Whale season is well and truly underway in the southern hemisphere, and the marine protected bay at De Hoop Nature Reserve is hosting a spectacular show this winter and spring. Watch Southern Right whales fluke, spy hop and breach from the elevated vantage point of the pristine dunes and tick world-class whale watching off your bucket list.
“Every year from June to December the southern right whales spend time at the South African coast, where they either give birth and nurture their calves, or engage in mating and social behaviour. De Hoop is one of the most important places along the South African coastline for the southern right whales…the region from St. Sebastian Bay to De Hoop is regarded as the most important nursery area for right whales on the South African coast.”
- Whale Biologist, Katja Vinding
New whale moms, protective of their young, tend to favour the protection of the bay and shoreline - making the lookout points at De Hoop Reserve ideal for sightings.
“It’s not uncommon to see hundreds of whales in the bay at a time. I once heard someone describing an aerial experience as if looking at matchsticks floating on water – that’s my favourite description. The amount sometimes feel incomprehensible, but we have the numbers to back it up – when we say hundreds, it’s hundreds.”
- De Hoop Collection’s Owner, William Stephens
While the whales can truly steal the show, there are plenty more activities to keep guests entertained at De Hoop. De Hoop Collection, the accommodation arm of the reserve, offers some guided activities including birding, marine walks, and boat trips along the vlei. Accommodation options range from self-catering cottages to more upmarket suites so choose your bed and don’t forget the binocs for 2017 whale season, now on.