Hermanus & Route 62

Hermanus and Route 62 boasts some of the finest whale-watching in the world and spectacular coastal scenery close to Cape Town.

Overview

Hermanus & Route 62 are two of the famous attractions of the Cape Whale Coast. The Whale coast is a bountiful area of gentle rolling green pastures, picturesque vineyards and unspoilt coastline. it lies between the Winelands to the west and the Garden Route to the east.

Hermanus

Hermanus offers plenty of attractions including some of the finest land-based whale watching in the world. Southern Right whales can be spotted between July and December (peaking in August and September). The whales come right into the bays to give birth. During peak season enthralling sightings – from land and by boat – are a daily occurrence. You are likely to see spectacular breaches and other acrobatics of these gentle giants.

Some visitors hurtle straight through from Cape Town to the Garden Route. If you have some time, why not take the scenic coastal road to Hermanus, Gansbaai or Arniston? Alternatively head inland on the spectacular Route 62 country road which meanders past charming villages and game reserves.

The cosmopolitan fishing town of Hermanus offers all year round charm. Hermanus boasts stunning beaches, coastal walking trails, some of the finest wine estates in South Africa, beautiful fynbos vegetation and spring flowers. The more adventurous can even experience shark cage diving at nearby Gansbaai.

Arniston & De Hoop

One hour to the east lies the delightful fishing village of Arniston. Known for its warm sandy beaches and turquoise seas. Visit the cave at Waenhuiskrans, the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas. Alternatively you can stay in one of South Africa’s prettiest nature reserves, De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Swellendam & Route 62

Inland of the Cape Whale coast lies the picturesque town of Swellendam. Known for its majestic oak trees, lovely gardens and well-preserved Cape Dutch architecture. Nearby Route 62 is the world’s longest wine route and offers a scenic alternative to the N2 highway. It meanders past the charming towns of Robertson, Swellendam and Montagu. And then on to the dramatic rugged moutain passes of the Little Karoo.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Spectacular whale-watching from land, sea or air
  • Wine-tasting at Hermanus or along Route 62
  • Secluded sandy beaches at Hermanus, Arniston or De Hoop
  • Shark-cage diving
  • Visit the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas
  • Walk along the coastal trail at Hermanus
  • Boat cruises to see the Cape Fur Seals and Great White sharks
  • Visit the Botanical centre at Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus
  • View the rare and endangered Bontebok at the Bontebok National Park on Route 62
  • Big Five game-viewing at Sanbona

When to visit Hermanus & Route 62

Mid-Nov to mid-March

Summer

Hermanus shares the Mediterranean climate of Cape Town and the Winelands. But the Southern Coast generally has a slightly more temperate climate with more variable weather. However inland, around Swellendam and the Route 62 the weather is consistently sunny, hot and dry.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 34 mm
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

Mid-March to April

Autumn

Autumn is a lovely time of year on the South Coast. Though it is cooler, it’s a great time to be active as the sun is not so scorching.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 58 mm
MAX TEMP 22.5 ℃ / 72 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

May to August

Winter

This is our “winter” and yes it does feel wintery. But this is a gentle winter. You may have rain, but it rains only 2-3 days every 2 weeks or so. July sees the start of the whale-viewing season along the coast with whales sighted frequently from July to November. It’s not the ideal time to visit but winter special offers make it more attractive.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 52 mm
MAX TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉
MIN TEMP 8 ℃ / 46 ℉

Sep to mid-Nov

Spring

The spring is one of the best times to visit, as it is both whale-watching season. And the fynbos, the Cape’s unique flowery vegetation, is in full bloom in the late spring months of September and October. As elsewhere in the world, spring is variable. It could be sunny and warm. Or there could be late-season passing showers. As it is not scorchingly hot, it’s a great time for sight-seeing and being active such as hiking up Table Mountain or sea-kayaking.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 49 mm
MAX TEMP 22 ℃ / 72 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

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Lekkerwater Beach Lodge – Kate’s review

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge is on the site of an original holiday homestead which was requisitioned by the Government in the 80s. It is a simply gob-smacking location with views up and down this completely deserted beautiful stretch of beach. Basically this is as good as any beach destination in South Africa.

The main lodge is small but very charming and stylish in its décor. There is a large deck with a fireplace and also a netting overhang for lounging (sort of like a giant hammock)

There’s a short boardwalk down to the beach and hidden away is a kolkol Jacuzzi tub which you can book for private bathing session for an hour. Highly recommended though the water was also too warm!

They had to use the existing footprint of the homestead to create the lodge with seven new chalets. So that explains why the wooden chalets are all close together, and not that large. They are well-decorated, with a nautical theme.

Each room has a wood-burning fire which you need in the winter months. Huge floor to ceiling french windows give you an expansive sea view with a small deck with loungers. The seventh room is away from the rest  and acts either as a honeymoon room or indeed a family room with a small upstairs area for children/teenagers with two extra beds.

We stayed for two nights which I felt was the right length or time as there are not a huge number of activties. We enjoyed a marine walk and a fynbos walk in the afternoon, both of which were good. But what it is really selling is its location.

Cedarberg : Kate Bergh
Did you know
  • NatureHome to the beautiful Fernkloof Nature Reserve
  • MarineHermanus is known for some of the best land-based whale watching in the world

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