What took me sooooo long??
I have asked myself this question every day since I moved to Hermanus in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. I used to stay in Johannesburg, until I decided that it was time for a change. When looking for a new home I fell in love with Hermanus.
I always wanted to live in a place, where people go on holiday.
Hermanus ticked all the right boxes.
Mountains with hiking trails on the one side, the ocean on the other side and the Hemel and Aarde Wine Valley right in the middle. There are also lots of restaurants and cafes situated in old and new buildings, surrounded by art galleries, interesting shops, markets and even Flamingos feeding in a salt lake nearby.
Hermanus is the best land based whale watching site in the world and we even have a dedicated and the worlds only, whale crier, who sounds his kelp horn to announce, where whales have been sighted. We see a lot of Southern Right Whales, from July to November, but also Brydes Whales, Orcras, Dolphins and Cape Fur Seals all year round. There is a Penguin colony nearby and all of the above can be seen from our 16km Cliff Path which stretches along the coast and connects a number of blue flag beaches and ocean pools with each other.
For the brave ones, there is shark cage diving and if you are lucky you might see a Great White Shark and off course our resident Bronze Whaler Sharks.
I love hiking and there is nothing better than an early morning hike in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, there is no other place on the earth, where so many different species of Fynbos and other plants can be seen growing in such close proximity. There has been a species count of over 1300 plants on 1800 hectares of land. For any nature lover this is a most rewarding experience. There are 60km of walking trails with exceptional views.
Now for some fun facts about Hermanus, the Hermanus Railway Station has no railway line, because a Scottish born William Hoy, the youngest General Manager of the SA Railways ever, saw, what the railways did to small towns and once he and his wife had discovered Hermanus to be the perfect holiday destination early 1900, he decided to keep Hermanus a village with fresh air and actively opposed the railway line. The Hermanus Station, which was build in anticipation is the only railway station in the world to never had a train arrive or leave from it.
But this story has another side to it, because there is no railway interfering with magnetic pollution, we have the South African National Space Agency situated on our door step. They form an integral part of the worldwide network of magnetic observations and assist in monitoring the near-Earth space environment and early warnings and forecast of Space Weather. If you book a place, they will welcome you for a free tour every Wednesday morning.
We also have a dedicated Safari-vehicle picking guests up from their guesthouse for a tour through the Hemel and Aarde Valley (Heaven on Earth), visiting the numerous wine farms for wine tasting and driving you from one farm to the next.
There is so much more to do, like archery, quad biking, mountain biking, paragliding, surfing, kite-surfing, drumming, shooting ranches, kayaking, fly-fishing, the annual fine arts festival in June, golf, swimming, diving, hiking and off course relaxing.
Lastly I should mention one of the worlds most scenic routes, the R44, it connects Cape Town with Hermanus. Don’t miss it if you come to visit.