The mountains, kloofs and coastal plains of the southwestern Overberg are part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom, the smallest by area but the most diverse of the world´s six floral Kingdoms with more than 8600 plants, about 5800 species are found nowhere else in the world.
Fynbos may be defined as a shrubland with an unusual mixture of plant types of different shapes and sizes. It consists of the spectacular protea species, ericas and members of seven other plant families. Fynbos plants include the King Protea, South Africa's national flower, the beautiful Red Disa, symbol of the Cape Province and the popular garden plants, pelargoniums, commonly known as geraniums.
There are several hiking trails on offer
klipgat trails - de kelders (unguided)
The 7 km Klipgat Trail is a path meandering along the coast from Gansbaai harbour to Klipgat Cave. The trail passes various caves and rock pools and crosses a unique habitat of the rare coastal limestone fynbos vegetation. A small circular rock walk prevents you from falling down the "Duiwelsgat" - the hole of the Devil!!. This trail passes in front of the guesthouse and is an ideal way to get to the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and the Klipgat Cave.
groot melkhout trail - franskraal (unguided)
Though this small trail is situated right next to the Franskraal residential area, the presence of Franskraal close-by is no longer noticed the moment one walks under the canapés of the Milkwood trees. The trail is a circular route of 2 km and it takes just about an hour to complete if the nature lover takes time to enjoy what the bush has to offer.
farm 215 - on the fynbos road - (unguided)
This private nature reserve is open by special arrangement for Whalesong guests and offers unguided trails. A map will show you the different longer and shorter trails of between 2 and 5 hours through pristine mountain fynbos and stunning viewpoints in this mountain catchment area.
platbos forest - on the fynbos road-(guided or unguided)
A privately owned 30 hectare indigenous forest which is also Africa's southern most forest. This ancient forest, with specimens of up to 1000 years old, is a rare remnant of the Sandwoud forest type, with species compositions not found anywhere else in the region. It is a leisurely route with wide paths and gentle gradients, which will take between 1 and 2 hours to complete. There are some stunning picnic sites so take some refreshments to enjoy while listening to the bird songs travelling through the ancient forest.
grootbos experience - on the fynbos road -(guided)
As the name says, this is not a trail, but an experience! Grootbos, a beautiful five star Lodge also welcomes non-residential guests to enjoy this private nature reserve. You will walk under the guidance of a botanist though the reserve and enjoy fascinating views over Walker Bay, including snacks, drinks and drive to the coast to see whales or enter the Klipgat Cave.
heidehof fynbos nature trails - on the fynbos road - (guided)
This fynbos reserve and flower farm with 20ha of cultivated fynbos (Whalesong gets its flowers here) organises guided trails and "medicinal walks". Various rare and localised species grow on Heidehof's Limestone hills.
Matthia Schwiegler is the local specialist on the medicinal value of fynbos-plants and will point out and explain these healing plants to you. There are 3 different routes - a short stroll for the less energetic to a longer, more testing trail covering the upper reaches of the limestone hills. Matthia speaks English, French, Dutch & German
4x4 mountain tour (guided)
For a more leisurely approach, take a 2½ hr tour up the mountains behind Gansbaai. Learn about the local Fynbos and enjoy the spectacular views over Danger Point Peninsula and Walker Bay, spotting Dyer Island and Geyser rock in the distance. During whale season, spot the hundreds of whales playing off the coast. On a clear day you can see all of the way down the coastline to Cape Point.
horse trails - Stanford/Farm215
This part of the Overberg is excellent horse country. Tar roads are few and far between and one can ride for miles without seeing any man-made item.
Various rides are on offer: Beaches along these shores stretch on and on providing solitude which begs for some serious gallops or simply meander along the Kleinrivier with its multitude of birds and lush vegetation. Enjoy a mountain ride in unique fynbos with panoramic views of the area on farm 215 a 800ha fynbos reserve. For more info and costs please ask. (Needs to be booked a day in advance)
© Whalesong Lodge, Gansbaai , South Africa
83 Cliff Street, De Kelders | Tel.: +27-28-384 1865
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