South Africa is one of the world’s top destinations for whale watching.
From June to December, the coast of the Western Cape becomes a breeding ground for the southern right whale) and the humpback whale.
Where to go for whale watching
One can observe this passage more or less anywhere in South Africa, including in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. But the best whales spotting, without a doubt, does occur in the Cape region. Even in Cape Town, people can often see, from their cars, whales breaching out or coming to surface to breathe.
Whale watching has become an outright industry, like shark cage-diving, though this is a seasonal activity. Boats leave from the shores of the False Bay, as well as from those of the Garden Route. In many places, like in De Hoop Nature Reserve or from the scenic path overlooking the cliffs in Hermanus, you can see whales from land. But there’s no doubt that if one wants to do the best whale watching as possible, has to join a boat trip from Gansbaai. The excursion lasts for about 2:30. Beyond the whales, one can spot dolphins, seals, penguins, several birds and, sometimes, even the Great White. There are usually 2 trips a day, weather conditions permitting.
Dyer Island is located 8 km off the small harbour of Kleinbaai, and it is the gate to a marine reserve with a rich birdlife, including the African penguin. Adjacent to Dyer Island, Geyser Rock is home to a colony of about 60.000 seals. The sea channel between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock is infamously known as Shark Alley.
Marine biologists are always present on the boat. This allows the guests to get plenty of information on the whales and the entire ecosystem, during the cruise.
When to go?
Whale watching reaches its peak between July and mid October. However, one can reasonably expect to see whales from June to December. The whale festival us held every year in September, in Hermanus.
Did you know?
That the Southern Right Whale gets its name for being the right whale to hunt, on the account of their slow motion?0