Whale Watching and Playing Golf

Whale Watching

Why not combine the beauty of whale watching with the challenges of world-class golf courses

Every year, from June to December, a natural spectacle unfolds along South Africa’s south coast, from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town, where Humpback and Southern Right whales can be seen in all their glory. Whales use the warm South African waters for calving and raising their young, which presents an incredible opportunity for travelers, especially those who equally enjoy playing golf. South Africa is home to some of the best golf courses in the world, offering an incredible variety of experiences across various terrains. Those wanting to combine their passion of golf with whale viewing will undoubtedly be fulfilled during this time.

Plettenberg Bay

This bayside gem is perfect for spotting whales from Lookout Beach, and boat charters are available for closer encounters. The Plettenberg Bay Country Club offers a gorgeous 18-hole golf course that is enveloped within a private nature reserve. Renowned golf course architect Rob O’Friell, known for his work at the River Club and Royal Johannesburg, was given the creative freedom to enhance the design of the greens and surrounding areas of the course.

Knysna

The Knysna Heads are ideal for land-based observations, while luxury boat cruises from the Waterfront may take you even closer to the whales. The Pezula Championship Course stretches 254 hectares along the Knysna clifftops, providing golfers with incredible views of both the Knysna Lagoon and the Indian Ocean. Listed in the top 20 rankings of South Africa, this par 72 golf course is considered one of the most scenic. David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA designed this 18-hole golf course, promising a very unique golf experience. Simola Golf Course is a masterstroke designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, and is certainly a world-class golf course. Each hole harmonizes with the natural contours of the land, encouraging players to adapt and strategize amidst the backdrop of unparalleled scenic beauty.

Mossel Bay

The Santo’s Beach stretch offers a splendid waterfront vantage for whale watching, with boat charters readily available for those wishing to venture closer. Fancourt offers an unmatched golf tour experience with three meticulously designed golf courses: The Links, Montagu, and Outeniqua. The Links at Fancourt has consistently ranked as the number one golf course in South Africa and presents a stern test on wind-swept terrain that mimics the classic Scottish links courses.

Whale Watching in Hermanus
Whale Watching in Hermanus

Hermanus

Renowned as one of the best whale watching spots globally, the Cliff Path offers land-based sightings while boat charters navigate the idyllic waters for a closer perspective. Hermanus Golf Club is the closest course, providing an exceptional golfing experience. Hermanus Golf Course is renowned not only for its beautiful views but also for its challenging and well-maintained 27-hole golf complex. Formed in 1907, the club has become a significant part of the local heritage and is known for offering a golfing experience that combines natural beauty with a sophisticated design to both local and international visitors.

Gansbaai

Known for its marine Big Five, Gansbaai allows for both boat-based and shoreline whale watching, with Kleinbaai providing numerous charter options. Golfers can enjoy the Gansbaai Golf Club, where each swing comes with stunning sea views. The Gansbaai Golf Club boasts a scenic 9-hole (18-tee) golf course situated between the rich indigenous fynbos and the ocean in Kleinbaai. With a links-style layout, the course provides stunning sea views from most of its fairways, creating a picturesque golfing experience.

Kleinmond

The Palmiet River estuary area is a less crowded spot for whale sightseeing, and while boat charters aren’t as common, the tranquility is unmatched. The Arabella Golf Club is a stone’s throw away, nested exquisitely between mountain and sea. This 18-hole championship course, masterfully designed, integrates effortlessly with the great variety of its surroundings, providing a game unlike any other. Arabella Golf Course is surrounded by the Kogelberg mountains with panoramic views of the Bot River Lagoon, providing visitors with a perfect setting.

Cape Town

From the shorelines of False Bay, one can spot whales, and while boat charters are more focused on harbor tours, they do exist for dedicated watchers. The Steenberg Golf Estate awaits with its beautifully designed course and stunning views Table Mountain. As part of a 300-year-old wine farm, the golf course provides an atmosphere steeped in legacy, yet remains resolutely attuned to the needs of the modern golfer.

Each town offers its own unique approach to experiencing the giants of the deep and the grandeur of the fairways, tailored for those who expect nothing less than extraordinary. The Garden Route Golfing Spectacular and Cape Town, Fancourt & Safari are ideal for travelers interested in whale watching and golfing in the Western Cape’s distinct terrains. They mix the beauty of nature with the challenges of world-class golf courses, making them ideal for travelers seeking both leisure and play.

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