While no two trips are ever the same, from our years of experience we have come to expect sighting of whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and an array of coastal marine fish and birds.

Although sightings of the Southern Right Whales have decreased in the past two years, we are seeing even more Brydes and Humpback Whales than ever before.

Our dolphin sightings are awe-inspiring and include the every mischievous Bottlenose Dolphins, the spirited Common Dolphins as well as endangered Humpbacked Dolphins.

The Cape Fur Seal population is ever increasing and you are sure to see these and perhaps even a Great White shark.

While we cannot guarantee sightings of particular species, we do know what species are found in our Bay at certain times of the year, which gives us a good indication of the likelihood of their occurrence.

Remember, this is a guideline founded on our experience; animals are being observed in their natural surroundings so no guarantees can be given on any species.

Southern Right Whales

Southern Right Whales can be seen in our Bay from June to December (whale watching season).  The Southern Right Whales are slow moving and can reach up to 16m in length.  The female Southern Right Whales give birth in our Bay from July to November.  Numbers of the Southern Right Whales have increased since the curbing of commercial whaling, every year we see more and more of them playing and uniting in our Bay.

What you could see - Hermanus Whale Watching

Humpback Whales

What you could see are Humpback Whales passing our Bay from June to December (whale watching season).  Humpback whales get their name from the hump they have on their backs.  They can grow up to 15m in length and weigh in at a staggering 35 – 45 tons.  They are often seen jumping out of the water and showing off.

What you could see are Humpback Whales breaching while travelling the coast of South Africa


Dolphins can be seen in our Bay all year round.  The playful Common Dolphins live in pods and they will often follow boats for the duration of the trip.  The Humpback Dolphins are a little less playful and somewhat shy.  They are not known to interact much with the boats and they are highly endangered.  You will recognize them by the hump they have just below their back fin.  Everyone’s favoured dolphin is by far the Bottlenose Dolphin.  These dolphins are the largest of the dolphin species and they are usually seen jumping and surfing in the waves.

What you could see are Common Dolphin cruising along

Cape Fur Seals

Cape Fur Seals can be seen in our Bay all year round.  The Cape Fur Seals get their name from their heavy pelt.  The male Cape Fur Seal can grow to over 2m in length and weights a hefty 200 – 300kgs.  Females are a little smaller, growing to roughly 1.5m in length and weighing in at an impressive 50 – 75kgs.  The female Cape Fur Seals give birth between the middle of November and the end of December.  Each female will only birth one pup.

What you could see are Cape Fur Seal while whale watching in South Africa

Bryde’s Whales

These whales can often be seen in the Bay all year round.  These whales are fast moving and can grow to be up to 14m in length and weigh a bulky 13 tons.  They are most often seen in small pods of 5 or 6 whales.

What you could see are Brydes Whale Feeding in Gansbaai Südafrika

Minke Whales

The Minke Whales can intermittently be seen in our Bay.  They are the slightest of the Baleen Whales growing to roughly 10m in length and weighing in at approximately 3 tons.  These whales have a distinctive look, long flippers with light white stripes running along them.  They are inquisitive and will often approach the vessel.  They will good-naturedly swim past the boat or cause almighty splashes by breaking clear of the water in close proximity to the boat.

Minke Whale - Not often seen in Gansbaai South Africa


Orcas can intermittently be seen in our Bay.  Orcas are actually the largest of the dolphin species and have been found to be very friendly towards people.  The male Orcas can grow up to 8m in length weighing in at approximately 8 tons.  They can often be seen jumping out of the water or gently floating belly up.

Killer Whale - Orca - Seen in Gansbaai South Africa

False Killer Whales

The False Killer Whales can intermittently be seen in our Bay.  The False Killer Whales are slightly smaller than the Orca and are a little darker in colour.  The male False Killer Whales can grow up to 5.5m in length and weigh in at approximately 2 tons.

False Killer Whale sometimes seen in South Africa Gansbaai


A wide variety of sharks can be found in our Bay.  Besides Great White Sharks, we also intermittently encounter Ragged Tooth Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks as well as Mako Sharks.

Bronze Whaler Shake often seen in Gansbaai

The African Penguin

The African Penguin if often referred to as the jackass penguin, a name they get from the sound they make.  What you could see is The African Penguin, it is relatively small growing to approximately 70cm in height and weighing roughly 4.4kgs.  They spend nearly all of their day at sea and huddle together to keep warm.

Coastal Marine Birds

  • African Black Oyster Catcher
  • Albatros
  • Cape Cormorant
  • Whitebreasted Cormorant
  • Cape Gannet
  • Kelp Gull