Hermanus, the fishing village along South Africa’s Southern coast, is privileged to welcome the Southern Right Whales. These gentle giants migrate to South Africa, Cape Whale Coast. They birth and care for their new-born calves in the protected Walker Bay. Hermanus has been rated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as one of the twelve best whale watching locations in the world. It is often regarded as the heart of the Whale Route.
Hermanus whale watching season is from June to December and is known as a mecca for whale watching, with the Southern Right Whales Hermanus choosing the area as home and their playground.
Thousands of whale-lovers arrive along the coast to witness these majestic creatures all while enjoying the beautiful Hermanus weather.
Southern Right Whales are the main species of whales visiting the shores of Hermanus. Bryde’s whales are found in Walker Bay all year and Humpback Whales migrate offshore of the bay during June, July and August.
The estimated Population of Southern Right Whales is 12,000. Well over 100 Southern Right Whales are counted in Hermanus waters.
Best Whale Spotting in Hermanus
They are easily distinguished by the callosities (sometimes mistaken for barnacles) that cover their heads and blowholes. These unique patches are used to identify each whale. A distinctive V-shaped plume of misty air is shot into the air when the whales expel air, which can be spotted from quite a distance away.
Watch the world’s gentle giants of the deep frolic in waters of Walker Bay. There are many vantage points to spot these gentle giants frolicking in the sea. Gearings Point is a popular spot that offers a panoramic view of the bay. Or catch a glimpse of breaching whales from the viewing terraces at the Old Harbour, Dreunkrans, Windsor Bay, De Gang, Siever’s Point, Kwaaiwater as well as Voëlklip and Grotto beaches.
Listen out for the Whale Crier who alerts shore-based whale watchers to the whereabouts of whales, by blowing a message, from a horn made of kelp.
Close up Whale Watching in Hermanus
Enjoyed by large groups and smaller parties Hermanus offers many professional Whale Watching Tours. Hop on a Whale cruise for an unforgettable day tour sea adventure.
Boat based Hermanus Whale Watching trips depart from the New Harbour in Hermanus. The cruises take visitors along the edge of the Marine Reserve to look for and watch these massive animals for about 2 hours. The cruise boats can come within 50 meters of the whales, but these curious creatures usually end up coming up to the boat for a closer look!
Book a private Aerial whale watching experience of a lifetime! Experience whales playing, mating and breaching, unaware of human presence. African Wings have been known to spot up to 198 whales, during one 30-minute flight over Walker Bay.
Southern Right Whales the facts:
- Length Adults: 14m to 18m;
- Weight Adults: up to 60 tonnes; Calves: 1 to 1.5 tonnes at birth
- Gestation: 11 to 12 months
- Calving interval: generally 3 years
- Sexual maturity age: 7 to 10 years
- Mating season: July to August
- Calving season: July to November
- Cruising speed: 3km/h
- Southern Rights dive to a maximum depth of about 300 meters.
- The lifespan is estimated between 70 – 100 years
- Protected since 1935
DIRECTIONS TO HERMANUS
From Cape Town:
- Take the N2 through Somerset West and Grabouw and travel towards Caledon.
- After crossing the Houw Hoek Pass (just before Bot River), the road will split.
- One fork will take you on the N2 towards Caledon and the other will take you on the R320 towards Hermanus.
- Take the R320 to Hermanus.
- At the T-junction, turn left and follow the R43.
- Pass the Kleinmond turn-off.
- Drive passed Hawston and Onrus and head straight into Hermanus.
Wedged between mountains and the sea, Hermanus, Western Cape is one of the most breath-taking destinations you will ever experience. Delivering a range of fine restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and more. Because there are so many things to do in Hermanus, you will have a choice of limitless fun activities for the whole family to enjoy every day.
Make a weekend of it and have a book your Hermanus Holiday home with Firefly Villas. With an impressive portfolio of carefully selected Luxury self-catering accommodation in Hermanus, we’ll match you to your perfect holiday home.
Travel safe & see you soon!