Every year in June, southern right whales begin their migration from the icy waters of the Antarctic to warm Walker Bay, where they come to mate and breed. The whale-watching season runs from June to December but peaks between August and October.
Watching these gentle giants go about their reproductive cycle is, naturally, the main attraction – but there’s so much more to keep you entertained at the Hermanus Whale Festival, such as live music, craft and produce markets, sports events, as well as kiddies’ activities.
Above and Below
The Eco Village, themed Above and Below, is open from 9am – 5pm daily and features interactive exhibitions on the waterfront piazza. It also includes Shark, Whale, Penguin, Dolphin and Educational Kiddies’ areas, as well as award-winning botanical garden and biosphere displays. There are also popular Pirates and Mermaids treasure hunts on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 2pm.
Running from 8am on 30 September to 5pm on 2 October, the Market Square activities include a children’s entertainment area, food trucks, and art and craft marquees.
Fun for everyone
Although the festival officially starts on the 30th, kickstart your long weekend to the sounds of Watershed, performing from 6.30pm on Thursday, 29 September (R300, including dinner and craft beer included).
The Coke Music Stage (30 September – 2 October) features over 20 artists and costs R10 per day, with children under 12 attending for free. Chris Chameleon is performing on 1 October at 8pm (R100, book at Webtickets).
Whales and Wheels Vintage Car Show (1 October) Over 250 vintage and classic cars (from the 1920s to the 1980s) will be on display at Hermanus Primary School. Viewings start at 7am and at around 11am the cars will tour through the town. There will be food stalls and live music from Burning Note.
Annual Street Parade (1 October) The popular Street Parade leaves Swallow Park at 10am, making its way along the coast past Gearings Point and Market Square before stopping at the Marine Hotel.
Don’t know where to eat? Check out our Favourite Hermanus restaurants.