Hermanus (originally called Hermanuspietersfontein) is a town with 49,000 inhabitants on the southern coast of the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is famous as a place from which to watch whales during the southern winter and spring. 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 along the Walker Bay on the south coast of the Western Cape, about 115 km southeast of Cape Town and 40 km from Gansbaai, a famous spot where one can dive amongst the Great White Sharks.
It is also notable that Hermanus still boasts an historic railway station building although eventually no tracks were laid to connect the town to the national network. Grotto Beach is the largest beach in Hermanus and has also been proclaimed a "Blue Flag" beach which ensures its preservation as a world heritage site.
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" is held, to welcome the first whales (usually in August). Both festivals are characterized by food and craft stalls and drama productions. The land 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.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Hermanus, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to Africa