Every year around this time, hundreds of Southern Right whales make their way from chilly Antarctic waters to the warm waters of Walker Bay in the Western Cape, all coming for one particular reason, parturition.
The whales prefer to give birth to their young in the warm shallow depths of the bay, where the young would be most comfortable in.
Over the years, the Hermanus Whale festival has grown into an event that attracts both locals and international visitors, who are guaranteed sighting of the whales during their visits.
The festival is however not only a celebration of the whales’ parturition. It also incorporates different activities, including a variety of cultural and entertainment events.
South African authorities beefed up security ahead of the annual event to ensure safety for the visitors.
“Tourism is part of our economic drivers and provider of jobs for the youth. We must work hard in protecting this industry,” Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said.
The new-born whales will be prepared by their mothers for their return journey back to the deep waters of the Antarctica, where their will feed on krill and grow in size.