We set out from Cape Town with intentions of spending a couple weeks exploring the Western and Eastern Cape. We will drive to Oyster Bay just about 100km south of Port Elizabeth spending most of the time in the Karoo (a semi-desert natural area) on the way out and following the coast on the way back.
However, our first few days, we spent driving out along the coast to Stanford visiting the Hermanus and Klein River lagoons.
We stopped in Betty’s Bay on the way to check out some penguins. While there, we bumped into some Dassies (or Rock Hyrax or 20lb Guinea Pig!) and more than a few endangered Black Cormorants.
Our next stop was the seaside town of Hermanus. Only an hour away from Cape Town, this is a fantastic spot for whale watching although the summer is not the best time to view them. The town has an amazing 10km cliff trail along the waterfront that is scattered with sculptures and dramatic views.
Our ultimate destination for the day was Stanford and the Mosaic Lodge on the Klein River lagoon. The lodge is situated on this gorgeous lagoon, a stunning setting below a dramatic mountain range and home to an amazing amount of bird life.
The lodge is also not too far from a dune swept beach and nature reserve, Walker’s Bay, where we spotted some whales off the coast. We didn’t see much of the whale but could see their spouts as they exploded through their blowholes. We really enjoyed our stay her and our morning runs through the fynbos (shrub land) dodging porcupine diggings and accompanied by the calls of the blue cranes (South Africa’s national bird).
It was a great start to our road trip. The scenery has been dramatic and varied.
It has been exciting learning the road etiquette and getting comfortable with the left-hand driving and the aggressive driving. Roads are generally in good condition but some of the routes includes dirt roads and most do not have much of a shoulder. There tends to be people everywhere and they often wander out in the road – even if the road is a super highway. Drivers are fast but very considerate of others. Passing is part of the experience, but slow drivers and trucks pull over to the side for overtaking vehicles. There is none of the maddening slow drivers in the fast lanes that is a frustrating aspect of driving back in the States.
We are looking forward to the sights down the road. Stay tuned for more photos and descriptions in the coming days.