History of Hermanus

It was in the early 1800's that Hermanus Pieters, teacher and shepherd at the Caledon farm Boontjieskraal, followed the Elephant path down to the sea. He discovered a fresh spring where he could camp for a few months with his livestock in an environment of exceptional beauty.

Slowly the news of 'good summer grazing and fresh water, right next to the sea - bring the whole family!' spread to surrounding farming districts. The journey was an adventure by ox wagon with provisions for the months away from home. It was also no doubt a kind of holiday for all: father could fish all day while the livestock grazed and mother and children could enjoy the sea. When the winter set in they returned to the superior inland grazing. So farmers had discovered the area known as Hermanuspietersfontein, but it was the fishermen who settled here. With its abundance of fish and a good market, more and more families from the district settled in the village.

By the 1900's the village's cumbersome title had been shortened to Hermanus. The news of its beauty, healing air and excellent fishing spread further and further afield. It became fashionable in Harley Street, London, to prescribe a visit to the 'champagne air' of Hermanus for convalescents. With sun and beaches in summer and whales visiting the bay from June to December frolicking mere metres from shore in the centre of town, and the ever increasing hotels, guest houses, self catering establishments and Hermanus bed and breakfast accommodation venues, Hermanus is a year-round delight.