Skip to content Skip to footer

Hermanus Whale Festival

In 2023 the Hermanus Whale Festival celebrating its 32nd year as the oldest and biggest festival on the Cape Whale Coast in South Africa

We celebrate the annual return of the Southern Right Whales to the shores of Hermanus.

The Hermanus Whale Festival is a flagship festival – not only for Overstrand but also for the Western Cape and South Africa.  It is an internationally recognised as one of the 20 “must do” events in South Africa.

This iconic festival has been firmly positioned as an internationally recognized brand which has grown from humble beginnings 32 years ago to attract 75 000 – 130 000 visitors annual over a 3 day period.

Considering the location and the area,  as well as the unique habitats both on land and sea, it seemed natural to brand this festival as an ECO-MARINE FESTIVAL, the only one of its kind in the world. 

This fits with the Walker Bay being recognized as a world Hope Spot due to its rich marine life.  Hosting this festival in Hermanus focus on environmental education and conservation for three days which coincides with the start of the third term school holidays. 

The festival is extending participation with the inclusion of international conservation and tourism organisations in the 2023 event. 

Explore  |  Discover  |  Educate  |   Protect

whale festival header 1700x520 2017

Feedback 2022

Economic contribution to the area estimated at a conservative R55 million

  • Contribution to the area during the festival (over3 days) is estimated to be R55 million. Accommodation: 90% occupation.
  • Checkers & Pick &Pay restocked at 9 am (after opening at 7 am).
  • Wimpy, KFC and other food outlets reported their best sales ever.
  • Restaurants: 80 % increase from normal activity
  • Food Stalls were out of stock by Saturday afternoon and had to get extra supplies from out of town.

Visitors to the festival

  • Around 85 000
  • – 85 000 visitors in 3 days – The highest numbers of visitors were on Saturday and Sunday
  • Around 40 000 visitors rotate on the Hermanus Waterfront Area where Eco marine village with activities are situated.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Pirates & mermaids eco-marine Treasure Hunt at 12 o’clock saw around 2500 kinds each day participating
  • 10km Fun Run early Saturday morning: 240 people participate and around 2500 spectators on the route with 15 marshalls
  • 70+ Busses: There were busses bringing International Visitors, Families, Church and Youth Groups.
  • International visitors from UK, Germany, China, South Korea and the Africa continent.


Total reach for the #HermanusWhaleFestival hashtag and also TV, Radio, Printed media was 85Million in 2022

85M reach final


Television: – SABC; CCTV, CGTV/ a couple of YouTube movies & interviews


  • Radio Good Hope 3 days live broadcast from Hermanus – R660 000 (500 000 listeners)
  • More than 40 Live interviews and pre-recorded talks. (Leon and Jeanette)
  • Radio Stations: Good Hope FM, Heart FM, Radio 702, RSG, Radio Helderberg, Bokradio, 94.0 Hash Tag Radio, Eye Witness News

Digital Media Marketing:

  • Facebook Pages, Groups, Share, – 30 days -1.8 million members reach 6 million reach
  • Website: 80 000 unique visitors ( 35 day run-up to festival plus 10 days after festival), 827 000 page views, 3.4 million hits

Printed Media:

  • We got thumbs up from various magazines including but not limited to:
  • In-Flight: Open Skies, High Life SA, Sawubona, Cem Air, Mzanzi Travel, Fly Emirates, British Airways, Cabin Ready KLM, SAL
  • Travel & Lifestyle: Forbes Private Banking, Ocean, Condé Nast Traveller UK, Country Life, Fresh Living ( Pick& Pay consumer magazine, Edgars Club ( Consumer magazine), Hello Cape Town, Getaway, Decanter, Reise News
  • Newspapers: Burger, Cape Argus, Media 24, local newspapers

Hermanus Accommodation


Hermanus Tourism

Hermanus Business Telephone Directory


Subscribe to the Hermanus Whale Festival newsletter. We’d love to keep you updated with our latest news! We promise we’ll never spam.