Whales are back!

Posted under Marine Life Blog by Grootbos on 20th June 2012

Hi folks - buckle up - it's all systems GO for yet another whale of a show on the Gansbaai star-studded aquatic stage! Jump aboard or take a hike - just don't miss out on the premiere of the Biggest Live Show on earth!

Yeah, you're right! The Southern Right Whale stars are back for their annual world-acclaimed 6 months’ long performance - and Grootbos provides the tickets for yet another splashing 3-D Box Office hit - from land, sea and sky! As has become the custom in the Gansbaai area, Primera, the whale First Lady, took the lead and gave her solo opening performance a month earlier . .. literally setting the stage for her co-performers . . . and Grootbos guests can once again revel in one of nature's most remarkable phenomena.

Up to eleven whales have already been spotted in the Walker Bay area. A bird's eye-view from a plane will show the rest of the entourage en route to their favourite summer playfield. Between June and December, approximately 130 - 140 Southern Right Whales annually trek all the way from the icy Antarctic waters to come and date, mate and calve in the sheltered bays between Cape Town and the greater Gansbaai area at the southernmost shores of Africa.

No matter where you hike, bike, sail or fly in the next 6 months - if you are in the Overberg region between De Hoop Nature Reserve, Gansbaai and Hermanus, you cannot miss them - even if you try! The walkways at De Kelders and Hermanus provide some of the best land-based whale watching opportunities in the world. The whales come to within a stone's throw of the land to strut the stuff that earned them their legendary status as the (literally) greatest performers on the planet. That they are the size of a bus and weigh up to 60 tons rather enhance than hamper their aquatic acrobatics. To see them breach right out of the water is like watching an elephant fly. Experts believe their spectacular displays of lobtailing, tailslapping and grunting form part of their amorous repertoire.

From the vantage point of a boat, one can truly experience a face-to-face encounter with these mammoth mammals of the ocean. They bask in the adoration of their audience and often cruise alongside the boats to get an eyeful of the strange bipeds inside. The "footsteps" that they leave in the water, as they bid their spectators farewell after a mesmerising performance, are akin to celebrities taking a bow. From the sky, one gets a truly authentic picture of their size, trekking habits, social and family life. To watch a baby whale clumsily swim between its mom and dad whilst learning the tricks of the trade, is a life-changing experience and nothing less than a, well, WHALE of a sight!

Come and look and learn for yourself!

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