Hermanus is a very pleasant fisherman’s coastal town located on Walkers Bay in the Western Cape province. Hermanus is the most famous place when it comes to whale watching and from July to November it is pleasantly busy here. However, the wonderful climate and beautiful surroundings attract day trippers and tourists all year round.
The main attraction, of course, remains whale watching. There are several ways to see them: ashore, with a Whale watching boat trip or even from an airplane. Hermanus is the only place the Whale Announcer walks around, honking his horn when whales are seen in the bay. To celebrate the return of the whales, the Hermanus Whale Festival is held every year (late September).
Besides whale watching, you can also do other things in Hermanus such as a boat trip, kayaking, shark cage diving, tandem paragliding, diving, sailing and horse riding. In addition to the weekly fresh food market, there are regularly art, antiques and handicraft markets. There are several kilometers long, wide beaches where you can enjoy swimming and walking.
Grotto Beach is the largest beach in Hermanus, other beaches are; Voëlklip, Onrus, Kamma Bay and Langbaai. The Hermanus Cliff Path runs along the coast and continues all the way to Hermanus.
On this cliff path, which has been declared a nature reserve, the views of the sea and mountains are spectacular. Here you can spot the whales and there are also regular dolphins. It is also an excellent place for fishing.
Where you can also enjoy hiking is the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, here you will find 40 kilometers of hiking trails in various difficulty categories. Here you can walk between the protected and unique fynbos and have a beautiful view over the coast.
If you love to play golf then you’ve come to the right place. Hermanus itself has the well-visited Hermanus golf course, bobbejans themselves feel at home here and will follow your game at a safe distance. And just a little further away is the beautiful Arabella golf course where you should definitely play 18 holes!
Hermanus has 2 harbors. The Old Harbor was no longer used after 1958 and declared a national monument in 1970.
In the museum you can still see how it used to be in Hermanus. The museum is divided into The Historical Old Fishing Harbor and Fishermen’s Village. In the New Harbor
you can still see the fishermen unloading their catch daily. There is a fish shop where you can buy fresh fish and shellfish.
The villages of Gansbaai and Stanford are close by and worth a visit. The adjacent Hemel en Aarde Valley should not be missed if you love delicious food and beautiful wines
Information about the whales:
The Southern Right Whale is the most common, but the Brydes and Humpback Whale are also seen. Around May they come to the coast of South Africa to calve and mate. Most whales can be seen in October after which they leave again.
The name Southern Right Whale is so named because the whalers found this whale to be the right whale and because it was easy to kill. Southern right whales can grow to between 14 and 17 meters in length and weigh between 45 and 70 tons.
An easy way to spot this whale is the way it releases fluid from its lungs. It blows out the water in a V shape.
This is also the only one of its kind that does not have a dorsal fin. The Zuidkaper and the Noordkaper have been protected since 1935. Before that they were intensively hunted.
The Southern Right whale is easy prey for the whalers as it mates in shallow waters and moves slowly. If you want to know more about whales, visit the whale museum in the middle of the village.