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Hermanus – The Place To See Whales And More – Western Cape South Africa
The distance from Cape Town to Hermanus is 105 kilometers.
This charming seaside town dates back to the early 1800s, when a man named Hermanus Peters followed a path carved into the ground by a herd of elephants.
He was a teacher and a shepherd, who traveled south from Caledon on the elephant’s trail and approached the sea, where he found a new spring.
Hermanus Pieters decided to camp near a spring with good grazing for his cattle. This beautiful setting became known as Hermanuspietersfontein. When farmers began to hear of his success, they traveled to this new and fertile place. There were plenty of fish and the fishermen had great success.
In 1886, a church and a school were built in Hermanuspietersfontein.
In 1902 the postmaster complained about the long name, Hermanuspietersfontein became Hermanus. The city was filled with so much fresh sea air that it was common for doctors to recommend a trip to Hermanus for a patient’s health.
Walker Bay is where you’ll find Hermanus near the southern tip of Africa.
Home to the southern right whale, the city is overlooked by spectacular mountains.
The temperature averages 14ºC in winter, with many sunny days and mild with occasional strong winds.
In summer, the temperature is 26ºC dry and sunny, the extreme heat is calmed by the sea breeze. Hermanus is one of the best places to watch whales in South Africa and it has its own whale screamer – he announces his whale sightings with his kelp horn and urges everyone in town to go whale watching.
The Old Port Museum is an attraction of the city, which shows the old sea wall, old fishing boats – stone fishing huts. They show what was used for fishing in the early days. In the valley of Hemel and Aarde – outside Hermanus you can visit the Hermanus Wine Route. This area is quickly gaining a reputation for its excellent Burgundian varieties of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Great white shark diving, in a safe environment. Here you can experience the Great White Shark in its natural environment.
Most visitors come to Hermanus to see the whales.
The SOUTHERN THIEF whale is so named because it moves slowly and is the “right” whale to hunt. They are rich in oil and baleen (large food filter plates hanging from the roof of their mouths) and whales that swim in the water when killed.
Today, the northern right whale is almost extinct. Populations in the Southern Hemisphere have shown slow growth since international protection in 1935. There are currently estimated to be around 4,000 southern right whales, with South Africa receiving the lion’s share of visits to its shores each year.
The southern right whale is found between about 30° and 55° south. Whales migrate south in the summer to feed on krill, and north in the winter and spring to mate and give birth. They appear along the coast from May and remain until December. They can be seen in bays and inlets near the coast and near river mouths.
This whale can be distinguished by the absence of a dorsal fin and a V-shaped “bump”. Callocytes on the head of whales are real growths of tough skin that form different patterns in each individual and are used to identify them.
The beat of a whale is like hearing the breath of life.
A puff is a cloud of vapor formed mainly by condensation when hot breath comes into contact with cold air.
There is also oily mucus from the whale’s respiratory tract. Whales have large brains and are sensitive creatures. There is a strong bond between females and their calves. They are not aggressive towards humans and are gentle. Knowledge about whales is still fragmentary.
They need our protection.
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