Whales in Hermanus
In South Africa, and specifically in Hermanus, whale watching has become extremely popular. Some of the whales in Hermanus are Bryde’s whales and Humpback whales, but the Southern Right whale is the most densely populated of all Hermanus whales that visit the area. Every year about 100 whales gather to breed in Hermanus during the months of June to December, with as many as close to 200 whales in Hermanus spotted at one time. They also visit Plettenberg Bay during June to December and False Bay from July to October. We specialize in boat tours that take onlookers into the oceans to watch the whales breed, calve, and play in these areas.
The Southern Right Whale
Our beloved Southern Right Whale. Watching these beautiful creatures in Hermanus, South Africa, is an absolute delight. The total population numbers of the southern right whale are thought to be around ten thousand individuals. By studying populations found in South Africa, South American, and Australian waters, it has been found that these populations do not interbreed often. This is due to a mother’s choice to remain loyal to past breeding areas, and young females are able to choose this loyalty when they are able to breed.
The southern right is one of the most popular of whales in Hermanus , and is a species of baleen whale found in different regions during summer and winter seasons. During the summer, it’s found in the Southern Ocean, usually near Antarctica. In winter, populations disperse to warmer regions in order to breed, including waters near Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, Peru, Namibia, Brazil, Australia, and Madagascar, among other areas.
Female southern right whales can reach an average body length of up to 15 Meterst with a weight of around 50 short tons. Male’s testicles are thought to be the largest of any mammal species, reaching a weight of about 500 kilograms. Experts assert that this shows a need for sperm competition during the breeding season. This species develops thick layers of blubber, which keeps them warm in cold areas, but does not allow for migration to extremely warm areas, like tropical habitats. It displays a behavior known as sailing, where it will use its raised flukes to catch wind. This behavior is thought to be a form of play for the whales and can often be seen in South African and Argentinian populations.
Many populations of the southern right whale differ depending upon their location. These include populations in New Zealand, South Africa, and Brazil and Argentina. The population in New Zealand was once thought to be small, containing only eleven breeding females, but research conducted by the Department of Conservation and reports from locals has helped experts to better understand the whales located in that area. It has been found that large numbers of this species gather near New Zealand and can even be found near South Island. It has also been found that certain areas, including Te Waewae Bay and Preservation Inlet are extremely important for breeding whales.
Wherever you might go to see these beautiful creatures matters not, but Hermanus being one of the playgrounds for Southern Right whales on top of its beauty and popularity as a holiday destination, makes it a favorite choice among many for whale watching.