Western Cape
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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Our most recommended Western Cape Dolphin & Whale Watching

Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

1. Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Hermanus is one of the best destinations worldwide for watching marine mammals, with spectacular seasonal visits from southern right and humpback whales and year-round sightings of Bryde’s whales and enormous pods of dolphins. Experience this marine safari that awaits you! The purpose-built catamaran ensures maximum passenger comfort and spectacular viewing opportunities. During the tour, the friendly crew is on hand to make sure everyone has a great experience, from helping get the perfect photo to serving complimentary light refreshments. The guide, a whale specialist, will interpret the marine life encountered en route and provide insight into the behavior of the whales while the action is taking place. The expert videographer will ensure the best footage is captured. The team add that personal touch to ensure that you have a great experience, and work under the motto "Observing, not Disturbing". All tours are weather permitting.

Cape Town: Coastal Catamaran Cruise

2. Cape Town: Coastal Catamaran Cruise

Enjoy a one-hour scenic coastal cruise aboard a luxury power catamaran. The vessel will take you from the historic V&A Waterfront area on an adventure out to sea. Throughout the cruise, you'll travel along the Atlantic coastline to the Green Point Lighthouse before then traveling back to the harbor. With spectacular mountain and city views, the cruise provides perfect ocean views over many of Cape Town’s splendors. Your one-hour cruise operates daily, with regular departures from Quay 5. With a cash bar on board for refreshments as well as great service, this is a trip not to be missed.

Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

3. Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

Launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders. Enter a nature reserve with the highest concentration of whales in South Africa. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and sharks. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, False killer whales and enchanting African penguins. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

4. Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

Visit the Dyer Island eco-system and have the opportunity to spot the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, seals, dolphins and penguins. Every year from June to December, the southern right whales arrive to mate and calve. Witness mating displays, breaching, tail slapping, spy-hopping and more. You may also see Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, the elusive humpback dolphin and the common dolphin. An incredible array of seabirds and a sighting of the almost 60,000-strong Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock is guaranteed as the boat cruises down the famous Shark Alley. An on-board marine biologist will be on hand to teach you more about the amazing animals that visit these shores. On the day of your trip, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cape Town or Hermanus, if you have selected an option with transfers included. Upon arrival in Gansbaai, enjoy coffee/tea and muffins while listening to a dedicated safety briefing. After you're fitted with inflatable life jackets and wet-weather gear, take a 200 meter stroll down to the harbor to board the whale-watching vessel. Time spent on sea on average is two hours depending on sea conditions and marine life activity.  Upon return to land, receive an informative debrief while enjoying warm soup and bread. Professional trip footage is also available to purchase after the trip, so that you can have a permanent memory of your sightings. If you have chosen the option with transfers from Cape Town, a visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is also included on your way back. You'll see the important efforts being made to rehabilitate injured and sick animals.

Cape Town: V&A Waterfront Champagne Cruise

5. Cape Town: V&A Waterfront Champagne Cruise

Head to Cape Town's iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for an unforgettable cruise along the Atlantic coastline. Soak up the sun on the spacious trampolines in the foredeck or get comfortable on the cushions under the roofed area. Sip your complimentary glass of champagne as you take in spectacular views of Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range. Keep an eye out for the marine life in the waters around Cape Town, including seals, dolphins, penguins, and even whales.

Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

6. Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

Experience the three most iconic sites of Knysna on a 1.5-hour eco cruise of the Knysna estuary. Cruise along the rugged headlands and encounter the abundant marine life of the coastal waters.  Navigate the amazing estuary and pass the picturesque Knysna Heads. Venture further out into the expansive Indian Ocean to look for dolphins, seals, penguins, and Bryde's whales in their natural environment. Learn more about the geological features and wildlife you encounter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

7. Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

Climb aboard and look for marine life in the ecosystem of Table Bay on a 1.5-hour eco-cruise from Cape Town. See species in their natural surroundings, such as humpback and southern right whales, depending on the season. Get the chance to watch pods of dolphins breaching close to the boat and marvel at their acrobatic displays. Be enchanted by Cape fur seals lounging on the jetties and get close to unusual species, such as sunfish. Watch African penguins diving for fish to take back to their breeding colony on Robben Island.  Encounter birdlife, such as terns, gannets, cormorants and mighty black-browed albatross.

From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

8. From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

Join the most prolific Whale Watching Operator in the Hermanus area, launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders, proven to be the best area with the highest concentration of whales on the South African Coastline. Along the way hear about local commentary of whales, and facts about right whales. Learn about the habitats and their feeding processes. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and other marine life. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, false killer whales and enchanting African penguins. This tour offers a great selection of marine life, that you can get up close with wild animals. Relax without ethical dilemma as you support businesses that celebrate animals in the wild. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

Cape Town: Marine Big 5 Ocean Safari from V&A Waterfront

9. Cape Town: Marine Big 5 Ocean Safari from V&A Waterfront

Escape of the hustle and bustle of the city to smell the fresh ocean air and learn about the Atlantic coastline's unique marine ecosystem. Your skippers and guide are experienced enthusiastic and love sharing knowledge and experiences of the ocean. Gaze at the beauty of the ocean as well as at the beauty of the Cape Town Atlantic Coastline. Cruise along and see the city from a different perspective. During the tour, you have the chance to see dolphins, cape fur seals, whales, penguins, sunfish, and more depending on the season. Get views of the 12 Apostle Mountain Range, Signal Hill, Lions Head, and Table Mountain as you make your past Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, and Oudekraal. 

Knysna: Close Encounter Whale Watching Tour by Boat

10. Knysna: Close Encounter Whale Watching Tour by Boat

Come get up close and personal with the gentle giants of the ocean on this 2-hour whale watching tour! Your trip begins as your captain navigates you through the Knysna Estuary and then you'll head out towards the vast and beautiful Indian Ocean. Every year, both the southern right and humpback whales leave their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica and migrate to mate and calve in the warmer waters of the Southern African coastline - this makes Knysna one of the best whale-watching destinations in the country. The tour will be narrated by an experienced skipper and guide who will share with you fascinating information about the lives of these whales. Your adventure will also be assisted by an experienced whale spotter who is in radio contact with all skippers, so you can be directed to any sightings. Keep your eyes peeled for other marine life as well - you may even spot a dolphin or a penguin or two!

Frequently asked questions about Western Cape Dolphin & Whale Watching

What are other things to do than Dolphin & Whale Watching that are worth visiting in Western Cape?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Western Cape

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What people are saying about Western Cape

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 105 reviews

It was great. At first it was just me, then two more people came on site. We saw 2 moguls even though it's not the season. The skipper and everyone in the team are super nice and explain a lot! We were > 2 hours on the road instead of just 1.5. highly recommended!!!

I’ve always wanted to do the cruise and this was a great start, service was exceptional and so was the crew. Had an experience of a lifetime, am glad I booked, value for money

Good vibes, amazing views of Table Mountain. Saw dolphins, seals, penguins & the “Mozambiquan Sea Snake”

Beautiful way to see the heads and seals and whales!

Yoooo it was the best experience, will do it again.