South Africa: Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities Mireille Wenger Tours Old Harbour Museum
Tourism Tour: A whale of a time in Hermanus
Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, had the pleasure of being joined by the Executive Deputy Mayor for Overstrand Municipality, Lindile Ntsabo, for a tour of the Old Harbour Museum, some whale spotting with the world-famous Whale Crier and a walk along the cliff path to look at the art installations, in Hermanus.
“The Old Harbour Museum is a treasure trove of wonderful facts and interactive exhibits about whales. The Museum was assisted with funding from the Department of Economic development and Tourism to upgrade exhibitions which include a whale sound exhibit, a submarine exhibit, information panels, a ‘build a whale’ puzzle as well as whale video games.” Said Minister Wenger.
Mr Brendell Adams of the Old Harbour Museum said: “The Museum is at the historic heart of the village overlooking Walker Bay. This is part of the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot which stretches 200kms from Rooi Els to Quoin Point and is recognised for its incredibly vibrant and visible whale visits. The museum offers family friendly experiences to ensure Hermanus and the Overstrand remain a world class and competitive option for travellers. No less than five blue flag beaches are dotted along this stretch of pristine coastline. Where else can you observe the Southern Right Whales so closely? No wonder that Hermanus is famed as the best land-based whale watching in the world.”
Some notable upcoming events include:
- 21 to 24 September – Hangklip Kleinmond Ceramic Festival
- 24 and 25 Sept – Celebration of Fynbos, Fernkloof Nature Reserve, Hermanus
- 30 September to 2 October – Hermanus Whale Festival
- 29 September to 2 October – Stanford Culinary
- 2 October – Hermanus Art in the Park (every first Sunday of the Month)
- Every first Friday of the Month Hermanus has Hermanus First Friday ArtWalk – more than 20 galleries stay open till 20:00
Deputy Mayor, Lindile Ntsabo, said: “It is great to have the Minister here, to make sure that, during tourism month, Overstrand is on the map.”
Minister Wenger commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Dr Els Vermeulen about her research into these majestic water mammals and was lucky enough to do so while watching a mother and her calf splash about in the bay.”
Dr Els Vermeulen is the research manager of the Whale Unit at the University of Pretoria. The unit is part of the University’s renowned Mammal Research Institute and is an internationally established whale and dolphin research hub.”
“We were very pleased to welcome the minister in Hermanus, to not only showcase our beautiful town but also speak to her about the unique tourism opportunities this region has to offer, principally based on the whales that visit these shores. The large whales present in Walker Bay are of huge importance to our country from a heritage and culture perspective, as well as from a socio-economic perspective. Understanding these whales from a scientific perspective, I strongly believe that working together (research, community, tourism sector) we can provide national and international visitors with an incredible whale-based experience, leading to increased education, awareness as well as revenues for the town, ultimately all factors that are critical in the proper conservation of the animals that form the backbone of it all.” Said Dr Els Vermeulen.
Minister Wenger continued: “Another highlight was being joined by Ms Mary Frure, the Custodian for Hermanus Fynarts Fees, who walked us along the cliff path to view the interesting and thought-provoking pieces of artwork that have been placed for the public’s enjoyment.”
“Throughout my visit to Hermanus, there was a tangible buzz from the many visitors out and about. There is so much to do and enjoy in this wonderful town which is expecting a packed summer season, which is fantastic news for the tourism and hospitality industry in the region.” Concluded Minister Wenger
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