Things to do in
Hermanus

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Our most recommended things to do in Hermanus

Cape Town to Gans Bay: Shark Cage Dive and Viewing

1. Cape Town to Gans Bay: Shark Cage Dive and Viewing

You will be picked up from your Cape Town or Hermanus hotel in a luxury, air-conditioned bus, which will take you to the local partner's facilities opposite the harbour slipway. Enjoy unspoilt sea views with your complimentary continental breakfast during the safety briefing. Get kitted up in your 5mm wetsuits while still on land and head out to Shark Alley on Megalodon II. Once anchored, the sharks are lured by bait line to the cage. Viewing from the deck of the boat is almost as exciting as getting into the cage for an unforgettable close encounter. Approximately 3 hours at sea allows for more than one dive. The cage takes 4 or 5 people at a time on a rotational basis. There are drinks and snacks on board to enjoy while you warm up on the deck, before having another underwater encounter with these awe-inspiring apex predators. No diving experience is necessary for this surface cage dive, it's as easy as holding your breath. The onboard cameraman is there to capture this unforgettable experience for you and after viewing the day's footage back on land, while you enjoy a hot lunch, you can choose to purchase a souvenir USB. Enjoy land-based whale watching en route back to Cape Town or airport transfers at no extra cost.

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Gansbaai: Shark Cage Diving Experience

2. Gansbaai: Shark Cage Diving Experience

South Africa has privileged access to great white sharks … if you know where to go and when. Enjoy great white sharks face-to-face. Observing and diving with these creatures under the correct conditions and guidance is a wonderful experience. Even ‘anti-shark’ people return from an expedition or diving trip with love, and certainly respect, for the great white. This tour is without doubt the most successful white shark diving tour in the world: Working in the unique marine area off the southern Cape coast, the skippers log more contact with great white sharks than anyone else worldwide. Tour itinerary: · Breakfast at the stunning Lodge The continental breakfast consists of freshly made muffins, quiches, yogurt, cereals, toast and cold meats, tea and coffee. · Your day at sea and a lecture on board The skipper of the day gives a short lecture on the Great White Shark and explains how the tour supplier works with the sharks in the area. You will spend 2 to 4 hours at sea, depending on how often the sharks visit the boat. Be sure to ask as many questions as you can think up! · Diving and viewing The cage takes 6 people at a time. Each person spends about 20 minutes in the cage. All scuba equipment, including 7 mm wetsuits, is provided – you don’t need a scuba licence to cage dive. · Afternoon refreshments On your return to dry land, you will return to the Lodge for a light lunch. · A DVD of your trip A professional videographer will film your trip.

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From Cape Town: Full Day Tour to Hermanus

3. From Cape Town: Full Day Tour to Hermanus

Every year, from June to December a magical event takes place. The Southern Right Whales come to bask in the warm waters off the Hermanus coastline. This beautiful gift of nature cannot be missed when you are in Cape Town. This full-day whale watching and sightseeing tour will not only take you the Hermanus coastline, but will guide you along the scenic coast. Led by a registered tour guide the route will take you through the charming seaside towns of Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay. You will also have the chance to visit the famed Harold Porter Botanical Garden, the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, the Eglin region and Sir Lowry’s Pass. Of course, the highlight of this trip will undoubtedly be taking the time to watch the whales frolic in the warm waters. As an added option you are also welcome take a boat to look at them more closely. This tour is the perfect option for those looking to take part in a unique Cape Town experience.

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Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

4. Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Hermanus is one of the best destinations worldwide for watching marine mammals, with spectacular seasonal visits from southern right and humpback whales and year-round sightings of Bryde’s whales and enormous pods of dolphins. Experience this marine safari that awaits you! The purpose-built catamaran ensures maximum passenger comfort and spectacular viewing opportunities. During the tour, the friendly crew is on hand to make sure everyone has a great experience, from helping get the perfect photo to serving complimentary light refreshments. The guide, a whale specialist, will interpret the marine life encountered en route and provide insight into the behavior of the whales while the action is taking place. The expert videographer will ensure the best footage is captured. The team add that personal touch to ensure that you have a great experience, and work under the motto "Observing, not Disturbing". All tours are weather permitting.

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From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

5. From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

Join the most prolific Whale Watching Operator in the Hermanus area, launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders, proven to be the best area with the highest concentration of whales on the South African Coastline. Along the way hear about local commentary of whales, and facts about right whales. Learn about the habitats and their feeding processes. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and other marine life. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, false killer whales and enchanting African penguins. This tour offers a great selection of marine life, that you can get up close with wild animals. Relax without ethical dilemma as you support businesses that celebrate animals in the wild. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

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Gansbaai: Shark Cage Diving

6. Gansbaai: Shark Cage Diving

Begin your excursion into the thrilling marine environment of South Africa with continental breakfast alongside a safety briefing by the boat’s skipper. Then, head out on a 20-minute boat ride to an area known for being brimming with sharks and other majestic ocean denizens.  Once you’ve arrived, you can make the choice to watch the sharks from the raised observation deck, or to be lowered into the water in a metal cage for a true adrenaline rush. Watch a variety of sharks circling you, comfortable in a provided wetsuit, and safe behind the specially-designed cage. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, stingrays, and other wildlife on top of the sharks. Afterwards, you’ll head back to land for lunch, and to watch a video clip of the day’s events over coffee, tea, and biscuits.

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Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 5-Day Safari

7. Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 5-Day Safari

Experience the best of South Africa's Western Cape and look for wildlife in spectacular national parks, such as Addo Elephant National Park. Take part in a host of available optional activities, including a bungee jump off the world's highest bungee bridge and a tandem sky dive from 10,000 feet. Choose from a range of accommodation options and sleeping arrangements, including shared dormitories and bathrooms to save you money! Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas (D) Depart Cape Town/Stellenbosch early on Monday morning and head for Hermanus. Please note that shark cage diving clients will be picked up very early in the morning by the diving operator and will miss the first half of this day’s itinerary. Follow the scenic coastal road, stopping at Betties Bay to view a colony of endangered African penguins. Spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for the hundreds of Southern right whales during whale season (July to November) as well as its many shops, restaurants and markets. Drive to Cape Agulhas in the afternoon to discover the southernmost tip of Africa. Visit a viewpoint known as the “real” place, and see where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Stay the night in Cape Agulhas/Struisbaai. • Included activities: Penguins at Betties Bay • Optional activities: Shark cage dive; whale-watching boat trip (in season, July – November). Day 2: Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn (B, D) Travel along scenic Route 62 on route to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the “Ostrich Capital of the World,” and experience South Africa’s longest wine route. Discover the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided adventure tour, and then sample the local wine. Spend the night in Oudtshoorn. • Included activities: Local wine tasting; Cango Caves adventure tour Day 3: Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield (B, D) Head over the spectacular Outeniqua Mountain Pass after breakfast, and explore the Wilderness National Park. Canoe up the Touw River through indigenous forest, enjoying the abundance of birdlife along the way. After about 40 minutes, swap your canoes for a 2-kilometer hike along a boardwalk to a lovely waterfall and rock pools. Next, go to the famous town of Knysna via the spectacular Lake District of the Garden Route. Explore the upmarket town, filled with curios, restaurants and a picturesque waterfront, where you can have lunch and do some shopping in your free time. Continue to the Knysna Heads viewpoint for some spectacular views over the Knysna River estuary and Indian Ocean. Spend the late afternoon exploring Sedgefield and its beaches, and enjoy the spectacular views before you retire for the night. • Included activities: Canoeing and hiking in Wilderness National Park Day 4: Sedgefield – Tsitsikamma – Addo (B, D) Enjoy breakfast, and then depart for the Tsitsikamma National Park. Stop at Bloukrans Bridge to see the world’s highest bungee jump bridge along the way. There will be plenty of time for adventure seekers to test their courage should they choose. Spend the afternoon in Tsitsikamma National Park, and discover its unique combination of indigenous forest and Indian Ocean coastline. Benefit from a wide choice of activities in the park, including long and short hikes, crossing a suspension bridge or swimming. Leave the Garden Route in the late afternoon, and head for “Big 5” country at Addo Elephant National Park. Stay the night at the Avoca River Cabins in the Addo area. • Included activities: Entrance to Tsitsikamma National Park • Optional activities: 216-meter bungee jump at Bloukrans; treetop canopy tour Day 5: Addo Elephant National Park – Port Elizabeth Spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park for up to 2-3 hours. Look for indigenous animals in the 28,000-hectare national reserve, including approximately 600 elephants along with Cape buffalo, lions, black rhinos, warthogs, zebras, eland, kudu, hartebeest and many more. After an exciting morning of game viewing, drive to Port Elizabeth for a drop off at the location of your choice between 13:00 and 14:00. • Included activities: Entrance and 2-3 hour drive through Addo Elephant National Park by tour vehicle • Optional activities: 2-hour open vehicle game drive with an Addo Elephant National Park field guide

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Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

8. Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas The tour departs from Cape Town/Stellenbosch and heads to Hermanus. The tour follows the scenic coastal road and includes a stop at Betty's Bay to see a colony of endangered African penguins. Spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for playing home to hundreds of Southern Right whales from July to November. The town also features many shops, restaurants, and markets. In the afternoon you'll drive on to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, where you'll see the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Day 2:  Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn Travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the ostrich capital of the world, via scenic Route 62, South Africa’s longest wine route. Sample local wines before experiencing the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided tour. Day 3:  Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield After breakfast head over to Outeniqua Mountain Pass, where you'll explore Wilderness National Park by canoe. Enjoy an easy paddle up the Touw River through the indigenous forest, admiring the diverse local birds along the way. After about 40 minutes, leave your canoe behind for a 2-kilometer hike along a boardwalk that leads to rock pools and a lovely waterfall. Afterwards, head to the famous town of Knysna via the beautiful Garden Route Lake District. This small, upscale town is filled with curios and restaurants, and also features a waterfront where you can grab lunch and do some shopping.  After leaving Knysna, head to the Knysna Heads viewing point to enjoy views of the Knysna River estuary and the Indian Ocean. Spend the late afternoon exploring the beaches of Sedgefield. Day 4: Sedgefield- Tsitsikamma - Addo After breakfast, head off to Tsitsikamma National Park. En route, you'll stop at Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s tallest bungee jump bridge, standing at 216 meters tall. You'll spend the afternoon in Tsitsikamma National Park, which features a unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The park has a wide range of activities on offer, including hikes of varying lengths, a walk across a suspension bridge, and swimming. In the late afternoon, depart the Garden Route for Addo. Day 5: Addo-Wilderness/Mossel Bay Spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. You'll get up to 2-3 hours to roam the 28,000-hectare national reserve, home to approximately 600 elephants and various other animals, including cape buffalo, lions, black rhinos, warthogs, zebras, elands, kudus, hartebeest, and many more. After an exciting morning of game viewing drive back to the heart of the Garden Route where you will stay overnight in Wilderness or Mossel Bay. Day 6: Wilderness –Mossel Bay - Cape Town After enjoying breakfast, stop in Mossel Bay to spend some time on the gorgeous beaches, hike the Cape St. Blaize trail along cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean, and visit the famous Diaz Museum complex, which commemorates the first known European exploration around the tip of Africa. Return to Cape Town/Stellenbosch in the early evening.  The more adventurous can try a 10,000 foot tandem skydive or sandboarding on the longest dune in South Africa. Arrive back at Cape Town/ Stellenbosch in the early evening.

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Full Day Trip to Hermanus from Cape Town

9. Full Day Trip to Hermanus from Cape Town

This circular tour takes you over a mountain pass to the seaside town of Hermanus. This town, nestled between mountains and the sea is not only very beautiful but offers some of the best shore based whale watching opportunities in the world (August – November). Close sightings of the Southern Right whale are likely. On the return journey we follow the coastline with the possibility of further sightings of whales (and even the possibility of sighting dolphins). On the return journey you will visit Bouchard Finlayson Wine Estate for a wine tasting near Betty’s Bay to have a look at the penguins (optional, for own account and time permitting) before returning to Cape Town in the afternoon. On Sundays, a stop is made at stony point instead of wine tasting at Bouchard Finlayson.

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Western Cape: Safari and Whale Coast 2-Day Private Tour

10. Western Cape: Safari and Whale Coast 2-Day Private Tour

This private tour itinerary is designed with the esteemed safari-seeker with limited time in mind and offers a comprehensive look into Africa’s unofficial “Big 6”: whales, penguins, lions, buffalo, rhino, and elephants. With a guaranteed window seat, you’ll be sure to see ever exhilarating moment first.  Day 1: Cape Town to Botlierskop (D)   After an early-morning pickup, set out from Cape Town and head along the spectacular Clarence Drive, winding along the coastal road and marvelling at the dramatic twists where the ocean meets the mountain slopes. From a visit with adorable Betty’s Bay African penguins to spectacular land-based whale watching, your first day is a coastal dream with picture-perfect views of dramatic ocean scenes.   Continue on to the little hamlet of Hermanus, known around the world for its unparalleled land-based whale watching. Set off on a light hike amongst the indigenous fynbos to get the perfect vantage point to see the jumping whales. June to November is whale season in Hermanus, and the bay sees huge numbers of calving southern-right and humpback whales pop in to wave a fin at onlookers. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the magnificent surrounding scenery and intricate sights and smells of fynbos lining the paths.   After lunch, head towards your luxurious base for the night, Botlierskop Private Game Reserve. This 4200-hectare private reserve has sprawling views of the Outeniqua mountains and the Indian Ocean. Home to four of the Big 5, Botlierskop offers a host of unrivalled wild game viewing options. Your hideaway takes the form of a colonial-style tented suite, taking glamping to a whole new level and offering all the creature comforts of luxury living. Dinner under the brightly sparkling sky is included at the African-inspired lodge.   Day 2: Botlierskop to Cape Town (B)   Day 2 begins with a 3-hour sunrise 4x4 game drive. Rise early as the bush awakes, and expect wild encounters with giraffes, elephants, Cape mountain zebra, buffalo, vervet monkeys, waterbuck, endangered white rhino, and more. Your expert game ranger is meticulously trained to spot animals and follow their tracks to ensure you get sensational sightings. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive apex predator, the lion.   This adventure will be followed by a full breakfast. Then, choose either an immersive 1-hour horseback safari or a 30-minute indulgent bush spa treatment. After the morning’s indulgences, you’ll arrive back in Cape Town by late afternoon.

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What people are saying about Hermanus

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 420 reviews

We went there at the end of the whale season. On the day of our tour we received a call that our whale watching was canceled due to the bad weather and that we could be rescheduled for the next day. In the morning it should also be more likely to see whales. We then did the 9 o'clock tour the next day and actually saw a mother with a calf and a single whale that came very close to us on the boat. Countless penguins and seals could also be seen. A great, exciting experience!

Our driver was on time and friendly, and stopped at a lot of good places. He was very good. Going out on a boat to watch whales is NOT included in the price. We did this and saw two whales, but sea rough making it slightly unpleasant.

The trip was wonderful, food and accommodation were excellent. Our guide was Cindy - amazing, funny and positive person. We managed to see everything, impressions will last for a whole year. Thank you.

Very well organized company with a nice big boat. In advance you get free coffee + tea and an introduction to the world of whales. You even get a bottle of water for the trip.

It was a super organized tour, great guides and wonderful impressions. You got a lot of information and to see the whales up close.