The Cape Whale Coast is situated in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, and is approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town International Airport.
Take the N2 towards Sir Lowry’s Pass. After passing Somerset West, turn right at the Gordon’s Bay / Kleinmond sign and left at the T-junction in Gordon’s Bay, onto the R44 / Clarence Drive – the most spectacular marine drive in the world! Within minutes you’ll be in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, looking across False Bay to Cape Point.
Alternatively, take the N2 from Cape Town towards George. Travel over Sir Lowry`s Pass and pass Grabouw. Pass over the Houw Hoek Pass. As you come down the Houw Hoek Pass, Botriver will be on the left: take the next left off-ramp onto the R43-road to Hermanus.
Turn right to Kleinmond, or continue with the R43-road and pass Fisherhaven, Hawston, Vermont, Onrus and Sandbaai to reach the centre of Hermanus.
The main access roads from via the N2-road , from either Cape Town or the Garden Route, to the Cape Whale Coast (R44-road, R43-road, R326-road) are tarred and in a good condition. Some roads in rural areas (farming communities) are not tarred. Please enquire about the condition of the gravel roads at your closest local tourism office. Motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road. Wearing of seatbelts is compulsory. It is prohibited to drive whilst speaking on cellular phones.
South Africa is situated in the southern hemisphere, so it is summer here when it’s winter in Europe and North America (November to February), which makes it ideal for anyone wanting to escape the cold weather.
The Cape Whale Coast has a mild Mediterranean climate: it receives most of its rainfall during winter. The summers of the Cape Whale Coast are generally hot and windy and winters cold and wet, however the weather can be quite unpredictable. Daytime summer temperatures can range from 23ºC to 34ºC and in winter, mild temperatures between 14ºC and 20ºC can be experienced. In spring (September to November), Southern Right whales visit our coastline.
Don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to save your wonderful memories of the Cape Whale Coast! Remember to pack your sunglasses, sun hat, a note book and good walking shoes. If you’ve forgotten something at home – don’t panic – you can buy anything you need in our area.
For the summer months it is recommended that you bring light summer clothes, plenty of sunblock, mosquito repellent and a sun hat. You might need a jersey for the occasional cool summer evening. Ensure that you have the correct gear and equipment when undertaking outdoor activities. Warm cloths/items are required for the winter months, such as a jacket, a rain coat, jersey and boots.
The dress code for most restaurants are informal or smart casual, unless specified differently by the restaurant.
The local currency is South African Rand (R) and comprises 100 cents. Notes are issued in R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10 denominations and coins in R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c (the 5c coin is to be discontinued).
Foreign currency can be exchanged at all commercial banks and Bureaux de Change. Credit cards are accepted by the majority of accommodation providers, shops and restaurants. Travellers’ cheques are redeemable at banks and most major outlets, but have cash on hand for market stalls and informal traders.
Banking hours are generally from 09:00 to 15:30, Mondays to Fridays, and on Saturdays from 08:30 to 11:00. Banks are closed on public holidays. ATM’s are in all four of the Cape Whale Coast towns.
Internet access, courier and fax facilities, postage stamps, stationery, public telephones and other communications services are available at post offices, internet cafés and selected outlets
The Cape Whale Coast has a variety of boutiques, art galleries, markets, retail stores, boutique clothing stores, restaurants, wine farms and more to cater for the needs of every traveller. Shops normally trade weekdays, 08:30 to 17:00, and 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays (it may vary). Bigger chain stores are open on Sundays, and daily until 20:00, while convenience stores open at 07:00 until late at night, seven days a week. 24-hour convenience stores can be found at larger petrol stations.
Tipping in South Africa is customary. If good service has been experienced, tipping of 10% of the total bill is recommended. For airport and hotel porters it is suggested R10-R15 per person, irrespective of the number of bags. Petrol stations are not self-help, so the friendly attendant will assist you and accept a tip.
South Africa has a well-developed healthcare system. Pharmacies, well-qualified doctors, dentists and other specialists can be found in the Cape Whale Coast. Hospitals provide emergency and casualty wards, and out-patient treatment. It is advisable to bring a supply of your medication and a spare prescription. Be sure to top up on medical insurance before leaving home. The Cape Whale Coast region is malaria-free.
Yes, it is safe to drink water out of a tap in the Cape Whale Coast.
Afrikaans, English and Xhosa
Goods/purchases are subject to a government Value Added Tax (15%), which is redeemable upon departure. VAT claims are on items exceeding R250 and on items leaving the country. Please note that VAT on hotel bills and items you have consumed in SA is not refundable.
Request a tax invoice when purchasing, so that you may claim VAT on departure. You should retain your slips, and present them to a VAT refund official at the airport (there is also a VAT refund office at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town).
The Cape Whale Coast is considered a relatively safe holiday destination, however it is advisable that you use the same measures of safety to protect yourself and your belongings than you would at home, such as locking your valuables in the car boot, keeping to well-lit areas after dark or do not walk alone at night or along the cliff path after dark. Do not allow strangers to assist you with ATM transactions and never turn your back on your ATM card while transacting.
South African Police Service, phone: 10 111 or Hermanus Police Station: 028-313 8500
Netcare: 082 911
ER 24: 084 124
State Ambulance Service: 10177 (landline), 112 (mobile phone)
MTN: 083 112;
Vodacom: 082 147
Cell C: 084 148.
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