Although the season starts in June, the peak whale season, with sightings virtually guaranteed on a daily basis, is from August untill the end of October. Most calves are born during August and September, with the whale population peaking during October.
Each year between June and December, Hermanus becomes home to a large number of Southern Right Whales.
They flock to the shores of the Western Cape to mate and calve, but more importantly, to awe spectators.
Hermanus has become known for being the best place in the world to do land based whale watching. With a 12 kilometer stretch of cliff paths, visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of the village, while being entertained by the antics of these giants of the sea. Whales can sometimes be seen from as close as five meters from the rocky cliffs.
Interpretative signboards, providing visitors with essential information on the Southern Right whales can be found at various points between Grotto (Blue Flag) Beach and the New Harbour.
Although they were rather late in arriving, the pride and joy of Hermanus’ magnificent coastline – the Southern Right Whales, were not about to miss their own festival.
For the past few years a couple of Tour Operators were granted licenses to take whale watchers out on the sea. Strict regulations prevent boat based operators from venturing closer than 50m to the whales. This doesn't seem to be deterring the whales though; there are regular reports of them making unannounced appearances very close to the boats.
Please click here to read more about the whales.
Where to stay
Hermanus Whale Festival