If you're looking to spot a whale, first few things you'll hear people say is:
“Hermanus has best land-based whale watching in world” and “You're sure to see hundreds of whales breaching from waters off rocky cliffs to West” or “You'll definitely see them lob tailing from vantage point of golden beaches to East”.
And this indeed is a fact.
Every year, like clockwork, whales return to Hermanus for their yearly rendezvous in Walker Bay, carrying out their annual rhythms of mating and calving.
Considering what people actually understand about Southern Right Whale - named because it was “right” whale to hunt – whales perspective will always be something mysterious and unknown.
What we do know is that they prefer warmer waters of Walker Bay for a breeding ground rather than cold waters of their usual haunt, Arctic Circle.
According to calendar they can be seen from July to November. What areas of Walker Bay or time of day to expect them is hard to say. But there is one expert in Hermanus who is sure to know.
The Whale Crier of Hermanus
If you've never heard of Whale Crier of Hermanus, it’s because Hermanus is only place in world to have one. If you're interested in whales this is one whale expert you definitely need to meet.
Pieter Claasen was first to lift a horn-shaped tube of kelp to his lips at age 11, sounding first base notes announcing arrival of whales. Since then, his predecessor, Wilson Salukazana, has become Hermanus's second whale crier.
He answers any questions posed to him about whales…
Wilson can tell you where they come from, what kinds there are in bay and even names of aerial stunts they perform. He also knows best coves along shore and places where you can get within 20m of these gentle submariners.
However, his most useful service is a system for notifying whale enthusiasts by coded calls issued from his kelp trumpet.