The resort town of Hermanus
with its adjoining seaside villages is
better known as the "Riviera
of the Overberg".
is internationally acknowledged by the
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as one
of the twelve best land-based whale watching
sites in the world, Hermanus
provides excellent sightings from its
rocky cliffs and coastal paths.
can be seen from as close as five metres
from places, just about guaranteed on
a daily basis, during September and October.
The world's only whale crier, Wilson Salukazana,
is also found in Hermanus,
where he blows his kelp horn, alerting
visitors to the whereabouts of the whales.
Other contributory factors to the success
of the town is the natural scenic beauty,
the mild-climate, the range of outdoor
activities available and the close proximity
Town, being a mere 140km
from the Cape Metropole.
has a curiously romantic history. A certain
Pieters earned his living
by selling his services to the farmers
as a shepherd-cum-teacher. He never remained
in one place for long. One dry summer
he passed through the valley of Hemel-en-Aarde
(heaven and earth), which lies behind
the mountains overlooking Hermanus.
A leper station had been established in
this secluded valley in 1814 and was a
retreat of the abandoned. Hermanus
heard from the lepers about the Olifantspad
(elephant's path), which climbed over
the mountains to the coast. Curiosity
Pieters to follow this path. He reached
the summit of the range and looked down
in admiration at the beautiful landscape
beneath him. It was intensely green, streaked
with rivulets rumbling down to the sea.
There was no sign of human habitation.
Following the path down to the shore,
found a congenial campsite at a spring.
Each summer it became Hermanus's
habit to camp at the place, which later
became known as Hermanuspietersfontein
(the spring of Hermanus
Pieters). There he tended his flocks and
herds, fished and wandered as free as
the wind among the wild flowers and the
heaths. In due course more people discovered
the potential of Hermanuspietersfontein
and slowly the news of its beauty, healing
air, fresh water and excellent fishing
spread to surrounding farming districts
and further abroad.
In June 1891 the place became a village
with its own management board and by the
early 1900's Hermanuspietersfontein
had been shortened to Hermanus.
The village of Hermanus
became renowned for fishing, especially
the kabeljou run from November to March.
On 28 April 1922 after five and a half
hours of battle, W R Selkirk landed the
greatest catch ever made with rod and
line up to date anywhere in the world:
a 4 m long shark weighing 986 kg was drawn
from the nearby waters at Hermanus.Another
record catch, also at Hermanus,
was a 50 kg kabeljou caught by the Hon
W P Schreiner.
The infrastructure of a stable and growing
community was being established - churches,
a school, a post office and magistrates'
court, police station and even a new,
modern harbour were built. Hernanus
was becoming a town of renown. Over the
years, with ecology being the watchword,
a growing awareness of the importance
for economic stability has materialized.
on pristine beaches
the mountainside with its diverse unspoilt
and abundant bird
life, or shopping,
& dining, the charming
village of Hermanus
offers something for everyone, making
it an ideal all-year-round tourist destination.
Hermanus Links Below
Major Attractions - Hermanus
Accommodation Search - Hermanus
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