Whale watching Capital of the World

Hermanus in the Western Cape of South Africa is a small resort town situated 115 km from Cape Town and is a popular whale watching and retirement area.

Hermanus is famous as a fishing resort and for Southern Right Whale watching. The whales can be spotted from the cliffs in town from as early as June. Hermanus is also famous for its Whale Crier blowing on the now familiar kelp horn to alert tourists of whales nearby. The pristine beaches are perfect for long walks and boating activities can be enjoyed on the Kleinriver Lagoon. Tourists also have the opportunity to view and cage dive with Great White Sharks in the nearby town Gansbaai (Gans Bay) only 40 km away.

Hikers and birdwatchers can enjoy the various trails in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, particularly the unique cliff walks now incorporated into the reserve. A scenic drive has been cut into the mountain slopes and provides panoramic views of the town and sea.

The Hermanus Wine Route on the R320 offers 15 different wine farms to visit, each producing small quantities of premium quality wines.

With such natural scenic beauty, mild climate and range of outdoor activities, Hermanus remains a thriving holiday resort all year round.

Places to Visit

Things to do and see

Choose from accommodation to suit everyone’s style, 5 star Luxury, comfortable lodges or backpackers and camping.

Climate

Hermanus experiences a Mediterranean style climate with rainfall in the winter months from June to August.

Summermonths, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 26˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 6˚C and 19˚C.

Transport

There are domestic and International flights into Cape Town International Airport on a daily basis. Car rental companies are available for easy access around the area.

Festivals

April – Arabella Challenge, Trail Run and Mountain Bike Race:Held at the Arabella Country Estate, the trail takes the entrants through breathtaking scenery.

April/May – Fish bash:In aid of charity, locals team up to find out who are the best seafood chefs in Hermanus.

August – Kalfiefees:The baby sister to the Whale Festival.

August – Hermanus Food & Wine Festival:Hermanus and Walker Bay celebrate the many wines, wine farms and wine-makers in the area.

September – Spring Flower Festival:Hosted in the Fernkloof Hall and exhibits flowers and arts/crafts.

October –  Hermanus Whale Festival:The only enviro-arts festival in the country, “putting the creatures of the deep in the spotlight”

December – Hawston Sea Festival:Hawston Camping Ground, lots of entertainment and fresh seafood.

More festivals can be attended in the surrounding areas, see Cape Town.

History

In the mid 1800’s, a shepherd and teacher named Hermanus Pieters travelled down from Caledon with his sheep and cattle looking for summer grazing areas and he stumbled across this bay. He stayed for several months then returned to Caledon with the good news of the fresh water springs, sweet grazing and spectacular seascapes. Each season thereafter more people returned to the area. Fishermen and lime-makers also heard stories of the excellent shoals of fish and deposits of shells in the area and came to stay.

Hermanus was originally called Hermanus Pieters Fontein, but was shortened because the name was too long for the postal service.

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