The area known as the Cape Whale Coast stretches along the southern coastline of South Africa’s Western Cape Province from the coastal hamlet of Rooi-Els west of Cape Town to Quoin Point near Cape Agulhas. Made up of a series of spectacular bays, coves and river mouths and hemmed in by soaring mountains and valleys, it is known as one of the best places in the world for whale watching.
Almost 40 species of whales and dolphins are attracted to the rich marine environment created by the meeting of the cold Benguela and warm Agulhas currents, while Southern right, Bryde’s and humpback whales mate and calve in the area between June and November each year. While whale watching is definitely the main attraction, there is no shortage of other adventures in the area, from shark cage diving with great whites to hiking through mountains covered with the region’s distinctive fynbos vegetation and horse riding on sandy beaches. The region’s main towns include Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford and Gansbaai.
- 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.
Summer (October – April)
Min 24°C/75°F Max 32°C/90°F
Winter (May – September)
Min 8°C/46°F Max 23°C/73°F