The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Hermanus

Afrikaans name: Hermanus

General view of the town of Hermanus

Photo © Iuliia Sokolovska - Fotolia.com

Western Cape

The town of Hermanus has become synonymous with whale-watching during winter and spring. Visitors from far and wide flock here to see the Southern Right Whales. They tend to be visible from the shore from June to early December. A whale festival is held at the end of September.

Hermanus is about 115 km east of Cape Town. It began as Hermanuspietersfontein which was later shortened to Hermanus as the longer name was causing a problem for the Post Office.

Besides the whales the surrounding areas offers a lot of attactions for visitors. Grotto Beach is the main attraction for beach lovers. It is a Blue Flag certified beach that is 2 km in length! A tidal pool has been built just below the Marine Hotel. It offers interesting views of the creatures of the shoreline plus there are Dassies that live amongst the rocks. The rocky coastline and surrounding mountains are very scenic. Plant-lovers will appreciate the wide variety of species present in the fynbos. If you are interested in plants, or feel like going on a hike, then the nearby Fernkloof Nature Reserve is where you should be heading. Another place to visit is the "Old Harbour Museum" which has exhibits related to whale hunting. Fortunately this practise has stopped allowing the whales to recover some of its decimated population.

Hermanus also attracts numerous birders who come to look for species like Victorin's Warbler, Cape Siskin, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Sugarbird, Southern Tchagra and Cape Rockjumper. A number of gulls and terns may also be seen along the shoreline.

References and further reading

Things ewe never knewe about South African place names - Author: Ann Gadd - Published: 2015 - Page: 92

The Whales of Walker Bay - Author: Noel Ashton - Published: 2006 - Page: 1

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 38

The Dive Sites of South Africa - Author: Anton Koornhof - Published: 1992 - Page: 48

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 64

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 178

Road Tripping South Africa - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2014 - Page: 66

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 234

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 63

go! - Issue 125 - Author: - Published: 2016 - Page: 46

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 55

go! - Issue 130 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 100

go! - Issue 162 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 32

Getaway - Vol 27 No 04 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 85

Farm Stall to Farm Stall - Author: Jennifer Stern - Published: 2014 - Page: 23

Country Life - Issue 192 - Author: - Published: 2012 - Page: 73

Country Life - Issue 228 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 40

Country Life - Issue 283 - Author: - Published: 2020 - Page: 46

Country Life - Issue 182 - Author: - Published: 2011 - Page: 34

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 622 - Author: - Published: 0 - Page: 18

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 85

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2019 - Page: 123


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