Whale Watching with the Table Bay Hotelon September 16, 2010
No trip to Sun International’s Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town in September is complete without a visit to watch the whales in Hermanus when the much revered Southern Right Whales make their slow migratory pilgrimage along the coast. Whale watching is one of the Cape’s most exciting draw-cards.
Southern right whales leave their Antarctic feeding grounds to seek out warmer waters. Hermanus, built along the shores of Walker Bay near the southern-most tip of Africa, is the home of the Southern Right Whale and in late September, these beautiful gentle giants congregate to mate and calve. They are a true marvel to behold!
Thirty seven species of whales and dolphins are found in South African waters, but the most common are the humpback whales and southern right whales (in spring), which are frequently encrusted with white barnacles.
Hermanus is geared towards whale watching and many vantage points have been set up to accommodate the hundreds of people who flock there for the Hermanus Whale Festival from 24 – 28 September. The festival consists of five days filled with music, theatre, sport and parties. The famous Hermanus Whale Crier will be around to give everyone the latest whale watching news.
In 2009 the festival attracted 100 000 visitors. The whales are always the star performers at the festival and will be joined on land at Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) Village where you can rock to the sounds of Amor Vittone, Sterling EQ and Andre and Tiaan on Friday, 24 September. On Saturday highlights include Karen K, Fredi Nest and Gift Gwe. On Sunday 26 September, the unstoppable Emo Adams will take to the stage at 21:00 – preceded by Unison and Dillon Lerm.
The best way to enjoy whale watching in Hermanus is to go on a whale-watching boat trip. The boat expedition also holds the promise of possible sightings of dolphins, seals, otters and a host of other sea-birds.The boats are big, comfortable and moderately dry. Boarding is easy and people in wheelchairs can be accommodated. The chance to be within metres of whales at water-level is simply unforgettable. The boat trip is about 2 hours.
The Table Bay Hotel together with Jarat Tours has put together a boat trip and lunch package for guests to experience whale watching in Hermanus in style. Starting at about 10h00 guests depart for Hermanus to be at the 12h00 ferry.
Guests return to land for a luxury picnic prepared by the Table Bay’s Executive Chef, at R350 per basket. A feast of season fresh fruit, a choice of either a salmon, beef camiette, roast beef, honey glazed ham or oak smoked chicken baguettes, roast chicken drum sticks, choice of Caesar or Greek salad, freshly baked pastries or croissants, assorted exotic nuts, biltong, and local cheese, preserves and biscuits.
Savour excellent sparkling wines from the Cape or freshly squeezed fruit juices which perfectly capture the natural charm of a beachside picnic.
Or you can enjoy lunch at one of the many seaside restaurants in Hermanus. Departure is at 16h00 and the drive back to the hotel is beautiful, taking you through the scenic coastal towns of Kleinmond, Bettys Bay, Pringle Bay past Rooi Els, returning safely to the Table Bay Hotel at around 18h00.