It’s the spectacular annual visits from the southern right and humpback whales.

Every year, southern right whales migrate from their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica to warmer climates, reaching the South African Whale Coast in June and will stay till early December. These coastal waters will then teem with the giant mammals, mating, calving and rearing their young – and giving whale-watchers spectacular displays of raw power and elegant water acrobatics incredibly close to shore.

The annual Hermanus Festival is a celebration to the return of the southern right whales to the coastal waters of Southern Africa. All events and activities during the festival are focused to create awareness on how to protect the whales and all our marine wildlife who share our coastal waters.  The festival takes place between 27-29 September, which is the peak of whale activity in the region.

Over a period of 3 days, this fishing village will once again bursts into life when thousands of visitors descend upon the town to join in the festivities of this popular event.

Now in its 28th year the Hermanus Whale Festival, is the oldest and largest festival on the South African whale coast calendar and while the whales are predominantly the star performers at the festival, these gentle giants will be joined on land by entertainers and musicians, an array of food stalls, kiddies activities and events suitable for both the young and old.

This year’s programme will include land & boat-based whale watching, arts and crafts, a Street Parade, an orchid show and the Whales and Wheels Classic Car Show. Expect to linger for hours inside the Live Music Marquee, and the Old Harbour Music Arena where various local artists will be performing over the three days of the festival.

The festivities will also include Marine Mammal &Eco Talks, Kiddies Whale of a Beach Clean- Up in the Old Harbour and on the Cliff Path, kiddies’ movies and entertainment. The very popular Pirate & Mermaid Treasure Hunt is extended over two days and will once again have lots of giveaway prizes! Everyone who plays wins a prize!

The festival is a free event, stretched along the elevated promenade, looking over Walker Bay and Gansbaai.


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