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Activities in and around Hermanus

Hermanus is proudly home to the only Whale Crier in the World and the sound of his kelp horn has become a familiar part of town activities during "whale season". He blows different horn 'Morse' codes that refer to the different points along the coastline where whales have been spotted. The key to these codes, as well as the number of whales spotted at each location, are noted on the sandwich board he wears as part of his unique outfit.

The Hermanus Whale Festival is held annually to welcome the whales. The Southern Right whales visit Hermanus between the months of July and December, coming within metres of the shoreline, entertaining visitors with their antics as they breach and play in the ocean.

Boat Trips

Boat trips depart from the New Harbour in Hermanus on 1.5 to 2 hour cruises, whilst from Kleinbaai slightly longer 2.5 hour cruises can be undertaken.

Shark Cage Diving

For the ultimate adrenalin rush, shark cage diving shuttles leave Hermanus daily for encounters with the inimitable Great White Sharks of Dyer Island.

Fernkloof Nature Reserve

Fernkloof Nature Reserve that forms the backdrop to the town, offers well-maintained hiking trails which provide the opportunity for people of all fitness levels to enjoy the breathtaking views. Maps, walking sticks and general information about the reserve are available in the little hut in the parking lot.

The Hermanus region has the richest floral diversity in Africa and is regarded as the heart of the fynbos, the smallest of the six floral kingdoms in the world. The Fernkloof Nature Reserve, bordering the town, has over 1100 plant species in only 15 square kilometers, almost as many as all the plant species endemic to the United Kingdom!

The reserve also has a cycling trail and bikes can be hired in the village.

Hermanus is a twitcher's delight and is home to a wide variety of bird species.


Among the beautiful beaches along the Hermanus coastline, those at Hawston and Grotto have been awarded Blue Flag status, an international annual award given to beaches that meet high standards of cleanliness, safety and environmental friendliness.

The numerous beaches cater for both young and old, swimmers, surfers and body boarders alike.

Whilst the lagoons at Klein River, Onrust River and Botriver are home to all manner of water sports.


Cliff Paths, stretching from one side of the town to the other along the coastline for about 12 km, provide comfortable scenic walks with benches positioned at regular intervals for relaxed viewing of the gentle giants of the ocean.


Golf at the 27-hole Hermanus Golf Course, with its magnificent scenery and ocean views is a must for golfing visitors.

Alternatively, the famous and very exclusive Arabella Golf Course is a mere 24km out of Hermanus.


Wine tasting in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley takes you through a 30 minutes scenic drive to 8 of the finest wine farms in the country. Some of the southernmost vineyards in Africa can be found in this region with a growing reputation as one of South Africa's most exquisite winegrowing areas. The cool maritime climate and the right soil composition combine to make the Hemel-en-Aarde valley the ideal location for the fussy Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay vines.

All the wines from the valley can be sampled at the Bartho Eksteen tasting room and are available from the Wine Village, both situated at the gateway to the Valley.

The Cape Winelands routes of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, among others are easily accessible from Hermanus.

Touring the wineries and tasting the many excellent wines is one of life's most enjoyable experiences.


The magic and beauty of Hermanus has attracted many famous artists, sculptors, designers, writers and functional art artisans. The town has thus become home to a number of galleries that house both local and international works. Works depicting the entire stylistic range from graphic to sculptural, from primitive and traditional to sophisticated and contemporary can be viewed on one of the routes or just browsing the galleries.

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