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Marine mammals

© Ocean Blue Adventures© Ocean Blue AdventuresSouth Africa is one of the leading destinations worldwide for watching marine mammals, with registered boat-based whale watching operations that are required to adhere to very strict legislation. Land-based whale watching is best in Cape Town, Hermanus, Gansbaai, San Sebastian Bay and Plettenberg Bay, the latter of which is also the only bay in South Africa to have two licensed boat-based whale watching operations leaving from the same launch site, as well as a number of scenic flights that are geared up to take advantage of the whales in the bay.

Further north, on KwaZulu-Natal’s South and North Coasts, humpback and bottlenose dolphins are also easily seen from boats and the pass through on their migrations. Brydes whales are regularly seen off the whole coast for most of the year, but are pretty scarce in winter. There have been occasional sightings of orcas (killer whales), false killer whales, minke whales, blue whales and sperm whales off Cape Town. The most common whale species off southern Africa are the southern right whale and the humpback whale. Seals are plentiful off the Namibian and Cape Coasts, and there are dolphins along the whole coast.

While neither Namibia or Mozambique are as geared up as South Africa to take advantage of their wealth of marine life, there are some seal watching and dolphin watching trips in Namibia. There are dugongs in Mozambique, but they are very rarely seen, and dolphins and humpback whales are quite often seen from dive boats or fishing boats.

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