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Hermanus is a prime spot for whale watching in South Africa and the best time of year to do this is during the South African winter from July to November. Hermanus is a one and a half hour drive from Cape Town so makes for a good full day trip from there or, alternatively, you can stay in Hermanus itself (we recommend Birkenhead House) or at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, further along the coast at Walker Bay.

The number of whales present can vary from year to year but they are almost guaranteed to be there in numbers during September, October and November. This is a calving and mating ground of the southern right whale and females begin to arrive in June and July to calve in August and September. The males arrive from October so at this time the local whale population reaches its peak and sightings can be pretty spectacular.

There are several excellent viewpoints along the coastline including the Cliff Path, which offers 12km of some of the best whale watching in the world, stretching the full length of Hermanus. In some places, whales can be seen just a few metres from the shore.

If you are feeling particularly adventurous you might like to try a guided sea-kayaking trip for an adrenalin-pumping opportunity to watch whales and explore the coastline.

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