Whale watching festival

Hermanus Whale Watching Festival: A Guide to South Africa’s Premier Marine Event

The Hermanus Whale Watching Festival is an annual event that takes place in the coastal town of Hermanus, South Africa. It’s a couple hours from Cape Town and is part of the famous Garden Route drive that goes from Cape Town to Port Elisabeth and visits some beautiful coastal towns and is by far one of Africa’s top road trip experiences! The Hermanus whale watching festival is a celebration of the southern right whales that migrate to the area every year to mate and calve. It’s been running for over three decades and is one of the oldest and largest festivals on the Cape Whale Coast. During the festival, visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including whale watching tours, arts and crafts markets, live music performances, and food stalls. The festival also features educational talks and workshops on marine conservation and the importance of protecting the southern right whale population. This amazing festival attracts visitors from all over the world who come to witness these majestic creatures up close and learn more about their behavior and habitat. If you’re planning a trip to South Africa, the Hermanus Whale Watching Festival is an event that should not be missed. With its breathtaking scenery, diverse marine life, and rich cultural heritage, Hermanus is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an avid whale watcher or simply looking for a unique and memorable experience, the Hermanus Whale Watching Festival is sure to leave a lasting impression. History of Hermanus Whale Watching Festival I have always been fascinated by the Hermanus Whale Watching Festival and its rich history. The festival was initiated by the Hermanus Rotary Club in 1992 and aimed at providing cultural entertainment for the town’s visitors. A group of local businessmen, including Basil Clarke-Brown, Bruce van der Spuy, and Neville Sheriff, started the “Whale of a Festival” to celebrate the return of the southern right whales to the coastal waters of Hermanus in South Africa. Since then, the festival has grown in popularity and size, attracting both local and international visitors. In its 33rd year, the annual Hermanus Whale Festival is a celebration of the southern right whales’ return and their calving season. The festival is an eco-marine festival and the only one of its kind in the world. The Hermanus Whale Festival has been firmly positioned as an internationally recognized brand, which has grown from humble beginnings. It is now one of the 20 “must-do” events in South Africa and a flagship festival for Overstrand, the Western Cape, and South Africa. The festival offers a unique opportunity to witness the majestic southern right whales up close and learn about their conservation efforts. Festival Overview As a whale watching enthusiast, I am excited to share with you all the details about the Hermanus Whale Watching Festival. This is a three-day event that takes place annually in Hermanus, South Africa, to celebrate the return of the Southern Right Whales to the coastal waters of Hermanus. Event Schedule The Hermanus Whale Watching Festival is usually held at the end of September each year. In 2024, the festival will take place from September 27th to September 29th. The festival schedule is packed with exciting activities for all ages, including live music performances, food and craft markets, and a variety of outdoor activities. Main Attractions The main attraction of the Hermanus Whale Watching Festival is, of course, the opportunity to witness the majestic Southern Right Whales up close. These gentle giants migrate to the waters of Hermanus every year to mate and give birth. Visitors can enjoy land-based whale watching from the cliffs and beaches of Hermanus, or take a boat tour for a closer look. Aside from whale watching, visitors can also enjoy a range of attractions, such as vintage car shows, art exhibitions, and live music performances. The festival also offers a variety of food and craft markets, where visitors can sample local cuisine and purchase handmade souvenirs. I highly recommend making reservations at the Fisherman’s cottage, a classic restaurant overlooking prime whale watching areas with yummy fresh seafood. You’ll be able to dine with a potential whale tail sighting coming right at you! Location and Venue The Hermanus Whale Watching Festival takes place in the charming town of Hermanus, located on the southern coast of the Western Cape province in South Africa. The festival venue is the Hermanus Old Harbour, which is situated in the heart of the town and offers breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains. Whale Watching in Hermanus As a seasoned whale watching enthusiast, I can confidently say that Hermanus is one of the best places in the world to observe these majestic creatures up close. The Hermanus Whale Watching Festival is a testament to the town’s love and respect for the marine life that visits its shores every year. In this section, I will share some useful information about whale watching in Hermanus. Best Time for Whale Watching The best time to see whales in Hermanus is from June to November when the southern right whales migrate to the warmer waters of the bay to mate and calve. During this period, you can expect to see these gentle giants frolicking in the water, breaching, tail slapping, and spy hopping. It is worth noting that whale sightings are not guaranteed, but the chances of seeing them are high during the peak season. Types of Whales Apart from southern right whales, visitors to Hermanus can also spot humpback whales, Bryde’s whales, and killer whales. Humpback whales are known for their acrobatic displays, while Bryde’s whales are smaller and less active. Killer whales, on the other hand, are rare visitors to the bay but are a thrill to watch when they do make an appearance. Conservation Efforts Hermanus takes its responsibility to protect the whales seriously. The town has a Whale Crier who sounds his kelp horn to alert visitors when whales are spotted in the bay. There are also strict regulations in place

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