Whales, waterfalls, and 77 bends. Clarence Drive is the ultimate detour

Whales, waterfalls, and 77 bends. Clarence Drive is the ultimate detour

With secret waterfalls and tidal pools tucked away, detour to discover the best of Clarence Drive.

Beautiful News - March 2021 2
Supplied, Beautiful News

Clarence Drive is more than a road – it’s a journey. Nestled between tranquil tides and rugged mountain ranges, it’s a route that visitors to the Western Cape can never pass up. Go with the flow along the region’s most scenic coastal stretch, and sink into nature's warm embrace. 

GO: The 22-kilometre drive sets off on the R44 in the seaside village of Gordon’s Bay. Built in the 1930s by Italian prisoners of war, the road provided cargo carriers with a trouble-free trail to Rooi Els. Today, it has become famous for its undisturbed views of False Bay, Table Mountain, and parts of the Cape Peninsula. 

SEE: Clarence Drive hugs the Hottentots Holland Mountains, offering glimpses of the wildlife that make their home in its crags and crevices. Stop over at the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and admire its breathtaking beauty. With 1 880 plant species, the biosphere is considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom. 

In the morning, mist hovers over Clarence Drive, beckoning explorers to spot the creatures that roam this icy coastline. Forming part of the renowned Whale Route, humpback whales and Heaviside's dolphins can be seen breaching on the horizon from June all the way to December. Year round, seal pups and African penguins play in the shallows. 

DO: Stretch your legs on a hike through the Steenbras River Gorge. Although only two kilometres, the Crystal Pools Hiking trail is not for the novice. Make a booking with the Steenbras Nature Reserve and trek through the rocky landscape, stopping to cool off in one of the several natural pools and waterfalls. 

Less than 10 kilometres away is Kogel Bay Beach, a haven for surfers and swimmers. Here, foam-lipped waves form a powerful shore break. Grab your board and shoot through an unfaltering barrel beneath the mountains. 

Take a break at the Sparks Bay Day Camp’s tidal pool. With no serious walking or climbs required, this location is perfect for the kids. Here, families can fire up lunch at one of the braai spots with panoramic views of the bay. 

With a plethora of adventures at your fingertips, don’t forget to slow things down. Made up of 77 bends, Clarence Drive encourages travellers to cruise at a comfortable 60 kilometres an hour. Each twist and turn opens up to an even more dramatic scene than the last. Pull over at one of the several rest stops and soak it all in. 

Clarence Drive is paved with moving landscapes and experiences. This journey might be short, but it leaves all who cross it with a new-found appreciation for the natural world

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