Whale Watching by boat
The whale ‘season’ in South Africa runs from June/July through to December. The peak months being September and October when the whales come right into the bays of South Africa to breach. Daily sightings are almost guaranteed. Hermanus is one of the prime whale-watching areas. So is Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. There are between 100-200 whales which come into Walker Bay (Hermanus) every year. The Southern Right Whale being the common species of whale to be seen. The huge oval head is covered in distinctive wart-like bumps called callosities. The adults are approximately 14-18 metres long and weigh about 40-80 tons.
How to see the whales?
You have three options for whale watching – by land, by sea and now even by air.
By land – The whales are often easily visible from the coastal path at Hermanus, which runs through the town. Another great spot is De Kelders, a sleepy little village close to Gansbaai. The whales often come very close to the shore at this spot. Similarly you may see whales in Plettenberg Bay from Robberg Nature Reserve and the beaches.
By sea – If you want to get closer, we can book a 2-2½ hour whale watching boat cruise. (Be sure to pre-book in season.) You are almost guaranteed whale sightings from August to early November. Trip times vary with weather and tide conditions and depart from Gansbaai, near Hermanus, and also Plettenberg Bay.
Dyer Island is 8 km from shore and is an official Bird Area. Adjacent to Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, home to a 60,000 strong Cape fur seal colony. The tour heads into the channel of water between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock known as the world famous ‘Shark Alley’. You will then head to the ‘whale hot-spots’ in the bay.
They have a trained marine biologist on every tour who will share their knowledge with you, keeping emphasis on the welfare and conservation of the animals. Their guides can also give you great photographic tips as to how best to capture these amazing beasts, as it’s not so easy!
The great thing about the whale watching boat cruises is that you are unlikely to see only whales. Around Dyer Island you could easily also spot bottlenose or humpback dolphins, Cape fur seals, hundreds of gannets and cormorants, African penguins and of course the Great white sharks.
By air – aerial whale-watching by plane (Hermanus only) – see the separate experience.
The price shown is the price of the Gansbaai whale watching scheduled cruise in season, (assuming that you drive yourself to Gansbaai). We can book transfers for you from Hermanus. You can also take the boat cruise in the summer months (from December to June) to see the penguins, birds and seals at a lower cost.
Please contact us for prices for Plettenberg Bay whale watching.