Whale Watching Hermanus

Hermanus Whale Watching Season, South Africa

Hermanus Whale watching Season, The Ultimate Guide

Hermanus whale watching season is one of the most anticipated events in South Africa.

When is whale season in Hermanus?

Whale season in Hermanus typically runs from June to December, with the peak season being from September to November. During this time, Southern Right Whales migrate from the Antarctic to the warmer waters of South Africa to mate, calve, and nurse their young. Visitors can expect to see these magnificent creatures breaching, tail slapping, and playing in the waters just off the coast of Hermanus.

As winter begins to creep in during June, Southern Right Whales will begin the long migration from Sub Antarctica to the coast of South Africa to find shelter within our sandy bays.

Hermanus Whale Watching

The whales have spent their summer months feeding and fattening up for the winter

As a result they will make their way to their breeding and calving grounds.  After a year of gestation, mother whales will find themselves off the coast of South Africa to give birth to a single Southern Right Whale Calf.

The Hermanus Whale Watching season follows the mating and birthing of these gentle giants and how the young navigate the first few months of life.

Whale Watching in Gansbaai, South Africa

The South African whale watching season generally consists of two parts

The beginning of the season where mating occurs (although this has become less frequent in recent years) and the later part of the season where calves are born and raised along the coast.

The Peak of the Hermanus whale watching season is August to October, with changes in the oceanic ecosystems causing whales to arrive a little earlier in the season and also leave a little earlier, though this varies from year to year.

As a result the calving peak is in August, and when these calves are born, they are around 5m in length and already a ton in weight.

These little ones grow very rapidly, and at around a month or two old begin to learn to play.

During the South African whale watching season, one can expect to see the youngsters having fun in the shallows, bonding with their mothers and giving us the occasional views of their flukes and flippers.

Southern Right Whale next to Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Whale season in Hermanus falls within the months of winter and spring.

The whales beginning to head back down south during the summer months to feed once more.

By the time the mother and calf leave in late November, the calf is already around half the size of the female.

Resulting in a bond between mother and calf is said to last about a year, with the little ones starting to skim feed on copepods and krill in February, which will begin the weaning process.

Season will end in December

Each year is different as mother nature has no exact time table, we highly recommend a visit in September or October for your best chance to enjoy a sighting of our incredible Southern Right Whales.

What types of whales can you see in Hermanus?

The main species of whale that can be seen in Hermanus during whale season are Southern Right Whales. These whales are known for their distinctive V-shaped blowhole spray and the callosities (rough patches of skin) on their heads, which are unique to each individual whale. However, visitors may also spot other species of whales such as Humpback Whales and Bryde's Whales, as well as dolphins and seals.

Where are the best spots to view whales in Hermanus?

The best spots to view whales in Hermanus are from the cliff paths that run along the coastline. These paths offer panoramic views of the ocean and are easily accessible from the town center. Visitors can also take a boat tour to get closer to the whales and experience them up close.

Tips for planning your whale watching trip to Hermanus?

Planning a whale watching trip to Hermanus can be overwhelming, but with a little preparation, it can be a memorable experience. First, decide on the best time to visit based on the whale season, which runs from June to November. Then, choose a reputable whale watching tour operator and book in advance to avoid disappointment. Don't forget to pack warm clothing, sunscreen, and a camera to capture the incredible sightings. Lastly, make time to explore the town and its many attractions.

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