When whales are spotted along the Hermanus-coast, you’ll hear the world’s only Whale Crier blowing his kelp horn. The Southern Right Whale is called such because it was the ‘right’ whale to hunt as it floats when dead; is rich in oil and baleen, and is relatively slow moving.
The Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay showcases over 700 species of indigenous South African plants and 88 species of birds! 10 hectares are immaculately cultivated with wheelchair friendly paths winding between banks of fossil-age plants, wetland and dune displays and cool African montane forests.
Hermanus is home to the SANSA Space Science, formerly known as the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory. SANSA Space Science is the warning centre for Africa, one of thirteen regional warning centres around the world, which monitor extreme space weather and solar magnetic activity.
Great White sharks use their powerful tails to propel themselves through the water. The fins are only used for balance. Most sharks have 5 to 15 rows of teeth in each jaw. A tooth usually lasts a week before it falls out. Sharks keep replacing their teeth all their lives.
The African Penguin colony at Stony Point, Betty’s Bay, is the second largest land-based breeding colony in Africa. Penguins are best seen in the late afternoon when they return from their day’s fishing.
Stanford’s market square – used as a venue for a monthly country market and for the annual Welsh Pony Show – was proclaimed a South African Heritage area in 1995. The original farmhouse of De Kleine Riviers Valey (original spelling), built in 1785, is one of the oldest houses still in existence in the Cape Overberg.
One of the Overstrand’s greatest assets relates to the diversity of bird species found in the area: it hosts many sought after endemic species such as Cape Rockjumper, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Protea Seedeater, Cape Penguin, African Black Oystercatcher and many more. Further to this, several under-utilised and ecologically varied birding destinations such as Harold Porter, Fernkloof, the Vermont salt pan, Stony Point, Dyer Island and the world renowned “Cape Rockjumper site” at Rooiels need to be properly exposed to a rapidly growing bird-watching fraternity.
Baardskeerdersbos, home to a collection of artists and crafters, is located about 20km east of Gansbaai. The name “Baardskeerdersbos” in Afrikaans literally means “Beard Shaver’s Forest”. The accepted explanation for this name is that a species of solifuge inhabits the area, and that this insect is referred to as a “beard shaver” because it cuts hair to use for nest-building.