Hermanus Whale Festival 2012
When: Late September
Where: Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa
Hermanus is a popular retirement town in South Africa, but is more popular as the land-based watching ground for Southern right whales who return in spring to the warm waters of Walker Bay from the icy ocean of Antarctica.
Because it is a traditional whale route, Hermanus was once a whaling center, the remnants of which can be found in the Old Harbor Museum. The whales were also hunted locally, but since the Grotto Beach (the largest in Hermanus) was given a “Blue Flag” designation and the Walker bay declared a sanctuary, whale population has been restored in the now World Heritage site.
The Hermanus Whale Festival 2012 was first celebrated in 1992 to provide cultural entertainment to whale watchers, although the efforts are mostly directed towards conservation of whales and the oceans.
About the Event:
The Hermanus Whale Festival 2012 is dubbed as the only enviro-arts festival in South Africa. Because the first festivities were conceived as a means to entertain town visitors which peak during the whale season, the festivities center around music, cabaret, street theater and stand-up comedy.
Inevitably, water sports like shark-cage diving, surfing and kayaking attract huge crowds. Abseiling, paragliding, mountain biking, marathons and half-marathons have also been incorporated to the festivities, and cooking events and kids’ entertainment are not left behind. While musicians, comedians and performers entertain the visitors, event organizers also provide lectures on issues pertaining to climate change and greener living to ensure that problems concerning humans and whales alike are discussed and information concerning conservation is disseminated.
The stars of the Hermanus Whale Festival 2012 are definitely hard to overlook. The massive Southern right whales heave and bob in the waters of the local bay, delighting visitors with leaping, lobtailing, canoodling, and nursing their young, practically taking residence in their usual spring haven after a frigid winter further down south.
This year, the whales are going to be heartily welcomed back into their spring habitat as the festivities kick off on September 28 and end on October 1.
The Hermanus Whale Festival 2012 is an excellent introduction to the rest of the province, Western Cape. While breaching whales by the hundreds is a huge tourist draw, the rest of the province itself offers eye-candy diversions to the eager traveler. The Western Cape is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Atlantic to the west, which makes for one extraordinarily magnificent coast. Cape Agulhas beckons with its wild allure, sweeping stretches of sand occasionally broken by rocky outcrops and fishing villages. The backdrop is complemented by towering peaks and wind-sculpted arid spaces. The vineyards of Cape Winelands are a must-visit for the vinophile.
South Africa is not only an arid landscape that we often think it is. More than the barrenness characteristic of this continent, there awaits a world teeming with marine wildlife, luscious greenery and turquoise waters.
Enjoy the Thrill of this year’s Hermanus Whale Festival 2012 in south Africa.!