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Thar She Blows

Grootbos is ideally positioned and equipped to offer our guests arguably the best whale watching tours in the world. Every year from June to December hundreds of Southern Right Whales choose Walker Bay as their home for the mating season. 

Experience close encounters with these majestic giants from the low cliffs of Hermanus and De Kelders, aboard our exclusive whale watching boat departing from Gansbaai or by plane flying over the spectacular Walker Bay!

The whale watching tours are all part of the Grootbos experience, so no prior arrangements or bookings need to be made.

Land-Based Whale Watching

The coastal cliffs and pathways of Hermanus and De Kelders make this one of the best places in the world for land based whale watching, if not the best! The Southern Rights migrate annually from their icey Antarctic feeding ground to our warm, sheltered bays to mate, calve and raise their young. Breaching, tail slapping and lob tailing, the whales turn the bay into a hub of aquatic activity.

With extensive local knowledge and insights, the Grootbos guides take you to all the best viewing sites along the coast. Watch spellbound as mothers, calves and energetic bulls come to within mere metres of the rocky shoreline.

Boat-Based Whale Watching

Join Grootbos, in partnership with Dyer Island Cruises, on our exclusive boat for the whale watching experience of a lifetime. We keep a minimum distance of 50m from the whales, being careful not to disturb them. As these gentle giants are very curious, they often swim right up to the boat to get a better view allowing for incredibly close encounters.

Each trip is led by an experienced marine biologist and guides who love to share their knowledge with you, keeping emphasis on the welfare and conservation of the animal.

Besides the majestic whales, we offer the complete Marine Big 5 tour, which includes whales, dolphins, penguins, seals and surface viewings of the Great White Shark - not to mention the incredible variety of sea birds (Albatross, Cormorants, Petrels, Skuas, etc) and breath-taking unspoiled scenery! 

Airborne Whale Watching

Take a flight over Walker Bay framed by the fynbos-clad mountains and pristine, white sand beaches for a bird’s eye view of the abundant marine life of this spectacular whale sanctuary. Only from the sky is it possible to comprehend the scale of the Southern Right community that visits our coastline every year.

Witness the giants of the deep crashing through the water with their fellow species, with mating groups of up to ten whales and mothers swimming protectively alongside their newborn calves, completely undisturbed and unaware of your presence. Our record to date is 198 whales in a 30-minute flight.

The aircraft is ideal for photographers, with an opening window offering an unobstructed view from a stable, smooth platform. Take off from your own exclusive airstrip at Grootbos in the capable hands of our highly experienced pilots for a safe, relaxing and awe-inspiring voyage.