Whale Watching in the Cape


With Whale Season on our doorstep, it’s evidently appropriate that we take a look at all the best places worth considering when we want to get up and close to the fascinatingly large water-dwelling mammals. From the tiny town of Fish Hoek all the way out to Gansbaai, we covered the best whale watching places in the Western Cape.

Have we missed any of your favourite spots? Please let us know in the comments below or email editor@whatsonincapetown.com



OK, so this isn’t a whale, but the tours of Ocean Wonder are based on the owner’s understanding and ongoing observations of the environment and the excitement of encounters with all marine life. Ocean Wonder is a single-owner-run service, offering fun-based and intimate boat rides that “ride the waves” so to speak.

Started with the intention of enriching people’s lives by exposing them to the wondrous and exotic life on our doorstep, Ocean Wonder aims to help people recognise the need to protect our waters.

Where: Oceana Power Boat Club, Haul Rd, Greenpoint, Cape Town
When: Daily 8am – 7pm

Website: oceanwonder.co.za | Email: info@oceanwonder.co.za | Tel: 082 852 0475
Facebook: @OceanWonderCapeTown | Instagram: @oceanwondercapetown

Simons Town Boat company


In the heart-grasping little town of Simon’s Town, there is only one choice when it comes to a trip to enjoy whale watching. This is largely because of their passion, expertise gained from years of experience, and the ethical and personal experience they offer. Secondly, it’s because they are the only boat operator licensed for such an experience in Simon’s Town.

The skippers are clued-up on most of the wildlife habituating the waters, and also boast a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding locally related facts. They have spent years, if not a lifetime at sea, and it’s apparent when embarking on the magical trip of whale or dolphin watching with them.

With a 100% safety record, the Simon’s Town Boat Company ensures that it also has a wheelchair-friendly and safe boarding method. This essentially means that they tick most, if not all, of the boxes when it comes to choosing a fun trip out onto the waters.

Where: Wharf St, Simon’s Town
When: Daily 9am – 5pm

Website: boatcompany.co.za | Email: info@boatcompany.co.za | Tel: 083 257 7760
Facebook: @boatcompany | Instagram: @simonstown_boat_company



Out and about in the beautiful Gansbaai, merely three hours out from Cape Town, people will find the Dyer Island Cruises. During your drive towards Gansbaai, you travel along the breathtakingly beautiful views of the Cape Whale Coastline to entice your longing of being connected to nature and the wild seas. Luckily, your destination will relieve you of this longing and grant your heart’s wish with the Marine Big Five Sea Safari at Dyer Island Cruises.

If your sheer need for entertainment and great service isn’t enough to convince you to use this company, then perhaps knowing how they give back to the community will. By providing training and job opportunities for people from surrounding rural communities, they strive to help previously disadvantaged people. Doing this encourages their staff to further their training or studies to better their horizons.

With ‘Discover, Protect and Educate’ as a motto we would recommend you watch this video for more on the company.

Where: 5 Geelbek St, Van Dyks Bay, Gansbaai
When: All Hours

Website: whalewatchsa.com | Email: bookings@whalewatchsa.com | Tel: 082 801 8014
Facebook: @DyerIslandCruises 



Operating since the early years of 1999, Southern Right Charters is one of the leading boat-based whale and dolphin watching tour companies.

Based in the Capital of the Cape Whale Coast, Hermanus, they operate within the waters of Walker Bay. The reason this is worth mentioning is that Walker Bay holds the title of ‘one of the best whale-watching areas in the world.’

This company operates under the ethos ‘Observing NOT Disturbing’, which we can all agree is something to be taken into consideration. This obviously means that the conservation of marine life is their prime principle.

Southern Right Charter’s Whale and Dolphin watching permits grant the boats the right to approach the whales up to 50 metres. Luckily, whales are inquisitive and come straight up to the boats, allowing for an up-close informative and educational experience.

See here for more footage of what to expect.

Where: The Whale Shack, Whale Road, New Harbour, Hermanus
When: All week: 8am – 6pm

Website: southernrightcharters.co.za | Email: info@southernrightscharters.co.za | Tel: 082 353 0550
Facebook: @HermanusWhaleWatching | Instagram: @src_whalewatching

Oceans Africa


What started off as Graeme Grant’s passion project in 2002, currently represents a large team of diverse experts. From diving instructors and guides, to boat charters and whale-watching operators, Ocean Africa has partners in all the main coastal centres of South Africa.

Working as a skipper in the whale watching and diving industry, Graeme Grant has worked in areas such as Mozambique, Egypt, Zanzibar and the UAE. His years of experience have made him the ideal candidate for quick trips on the water.

If you would like to read more on the types of tours Oceans Africa has to offer, follow the link here.

Where: 14 Saunders Cl, Fish Hoek, Cape Town
When: All week: 9am – 6pm

Website: oceansafrica.com | Email: info@oceansafrica.com | Tel: 073 178 5462
Facebook: @oceansafrica | Instagram: @oceansafrica



In the beautiful town of Hermanus, there is another whale watching company called Hermanus Whale Watchers. Offering an exciting and up-close experience, Hermanus Whale Watchers grants personal encounters with the Southern Right Whales in their natural environment.

On a typical trip, guests can expect to see Cape Fur Seals, pods of various dolphins, or the endangered Africa Penguins. With any luck and depending on the season, the waters of Walker Bay could surprise guests with the Humpback Whales or Bryde’s Whales.

Generally speaking, the trips last about two hours or sometimes longer, depending on whale activity. So, guests can sit back and enjoy a soft drink on offer whilst the SATOUR qualified guides will explain the manners of the sea and the marine wildlife in it.

See here for some of the fantastic footage taken on these tours.

Where: Westcliff Rd, New Harbour, Hermanus
When: Seasonal. Check bookings for availability

Website: hermanuswhalewatchers.co.za | Email: bookings@whalewatchers.biz | Tel: 028 312 4957
Facebook: @whalewatchershermanus | Instagram: @hermanuswhalewatchers

Captain Jacks


Being the only licensed Whale and Dolphin watching operator in Hout Bay, Captain Jacks will be the first to get you to the scene. Once there has been a sighting of whales or dolphins, Captain Jacks is prepared for a quick trip out with their ready-to-go boat.

Hout Bay is generally considered a quintessential pirate’s cove and one of the most beautiful bays in the Western Cape. Uniquely positioned, this bay offers the chance to see many marine creatures in their natural habitat. The list of sightings is the likes of the Southern Right-, Humpback- and Bryde Whales, Long Beaked Common and Heavyside Dolphins, Sun Fish and more commonly, Cape Fur Seals.

See here for more on the six different types of adventures they have to offer.

Where: Hout Bay Harbour, Hout Bay, Cape Town
When: All Week: 8am – 5pm

Website: captainjacks.co.za | Email: info@captainjacks.co.za | Tel: 074 806 2525
Facebook: @CaptainJacksCapeTown | Instagram: @captain_jacks_capetown




Ivanhoe Sea Safaris is one of the leading boat-based whale-watching companies in South Africa. Although they are based in Gansbaai, they also head out to Hermanus and Walker Bay to ensure guests receive a uniquely personalised service.

They focus on area six, which is known to be the best location for whale watching in the Walker Bay waters. The area has a view of both Hermanus and Gansbaai in the North and South.

The cruise kicks off in Gansbaai and then travels along the Cliffs of De Kelders towards Plaat Beach. Guests are taken care of by a team of highly qualified and registered guides with the sole purpose of creating a memorable trip.

Where: 3 Hawe Weg, Gansbaai Harbour, Gansbaai
When: All week: 9am – 5pm

Website: whaleviewing.co.za | Email: info@whaleviewing.co.za | Tel: 028 384 0556
Facebook: @whalewatchingsa | Instagram: @ivanhoeseasafaris

Hermanus Whale Cruises


Operating since 1998, Hermanus Whale Cruises has been around since the beginning of the game. What we mean by this, is that the first permits for Boat Based Whale Watching were only granted in the very same year.

Thanks to the united experience and efforts of the skippers and guides, Hermanus Whale Cruises can easily provide an informative tour of all the surroundings, marine life, and local history.

The cruise company is operated by the Sandown Bay Fishing Company, and in the spirit of true Capetonians, it supports the previously disadvantaged community of Hawston. If you didn’t know, Hawston is a historical fishing village 12km outside of Hermanus. So, supporting Hermanus Whale Cruises seems like an easy choice when it comes to supporting locals.

Where: 148 Westcliff Rd, New Harbour, Hermanus
When: All week: 8am – 5pm

Website: hermanus-whale-cruises.co.za | Email: hermanuswhales@lantic.net | Tel: 082 369 8931
Facebook: @HermanusWhaleCruises | Instagram: @hermanus_whale_cruises



Green Cape Tours is a large touring company with an attention to detail and a focus to provide unforgettable memories. Operating since 2011, the business has expanded into a massive success in the hospitality industry.

Their whale-watching tours consist of a scenic drive to Hermanus, followed by a visit to Walker Bay where guests get the chance to seek out the Southern Right Whales that breed in the waters during the season. After the viewing, guests take a stroll through the charming town of Hermanus, followed by a coastal walk to Grotto Beach and then a visit to a luxurious wine farm.

If you’d like to learn more about the different types of tours and attractions Green Cape Tours are affiliated with, click here.

Where: 4 Disa Ave, Fish Hoek, Cape Town
When: All Hours

Website: greencapetours.com | Email: greencapetours@gmail.com | Tel: 083 500 5194
Facebook: @greencapetours | Instagram: @greencapetours

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