The announcement that intra-provincial travel is allowed again is welcome relief for all South Africans, particularly for the local tourism industry. The Western Cape, of course, is ripe for local exploration, with road trips the perfect opportunity for safe, affordable exploration.
Just over an hour from Cape Town, the Cape Overberg is a road-tripper’s dream, with the region encompassing rolling valleys and pristine coastal stretches, making it perfect for a weekend away, regardless of what kind of traveller you are. From local markets and world class restaurants to zip lines, quad bikes and sand boarding, it’s time to hit the road again to rediscover this amazing region.
Stock up the pantry
Part of any trip through the Overberg, a stopover at one of the farm stalls dotted throughout is basically a road-trip regulation, with plenty to choose from. Peregrine’s in the Elgin Valley is a firm favourite for local travellers, with their freshly-baked pies the stuff of legend, while Houw Hoek Farm Stall – on the Houw Hoek Pass – is another favourite for freshly-baked goods and artisanal coffee. Napier Farm Stall, Plaaskombuis and Dassiesfontein Padstal are all local favourites, with the latter stocking everything from rusks and jams to tin cans and enamelware to store them.
The Cape Overberg is one of the most naturally beautiful regions in the world, with rolling green hills, lush valleys and majestic mountain ranges providing nature lover’s and weekend warriors the ultimate playground. If anything, the national lockdown has turned even the biggest couch potatoes into avid outdoors people, and the desire to explore is real. The Cape Overberg, of course, boasts some of the country’s best reserves, with the Bontebok National Park, Marloth Mountain Nature Reserve, Kogelberg Nature Reserve, the Phillipskop Mountain Reserve (part of the Cradle of Human Culture route), and Harold Porter Botanical Gardens just some of the parks you can enjoy again. There are also a number of farms offering hiking routes in the region, with the likes of Bosman Hermanus and Bouchard Finlayson in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley perfect for day hikes. For guided hikes/walks, get in touch with Glamtrails, who will introduce you to some of the lesser-known trails in the area.
Mountain bikers will rejoice at the prospect of a trip to the Cape Oveberg with some of the best trails in the country to explore here. Elgin, Swellendam, Gansbaai, the list goes on, with the region’s diverse terrain set to challenge and excite MTB enthusiasts with everything from jeep track and single-track to big climbs and mad descents.
The Cape Overberg is THE spot for weekend adventurers, with trail running, MTB and hiking a calling card for the area. Seriously, you won’t struggle to find trails, you will struggle to decide which ones to hit first! Of course, there is more than solo-powered adventure missions though, with SA Forest Adventures the experts in ensuring you get your adrenaline fix while in the Overberg, with epic quad bike trips, zip line canopy tours, paintball and sandboarding (boasting one of Africas Highest Commercial Sand Boarding Dunes!)
options available. The Cape Canopy Tours zipline in Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve is also set to open soon (August 15) and will ensure that all adrenaline junkies will reach new heights as they zip through this impressive mountainous reserve.
One of the best ways to spend your weekend time in the Cape Overberg is to hit the various village markets dotted throughout the region! Baked goods, artisanal coffee, arts and crafts, kid-friendly, there is no better way for families to kick off the weekend than a trip to the market. The Saturday markets across the region – including the Elgin Railway Market, Hermanus, Gansbaai and more – are operating again, ensuring that you can dig into the very best of the local delights while visiting.
Yes, alcohol is still unavailable, but don't let that stop you from tucking into the fine fare across this region. There is a reason it's commonly known as the bread basket of the Western Cape, with food very much a selling point here, from Elgin to Agulhas, the Cape Overberg is a foodie Mecca. From fine dining establishments like Creation in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley to sumptuous sea food at Fick's and farmstyle flavours at The Manor House in the Stanford Valley, you have plenty of options to refuel should your farm-stall laden pantry run bare at any point...
There are a plenty of accommodation options available in the Cape Overberg, but we would suggest you get in touch with the local Regional Tourism Offices to see who is open from this weekend and beyond. The accommodation sector has been hit hard by the lockdown regulations and not all local providers are quite ready to open under the Revised Level 3 lockdown regulations.
*Please remember to be kind to the staff when you do visit the various establishments and experiences. Remember, operators are under huge pressure to ensure you have a great time, while also ensuring they operate within the current regulations. This is a new space for all of us and we need to navigate it together.