Between June and November each year – give or take a couple of months at each end, South Africa’s coastal waters become calving and mating grounds for whales that migrate here annually from icy Antarctic waters. Once secure in sheltered bays or close to river mouths, these immense creatures give birth to their young and then proceed to enter courtship, but the bonds that endure are those between mother and calf. Big on whales, the vibrant holiday town of Hermanus hosts an annual Whale Festival, with a Whale Crier at hand to herald the day’s sightings. Festival days are packed with music, theatre and lots of play. Faithfully, the whales return to our waters, year after year, never failing to delight scores of visitors with their graceful antics. How exciting it is to watch the breaching, blowing and lob-tailing of these incredible giants, so huge yet apparently unable to swallow as much as a tennis ball!