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South Africa Travel - Hermanus & Surrounds

Situated along the beautiful Walker Bay, Hermanus is known to be one of the top tourist destinations for a family holiday in South Africa. Hermanus is mostly famous for the whale watching opportunities it provides from July to December each year when the Southern Right Wales migrate to Walker Bay to calf. It is also known as one of the top whale watching destinations in the world.

There are numerous look out points along the beautiful coastline where individuals can enjoy a relaxing time. Whale watching cruises are popular in Hermanus if you want to get a closer look and learn more about these magnificent creatures. The Old Harbour Museum situated in the heart of Hermanus provides interesting information about whales as well as the history of the area.

Hermanus hosts a number of festivals throughout the year. The most popular is the annual “Kalfiefees” - translated to Calf Festival. This festival is held to welcome the first whales to the area. Visitors can enjoy music, food stalls, craft stalls and truly South African drama productions during the festival - a real treat if you are on a tour to South Africa during that time of the year.

The Fernkloof Nature Reserve provides wonderful bird watching opportunities as well as a chance to spot smaller mammals in their natural habitat, such as klipspringers, dassies, baboons and so forth. Although visiting the reserve may not be quite the same as a safari tour at many of the other Parks and Reserves in South Africa, the Fernkloof Nature Reserve is known to house the largest and most diverse collection of natural vegetation called Fynbos in the world. The Reserve offers beautiful walks and hiking trails with spectacular views from the mountains.

Wine connoisseurs will be pleased to know that some of South Africa’s best wines are found in this area of the country, the pinot noir’s and chardonnay’s in particular. The wine route is called “Hemel-en-Aarde Valley” (Heaven and Earth Valley). This scenic route is located in the Overberg region, near Hermanus along the R320. Wines created in the “Hemel-en-Aarde Valley” are unique to South Africa because of the clay soil found in the region as well as the cool sea breeze.

For individuals looking for a more adventurous South African vacation, Hermanus and its surrounding area will not disappoint. Located roughly 40 kilometres from Hermanus, one will find the town of Gaansbaai. Roughly 8 kilometres offshore from Gaansbaai is one of the most popular diving spots in the world - Dyers Island. Thousands of Africa Penguins and birdlife live on the island, and there are a number of diving opportunities, including shark cage diving. Visitors can expect to see several of the “marine big 5” which includes whales, sharks, dolphins, penguins and seals - a South Africa safari with a difference! Apart from horseback riding, fishing and kayaking, paragliding is possible from a launch site located in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve.

Hermanus is laden with quaint shops along the main roads offering original paintings by local artists as well as boutiques, curios and local crafts. There are also many restaurants were visitors can enjoy some of the freshest seafood in town.

There are also a several pristine beaches in Hermanus, one of them being the Grotto Beach. This Blue Flag beach is set against a stunning mountain and stretches for a number of kilometres - perfect for long walks during a relaxing family tour of South Africa. The beautiful beach caters for picnics, sunbathing, swimming and of course whale watching. The Onrus Beach is a popular destination for surfing and body boarding. Tidal pools are also abundant in the Hermanus area, making it perfect for family holidays.

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