Tag Archives: southern right whale

Whale Watching from the cliffs of Hermanus (2018-08-25) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 15 JUN 2019

As my regular readers would by now very much know, Chantelle absolutely loves whale watching and given our general proximity to South Africa’s best land based whale viewing area, i.e. Hermanus, we always tend to make at least one trip each and every Walker Bay whale watching season.

Last year August saw us take a drive down to a very windy Hermanus for a spot of Southern Right whale watching, and although the gusty conditions ruled out a walk up Hoy’s Koppie, it didn’t seem to bother the whales at all as we enjoyed a fabulous day of watching whales cavort around in the windswept surf.

For a change we did most of our whale watching to the east of the Cliff Tops Piazza, favouring spots along the Hermanus Cliff Path like Sieverspunt, Kwaaiwater, Skulpiesbaai, Langbaai, Kammabaai and Voëlklip Beach. The adverse wind conditions meant that we weren’t jostling through crowds of fellow whale watchers, making for a whale watching expedition that felt leisurely and not people pressured at all.

That said, the delightful Aromatish Cafe and Bakery still proved to be way too popular for us to grab a seat (so we settled for a cup of coffee at the pleasant enough Groves Cafe instead). Pleasingly, Chantelle also relented and sacrificed some of her whale watching time to allow me the opportunity of popping my head into the Old Harbour Museum, the Whale House Museum, and the De Wet’s Huis Photographic Museum. (All things that have for long been on my list of getting around to).

Basically, a little bit of something for everyone but the kids then.

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Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris (2015-07-15) Photo Gallery 08 AUG 2015

It’s actually turning out to be a pretty good year in terms of experiencing new things – seriously, if I’m not flying a plane then I’m on a boat watching whales! :)

IMG_20150715_105748 craig lotter Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Gordon’s Beach Lodge has a work relationship with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris and often send their guests off via shuttle to go and experience whale watching in Gansbaai. As things go, Ivanhoe Sea Safaris then often invite guest house staff members out on the boat, so that they can better inform guests as to what to expect.

Luckily for me, Chantelle opted to let me with on just one such ‘educational’ ride!

IMG_20150715_093949 chantelle lotter Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

So on a sunny Wednesday morning, we dropped the kids off at their respective little schools and made the scenic drive through to Gansbaai, a place that neither Chantelle nor I can really remember ever visiting as adults.

We arrived just in time for boarding, and pretty soon we were seated on The Ivanhoe, a 42 ft. custom built catamaran, specifically designed for watching whales.

IMG_20150715_094335 gansbaai harbour ivanhoe sea safaris

A good selection of both tourists and locals made up the spectators for the day, and after a brief instructional by a very amicable and knowledgeable crew, we were out of the harbour and hunting for whales!

The water was calm, the weather sunny, and no wind to speak of, making conditions perfect for whale watching.

It’s quite exciting as you zoom across the water, and then suddenly have the engines cut as you stop because of a possible sighting in the distance. Then it’s everyone to the front of the boat, and seriously, it is so quiet that you can hear a pin drop – everyone is scouring the water, looking for that telltale ‘footprint’ of a whale nearby.

(Though when a whale does come up, then its an instant cacophony of camera shutters clicking – sadly, cellphone cameras like mine are pretty useless at this sort of thing!)

IMG_20150715_110910 Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Of course, half of the fun is this expectation (similar to when you are out in a game reserve, scouring the brush for a sighting of something special), but when a whale does finally break surface and comes right up to you, then it really becomes extraordinary.

Massive, gentle, and interesting giants without a doubt! (We spotted plenty of birdlife, seals, a couple of fast moving Bryde’s whales in the distance, and of course the slow moving Southern Right whales who came right up close to the boat).

IMG_20150715_111358 Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

So needless to say, this 2+ hour long experience is definitely one well worth a recommendation!

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Related Link: http://whaleviewing.co.za/