Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa

View from an Hermanus guest house in Western Cape, South Africa,

From a small fishing village to a premier whale watching destination and holiday hot spot, vibrant Hermanus has arresting scenery together with fabulous amenities and activities for everyone. Visitors can enjoy watersports, golf, township tours, spa sessions, exciting 4x4 trails and shark cage diving amongst many other activities. Hermanus is just over an hour's drive from Cape Town on two scenic routes.

Hermanus is an ever popular seaside resort catering for families, day trippers, weekend visitors, nature lovers, wine enthusiasts and of course romantics! This charming town has grown in every way from its humble beginnings and now offers an extremely comprehensive selection of Hermanus accommodation in a huge variety of settings.

This coastal town offers superb whale watching opportunities - the best in the world. Annually between June and December, Southern Right Whales visit these waters and swim within metres of the shoreline. Their exuberant behaviour and agility are a source of endless amazement. These massive creatures from the deep are protected in South African waters and come every year to find a mate, breed and calve.

The yearly Hermanus Whale Festival is held in late September to celebrate spring and the arrival of the whales. The Hermanus Town Crier blows his unique kelp horn to let everyone know when whales have been spotted in the bay. Visitors can pack a picnic and binoculars and find a spot along the cliff paths that wind along the coastline of central Hermanus. Whale watching is also possible aboard a boat or plane.

Hermanus hosts regular food, wine and craft markets. Resident artists and crafters display a vast array of beautiful items. Visitors come from far and wide to browse around the stalls and soak up the atmosphere. The streets are also filled with interesting shops and exciting places to eat and relax.

The scenery in this area is quite spectacular. Hermanus has six lovely beaches along its length which are great for swimming and popular with families and surfers. Grotto beach has kilometres of soft sand for long walks. Magnificent mountains act as a backdrop to the town, changing colours with the season and time of day. Nature lovers can explore various walks and see the famous "fynbos", the name for indigenous shrub-like and woody plants which grow wild in the Cape.

Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus protects an incredible 1 474 species of fynbos with more still being identified. There is no other place on earth quite like this. This unique floral kingdom is world renowned. There are around 60 km (37 miles) of walking trails that network the reserve, suitable for all fitness levels. Along the way, visitors can enjoy wonderful views and spot wildlife such as klipspringer, Grey Rhebok and about 92 species of bird.

Wine enthusiasts will be right at home in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. This picturesque valley has ideal soil and climatic conditions for growing Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay vines. There are seven wine estates forming a wine route in the valley, the most southern vineyards in Africa.

Hermanus activities:

  • Adventure sports - shark cage diving, 4x4 trails, quad biking, paintball
  • Cruising, boating and ocean safaris
  • Golf - 2 beautiful courses in the area
  • Whale and dolphin watching from land and by boat
  • Aerial flights
  • Spa and gym facilities
  • Tours - all kinds including nature, township tours, tailor-made options
  • Watersports including scuba diving, canoeing and kayaking
  • Horse riding and trails - beach, fynbos and vineyards
  • Markets - every weekend for food, wine, art / craft and more
  • Museums - 1 in town an the other at the old harbour

Hermanus information:

(Lat: 34.42S, Long: 19.23E)

Hermanus is 120 km (74 miles) from Cape Town travelling on the N2 highway via Somerset West, Sir Lowry's Pass and Houw Hoek to Bot River. At Bot River the R43 road to Hermanus splits from the N2. Alternately, just before Sir Lowry's Pass, visitors can turn right, off the N2 highway toward Gordon's Bay, and then take the coastal road (R44) via Rooiels, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond to link up with the R43 to Hermanus.

Hermanus enjoys a mild climate with rain in winter combined with sunny days and high winds at times. Summer is hot and dry with cooling sea breezes. Autumn, around March, is quite balmy with sea mists.

Hermanus Accommodation is always in demand on weekends and in holiday periods. There are many wonderful Hermanus guest houses and B&B's, luxury hotels, holiday flats and self-catering cottages as well as camping options to choose from.

Contact a friendly Siyabona Travel Consultant for bookings and information.