OK, you are going to read the same things on all the websites and in all the brochures: The Cape Overberg and its coastline, the southernmost tip of Africa, is the best location for land-based whale-watching in the world, etc.
But the region is really, really an amazing piece of the Earth. Separated from the rest of Africa by mountain ranges (from there the name, which means "over the mountain"), it has a subdued magic that permeates life. It attracts artists and crafters, and people seeking peace for their soul. The rolling wheatfields and sheep grazing, with mountains in the distance. The two great oceans that meet. Long white beaches, with waves lapping shells and pebbles and bits of seaweed. Treacherous rocks on which many ships have foundered.
The culture of the Khoisan, who inhabited the area for ages before the Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, was replaced by European farmers and missionaries. The oldest mission station, which was home to the first teachers' training college in the country, is situated here. And the third oldest town. The people now represent the Rainbow Nation of South Africa.
And there are more plant species in the region than in the entire United Kingdom (2500 of which 300 are endemic). Parts have a higher density of plant species than the Amazon. There are 350 bird species (recently a count by three people produced over 200 species in a day). And yes, it is the best spot for whale watching and white shark cage diving, and great for all types of scuba diving.
It is also a lovely place to live, or to spend some time. Visitors will leave reluctantly after making friends in unexpected places. Many visitors return as often as they can, like the two Danish couples whom we met on a river boat the other day, here on their third visit. Lovely places to stay, excellent places to eat, to relax.
A piece of Paradise has been preserved here. But visitors are welcome...
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