The Kleinmond- Hangklip coastal area including of Betty’s Bay, Hangklip, Pringle Bay and Rooi Els has the unique status of being situated in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve which was the first UNESCO designated biosphere reserve in South Africa. Biosphere reserves are tasked with becoming role-models of sustainability and demonstrate the balance between people and the environment to the benefit of both.
The Fynbos Festival with its green living expo, market stalls and crafts, walks and tours takes place in December and showcases the dynamic cultural and environmental abundance of Kleinmond and the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve.
The Arabella Hotel and Spa has put Kleinmond on the map as this luxury holiday resort and exclusive golf estate, attracts guests from around the world. The hotel and its 18-hole championship golf course, ranked number one in the Western Cape, lie within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and overlook the Bot River estuary which is the largest natural estuary in South Africa.
The Hanklip-Kleinmond region has a permanent residential population of 13 000, with less than 4 000 of these residents living in the sparsely populated Hangklip area. This figure swells to 40 000 during peak holiday season with beaches, restaurants, guesthouses and hotels packed to capacity. Kleinmond has established itself as an attractive sporting venue with the annual TotalSports challenge in January and Big Blue festival end February being highlighted summer events.
Kleinmond has a police station with a satellite station planned for Betty’s Bay. There is a library in Betty’s Bay and one in Kleinmond. There are two government primary schools in Kleinmond as well as two private schools both of which cater for high school learners. Pringle Bay also has a private school. The Mthinkhulu Village in the centre of Kleinmond provides a wide range of skills development programmes for the community and hosts a branch of Boland College, a Further Education and Training Centre.
Kleinmond has an active harbour and many commercial fishermen make their living along the Hangklip coastline. Whether it’s hiking in the biosphere reserve with its 1 800 floral species, a visit to the Stony Point penguin colony, a tour of the Biosphere Eco-Centre in Rooiels, a picnic in the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, shopping and sundowners in Kleinmond’s quaint Harbour Road, a day on the beach with family and friends, or a fleeting glimpse of the heard of wild horses roaming the dunes, eco-tourism is quite definitely the economic life-blood of this scenically magnificent and environmentally sensitive area of the Overstrand.
In the past decade Hermanus has established itself as the business and cultural heart of the Overstrand. Although it may have shed its sleepy holiday town image and is able to boast a modern infrastructure, sophisticated speciality shops, shopping centres and restaurants to rival the best in the world, Hermanus has managed to retain the charm of its fishing village heritage.
Hermanus is situated between sweeping mountains and the sparkling Atlantic ocean and is only a short scenic 1½ hrs (140 km) drive from Cape Town. The Overstrand Municipality has its administrative head office in the state-of-the-art Civic Centre in Hermanus.
Tourism is flourishing in Hermanus and businesses catering for the robust hospitality industry are plentiful. Visitors to the town can choose accommodation options ranging from upmarket B&Bs, guesthouses, luxury resorts and boutique hotels to budget priced self-catering and back-packer establishments. Hermanus is known as the best land based whale watching destination in the world and from June through to December each year thousands of tourists visit our shores to marvel at the magnificent southern right whales as they splash and romp and nurture their newborn calves. Whale watching cruises depart from the New Harbour daily and flights to view the giants of the deep from the air are also very popular. Click here to read more
Hermanus has a well developed industrial area and is enjoying growth in the building sector with security villages, private homes, holiday resorts and commercial and retail property development projects adding to the economic wealth of the area. Hermanus is also a leader in commercial abalone farming and development of further aquaculture farms is anticipated. Agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale and retail businesses, financial and investment companies and the wine industry also contribute significantly to the economic prosperity.
- Hermanus has a Provincial Hospital which is rated as one of the best in the country, a world-class Medi-Clinic and six primary health-care clinics.
- The Greater Hermanus area has 4 libraries situated in Hermanus at the Civic Centre, Mount Pleasant, Zwelihle and Hawston. The Hawston library also has a Library Business Corner as part of the Provincial Government’s initiative to empower local communities to acquire basic skills.
- Hermanus has 7 government schools of which three are high schools. There are also several private schools as well as numerous Educare Centres and preschools to choose from for the educational needs of the community.
- Organisations like Hermanus Learn to Earn, Overstrand Training Institute and the Enlighten Education Trust offer a range of excellent training courses and skills development programmes for school leavers and adults wishing to improve their skills and employment opportunities.
- Hermanus offers social and sporting activities like bowls, golf, tennis, cricket, athletics and yachting as well as service clubs like Rotary, Round Table and Friends of the Hospital.
Stanford is essentially a flourishing farming community with the Klein River meandering through lush fields and village homes built along its banks. The rural atmosphere of the old village with its many historical features has been retained and preserved thanks to the foresight of the Stanford Conservation Trust and the Stanford Heritage Committee.
Stanford has a peaceful and quiet charm which has drawn many people from the city in search of the quality of life a small village offers. Many of the old homes have been renovated and restored and countless new homes have been built in Stanford in the past decade. They all prescribe to the “Stanford Style” so that the unique character of the village is maintained.
Stanford’s economy is driven by tourism, the wine estates, the commercial harvesting of fynbos, farming and smaller businesses like estate agencies and grocery shops, which offer services to the community. Stanford is very much a horse riding community and hosts a number of riding shows and gymkhanas in the village.
Stanford has stylish art galleries, quaint coffee shops, pubs and restaurants, farm stores, home décor shops, B&Bs and hotel accommodation. At the centre of the village is Market Square and this large open common is used for community and sporting events. The Stanford Heritage Festival takes place on Market Square each October. The evening markets in summer have also become a village feature.
Boat cruises on the Klein River are popular with locals and visitors alike as are the whale flights and scenic safaris that depart daily from an airstrip in Stanford. Wortelgat, with its fantastic facilities, is a camping and adventure paradise for the many school children in the Overberg who attend the camp programmes which are offered throughout the year.
Aviotourism is the fastest growing outdoor activity in the world and Stanford has become renowned for its annual Bird Fair.
Tourists and residents are able to buy locally produced beer from the Birkenhead Brewery and award winning cheese from the Klein River Diary.
Stanford, with its permanent population of approximately 8 000 people, has a public library, a Provincial day clinic, a police station and two primary school.
Gansbaai is situated in the centre of a number of small bays with miles of unspoiled beaches, fynbos rich nature reserves, ancient milkwood forests, historically significant caves and breathtaking sea views.
Shark cage diving has become synonymous with Gansbaai and specialised boats leave from the Kleinbaai harbour daily so that extreme adventure seekers can have close encounters with great white sharks.
Gansbaai is the business and industrial centre of the Greater Gansbaai region. Fishing is the main commercial activity and marine based industry includes abalone farms and a fishery. The property development sector is expanding and the hospitality industry brings much needed revenue to the area.
With a population of approximately 20 000 permanent residents, Gansbaai has a great deal to offer. There are 3 primary schools in this Municipal area and a high school. There is also a police station, primary healthcare clinic and a public library.
The Gansbaai Communal Sports Centre is a world class facility and besides boosting sport in the region has become a centre of community activities. The community is able to enjoy football, rugby, netball, hockey, tennis and many more sports on the five new fields. The complex was also the first venue in South Africa to have a artificial grass pitch. The project was made possible by a public private partnership between the Department of Sports and Cultural Affairs, the Overstrand Municipality, the Grootbos Foundation and ABSA.
Grootbos Nature Reserve, with its award-winning luxury hotel set in an indigenous fynbos landscape and milkwood forest, contributes to the social development and training of unemployed people from area. Through the Green Futures initiative they aim to develop nature-based sustainable livelihoods for the community. The Masakhane Training Centre also offers training in various skills to jobless residents.
With the fertile Baardskeerdersbos valley, the fresh water caves at De Kelders, the white sands of Pearly Beach, the jackass penguins at Dyer’s Island and the renowned Shark Alley, Gansbaai is truly a uniquely attractive region within Overstrand Municipality.