Driving east from Cape Town for a couple of hours along the coast takes you to a place called Hermanus. Originally known as Hermanuspietersfontein but shortened as the name was too long for the postal service! I was recently there celebrating my first year Wedding Anniversary! Yes lots of champagne and cake was devoured and a great deal of walking to burn it off and look for whales! It was an amazing experience to be able to see whales right from the coastal path and we just happened to be there during the Whale Festival!
Hermanus which is apparently the best known land-based whale watching destination in the world plays host to all kinds of activities and festivities during the whales calving and mating season. Any excuse will do! So while the whales do their thing the locals and visitors from far and wide celebrate to live music, braai’s (south african barbeque) and general milling about, with binoculars close to hand for when the world’s one and only whale cryer sounds his kelp horn to let you know where the whales are!
I have tried whale spotting from a helicopter in New Zealand but I have to say this was a far more natural (and cheaper) way to see them than whirring around in a man-made wasp! The whales probably prefer the peace and quiet too. Except perhaps for the sound of all the folks revelling into the small hours or maybe this is why the whales come back to this particular spot year after year to listen to the late night jamming!