Southern Right Whale Breaching Just off the Coast of Hermanus, South Africa

Have a Whale of a Time on Your South Africa Vacation!

During the winter months in South Africa, between July to October, the southern Cape coast becomes a mecca for whale watching. The majestic Southern Right Whales migrate to this area for their mating and breeding season. It is an unforgettable experience on your South Africa vacation!

The quaint seaside town of Hermanus has been recognized by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the 12 best whale watching destinations in the world. What is unique about Hermanus is that you don’t even need to be on a boat to see these magnificent yet gargantuan mammals as they frolic in the sheltered cove, as there are a number of excellent vantage points on terra firma.

Hermanus Whale Crier, South Africa
Hermanus Whale Crier

The town even boasts its own Whale Crier, who alerts visitors to the location of the whales by blowing messages into a horn made of kelp. A sandwich board around his neck informs avid whale watchers how to interpret the code.   There are, of course, cruises and helicopter flips available for those wanting to see these protected whales from a different vantage point. These curious giants (they can grow up to 15 meters and can weigh up to 47 tonnes) often come very close to the boats to take a closer look at who is eyeing them. Booking in advance is therefore definitely recommended!

Hermanus also hosts an annual Hermanus Whale Festival, which offers visitors live entertainment, art exhibitions, and a number of food and shopping stalls. There are a multitude of other exciting activities to partake in around the area, and the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town is only a 90 minute drive away, so day trips are popular.

Suggested Itinerary:
3-Day Stunning Hermanus

Cape Town Stadium and Table Mountain, South Africa
Cape Town

Whale watching is also popular in the seaside town of Plettenberg Bay, as well as along the Garden Route.

You can also combine whale watching experiences with all the best a South Africa vacation has to offer on our new 11-Day Ultimate South Africa tour. This itinerary offers the very best of Hermanus and Cape Town, along with a stay in the spectacular Winelands of Franschhoek, and a safari in the Greater Kruger National Park in luxurious accommodations.

Herd of Elephant at Kruger National Park, South Africa
Herd of elephants at Kruger National Park

Suggested Itineraries:
3-Day Pure Plettenberg
11-Day Ultimate South Africa

For more travel ideas for an unforgettable South Africa vacation, please visit us at

Share with friends and family
Default image
Kirsty Perring

Africa Experts Product Manager – Although British born and now Toronto based, Kirsty grew up in South Africa and is completely passionate about all things Africa. She finds it hard to choose a favourite destination, but lists Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and Botswana as some of the most special places she has visited, and feels it’s not just about where you go and what you see, but who you get to experience it with. Kirsty is always up for an adventure and will try anything once. As such, she has para-glided in South Africa, zip lined in Mauritius, dived the Red Sea, hot air ballooned in Egypt, and even swam in the Okavango Delta. Next on Kirsty’s bucket list is to climb Kilimanjaro!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get the latest travel trends & hear about the best deals on vacations around the world.

If you’re a Globetrotter, these are the newsletters for you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x