The quaint seaside town of Hermanus is world renowned as a whale watching mecca and a much loved South African holiday destination a little over an hour’s car trip from Cape Town. From June to December the Southern Right Whales visit the nutrient rich waters for calving and mating season and put on spectacular breaching shows. Visitors can marvel at the behemoths from land based vantage points on the cliffs above the shore (sometimes from within a stone’s throw distance) or venture out into the bay on one of the many charter boats.

The town is replete with charming sea facing accommodation covering a variety of options – from five star luxuries hotels and guest houses to homely sea cottages, many of which are perched right up on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay.

Hermanus is home to a wide array of renowned restaurants serving fresh seafood and other gastronomic delicacies. The epicentre of the town houses a bustling and vibrant craft market which is surrounded by art galleries, bohemian boutiques and often filled with the sounds of live music.

The historic Old Harbour just below the centre of the town is a picturesque focal point and home to the Whale House museum and the ‘Whale caller’ who sounds the arrival of the whales by blowing through a special kelp horn which is rumoured to attract the gentle giants. The shoreline between Hermanus and Onrus offers excellent diving, fishing and kayaking.

Undulating cliff paths which connect the areas pristine beaches are home to semi-tame rock hyrax – or dassies – which are said to be the closest living relative to the African elephant! Prisitne Grotto beach has been awarded International Blue Flag status.

The natural beauty isn’t confined to the sea-side. Hermanus is straddled by majestic mountains which offers hikes and bird watching in the heart of one of the words richest floral kingdoms. The more adventurous traveller may want to take advantage of the consistent flying conditions which make the area a favourite amongst paragliders.

Just minutes away is the picturesque Hemel en Aarde valley which has several renowned wine producers and fine dining restaurants. To the north, lies the historic Birkenhead Brewery, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and the coastal town of Gansbaai which is widely regarded as the best place in the world to come face to face with Great White sharks. Shuttles to Gansbaai can be arranged through the shark viewing operators who typically operate two trips a day.

We recommend accommodation at the luxurious Birkenhead House with its commanding seaside cliff-top position and the two enchanting eco lodges, nestled between the mountain and the sea at the Grootbos Nature Reserve.


Camille Rowe

+1 646-968-0661

About "Hermanus"


From its perfect position on top of the whale watching cliffs of Walker Bay, the world famous, luxurious Birkenhead House offers a superior seaside experience. Presenting guests with stunning views over two pristine, sandy beaches, it’s the ideal place to watch the waves and see the surfers come in. Between June and November guests can relax on wicker loungers, alongside the plunge pool, and keep an eye out for the whales frolicking in the bay and swimming right in front of the hotel. Read More


Nestled between mountain and sea, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star eco-paradise showcasing the incredible Flora and Marine life of the Southern Tip of Africa. Home of the “Marine Big 5″ – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins; and with unparalleled floral diversity, Grootbos offers you a one-of-a-kind luxury African experience. Read More


Perched high up on the cliffs, overlooking the picturesque Walker Bay in Hermanus, The Marine is one of the southern hemisphere’s most spectacular seaside resorts. Looking out over the best whale-viewing expanse of ocean in the world, the five star Marine provides guests with the opportunity to experience the finest land-based whale watching areas available. From June to November you will be able to view these magnificent creatures from the comfort of your own sea view room. Read More