Cape Whale Coast
Close to the very tip of Africa, just outside Cape Town, you will find the Cape Whale Coast - a place on Earth where wonders never cease. This pristine stretch of the South African coastline that runs from the coastal hamlet of Rooiels in the west to Quoin Point in the East and is flanked by mesmerising mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
The main towns of the area are Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford and Gansbaai; but the Whale Coast is in fact made up of a collection of villages, farms, rivers, bays, coves and valleys - each filled with its own special magic. The entire Cape Whale Coast Route is renowned for its generous whale sightings, particularly in the Walker Bay area between Hermanus and Gansbaai. Because the water temperature is ideal, they swim into the bay to mate and give birth, and give onlookers a show with their breaching theatrics. They often wash in with schools of dolphins and cause a stir with the marine life common
to the area, all of which makes quite the show. Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Valli Moosa, designated this area as South Africa’s only whale sanctuary. Hermanus, in the heart of the Whale Route, is just 127km from Cape Town on the Cape south coast. It has developed from a rustic whaling and fishing village into one of the world’s best whale-viewing sites (via land or boat) from June to November. It’s also home to the world’s only Whale Crier, who signals whale locations using a kelp horn.
- Cape Whale Coast is world renown for being at the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom and for being host to the Marine Big Five.
- Hermanus arguably offers the best land-based whale watching in the world.
- Witsand, in St Sebastian Bay, has earned the reputation of the most important whale nursery on the African Coast and one of the greatest concentrations of Southern Right Whales comes here to calve every year.
- Best land based whale watching is in Hermanus.
- Great beaches and ideal holiday area.
- Spot the rare Black Oyster Catcher.
- Hermanus, in the heart of the Whale Route, is just 127km from Cape Town on the Cape south coast.
- The Hangklip-Kleinmond coast lies between massive Fynbos covered mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
- The Gansbaai coast is known as the "Coast of Contrasts" and the town of Gansbaai as "Big 2 Town" as you can see both the Southern Right Whale AND the Great White Shark here.
Min 24°C/75°F Max 32°C/90°F
Min 8°C/46°F Max 23°C/73°F
- Best time to travelYear round. Warm and dry summers with cooling breezes off the ocean. Winter is mild and June to December sees the arrival of the whales.
- Traveling with ChildrenThe Cape Whale Route is a family-friendly destination with a wide variety of activities and facilities suitable for children.
- WildlifeView the Southern right whale in South African waters from June to November along the Cape south coast, although some will already be as far north as KwaZulu-Natal.
- LanguagesEnglish is widely spoken throughout the country even though South Africa has eleven official languages - Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Northern Sotho and Southern Ndebele.
- Flying to South AfricaIf you will be travelling in vehicles and small aircraft with limited space, luggage is required to be packed in a soft bag weighing a maximum of 20 kg (44 lbs) and 5 kg (11 lbs) hand luggage.
- CurrencySouth African Rand. Credit cards are also widely accepted.
Combine a beach holiday with a luxury African safari to two Big Five game reserves before ending in vibrant Cape Town - perfect as a family holiday.
Enhance Your Experience With
- Shark Cage Diving
- Whale watching boat excursions
- Hemel and Aarde Valley wine route
- Whale watching boat trips
Ready to start planning your adventure?
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