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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Hermanus

General view of the town of Hermanus

Photo © Iuliia Sokolovska -

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.

Accommodation in Hermanus

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

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

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

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 85

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 64

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

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

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

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

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

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