Sunday, July 21, 2024

Whale Watching in Hermanus, South Africa Information (2023)


The gorgeous seaside city of 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 may be seen within the space all 12 months, however viewing Southern Proper whales from Hermanus is world-renowned. One of the 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. These light giants may be seen in Hermanus from the cliff tops alongside the shore or on boat journeys. A Hermanus tour may be way more than a whale-watching journey, the small city is filled with artwork galleries and eating places, and farms providing glorious wine tasting. 

Southern Right Whale
Southern Proper Whale on our whale watching cruise

High Hermanus Whale Watching Excursions

The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) charges Hermanus as one of many 12 greatest spots for whale-watching on the planet. Hermanus is a good place for a weekend getaway from Cape City. In season you’ve gotten loads of completely different choices to see these magnificent animals. Whales aren’t the one animals that may be seen on ocean expeditions. There are alternatives to see the Marine Large 5; Whales, Sharks, Cape Fur Seals, Dolphins, and African Penguins on cruises within the space.

This little city has so much to supply 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 issues to do in Hermanus.

Choices for Whale Watching in Hermanus

Within the city of Hermanus, you possibly can 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’ve gotten 3 choices, excursions departing from Hermanus, Gansbaai, or Cape City.

The Finest Whale Cruises in Walker Bay

Is whale watching from Gansbaai or Hermanus? – Boat primarily based whale watching journeys from Hermanus harbor are glorious for seeing Southern Proper whales. Apart from whales you may also see dolphins, seals, penguins, and marine birds on these journeys. To see a much bigger number of marine animals occurring a Marine Large 5 safari from Gansbaai is a greater choice. There are solely 5 boat licenses for whale interactions in Walker Bay to make sure minimal affect on the whales. Shark cage diving and whale watching boats function from Gansbaai’s, with cage diving being the key attraction right here. Dyer Island, residence to 1000’s of African penguins is positioned shut by. Between the island and Geyser Rock a shallow channel generally known as ‘shark alley’ is in style with cage diving boats. Boat-based whale watching excursions additionally depart from Kleinbaai, a small fishing village simply east of Gansbaai

Departing from Hermanus.

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

Departing from Gansbaai

Marine Large 5 Tour Gansbaai – greatest location for recognizing whales, seals, sharks, dolphins, and penguins all in a single journey, Cape City or Hermanus Lodge choose up non-obligatory. Go previous Dyer Island and shark alley to see nice white sharks and extra native marine life. 

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

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

What’s the Finest Time of the Day for Whale Watching?

The time of day shouldn’t be actually essential with whale watching, you’ve gotten an excellent probability of seeing the animals all day round. Within the peak season excursions depart 3 instances 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 an excellent 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 huge 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 had been seen because the ‘proper’ whales to hunt previously, as a result of they swim comparatively sluggish and don’t dive for too lengthy, spending quite a lot of time on the floor.

On this publish, we talk about a number of nice boat tour choices in addition to land-based whale watching with a map.

Boat-Based mostly Whale Watching Journeys

Your greatest probability to see whales is on a boat-based whale cruise. Watching huge whales from a ship is likely one of the most enjoyable issues 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, after all, makes for unbelievable encounters. Many of the excursions take about 2 hours, and the boats are pretty massive and steady, to get seasick is nonetheless nonetheless potential. Many of the excursions provide snacks and drinks on board. Don’t fear if ocean situations aren’t excellent, they need to assist you to sit contained in the cabin and name everybody exterior when whales are noticed. 

Land-based Whale Watching in Hermanus

Hermanus is alleged to supply the very best land-based whale watching on the planet, within the season the Southern Proper whales may be seen from shore within the space, coming as shut as 5m from the rocky shore. The city has a lovely cliff path wrapping across the coast for 12 km from West Cliff outlook near the Hermanus New Harbour all the best way to Grotto Seaside. The cliff path gives glorious vantage factors to view the whales.

The city has its personal ‘Whale crier’ that walks alongside the coast blowing by way of his kelp horn telling guests of whale sightings. It’s enjoyable strolling round city or sitting in a espresso store and operating to the sting of the close by cliffs if you hear the crying of his horn. Bintang’s Cave is likely one of the eating places with the very 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 in style whale-watching spots
  • On the town; the Previous Harbour and Gearing’s Level with nice views of the ocean are good spots.
  • Driving down Primary Street in direction of the seashores (north-east) flip 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 excellent, and paddlers generally need to take care to not get too near the whales. It’s a nice paddle to do across the coast from the Previous Harbor when you’ve got your personal gear. The tour is a reasonably straightforward paddle for about 2 hours. Two-person kayaks can be found. It is a nice alternative to come across Seals, Penguins, birdlife, and hopefully dolphins and whales.

Peak Whale season in Hermanus

  • Southern Proper Whales may be seen within the waters of Walker Bay 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 right now is extremely unlikely.
  • Different whale species – July to November is an efficient season to see Humpback whales. Bryde’s whales are current all 12 months spherical.
  • Out-of-season journeys – January to Might cruises to Hazard Level to see the resident Brides whales, Marine Large 5 excursions, sundown cruises, and 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 floor 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.

The way to get to Hermanus

Hermanus may 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 aren’t any direct public transport connections, you possibly can select to be picked up at your lodging in Cape City by most firms or hire a automotive.

Driving to Hermanus you’ve gotten 2 choices, the N2 is about half-hour quicker, however taking Clarence Drive is likely one of the most scenic coastal drives on the Cape Peninsula.

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

Driving on the N2 by way of Sir Lowrys Go you’ll have nice views again over False Bay all the best way to the Southern Suburbs of Cape City. Driving this manner is 122 km and takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

The choice is driving the spectacular Clarence Drive coastal route. This coastal scenic street follows a lovely 48km coastal street between Gordon’s Bay and Kleinmond driving with unreal views of False Bay on one aspect and the foothills of the Hottentots Holland Mountains on the opposite. There are numerous superior lookout factors on the best way to cease and test for whales in False Bay. Kogel Bay is a good surf spot and pulling over to look at the surfers is in style at this spot. Rooi Els is a pleasant place to cease for one thing to eat. There’s a huge penguin colony that could be a nice cease in Bettys Bay on the best way. You’ll be able to mix a drive to Hermanus with a street journey alongside the Backyard Route.

To take Clarence Drive flip onto the R44 at Somerset West and comply with the rugged shoreline by way of Gordon’s Bay. This route is about 142 km taking 2 hours and quarter-hour to drive. 

Rentalcars is an effective way to seek out the very best rental costs, they evaluate costs of all probably the most respected automotive rental companies within the metropolis. Lease a medium-sized automotive from about $20 per day and small funds automobiles begin as little as $10 per day in case you hire for per week! Decide up your automobile on the town or on the airport.

Lodging in Hermanus

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

Backpacker Price range 



Whale Behaviour

Southern Proper whales are energetic on the water floor and curious in direction of people. They have a tendency to method and work together with boats and have a number of attention-grabbing behaviors it’s possible you’ll 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 Pageant

The Hermanus Whale Pageant, the one Eco-Arts pageant in South Africa, is held yearly in spring. The festivities occur in late September/early October to have fun the return of the Southern Proper whales to Walker Bay. 1000’s of holiday makers come to this stunning little city to look at whales from the cliffs and revel in quite a lot of reside exhibits; music, comedy, youngsters leisure, cabaret, and dance in the course of the Pageant. It’s a very festive environment with the whales the primary efficiency and the social gathering by no means stops. Ebook lodging early, this little city will get loopy busy with the Whale Pageant. Whales are present in many various areas around the globe, test for extra worldwide whale-watching occasions.

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