Sometimes I wonder if these fabulous stories about these places you read about in guidebooks are real, or if they are just a figment of the author that gets paid by the local tourism office? Are the amazing things always so amazing? Unique places really so unique? The phenomenal truly a phenomena?
Same goes for the Whale Route. You see the high gloss pictures of breaching whales in many magazines, websites or brochures… but do they really exist?
We have done the Whale Route a couple of times now: it is only 50 kilometers away from Cape Town and a perfect trip for an easy Sunday. The R44 starts near Gordon’s Bay, the small and winding costal road leads you through a stunning scenery of mountains, beaches and a generous view of the False Bay. Countless lay-bys bordering the road, invite you to stop and scan the ocean for the huge animals that gave the route its name.
To answer the question – yes – they exist. And oh my god, they are beautiful! You can watch them for hours, playing, breaching (if you’re lucky), blowing or just doing nothing while bobbing up and down, showing their vast grey back every now and then, submerging under the opaque skin of the ocean, just to arise somewhere else under the excited cries of the watchers.
Nobody can promise you will see whales if you are there, but they exist in large numbers, so the chances are really high.
There are so many amazing spots on the route, even if you don’t see any whales, you can visit the penguin colony at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay, have a walk on the beach at the Kogel Bay, have a coffee at the harbor in Kleinmond, while watching the fishermen coming back from their draught, gutting the snoek on the massive concrete tables or just sit in Hermanus on the promenade, observing the waves rolling in…and of course the whales.