Address: Hermanus, Hermanus, South Africa

- Free


This annual festival in praise of whales is well worth visiting.

If visiting Cape Town and its surrounds in the winter and early spring months, then a visit to Hermanus, a small town somw two hours from the city is a must. Once a teeny tiny fishing village it is now a tourist destination of note and though it is a lot busier than say, fifteen years ago, it still oozes charm. My favourite time of year to visit is in the colder months, not least because of the fantastic whale spotting opportunities that can be had from the cliffs that surround the town.

Walker Bay teems with giant sized Southern Right whales this time of year (they come to calve) and the annual festival that celebrates their arrival is loads of fun. In 2010, more than 130 000 visitors descended on Hermanus for the frivolity which saw restaurants, hotels and bars getting in on the action and loads of activities for the whole family, from an amusement park to live music, vintage car show and the like.Book a berth on popular whale watching operator Hermanus Whale Cruisers boat (www.hermanus-whale-cruises.co.za) and they'll get you up close and personal with these incredible giants of the sea.

Value for money

Price advice

Whale watching boat cruises are 550 Rand for adults and 200 Rand for children aged five to thirteen.

Expert tips

Hermanus is doable as a day trip but an overnight stay makes it even more memorable.

If crowds aren't your thing, the whales are there for a significant part of August and September.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Great views / scenery
  • Relaxation
  • Sightseeing
  • Nature / wildlife