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It’s that time of the year again! The whales have arrived in South Africa, which means that the beautifully quaint town of Hermanus in the Overberg will morph into the whale watching mecca of the world – and we couldn’t be more excited.

Every year around Spring time in the Southern Hemisphere, the Southern Right Whales make their way to the waters on South Africa’s coast; mostly culminating in the waters of Walker Bay in Hermanus.

Naturally, whale watching is huge in Hermanus. There are various ways in which to watch these giants of the ocean go about their daily business: land-based whale watching, water-based whale watching or aerial whale watching.

However, we believe that the best way to fully experience the magical aura that these whales exude is by getting as close as possible (without annoying them!) through water-based whale watching.

We’ve put together a list of three wonderful whale watching charter companies that legitimately operate in Walker Bay and who will bring you up close and personal with these majestic mammals.

As we mentioned above, there are several companies that offer excursions in the bay. When booking your trip, make sure that the charter company does have a permit for whale watching.

These companies are issued special permits that allows the operators to get up to 50 meters from the whales, which is pretty close!

Whales are also naturally quite curious, so you’ll find that often when the boat approaches a pod of whales, they will come closer themselves, examining the boat and putting on a dazzling show for the whale watchers!

Generally, on all of these excursions, there will be a whale specialist on board to give running commentary on the whales, their calves, and what their movements for the next few months will be.

Here are some of the whale watching companies that you can contact to arrange a breathtaking whale watching excursion:

Walker Bay Adventures

  • The whale watching excursion usually lasts between 2 and 3 hours, depending on how far the whales are.
  •  The boat is allowed to spend 20 minutes with each pod of whales before moving on.
  • The offer daily departures at 9am, 12pm and 3pm in season, and special, early morning (7am) departures between September and November.
  • If you would like, you can also by a DVD of your whale watching experience after.

 

Hermanus Whale Cruises

  • This is generally a 2 hour trip, also depending on where the whales are spending their time on that particular day.
  • The boat is allowed to spend 20 minutes with each pod of whales before moving on.
  • They also offer Whale Cruises. The whale cruise boat can accommodate 87 passengers and operates from June to December.
  • Snacks and drinks are served.
  • Outside of whale season, between January and May, they also offer eco-trips where passengers can experience interactions with seals and dolphins.
  • You can also order a DVD of your whale watching experience after.

 

Southern Right Charters

  • Southern Right Charters offer daily boat trips between June and December.
  • Their boat trips last between 1 – 3 hours, depending on how far the whales are.
  • The boat is allowed to spend 20 minutes with each pod of whales before moving on.
  • The offer excursions at 9am, 12pm and 3pm daily.
  • You can also book private charters with them.
  • Refreshments are served on the excursion.
  • Should you want, you can buy a DVD of your experience after.

If you’re looking for luxury accommodation in the heart of Hermanus, you’d find no better place than the stunning Harbour House Hotel. Book your stay today and enjoy your whale watching excursion!