And another reason to visit South Africa in September. Because at this time of the year animals give birth to their offspring – in the sea as well as at the mainland. Whales have chosen the beautiful Whale Coast at South Africa’s West Coast where they give birth every year before they swim back to the Antarctic.
You can be lucky and see them jump outside ‘Free Willy Style’. Or be unlucky – in this case you have to be content with seeing their backs and spitting some water. Still very impressive!
Chances are high you will see some whales in the region around Hermanus. There are a few companies that offer boat trips. We stayed in Gansbaai near Hermanus and booked a tour via Whale Watch SA – the tour was called Ocean Safari by Dyer Island Cruise and started in Kleinbaai.
However the region around the False Bay has so much to offer than whale watching, so just continue reading.
Gansbaai itself is small and idyllic. It’s a beautiful coast and the sunset here is fantastic. Just as a little compensation in case you weren’t seeing any whales.
We highly recommend watching the sunset from the jacuzzi on the rooftop of the Roundhouse Guesthouse. We really enjoyed it.
Other travellers we met at the Garden Route told us how great their time at the Whale Coast was and that they were lucky enough to see them dancing in the water. So we were really looking forward but somehow the whales weren’t in the best mood.
Nevertheless we still didn’t want to give up and booked a Marine Big 5 boat tour: Whales, sharkes, seals, penguins and dolphins. Despite of the doplphins we saw them all. But the whales were just too shy. A few times we saw them coming up the water with their backs spitting some water which was already impressive. We just hoped for more.
It was still a great experience. Nobody tells you about the horrible stench once you approach an island full of seals, by the way. Of course, they make it up with their cuteness.
If you get easily sea sick, you should better not make this tour. The sea was rough and some people on the boat got sea sick.
After the boat trip, we headed back to Cape Town making a detour to Betty’s Bay. Just like in Boulder’s Beach you’ll find many cute penguins relaxing there. We loved the fact it was a quiet place and definitely less crowded.
A part of the area is freely accessible. We’re totally jeaouls of the people living here and having those cute penguins as their neighbours.
If you’re searching for an alternative for Chapman’s Peak Drive, this place is right for you. The coastal stretch North West of Betty’s Bay (R 44) can totally compete with the famous route and has a similarly beautiful coast.
There are many view points on the way and there’s no toll fee here.