In our previous post, we introduced you to the amazing annual scenic wonder that is Whale Season in Cape Town. We gave you some ideas on how and where to see these amazing marine mammals and gave you a bit of background on the Southern right whale.
Hopefully, you have managed to spot a few whales – perhaps on a coastal drive, or even as you enjoyed a lazy lunch in Kalk Bay. In this article, we will be sharing some tips on what to do and what not to do this Whale Season. But first – a bit of Southern right whale trivia…
~ About 10,000 Southern right whales are found across the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere.
~ The maximum size of an adult female is 15 m (49 ft) with a maximum weight of up to 47 tonnes.
~ Right whales need colder water water to breed, as their thick blubber makes it hard to dissapate their body weight in tropical waters.
Making the Most of Cape Town Whale Season
If you’re keen to do some whale watching this month, you may want to keep these tips in mind. Here are some of the things you should know about Cape Town whale watching…
- DO take a drive up to Hermanus to visit the famous whale town of the Garden Route. You will be able to do some excellent shore viewing, visit the old whaling station and even see (and hear) the resident whale crier as he alerts you to whales in the bay with his unique bugle.
- DO take a whale watching boat cruise on the False Bay coast. These trips depart from Simons Town, and will get you as close as you ever imagined to the beautiful Southern right whales. You will also see other marine species such as dolphin, sea birds and plenty of seals too.
- DO keep your camera at the ready. The breaches happen very quickly, and for such large mammals, whales are surprisingly agile. When a whale is spotted, you may find yourself staring at the flat ocean wondering what the fuss was about, when all of a sudden a tail may crash out of the water. Or, you might suddenly be treated to some incredible feats of acrobatics!
- DON’T forget to be careful when getting close to whales on boat trips or even scuba diving excursions. These mammals only eat plankton and are not in the least bit aggressive. Their large size however means that you may get a bit too close for comfort – whales have been known to accidentally breach onto boats after all
- DON’T assume that you can only see whales in Hermanus or out at sea. You can also get some great sightings from places such as Kalk Bay, Simons Town harbour, Chapmans Peak Drive and even Camps Bay from time to time.
- DON’T forget about the important conservation message these whales bring. While most of the world has kept the ban on whaling, not every country follows these guidelines. Many whale species are highly endangered, and not just from whaling either. Be a savvy seafood consumer, keep our oceans clean and above all, appreciate the important role that all marine animals play in our precious ecosystems.
Get that camera ready, take a drive to the nearest viewing spot and prepare for the marvellous natural spectacular that is Cape Town Whale Season!