A whale watchers paradise

Drawing visitors from around the world to its rocky shores, the whale route comes to life between the months of June to December. Every year hundreds of whales make their way to the Whale Route’s sheltered bay to calve and nurse their young, coming as close in to the shore as possible. Low sea cliffs allow you to get closer to the whales than you will ever believe possible, and have turned the area around Hermanus and especially Walker Bay into one of the of the continent’s most desired tourist destinations. It can confidently be said that the Whale Route offers the best land based whale watching in the world.

The seaside town, Hermanus is renowned as the heart of the Whale Route. Its 12 km’s of cliff paths stretch from the one side of the town to the other and give visitors the opportunity to observe these gentle giants. Benches are placed along the cliff paths providing a comfortable resting place to spot the whales. In some places you can watch these amazing creatures from as close as five metres from the rocky cliffs. The luxury guesthouses are well-positioned on the cliff edges, with many of them offering views of the whales from the comfort of your breakfast table!

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tion to the Whale Route is the Great White Shark population. South Africa was the first country to protect this super predator of the ocean. The small town of Gansbaai offers exciting shark cage diving trips bringing you within touching distance of these masters of the ocean.

For ten days each September, the little quaint town of Hermanus is transformed and comes alive as thousands of visitors arrive at the annual Whale festival. The main attraction is to come and see the whales as well as enjoying flea markets, arts & culture and fantastic restaurants.

The best time to see the Southern Right whales is between June and November. Humpback whales migrate through our region between May and December and Bryde’s whales are found slightly further off shore all year round; making the Whale Route a top year round destination.

Other attractions in the area include wine tasting at the famous Hamilton & Russel Estate, strolling through the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, playing on the Arabella golf course and eating at the many lively restaurants in Hermanus.

Many visitors to this area combine a trip up the Whale Route with a stay in Cape Town, and a drive up the beautiful Garden Route. If you want to go one up on the rest of the safari world and tick off the Big Six, instead of the Big Five, then you can combine the Whale Route with a visit to one of the Garden Route Safari game lodges. Whale, lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – it’s a special occasion when you get to sit in the presence of all these great creatures in one vacation.

Speak to any one of our Travel Experts to help you plan your itinerary, or to advise you on what accommodation will best suit your tastes. There is plenty on offer in the area – all of it of a very high standard – and each has its own distinctive flavours and nuances. Our Travel Experts have spent time visiting each and every one so they are very well suited to give you the best advice you will find.

Cape Town



Top Destinations

Cape Town

Kruger & Surrounds

Garden Route


Fast Facts

Hermanus is the only place in the world to have its own whale crier. When you see a man with a funny feather in his hat wondering around the streets and blowing a weird kelp horn, it’s the whale crier alerting everyone of the whales whereabouts.

Insider Information
  • For some of the best Whale watching, make your way to the old Harbour in Hermanus.
  • If you are driving to the Whale Route from Cape Town, make sure you drive the coastal route through the little towns of Gordon’s Bay and Betty’s Bay.
  • A visit to the Harold Porter Nature Reserve en-route to Hermanus is worth a stop. There is a beautiful waterfall walk.
  • If you are a golf enthusiast there are two courses in the area – Arabella and Hermanus Golf Course.

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When To Travel
  • Definetely a year round destination, the Whale Route is blessed with a mild climate.
  • Summers are warm and sunny and are cooled by the pleasant sea breezes. Winters, although the rainy season, have many sunny days and are generally mild in temperature. The Whales visitbetween May and December (though the prime viewing months are August to November).
  • Early autumn (March) is idyllic with balmy days and the late afternoon mist comes straight off the sea. This mist is known as the legendary ‘champagne air’ that some claim to have healing properties.

We take pride in treating you as if you were friends or family. We want to ensure that your time in Africa exceeds your expectations, and that you’ll be back a lot sooner than you expected.

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