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Water Adventures -- Whale & Dolphin Watching
View info for Whale & Dolphin Watching
Whale & Dolphin Watching: 22 listings
Advantage Tours
Northern KwaZulu-Natal, KZN
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Simons Town Boat Company
Cape Peninsula, WC
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Whale Watch South Africa
Overberg, WC
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Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
Overberg, WC
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Southern Right Charters
Overberg, WC
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Ocean Blue Adventures
Garden Route, WC
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South Sea Safaris
Helderberg, WC
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Ocean Safari's
Garden Route, WC
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Dolphin Adventures Sea Kayaking
Garden Route, WC
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Knysna RIB Adventures
Garden Route, WC
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Romonza
Garden Route, WC
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Oceans Africa Diving and Whale Watching
Cape Town, WC
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Marine Scene
Cape Peninsula, WC
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Dyer Island Cruises
Overberg, WC
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Ocean Safaries
Garden Route, WC
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Blue Wilderness
South Coast, KZN
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Sodwana Kitesurfing
Zululand, KZN
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Romonzo
Garden Route, WC
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Ocean Adventures
Garden Route, WC
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Thonga Beach Lodge Mabibi
Northern KwaZulu-Natal, KZN
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Hermanus Whale Cruises
Overberg, WC
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Ocean Ventures
Dolphin Coast, KZN
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: Watch in awe...
Whale Watching Adventure:
Watch in awe...
There is definitely something special about observing whales and dolphins in their natural habitat that puts us, as humans, back into a more humble frame of mind once one of these magnificent animals has been viewed at close quarters.

Commercial whale watching through adventure tour operators is most commonly undertaken for recreational purposes although marine biologists have been using whale watching for many years as the most effective method for monitoring the behaviours and breeding patterns of these, the largest mammals in the world.

South Africa is certainly blessed with some of the best whale watching points in the world and in some locations superb views can be obtained from standing on rocky ledges and cliffs so you don’t have to go out in a boat if sea sickness is a challenge for you.

Watching these animals breech, play and rest is one of those memories that stays with one forever and the sheer size of an adult when it comes up alongside the boat makes one inhale a very large, deep breath and hold it for a long time!

And, with over 37 species of whales and dolphins in South African waters there is certainly plenty of variety to keep one riveted to the sea all year round for a glimpse of something new.

Dolphins are naturally playful and have a tendency to arrive seemingly unannounced right next to your boat and then play in the wake created as your bow parts the sea.

Viewed from both land and on the sea in a boat, dolphins certainly bring a lot of joy to both young and old alike.

An ideal outing for the whole family, a day spent in or on the water with an adventure tour company watching these graceful creatures is certainly one of the things happy memories are made of.

The dolphin is a small whale-like animal and it has all the grace of its larger ocean colleagues but this grace is matched with superb agility and a playfulness which touches all.
A word on Whale & Dolphin Watching:
  “I to the world am like a drop of water
That in the ocean seeks another drop,
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself.”


William Shakespeare
 


Equipment:

Whale watching today is carried out from the water from crafts from kayaks, motorized rafts, and sailboats through to out-of-use fish or whaling boats and custom-built craft carrying as many as 400 people. Land-based watching of species such as the Orca who come very close to shore remains popular. Viewing of species that usually stay some distance from the shore is also offered by fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters in some areas.
: Whales are also playful...
Whale Watching Adventure:
Whales are also playful...


Safety:

The most important equipment is a well maintained, safe and sea-worthy boat on which to take you to the whales and dolphins and most reputable adventure tours are conducted in South Africa with registered companies.

Remember to always wear a life jacket as accidents at sea happen quickly and always check weather conditions prior to departure.

Select a reputable company and ensure that the skipper taking you out is qualified and has experience in both dealing with changeable weather conditions and in being able to get you close to the whales and dolphins without being a nuisance to them.

Sun screen and hats is important as the African sun can be relentless in its fury and take adequate water supplies to ensure you remain hydrated.


Interesting Facts:

Thousands of people visit the east coast of South Africa every year in the hope of getting a close look at these mammals during their mating and birthing seasons. The main species seen in South Africa are:
  • Southern Right Whales: maximum length and weigh, 60 feet and 50 tons respectively, often covered in barnacles with a large head, short broad flippers. Is one of the baleen whales which have no teeth. They have horny plates in their mouths that straing out their food from the water. The baleen hangs in two rows like curtains, one on each side of the whale’s upper jaw. The inner edges of the plates have fringe or bristles that strain out food.
  • Humped Back Whales: maximum length and weight, 50 feet and 45 tons respectively with a characteristic humplike roll of fat on their backs. They are often seen with many “whale lice” (barnacles and crustaceans) on their bodies. The humped back whale is part of the baleen (non toothed) whales and they have large flippers (12-13 feet long) and are dark with white patches on the underside.
  • Killer Whales: (a large porpoise), maximum length and weight 30 feet and 10 tons respectively. Is one of the “toothed” whales having 40-48 peglike teeth. It has a glossy black back, with white undersides.


Dolphins differ from porpoises in that the dolphin has a snout which forms a “beak” whereas the porpoise has no beak.

There are two main types of dolphins:

The Bottle-Nosed Dolphin: believed to be the most intelligent of all the animals they communicate well with each other through a variety of sounds that include whistles, clicks and barks. These are the dolphins most commonly found in aquariums where they are the star performers that delight young and old with a variety of tricks.

The Common Dolphin: has a black back and white underside with prominent gray and brown stripes on its sides. It is found in warmer waters and often swims alongside ships and for hundreds of years have been considered to be “good luck charms” promising smooth sailing.

Many scientists around the world conduct regular tests to learn more about the sounds dolphins make and how they communicate with each other.
: ...and graceful...
Whale Watching Adventure:
...and graceful...


History:

The official start of whale watching as a recreational activity dates back to the 1950’s when the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, California, USA was declared a public spot for the viewing of the gray whale. While this may be true we know that whale watching on the South African East Coast has been the destination of first choice for many years with grandparents still talking about their first sightings as young children.

Hermanus alone, in South Africa, boasts thousands of visitors during the peak viewing seasons in September each year.

Links:

Whaleroute.com
Dolphinstudies.co.za


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