Hermanus is a town on the southern coast of South Africa and is famous as a place from which to watch whales during the southern winter and spring. It forms part of the Western Cape and is a popular retirement town. The whales can be seen from the cliffs in the town center from as early as June. They were once hunted locally, but are now protected. The Old Harbor Museum contains several exhibitions which explain the whaling history of Hermanus.
Hermanus hosts an annual whale festival at the end of September, when the Southern Right whales come into the local bay during the mating season. Prior to this main whale festival a “Kalfiefees” (or “Calf Festival”) is held, to welcome the first whales (usually in August). Both festivals are characterized by food and craft stalls and also attract South African drama productions to the town. The hinterland beyond the town is largely wild and mountainous and there are many remote areas of hills and wild ravines. The rising thermals rising around the rugged heights of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve attract paragliders from all over the world.
Hermanus lies about 115km southeast of Cape Town and is connected to the Mother City by the R43 highway (or coastal R44 scenic route) and N2 motorway. The R43 continues to Cape Agulhas, the most southerly point of Africa. Hermanus is 40km from Gansbaai, a famous spot where one can dive amongst the Great White Sharks. It is also notable that Hermanus still boasts an historic railway station building although eventually no tracks were laid to connect the town to the national network.