Hermanus Bay Western Cape South Africa


I haven’t posted on my blog since settling earlier this month in Onrusrivier – a few minutes’ drive from better known Hermanus Bay. Onrus is a beautiful seaside town and whale-watching destination overlooking Walker Bay. It’s surrounded by Voëlklip Beach and Grotto Beach.

Grotto Beach

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During peak whale watching season –  August to mid-December – Southern Right Whalesbecome part of the Onrus seascape”!

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“When sitting at a restaurant about to devour a delicious meal, don’t be surprised when everyone drops their cutlery with a yelp of glee and rushes to the edge of the balcony for a closer look at the frolicking whales. They’re a sight not to be missed!”

Right Whales breed in the sheltered bays of the Cape coast, spending up to five months a year there. “They pass their time playing, courting, and nursing their calves, often just metres from the shore, providing spectacular land-based viewing.”

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“Hermanus is about breathing fresh ‘champagne air’, drinking crystal clear mountain water, watching marine life from your restaurant table, visiting the richest Floral Kingdom on earth, and satisfying your palate with exquisite food.”

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There are many hiking opportunities in the area, including Fernkloof and Kogelberg Nature Reserves. Both known for “minimal human interference and exceptional diversity and quality of fynbos”.  Another option, the easy Hermanus Cliff Path, hugs the seafront and passes over cliff tops and beaches. During whale season, you can sit on wooden benches along the path and enjoy a birds-eye view of the exciting whales, coastal Fynbos, and over 200 species of birds.

Kelp forests along the coast nurture abalone and crayfish. Further out to sea, seasonal visits of Southern right whales, Humpback whales, and dolphins make Hermanus, an eco-destination.

Breaching Right Whale

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“You can do anything from mountain climbing to deep-sea diving with an excellent choice of other outdoor activities.”

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Fernkloof Nature Reserve

Outdoor enthusiasts stroll along coastal paths or hike for days through mountain ranges. Water babies can surf, swim, sail, dive, kayak, and watch whales from rocky outcrops or boats. Foodies can dine in style or enjoy wine estate picnics. “No matter your taste for life, Hermanus adventures await your discovery.”

Hermanus War Memorial, Commemorating Fallen Heroes of WW I and WW II

It’s wonderful here, but ironically, I’ve suffered from a flu-like allergic reaction to endemic fynbos and have struggled with congestion, inflammation, sneezing, and coughing. I will need to take antihistamines continuously but after a few weeks the symptoms are improving. Local pharmacists say that fynbos allergies even plague some locals. Many are resigned to taking antihistamines and using nasal spray year-round.

Disa Ferruginea

5 thoughts on “Hermanus Bay Western Cape South Africa

    • Well apparently fynbos allergies occur at any time of year and the plants in this specific area (Hermanus) are unique and not found elsewhere in the world. I’ve grilled the pharmacists and my doctor in Cape Town who has been sending through prescriptions. Have been 100% miserable and no energy – *big yuk*. It feels like itching from inside out but the chest congestion is the absolute worst. I hope it subsides and it’s definitely getting better. Would not be able to live like this long term. Although we have lots of pollen in Oregon – nothing like this!

      • I wonder if Bisolvon would help for the chest congestion. I use it whenever I have mucus on the lungs (a leftover from measles as a child). I so admire your energy and fitness, so you must be feeling terribly ragged at the moment. Hope it clears soon.

  1. The whales are coming now and I saw two playing for about an hour yesterday – flukes in the air, blow spouts! It’s really hard for an amateur to photograph them but they are amazing and September will be a good month. Makes it worth suffering a bit from the fynbos….

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