Things to do in the Overberg
Updated: 6 days ago
When South African Tourism chose their slogan, "the world in one country", they could have narrowed it down even further to "the world in the Overberg".
An area blessed with astounding and diverse beauty - from the Overberg Mountain ranges and vineyards, to the rugged coastline; from the rolling wheat fields to the unique fynbos - the Overberg really has it all.
Off the beaten track
I’m pretty sure that you have googled “Best things to do in the Overberg” and speed read through the numerous articles on shark-cage diving, whale watching, Cape canopy tours…the list goes on. And while we do agree that those are definite must-do’s, there is also a whole other side to the Overberg which needs to be explored and enjoyed. So read on for some “off the beaten track” things to do.
Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Overberg region, here is a brief geography lesson (thanks to Wikipedia). The Overberg is in the Western Cape Province in South Africa. The area is mainly a wheat-farming region which also happens to be the breeding ground for South Africa’s national bird, the blue crane. But, as importantly, the Overberg is also home to over 9 000 different plant species, many thousand of which are fynbos and endemic to this area (and therefore found nowhere else on earth). Many are in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve which is 3000ha of local vegetation known as Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos. It is well worth driving, and walking, through the region just to look at the fynbos.
Stanford: A small riverside village bursting with interesting shops and restaurants. Only 20km’s from De Kelders, it’s the perfect place to stop for a delicious cup of coffee and freshly baked cake. Other places of interest are the Birkenhead Brewery, guided horse tours and a cruise up the Klein River.
Click here to find out what more Stanford has to offer.
Sandies Glen: Situated between Stanford and Napier, Sandies Glen is a farm located in the Overberg region. This well-maintained dirt road off the R316 is a well-kept secret, with some of the best samples of fynbos and beautiful farms in the region. Well worth the detour off the tar road.
Napier: Sprinkled with antique and other interesting shops, is a good stop for lunch. Our favourite place is The Fox Pub & Restaurant in Sarel Ciliers St. It has tasty South African and pub fare, and its cozy atmosphere is particularly appealing in winter. For the more adventurous (and to work off the cake from Stanford and the lunch at The Fox Pub & Restaurant) there are other activities such as abseiling, hiking and camping, all hosted by Napier Mountain Activities.
Elim: Take a trip back in time - this quaint and historic little town is well known as a Moravian mission town, with its impressive church, multi-coloured buildings, and fig trees. It also boasts the oldest working clock in South Africa!
Find out more about the history of the Elim Moravian Mission.
Baardskeerdersbos: Baardskeerdersbos was first mentioned in the 1600s. Translated directly from the Afrikaans, meaning beard shaver's bush, its name comes from the little spiders that are known to cut human hair to make nests. Bbos (as it is understandably known!) is known for its proteas, unspoiled beauty and its art route.
Visit Baardskeerdersbos Art Route to find out about their upcoming events.
Cape Agulhas Lighthouse: Situated at the southernmost tip of South Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, the lighthouse was the third lighthouse to be constructed in South Africa. Visit the museum for a quick history lesson. If you have the energy, climb up the 71 stairs to the top for the most breath-taking views.
Klipspringer Mountain Bike Trail: If Mountain biking is your thing, then you need to book a day pass to Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. There are 4 routes to choose from all starting and finishing at Lomond Wine Estate. Click here for more info on the MTB routes
Pearly Beach: Make sure you take the time to visit Pearly Beach between June and October, this stunning beach is where the southern right whale comes to calve and mate. Not far from Pearly Beach is Dyer Island which is home to a colony of African Penguins, and you also get to see the 60 000 resident Cape fur seals. If you are keen birdwatcher you will be in awe of the abundance of sea birds. If none of that appeals to you then just a visit to the beach for a swim and walk is just as worth it!
Waenhuiskrans Cave: Take a trip to Arniston and visit this wonder of nature. The Waenhuiskrans cave is so large that apparently you can turn an ox-wagon and full span of oxen around inside. As you can imagine the view of the ocean from inside is absolutely magnificent, just make sure you visit during low tide or you won’t be able to access it.
Where to eat along the way
There are so many restaurants and coffee shops and farm stalls throughout the Overberg, so we have narrowed down a few of our favourites.
The Black Oystercatcher: Its about 45 minutes, by car, from De Kelders but the drive is beautiful. There is literally something for everyone at The Black Oystercatcher, a swimming pool for the kids, wine tasting for the wife, craft beer for the husband, a deli and a gift shop. Try the “White Pearl” white wine blend…its delish!
Blue Goose Restaurant: Situated in a quaint stone cottage in a side street in Gansbaai, The Blue Goose is known for is Karoo Lamb shank, which can be paired with many of the wines in the region.
Coffee on the Rocks: The view is out of this world and so is the delicious selection of cakes. Make sure you book during whale season or you won’t get a spot.
Kloeks @ Home: Fancy a home cooked meal? Then you need to visit Kloeks @ Home. They have a small and delicious menu with daily specials focusing on local produce and almost always something fresh from the Gansbaai fishermen.
Springfontein Wine Estate: A working wine farm that offers between three and six courses (your choice) for lunch - each course more delicious than the one before. While the food is undoubtedly "fine dining", there is nothing stuffy or pretentious about the food or the atmosphere. All their ingredients are either home grown, foraged, or sourced from local meat, cheese and fresh produce providers. Wines are their own!
The Manor House at Stanford Valley: The Manor House, situated on Stanford Valley Farm, (about 20 minutes from De Kelders), has breath-taking views of the Akkedisberg (Chameleon Mountains), stylish decor and a seasonal menu. The restaurant is very child friendly (there's a huge lawn for them to play on), while maintaining a grown-up but relaxed feel.
From places to shop, to eat and to visit, the Overberg has it all. This truly is the best scenic drive, so hop in your car and get going…you wont be disappointed!