The Ultimate Whale Watching Guide for 2018

Every year from June to October, the big ‘fish’ are in town all along the Western Cape coastline. The whales pass this way to calve and breed next year’s crop in the watery playground of the Atlantic.

Why Watch Whales?

It’s a true privilege to watch the interactions between mother and calf as well as the impressive acrobatic displays put on by the adults.

You can see them at selected spots around the city as well as further afield. With some luck, you may even be able to spot them from your sea facing self-catering accommodation in Cape Town.

You can also take guided boat tours out to see the whales. While the boats have an approach limit of no closer than 50 meters of a whale, this can be tricky due to the animals’ natural curiosity.

Whales are protected in all the world’s waters and have become used to the presence of boats, so they usually continue with their activities undisturbed during these tours and sometimes approach to get a closer look at their spectators.

If you decide to take a whale watching excursion, remember to wear sunblock and a hat. A pair of binoculars and a camera are nice to have. Always book your tour with a reputable licensed operator that is registered with Blue Flag eco-label and Fair Trade Tourism.

Where to Watch Whales

Boat based tours are available from Cape Town, but you needn’t brave the ocean to get a look at these important visitors. Some of the best vantage points for whale watching close to Cape Town are:

  • Overlooking the False Bay coastline at Cape Point
  • Along Boyes Drive between St James and Kalk Bay
  • Clarence Drive between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi Els
  • On the way to Simon’s Town from Muizenberg

About 2 hour’s drive from Cape Town, you will come across the world’s best land-based whale watching hotspot – Hermanus.

During the season, whales are big business in this hamlet. They even have a full-time whale crier whose sole job is to alert people to the presence of whales. He does this by blowing on a kelp horn. In the first week of October every year, the town hosts the Whale Festival with activities based around celebrating the whales.

A little further afield, Cape Agulhas offers the chance to spot southern right whale calves and cows.


Get on the Whale Trail

If you would like to see the world’s largest mammal at leisure along the Cape coastline, get in touch to book your self-catering accommodation right away.

The Ultimate Whale Watching Guide for 2018
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