Cape Town to Kleinmond, An unforgettable road trip
This weekend Jake and I decided to make the most out of the Heritage day long weekend (Heritage day is a public holiday here in South Africa) and completely overload our weekend with stuff we’ve been wanting to do for a while. One of the things we’ve been wanting to do for a while, was go on a road trip to Kleinmond South Africa.
So, of course being me, the beach was the first thing I thought of. Both of us wanted to do something a bit different from going to a local beach in Cape Town, so we decided to plan a little road trip to Kleinmond here in the Western Cape of South Africa.
There were so many places that we wanted to see that Kleinmond was actually a last minute decision. We ended up in Kleinmond on Saturday morning with very little idea of what we actually wanted to do. We had packed an overnight bag just in case we decided to stay over, which we didn’t end up doing.
Initially we wanted to do some canoeing on Saturday and explore the town and beaches on Sunday, but it was so windy that the canoe station where we would have rented the canoe was actually closed. This limited us a bit since we didn’t bring any hiking or climbing gear, but it didn’t spoil the trip at all. We took the time to explore the cultural and culinary side of Kleinmond, and had the best fish and chips ever. On Harbour road you’ll find all kinds of craft and curios shops as well as restaurants and take aways. All with the small town rustic charm that you only get in places like Kleinmond.
How to get there
After lunch we took a long walk along the Kleinmond beach at Lagoon road. Even though it was still cold and very windy I just had to get some sand between my toes. There is no way I’m just going to look at a beach and not walk along it. So we found a nice little dune and sunbathed for a bit and enjoyed the view of Kleinmond and the mountains surrounding it.. The peace and quiet was so welcome and really helped us shed the stress that living in the city comes with.
We didn’t actually end up staying the night simply because if we didn’t get to canoe it would be a bit of a wasted stay. But I think we will make this trip again in the warmer months and when the wind dies down a bit to do some canoeing and climbing next time.
Where is Kleinmond?
Kleinmond is a tiny little town is about 1,5hours away from Cape Town.
It lies on the so called “Whale Route” and is between Agulhas and Cape Town.
What to do there
While there isn’t a heck of a lot happening in the town itself, the natural beauty around Kleinmond, and the activities it offers it is amazing. There is a nature reserve where you can do all sorts of hikes and some great climbing and even canoeing. So, you can easily make a whole weekend trip out of the road trip which makes sense if you are traveling from Cape Town. If you are traveling in Spring you can also do a bit of whale spotting along the Whale Route.
What is the Whale Route?
South Africa has some spectacular road trips, from the whale route to the Garden route which goes past Wilderness towards Port Elizabeth to all sorts of drives you can take to the interior of South Africa.
The Western Cape Whale Route is made up of several small towns including Rooi-Els, Pringle Bay, Sand Baai and Hermanus which is the biggest town along the route (the R44).
These towns are known for their great views of the ocean and whale spotting opportunities for whale watchers. Spring is whale season here in the Western Cape of South Africa, which means that large groups of whales visit the coast and you can usually see them at any spot along the whale route.
(If you are keen to do some whale watching there are a few tours you can do that will take you in a boat up close to some of the whales. But you don’t have to do that just to get a good look. Many of the coastal drives and towns offer perfect viewing spots and you don’t even need binoculars, though if you really want to you can use them. I really recommend doing either of these, whale watching is such an amazing experience.)
What to see and do in Kleinmond
If you are up for hiking, camping or climbing then the nature reserve is a must. I have climbed there before and there are some lovely climbs even for a newbie like me. The landscape and views are also spectacular and you can enjoy that even if you are not into climbing or hiking.
I haven’t hiked much in Kleinmond though, so I can’t really review the hikes.
I do also highly recommend a visit to the local craft shops in Harbour road, just to get a feel for the town itself. It is so chilled and laid back and restful. You really won’t want to leave.
And the sea views from Harbour road are dramatic with the powerful waves slamming and smashing against large groups of pillar shaped rocks. I could just sit there and watch the show for hours.
Where to eat
Along Harbour road we found a whole bunch of locally owned craft shops and restaurants and after exploring the shops we had lunch at a place called “Kabel Joe’s” which is a play on the word Kabeljou which is a type of fish.
We ordered a basic fish and chips dish and I just have to talk a bit about this place because the food was just amazing. I had ordered the calamari on the side and apart from the portions being very substantial the fish and calamari was absolutely delicious. I have never in my life tasted such good fish. If you are visiting Kleinmond for a road trip or just passing through I highly recommend trying out their fish and chips. The prices were also very reasonable and the service was very friendly and the view of the tiny little harbour just made the experience totally perfect.
Where to stay (camping grounds)
The nature reserve has a camping ground. You can also book an Air bnb pretty much anywhere in the small town. You will always be about 5 to 10 min drive from the beach or the nature reserve.
When to go? (Best season)
We went in Late September and while it was sunny it was still quite cold and a bit unpleasant. I would suggest going in Summer purely because you will be able to do more without freezing. Remember to check the weather before you go to make sure that the weather is playing along for your plans. We forgot to do this.
The best part of the trip
While the whole trip was just amazing, I have to say that the absolute best part of the trip was the drive back to Cape Town from Kleinmond. Yes, the drive there is spectacular since you get to see towering mountain ranges bordering vast ocean, but driving back as the sun sets is a life changing experience in itself.
Hands down this is the most beautiful drive I have ever done in South Africa and I have done some amazing drives and road trips. On one side of the road you get to see ocean crashing into bouldery beaches and small towns dotted in the distance. Ahead of you and to the right you see mountain ranges towering above the towns and as the sun sets it turns the whole landscape golden pink.
You can see why I get so excited just talking about it. This was just such an amazing way to end a perfect day.
What to take and pack?
One of everything. Being a coastal town like Cape Town, means that the weather won’t be stable or predictable. Pack some warm clothes as well as cool summer clothes just in case. I layered up and that worked out pretty well. I also made sure I had my ‘Go Bag’ with me, this is where i keep all my light but essential items like sunscreen and a buff. It really came in handy because I had to use my buff to shield my hair from the sand.
Also, you don’t have to worry about dressing up at all. Everybody in the town seems to be very laid back. I walked around in my active gym wear because I didn’t know what we would get to do, and no one even noticed.
One more thing
Kleinmond is a very quiet, laid back kind of town. I think it is a very nice peek into the best parts of South African hospitality. Being a mixed race couple Jake and I did get a few curious looks, but overall the locals were very friendly and helpful.
If you want to know a bit more about the natural make up of the area and the reserve you can also pop into the tourism office where they can really teach you a lot about the area. I found this worth the visit.
Did you find this article helpful? Do you have any road tripping tips that work for you? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to share or Pin this article. Sharing is caring 🙂