South Africa is one of the best destinations for watching marine mammals, whether from land or from boats, with spectacular annual visits from southern right and humpback whales and enormous pods of dolphins year-round.
Every year, southern right whales migrate from their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica to warmer climates, reaching South Africa in June. The country’s coastal waters teem with the giant animals, mating, calving and rearing their young – and giving whale-watchers spectacular displays of raw power and elegant water acrobatics.
Cape West is the southern right’s breeding ground. The animal spends up to five months a year here. They pass their time playing, courting, and nursing their newborn calves, providing spectacular land-based viewing.
The best time for watching the southern right whale in South African waters is from June to November
The best time for watching the southern right whale in South African waters is from June to November along the Cape south coast, although some will already be as far north as KwaZulu-Natal. Peak calving season is July and August, but whales can be seen through September and October.
Hermanus is a town on the southern coast of the Western Cape province of South Africa, famous for southern right whale watching during the southern winter and spring. It hosts an annual whale festival to celebrate the returning of the southern right whales to this bay during the calving and mating season.
Every year, the Two Oceans Hermanus Whale Festival is held in South Africa. This year the festival is being held from September 20 – 24, 2013. Hermanus, known as the best land-based whale watching destination in the world, plays host to thousands of visitors (2012 we welcomed over 100 000 visitors) who flock to the seaside resort to exhilarate in the unique natural environment, watch the whales and revel in music, enjoy great food and enjoy the many activities available during the festival
The Whales are always the star performers at the festival and will be joined on land by great food, quality crafters, great sport events, kids entertainment, the Two Oceans Wine food & music Marquee, Marine Endangered Species Expo Marquee, The Checkers Living Table and thousands of people celebrating Spring in the most beautiful place on earth – Hermanus.