The Overberg Farmlands – a Visual Tapestry


A talented writer friend of mine has been having a love affair with the Cape Overberg for several months now, so I packed my car and took a two hour drive up the N2, and then along the scenic route of this stretch of the Southern Cape coastline, to experience what all the fuss was about.  Now I understand, because the magic of the Overberg takes a grip fairly quickly – especially visually – from the wild and mesmerising coastline that Southern Right Whales chose to visit annually, to the picturesque country towns and surrounding farmlands regarded as the breadbasket of the Cape.

IMG_7775-001IMG_7815-001 IMG_7832-001 IMG_8044-001 IMG_8085 IMG_8297-001

It’s sheep and grain farming country, with a fair amount of rolling canola fields, fruit farming in the famed Elgin Valley and a burgeoning wine industry that can hold its’ own against the more popular Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Constantia Valley wine regions.

IMG_8103-001 Jackal Buzzard Ducklings in a puddle at the Klein River Cheese Farm Klein Rivier Cheese Shop

Fauna and flora are in abundance here:  The wheat fields are significant breeding grounds for the Blue Crane – South Africa’s national bird – while the UNESCO recognised Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is filled with flowering plants not found anywhere else in the fynbos world.  And then there is Cosmos!

Cosmos Cosmos field IMG_9016-001 IMG_8981 IMG_8614-001

Picture fertile hills engulfed by towering steel-blue mountains, a stretch of ocean that brags a dozen shades of blue capable of taking your breath away, and farmlands that change from dry and dusty mustard to rain-injected emerald as the seasons change.  This is the essence of the Overberg.

Field mouse Klein River Estuary cottage on klein river estuary

Several major towns make up the region, but I focussed on Stanford, Hermanus, Napier, Arniston, Gansbaai and of course Cape Agulhas, because although this blog is all about living and loving on the tip of Africa, Agulhas really is the southermost point of this amazing continent. Each of these towns deserves a post of its’ own but there’s also Swellendam, Caledon and Bredasdorp to explore, so add all of them to your Bucket List!

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5 thoughts on “The Overberg Farmlands – a Visual Tapestry

  1. I love the Overberg, didn’t visit it enough! Your photos are wonderful, they really capture the essence of the region, and what fab shots you got of the mouse, the hawk?, and those ducklings. And that oh so colourful cosmos…
    Happy 2014 Karen, I’m keen to read more about the Overberg and the Cape of course 🙂

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    • Thanks Jude – I came back home after 8 days with over 2000 shots so it was quite hard to select a handful. The snap of the mouse – a striped field mouse – was a complete stroke of luck. We discovered it on a walk along the riverside path in Stanford. It sat on its’ haunches for quite a while almost oblivious of three humans and two dogs and then it turned and scampered away. The bird of prey was more difficult would you believe? It’s a Jackal Buzzard and they are a common sight on electricity and telephone poles along the roads surrounding the wheat fields. Only trouble is the moment you stop the car they take off, so I was lucky to get such a clear and close shot. The ducklings live at Klein River Cheese Farm and stopped traffic taking up a puddle in the middle of the road.

      Happy 2014 to you too – I hope yours is full of love, happiness and travel plans which I look forward to reading about. 🙂

      P.S. There are about 4 more Overberg posts writing themselves in my head xxx

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