The beautiful coastal town of Hermanus is located just more than one hour’s drive southeast of Cape Town in South Africa. It is physically situated between mountain and the sea and has gained worldwide recognition as one of the world’s foremost land based whale watching destinations. It is a diver’s paradise from snorkeling to scuba diving.
An untouched Marine Reserve stretches along a large section of the beautiful Hermanus coast, making diving extremely popular. Marine life there is plentiful as no marine animal may be collected or disturbed within the Reserve. A variety of visually stunning reefs are thriving with life, just waiting to be viewed. Some dive sites can even be accessed from the shore, so no boat trip needed to experience the beautiful reefs. Guaranteed sightings on your dive expedition include crayfish and abalone, both very delicious. A reported 32 species of soft and hard corals including sea whips and sea pens abound among stunning giant orange wall sponges. Various species of marine animals are aplenty including cuttlefish, pipefish, starfish, and octopus. Certainly be on the look for Cat Sharks, seals and Pyjama Sharks that seem to enjoy having a closer look at divers. Fishing off the harbor wall alongside the locals guarantees lots of laughs and friendliness. Alternatively, spend a lazy day on one of the magnificent beaches just soaking up the sun with friends or family.
One magnificent experience for locals and tourists alike is the annual Whale Festival at the end of September, a great celebration of the mating and calving season. The historically correctly dressed Whale Crier loudly announces where the whales have been spotted, by sounding his kelp horn proudly. Hermanus boasts having the only Whale Crier in the world since August 1992. There is such a huge variety of beautiful spots from where the magnificent Southern Right Whales can be seen from. You can choose from cliff-tops, boat-based, from the air or anywhere accessible. The beautiful clear water makes for fantastic viewing. Prior to the main festival, you are welcome to first have great fun at the Calf Festival in August to celebrate the arrival of the whales. Awesome craft and food stalls abound at both festivals, guaranteed to make for an unforgettable visit.
Make a point of visiting the beautiful historic railway station, made unique by never having had any railway tracks laid anywhere near it. So much loving care has been taken to keep it original. Plant lovers must make a point of going to the beautiful Fernkloof Nature Reserve where an unbelievable 1,474 various plant species have been collected and identified thus far. Absolutely amazing!
The Old Harbour Museum is a must see for all. The museum is cleverly situated in the now unused old harbor and offers an awesome pictorial history of the harbor. The outdoor display includes repaired old fishing boats, the kind you see in puzzle pictures.
If you feel like getting the adrenaline going for a bit, travel to nearby Gansbaai about 40 minutes away, where Shark Divers will gladly organize an unforgettable Great White Shark cage dive near Dyer Island. A truly unforgettable adventure for both young and old. You will be speaking about it for months after experiencing it. So whatever your choice, definitely make a point of experiencing amazing Hermanus and all it has to offer!