Best Whale Watching Spots in South Africa

|Best Whale Watching Spots in South Africa



It sometimes feels like South Africa is showing off! It’s not enough that we have the Big Five, Table Mountain, beautiful scenery and good wine, the country is also one of the best places in the world for whale watching. And Pembury Tours LOVES showcasing our country’s beauty.

Every year, our waters teem with these gentle giants migrating from the Atlantic to nurture their calves in our warmer waters. Over 100 000 people visit our coastline annually to experience the immensely overwhelming moment of seeing these magnificent creatures.

If you’re new to the whale watching scene, these are our top spots for sighting whales in South Africa.


Whale watching is close to synonymous with Hermanus in South Africa. The small town, just 1.5 hour’s drive away from Cape Town, is one of the best places in the world for whale watching. If you like an excuse to celebrate, the annual Whale Hermanus Festival (held this year from 27 September to 29 September 2019) is perfect for you. Walker Bay is one of the whales’ most popular spots to calve so if you’re lucky you might even spot a baby whale or two.

False Bay, Cape Town

The scenic coast of False Bay hosts a number of land-based viewpoints for whale watching. Boyes Drive above Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town’s mountainside offer great sites to watch the water from a height. If you have sea legs, Simon’s Town also offers boat-based viewing tours.

The Eastern Cape

If you find yourself in the Eastern Cape between May and December, head down to the coast where you’re likely to spot a number of ocean residents. The Eastern Cape’s seas are home to dolphins, otters, Humpback and Southern Right whales. During their May to July and November to January migrations, the Humpback whale can be spotted almost daily. Grab a pair of binoculars and be on the lookout for these magnificent creatures.


The Overberg, found just along from Hermanus, is home to the biggest presence of the Southern Right whale. During peak whale season no unauthorised boats are allowed in the waters. However, the 5 Day Whale Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in South Africa. Not only will you sight whales, but also encounter fragrant fynbos and incredible rock formations.


Lying low on the whale watching radar, KwaZulu-Natal actually boasts the highest number of whale sightings. Throughout July to November, the Humpback Whales and occasionally Southern Right Whales can be spotted almost daily. Boat-based tours are available but if you prefer to stick to land, Mpenjati and Cape Vidal both have whale-watching towers.