Paarl – Hermanus – Paarl 270 km.
Hermanus is the number 1 whale-watching city on the Western Cape. You can see whales from the boardwalk and whale watching ships depart from the harbour of Hermanus. The best time of the year to go whale watching is September-November.
Even though you visit us outside the whale watching season, the drive to Hermanus is recommendable.
Take N1 towards Cape Town and take exit 55 to Franschhoek. Follow R45 to Franschhoek and drive through the city. Make a left turn at the end of the city by the Hugenot Monument. R45 will now take you through the spectacular Franschhoek Pass. Make a stop on your way and enjoy the view of Franschhoek.
The route through the Franschhoek Pass is a scenic route with lots of hairpin bends and you might meet a group of baboons on your way. From here, you will pass through a desolate mountain landscape down to the valley and the large reclaimed lake Theewaterskloof. A large dam has created the lake and provides the water supply for the city.
R45 ends in a “T” and you should take a right turn on the bridge on R321 towards Grabouw and a beautiful landscape with fruit plantations. The road will take you through a narrow pass until you reach Grabouw and the traffic route N2 that will take you east to Caledon and George.
Up here you are on a mountain plateau but after 15 km, you will get down again and reach R43 towards Hermanus.
This is an extremely scenic route so do not forget your camera!
If it is your plan to go whale watching on a boat, make a right turn in Hermanus towards the new harbour (we recommend that you book your trip in advance – you can find all information online). Otherwise drive straight to the centre of the city, the old harbour, and the boardwalk from where you can see the whales.
Paarl – Gansbaai – Paarl 346 km.
In Gansbaii you will have the opportunity to see “The Big Water 5” in collaboration with our partners from Dyer Island Cruises. We will help you make the reservations.
The trip to Gansbaii takes all day but is worth every mile. The trip is identical to the trip to Hermanus – only a little longer.
The difference between Hermanus and Gansbaii is that on this trip, you will get to see sharks. Dyer Island Cruises offers magnificent boat trips where you get to see “The Big Water 5” – whales, sharks, penguins, dolphins and seals.
In Gansbaii you may go diving with the sharks – in a cage!
Let us know if you are interested. We will gladly make the reservations for you.