If you have not yet heard or if you have lived underground for the last few years you would not know that Hermanus is a popular place to which the Southern Right Whale annually visits the local bay during mating season (Peak Season being August and September), although some can be spotted from the cliffs on the stunning cliff paths in the town centre from as early as June. Hermanus also has various museums and annual festivals drawing large crowds to view and learn more about these whales. The annual whale festival will be held from the 30 September thr 4th October.
Since you are now aware of the Whales and what Hermanus is famous for allow me now to share 5 facts about these Whales which may be interesting to you:
1 -The Southern Right Whale got its name during the time when they were hunted. They were referred to as the “right” whales to kill because they would float when dead (which made it easy for the whalers to find them in the ocean and transport them back to the whaling station. These whales have a large amount of oil (also called blubber) and baleen.
2 -The Hermanus coast is exactly what they need during this season. The shallow, sandy-bottomed and sheltered bays are perfect for mating, calving, nursing their young and resting.
3 -One female will mate with a number of males. There can be even up to 8 males at a time trying to mate with one female. During mating, there is a lot of activity on the surface (splashing, pushing, shoving, large and frequent blows). The males producing the most sperm is probably the father of the calf. This mating strategy is known as sperm competition.
4 -Females measure about 13.9m and males are generally slightly smaller, average weight estimated 41 tonnes. They have a life expectancy of about 50 years.
5 -Their number grows by about 7% every year, which means that their population doubles every 10 years. The number of Southern Right Whales should be back to what it used to be in 2040.
Their favorite food is small animals called copepods (a plankton crustacean) of which they consume up to 600kg per day.
If you are interested in being here during the whale festival why not look on our accommodation page. A word advice if I may, Book early! Whale Festival is usually a very busy period in Hermanus.