Whale Watching

Cape Town has become renowned for great whale watching because the whales like to feed and give birth in the warm and nutrient rich waters along the South African coast line, while migrating.

The best known and most frequently sighted Whale species seen off our coast is the Southern Right whale, which swims up from Antarctica, usually arriving in June. They spend the winter in our quiet bays; Noordhoek, Fish Hoek and Simonstown; mating, calving and basking with their families. The whales seem to choose quiet, warmer bays like Fish Hoek, and Simonstown in False Bay, to give birth to their young, where they seem to feel unthreatened. They usually stay until about end October, or even later before migrating, but the peak season is from mid-August to mid-October. Be assured that if you are in our Cape Town, southern peninsula during these months you will not go unrewarded with whale sightings. Humpback whales mate and calve in the warm waters off both Mozambique and West Africa, and can also sometimes be seen in False Bay as they move past South Africa on their northward migration. The term "right" whale refers to the fact that in the nineteenth century these whales were regarded as the "right" whales to catch, because they were particularly rich in oil, being slow swimmers they were easy to catch, and because their carcasses were easy to handle as they floated when dead.

False Bay presents an awesome opportunity for whale watching during the whale migration season. It is an enormous stretch of ocean, extending along the coast of the Cape Peninsula from Muizenberg to the naval town of Simonstown, on the one side and a 35km long stretch of white sand beach from Muizenberg around to the Strand and Gordon's Bay on the western end of False Bay, with the scenic coastal Baden-Powell Drive following the shoreline for most of that extent. From our affordable self catering holiday accommodation a short drive takes you to the most spectacular whale watching view sites on the coastal road from Muizenberg through Fish Hoek and Simonstown, or to Chapman's peak drive.

While enjoying the safe bathing on Fish Hoek beach, one can enjoy a stroll from the beach along the concrete promenade around the bay shore, known as Jagers Walk. Southern Right Whales occasionally laze here, particularly close to the rocks. The coastal road between Fish Hoek and Simon's Town has some great spots for watching because the elevated road follows the shore. One can stop almost anywhere on the road when you spot the flukes of tail splashing, or if you are fortunate enough to see a whale sounding. At Glencairn one will find a good vantage point off the road with a large information board that will provide useful information about the whales that you are likely to see.

Driving toward Cape Town to Kalk Bay, you may need to stop alongside the coastal road which is elevated enough to offer really good views of the whales frolicking in the bay. From Kalk Bay a superb vantage point is offered on Boyes Drive, a remarkable scenic road that winds across the mountainside between Kalk Bay and Muizenberg. Take along a pair of binoculars and stop at one of the mountainside vantage points for a truly spectacular vista across the whole of False Bay. Although Hermanus is often publicized as the heart of the whale-watching route, many believe that the opportunity for watching Whales at close quarters is better in False Bay. You will certainly find it less crowded.

Our Noordhoek accommodation is situated at the start of Chapman's Peak Drive, deservedly known as one of the most beautiful scenic coastal roads. At a height of about 600 meters above the sea, you will have some great vantage points, and from here Dolphins are regularly spotted in the bay.