A Typical 9-Day Stay

Whale Huys holiday rental is located in a quiet seaside resort town called De Kelders, which is one of the quietest and safest communities on the Whale Coast. De Kelders lies an easy two hours drive up the east coast from Cape Town International airport (private transfers by helicopter or small plane can be arranged) and a short 5 minutes from the town of Gansbaai, which boasts LOADS of activities, adventures and things to do!

Stanford, a small town renowned for its quaint restaurants is 15 minutes by car. For a larger variety of shops, Hermanus is just 35 minutes away from Whale Huys holiday rental on the other side of the bay. The entire area is exceptionally rich in culture: Elim, a world heritage village, is 30 minutes away. Active adventures also abound, including wilderness and beachside horseback riding (African Horse Company is just 10 minutes away).

South Africa’s shark cage diving capital, Kleinbaai, is just 10 minutes away. In fact, you can see all of the ‘Marine Big 5’ within a 45-minute radius of our Whale Coast accommodation.) A number of wine estates in the area offer up some of South Africa’s best wines, including Hemel en Aarde valley, Stanford Valley, and Lomond wines. Wine tasting can be done six days, and in some places 7 days a week.

Day 1

Arrive at our self-catering accommodation in the afternoon, and enjoy a chilled glass of wine on the deck while watching the sunset over the ocean. Book the shark boat for the next day. It’s a good idea to do this early in your stay or even before you arrive, as depending on weather conditions boats may not go out every day.

There are numerous exciting tours and experiences in the area. From quad biking, sundowner flights and horse riding to cheese tasting, bread-making and whale watching. So, day one might be a good day to plan your stay a bit and make reservations with the individual operators.

Day 2

Make an early start for shark cage diving or whale watching boat tour, which usually begin around 6 am. These boats leave from Kleinbaai (about 15 minutes by car), and the half-day tours take you to Dyer Island (inhabited by thousands of seals), and through ‘shark alley’. Bring a warm jacket, as it can be cold on the water. It’s also advisable that you take a seasickness pill in the morning as a precaution, as idling on the swells gets to even the strongest of stomachs! Return to Whale Huys holiday home in the afternoon and enjoy it relaxing by the pool.

Day 3

Visit Elim village, a World Heritage Site that was founded by Monrovian missionaries in the 18th century. Even today, residents still live their lives according to the religious principles the village was founded upon. Visit the local galleries and enjoy a local lunch at one of the nearby wineries like Black Oyster Catcher or ‘Lokal’ in Baardskeerdersbos.

Day 4

Book a half-day or day tour with the African Horse Company, and ride through the unspoiled dunes and beach of the Walker Bay Nature Conservancy. Meander down the footpath to the impressive ‘Klipgat’ sandstone caves where archaeologists have uncovered some of the earliest human remains of Homo sapiens. Book a scenic charter flights over the bay to get a truly different view of the whales lazing in the waves.

Day 5

Go for a hike on the path leading from Whale Huys self-catering accommodation, and learn about the local fynbos vegetation at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve just before Hermanus. You could even follow one of the hiking trails in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve in the Hottentots Holland Mountains (entrance near Kleinmond). From there, proceed to Betty’s Bay to see the Stony Point Penguin Colony..

Day 6

Tour the wineries of the Hemel en Aarde valley. Visit the lovely tasting temple of Ataraxia and have lunch with a view at the La Vierge wine estate. You can have bottles sent back home at Wine Village in Hermanus, the largest wine shop in the southern hemisphere (located at the end of the road from the Hemel and Aarde valley). Visit the crafts market near the waterfront in Hermanus for traditional African souvenirs. Return to your holiday home for a delicious braai (barbecue)!

Day 7

Visit Platbos and learn about the Overberg’s indigenous forests. Just down the road, visit Flower Valley to learn more about the local fynbos and proteas. The Western Cape is the smallest, but most diverse floral kingdom on the planet.

Lunch at one of the small cafes in Baardskeerdersbos, and continue on for a hike in De Hoop nature reserve, or for a more relaxed afternoon, visit one of the Cape Agulhas wineries in the afternoon.

Day 8

Kayak on the lagoon or Klein Rivier in Stanford. Have a picnic at the cheese farm in Stanford and visit Raka or one of the other Stanford Valley wineries. Have a relaxed lunch at one of the local restaurants in Stanford (our favourites are Stanford Hills, La Trattoria, Havercrofts and Mosaic farm — book in advance as they are not open every day and are often full when they are open). For a quick bite, find some delicious local produce, baked goods and great coffee at Ou Meul. 

Spend a relaxed afternoon scanning the ocean for signs of activity from the comfort of your self-catering accommodation – you may well see the seals, dolphins that regularly pass by the coast in front of the house. Enjoy a traditional South African ‘braai’ (bbq) on the deck.

These are just a few ideas — check out Xplorio.com and Gansbaai Adventure for more suggestions of things to do in Gansbaai and Stanford. Remember to check if there are any cultural or art festivals going on, you can find information about many of these on Xplorio as well.

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