Hermanus, Cape Town , South Africa.

Hermanus is a delightfully pretty seaside town, only an hour and half from Cape Town , which is sandwiched between the very scenic coastline of Walker Bay and a high lofty mountain range, afew kms inland.

Regarded by WWF and Greenpeace as being one of the world's best locations to watch Whales, it holds the annual week long Whale Festival at the end of September, which attracts over 100,000 eager Whale watchers. Southern Right Whales, Humpbacks and Bryde Whales are spotted, with the highest number of 172 Whales ever being viewed in one day in October 2006. (Whale watching season is from June to December each year.) Boat trips will take you out to sea to meet them up close, but cliff top viewing spots are everywhere, allowing you many very good vantage points to witness these huge gentle creatures slowly swim by.

Another major attraction is Great White Shark cage diving, which is based 50 kms around the coast at Gansbaai. This is THE place in the world to do this once-in-a-lifetime activity and has attracted many famous Movie Stars, Royalty, Music Stars and nature film and TV crews. It is extremely safe and an exhilarating experience to be really so close up to these large creatures. The best visibility is during the South African winters (May to August) with the sea sometimes allowing you up to 20 to 30 metres of clear water to view them slowly glide by. The sighting “hit-rate” is 99% all year long, with some trips having been known to witness up to 15 different individual sharks in only afew hours out at sea.

Set in a World Heritage site, the Cape Floral Kingdom is amazingly colourful and has 1000’s of diverse plant species, collectively called Fynbos. Hiking and walking in the mountains and the Fernkloof Nature Reserve is also a high delight.

With over 70 restaurants, 3 night clubs and many cafes in the town means that you will never go hungry, thirsty or bored. From - steaks, lobsters and prawns to sushi, Portuguese, Italian, French and many other culinary pleasures. Try Springbok steaks with chilli chocolate sauce, or Bobotie (a spicy Malay curry) and finish off your meal with a Dom Pedro alcoholic milkshake. Delicious!!

Hermanus also boasts its own Wine route in the valley called Hemel-en-Aarde (meaning “Heaven & Earth” – which is rightly named), where there are 7 amazing wineries to quoff well over 40 different wines, which range from soft white wines of Sauvignon Blanc, thro’ harsher whites like Chardonnay, to smooth Rose, to mellow reds like Pinotage and Pinot Noir and into “peppery” reds like Merlot and Shiraz. There is even one venue that has over 1,600 different types of wines, champagnes, ports, brandies and all manner of South African liquors available. Pinotage is a grape that is only grown in South Africa and is most definitely worth tasting, as it is a lovely mellow red that is easily quoff-able.

Hermanus offers so many other activities too, including - Sandboarding; Quad Biking; Micro-lighting over the Whales in Walker Bay and the spectacular tapestry of farmlands and open countryside; Paragliding off the mountains; Canoeing the vast lagoon areas; Kayaking in Walker Bay to meet up with Seals, Penguins, Whales and occasionally Dolphin; Horse riding into the mountains or along the long deserted Grotto Beach; Art and Craft Markets full of African crafts and souvenirs; Boat cruises on the sea or along rivers; Golf at 2 large 18 hole courses; Bird watching and a great Safari park is only a short distance away so that you get your African animal fix, plus many more activities.

Accommoda­tion establishments are very good and ranges from 5 star hotels, Guest Houses, Lodges, B&B's and Backpacker Hostels.

For those wanting a scenic and relaxed (or action-packed) holiday in South Africa , Hermanus has alot to offer and is well worth a 3 to 7 day stay.

For loads more info - check out - www.percytours.com