Information about whale watching in Gansbaai

Whale Watching in Gansbaai - a Whale of a Show!

If life is a cabaret, the Southern Right Whales found the perfect stage for a 6 month long fully-booked Whale of a Show. These gigantic mammals just love the Gansbaai area and its people.

Where else in the world do they gather annually in such great numbers to give close-up and enchanting performances to their awed spectators? Or swim and cruise gently along surfers, swimmers and boats as if to hand out their signature to goofy-eyed, clapping groupies?

Whether it’s the aphrodisiacal abalone in the water that lures them here all the way from Antarctica to come and make love and babies, or the serenity of the unspoilt environment, is still um, well, a whale of a question!

But one thing is for sure: the Gansbaai waters and surroundings seem to be just right for the Southern Right Whale. Hundreds of them flock here annually between July and December to mate, give birth and frolic in the surf. 

The entire coastline between Pearly Beach in the south and Hermanus is world-renowned for being one of the best whale watching spots in the world. One does not have to look for them - they are all over and not shy to boot. Whether one watches them from any of the many vantage points along the rocky shores, or from one of the many whale watching boats, they regularly come to within a few metres of their spectators. At night, their unmistakable blowing and grunting can be heard up to 2 km away. The world’s only whale crier is found in nearby Hermanus.

Watching their antics and joyful escapades along their newborn calves at close range is an exhilarating and enthralling experience not to be missed.


What you need to know:

  • The official whale watching season is from July to December, but some even stay till March;
  • Gansbaai is also known as the Big 2 Town after the great many Southern Right Whales and Great White Sharks that flock here;
  • Whale Watching Boat trips are offered daily in and around Gansbaai, as well as in Hermanus. The whales are used to the boats and often follow them or play exuberantly around them;
  • An estimated 2 200 of the world’s whale population of 5 000 annually visit the South African waters;
  • The Southern Right Whales are internationally protected after they almost became extinct in the 1930's due to ruthless commercial hunting practices.