Best time to travel to Cape Town

Land-Based Whale Watching

South Africa is one of the few places in the world where whales can be seen from the shore

Land-Based Whale Watching in Cape Town - Best Time
Photo by

© Paolo Lucciola

There are at least 37 species of whales and dolphins in South Africa. In the period from July to November, they migrate to give birth and nurse closer to the shores. The most common species include the Southern right whale, Humpback whale, and Bryde’s whale. This is one of the few opportunities to see the whales up-close, both from land and boat. In addition to whales and dolphins, be ready to meet Cape fur seals, cute African penguins, and even great white sharks.

Southern right whale
Southern right whale

Cape Town is a good whale viewing location, but there are more spots to be found eastwards, along the southern coastline. The closest one is False Bay, Hermanus, and Cape Agulhus. Hermanus is listed among the world's top whale watching destinations and in late September, they host the annual Whale Festival. More whaling locations are also found along the Garden Route, namely Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Knysna, and Plettenberg Bay.

Humpback whale in Plettenberg Bay
Humpback whale in Plettenberg Bay

Land-Based Whale Watching Map & Location

Accommodations nearby

Check best times to visit
Cape Town