Water activity

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

4.4 / 5

92 reviews

Activity provider: Dyer Island Cruises

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

Activity provider: Dyer Island Cruises
Likely to sell out

From US$ 51.29 per person

Likely to sell out

Ever heard of the Marine Big 5? Gansbaai, South Africa is the best location for spotting whales, seals, sharks, dolphins and penguins all in a single trip. Learn all about these animals, conservation efforts and how you can contribute!

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible—book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 3 - 8 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Optional audio guide
German, Italian
Pickup optional
Your hotel in Hermanus. Pickup time will be confirmed the afternoon before the trip, after a detailed weather check has been done. Please wait in your hotel lobby.
Wheelchair accessible


  • Get the chance to spot whales, seals, sharks, dolphins and penguins in just one trip
  • Relax on a spacious and comfortable whale-watching boat with an observation deck
  • Learn about all the marine species encountered while out at sea from an on-board Marine Biologist
  • Enjoy 5-star service while on board and on land, with amazing crew and friendly staff all around
  • Enjoy all amenities at The Great White House, the 5-star welcome facility
  • Visit the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, a rehabilitation center for all sick and ill seabirds
Full description
Visit the Dyer Island eco-system and have the opportunity to spot the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, seals, dolphins and penguins. Every year from June to December, the southern right whales arrive to mate and calve. Witness mating displays, breaching, tail slapping, spy-hopping and more. You may also see Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, the elusive humpback dolphin and the common dolphin. An incredible array of seabirds and a sighting of the almost 60,000-strong Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock is guaranteed as the boat cruises down the famous Shark Alley. An on-board marine biologist will be on hand to teach you more about the amazing animals that visit these shores. On the day of your trip, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cape Town or Hermanus, if you have selected an option with transfers included. Upon arrival in Gansbaai, enjoy coffee/tea and muffins while listening to a dedicated safety briefing. After you're fitted with inflatable life jackets and wet-weather gear, take a 200 meter stroll down to the harbor to board the whale-watching vessel. Time spent on sea on average is two hours depending on sea conditions and marine life activity.  Upon return to land, receive an informative debrief while enjoying warm soup and bread. Professional trip footage is also available to purchase after the trip, so that you can have a permanent memory of your sightings. If you have chosen the option with transfers from Cape Town, a visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is also included on your way back. You'll see the important efforts being made to rehabilitate injured and sick animals.
  • Return transportation from Cape Town or Hermanus (depending on option selected)
  • Coffee/tea and muffins on arrival
  • Light lunch after the trip
  • 1 dedicated safety briefing before the trip and 1 debrief after the trip
  • Inflatable life-jackets and wet weather gear
  • Visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (if option from Cape Town selected)
  • Other meals and drinks
  • Souvenirs at the curio shop
  • Professional trip footage
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • You must fill out a travel information form
  • You will receive a mandatory temperature check

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet at The Great White House in Kleinbaai, 5 Geelbek St, Van Dyks Bay, 7220, South Africa. The meeting time will be confirmed the day before your trip.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Face mask or protective covering

Not allowed

  • Smoking in the vehicle
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  •  All ages are welcome on the vessels. Should you have kids under 5, please contact the supplier directly to amend your booking accordingly. Kids 1 to 4 years old are free of charge.
  • Both the welcome facility and whale watch vessel are wheelchair friendly
  • The vessel can accommodate 2 wheelchairs per trip
  • If you are prone to motion sickness, it's recommended that you use anti-seasickness medication starting the day before the trip
  • Please bring warm clothes as it colder on sea than land
  • Please bring along sunscreen and a hat
  • This is a full-day activity with a duration of up to 8 hours, sometimes even longer
  • This is a weather dependent activity and sightings are not guaranteed
  • Starting times mentioned are subject to change daily and only used as indication
  • Exact pickup time can only be confirmed the afternoon before the trip after a detailed weather check has been done - guests will be contacted
  • The scenic drive from Cape Town to Gansbaai is 2.5 hours one-way
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 92 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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Très sympa , la traversée dure assez longtemps, notre guide Olivia a été très gentille et nous a appris beaucoup de choses , on a eu la chance d’observer 4 des 5 animaux du big 5 (et même une raie à la fin). Je recommande a tout les amoureux des animaux.

July 17, 2022

It was just amazing to go out onto the ocean, we didn’t see whales but loved the experience out on the water. We did see a few sharks that were around the boat viewing them and lots of seals, only a few penguins sadly. Quite a few birds. Thank you!

March 31, 2022

Nice experience, it's a must if you go in South Africa. A little bit expensive for what is offering, but at least a portion for the ticket is going for helping the penguins. i haven't saw any whales, but i have been off season (the chance of seeing a whale was very small)

December 6, 2019

Product ID: 162024