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. Seeing them adds an unforgettable experience to 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, gargantuan mammals as they frolic in the sheltered cove. There are a number of excellent vantage points right on terra firma.
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, which 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. This makes the cruises popular, despite the onshore vantage points, so booking in advance is 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.
3-Day Stunning Hermanus
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.
3-Day Pure Plettenberg
11-Day Ultimate South Africa