As the days begin to shorten and evening chills set in, there’s no doubt that winter’s blanket is slowly settling on the Mother City! The forests that punctuate the city treat us to kaleidoscopic displays. Leaves transform from emerald green to the riotous reds and yellows of autumn. The scenery in the Winelands is particularly striking at this time of year. Quilt-like patchworks of colourful vines create landscapes that could easily be mistaken for oil paintings.

Whale season

The first Southern Right Whales in Table Bay signal the onset of the famous annual spectacle known as the Whale Season. Over the from June to November, thousands of whales will arrive from their feeding grounds in the icy waters of the Antarctic to give birth and nurse their young calves in the relative calm of our protected bays. The viewing is nothing short of spectacular!

Great white sharks in False Bay

Winter months in the Cape are synonymous with wild ocean storms, good red wine enjoyed in front of crackling wood fires and… great white sharks. These behemoths of the deep concentrate in unusually high numbers around Seal Island, False Bay. This small island is home to over 60 000 Cape fur seals, the favourite prey of the Great White.

It’s one of only a few locations on the planet where guests can witness the sharks ‘breaching’. The term describes an extraordinarily unique hunting technique. The sharks launch themselves from the water, often somersaulting through the air, in pursuit of their agile prey. A descent into the cage to view these super-predators underwater is an awe-inspiring experience and one that will not soon be forgotten. This is a bucket list experience!

Insider tip: This once-in-a-lifetime activity is only offered in False Bay, Simonstown in the winter months and differs from the ‘all-year-around’ Gansbaai shark-diving experience in that the sharks in Gansbaai are not likely to breach.

Flower season

Guests travelling along the West Coast in August may be treated to the brilliance of the annual flower season. A blanket of flowers begins to blossom in unison, covering vast tracts of land. It is a sight that will not soon be forgotten.