The best place for viewing Southern Right Whales, Hermanus, is a major tourist attraction also offering superb wineries, beaches and even shark cage diving.

Hermanus, a fantastic seaside town in the Overberg region, is blessed with twisting pathways, lush green mountain ranges, and deep blue ocean waters. In whaling season it’s the perfect place to catch a glimpse of some of the biggest mammals on earth – the Southern Right whale.

Hermanus is situated in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, near the most southerly point of Africa. It has become a major tourist attraction through the years because it is the best place for viewing whales during the mating season. The peak season to see the Southern Right Whale falls between August to November, when you will be able to see the whales every day.

There are many other things to do in Hermanus besides whale watching. There are various festivals and events that take place throughout the year which includes township tours, sea-kayaking, wine-tasting or even shark cage diving.

Hermanus has many hotels, guesthouses, bed-and-breakfast facilities as well as plenty of self-catering houses to rent during the holiday season. The town can become extremely busy during the months of December and January as well as during the annual Whale Festival that takes place in late September every year.

Hermanus is also home to exceptional beaches, ideal for swimming, sun bathing and lengthy beach walks. Holidaymakers can enjoy hikes and walks in the neighbouring mountains and the less active visitors can look through the massive selection of arts, crafts and decor shops or tantalise their taste buds at one of the restaurants and cafes dotted around town.

Boating and rubber duck enthusiasts will be happy to know there are facilities in the New Harbour where they can hire one for the day. There is also an outstanding fish shop that offers everything from fresh fish, to live crayfish, oysters and any other quality seafood in season. The Old Harbour has remained unchanged for years and is a major historic highlight in the town. It is a popular destination for tourists with its small museum full of interesting artefacts.

Many watersports, such as waterskiing and kite surfing can be enjoyed in the lagoon.

This magical coastal town is truly a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with activities such as diving, golf, surfing, tennis, yachting, squash, bowls and canoeing to enjoy. Those in need of a major adrenalin rush can get their thrill from a hang-gliding adventure or some high speed powerboat racing.

  • Whale watching
  • Diving
  • Hiking
  • Wine tasting
  • Paragliding
  • Horse riding
  • Bird watching
  • Shopping

The best time for a holiday in Hermanus is tricky, because this small town becomes jam packed with visitors every year, during the month of July, when locals get ready for the arrival of the Southern Right Whales. Hermanus offers the best land-based whale watching opportunities in the world, and these majestic giants can be clearly seen from every beach or cliff overlooking the water. The town even holds an annual whale-watching festival in September which draws multitudes of tourists and locals alike.

During the whale season, Hermanus turns into a crowded hub of whale watchers and it can become extremely difficult to find accommodation.

In the summer time the white sandy beaches are crammed full of holiday makers revelling in the sunny weather and swimming in the deep blue sea. If you want to see the whales in their natural habitat, you will have to get used to the large number of tourists with a similar idea.

  • A working harbour
  • The best land based whale watching in the world
  • Kilometres of white sandy beaches
  • Amazing natural scenery
  • Bird and wild life
  • Lush, green mountains
  • Crowds during peak season

Pick an Overberg destination to explore:

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Is Hermanus not your ideal destination? Explore more popular holiday destinations in the Western Cape.