"Great Place to See Whales" Top 5 Page for this destination Hermanus by TRimer

Hermanus Travel Guide: 78 reviews and 135 photos

History

The town of Hermanus got its name from Hermanus Pieters, an itinerant teacher and sheep farmer. He first came to the Cape in the early 1800's, and settled in the Caledon district. He brought his sheep to the coast for grazing. After that came fishermen and holiday makers from the Cape. In 1902 the name of the little village was Hermanus Pietersfontein, and latter abbreviated to Hermanus. It is also referred to as the Riveria of the South.

Best Shore Based Whale Watching in the World

Famous for its long stretches of beach, mild climate, rich floral kingdom and friendly environment, Hermanus offers the best shore-based whale watching in the world.

Every year around July, locals eagerly await the arrival of special guests of honor, the Southern Right Whales. These visitors are an endless source of delight as they gambol in Walker Bay, in easy view of the cliff paths. They favour the relatively shallow waters of the bay for breeding and mating. Southern Right whales can be distinguished from other whales from its V-shaped 'blow' and the callosities which appear around its head. Peak times for seeing whales daily are from August to November, tailing off in December.

Hermanus even has 'the world's only whale crier', Wilson Salukazana, who blows a horn made of sea bamboo to tell people that whales are in view. He will answer the questions of every eager tourist. The whales seem to appreciate an audience and provide spectacular entertainment.

Artist Community

Many artists have established themselves in Hermanus and surrounding villages of Onrus and Vermont. Potters and painters, sculptors and master chefs, jewellery designers and writers all add to Hermanus. Visitors will discover several studios and shops, when exploring the side streets. I was able to find a great little shop selling handicrafts from all over South Africa- including a ceramic tile with a carved woman and wire christmas ornaments.

The Lemm's Corner Craft Market is transformed every weekend into a bustling marketplace. All products are handmade and unique. In addition to paintings, ceramics, woodwork, metalwork, carpets, hand-painted linen, African curios and clothing, there is also an interesting collection of home-made foods on sale.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great Whale Watching
  • Cons:Not a great selection of restaurants and shops
  • In a nutshell:Great whale watching a short ways from Cape Town
  • Last visit to Hermanus: Nov 2006
  • Intro Updated Jul 30, 2007
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Reviews (7)

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TRimer

“Too many places to see, too little time (especially now that I have toddlers)”

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