It’s whale season again in the Cape!
This is when the southern-right whales arrive from their feeding grounds in the Antarctic to calve and mate in warmer water. From May to November the waters of the Western Cape teem with whales.
There are many areas around the Western Cape to see whales but the most famous of all is Hermanus, an hour’s drive from Cape Town. This charming little town has been home to whales for a very long time but it was only in the 1990s that the idea was born to introduce a whale crier and to promote whale viewing as a destination. Nowadays, Hermanus is considered the best place in the world to view whales from land.
You can take a boat ride out to see to see whales or you can just walk along the 12km long coastal path because they come very close to shore.
- The Southern Right whale is the most common in the Cape.
- Named because it used to be the ‘right’ whale to hunt because they are slow swimmers, they float when killed and are rich in oil.
- They can live up to 100 years.
- Gestation is 12 months and the calf is born tail first.
- At birth, a calf can be as long as 6 metres.
Tours du Cap offers whale watching tours of one day or more. An overnight stay in Hermanus allows you to spend more time whale-viewing as well as visiting this lovely area. Hermanus has many lovely sea-facing hotels and top quality guesthouses and a good selection of eateries. There has always been an abundance of fish in these waters so the museum and old harbour (declared a national monument) are worth a visit.
We suggest incorporating a drive to the beautiful nearby Hemel en Aarde valley. This wonderful valley is home to several excellent wine estates where we can enjoy a leisurely lunch and wine tasting. Our route to Hermanus will be via Clarence Drive – a scenic coastal drive overlooking False Bay.
Photo of the whale crier and the harbour used with permission of Hermanus Tourism.