Did you know?
Between Fisherhaven and Kleinmond near the Bot River Lagoon lives a herd of wild horses that have adapted to a diet of slightly saline water and plants.
Hawston Beach is found along a stretch of coastline to the west of Cape Town renowned for its whale and dolphin spotting opportunities. The little fishing village of Hawston is located en route to Hermanus, between the towns of Fisherhaven and Onrus in a scenic part of the country known as the Whale Coast. The idyllic Blue Flag beach found located here is a secret that the locals are happy to share with those who appreciate the finer things in life.
This Western Cape Blue Flag beach is worth taking a look at, if not for its swimming possibilities (which happen to be some of the safest on this coastline), then just for its views of sweeping mountains and ocean combined. Hawston Beach is a great venue for walking, but take caution to treat its extensive dune systems with sensitivity and stick to the designated boardwalks. Interpretive signage on the way is helpful in informing visitors about the vegetation and natural resources of this pristine beach.
Facilities alongside this Blue Flag beach include picnic and braai areas, as well as an Olympic-size swimming pool - which is open to the public. The beach enjoys the full attention of lifeguards from 1 December to 31 March each year. Hawston is named for a frequent vacationer to the spot, Charles Haw, who settled in nearby Caledon in the late 1850s. The location, however, has roots that go back to the earliest known settlers in the area, the Khoisan, and a little later, the Griqua. Hawston families record long and proud histories in the vicinity.
This area of the Western Cape proffers excellent birdwatching, and one threatened species you might catch sight of here is the black oyster catcher. Between July and December it's southern right whale season and whale watching boat trips out of Hermanus tend to make their way to Hawston for some close encounters with the ocean’s largest mammals.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)28 312 2629
Fax: +27 (0)28) 313 0305
How to get here
Follow the N2 from Cape Town over Sir Lowry’s and Houw Hoek Passes. From Bot River the R43 will lead you towards Hermanus.
Best time to visit
The Cape summer is at its best between November and March.
Around the area
Shark cage diving is popular along this coastline. You can also go white water rafting, abseiling and canoeing in the Hangklip-Kleinmond region. Fishing in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve is a popular activity.
Where to stay
A variety of inexpensive guest-houses and B&Bs are located in Hermanus. The best rates apply during off-peak season.
What to eat
A local delicacy is the seafood abalone, or perlemoen as it is commonly referred to in Afrikaans.
The annual Whale Festival takes place in September.