Harness your sense of adventure with a coastal road trip from Cape Town. A stunning drive awaits you as you head along the The Cape Whale Coast to the seaside city of Hermanus, a vibrant vacation community filled with boutique shops and art galleries where coastal hiking and adventure awaits. Be sure to drive the mountain route pass from Cape Town, which offers winding and stunning views of the Kleinriver Mountains. Your drive will take you through the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley – meaning “Heaven and Earth”. This wine region showcases a dozen wineries high up in the mountains with a setting that could rival a movie backdrop. A highlight is Creation Winery, which offers a tapas, chocolate, or foodie pairing – as well as a kids pairing (with flavored milks and juices) so the whole family can partake.
The next stop, just a quick 30 minutes from Hermanus, is the private nature reserve Grootbos (Afrikaans word for “big forest”). This unique property successfully combines a luxurious ambience with a commitment to environmental conservation while supporting the community. It is also home to the “Marine Big 5” – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins – as this is the convergence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Don’t miss the opportunity to jump in an open-air safari vehicle for an educational drive through the mountains, zipping through the unique fauna and fynbos and endemic milkwood trees en route to Siyakhula Organic Farm. The farm provides an education and foundation in organic agriculture, sustainable animal husbandry and beekeeping to members from the local community – particularly women. All of the produce from the farm – vegetables, herbs, lettuces, fruit, eggs, honey and preserves -are sold to the Grootbos lodges as part of an innovative micro-economy initiative. The same model applies to the filtered water that is offered for a small charge. Embrace this ethos guilt free over a gastronomical five-course dinner paired with local wines knowing you are giving back!
On your return to Cape Town, drive one of the world’s most scenic coastal routes in South Africa. The drive along R44 to Gordon’s Bay features dramatic scenery and beaches, a Penguin colony in Betty’s Bay (which is much bigger and less crowded than Boulders in Cape Town), whale watching, birding, and even shark cage diving.
These are just a few of many easy and inspiring getaways. To capitalize on the three months Jill Taylor spent in Cape Town this year, contact Jill at Jill@jetsetworldtravel.com