Focus on Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa
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, 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 doubts a holiday for all: father could fish all day while the livestock grazed; 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 settled in the village.
By the early 1900's the village's cumbersome name had been shorted to Hermanus. The news of its beauty, healing air and excellent fishing spread further and further afield. It became fashionable in London's Harley Street to prescribe a visit to the 'champagne air' of Hermanus for convalescents.
One of the first regular visitors to Hermanus was Sir William Hoy, general manager of the South African Railways.
He ensured that Hermanus' nature beauty would stay unspoilt by blocking any attempt to extend the Bot River railway line to the village. His legacy is that Hermanus Station had no lines; no trains!
The rustic village, set in beautiful Walker Bay, was an excellent holiday venue. The hotel trade which started with the Victoria Hotel (now Astoria Village) and the Sanatorium (now the Windsor) had to expand to accommodate the demand. The Marine Hotel, built in 1902, became a fashionable hideaway for the English gentry.
Over the years, a growing awareness of tourism for economic stability has crystallised, with ecology being the watchword. With the sun and beaches in summer and the whales visiting the bay from June to December, frolicking mere metres from shore in the centre of town, Hermanus is a year-round delight.
Article by: Assist2Sell Hermanus - www.a2s-hermanus.co.za