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Although Hermanus is great for land-based whale-watching, you get a different perspective on a boat trip into Walker Bay. Boats leave on 2½-hour whale-watching trips (around R900) from both Hermanus and Gansbaai.
Dyer Island Cruises. This company, which strives to create awareness about conservation, is a good bet for whale-watching, and the guides are full of information. You're likely to see some of the Marine Big Five—whales, dolphins, penguins, seals, and sharks—on the guided boat trip. Expect to pay R900 per adult. Transfers to and from Cape Town can be arranged. 5 Geelbek St., Kleinmond, 7195. 082/801–8014. www.dyer-island-cruises.co.za.
White Shark Diving Company. Shark diving is extremely popular (even Brad Pitt took the plunge), and Gansbaai has a number of operators working from the small harbor, including White Shark Diving Company. A 4½-hour trip (with plenty of adrenaline) costs around R1,350, including breakfast, snacks on the boat, and a light lunch after the trip. If you don't want to take the plunge—which you do in a cage, to keep you safe from the sharks—you can just stay in the boat and watch the sharks from the deck. Kleinbaai Harbour, 9 Kus Dr., Gansbaai, 7220. 082/559–6858. www.sharkcagediving.co.za.