Hermanus Whale Watching Tours
The list of things to do in Hermanus is seemingly endless. It’s the perfect getaway for both the fit and outdoorsy and the mellow and introverted. Whatever your disposition, whale watching in Hermanus has universal appeal especially since the area is certified whale country and regarded as the world’s mecca for both land and boat-based whale watching.
There are a number of whale watching operators in Hermanus that are dedicated to providing you with the best experience you can get. These whale watching tours are designed to respect nature’s boundaries by not invading the habitat and behaviour of these magnificent creatures. Most whale operators in the area well regulated and adopt an ‘observing not disturbing’ approach.
During the winter months - from June to October – Hermanus’ coastline is transformed into one of the most important whale nurseries for the Southern Right species who migrate from a summer of feeding in the Southern oceans near Antarctica to calve and mate along the shoreline.
Historically, these whales were named by whalers who identified them as the ‘right’ whale to kill on a hunt, their docile nature and proximity to the surface of the water making them easy targets for valuable oil and baleen. Populations are steadily increasing since the banning of whaling and the push to protect endangered marine-life through established marine protected areas. In 2018 the population of Southern Right Whales was estimated at 10 000.
Operators offer day trips and boat excursions that offer you an up close and personal encounter with these gentle giants. Vessels range from comfortable catamarans that are both wheelchair and child friendly and can accommodate larger groups to private charter boats for those seeking an exclusive encounter.
Whale watching tours can last from between 1 and 4 hours and generally take place in the mornings, leaving you to enjoy the rest of your day in bliss. Some operators do offer sunset trips where you can watch the whales basking in the golden glow of the last sun.
Crew members are often multi-lingual and help to ensure the safety of visitors. They also provide an educational and informative trip for those who want to know more about the nature and habits of these creatures. Boats often include light refreshments and optional DVD and photo souvenirs.
Pack a windbreaker, comfortable shoes, your camera and your sunscreen and embark on an experience of a lifetime! Don’t forget to watch out for the other marvels of the ocean including penguins, dolphins and seals.