Whale Season has begun and the Southern Right Whales are full up in Walker Bay, Hermanus truly a beautiful sight to behold.
As summer approaches so do the Southern Right Whales, gracing both local and international visitors with their magnificent presence. One can hear the kelp horn singing its soulful tune on the cliffs of Hermanus alerting visitors that there are whales in the bay.
The Southern Right Whales visit our shore from June to early December every year and they show of their babies to everyone’s delight. Breaching, spyhopping lobtailing or just floating around in Walker Bay. Visitor to Hermanus can enjoy whale watching either by boat or just meandering along the famous cliff path.
The key to land based whale watching is patience, so pack a picnic, grab a blanket and relax at one of the many whale watching spots along the cliffs.
Visitors to Hermanus are always wondering what to do with their tots, tweens and teens on weekends and during holidays. Well we have put together a couple of great ideas and things to do!!!
Wonderland Café is a great location for young families for family friendly fun, with jungle gyms, a putt putt course, a Choo Choo train, a licenced coffee shop, nursery and more.
The Jungle Gyms at the Amphitheatre in Hermanus gives parents the opportunity to chill at the restaurants while the kiddies play a short walk away.
Beaches – Grotto (Blue Flag), Kamma Baai, Sandbaai, Onrus beach and Onrus lagoon, Hawston (Blue Flag) to name a couple of the lovely beaches and all our Blue Flag beaches have life guards on duty. Remember your sunscreen, shades, umberella and sun hat.
Horse Riding in Kleinmond or Karwyderskraal for novice or experienced riders. Remember to wear long pants, comfortable shoes/boots and sunscreen.
Quadbiking and Mountain Biking – Quad bike outrides into the mountains or mountain bikes can be hired (or bring your own) no need to be a pro… Remember to wear long pants, comfortable shoes/boots and sunscreen.
Rocklands Petting Farm – A lovely little gem, with lots of animals that the children can pet and feed while mom and dad relax with a cup of coffee and a home-made slice of cake.
African Penguin and Bird Sanctuary – The African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) is a Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) project based in Gansbaai. The Sanctuary is the perfect place to visit for all ages. The initiative strives to rehabilitate marine birds and they truly do make a difference.
Kleinrivier Cheese Farm and Picnics – A beautiful cheese farm where one can order a picnic basket, enjoyed in their garden. They also have a petting farm and fun things to do for the kids.
Fat Bikes Gansbaai – Offer stunning trails in De Kelders on their Fatbikes with 4.7 Inch tyres. Easy to ride on the sand and you will have the time of your life, fun for the whole family.
Ocean Kayaking – Go on an ocean eco adventure and learn more about the Cape fur seals, penguins and marine life in Walker Bay. Remember your sunscreen, shades and a hat.
Shark Conservancy – Learn more about the sharks that inhabit our shores with tours at 11:00 and at 14:00 – remember weekdays only.
Paint Ball – Fun for families and friends alike, take a shot at it.
Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary – A wonderful experience to learn the importance of the wild cats of the world that are rescued from captivity and with educational tours twice daily from a Monday to Wednesday at 10:00 and 15:00 (Closed on Tuesdays)
Nature Reserves – Beautiful hikes in a variety of Nature Reserves. Enjoy all the little wild animals, birds, waterfalls, dams and fynbos. Pack a picnic and become one with nature… Remember your sunscreen, shades and a hat.
Drie Damme – Pack a picnic and refreshments and hike up to the amazing Drie Damme. It is quite a steep hike but well worth the walk – an awesome swimming spot. Remember your sunscreen, shades and a hat.
Go Karting – Perfect for a fun filled morning or afternoon with a group of children, family or friends.
Eco Cliff Park Walks – Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the scenic cliff paths in Hermanus, check out the inquisitive dassies, spot whales, dolphins, seals. Also read and learn more about the forna and flora from the information boards along the path. Remember your sunscreen, shades a hat and a wind breaker (if the wind blows it can get chilly on the cliffs).
Hermanus has so much to offer even in winter, the crisp, clear champagne air and balmy weather gives visitors the opportunity to spend days exploring, enjoying and meandering and we have put together a couple of things to wet your appetite.
Meander along the Wine Route.
The HermanusWine Route has 17 beautiful Wine Farms situated along the R320 in the Hemel en Aarde Valley – Offering many perfect spots to wine away those chilly winters’ days.
Land and Boat based Whale watching.
The Southern Right Whales grace our shores from June and one can see them from the cliffs in Hermanus, by boat and even by plane… Exciting.
The Cliff Path.
Hermanus is well known for its famous Cliff Path walk. The walk meanders from the New Harbour all the way along to Grotto Beach. Not only can one do some whale watching you can also experience the beauty of nature, do some bird watching and taking in the stunning surroundings.
The Hermanus Country Marketis a wonderful Saturday morning treat, with live music, divine food stalls, lovely crafts and fresh produce. Hermanuspietersfontein has an evening market on a Wednesday evening as well as a morning market on a Saturday where one can enjoy their fine wines, a bite to eat while enjoying the music and the company of friends.
Time to Dine.
Enjoy the cosy atmosphere at one of the manyRestaurants and Eateries in Hermanus some of which have fireplaces to warm up at. The array of Restaurants offer something for everyone’s palate be it, Italian, Asian, French or Fusion one is truly spoilt for choice.
Amazing works of Art.
Meander through the village and discover the incredible works of art on exhibit in the Galleries in Hermanus – The village art walk ramble features well-known local artists’ finest works.
Diving with the Sharks.
Did you know that winter is the best time to do shark cage diving – Gansbaai is only 40 kms from Hermanus and the Shark cage diving operators offer shuttle service to their venues or you can do a self-drive trip. Definitely a “bucket list” experience to do.
Spend the day with wild cats.
Panthera opened their gates to the public in 2014 – This incredible wild cat sanctuary is a must visit situated just outside Stanford and promises to leave you feeling both humbled and exhilarated.
Explore century old caves.
The Klipgat Caves situated at De Kelders near Gansbaai – These caverns were formed millions of years ago through the erosive action of underwater aquifers. They were then opened up along the coastal cliffs by rising sea levels and pounding waves, forming huge caves that would later become the home of Middle Stone Age people and eventually Late Stone Age people known as the Khoikhoi.
Fun times at our Festivals.
Food and Wine Festival which takes place from 06th to 08th August is where one can be treated with a variety of World class Red and White wines which are sourced from Elgin to Elim and Craft beers can be sampled from breweries in the Overberg Region. With loads of good food, live entertainment, a kiddie’s play area, grass slopes and wooden benches to relax on the weekend promises to be an event you will be returning to.
The “Kalfiefees” is a celebration of the birth of the Southern Right Whale Calves in Hermanus and is loads of fun for both young and old, featuring markets, shows, and music. This festival also takes place from the 04th to 09th August.
Good Times at Hermanus Wine and Food Festival
Exploring the Klipgat Caves at De Kelders
Enjoying an outing to Panthera Big Cat Sanctuary
White Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai
Stunning works of art at the Galleries in Hermanus
Enjoy lunch with a beautiful view of Walker Bay
Delicious food at the Hermanuspietersfontein Food and Wine Market
Good times at the Hermanus Country Market
Cosy up at Milkwood Restaurant in front of the fireplace
Guaranteed the winter weather in Hermanus will always accommodate everyone’s visit or extended holiday getaway.
Hermanus has many shades of winter…
One day there are stormy seas, mist and rain, the perfect weather for board games, a good book you’ve been wanting to read forever and enjoying one of the fine red wines from the Hemel en Aarde Valley Wine Route.
The next day may have clear skies and champagne weather perfect for Ocean Kayaking, Adventure Activities, photography, meandering along the cliff paths and enjoying a picnic next to the ocean on the cliffs, dining at one of the many ocean facing Eateries on the Waterfront and of course Land or Boat Based Whale Watching…
Over the years Hermanus has grown from being known as a sleepy little fishermen’s village to being the Worlds Best Whale Watching Capital. This ever growing Town is now fast becoming a destination for all seasons…
Their message “The more you are blessed with experience, the fuller and more enriched you are in life.” across to all the visitors both local and international. The assistants and volunteers also clearly share Lizaene and Catherine ambitions to rehabilitate these amazing wild cats.
The cats that currently reside at the Sanctuary all have their own sad stories as they are all captive bred cats that have lived their entire lives in captivity. This truly tugs at your heart strings and leaves you wondering how mankind can do such terrible things to such magnificent mammals.
The up side to all of this abuse is that Lizaene, Catherine and their team have made it their mission to make a difference to not only the cats they currently have but also aspire to expand and hopefully in the not too distant future also bring hope and homes to many more Big Cats at their amazing Sanctuary. Their main aim is to become the first Eco and green Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa and to give these cats a protected environment where they can prosper for the rest of their lives.
At the Sanctuary they do not allow visitors to pet the animals as they explained to us “How would you like to be patted on the head a hundred times daily” … and we agree. Their belief is in their enrichment program where the cats can play, roam and live the lives they have not had the privilege of living.We were truly touched by the fantastic efforts and enthusiasm shown and would encourage both young and old to support and visit this wonderful initiative.
We are always looking for things to do and share with our friends, family and visitors to Hermanus.
Here are a couple of our top Things To Do for Free!!!
Drie Damme – We love hiking up to the Drie Damme, it is quite a steep climb but with amazing views and of course the dam to swim in it is well worth working up a sweat for.
Hermanus Cliff Path Walk – The path starts at the New Harbour and meanders all the way to Grotto Beach, strolling along you have beautiful views of the mountains, the ocean and the fynbos, during whale season the cliffs are the perfect vantage point to spot the Southern Rights.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve – Pack a picnic, don your walking shoes, slap on sunscreen and a hat and head off to the Reserve. There are different gradients to hike, so something for everyone. The abundance of Fynbos, the breath taking views, the bird life and wild animals will guarantee that you will be back again.
Secluded Beaches – Hermanus has an abundance of beautiful coved beaches and rock pools, perfect for families, friends and couples to chill and enjoy hot summer days and balmy winter sunshine.
Visit the Hemel en Aarde Wine Route – Meander along the R320 and pop in at the various wine farms the route has to offer. Wine tasting at the majority of the wine farms are absolutely FREE so indulge and enjoy in some of SA’s finest wines.