Whale Watching - Boat Based

Whale Watching - Boat Based

Every trip is preceded by a brief introductory talk about the route and what to look out for. Passengers are fitted with comfortable life-jackets. Safety is of the outmost importance. We have extensive public liability insurance.

All cruises depart from Kleinbaai harbour near Gansbaai. Dyer Island is located 8 km from shore and is completely protected for the conservation of its many resident bird species, including African penguins. Adjacent to Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, home to a 60,000 strong Cape fur seal colony. These seals are also present all year round. The channel of water between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock is the now world renowned Shark Alley. This channel is part of our trip. On our whale watching and Dyer Island trips we also see: Great white sharks, Bryde’s whales, Humpback whales, Southern giant petrels, Cape gannets and Dolphins.

We pride ourselves on being both fun and educational. Each trip is led by experienced marine guides who will share their knowledge with you, keeping emphasis on the welfare and conservation of the animal. Responsible tourism is our main objective so we focus on conservation, education, community upliftment and safety.

Whale watching trips from July to December. This is quite possibly the only place in the world where one can see a mighty whale and a great white shark on the same boat trip.

  • Boat-based whale watching
  • Southern right whales guaranteed July to December
  • See whales, seals, penguins as well as various seabird species
  • Possibility of seeing Great white sharks and some dolphins species

The coast of South Africa is split into sections for whale watching, with one permit holder per section. The permit holder is allowed to approach the whales to a distance of 50m. Dyer Island Cruises holds the permit from Danger Point to Quoin Point, and we are based in Kleinbaai. We find most of our whales at Pearly Beach, a shallow bay banked by a golden stretch of sand. While we respect the 50m limit, inquisitive whales frequently swim to the boat for a close encounter, which is allowed. We never chase or harass the animals.

After spending time with the whales, we make our way to Dyer Island. During this stretch we occasionally bump into some Humpback whales, who prefer the deeper water. We also spot Giant petrels and Cape gannets. At Dyer Island we can approach close enough to view African penguins, Cape cormorants and many other bird species.

Neighbouring Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, home to thousands of Cape Fur Seals. The stretch of water between the two islands is Shark Alley. The colony is thriving and there is always lots of activity, especially around November time when the tiny pups are born.
We make a special visit to the White Shark Cage Diving boats during our trips. There are eight permit holders currently operating in this area, and we see a Great white shark on about 80% of our trips.

Dyer Island Cruises regularly consults with experts in the field of cetaceans, especially Dr Peter Best, South Africa's leading southern right whale researcher. We remain in close contact with other whale watching operators, both nationally and internationally, so that we can exchange interesting information about our sightings. We firmly believe that we provide the most informative whale watching cruise in South Africa.

Whale watching trips are about 2½ hours long. They run from July – December. All trips are weather dependent.
What you need to know

Kleinbaai is a residential suburb of Gansbaai, with its own slipway. We are situated approximately 180km South East of Cape Town (driving time about 2 hrs).

Please note: Trips can vary from above.

Always bring warm clothing as it is cooler at sea than on land. Waterproof/windproof clothing is available on the boat. We will provide inflatable life jackets. Please remember to use sunscreen. Please use anti-seasick medication well in advance if you are prone to motion sickness. Binoculars will be supplied if required.
Dyer Island Cruises staff will meet you at the Great White House in Kleinbaai before your trip. There are bathroom facilities, as well as a restaurant and gift shop here.

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