The town centre of Hermanus
Hermanus is a coastal town on the southern coast of the
Western Cape of South Africa. It is situated about 120 kilometres from
Cape Town and is known as the whale capital of the Southern Cape.
The Hermanus coastline looking eastwards
Hermanus is a very popular holiday / vacation destination for
visitors from the north of our country. Many businessmen have built
their holiday homes in the town and along the rocky coastline where during the whale season
they get a fantastic view of the whales which visit Walker bay each year.
The business and shopping centre of the town is built on the cliffs above the old harbour
and also provides a first class viewing point when the whales are in the bay.
Hermanus is a fisherman's paradise and fishing off the cliffs
into deep water is one of the attraction in the town.
The cliffs along the coast have many pathways down them
if one wants to get to feel the water and get closer to the whales.
Grotto beach to the east is one of the better beaches along this rocky stretch of coastline
and also lends itself to fishing.
The Old Harbour
The Old Harbour which is just below the town centre is
utilised by small boats only.The buildings around the harbour have been converted
into restaurants and a fishing museum.
The reason for the harbour being moved to its new location is that
waves break into the harbour during storms and wash boats that are lying there away.
They are then smashed up against the rocks and end up as driftwood.
The new harbour has been built to the west of the town
and accommodates larger fishing vessels which was
not the case with the old harbour.
Between Hermanus and Stanford there is a large
lagoon known as the Hermanus lagoon.
It is navigable for small craft and is good for fishing as well.
Fishing depends on whether the mouth of the lagoon
is open to the sea or not. When it is the lagoon becomes tidal and many fish enter
the lagoon to feed on the prawn beds.
On the banks of the lagoon is a caravan park for those
who love camping and the outdoor life. Many people have
their own permanent plots in the campsite and
store their caravans on site.
The lagoon is about 12 kilometres long and has various
access points. One of the is Maanskyn baai “ Moonshine Bay.“ which is mainly utilised for sailing
To the east of the lagoon is “Die Plaat” a large flat rocky area off the coast
a couple of kilometres along the beach in the direction of Gansbaai.
Its a long walk to get there so many fishermen use by 4 X 4 vehicles to get there.
The attraction of this fishing spot are the Galjoen South Africa's national fish,
and secondly a fish which is on the endangered list. Its a lovely eating fish and these days
can only be caught by anglers ( not boat fishermen) off the beach. It is not allowed to be sold and
the catch is also limited to five fish per angler per day with a size restriction as well.
Of late the authorities have restricted access
od 4 X 4 vehicles to the beach so anybody who wants to fish the
Plaat is in for a long walk.
On the northern side of the lagoon there are some
very interesting mountain ranges which run the
length of the lagoon, sandwiching the lagoon
between them and some sand dunes on the coast between the sea and the lagoon.
Hermanus coastline to the west
The main tourist attraction in Hermanus is however the whales.
From June through to the end of November Walker bay is
a hive of activity as the Southern Right whales come
into the bay to calf and mate.
Whales performing in Walker bay
With the many vantage points around the bay visitors
cannot miss the whales which come close in shore.
During the season a whale crier is employed to spot the whales and advise
tourists t where the best vantage points are.
During the whale season it is often extremely difficult to get into the
town due to the many cars blocking the roads in Hermanus.
Even with these difficulties the town is worth a visit .
I have found some excellent accommodation for those wanting to wake up close to the whales or spend some time in Hermanus. Check out our Accommodation advert on this page.
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