WHALE WATCHING GANSBAAI, SOUTH AFRICA

Whale Watching Gansbaai is open!

Whale Watching in Gansbaai is a truly unforgettable experience. Hermanus, the land-based whale watching capital of the world, is part of the Walker Bay Marine Reserve. The coastal town of Gansbaai is part of this reserve and is just a 25-minute drive from Hermanus.

Whale Watching Gansbaai, South Africa
  • SA DISCOUNT 40% 
  • R1450 – SA RATE R800
  • KIDS 5-11 R1040 – SA R300
  • KIDS UNDER 5 FREE
  • Location: Gansbaai
  • Bottled Water, Coffee, tea and muffins
  • Soup and Bread after Tour
Book this trip
Whale Watching Gansbaai

What will you see Whale Watching Gansbaai?

The three main whale species that visit our shores are Southern Right, Humpback and Bryde’s whales. The Southern Right Whales are the main species that we see every year. The good news is that their numbers seem to be increasing. The bulls are always first to arrive so that they can have the best chances to mate with the arriving females. The main reason for the Southern Right Whales coming to our coast is to mate or to calve. While they are here, they can often be seen breaching and landing back in the water, creating a massive splash. If you are near enough, the splash can clearly be heard. Spyhopping is also very common, with the whale sticking it’s head out above the water to seemingly have a look around. Lobtailing is awesome to experience, with the whale sticking it’s fluke or tail fin out of the water and bringing it down on the surface with a huge splash and a loud slapping noise.

Whale Watching and Eco Marine Tours Gansbaai description

All trips are weather and tide dependent and launch times may vary accordingly from those stated. Your launch time will be confirmed the day before.

The boat, Dream Catcher, is the first boat in South Africa to be designed specifically for whale watching. It is extremely comfortable and spacious, with onboard toilets, an observation deck for photography enthusiasts, a PA system and even a hydrophone! Dream Catcher is 14m long and complies with all the safety regulations set out by the marine authorities.

Once you have arrived at The Great White House, you will receive a brief introductory talk about the route, safety, and what to look out for. Passengers are fitted with comfortable life-jackets and waterproof jackets. Safety is of the utmost importance.

Whale Watching Trip length is between 2 and 2.5 hours, depending on sightings and weather conditions. All cruises depart from Kleinbaai harbour near Gansbaai. Dyer Island is located 8 km from shore and is an access controlled Important Bird Area (IBA) for the conservation of its many resident bird species, including African penguins. 

Adjacent to Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, home to a 60,000 strong Cape fur seal colony. These seals are present all year round. We will take you into the channel of water between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock known as the world famous ‘Shark Alley’. We will then take you to the whale hot-spots in the bay. With over a decade of experience, not only do we know where to expect the best whale viewings, but the whales have also learned where to expect us!

We pride ourselves on being both fun and educational. Each trip is led by experienced marine biologists and guides who will share their knowledge with you, keeping the emphasis on the welfare and conservation of the animal. Responsible tourism is our main objective so we focus on conservation, education, community upliftment and safety.

The boat is surveyed annually by the SA Maritime Safety Authority, conforms to its specifications and is licensed and fully insured for 50 passengers and 6 crew. Safety equipment includes a first aid kit, radio and cellular phone. All clients have to sign an indemnity form on arrival before they can ride, no sign no ride.

 Kids under 5 years old are free of charge.

When Is Season:: Eco Marine Trips – 01st January to 31st May:: Whale Watching Trips –1st Jun to 31st December. Seven days a week – weather dependent.

At the Great White House, where you will receive a brief introductory talk about the route, safety, and what to look out for. We then take a 200-metre stroll down to the harbour to board.

WeatherDue to variable weather conditions the trip may not always be possible and is therefore not guaranteed. Time-related itineraries are dependent on tides, weather conditions and the number of tours scheduled for a particular day.

What to WearAlways bring warm clothing as it is cooler at sea than on land. Comfortable shoes /takkies.

Things to bring: binoculars, camera, warm clothing.

Guests or SpectatorsAlways bring warm clothing as it is cooler at sea than on land. Please remember to use sunscreen. Please use anti-seasick medication well in advance if you are prone to motion sickness.

The Southern Right Whales are so named because they were seen as the right whales to hunt. Their curious and friendly nature made them easy targets. Harpooning was banned in 1937. They are easily distinguished by the callosities that form on their heads. It is where the skin hardens and thickens due to continuous abrasion. The callosities appear white because of large colonies of whale lice that inhabit the hardened skin spots. The whale’s back is very broad and has no dorsal fin. The unique long arching mouth begins just above the eye. These whales feed on krill, very small crustaceans that resemble shrimp.

Book this trip
Whale Watching in Gansbaai

The Bryde’s Whale, Pronounced “Bruudez”, can be seen here throughout the year. They measure around 13 meters (43 ft) and weigh 12 – 25 tonnes. They belong to the same group as the Humpback Whales, also filter-feeding on krill, using the baleen plates situated in the mouth. The body of the whale is very elongated and is a dark smoky colour. A variably sized white patch can be seen on the whale’s throat, with many individuals having a similarly shaped patch. Easy to spot, are the three ridges that extend from the blowholes to the tip of the mouth. Bryde’s Whales can also be seen breaching and tend to enjoy being at the surface of the water.

17 Years Experience

GANSBAAI ACCOMMODATION

Benguela Lodge

Benguela Lodge is an intimate, exclusive guesthouse offering air-conditioned accommodation and spectacular views of the ocean.

Need accommodation in Gansbaai? You have a choice of seven impeccably decorated bedrooms. Each bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and private entrance. A three-minute walk takes you to the rocks of what is named the Walker Bay Whale Reserve.

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept

MOSSEL BAY

Shark species in Mossel Bay include Great White and Hammerhead Sharks

VIEW MOSSEL BAY

When visiting Mossel Bay in South Africa’s Garden Route, then cage diving should be at the top of your adventure list! As the weather permits, Mossel Bay’s only operator goes out everyday. Since resuming operations in September 2020, Mossel Bay has recorded fantastic great white shark sightings.

The hottest great white shark sightings in South Africa this year were recorded from Mossel Bay. Great White and Hammerhead Sharks are included in the sightings.