12 September 2016

The Right Way to Whale Watch

Though better known for its geographic diversity, natural beauty and wildlife, South Africa remains one of the best places to get close to these gargantuan yet gentle giants.

Every year, from July to November, the Southern Right whales migrate from the icy Antarctica to South Africa’s warmer waters to mate, calve and rear their young. Not forgetting their sardine feasts! Unbeknown to them, these captivating creatures create spectacular acrobatic displays metres from the shore that attract people from all over the world!

Distinguished by their large bodies, barnacled heads and beautiful blowholes, like every other whale species on the planet, they’re endangered!

Whale watching waters in SA run along our eastern coastline from Hermanus through to Plettenberg Bay on the border of the Eastern and Western Cape. With over 1,500 miles of coastline it’s confusing to know where to stay, so we’ve put together some suggestions:

Hermanus, the self-proclaimed Whale watching capital of the world, guarantees whale sightings during the months of September, October and November by land, boat or scenic flight! With a painless and pretty scenic two-hour drive from Cape Town it’s just far enough to convince yourself to stay there for a night, or two! The obvious choice for us would be The Marine Hotel perched on the Walker Bay cliffs with unequalled vantage points! The neighbouring coastal town of De Kelders offers the closest land-based whale watching in the world and is great for a day trip!

Half an hour from the madding crowds of Hermanus, nestled between mountain and sea, is the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Grootbos Lodge a deliriously beautiful five star eco-paradise in Gaansbaai is a whale watching haven. An hour’s drive east of that, in yet another peaceful and pristine nature reserve, is De Hoop. Home to one of the most uniquely located properties and frankly, one of our best kept South African secrets, Morukuru Ocean House is obligatory if you’re heading out this way!

The last stop? Four hours’ drive from De Hoop is Plettenberg Bay - rich in marine life and a tip-top, cliff-based whale and dolphin watching spot!

These magnificent, majestic creatures that pay us a yearly visit are a reminder to set aside mankind’s insatiable needs, and endeavour to save our seas!



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