We are in the heart of the whale watching season and when we have a calm day with sunny weather I suggest everyone makes the one and half hour drive to Hermanus as we have so many Southern Right whales here at the moment. The Southern Right whales were named as such because they were considered to be ‘the right whale to hunt’ during the nineteenth century – when they were harpooned they floated and were easy to catch and in those days we needed them for lighting.
Today they are welcomed visitors to our coastline and they migrate here from the Antartic to give birth and mate, arriving in July and making the trip back towards the end of November.
Hermanus offers the best land-based whale watching in the world as the coastline has high up cliff tops, you can see the whales easily. We have a continenatal shelf and the water is deep only a little way out from the coastline so the whales can come in very close and you can see them easily without binoculars.
Hermanus town is a picturesque coastal village with numerous art galleries, quirky shops, a craft market and numerous cafes where you can enjoy lunch and see the whales at the same time.
I would highly recommend that you consider taking a whale watching boat trip from the new harbour. These operators have permits to be able go out on to the ocean and view the whales from a safe distance. Whales are also quite curious so it is not unusual for the whales to come to the boat have a look at you.
Hermanus Whale Cruises offers whale watching trips from the new harbour at 9am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm, weather dependent. The price is R650pp and depending on how close the whales are to shore the trip lasts approximately two hours. Passengers sit downstairs for the journey out to sea and when the whales are spotted you can go upstairs with your cameras and enjoy the whales.
Plan to arrive around thirty minutes early for your boat trip so that you can get yourself organised and hear the lecture on the Southern Right whales
And of course don’t forget to greet the whale crier in Hermanus, as he always knows where the whales are,