Thousands of people flocked to the Hermanus International Whale Festival at the weekend

Cape Town – The community of Hermanus was bristling with activity and chatter as its Hermanus International Whale Festival drew to an end on Sunday.

The whale watching festival was returning to the community’s shores after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is said to have drawn thousands of local residents, and international and domestic tourists to the town.

The town’s local leaders have shared how thrilled they were to host thousands of people at the event, which also kicked off the start of the whale watching season.

Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) speaker Masizole Mnqasela said the Hermanus International Whale Festival was an important spectacle for the global economy.

“I cannot express how thrilled and excited I was to see the turnout this weekend,” he said.

“Given the contribution of the festival to the tourism economy and the development and growth of the province, it is one of the great events that is known globally for its contribution to the ecosystem and biodiversity. This is something that needs to be supported by all governments,” Mnqasela said.

Whale Festival committee chairperson Jeanette du Toit said: “All events and activities during the whale festival are focused to create awareness on how to protect the whales and all our marine wildlife who share our coastal waters.

“The festival takes place at the end of September, which is the peak of whale activity in the region.

“From whales to dolphins, sharks to starfish, our oceans provide us with air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat.

“I believe our visitors enjoyed the unbelievable sightseeing opportunities while also learning about the plight of the endangered creatures in the Eco-Marine Tent, which is one of the festival’s main attractions, drawing in everyone from young children to adults,” Du Toit said.

Overstrand Municipality mayor Dr Annelie Rabie said she was thrilled and honoured to open the whale festival.

Cape Argus

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