Whale watching Cape town

Feb 12th, 2007, 03:51 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 12
Whale watching Cape town

We are planning to travel to Cape Town by year end. Can anyone offer some advice on whale watching opportunities there that time of the year?
xisco is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 04:28 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
The southern right whale visits the western cape from July through until the middle of December.
They can be sighted from kommetjie to Port Elizabeth, althou they tend to move from the upper east coast by October.

Perhaps the best places for shore based whale watching are the cliffs around Hermanus and Gansbaai. The ocean runs deep close to land in these areas which allows the whales closer to shore.

Boat based whale watching is probably at its best from the gans baai launch area.

Lastly if you are lucky you could see the humpback whale which also passes through at that time of year.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 10:04 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 154
The only thing I would add to mkhonzo's reply (which I fully agree with) is to suggest the Whale Trail, which is an overnight hiking trail in the De Hoop nature reserve. It's an amazing opportunity to see whales and the landscape. Online info from Cape Nature at http://www.capenature.org.za/index.php?fArticleId=433


HTH

Kurt

http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com/
kurt_a is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 12:46 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
xisco,

If you see a Southern Right whale in Western Cape waters such as Hermanus anytime after mid October I would say that you are mistaking it for something else. The whales frequent the Hermanus coastline from mid June to mid October. Thereafter they return to the Antarctic and you wont see them for another year. Believe me I have been watching whales in Hermanus and the surrounding area for 10 years and I know these dates are correct.

Mkhonzo - whales in Hermanus in December!!

Unfortunately xisco I dont believe that you can plan a Western Cape December journey with the intention of seeing whales however there is much else to do in our region so please dont give up on coming to visit us.

Hope this helps

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 01:04 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
Selwyn:
I SAID December because I meant December...
The SRW is there until the middle of December.
It is NOT seen up near Plett after October.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 03:35 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
mkhonzo,

Imho I believe you are incorrect in saying that you will see SRW in Hermanus in December. I dont want to become embroiled in any argument over this but it is very important in this thread to establish what is 100% correct as xisco is planning his/her journey and could well use wrong information to plan a trip only to find that a huge error has been made relative to his/her expectations when arriving in the Western Cape region.

To verify my whale watching experiences I simply went to Google and typed in "Southern Right whales Hermanus". Here are the first 3 sites that came up.

http://www.hermanus.com/whale-information.mv

http://www.ccapetours.com/whale-viewing.html

http://www.sportstravel.co.za/africa...c_hermanus.htm

All verify that you will only see the SRW in Hermanus between June to November. My experience has been that by the end of October you will be very lucky if you see one or two whales if any at all. Most of the Google sites after the above 3 verified the above dates. Furthermore you can take it from me that you will not find a good tour operator in the Western Cape
who will offer whale watching trips after mid October. What probably is most important is that even if you could (I say again I dont think you will) spot whales in December you will see one or two if if you are Furthermore to find the only 1 or 2 whales in Walker Bay is like looking for a needle in a haystack even if the needle is the size of a whale. So with that being the very small potential I ask why take the chance of planning a journey to see soemthing that is so low in percentage in terms of possible viewing.

Xisco please bear the above in mind when you do your planning as a mistaken choice can spoil a holiday.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 03:49 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
Selwyn.
I am not in the habit of offering misleading information, fact is I only post what I know and what I post is from experience alone. I do not make use of google, ananzi or others to verify my facts. I do however note that your reference to google has enlightened you somewhat as you now agree that the whales are evident beyond mid October.

Xisco is planning on visiting at the years end, if he/she heads out to Hermanus/Gansbaai area she could very well see SRW. From my experience they are there pretty much until the 15th of December. End of my story.

I know this because I was raised in the Cape, I dived regularly for kreef and perlemoen from hangklip to dairys den and westward beyond ysterfontein to paternoster including kreefde baai. I spent many years chasing whales, I have on occassion even swum out to see them off the coast of kommetjie toward long beach. The swims were done in the day when no regulations were enforced, in fact little or no attention was paid to the whales at that time at all.

Point is I have noted the whales up until December. If you wish I can dredge up some notes to substantiate my observations, but that seems like a hell-of-a-lot of trouble to assist someone who is not necessarily planning a trip around the whales, but rather looking to maximise thier chances of seeing them.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 08:48 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
Mkhonzo,

I never insinuated that you pass out wrong information on the board as a matter of fact I am 100% sure that you do you damndest to be honest, sincere and accurate in what you say. To top this what you say is always good to read and I believe generally full of lots of ideas and informatio.

I would also like to point out that I also do not use Google etc as a tool to evaluate Western Cape travel information as I believe there is nothing like hard earned experience to do so. All I was doing in my previous letter was trying to show you via an "internet methodology" as to what most feel about an issue.

I too am born in and raised in Cape Town and in the past 10 years have spent an enormous amount of time trying to find and watch whales on the False Bay coast as well as the Walker Bay area while accompanying visitors coming to Cape Town. One difference between me and you seems to be the fact I do not go diving in these and other regions. What I do however do is I host many visitors to Cape Town, like xisco, who come to our great country to see the whales and what I definitely do know is what their disappointment is like when they do not see them. I know this because after all protecting visitors from making these type of errors is amongst others what I do for 300 days of the year.

It is from this experience over many years (and I say again the same experience that many quality tour operators in Cape Town have) that I never advocate seeing the whales past mid October because when there are 80 whales in Walker Bay in August the period is called the whale season and sometimes spottings are one a minute while any time after October 15 could be labelled as a lucky siting.

To tell a visitor coming to SA that they WILL see whales between mid June through to mid October would in my opinion be deemed as being a responsible answer whereas if you told them that they WILL see whales outside of this period would in my opinion not be too responsible especially when they seemingly are planning their journey around the concept of seeing whales.

With that said I suppose there is a difference when you advise someone as a diver who has seen whales in December as opposed to someone who understands the rigours of sitting in a vehicle trying desperately to see whales when you know that there could be one or two out there that you will be very lucky to see. In a nutshell both pieces of information could be correct and honest but how practical it is to the visitor is a totally different story.

I am not going to take this issue any further as I am not here to prove to you that there are or are no whales in Hermanus in December because there is a MASSIVE difference between whether they are in Hermanus or whether they can be seen in Hermanus. All I am interested in is that xisco plans his/her trip correctly and enjoys Cape Town and its surrounds when visiting us. With that said it is my final opinion that if he/she comes to Cape Town in December with the specific aim of seeing whales the chances of seeing them are rather remote (if at all) and one factor that is DEFINITE is that he/she will be much better off to arrive on our shores before October 15 to see these wonderful mammals.

Over and out on my behalf for this thread.

Xisco enjoy Cape Town when you visit us.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa.
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 12:49 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 12
First, thanks to both of you for the advice and with reference to the he/she discussion, yes it is HE...
I am planning to travel there by year end anyway, but we are a group of 29 with children and was trying to guess what to do on Dec. 28th and 29th. Probably, Cape of Good Hope day excursion and visit to Cape Town (Table Mountain,...) would be a good option. I was only trying to know if whale watching is almost assured that time of the year before engaging all the group in such an excursion.
xisco is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 01:33 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 154
29??? WITH CHILDREN????

You brave soul.

December is too late to be assured of whales. I've seen them from time to time, but as Selwyn says, the odds really drop off.

Your thoughts for activities are good ones, but book early for your group as things can get crowded. You should get good deals for such a sizable group. There are some family-friendly destinations up the West Coast too -- !Khwa ttu and the West Coast Fossil Park make nice day trips with kids.

Perhaps you should start a new thread with that topic if you care to get beyond the whale discussion?

HTH

Kurt

http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com
kurt_a is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 03:39 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
Point taken Selwyn.
Now on a side, lets place a wager...I trust that an old dog can still learn new tricks?

Spend 8,9 & 10th of December standing on the cliff tops at die Kelders to see if you DON"T see whales.
If you do, I'll send you a bus load of tourists.

If you don't you owe me A TRIP AROUND THE Peninsula.
mkhonzo is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
PhillipG
United States
14
May 17th, 2011 02:31 AM
mariya
United States
7
Jun 22nd, 2007 06:24 AM
icuka
United States
5
Mar 12th, 2005 01:30 PM
tonka
Canada
4
Jun 19th, 2003 01:29 AM
dave
United States
4
Feb 23rd, 2002 02:08 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:58 PM.