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Whales & Sharks

Gansbaai has earned the title ‘Great White Shark Capital of the World’ through its large white shark population and jaw-dropping shark encounters.

From July till December the magnificent Southern Right Whales migrates to Walker bay to give birth and mate. The De Kelders cliffs are arguably one of the best spots in the world for land based whale watching.

For those wanting to get into the whales milieu there are two Operators that offer boat based whale watching trips.

Boat-based Whale Watching (June - December)

Coming up close and personal with a Southern Right in its natural habitat is exhilarating. The Southern Rights seem to be as curious about us as we are about them, often friendly and playful, passing under or spy hopping next to the boat.

Boat based whale watching in De Kelders

The industry is carefully regulated and experienced operators are allocated areas to ensure minimum intrusion on the whales. Only 2 permits have been issued for legal boat-based whale watching on the Danger Point Peninsula. The boats stay 50m away from the whales, but Right whales are inquisitive and often surface very close to the boat, providing an unforgettable close encounter.

The 2-hour boat trips depart in the morning with a possible second trip around lunch & a third trip in the afternoon. Ivanhoe Sea Safaris operates in Walker Bay leaving from Gansbaai harbour (5min by car) and specializes exclusively in whales. Normal departure time: 10h. Weather permitting.

Dyer Island Cruises leave from Kleinbaai harbour (15min by car), heads towards Dyer Island with its penguins and Geyser Island with its colony of 50 000 Cape Fur seals. The boat also passes were the shark boats operate, so you have a good chance of seeing a Great White Shark.

Shark Diving (ALL YEAR)

Gansbaai has earned the title ‘Great White Shark Capital of the World’ through its large white shark population and jaw-dropping shark encounters.

Shark diving in Gansbaai South africaDaily trips depart in the morning (times can vary due to tides) from the small coastal village of Kleinbaai (15 min by car). A 20 minute boat ride takes you out towards Dyer & Geyser Island, home to about 60,000 Cape Fur seals and therefore favourite hunting ground of the Great White Sharks. The trip takes around 4 hours depending on the weather, sea conditions and shark behaviour. The specially designed shark diving cage is attached to the side of the boat and floats with part of the cage above the water. All of the necessary equipment is supplied, and all shark diving operators have to comply with strict safety rules. Enjoy a great opportunity to learn about these mysterious animals and be sure to ask any questions you may have as many of the shark diving operators have a whole host of data gathered from the research they have done while working with the sharks. No scuba certificate required.

boat tours to dyer island

Cape Fur Seals on Dyer Island Cruise

From January till the whales return in June, 2-hour boat trips operate out towards Dyer & Geyser Islands to see seals, penguins, various seabird species, Great White Sharks and, more than likely, some dolphins. (Weather depending)