After a fantastic time in wine country, our South African adventure continued via rental car to Hermanus.  Hermanus is best known for its whale watching and has been named by the World Wildlife Federation as one of the top 12 places in the world to spot these gentle giants.

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We chose a budget friendly boutique hotel in Hermanus called The Misty Waves Hotel.  Our experience there was fantastic!  Because we were on our honeymoon, the hotel upgraded us to a beautiful historic “Fisherman’s Cottage” on the hotel property.  The cottage was spacious and comfortable, and the hotel itself was just a short walk into town.

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From our hotel, we choose to walk along the cliff path winding along the craggy coast.  The coastline views were stunning!

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As we walked, we kept our eyes open in hopes of spotting a whale.  The coast of Hermanus is the mating and breeding grounds of the Southern Right Whale and they are frequently seen from the walkway during the winter and spring months (from June to November).

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Because we were there during the tail end of whale watching season (no pun intended), we knew that a chance of spotting a whale was slim, but in the thick of mating season whales can be seen as close as five meters from the cliff path!

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We followed the path along the coastline into the downtown area. In the central part of town, there are dozens of restaurants and bars which offer lovely terraces with a view of the water.  We chose one such terrace where we grabbed lunch.  Once we settled in and began to eat, we heard people yelling and running towards the coastline – a whale sighting!!!  Sadly, it all happened so quickly that I didn’t have my camera ready to snap a picture, but at least we spotted our whale while in Hermanus!

Following lunch, we strolled leisurely around town before heading to the beach.  If you find yourself in Hermanus, the central market is a great place to do your souvenir shopping, as the prices are much lower than in Cape Town.  The best beaches in Hermanus are a fairly long walk from the town’s center, so we chose to make the 10 minute drive rather than the 60 minute walk to the public beach.  The beaches were pristine and surprisingly not crowded.  The sand and surf made for a lazy afternoon before we headed back into town to grab a seafood sunset dinner on the coast.

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Even outside of whale watching season, Hermanus is a charming town to spend a day or two in.  However, there is another reason many choose to spend a night in Hermanus… it’s very close to Gansbaai, which is world-renown as one of best places in the world to dive with Great White sharks…

So, did I dive with the great whites?  You betcha. 

And, I’m alive to tell about it!   Details to follow…

Have you gone whale watching?  Where?

This post is part of a series on South Africa.  Click here to read more about my time on safari, what to do in Cape Town, my time in the Winelands and to find out whether I enjoyed whale watching and diving with great white sharks!

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