Whales in the Cape, South Africa

By Bushtracks
August 23, 2022

It is well known that one of the best spots in Africa for whale watching is the Western Cape region of South Africa. At certain times of the year, hundreds flock to the Western Cape’s shores to marvel at these gentle giants frolicking in the coastal waters with their calves.  

The best time for whale watching in South Africa is from August to November, when the whales gather for the breeding season. Calving typically occurs between August and September, however whales can be spotted from as early as July.  

Here are our top picks for whale watching in the Western Cape: 

Hermanus:
One of the top destinations for whale watching is Hermanus, a two-hour drive from Cape Town. Perched on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, visitors are bound to be delighted and enthralled by these colossal creatures.  

Gansbaai:
Gansbaai is another whale watching spot that won’t disappoint. Here you can enjoy sightings of both Southern Right Whales and Great White Sharks from land, boat, or an aerial tour.  

Chapman’s Peak:
Arguably one of Cape Town’s most scenic routes, Chapman’s Peak Drive offers the perfect whale watching opportunity without leaving the city. The route runs between Noordhoek and Hout Bay, not only offering spectacular scenery, but glimpses of Humpback whales, Brydes whales and dolphins too.  

Cape Agulhas :
Humpback whales are easily spotted in large pods along the shores of Cape Agulhas coastline. Southern Right Whales have also been known to make an appearance here, as well as orcas.  

De Hoop Nature and Marine Reserve:
As one of South Africa’s most diverse nature reserves, the area encompasses a mountain range, pristine beaches, exquisite sand dunes, and local fauna. This Marine Protected Area is ranked as one of the most vital whale nursing areas in the country. 

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