Hermanus Whale Route
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Hermanus Whale Route

An unforgettable daytrip to Hermanus, popular for “hosting” the giants of the sea, the Southern Right Whales.

This scenic full day excursion takes you from the Cape Town CBD at the foot of Table Mountain, over the Hottentots-Holland mountains range to the seaside village of Hermanus to enjoy some of the best land based opportunities for whale watching anywhere in the world.

Full Day 09h00 – 17h00

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Driving out of the city southeast along the N2 highway, the tour continues along a 45min drive past the town of Somerset West before arriving at the start of the Sir Lowry’s Mountain Pass. Originally known as the Eland’s Pass by the indigenous Khoi people, Sir Lowry’s Pass had its first recorded ox-wagon crossing in 1664. The original track markings left by these wagons being hauled over the pass can still be seen today and in 1958 was declared a National Monument. From the start of Sir Lowry’s Pass all the way to the summit, some 420m above sea level, visitors enjoy panoramic views over the low-lying white sandy beaches that stretch back towards Cape Town.

The tour passes over the Hottentots-Holland mountain range and descends into the Elgin apple farming valley. Approaching our destination, Hermanus is a delightful hamlet set along Walker Bay on the South Coast, 115km southeast of Cape Town. The towns’ pristine blue flag beaches and ‘champagne air’ have been enchanting guests over the years.

Hermanus is most popular – and best known – for “hosting” the giants of the sea; the Southern Right Whales and offers visitors the best shore-based whale watching in the world. Hermanus also has the only Whale Crier in the world. Since 2006, Zolile Baleni sounds his kelp horn from as early as June through to December to announce where whales have been sighted. More than 100 whales visit the Hermanus area during this time. In addition to the whales, huge schools of dolphins, seals and a wide variety of birdlife are also often seen on these trips.Aside from the awesome natural attractions, Hermanus is filled with great restaurants and fabulous boutique shops. The size of the town makes it perfect to be explored on foot. Small picturesque cliffs that edge Hermanus are threaded with paths, perfect for getting a clear view of the surrounding waters.
En route back to Cape Town, the tour will return along the R44 Coastal Road, a scenic expanse between Hermanus and Gordon’s Bay known as the Cape Whale Coast for many opportunities for spotting these remarkable creatures of the sea. Along this pristine stretch is a rustic collection of villages, farms, rivers, bays and coves.
A short drive down the coast brings us to the seaside village of Betty’s Bay. Sitting on a thin strip of land, protected by the Kogelberg Mountains on one side, overlooking the ocean on the other; Betty’s Bay is home to a thriving fishing community. It also holds one of only three land based penguin colonies in South Africa. These cheerful, yet boisterous sea birds have been placed on the endangered list after seeing a 90% population decline over the last 60 years. Here visitors are invited to watch the African Penguins play, and come within close proximity to them from the well-constructed wooden walkways.
From the penguins at Betty’s Bay, the tour continues to meander along the coastal road that hugs the cliffs of False Bay, a spectacular natural area covered in pristine Cape ‘Fynbos’, another key eco-conservation area. As we travel up this stretch of coast you can relax and enjoy South Africa’s spectacular scenery once more before returning to the city.

*Optional boat trip for close encounter with whales can be arranged.

COST

SCHEDULED – R900.00 pp
PRIVATE – R3 750.00

GROUP SIZES

SCHEDULED – MINIMUM 2

LENGTH

FULL DAY 09H00 – 17H00

DIFFICULTY RATING

SUITABLE FOR ALL FITNESS LEVELS

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