Hermanus, between ocean and whales
The Southern coast of South Africa is enchanting, long beaches and cliffs where the waves of the Indian Ocean crash.
The scenic route that winds along the coast, the Garden Route, is a well-known route by travelers all over the world because of the ocean views, the quaint landscapes and the many water activities.
Among the activities that can be practiced there is the adrenaline Shark Cage, that is, the bath among white sharks, protected by a steel cage, surfing, boat trips or kayaking and above all whale watching.
Along the coast of the Western Cape about 110 kilometers from Cape Town, overlooking Walker Bay, is the town of Hermanus, one of the most famous whale watching resorts.
Hermanus is probably the best place in the world to watch the whales directly from the mainland; you can walk through the Cliff Path, a path that winds along the coast from one end of the city to the other.
This town is therefore a compulsory stage of a trip to South Africa, especially during the winter and the Southern spring, ie between July and November, when the Southern right whales and the humpback whales come here to reproduce and to paw, you can easily see it jump or simply vent a few meters from the shore.
The waters of Walker Bay are the perfect place to give birth to the little ones, they are warmer and sheltered than the open ocean and the waters of Antarctica, where these huge mammals live for the rest of the year.
To see the whales there are more options: you can go out on a boat, you can take part in a panoramic flight, you can simply walk along the ocean drive and stay in the terraces that stretch to the bay and, for the more adventurous, you can go out in the sea by kayaks, accompanied by experienced guides, and feel the adrenaline flow into the veins for a close encounter with these huge animals.
In our case, we opted for the "terrestrial" solution, the path, that has many cetacean informational posters along its way, it is very interesting, and the panoramic terraces on the bay are well done, and while expecting to see the whales, you can play with the rock hyraxes, that jump from one rock to the other.
We spent a few hours whale watching, and after a few hours it seemed they did not want to show, we saw at least 7, they came up with water and blew loudly and then drifted off, lifting their giant tail out of the water .
A whale then delighted all those present with real stunts, jumping repeatedly out of the water, for nearly two-thirds of its length, then impacting again on the water, lifting a cloud of water and splashes, great!
Two festivals dedicated to whales are held in Hermanus, one in August to celebrate the arrival of the cetaceans and one in September, when even the laggers reach the South African waters.
For those who would like to deepen the topic, the Old Harbor Museum is the museum dedicated to the history of the relationship between the city and the whales.
Whales are not the only attraction of these places, exploring the coast by boat or by car allows you to enjoy breathtaking views of the cliffs and the ocean.
South Africa: Hermanus - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi