The Hermanus Whale Festival

The beautiful Southern Right Whale has long been a visitor to the Shores of South Africa. This massive but passive creature has long been lovingly observed by the people of South Africa as it visits the country’s waters each year during Spring. Hermanus has long been noted as one of the best whale-watching spots in the country and it seems only natural that this be the choice location for an annual whale festival.


For years now this sleepy little town has comes alive every year during September as hundreds have flocked here to enjoy the sight of the Southern Right Whales frolicking in the waters of Walker Bay. Hermanus has long enjoyed a reputation as being the best land-based whale watching destination in the world and this is the basis behind the fervent activity that brings this otherwise peaceful seaside resort to life every year. It didn’t take long for locals to realize that this natural event could be best used to their advantage if it was accompanied by an annual festival and it seemed only natural that the whale be the focus of the entire event. The Hermanus Whale Festival is the only enviro-arts festival in the country and it combines the wonders of nature with the delights of live performances and crafters.

The typical schedule for this annual event starts with a cliff-top walk to the best vantage point over the bay. The walk will take you through a variety of beautiful spring daisies and other natural flora and culminates in a spectacular view of the bay and the Southern Right whales. Once you’ve enjoyed hours of staring at these massive mammals, you can make your way back down to the bay where you can enjoy a variety of nature-based activities such as fynbos hikes, bird watching, shark cage diving and kayaking. You can also take a look at some of the indigenous animals which often feature in the program. Once you’ve had just about as much of the sea as you can handle for one day, it is time to turn your attention to the plethora musicians and actors who add their unique and distinctive flavor to the event. You can enjoy live music concerts, comedy shows and cabarets, amongst other things, every night.

During the day you can also visit the numerous craft stalls and purchase a few mementos for friends and family back home. A number of sporting events such as marathons and golf tournaments are also held and education lectures about the preservation of these beautiful whales also take center stage. So make your way to Hermanus this September to make sure that you get in on all the action.