Hermanus is built along the shores of Walker Bay near the Southern most tip of Africa. Magnificent mountains watch over the town which is home of the Southern Right Whale. Nature lovers from all over the world visit Hermanus to view these magnificent creatures from the best land based whale watching destination in the world.
Each year between June and December, Hermanus becomes home to a large number of Southern Right Whales. They flock to the shores of the Western Cape to mate and calve, but more importantly, to awe spectators.
Hermanus has become known for being the best place in the world to do land based whale watching. With a 12 kilometer stretch of cliff paths, visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of the village, while being entertained by the antics of these giants of the sea. Whales can sometimes be seen from as close as five meters from the rocky cliffs.
Interpretative signboards, providing visitors with essential information on the Southern Right whales can be found at various points between Grotto (Blue Flag) Beach and the New Harbour.
Although the season starts in June, the peak whale season, with sightings virtually guaranteed on a daily basis, is from August until the end of October. Most calves are born during August and September, with the whale population peaking during October.
For the past few years a couple of Tour Operators were granted licenses to take whale watchers out on the sea. Strict regulations prevent boat based operators from venturing closer than 50m to the whales. This doesn't seem to be deterring the whales though; there are regular reports of them making unannounced appearances very close to the boats.
The Worlds only Whale Crier:
Hermanus also houses the worlds only Whale Crier, Wilson Salukazana, who patrols the streets and cliff paths, alerting everyone to the whereabouts of the whales by blowing on his kelp horn. Different horn "codes" refer to different points along the coastline where whales have been spotted. The key to these codes is found on the sandwich board he wears as part of his outfit.
From June to November, the Whale Crier can be found doing his rounds along the coastline between 10:00-16:00 daily. During this time, he can also be contacted for up to date information on sightings, cell: 073 214 6949. For the rest of the year Wilson works at the Hermanus Tourism office, where he can be contacted for interviews or public appearances.