The coastline from Cape Town to Hermanus offers some of the best whale watching opportunities in the world. Every year, usually between June and the end of November, hundreds of Southern Right Whales arrive along the coast to mate and calve, often sheltering within a 100 metres of the roads and paths that thread their way along the steep rocky shoreline. The whales, females are larger than the males, reach 12 – 15 metres in length and spend most of the southern hemisphere summer feeding in the icy plankton rich waters of Antarctica.
Once arriving in the shallow waters on the coast the animals can easily be seen from the shore. New born calves regularly stay close to their mothers in the shallows and can easily be seen from shore.
The Southern right whales are often joined by Humpback whales but they usually move further north to their calving grounds between Mozambique and Madagascar.
Whale watching, if the weather is co-operative and it is the right time of year, is very easy along the Cape Coast. Many people stay at hotels or B&Bs on the Cape Peninsular, rent a car and drive along the False Bay coast. Other people opt to stay at the very popular town of Hermanus or other small villages. The premier viewing areas can easily be driven through in a day.
Some people may wish to travel further afield to Plettenberg Bay although the whale population is not as dense.
In many areas, particularly between Gordon’s Bay and Hermanus, the road runs along the slopes of steep fold mountains which plunge directly into the sea and the elevation provides great visibility for whale watching. Although binoculars are useful for watching whales in deeper waters many of the animals come in very close to the breakers.
Others may choose to contact operators who