Experience | Whale Watching

Whale Watching - Ocean's Gentle Giants

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Come June and the air around Whale Coast in Cape Overberg buzzes with a singular question, "Have they arrived yet?" By mid-month, full-throated cries of the Whale Crier confirms one of nature's most remarkable spectacles. The great Southern Right Whales migrate every year to the Cape's calm waters to mate, calve, and nurse their young ones over a three-year-long reproductive cycle, away from the dangers of deep sea.

Watching the frolicking of the enormous, marine-adapted mammals in their natural environment is one of the most awe-inspiring wildlife encounters on earth. South Africa's Hermanus prides itself as the best land-based whale-watching site in the world. Considering that whales can be seen from as close as a few metres from the shore at Walker Bay and the rocky cliffs between New Harbour and Grotto Beach, Hermanus deserves its reputation as a whale-watching haven.

In season it is fairly common to spot the whale's blow – the hollow, echoing sound of expelling air from the lungs, accompanied by a huge spray of water, before they breach the surface in successive graceful and massive leaps, only to fall back into the sea with an enormous splash.

Although the Southern Right Whales' spectacular raw power and elegant water acrobatics usually steal the show, there's also a good chance of discovering other varieties such as Humpback, Minke, Bryde's and even Killer Whales. Whale tour boats are officially licensed to conduct close encounters with the largest mammals on earth from a minimum stipulated distance.

Golfing enthusiasts, both local and international, typically head to the fabled Arabella Country Club in Kleinmond, which is currently the fourth-rated course in South Africa. Known for its tricky sand traps and outstanding views over the Bot River Lagoon, Arabella is meant to charm the professional and amateur alike.

The other golfing alternative in the area is the superbly conditioned 27-holed Hermanus with its computer irrigated fairways, and designed by Peter Matkovich, South Africa's foremost course architect. Keep your fingers crossed, because if you're incredibly lucky, you just might spot a whale breach the surface from the fairway itself, to freeze you midway on that excellent drive.
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