At the southernmost tip of Africa, the seaside town of Hermanus sees one of the continent’s most amazing natural spectacles when, for several months a year, Southern Right whales come to calve around beautiful Walker Bay.
The Cape coast hereabouts is an alluring mix of rugged sea cliffs, tranquil lagoons and warm wooded valleys lined with vineyards and orchards, and the area is also famed for its dolphins, penguins and great white sharks. If diving in a shark cage is a bit much, horse riding along the beaches or a wine tour in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley will allow you to appreciate Hermanus’ natural wonders in more relaxed surroundings. However you work up an appetite, you’ll need no excuse to indulge in the fresh seafood, organic produce and excellent wines.
Hermanus has mild climate and even the blustery winter season has plenty of sunny days. Summers months are dry and hot, although the sea breezes offset the temperature. Early March is perfect, with afternoon mists known as ‘champagne air’. The all-important whale-watching season is from July to late November, with activity peaking from August to October.