The heart of the Cape Whale Route

Hermanus is a town that has it all! Not only is it considered the heart of the Whale Route and home to a burgeoning wine industry (thanks to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley), but its location in Walker Bay boasts the best land-based whale watching opportunities in the world. And the cherry on top? Hermanus’ incredible biodiversity has made it part of the Cape Floristic Region. 

The best time to visit this town for whale-watching is between July and November and it is undoubtedly the most established town on the route. The town’s two whale festivals in August and September bring a welcome buzz and atmosphere to this otherwise sleepy seaside retreat. Hermanus’ Whale Crier alerts visitors to any whale activity off its shores with just a few blows from his kelp horn. 

The Old Harbour Museum is worth a visit while the Cliff Path, which ambles along 12 kilometres of coastline on the fringes of the town, is a wonderful way to spend a day. Keep an eye on the ocean surface – you never know when a southern right whale may make an appearance. Hermanus is also a perfect base for those wanting to explore nearby attractions and towns such as Gansbaai and Stanford. Plus: Cape Town is an easy 90-minute drive away.

Highlights

  • Hermanus has long been considered the heart of South Africa’s Whale Route
  • Hermanus boasts the world’s first and only Whale Crier and its location in Walker Bay is ideal for viewing southern right whales
  • The nearby Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is home to a number of heavenly wine farms, excellent restaurants, and picturesque hiking trails  
  • Just a short drive from Cape Town, a visit to Hermanus is easily slotted in to a Western Cape itinerary 
  • Hermanus has long been considered the heart of South Africa’s Whale Route
  • Best time to go:
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  • Mixed

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