Every year in June, the southern right whales begin their migration from the icy waters of the Antarctic to warm Walker Bay, where they come to mate and breed. Whale-watching season runs from June to December, peaking 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 perennially popular Hermanus Whale Festival – such as live music, craft and produce markets, sports events, as well as kiddies’ activities.
Above and below
The Eco Marine Village, themed Above and Below, is open from 9am to 5pm daily, and features interactive exhibitions on the waterfront piazza, including Shark, Whale, Penguin, Dolphin and Educational Kiddies’ areas, as well as award-winning botanical garden and biosphere displays.
And be sure to get the little ones to the Pirates and Mermaids Treasure Hunts on Saturday and Sunday, from 12pm to 2pm. There are two tablets up for grabs!
The Market Square is, as always, abuzz with activity, with a children’s entertainment area, food trucks, and art and craft marquees dotted around.
Fun for everyone
Calling music lovers, car freaks and fun seekers…
Coke Music Stage (28 September – 30 September) features hourly shows from 1pm to 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Expect a fabulous line-up of musicians such as Jesse Jordan, Empire Alight and Winterstand Band. Cost: R10.
Whales and Wheels Vintage Car Show (30 September) 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 drive through the town. There will be food stalls selling tasty treats. Cost: R25.
Annual Street Parade (30 September) 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.
Kiddies’ Beach Clean Up (29–30 September) takes place on Saturday and Sunday at the Old Harbour with T-shirt giveaways for eager-beaver beach warriors.
Kids’ Movies will be screened in the Whale House lecture room on alternate days. On the other nights, there’ll be Marine Mammal Educational talks by marine biologists and passionate storytellers.
For more information, check out the programme.
Looking for places to eat while you’re there? Check out our Favourite Hermanus Restaurants.