The road from Cape Point, along the amazing Chapman’s Peak Drive, carves into the cliffs and by sunrise I was surveying the Constantia Wine Farms from Constantia Nek. On my way up to Franschhoek I made a quick stop to admire the opulent Delaire Graff Wine Estate, an exclusive estate that is home to some of the best wines in the world and Laurence Graff’s carefully curated collection of some of South Africa’s finest contemporary artists.
The wine region is incredibly tranquil in comparison to the wilderness, with its soporific, sun-soaked terrain. Sipping pinotage and watching the sun setting over the mountains from my private veranda in the Hibiscus Suite at La Residence, I felt like I’d landed in paradise.
The following morning I ventured into Franschhoek to explore. It’s a quaint town with a real Huguenot influence, and from the Franschhoek pass, on my way to Hermanus, I was really able to soak in the beauty of the area in its entirety, with birds eye views spanning the entire region. From undulating vineyards and panoramic views, back to rugged coast, I found myself amazed, once again, by the sheer diversity of this country.
Hermanus is a fun resort town, full of antique shops and various other curiosities. Visitors come here from land and from sea – between July and November, up to 100 Southern Right Whales visit the waters in front of the town. In fact, Hermanus is famous for its land-based whale-watching and is also just a stone’s throw from one of the greatest densities of the endangered Great White Shark. Sure enough, as I arrived at The Marine Hotel, the staff informed me that the whales had been playing outside all day and I whiled away much of the day watching them from my hotel room window.