Hermanus and wine country in one day from Capetown?

Apr 13th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Hermanus and wine country in one day from Capetown?

I will be in Capetown in October. I have certain priority sightseeing planned for two days, but have one full day free. Is it possible timewise to go to Hermanus to see the whales and go to wine country , mostly for the scenery, in one long day? How much time would it take to drive to each? Do you need to backtrack to Capetown between each destination? If only one could be done, which do you suggest? I've been to many winetastings in the US in various parts of the country, so would be going to South Africa's wine country more for the scenery than the tasting opportunity.
shelleyk is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Hi Shelley!
Trying to both in a day would be just about impossible - at least if you wish to do either of them justice. As to which I would recommend - a tough choice. I would be hard pressed with that decision myself, as they are very different excursions and both wonderful. I have done both trips several times.Here is some input that will hopefully help you with your decision:

If you look at my trip report and photos (link below) from July 2008, (starting towards the bottom of page 3), there is a description of our day trip to the Winelands. It includes enough information that you could probably figure out the route we took - the Four Passes route - which is a favourite. I would highly recommend it - beautiful scenery! T

Here is the link:

Here is a description of one of our visits to Hermanus. When we lived in Cape Town for a year in 2004-2005, my sister, Dinah, came for a visit and I took her to Hermanus for the day.

"One of my favourite drives, which I shared with Dinah, is south along the east coast of False Bay to Hermanus, a small fishing village famous for its land-based whale watching. The road winds its way along the coast, and Robert and I agree that it is every bit as spectacular as Chapman’s Peak Drive, but a lot less busy. Between May and December each year, up to eighty southern Right whales, out of an estimated world population of only 6000, seek shelter in the bay near Hermanus to mate and calve, providing spectacular sightings. The town has a whale crier who uses a horn to produce a sort of Morse code to inform residents and visitors where whales are currently being sighted. Dinah and I were lucky to spot a mother and calf not far from shore, and could hear them blowing – expelling air from their lungs through their blow holes – and see the accompanying spouts of water. We ate lunch at Bientang’s Cave, a seafood restaurant with what surely has to be one of the most spectacular settings in the world. It is set in a cave in a cliff overlooking the bay, not 10m from the ocean’s edge. We sat on their deck and ate incredibly fresh prawns while watching the whales frolicking nearby."

Hope this helps! Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Hi again shelleyk-

Either one in a day would work, but not both. If you've done wine tasting, but not whale watching, I'd suggest the whale-watching. Assuming the weather will be pleasant, watching whales cruising around or breaching while sitting on some rocky outcrops, perhaps with some dassies to keep you company, or on the balcony of a seaside restaurant overlooking the bay, is just a wonderfully relaxing way to spend the day.

sdb2 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 06:24 AM
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Thank you both for your input. Canadian_robin I spent hours last night reading your narrative and looking at your pictures. What a fantastic trip. The "roads" in the wilderness look very challenging, to say the least. I loved your photos of the animals. This is my first trip to Africa that includes game drives. I will be happy to see any animals in the wild. I am sure that we will be returning to see other parts of Africa, as this trip is just an introduction to South Africa. Steve, thanks for the help in choosing when to go. We are going in October and are very much looking forward to this trip.
shelleyk is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:32 AM
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Shelley, I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time. A friend of mine just came back from her first visit to SA. Like many of us, she came back with Mal d'Afrique (an indefinable feeling of loss that compels visitors to return to Africa time and again) and walks about moaning how she misses Africa. There're are no cures for Mal d'Afrique except to return.

Best, Steve
sdb2 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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Definitely wouldn't recommend trying to doth both in a day.
napamatt_2 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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You're welcome Shelley! I am afraid it is a wee bit of a long read! Have a wonderful trip! Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
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