Western Cape
Dolphin & Whale Watching

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Western Cape Dolphin & Whale Watching

Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

1. Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Discover Hermanus, one of the best destinations for watching marine mammals, on a boat trip with a whale specialist guide. Sail to areas that receive seasonal visits from southern right and humpback whales along with year-round sightings of Bryde’s whales and dolphins. Enjoy refreshments onboard. Sail on a purpose-built catamaran ensures maximum passenger comfort and spectacular viewing opportunities. During the tour, the crew is on hand to make sure everyone has a great experience, from helping get the perfect photo to serving complimentary light refreshments. The guide, a whale specialist, will interpret the marine life encountered en route and provide insight into the behavior of the whales while the action is taking place. The expert videographer will ensure the best footage is captured.

Cape Town: Coastal Catamaran Cruise

2. Cape Town: Coastal Catamaran Cruise

Enjoy a one-hour scenic coastal cruise aboard a luxury power catamaran. The vessel will take you from the historic V&A Waterfront area on an adventure out to sea. Throughout the cruise, you'll travel along the Atlantic coastline to the Green Point Lighthouse before then traveling back to the harbor. With spectacular mountain and city views, the cruise provides perfect ocean views over many of Cape Town’s splendors. Your one-hour cruise operates daily, with regular departures from Quay 5. With a cash bar on board for refreshments as well as great service, this is a trip not to be missed.

Hermanus: Boat Based Whale Watching Experience

3. Hermanus: Boat Based Whale Watching Experience

Board your vessel for the day and receive a safety briefing before starting your whale watching adventure. In good weather conditions travellers will be allowed on the top-deck before departure for great unobstructed views, otherwise they will be allowed on top only after the whales have been found. Travel out onto the ocean taking in great views as you go.  Once the whales have been spotted, the vessel is allowed to move closer to the whales where it stops and the engines disengage is to prevent the whales from being injured by the propellers. Experience for yourself the astonishment of being so close to these majestic creatures.  As the whales are curious creatures, they might move up to the vessel for some 'people watching'. See a variety of other marine wildife such as dolphins and seals as you coast along the water. As you travel through the day and spot these beautiful creatures learn more about them from your crew, before they take you back to land after a once in a lifetime experience. 

Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

4. Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

Climb aboard and look for marine life in the ecosystem of Table Bay on a 1.5-hour eco-cruise from Cape Town. See species in their natural surroundings, such as humpback and southern right whales, depending on the season. Get the chance to watch pods of dolphins breaching close to the boat and marvel at their acrobatic displays. Be enchanted by Cape fur seals lounging on the jetties and get close to unusual species, such as sunfish. Watch African penguins diving for fish to take back to their breeding colony on Robben Island.  Encounter birdlife, such as terns, gannets, cormorants and mighty black-browed albatross.

Cape Town: V&A Waterfront Champagne Cruise

5. Cape Town: V&A Waterfront Champagne Cruise

Head to Cape Town's iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for an unforgettable cruise along the Atlantic coastline. Soak up the sun on the spacious trampolines in the foredeck or get comfortable on the cushions under the roofed area. Sip your complimentary glass of champagne as you take in spectacular views of Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range. Keep an eye out for the marine life in the waters around Cape Town, including seals, dolphins, penguins, and even whales.

Knysna: Luxury Sunset Sailing Cruise and Captains Braai

6. Knysna: Luxury Sunset Sailing Cruise and Captains Braai

Depart from Sirocco Restaurant Jetty on Thesen Island in Knysna.   Our experienced crew will welcome you with a glass of bubbly on board our luxury 55-foot catamaran. We then set sail and follow the picturesque channel past Leisure Isle, Featherbed Nature Reserve and through the world famous Knysna Heads (weather permitting) before setting sail into the Indian Ocean. Enjoy a sumptuous Captain's barbeque while you admire the coastline's abundant array of marine life, such as birds, seals, dolphins, sharks, whales, and much more. You may even get the chance to catch fish.  Enjoy panoramic views of the sunset over the port as you head back to the jetty. *Braai Special Only Available until end of August.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

7. Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

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.

From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

8. From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

Join the most prolific Whale Watching Operator in the Hermanus area, launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders, proven to be the best area with the highest concentration of whales on the South African Coastline. Along the way hear about local commentary of whales, and facts about right whales. Learn about the habitats and their feeding processes. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and other marine life. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, false killer whales and enchanting African penguins. This tour offers a great selection of marine life, that you can get up close with wild animals. Relax without ethical dilemma as you support businesses that celebrate animals in the wild. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

Cape Town: Marine Big 5 Ocean Safari from V&A Waterfront

9. Cape Town: Marine Big 5 Ocean Safari from V&A Waterfront

Escape of the hustle and bustle of the city to smell the fresh ocean air and learn about the Atlantic coastline's unique marine ecosystem. Your skippers and guide are experienced enthusiastic and love sharing knowledge and experiences of the ocean. Gaze at the beauty of the ocean as well as at the beauty of the Cape Town Atlantic Coastline. Cruise along and see the city from a different perspective. During the tour, you have the chance to see dolphins, cape fur seals, whales, penguins, sunfish, and more depending on the season. Get views of the 12 Apostle Mountain Range, Signal Hill, Lions Head, and Table Mountain as you make your past Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, and Oudekraal. 

Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

10. Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

Experience the three most iconic sites of Knysna on a 1.5-hour eco cruise of the Knysna estuary. Cruise along the rugged headlands and encounter the abundant marine life of the coastal waters.  Navigate the amazing estuary and pass the picturesque Knysna Heads. Venture further out into the expansive Indian Ocean to look for dolphins, seals, penguins, and Bryde's whales in their natural environment. Learn more about the geological features and wildlife you encounter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Frequently asked questions about Western Cape Dolphin & Whale Watching

What are other things to do than Dolphin & Whale Watching that are worth visiting in Western Cape?

The other unmissable things to do in Western Cape are:

Which Western Cape Dolphin & Whale Watching are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Western Cape

Want to discover all there is to do in Western Cape? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Western Cape

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 105 reviews

Brilliant trip even though we were early in the season. Our Skipper and crew were helpful and friendly, and we had a thorough safety briefing. We sat ‘upstairs’ next to the Skipper, he was very knowledgeable, stopped the boat frequently to show us and explain about marine animals. We saw Sunfish, seals, jellyfish, treated to a spectacular display from a huge pod of dolphins and then finally, a wonderful sighting of a Bryde whale and her calf. Beautiful trip around the bay with great views of the beaches. I loved that the crew are so conscientious and that we stopped to pick up large plastic litter…

My daughter and I had a great experience seeing a huge pod of dolphins, some penguins and seals. Francois was very informative with marine life facts as well as other fun facts about Robben Island and Cape Town. I highly recommend this fun cruise!

One of the best tours you could go on. For those who would wanna join don’t forget to wear heavy clothing, could become cold.

Everything was absolutely amazing. This was the second time I've gone on this cruise and it just gets better and better

Yoooo it was the best experience, will do it again.