle Bay

Overnight? Pringle Bay accommodation
The little seaside village of Pringle Bay is one of the towns set within the natural beauty of the Kogelberg Biosphere, the only reserve in South Africa to be proclaimed by UNESCO, which supports over 1600 species of fynbos, 150 of which are endemic. T...

Riviersonderend

Overnight? Riviersonderend accommodation
Riviersonderend, the little village in the Cape Overberg that lays claim to a river without end, lies roughly between Caledon and Swellendam on the N2 about 160 kilometres from Cape Town. Only an hour inland from the coast, Riviersonderend is marketed...

Rooi Els

Overnight? Rooi Els accommodation
Rooi Els perches like a child's puzzle piece on the edge of Route 44, the first little seaside village after leaving Gordon's Bay, before the landmark Hangklip rock face. Rooi Els (sometimes spelt Rooiels or Rooi-Els), like its neighbours Pringle Bay,...

Sandbaai

Overnight? Sandbaai accommodation
Sandbaai is one of the newer suburbs in the Greater Hermanus area. It lies literally in a little sandy bay, hence its name, just past the L'Agulhas lighthouse. The village is only a stone’s throw away from Hermanus and to the east of Onrus, little ove...

Stanford

Overnight? Stanford accommodation
Some of the lovely bed and breakfasts and fine hotels offering accommodation in Stanford showcase the natural beauty of the Cape Overberg, and are wonderful bases for visitors that want to explore South Africa. The unique little village of Stanford, overl...

Suiderstrand

Overnight? Suiderstrand accommodation
In the beautiful Overberg District Municipality of the Western Cape is the little settlement of Suiderstrand (which means "southernmost beach"). It has an area of some 1.4 square kilometres and is home to only a few dozen folk. Still, it has a rich charac...

Suurbraak

Overnight? Suurbraak accommodation
The little village of Suurbraak lies in a fold of the Langeberg Mountains just down from the incredible Tradouw Pass. It's a former mission village that gives the word 'quaint' new meaning, even if, on the whole, it also suffers from neglect and many ...

Swellendam

Overnight? Swellendam accommodation
The picturesque little town of Swellendam is just off the N2 about 240 km outside of Cape Town and connects the Southern Overberg with the Garden Route. Swellendam is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, and the Swellendam accommodation options are so...

Tesselaarsdal

In the heart of the Cape Overberg, roughly 21 kilometres from Caledon and the N2, lies the quaint, virtually unheard of village of Tesselaarsdal. It is one of those little towns that is close to everything - 38 kilometres from Stanford, 45 kilometres from...

Vermaaklikheid

Overnight? Vermaaklikheid accommodation
If you have not heard of Vermaaklikheid it is probably better that you not know. Certainly once you do, you are sworn to secrecy, as this gorgeous escape from it all just 310 km from Cape Town in the heart of the Overberg Region, is the rarely found, oft...

Vermont

Overnight? Vermont accommodation
The little village of Vermont is usually spoken of in the same breath as its immediate neighbour, Onrus, and indeed, the two lie close together on the coast where the Onrus River runs into the sea via a lagoon, just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town in ...

Villiersdorp

Overnight? Villiersdorp accommodation
Lying in the centre of a flourishing apple-growing region, which also happens to produce grapes, onions, peaches and apricots, it’s not hard to imagine Villiersdorp’s prettiness and its attraction to visitors. Villiersdorp lies between the N1 and the N2 o...

Witsand

Overnight? Witsand accommodation
The peaceful, coastal town of Witsand (white sands) lies on St Sebastian’s Bay just off the N2 on the Cape South Coast, three hours from Cape Town and not to be confused with the Witsand Nature Reserve, which lies just west of the Langberg Mountains in th...

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