Cape Town is famous for many things but nothing could be more breath taking than the arrival of the whales in Walker Bay. The Hermanus Whale Festival celebrates this occasion and if the sight of the whales was not enough there is also lots more going on to keep everyone fully entertained.

Nature at it’s awesome best, The Hermanus Whale Festival

If you find yourself in Cape Town at the end of September, then the Hermanus Whale Festival is something that certainly should not be missed as the sights that are witnessed will quite literally take your breath away.

The Hermanus festival is timed to coincide with the arrival of the whales in Walker Bay and the vantage point from the cliffs around the Bay gives everyone the best seats in the house for the whale watching. Even though the whales are obviously the main attraction there is much, much more going on and and it is of little wonder why The Hermanus Whale Festival is so popular, with an estimated 130,000 people enjoying the event in 2011.

Other attractions include a wide variety of live music, comedy and cabaret shows as well as various markets but if you do miss the actual festival itself it is handy to know that the whales stay around for eight weeks or so, so that spectacle can be enjoyed if you visit Cape Town later on in the year.

The organisers behind The Hermanus Whale Festival go to great lengths to ensure that it is bigger and better each year and due to the very nature of it all it can only get better and better which is great news if you are lucky enough to experience what is regarded as the very best festival that Cape Town has to offer.

A recent addition to the festival and one which is proving to be extremely popular is the Endangered Species Marquee. Adults and children alike are left spell bound by the way that this subject is presented to them and the focus is on the plight of the rhino as well as the marine life. The setting and everything that is going on around the festival seems to make the terrible situation regarding endangered species hit home even more and that can only be described a good thing as people take a keener interest.

As you would expect, local food and drink produce plays a major part in The Hermanus Whale Festival and that only adds to the experience. The Two Oceans food and entertainment marquee in particular is where you will find some real local delicacies and what could be better than taking a picnic onto the cliffs to watch the whales perform a show which not many people around the world can say that they have also experienced.

There are various events which take place through out the festival, these include long distance swims and marathon runs for the more energetic visitors but even if your idea of exercise is no more than a walk around the local markets followed by a leisurely lunch, you will not be disappointed.

Several festivals around the world lay claim to offer an experience which just cannot be matched but in the The Hermanus Whale Festival, every ounce of that claim is very richly deserved because the sights and experiences that await you would be very hard to be matched elsewhere.


  1. efpierce says

    Just being close to these beautiful, majestic creatures is enough to make one’s heart race and pulse quicken. It has certainly given me a new perspective on our ocean dwelling mammal friends.

  2. Chris Romans says

    The Hermanus Whale Festival sounds like my cup of tea. I like the idea of being able to see a natural sight like these whales in all of their pristine beauty, and for some of the events going on in the area like the Endangered Species Marquee that you highlighted here to emphasis the critical importance of maintaining the environment so we can continue to celebrate natural events like these in our world.

    Some time ago I had the opportunity to go whale watching and managed to see a few in the process, and the Hermanus Whale Festival seems like it would take this up a notch (or two!) for sure. This is definitely one of those festivals I am going to have to jot down, and maybe one day when I have the money to travel a bit more, take a trip and enjoy the sights!


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