Day trips around Hermanus

We offer a variety of day trips and activities from Hermanus

We offer a variety of day trips and activities from Hermanus

 

whale, whale whatching , hermanus
Southern right whale

Guided walks

Where else can you traverse an entire town along its coast? With its extraordinary diversity of scenery, rocky coves, sandy beaches and secluded forest glades, the cliff-path is unequalled anywhere in South Africa.  Take a guided walk with expert local guides, who have exceptional knowledge of the area. The path meanders for more than 10km, taking you past famous fishing spots, whale-watching view points and the original fishing harbour, now a museum and national monument. It also winds through a fascinating diversity of vegetation types with an astonishing number of flowering plants to be seen.

The path attracts thousands of whale-watchers every year for the best shore-based whale-watching in the world; but not only whale-watching is to be had — the path is also a nature-lover’s paradise. From the path or from rocky outcrops just off the path, whale watchers can get within 20m of whales cruising in the coves. Benches all along the cliff path provide comfortable resting and watching spots with panoramic views over the bay. A telescope at the old harbour allows you to survey the entire bay and the whales and dolphins at close range.

The famous southern right whale can be seen from the cliffs from as early as June to late November. Hermanus is known as a mecca for whale watching, with more than 100 whales known to be in the area. The whales can be seen with their young, as they come to Walker Bay to calve and mate. Many behaviours such as breaching, sailing, lobtailing, or spyhopping can be witnessed.

Hermanus has the world’s only Whale Crier, who sounds his kelp horn to announce where whales have been sighted.

Walks are also offered in the mountains around Hermanus.

The famous Fernkloof Nature Reserve covers 18 square kilometres in the Kleinrivier Mountains above Hermanus and ranges in altitude from sea level to 842 m and protects coastal and fynbos and a small patch of evergreen forest. The name of the principal vegetation typical of this region is derived from the Dutch words ‘fijn bosch’, meaning ‘fine bush’. 1 474 species have thus far been collected and identified and there is no other place on earth where so many different species can be seen growing in such close proximity.

The conservation value of the coastal area has been recognised by its inclusion in a proclaimed nature reserve, ensuring the sustainability of this fragile ecosystem. For the twitchers, 92 bird species have been recorded, including the Cape sugar bird, sunbirds, rock thrush and rock jumper. Raptors include the jackal buzzard and black eagle. Limited areas of forest alongside streams support numbers of seed and insect-eating species such as rameron pigeon, canaries, flycatchers and white-eyes.

The reserve lies on the northern side of the town with a 60 km network of trails, which offer magnificent and unequalled views of Walker Bay, the Hemel en Aarde Valley and Maanskynbaai. Walkers of all ability levels are catered for — no need to be super-fit!

You can combine the Fernkloof Nature Reserve with coastal cliff paths, making for a visual and physical feast.

Rates are charged per person half day, depending on group size.

Average cost works out to R 850pp

Wine tasting

The Hemel-en-Aarde (heaven and earth) Valley, just behind Hermanus, has become a popular wine farm meander. Grapes grown in the valley are influenced by the cold Atlantic Ocean and the temperate conditions and clayey soil produce wines similar to those of northern France. The Bouchard Finlayson estate, Whalehaven Wines, Hamilton Russel Vineyards, Cape Bay and Sumaridge are open to the public for wine tastings. Spend half a day exploring this breathtaking valley and taste some award-winning wines .

Tours are offered most days in the mornings or afternoons.

R850 pp

Half and full day trip to the historic village of Stanford 

Just 22 km from Hermanus is the quaint and historically rich Stanford village. With its tranquil pace and its arty character, it is well worth a visit. Truly Africa Tours offers a unique experience – a ride in a specially adapted donkey cart and taste the fresh produce of the valley. The tour includes wine, cheese and olive tastings, as well as a visit to local beer brewery — the first brewery in the southern hemisphere. Six signature beers can be tasted — Premium Lager, Honey Blonde Ale, Old English Bitter, Birkenhead Pilsner, Chocolate Malt Stout, and the dangerous Black Snake Brew!

From R950 pp including lunch.

Shark-cage diving

People of all ages can enjoy this incredible experience, and no experience is necessary. For those who’d rather not get that up close and personal with this apex predator, they can also be viewed from the deck as they are surface-feeders. Photograph them as they glide just below the surface or when they leap up out of the water and breach.

The tour operates from Gansbaai (meaning ‘goose bay’) on the eastern point of Walker Bay is only 33km from Hermanus, is far more susceptible to the elements, so be aware that visibility varies from day to day and trips are therefore weather dependent, but even if the sea is a bit rough you will still have the pleasure of seeing these massive and ancient creatures from the deck.

Great whites are the largest predatory fish on Earth — they grow to an average of 4.6 metres in length, although specimens exceeding 6 metres and weighing up to 2 270 kilograms have been recorded. Great whites are torpedo-shaped with powerful tails that can propel them through the water at up to 24 km/hour.

Shark cage diving is of course not for the faint-hearted, but getting close to this most magnificent predator will give you an adrenalin rush second to none.

From R1 650 pp

Whale-watching boat cruise

Boats with licences are able to get as close to the whales as 50m, but, being naturally curious, the whales often approach the boat to observe the people! This is an inspirational experience to be treasured. This is the perfect photo opportunity and your prints are sure to enthrall family and friends. Complimentary light refreshments are served. A whale specialist guide will explain the local marine life encountered en route, and provide insight into the behaviour of the whales while you are watching them in action. An interpreter guide keeps European guests informed throughout the tour, and a videographer will ensure that the best footage is captured for you and for posterity.

R850

 

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