Swellendam, Hermanus, Cape L'Agulhas, Rock hyrax, South Africa

Swellendam, South Africa – Southern Africa: Part XX

After three days in Cape Town, it was finally time to once more get into a car, drive on the wrong side of the road, and head towards the town of Swellendam. There were two stops along the way that we looked forward to. Those were Hermanus and Cape Agulhas. The first stop offered a good possibility to spot some whales and the second one is the southernmost tip of Africa.

Car Rental: Europcar

We started with a short walk to the Europcar car rental office which was only a few hundred meters away from our accommodation at the Icon Apartments. Here we had booked a car for the coming days. It was a fast business to get the keys and we were soon out on the road in a model from Hyundai, which I do not remember the name of.

Spending as little time as possible on the city roads in Cape Town we were soon on the highway heading out of town. Luckily driving in neighboring Namibia had been a good practice in driving on the left now when the traffic was a lot denser.

Whale Watching in Hermanus

Our first stop of the day was the small town of Hermanus with around 32.000 inhabitants. We had been told by our guide and driver the previous day, Carlos, that this was one of the best spots for seeing the whales. We made a stop to try our luck with seeing the giants of the sea.

Fortunately, we did not have any problems finding a parking lot and we were soon walking along the main street. Here we found a Pick-n-Pay store where we bought some small snacks before heading down to the shore. In no time at all, we were facing the Atlantic Ocean and we found ourselves looking out at the waves in the hope that a whale or two would show up.

We were not the only ones walking along the cliffs that day. The path that continued along the shores was shared with a lot of other people as well as a few Rock Hyraxes. From time to time it was possible to hear a kid scream and point out into the blue. The excitement rose until eventually everything calmed down and the whales remained out of sight.

We eventually gave up, knowing that the likelihood of actually seeing the whales was quite limited. We could spend days here with the hope of seeing them and still not spot any. It was instead time for lunch and we were happy that we at least gave the whale watching a try. Our timetable did just not favor this kind of activity.

The Southernmost Tip of Africa: Cape Agulhas

After a nice lunch in Hermanus, it was time to get back on the road. We had one more planned stop before going to Swellendam. We headed toward the town of L’Agulhas. It was there that we would find the southernmost tip of Africa, the Cape Agulhas.

We eventually found our way to the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas, from where it was possible to reach the cape itself. We were soon walking the last few hundred meters on food along a nicely built path. There were a few more people at the southernmost tip of Africa, but it felt empty in comparison with both Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. It was also not as spectacular as the other two. What it offered was the knowledge that on your left is the Indian Ocean and on your right is the Atlantic Ocean. That feeling is quite difficult to describe.

Knowing that we still had some distance to drive we were soon back in the car. We wanted to be sure to reach Swellendam and our accommodation before nightfall. We did however have time for a short stop in L’Agulhas to fill up our water storage for the rest of the drive and the evening.


We were successful in reaching the town of Swellendam before nightfall and soon checked in at our accommodation at the Aan De Bergen Guest House. Swellendam is with a population of around 17.000 inhabitants quite small. There is a main street where you will find the church, the gas station as well as a few restaurants. We were recommended the restaurant named Old Gaol just opposite the Dutch Reformed Church on the main street. Here we had a nice dinner where Susann once more was shocked about the size of the portions. Her order – a bowl of soup as well as an open sandwich – turned out to be sufficient for a small army.

Aan De Bergen Guest House

We had a warm welcome at the Aan De Bergen Guest House in Swellendam by two affectionate golden retrievers and their friendly owners. The room had everything we needed for a night before we continued onward and we looked forward to some sleep after a long day.

Before falling asleep we noticed one of the dogs laying down on the terrace outside our room. He stayed there guarding us during the whole night. In the morning we were welcomed by sunshine and a freshly cooked breakfast. The breakfast was really to large for us when considering the size we are used to, but that was the case with most of the food we were served during our time in Namibia and South Africa.

After breakfast, we also got the opportunity to see the plant nursery that was adjacent to the guest house. Here at the Rooiklip Nursery, we were guided around between all the beautiful plants. Seeing all the aloes in this environment was different for sure. Sadly we are horrible when it comes to remembering the names of all that we have seen.

Join Us in Exploring Southern Africa

Here are all the posts belonging to the series about our trip to South Africa and Namibia. Read the parts by clicking on the links below:

Join us as we explore Southern Africa

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