From June until November, Southern Right Whales are highly visible along the Cape south coast making this the perfect time of year for a whale-watching trip.
You don’t even have to go out on a boat to see them because Hermanus, overlooking Walker Bay is considered to be the best land-based whale-watching spot in the world. Southern Rights often come in close to the shoreline, sometimes appearing just a few metres from the shore.
Whale of a Time - South Africa.
Although the Southern Rights’ spectacular displays of raw power and elegant water acrobatics usually steal the whale-watching show, there is also a good chance of seeing humpback, minke, Bryde's and even killer whales. A qualified guide will be able to help you spot the difference.
From Cape Town to Hermanus take the N2 towards George. Turn left onto the R43 towards Hermanus.
The Southern coast of South Africa is incredibly scenic. Combine your whale-watching with visits to the penguins in Simon’s Town, ostriches in Oudtshoorn and the pachyderms of Addo Elephant National Park.
Look out for the annual Hermanus Whale Festival around the end of September.
Southern Right Charters
Tel: +27(0) 82 353 0550
Ocean Blue Adventures
Mob: +27 (0) 83 701 3583
Dyer Island Cruises
Tel: +27 (0) 82 801 8014
Hermanus Whale Cruises
Tel: +27(0) 28 313 2722
Tel: +27(0) 0827845729
Tel: +27 (0) 44 382 0321 / 0421
Cape Town Tourism
Phone: +27 (0)86 132 2223
Tel:+27 (0) 28 312 2629
Whale-watching from the shore is free! Contact a local operator for current prices of whale-watching tours.
From Western Cape to Eastern Cape coast there are many accommodation options, ranging from affordable campsites, hostels and B&Bs to luxury hotels.
From June until November.
Clear, windless conditions are the best for spotting whales. You should look out for the whale's blow, as it's usually the first sign of its presence. Other good places to see the giants of the ocean from the shore are at Plettenberg Bay, Algoa Bay and along the Wild Coast.
You can also go out by boat to view whales further out to sea. Whale tour boats are officially licensed to conduct close encounters and may legally approach whales to within a specified distance. It is then up to the whale’s natural curiosity to bring it closer.
Although Hermanus is perhaps the most famous whale-watching destination, there are excellent whale-watching tours leaving from Strandfontein, on the West Coast, as well as Lambert's Bay, Elands Bay, St Helena, Saldanha and Ysterfontein.
Great sightings can also be enjoyed around the Cape Peninsula and along the south coast to Cape Agulhas. This southernmost tip of Africa is a particularly rewarding spot for seeing Southern right cows and calves at play – up to 50 pairs at a time.
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