Hermanus

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Hermanus
Panoramic view of Hermanus
Panoramic view of Hermanus
Hermanus is located in South Africa
Hermanus
Hermanus
 Hermanus shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 34°25′S 19°15′E / 34.417°S 19.250°E / -34.417; 19.250Coordinates: 34°25′S 19°15′E / 34.417°S 19.250°E / -34.417; 19.250
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
District Overberg
Municipality Overstrand
Established 1891
Area[1]
 • Total 24.1 km2 (9.3 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 32,769
 • Density 1,400/km2 (3,500/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 55.9%
 • Coloured 16.8%
 • Indian/Asian 0.3%
 • White 25.4%
 • Other 1.6%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Xhosa 46.3%
 • Afrikaans 33.5%
 • English 12.3%
 • Sotho 1.8%
 • Other 6.1%
Postal code (street) 7200
PO box 7200
Area code 028
Hermanus's new harbour
"Whale Crier" (recently retired Wilson Salukazana)

Hermanus (originally called Hermanuspietersfontein, but shortened as the name was too long for the postal service), is a town on the southern coast of the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is famous for southern right whale watching during the southern winter and spring and is a popular retirement town. The whales can be seen from the cliffs in the town centre as early as June and usually depart in early December. They were once hunted in the nearby town of Betty's Bay, but are now protected to ensure the survival of the species. The Old Harbour Museum contains several exhibitions that explain the whaling industry, and the De Wetshuis Photo Museum houses an exhibition of photos by T D Ravenscroft that depicts the history of Hermanus. The Whale Museum houses a skeleton of a whale and shows an audio-visual presentation of whales and dolphins twice daily.

Location[edit]

Hermanus lies along Walker Bay on the south coast of the Western Cape. It is located about 115 km southeast of Cape Town and is connected to the Mother City by the R43 highway (or coastal R44 scenic route) and N2 motorway. The R43 continues to Cape Agulhas, the most southerly point of Africa. Hermanus is 40 km from Gansbaai, a famous spot where one can dive amongst the Great White Sharks. It is also notable that Hermanus still boasts a historic railway station building without a railway line. The founders of the town decided not to lay any tracks as this would have made Hermanus more commercial and felt that Hermanus needed to stay a small Fisherman's Village. To this day the locals still refer to it as "the village."

Facilities[edit]

The Space Science Directorate of the South African Space Agency, previously the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory (HMO), is a research facility of the National Research Foundation, and forms part of the worldwide network which monitors variations of the earth's magnetic field.

Hermanus Yacht Club is a popular yacht club in the Western Cape amongst the yachting community. It hosted the Laser (dinghy) 4.7 worlds in 2007 [2]

The Hermanus Golf Club in Eastcliff is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the country.

Hermanus is also famous to locals for its historic Windsor Hotel, Marine Hotel, various fishermen's cottages and old harbour.

Beaches[edit]

Grotto Beach is the largest beach in Hermanus and has also been proclaimed a "Blue Flag" beach which ensures its preservation as a world heritage site. Other beaches include Voëlklip, Onrus, Kammabaai and Langbaai.

Whales and whale-spotting[edit]

Hermanus has since August 1992 the world’s only Whale Crier (the first being Pieter Classen 1992-1998, then Wilson Salukazana 1998-2006,[2] Zolile Baleni since April 2006 [3]) who sounds his kelp horn to announce where whales have been sighted. Zakes Mda wrote 2005 the novel The Whale Caller (ISBN 0-312-42382-9) in which the Whale Crier of Hermanus is the main character, a man who gets enthralled by a Southern Right whale he names Sharisha.

Whale festival[edit]

Hermanus hosts an annual whale festival at the end of September, to celebrate the returning of the southern right whales to this bay during the calving and mating season. Prior to this main whale festival a "Kalfiefees" (or "Calf Festival") is held, to welcome the first whales (usually in August). Both festivals are characterised by food and craft stalls, environmental presentations and South African drama productions..

Around the town[edit]

The hinterland beyond the town is largely wild and mountainous and there are many remote areas of hills and wild ravines covered in prestine Cape 'Fynbos'. The thermals rising around the rugged heights of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve attract paragliders from all over the world.

Craft Markets[edit]

Various art/food/craft markets are held in and around Hermanus every weekend. In the centre of town is the Lemm's Corner Market where you can buy anything from clothes, art and food. The Food & Wine Market is at Hermanuspietersfontein in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village. The Hermanus Country Market is located at the cricket fields. [4]

Demographics (2001)[5][edit]

  • Area: 17.56 km²
  • Population: 10,500 (597.95 per km²)
  • Households: 3,840 (218.68 per km²)
Gender Population Percentage
Female 5,549 52.85
Male 4,951 47.15
Race Population Percentage
White 4,392 41.83
Coloured 3,709 35.32
Black 2,396 22.82
Asian 3 0.03
First language Population Percentage
Afrikaans 6,408 61.03
Xhosa 2,204 20.99
English 1,738 16.55
Sesotho 57 0.54
Setswana 15 0.14
isiZulu 12 0.11
Sepedi 9 0.09
SiSwati 3 0.03
Other 54 0.51

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sum of the Main Places Hermanus, Sand Bay and Zwelihle from Census 2011.
  2. ^ Hermanus News
  3. ^ New crier gets 'best job in town'
  4. ^ Hermanus Country Market
  5. ^ [1], Census 2001 — Main Place "Hermanus"

External links[edit]