Cape Riviera and Whales Tour
August to November is usually the best time to see the Southern Right Whale in South African waters, and Hermanus' Walker Bay offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. These mammals, which often come as close to 50 metres from the shore, are given to displays of breaching, lobtailing, spyhopping and courtship rituals that can keep one entertained and amazed for hours.
The tour departs Cape Town via Elgin, which is in the heart of the apple industry, en route to Hermanus and the whales. The first stop is the Old Harbour Museum. As long ago as 1857, the Old Harbour at Hermanus Pietersfontein provided a rocky but safe shelter for the small fishing boats whose owners were drawn to Hermanus by the abundance and variety of fish. The Old Harbour was proclaimed a 'Museum' in 1972.
After an informative tour of the museum and a wander around Hermanus the tour continues on to the Hamilton Russell Vineyards to explore the cellar and enjoy a delicious wine tasting. We then take a scenic drive through the town of Kleinmond, for a visit to the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens. This beautiful, secluded garden is set between mountain and sea, in the heart of the Cape fynbos region and encompasses 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos garden and 190.5 hectares of pristine natural fynbos. Situated in the centre of the coastal fynbos where the flora is at its richest, the garden encompasses mountain slopes, deep gorges, flats and marshes, as well as dunes adjacent to the beach with their specialised salt-adapted plants. The garden is renowned for its waterfalls and amber pools.
We return home along the Clarence Drive route. The high twisting coastal road leading from Cape Hangklip to Gordon's Bay is one of the most spectacular anywhere. Not only does this route offer wondrous vistas out to sea, across sweeping bays and vertically down into transparent sapphire shallows, it offers a perfect setting for the entrance to the "Riviera of the Cape"
After a day of scenic splendour, head to Cape Town via the N2, arriving back at the hotel at 17:30