A whale watching road trip

by CapeNature

Whale season is upon us down in the Western Cape, so we’ve gathered up some whale watching tips and tricks to make sure you get the most out of your trip along the coast to watch these magnificent citizens of the sea. 


A southern right whale breaching off the Overberg coast

Whale watching season is prime time to visit the Overberg, and if you put a little effort in, not only can you witness some of the best land-based whale watching in the country, but you can also experience the variety of wonders that the Western Cape has to offer!

For those coming from Cape Town, the first, and obvious, choice for whale watching is Hermanus. Renowned worldwide as the home of land-based whale watching the seaside town offers many prime spots to witness the famed southern rights frolicking in the bay. But if you’re not keen on braving the crowds at the annual Hermanus Whale Festival (where CapeNature is a partner this year), there are other options.

Of course, you’ll want to stop off at the Stony Point African penguin colony before you even reach the heart of the Cape Whale Coast, to witness the most vibrant African penguin colony on the planet. With entry set at just R10, it’s a must-do activity, with the opportunity to witness a large number of African penguins going about their daily business next to, around and even below the colony’s boardwalk.


After you’ve had your fill of the African penguins, your next stop will be Walker Bay Nature Reserve. This coastal reserve offers some of the best land-based whale watching around, with oftentimes hundreds of southern right whales flocking to the sheltered bay to calve their young. And while you’re there you can visit the historic Klipgat Cave and immerse yourself in the natural heritage of the area.

The view from inside the Klipgat Cave

The view from inside the Klipgat Cave

A little further up the coast lie the spectacular De Mond and De Hoop Nature Reserves. While De Mond is favoured by anglers, the coastal hike from the reserve office to Arniston presents many opportunities for whale watching in spring.

De Hoop, meanwhile, is famous for the Whale Trail, where you spend three of the five days of the hike walking along the coast, often seeing countless southern right whales in spring!

Whale of Trail 2016

Visitors can also take advantage of De Hoop nature reserve’s fantastic whale watching potential by visiting our private partners at De Hoop Collection, who provide accommodation, tours and fine dining to the public.

So get out there this spring, and become a tourist in your own backyard (and remember that access to all of the reserves above will be FREE during Access Week 2016, from 19 to 25 September)!


Published in Eco-Tourism

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