Secret Season: Marine Big 5

24 July
Secret Season

Take to the sea and witness the unforgettable Marine Big 5…

During the Secret Season, nature comes together in an orchestra of natural wonder. The skies are decorated with bursts of sunset hues and flashes of brightly coloured plumage, the fields are adorned with the vibrant colours of blooming fynbos, the air is filled with the buzzing of bees and birdsong, and the deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean come alive with the Marine Big 5.

Seemingly called by the start of the beautiful hues of Autumn sunsets, the Southern Right Whales make their journey from feeding in the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warm sheltered bays of Walker Bay to mate and calve. From the coastline these gentle giants can be seen frolicking in the shallows, breaching, lobtailing, fluking and blowing their characteristic V-shaped spray. Mothers and calves can be seen closer to the shoreline as they feed and hide behind mom’s flukes or learn how to breach.

These wonderful creatures can also be viewed from a closer distance on one of our educational Eco Boat Trips. Heading out towards Dyer Island just off the coast of Kleinbaai, guests get to view these amazing marine animals in their natural habitat. Dyer Island is protected by CapeNature and one of our affiliates, Dyer Island Conservation Trust. Home to one of the only two offshore African Penguin colonies along the southern African coast, it is of utmost importance to keep a close eye on these dapper birds. The island is of course also frequented by other pelagic bird species like Giant Petrels, Swift Terns, Albatrosses, Cape Gannets and more.

Next door, you’ll find the noisy gathering place of a large colony of Cape Fur Seals, Geyser Rock. Whether they are basking in the lazy afternoon sun or gliding through the surrounding turquoise water, these whiskered sea dogs are a joy to watch. And found in between these rocky habitats lie the famous Shark Alley. A popular hunting ground for the Great White Sharks of Gansbaai, this is where all the action happens.

Then there is also the sweetheart of the ocean and final member of the Marine Big 5, the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin. Often seen catching the surf heading towards the sandy beaches of Pearly Beach, Uilenkraalsmond and Die Plaat or cruising past Danger Point in large schools, witnessing these sleek creatures is a joyous experience.

All of these awe-inspiring animals can be viewed on one of our Eco Boat Trips. Heading off from the nearby Kleinbaai Harbour, guests board our state of the art boat and take to the seas for an unforgettable experience. These trips are a great activity for the whole family and aims to inform and educate all on the importance of this intricate ecosystem and how you can help to protect it for generations to come. Those looking for a more ‘in-depth’ experience can also join our associate Marine Dynamics for a thrilling Shark Cage Dive where you can view the apex predators of the ocean up close and personal.

Be sure to join us next week as we end off the Secret Season with a look back at all the amazing experiences that form part of this magical time at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.



24 July
Secret Season
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