Where To Go Whale Watching In South Africa
Often referred to as the whale watching capital of South Africa, Hermanus is understandably at the top of our list. This little town is located on Walker Bay and is almost as famous for its incredible scenery as it is for its seasonal whale population.
By coming to the town, you can see southern right whales, which head here to breed and calve in the warmer waters. A unique and – we think – utterly charming thing about spotting these behemoths in Hermanus is the local whale crier. The world’s only whale crier, he alerts tourists and locals alike when whales can be spotted offshore by sounding his kelp horn.(image courtesy of altonfamilty ).
You see, unlike many destinations, you don’t need to go on a whale watching excursion to see these amazing creatures (though there are boats you can board for a closer look), as they are visible from the shore. Once you hear the whale crier’s horn, rush over to the coast to see them splashing about in the surf – it’s an experience you’ll never forget. As a quick tip, you can find fantastic tours to Hermanus – including those that focus on whale watching – through companies like Wanderforth.
De Hoop Nature Reserve
In the Overberg region of the Western Cape is our next suggestion, the De Hoop Nature Reserve. What’s exciting about this place is that some seven species of whale have been spotted here, including rare breeds such as Bryde’s and humpback whales. Of course, you can’t guarantee how many species you’ll see when you visit, but it’s an excellent choice for anyone keen to have the chance to spot several varieties.
De Hoop is perhaps best known for its offshore breeding ground of southern right whales (the species you can see in Hermanus), while it’s also worth bearing in mind there is plenty more wildlife to enjoy here too. So, while looking out for whales, also keep your eyes peeled for seals, porpoises and dolphins – see any of these and whales in quick succession and it’ll really throw the sheer magnitude of the latter into sharp relief.
We’ll finish up with Langebaan Lagoon, which is part of the West Coast National Park. One of the interesting things about the lagoon is that it’s just as popular among water sports enthusiasts as it is wildlife lovers, so it’s a great place to come if you fancy sprinkling in a little more variety to your break.(image courtesy of Tony Hawthorne).
As you can probably guess, southern right whales can be spotted here and, as with the above destinations, they come here to calve. We also recommend taking a look at a few of the islands on the lagoon to see a little more wildlife; for example, African penguins can often be viewed on Marcus Island.
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