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Hermanus

The small town of Hermanus, east of Cape Town on the southern coast, is predominantly known for its amazing whale-watching. The season runs between the months of June and November, when hundreds of Bryde’s, Humpback and Southern Right Whales come to Walker Bay during their migration. From the wild beauty of the beach you can watch the incredible spectacle of whales playing and frolicking in the water right before your eyes. There is also a beautiful hike up to the cliffs and along the ‘Whale Walk’ which offers a better view of these magnificent mammals as they thrash in the sea. Boat cruises out to sea are also available where one can experience amazing sightings of not only the whales but other marine wildlife such as penguins, seals and dolphins. Adrenaline seekers may enjoy a cage dive with Great White Sharks between June and September when visibility is at its best.

At the end of September every year, Hermanus hosts an annual whale festival, which celebrates the return of the magnificent marine mammals during their calving and mating season. Eco tourism is at the core of this event, with a strong focus on exhibitions, education and environmentally responsible activities. The Old Harbour Museum is also worth visiting, particularly to see the vast, and perfectly preserved whale skeleton. The open-air museum is open 24 hours a day with boats, the old sea wall, brine tanks and "bokkom" stands on display, as well as an indoor museum with aquariums and exhibitions on natural history showcasing the local cultural history, and naturally, whales are the most prominent feature.

The area around Hermanus is known for its natural beauty and there are several nature reserves within close proximity offering unique activities such as Botanical safaris, horse riding and quad biking, making this the perfect location for both nature lovers and families alike. The nearby Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven on Earth) wine route is also gaining fame for its excellent white wines including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. It is fast becoming a hotspot for foodies, and the superb local restaurants offer world class dining and a magnificent array of wines, with spectacular views of the valley. There are also a number of delis and stalls dotted around with fresh local produce.

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