Hermanus is a synonym for whales in springtime

16 September 2022

— by Lisa K Hill —

Especially in September, Hermanus has a symbiotic relationship with Southern Right Whales. We have an established pedigree of place in Walker Bay as their destination of choice whose magnetic migratory compass directs them to our warm coastal waters with precise punctuality year after year. You do not want to miss this episode in their journey. We are one of the top 12 best destinations in the world for whale watching and we are recognised by The World Wildlife Fund: the latter being an enormous contribution to the Southern Rights migratory protective mechanism.

Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit- Picture of the Year 2019 – Female Southern Right Whale, Maggie with calf

Here, in the bay – which The Marine Hotel directly overlooks with panoramic views- our seasonal migrants feed off the rich surpluses of krill as well as find sanctuary to breed during their ‘summer holiday.’

You are invited to witness this wonderful time of year with them. We are all momentarily sealed off from the rest of the world as we watch the whales in this special cove. Here, they are protected from predators and can look after their calves in peace; while we as observers, can remove ourselves from the demands and complexities of our lives.

How does one describe watching a whale in her natural habitat other than to be a privileged participant. People find themselves involuntarily mesmerised waiting patiently – before the sun rises and after it sets or scanning the cliff paths around Gearings Point – for them to emerge. Maybe they do maybe they don’t. You will have to wait and watch patiently.

Photo Credit: Unknown

When they do surface, the collective feeling among viewers is palpable. Especially during this time of year. There are no words to describe the mother and calf as they glide side by side swimming with andante rhythm. And then out of nowhere a whale will breach. Many images have been captured on camera, but none can linger in the mind if you are able to see this for yourself. They breach for many reasons but ours are well known to put on shows for humans. This is spectacular and so proximal you can see the barnacles on their skin, the mist coming from their spouts and the the joy in their eyes.

Amazing southern right whale breaching.

Photo Credit: Unknown

This is a special time of year in Hermanus. This month is also Heritage Month in South Africa. What better way to enjoy a few of these special days of your holiday than with our whales and us. At the Marine Hotel, you will have your own ‘pet whale’ as she has found her own special place right outside the ocean facing rooms of her temporary home. And she is not shy. You will see her first thing in the morning and just before evening veils her.

The Marine, part of The Liz McGrath Collection and a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property is the ultimate location for whale watching during whale season and only a 1,5 hour drive from The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia.
Have you had a great whale watching experience while staying at The Marine? Connect with us and share your experience
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