Hermanus, South Africa, is the whale-watching capital of South Africa and with good reason. From around July to November, the massive southern right whales (so named because they were the "right" whale to hunt), come to the bays around Hermanus to breed and rear their young for the trip to the Antarctic in the summer. It's also possible to spot Bryde's and humpback whales here, too. Humpback whales are particularly gymnastic, breaching the surface and giving displays of somersaulting.
Boat trips are the staple of this little community and it's very easy to organize a trip out to see the whales, as there are many operators during the season. There is also a hillside trail that you can take that will give you views of these fantastic beasts although from much further away. The bay is also home to dolphins, penguins, and seals. There is a very nice cliff-top walk that is easily undertaken in under an hour through a rich diversity of flora, where you might also catch a sight of whales.
As this is a town dominated by its whale watching, what else would you expect other than a Whale Festival? It's held at the end of September, every year celebrating the annual arrival of the southern right whales.
Hermanus is a compact town and is a popular retirement home for South Africans. It's easily possible to walk the entire length of the town in under half an hour. It's well served by supermarkets and many restaurants specializing in seafood, of course.
Those looking for hostel accommodation will find Hermanus, South Africa hostels of very good quality that are close to all the amenities in town. These Hermanus, South Africa hostels are well used to tourists, and boat trips, snorkeling and other touristic activities are the standard trips that all accommodation will organize for you. One of the more adrenaline fueled activities is the shark cage diving. This is done in nearby Gansbaai and entails being lowered into the water in a cage to have close encounters with great white sharks. Again, this is a standard trip organized by the hostels in Hermanus, South Africa. If that weren't enough, there's also a lovely, sandy beach out at the eastern edge of town called Grotto Beach.
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