Overberg Roadtrip

Posted on Mon September 16, 2019 in Travel Stories.

What happens when a group of travel enthusiasts all working in the South African tourism industry come together for an ‘epic marketing of the Overberg’ road trip – the Overberg FAM trip. A beautiful four-day road trip through the Overberg with touch downs at all those quintessential Overberg spots as well as a few surprises along the way.

By now you might have seen a bit of our #OverbergFAMtrip2019 on social media, but a few posts simply won’t do it justice. Sit back and come along on our Overberg road trip as we share our entire journey with you below.

Our first stop was in Elgin at ‘the gateway to the Overberg’, the Elgin Railway Market. The station market was converted from an old apple warehouse and now comes alive every weekend with an array of vendors offering good food and wine all from the Elgin region. 

During weekdays Ground Central Coffee keeps things going with some of the best coffee in town.  We touched down at the market for a quick meet and greet between all the amazing agents and suppliers involved in our trip followed by a superb lunch.

Then we headed out to Barrydale for our next stop at Joubert-Tradauw wine cellar. We made our way through the beautiful green and yellow patched landscape and headed for a quick pitstop at Ou Meul Bakery in Riviersonderend.  If you travel between Cape Town and the Overberg often, you’ll know that a stop here is pretty much mandatory because nothing says “Welcome to the Overberg” like Ou Meul’s coffee and pastries.

At Joubert-Tradauw we were greeted with a hearty tapa platter (like only Beate Joubert can) to go with our wine tasting.  If you’re not a wine lover, still go for the food!  Although, we’re pretty sure the beautiful tastes and flavours of the Joubert-Tradauw wines will sway you to the wine side.

Frivolous and full we went off to our next location just a short drive from Joubert-Tradauw.  At Sanbona Wildlife Reserved we were warmly welcomed and checked in for our luxury stay. Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is much more than a safari lodge though. They are actively involved in conservation and restore of the diverse and sensitive landscape that is the Little Karoo.

The next morning, we rose early for breakfast at Sanbona.  We did however do more than just feast at this unique private wildlife reserve.  Que our sunrise game drive, post breakfast.

There’s nothing like breathing in the fresh, cool morning air on the back of an open Land Cruiser on an early morning game drive.  The vast, scenic landscape is awe inspiring and just when you think it can’t get any more beautiful you see the long, majestic figures of giraffes approaching. 

On further drive we see elephants, zebras, rhinoceros and an array of antelope.  The field is a mix of Karoo veld and Fynbos, this is where the Overberg meets the Klein Karoo, the border between them – a unique and unfamiliar beauty.

Too soon our three-hour game drive comes to an end, but we leave fulfilled and ready for the next leg of our road trip.  Our day is packed with loads of fun and inspiring activities to come. 

Our first stop after checking out at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is the Magpie Art Collective gallery in Barrydale. The gallery relocated from Cape Town to Barrydale in 2003 and is home to whimsical and bespoke creations. Many of the works here are produced either entirely from or incorporated repurposed or recycled materials.

The gallery also plays a role in social upliftment in the town of Barrydale through their Magpie Peace Dove art project and other social art and entrepreneurship initiatives. after which we headed to Diesel & Crème for lunch and one of their legendary milkshakes, of course. 

The restaurant that has become synonymous with Barrydale, Diesel and Crème, was next on our list. The retro and rustic vibe of the restaurant is an experience and a stop here is a must for every road trip through, via or around the Overberg.

Off we were to Swellendam with a scenic drive through Tradouws Pass.  It was lovely to be welcomed by the familiar faces at Schoone Oordt where we checked in for the evening.  

We enjoyed afternoon tea Schoone Oordt-style and then departed for the Bontebok Park, just a ten-minute drive from Schoone Oordt.  At Bontebok Park we took a short tour through the park on our way to the river picnic site where a wine tasting by Olivedale Wines were awaiting us.   

As we watch the sun go down over the Breede River and the song of birds finding their way home in the park around us we stand amazed by the diverse beauty of the Overberg.

After an opulent three-course breakfast at Schoone Oordt on day three of our Overberg road trip we went down to the Masbiekers Valley in Swellendam.  

Through the Masbiekerskloof Valley Project led by local artist Andrew James Hofmeyr the Masbiekerskloof Valley has been ‘decorated’ with an array of natural artworks.  

Alas our time in Swellendam came to an end and we had to hit the road.  This time the road was mostly gravel and led us through the crop rich Napky to the Breede River Pont where we crossed the river in our bus with the Malgas Pont Ferry. 

This man-hauled pontoon cable ferry is the last of its sort in South Africa.  Once we crossed the river our next stop was a short drive from the pont.

Sijnn Wines sits upon a hill overlooking Malgas and the Breede River and here we were received with lunch and a wonderful wine tasting.  Read more about Sijnn Wines’ unique wines on our previous blog on Sijnn.

Malgas is the perfect place to explore De Hoop Nature Reserve from but we were fortunate to stay at the luxury Morukuru Beach House inside the De Hoop Nature Reserve.  

This exclusive-use house is a modern, luxurious oasis in the vast natural conservation environment that is De Hoop.  After checking in we headed out for a guided walk through the unscathed Fynbos landscape atop the dunes to check out their newly built Morukuru Beach Lodge. After which, we were treated to gins and sandboarding along the dunes. 

Dinner at Morukuru, like everything else at Morukuru, is an occasion in itself.  And to top it all, we went off to bed with the sound of the Indian Ocean waves breaking at the shore just below the house.

After breakfast the following morning we were off to Gansbaai.  Although Gansbaai is the white shark headquarter of South Africa it is also home to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary.  The sanctuary provides temporary rehabilitative care to diseased, injured or abandoned marine birds with a special focus on the endangered African Penguin colonies of Dyer Island (just off the coast at Gansbaai).

On our journey back to Cape Town we stopped off for the most glorious view and spectacular Harvest Table lunch at Mosaic Private Sanctuary. What a special place. Then we took the scenic route along the coast via Betty’s Bay and just like that our four-day Overberg road trip came to an end.  From countryside to seaside, fine wine to unique safari experiences it’s almost impossible to single out only one of the many highlights – the Overberg has it all. 

Our Overberg road trip would not have been the same without each of the wonderful sponsors involved. From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank Grand Expeditions, Tour d’Afrique, Vindigo Travel, Fairfield Tours, Destinate Travel, Kobo Safaris, Pure Africa Experiences for their time out of the office and their enthusiasm for and participation in our Overberg Road Trip. It also would not have been possible without the wonderful commitment from Wesgro and SATSA. Thank you for your passionate energy and sponsorship. Lastly, but not leastly, a huge thank you to the suppliers along the way. We would not have had such a successful Overberg Road Trip without them…