Hermanus

The Western Cape offers a wide range of interesting locations for visitors. One of the most enticing is the town of Hermanus. Hermanus is well-known as being one of the best places in South Africa, and the world, to see whales in their natural habitat from the shore. People from all over the world come here on a yearly basis to witness these magnificent giants of the oceans. The whales are just a part of what Hermanus has to offer.

Aside from the whales, the area around Hermanus
is worth a visit as well

The annual arrival of the Southern Right whales is the signature attraction of Hermanus. From the cliffs overlooking the ocean in the city centre, the whales can be seen rising from the depths as they make their way into the protected bay every year. The season officially extends from about June to December, but September and October are the best months to see the whales. To make things easier, Hermanus is the only place in the world that has a whale crier.

The whale crier is a person that keeps his or her eyes on the sea and when a whale is spotted, they blow on their kelp horn and announce the sighting. This individual is invaluable to see the whales as soon as they arrive.

Hermanus is also host to a number of museums that focus on, as you may have guessed, whales and the town's history of whaling. The practice of whaling has long since been abandoned, but these museums give visitors a glimpse of the truth behind many whaling myths. The Old Harbour Museum has a hydrophone located in a viewing room that allows visitors to not just see the whales, but to also hear the whale song when they visit the bay.

Whales play such an important role in the life of Hermanus that there is an annual whale festival at the end of September. This festival offers stalls and entertainment that showcases the best of this part of the Western Cape. The festival is characterised by local flavours and crafts as well as many South African theatre productions that are performed duting the festival.

Hermanus is a haven for artists of all kinds. There are numerous galleries in the town that showcase their work. A curious visitor can find the studios of a number of brilliant artists hiding amongst the streets. The Lemma's Corner Craft market is one weekly event where visitors can have a chance to buy these works of art along with a myriad of different items. You can expect a lot of whale-themed pieces, of course.

Whales are not the only thing that makes Hermanus such a popular destination for the thousands of visitors that make their way there every year. Artists, local flavours and historical locations are all part of the charm of Hermanus. Who knows? Perhaps that is why the whales keep coming back here year after year as well…

 

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