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Visit Hermanus: Heart Of The Whale Route In South Africa

Hermanus - whale watching town in the Western Cape, South Africa
Restaurants at Hermanus waterfront [Image by Jeanine Smal from Pixabay]
Hermanus is located just 100 km (62 mi) from Cape Town on the Cape Whale Coast of the Western Cape. What used to be a rustic fishing village has grown into one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world. However, it isn’t just about whales, as Hermanus offers beautiful scenery and plenty of adventure options. Moreover, the town has an excellent selection of shopping options, coffee shops and restaurants. Read on to find out what the town has to offer for an enjoyable vacation.

Whale watching in Hermanus

Southern right whale in Hermanus, South Africa
Southern right whale [Image by itprax from Pixabay]
Hermanus is renowned as being the best land-based whale-watching location in the world. From June through December, southern right whales visit Hermanus and can easily be spotted from the coast. Meanwhile, the town is also famous for hosting the world’s only Whale Crier, who blows his horn whenever the whales are spotted on the coast.

However, besides watching the magnificent creatures from the shore, the town offers boat tours out on the water, getting close to the whales. Moreover, plane trips give the option of viewing them from the air.

Whale Crier in Hermanus, South Africa
Whale Crier in Hermanus [Image Wikimedia Commons]
A good time to visit is at the end of September when the town hosts its annual whale festival at a time when the southern right whales enter the local bay during their mating season. Another whale festival is held each August, known as the “Kalfiefees,” or Calf Festival to welcome the first of the young whales. Both festivals feature food and craft stalls where visitors can buy souvenirs to take home.

The nature of Hermanus

Fynbos in Fernkloof Nature Reserve, Hermanus
Fynbos in Fernkloof Nature Reserve [Image by SparklingGirl from Pixabay]
The nearby Fernkloof Nature Reserve offers amazing hiking and mountain bike trails through magnificent nature. Moreover, it also offers a shorter, wheel-chair accessible path to explore the gorgeous indigenous Fynbos, as part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Besides its floral charms, the nature reserve is home to baboons, klipspringer, genet, grysbok, porcupines, otters and mongoose. For those who love birds, the nature reserve features more than 92 species. Visitors can learn more about the indigenous plants and the wildlife and birds from the nature reserve’s tourism center.

Beaches and coves

Beach in Hermanus
Beach [Image by Ria from Pixabay]
Hermanus offers a number of excellent Blue Flag beaches, including Grotto Beach, Kammabaai, Langbaai Beach and Onrus Beach. Each is perfect for relaxing on the sand and swimming as well as whale watching. Meanwhile, the coast is perfect for a stroll in the sea air on the cliff path, or for various water sports. These include surfing, paragliding, kayaking and scuba diving.

Adventure options in Hermanus

Meanwhile, Hermanus also offers a good range of land-based activities, including cycling, horse riding, quad biking, tree top sliding, golf, paintball and canopy tours. The town also offers facilities for squash, tennis and bowls. Meanwhile, scenic chartered plane flights take visitors over the town, exploring the beaches by air.

Shopping and markets

Hermanus shops
Shopping [Image @hermanustourism/Instagram]
The town features three modern shopping malls including the Ipic Shopping Centre, The Hermanus Station Mall and the Whale Coast Mall. Each has a wide range of shopping experiences, as well as eateries. The town also features many stores selling jewelry, local art, crafts and pottery to take home as souvenirs.

Take a side trip on a visit to Cape Town, South Africa, or better still, stay in Hermanus itself. Learn more about the town from the official tourism website.


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