How many of you have visited Hermanus?
A small town in the Western Cape, located on the coast an approximate hour and a half from Cape Town, Hermanus is one of South Africa’s jewels. Between July and November each year the town receives some very special visitors – the Southern Right Whales. The whales come really close to the shore as they favour the shallow waters of the bays around Hermanus for breeding and mating. Those wishing to see these magnificent beasts need only to walk up to the cliffs that run from one end of the town to the other to secure a clear view. It’s not uncommon to also see dolphins and seals frolicking with the whales. And easy to understand why Hermanus has been voted as the Best Land Based Whale watching site in the World!
Not happy with staying on dry land? Visitors can opt to take a whale watching boat cruise instead. This will allow you to get a truly up-close-and-personal look at the Southern Right and Humpback whales as authorised cruise companies can get as close as 50 metres to the whales. During the cruise, guests may also see dolphins as well as some shark species. For those that are a bit more adventurous, there’s also the option of sea kayaking. Under the direction of an experienced guide you will be able to kayak from Central Beach to Robberg Nature Reserve where your guide will introduce you to the reserve and the wonderful marine life that reside there. While this option will not take you close to the whales (as this would be far too dangerous), guests often kayak surrounded by dolphins and seals from the seal colony.
Hermanus many be well known for its visiting whales, but some forget that the town is also the starting point for another great activity – Shark cage diving! These trips launch from Hermanus and Gaansbaai respectively. While the water is going to be ice cold (no doubts about that), this is a once in a life time experience that will get you up close and personal with the Great White! While I do understand that having only a thin metal cage between yourself and the mighty Jaws can be a bit of a deterrent to some, I’m sure it will be a great tale to tell the grand kids.
Hermanus also makes for a great base from which to explore our wine route. Stop at one of the many beautiful vineyards for a tour and a tasting. Most also sell their wine at cellar rates allowing you to stock up on great wine at affordable prices. For those wishing to simply catch a few rays, Hermanus also offers long stretches of unspoilt sandy beaches and cosy coves. Although I would advise waiting till at least September for that as winter can get quite nippy at the coast.
So if you haven’t visited this great town, why not stop by on your next trip to the Western Cape? It might turn into a whale of a good time!