Fast Facts

  • Location: Hour and a half away from Cape Town in the seaside town of Hermanus
  • Attraction Type: Adventure
  • Significance: Enjoy the best land-based whale watching in the world
  • Best Time To Visit: The best time for whale watching is between August and November
  • How To Reach: The easiest way to reach Hermanus is by air to Cape Town International airport and from Cape Town to Hermanus by car or bus.
  • Nearest Airport: Cape Town International airport

Are you the kind who loves adventure? The town of Hermanus will be an excellent trip for adventure. Hermanus in South Africa is a popular holiday destination where tourists and locals can enjoy the best land-based whale watching in the world.

If you are eager to spot a whale or two just walk along the town’s cliff path that stretches for 12 km from one end of the town to the other. The mighty whales can be seen as close as 20 meters away playing in the sheltered bay or just beyond the breakers. The rumbling sound from the Whale Criers is of great help to visitors. The function of the Whale Crier of Hermanus is to alert those onshore to the presence of whales in the bay. This he does by blowing on a long kelp horn.

Do not be surprised if you are woken up by the whales blowing at night. You can watch them while sipping hot coffee or enjoying a restaurant meal, or while walking along the cliff paths. In case you are not in favor of walking and you want to get up close and personal with the whales, then a trip to one of the registered whale watching boats is the answer. Whale watching in Hermanus is a great way to experience this enormous creature.

The Southern Right Whale found in Harmanus is a baleen whale, meaning that instead of teeth it has long plates hanging from its top jaw, working like a sieve when the whale feeds. This whale differs from other whales. First of all, it has no dorsal fin on its back and when it breathes out there is a V-shaped cloud above the water.

Thousands of tourists flock to The Hermanus Whale Festival. It is the only Enviro-Arts festival in South Africa held annually to celebrate the return of the Southern Right whales to the waters of Walker Bay. It takes place at the end of September and usually lasts 3 to 4 days.

Apart from whale watching, Hermanus offers a few great beaches for swimming, fishing, and long beach walks. You can also go for hikes and walks in the nearby mountains to enjoy nature. You can go for shopping in the town where a good selection of art, craft and decor shops are available.

Hermanus has a number of hotels, guest houses and bed-and-breakfasts to offer and also plenty of self-catering houses for rental. Some of them are: The Marine, Misty Waves Boutique Hotel, Beaumonte Guesthouse, Windsor Hotel and many more.

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