Annual Whale Festival in Hermanus?

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Apr 28th, 2004, 10:11 AM
  #1
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Annual Whale Festival in Hermanus?

Is the annual whale festival in Hermanus held during the same time each year? Is it a weeklong festival or only for a single weekend?

Is the Marine Hermanus the best place to stay in Hermanus or only the most expensive?

With my newfound love for South Africa, I am even considering bumping it ahead of Botswana as scaredtodeath loves South Africa and hates the small planes that Botswana would feature.
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Apr 28th, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Roccco,

The whale festival is from September 23 - September 26 2004. September 24 is a public holiday in SA (Heritage day) so this lengthens the event for locals.

The whale festival is a real gimmick. All that happens is tons of visitors are attracted to Hermanus for the weekend with traffic becoming a nightmare, retsuarnt bookings becoming impossible and suitable accomodation anywhere become dificult unless you book upfront very early. The trick is to go to Hermanus outside of the whale festival, after all the whales are there for up to three months.

Your summary of the accommodation structure in Hermanus is on the dot. The Marine is the best bit also the most expensive. Personally I stay at other Hermanus venues with the Auberge Burgundy ( http://www.auberge.co.za/) or the Windsor Hotel (http://www.windsor-hotel.com/) being my first choices BUT BUT please hear me out "these are NOT 5 STAR places". They are very basic and serve the needs of whalewatchers admirably in a non luxurious manner.

Another point is do not spend more than 2 nights in Hermanus over the coldish whale season as 2 nights are just enough to enjoy all that the village and its wonderful mammals offer.

Now Roccco let me introduce you to a top class event near to Hermanus where you will be able to enjoy whales, nature and 5 star hospitality { a la what std loves - however no shopping at Grootbos } This facility unfortunately comes at a bit of a price but is worth every penny.

Welocme to Grootbos.

http://www.grootbos.com/

Let the website do all the talking for itself but let me onc again add that a 2 night stay at Grootbos might be expensive but it is worth every penny spent.

The choice is yours to make my friend.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Apr 28th, 2004, 09:07 PM
  #3
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Thank you very much Selwyn. I probably would have hated the Whale Festival, the way it has been described.

I am familiar with Grootbas from previous research. It does look like a very nice place and with only 11 rooms, a very exclusive place. I think I would prefer time at Grootbas over time in the Cape Winelands or Garden Route and then move onto two nights at the Marine Hermanus. Although the dates may vary, I am very much considering an itinerary that looks something like this:

8/29/05 - Depart LAX
8/30/05 - En Route
8/31/05 - Arrive JNB. Transfer to Mfuwe (South Luangwa) by way of Lusaka. Three nights at Tena Tena (Robin Pope Safaris).
9/01/05 - Tena Tena
9/02/05 - Tena Tena
9/03/05 - Transfer (1.5 hour road transfer) to Chichele Presidential Lodge, also in South Luangwa.
9/04/05 - Chichele Presidential Lodge
9/05/05 - Chichele Presidential Lodge
9/06/05 - Transfer to Cape Town by way of Johannesburg and Lusaka. Late PM arrival. Four nights at Cape Grace or Twelve Apostles.
9/07/05 - Cape Grace or Twelve Apostles.
9/08/05 - Cape Grace or Twelve Apostles.
9/09/05 - Cape Grace or Twelve Apostles.
9/10/05 - Transfer to Grootbas for two nights. Cage diving / nature walks / horseback riding?
9/11/05 - Grootbas
9/12/05 - Transfer to Hermanus. 2 nights at Marine Hermanus.
9/13/05 - Marine Hermanus.
9/14/05 - Transfer to Cape Town. Transfer to Johannesburg. Overnight at Johannesburg Airport Holiday Inn?
9/15/05 - Transfer to Mala Mala for three nights.
9/16/05 - Mala Mala
9/17/05 - Mala Mala
9/18/05 - Transfer to Singita Sweni for three nights.
9/19/05 - Singita Sweni.
9/20/05 - Singita Sweni.
9/21/05 - Transfer to Joburg. 1 night at Michelangelo Hotel, just to soak in this amazing 2005 experience before returning home.
9/22/05 - Wave a sad goodbye to South Africa (& Zambia) and return home.
9/23/05 - Arrive LAX

Summary

Tena Tena (3)
Chichele Presidential Lodge (3)
Cape Town (4)
Grootbas (2)
Hermanus (2)
Johannesburg (1)
Mala Mala (3)
Singita Sweni (3)
Johannesburg (1)

If I could lose the first night in Joburg, I gladly would but that may mean a 5AM transfer from Hermanus back to Cape Town to allow for an early enough flight to Joburg to connect to Mala Mala.
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