Whale Season : July – November
Yearly, Southern Right whales migrate from their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica to warmer climates, reaching South Africa in June. The country’s coastal waters teem with the giant animals, mating, calving and rearing their young – and giving whale-watchers breathtaking displays of elegant water acrobatics. At least 37 species of whales and dolphins can be found in the waters off South Africa, and is most famous for rare encounters with Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales.
The whale-watching season in Mossel Bay starts from June to November, when four species can be seen in our waters. The Southern Right is the most commonly sighted, coming into the bay to calve, but look for Humpback, Bryde’s and Orcas as well.
Informative whale interpretation boards can be seen at various beaches and view points, or take a boat based whale-watching trip onboard the Romonza, or hike the St Blaize trail. Schools of up to 500 dolphins add to the spectacle. The most common dolphins found all year are heaviside’s, common, dusky and bottlenose dolphins, playing in the surf – some even between the local surfers and kayakers.
Bryde’s whales or orcas are occasionally seen, and bottlenose and humpback dolphins are in residence all year. A breeding colony of up to 3000 Cape fur seals on Seal Island completes Mossel Bays’ impressive array of marine mammals.
The Garden Route generally, from Stilbaai through Mossel Bay and on to George, Wilderness, Knysna and Tsitsikamma, is a magnificent stretch of coastline hosting Southern rights in their season, Humpbacks between May and December, Bryde’s whales all year round – and, occasionally, killer whales.
Occasionally, beached whales or dolphins end up on our beaches, due to illness or injury and visitors are urged not to intervene but to call our local S.M.A.R.T volunteers, who are experts in the field of marine animal handling.