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Hermanus is a picturesque town on the southern coast of the Western Cape, around 120 kilometres east of Cape Town. It serves as a relaxed introduction and pleasant stop en route to the Garden Route. Once a fishing village, the town has expanded but is yet to lose its small-town feel. Perched atop a series of cliffs, overlooking a wide bay, Hermanus is perhaps best known as the place to spot southern right whales. Between June and November (and sometimes extending into other months), female southern rights congregate in the bay to calve. During this period the opportunities for sightings are great.

In season, the iconic town crier sounds a horn every time a whale is spotted in the bay. His lookout is a spot-on top of the cliffs, near the town centre. The clifftops offer an exceptional vantage point across the bay and a stroll along the accessible cliff path will provide plenty of whale viewings in season, and lovely coastal views outside of it. It is also possible to take a boat excursion for water-based whale spotting.

Throughout the year, you can take a boat trip, although the marine life you will see depends on the time of year. Depending on the month you may spot Humpback and Bryde’s whales, dolphins, seals, penguins and a variety of marine birds.