September is the season of the Whale Festival, and the time that the Southern Right Whale comes into Hermanus. So, of course I was excited that we were bang on time for this event, and I was excited at the prospect of whale watching. So, we hired a sexy Range Rover vogue and off we went, on a scenic drive from Cape Town to Hermanus to see if we would be lucky enough to spot some whales!
Hermanus is about an hour and a bit from Cape Town, and is a quaint little town on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, where the Southern Right Whales come to breed every September. There is a lovely walking path by the sea, and sometimes you are lucky enough to spot the whales from the shore – they come that close! We however, chose to go on a cruise in the hopes that we were going to spot some large whales out at sea, and my wild imagination had the whales flipping and doing all sorts of acrobatics for us!
We hadn’t reserved any cruises in advance, however we were lucky to get to the harbour in time to join one of the Hermanus Whale Cruises. The cruise lasts about 2 hours and takes you pretty far out, in the hope that you get to see pods of whales and their calves. It was pretty cold out on the water, and for me, this may just have been the nail in the coffin of whale watching as the reality was so far from what I had imagined. We managed to see a few whales come up to the surface and blow out water, but no majestic flips in the air or gigantic splashes. Alas – the most exciting bit was seeing a whale flip its tail!
Back on dry land, we were ready for a spot of lunch and Lemon Butta, with its fresh sea food and great views of Hermanus and the ocean checked all the boxes.
The second adventure of the day was penguin watching at Stony Point, Betty’s Bay. This is home to thousands and thousands of African Jackass Penguins, who waddle on the beach and swim in the shallow waters of the ocean, which gently laps away.
There is a small entrance fee payable here, but you can spend a fair bit of time watching these clumsy, cute creatures and their antics. It is slightly different from Boulders Beach where you can walk among the penguins – you have to walk on a boardwalk here and observe the penguins from afar, but even then they are pretty close by.
Even though we didn’t get to see too many whales, this was still a pretty fun road trip! It made me all the more excited for what was coming next – the wine route! Keep posted….