Hermanus Travel Information:
is a town on the southern coast of South Africa and is
famous as a place from which to watch whales during the
southern winter and spring. It forms part of the Western
Cape and is a popular retirement town. The whales can
be seen from the cliffs in the town centre from as early
as June. They were once hunted locally, but are now protected.
The Old Harbour Museum contains several exhibitions which
explain the whaling history of Hermanus.
Hermanus lies about 115km southeast of Cape Town and
is connected to the Mother City by the R43 highway (or
coastal R44 scenic route) and N2 motorway. The R43 continues
to Cape Agulhas, the most southerly point of Africa. Hermanus
is 40km from Gansbaai, a famous spot where one can dive
amongst Great White Sharks.
Hermanus hosts an annual whale festival at the end of
September, when the Southern Right whales come into the
local bay during the mating season. Prior to this main
whale festival a "Kalfiefees" (or "Calf
Festival") is held, to welcome the first whales (usually
in August / September). Both festivals are characterized
by food and craft stalls and also attract South African
drama productions to the town. The hinterland beyond the
town is largely wild and mountainous and there are many
remote areas of hills and wild ravines. The rising thermals
rising around the rugged heights of the Fernkloof Nature
Reserve attract paragliders from all over the world.
Hermanus has since August 1992 the world’s only
Whale Crier who sounds his kelp horn to announce where
whales have been sighted. Zakes Mda wrote 2005 the novel
The Whale Caller in which the Whale Crier of Hermanus
is the main character, a man who gets enthralled by a
Southern Right whale he names Sharisha.