Watch whales in Hermanus, South Africa while disovering the wines of Walker Bay

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has recognised Hermanus South Africa as one of the 12 best whale watching destinations in the world, an experience that can be marvelled at from the clifftops overlooking the ocean, by boat or even by air.

DMC Darren photo
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The coastal region of Hermanus, South Africa is renowned as one of the best places in the world to watch whales – as well as having its own small but unique wine route.

Situated on the shoreline of South Africa’s Western Cape, Hermanus attracts visitors drawn by the opportunity to see majestic Southern Right Whales that arrive in these waters to give birth and care for their new-born calves between June and October each year. Hermanus, originally called Hermanuspietersfontein before the postal service decided the name was too long, is also the only place on the planet that has its own Whale Crier – who sounds a kelp horn to announce the sighting of whales, leaving visitors with no excuse for missing this wonderful spectacle of nature.

The Southern Right whales can grow to around 15 meters in length and weigh over 47 tonnes – while the largest can reach 18 meters and 80 tonnes. They can be recognised by the callosities that cover their heads and blow-holes, these unique patches are as individual as fingerprints and can be used by marine biologists to identify the whales.

Each year, the town hosts a whale festival at the end of September to celebrate the Southern Right Whales returning to Walker Bay for breeding season. Local residents and visitors welcome the migration with ocean-themed activities and exhibitions emphasising education and environmentally responsible activities.

The Kalfiefees Festival, or ‘Calf Festival’, is also held in Hermanus South Africa to welcome the first born whales, usually in August, with celebrations including food and craft stalls, environmental presentations and local drama productions.

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At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive whale watching experiences in Hermanus as well as private wine tours, luxury accommodation and other unique experiences that the region has to offer.

Our private Whales and Wine Tour  of Hermanus offers you the opportunity to watch the sea-faring mammals from the beaches while enjoying a wine tasting in the town and stopping at Creation estate’s restaurant in the Hemel en Aarde Valley for a wine and food pairing experience

The Southern Right whales can grow to around 15 meters in length and weigh over 47 tonnes – while the largest can reach 18 meters and 80 tonnes. They can be recognised by the callosities that cover their heads and blow-holes, these unique patches are as individual as fingerprints and can be used by marine biologists to identify the whales.

The Hermanus wine route, which follows the cool climate Walker Bay wine region, meanders through the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (‘Heaven and Earth’ in Afrikaans) interspersed with vineyards, wineries and cellars along a 20km stretch.

The unique conditions and fertile soils have transformed the valley into a cornucopia of vineyards, with 15 wineries, each producing small amounts of premium wine, dotted across the incredibly beautiful landscape that is enveloped by the Babylonstoren and Raed-na-Gael mountains.

Mineral Sauvignon Blancs are the mainstay of the area, which also produces recognised Pinotage, Merlot and Shiraz varieties – while some of the newer vineyards feature Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Mourvèdre, Viognier and Grenache.

Visit our South Africa destination page for more inspiration from the largest wine producer in the southern hemisphere before planning a trip to watch a wonder of the natural world.

 

If you're interested in one of our South Africa Wine Tours, please visit this link.

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