Travel Guide

Whale Watching in Hermanus, South Africa (2022)

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The attractive seaside city Hermanus is located in Walker Bay on the South Coast of the Western Cape about 90 minutes drive from Cape City. A number of completely different whale species might be seen within the space all 12 months, however viewing Southern Proper whales from Hermanus is world-renowned. The very best time for whale watching in Hermanus South Africa is from June to December when giant numbers of Southern Proper Whales congregate right here for mating.

Southern Right Whale
Southern Proper Whale on a whale watching cruise

The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) charges Hermanus as one of many 12 finest whale-watching locations on the planet. Hermanus is a superb place for a weekend getaway from Cape City. In season you have got loads of completely different choices to see these magnificent animals. Whales are usually not the one animals that may be seen on ocean expeditions. There are alternatives to see the Marine Huge 5; Whales, Sharks, Seals, Dolphins, and Penguins on cruises within the space.

This little city has rather a lot provide together with world class wine farms, glorious eating places and an enormous number of museums and journey actions. For extra see our Full Information for things to do in Hermanus.

Whale Watching Choices in Hermanus

Within the city of Hermanus you may go whale watching from a ship on a whale watching cruise or you are able to do whale watching from shore.

For whale watching excursions in Walker Bay (Hermanus) you have got three choices, excursions departing from Hermanus, Gansbaai or Cape City.

The Greatest Whale Cruises in Walker Bay

Whale watching from Gansbaai or Hermanus? – Whale watching excursions from Hermanus harbor are glorious for seeing Southern Proper whales. Aside from whales you can even see dolphins, seals, penguins, and marine birds on these journeys. To see an even bigger number of marine animals happening a Marine Huge 5 safari from Gansbaai is a greater possibility. There are solely 5 boat licenses for whale interactions in Walker Bay to make sure minimal affect on the whales. three tour operators make the most of Hermanus harbor, 1 boat operates from

These excursions are all well-rated, with many evaluations, go and check out the actions and skim a few evaluations from completely different folks earlier than reserving.

Departing from Hermanus.

Hermanus Whale Cruise – top-ranked 2-hour tour assembly in Hermanus New Harbor

Departing from Gansbaai

Marine Huge 5 Tour Gansbaai – finest location for recognizing whales, seals, sharks, dolphins, and penguins all in a single journey, Cape City or Hermanus Resort choose up optionally available

shark cage dive gansbaai marine big five
Seeing cage divers observing sharks throughout our Marine Huge 5 Safari

Departing from Cape City

Cape City to Hermanus Full Day – Cape City choose up, Hermanus whale watching, and wine tasting at Bouchard Finlayson Wine Property. Go to Stony Level penguin colony on Sundays – period 9.5 hours

Backyard Route and Addo Elephant Nationwide Park: 6-Day Safari – Superior tour contains Hermanus, I do know a few of the guides, you should have a good time!

Time of day shouldn’t be actually necessary with whale watching, you have got a great probability of seeing the animals all day round. Within the peak season excursions depart three occasions a day. Most excursions meet within the Hermanus New Harbor, discover it on Google Maps. The assembly time is often 45 min. Earlier than departure. It’s good within the harbor and a great place to go for a espresso or one thing to eat earlier than your whale watching tour.  

southern right whale
Southern Proper Whale

Hermanus in Walker Bay is world-renowned as among the best whale-watching spots on the planet, permitting you to get shut to those large animals on a ship tour, by kayak or simply watching them from the shore. The Southern Proper whales develop to an enormous 18 meters lengthy and might weigh as much as 80 tons, these animals actually are big. The identify ‘Southern Proper’ comes from the truth that they have been seen because the ‘proper’ whales to hunt up to now, as a result of they swim comparatively sluggish and don’t dive for too lengthy, spending a whole lot of time on the floor.

On this submit we focus on a number of nice boat tour choices in addition to land based mostly whale watching with a map.

Whale Watching from a Boat

Your finest probability to see whales is on a boat-based whale cruise. Watching large whales from a ship is likely one of the most fun things to do in Cape City. The boats are in touch with one another and sometimes know the place the whales are, some even use drones to scout. A number of the boats have permits to get very near the whales, not nearer than 50m. The whales don’t at all times care about these guidelines and sometimes swim proper as much as the boat, in fact, makes for improbable encounters. Many of the excursions take about 2 hours, the boats are pretty large and secure, to get seasick is nevertheless nonetheless attainable. Many of the excursions provide snacks and drinks on board. Don’t fear if ocean circumstances are usually not good, they need to will let you sit contained in the cabin and name everybody outdoors when whales are noticed. 

Land based mostly Whale Watching in Hermanus

Hermanus is claimed to supply one of the best land-based whale watching on the planet, within the season the Southern Proper whales might be seen from shore within the space, coming as shut as 5m from the rocky shore. The city has an exquisite cliff path wrapping across the coast for 12 km from West Cliff outlook near the Hermanus New Harbor all the way in which to Grotto Seaside. The cliff path provides glorious vantage factors to view the whales.

The city has its personal ‘Whale-crier’ that walks alongside the coast blowing by his kelp horn telling guests of whale sightings. It’s enjoyable strolling round city or sitting in a espresso store and working to the sting of the close by cliffs whenever you hear the crying of his horn. Bintang’s Cave is likely one of the eating places with one of the best location I’ve ever been to, have a drink at a desk on the rocks and with some luck see whales swimming simply a few meters away.

Good locations to see whales from the shore in Hermanus

  • Within the West Cliff space, near the New Harbor; Fick’s Pool, Dreunkrans and Windsor Bay are widespread whale watching spots
  • On the town; the Previous Harbor and Gearing’s Level with nice views of the ocean are good spots.
  • Driving down Essential Highway in the direction of the seashores (north-east) turn-off to Die Gang or cease at Kwaaiwater or Siever’s Level among the best whale lookout factors on the route.
  • The Voëlklip and Grotto seashores are additionally good for whale recognizing from the rocks.
hermanus whale watching map
Hermanus whale watching map – click on map for Google Maps

Whale watching by Kayak

Within the city of Hermanus Whale watching kayaking excursions can be found. In season your possibilities of recognizing whales are superb, and paddlers typically should take care to not get too near the whales. It’s a nice paddle to do across the coast from the Previous Harbor in case you have your personal gear. The tour is a reasonably simple paddle for about 2 hours. Two-person kayaks can be found. This can be a nice alternative to come across Seals, Penguins, birdlife, and hopefully dolphins and whales.

Whale season in Hermanus

  • Southern Proper Whales might be seen for six months yearly, from early June to late November / early December.
  • Peak Season – Late September/early October the Southern Proper whale watching season peaks and though sightings can’t be assured with wild animals, not seeing a whale on boat excursions presently is extremely unlikely.
  • Different whale species – July to November is an effective season to see Humpback whales. Bryde’s whales are current all 12 months spherical.
  • Out of season journeys – January to Could cruises to Hazard Level to see the resident Brides whales, Marine Huge 5 excursions, sundown cruises, bird-watching cruises.
Two Southern Right Whales - a mother and a calf.
Two Southern Proper Whales – a mom and a calf.

Walker Bay is the mating and breeding grounds of the Southern Proper Whale from June to November, wintertime in South Africa. These whales migrate from the Antarctic yearly round June to calve and mate. Calving takes place in August and September. The Southern Proper whale inhabitants reaches a peak in October when males arrive in Walker Bay for mating.

How you can get to Hermanus

Hermanus might be visited as a day journey from Cape City. The drive from Cape City to Hermanus on the coast is likely one of the most scenic drives within the nation. There are not any direct public transport connections, you may select to be picked up at your lodging in Cape City by most firms or hire a automotive.

Driving to Hermanus you have got 2 choices, the N2 is about 30 minutes quicker, however taking Clarence Drive is likely one of the most scenic coastal drives on the Cape Peninsula.

Driving on the N2 through Sir Lowrys Move  you should have nice views again over False Bay all the way in which to the Southern Suburbs of Cape City. Driving this fashion is 122 km and takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

The choice is driving the spectacular Clarence Drive coastal route. This coastal scenic highway follows an exquisite 48km coastal highway between Gordon’s Bay and Kleinmond driving with unreal views of False Bay on one facet and the foothills of the Hottentots Holland Mountains on the opposite. There are numerous superior lookout factors on the way in which to cease and examine for whales in False Bay. Kogel Bay is a superb surf spot and pulling over to observe the surfers is widespread at this spot. Rooi Els is a pleasant place to cease for one thing to eat. There’s a large penguin colony that may be a nice cease in Bettys Bay on the way in which. You may mix a drive to Hermanus with a highway journey alongside the Backyard Route.

Driving between the mountain and the ocean on the gorgeous R44 Clarence Drive from Cape City to Rooi Els.

To take Clarence drive flip onto the R44 at Somerset West and observe the rugged shoreline by Gordon’s Bay. This route is about 142 km taking 2 hours and 15 minutes to drive. 

Rentacar Cape City Is an effective way to seek out one of the best rental costs, they evaluate costs of all essentially the most respected automotive rental businesses within the metropolis. Hire a medium sized automotive from about $20 per day and small finances automobiles begin as little as $10 per day  should you hire for every week! Decide up your automobile on the town or on the airport.

Gansbaai harbor, and 1 boat from Kleinbaai harbor. 

Lodging in Hermanus

I do know Hermanus nicely, these are all glorious lodging of their worth vary with nice location.

Backpacker Finances 



The journeys depart all 12 months spherical. If you’re within the Cape between July and December don’t miss the chance to see the unbelievable Southern Proper Whales!

Whale Behaviour

Southern Proper whales are energetic on the water floor and curious in the direction of people. They have a tendency to method and work together with boats and have a number of attention-grabbing behaviors you might observe on a whale-watching expedition. Crusing is an attention-grabbing motion, the whales use their elevated flukes to catch the wind, ‘crusing’ whereas remaining in the identical place for a substantial period of time.

The Hermanus Whale Competition

The Hermanus Whale Competition, the one Eco-Arts competition in South Africa, is held yearly in spring. The festivities occur in late September/early October to rejoice the return of the Southern Proper whales to Walker Bay. Hundreds of tourists come to this stunning little city to observe whales from the cliffs and luxuriate in quite a lot of dwell exhibits; music, comedy, children leisure, cabaret, and dance throughout the Competition. It’s a very festive environment with the whales the primary efficiency and the celebration by no means stops. Ebook lodging early, this little city will get loopy busy with the Whale Competition. Whales are present in many alternative areas world wide, examine for extra worldwide whale watching occasions.

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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