Cruise Destinations

8 things to keep in mind when whale watching in South Africa

If you’re planning to cruise to South Africa, you must have a clear idea about where to visit and what to do while you’re there.

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South Africa is known as “the world in one country,” and there are good reasons for it. There are so many wonderful places you can go to and activities you must not miss.

One of the most popular activities in South Africa on a shore excursion is whale watching. The country’s coastline has many shallow bays filled with pods of whales breaching and waving their tails playfully.

Boat-based whale watching is quite thrilling, but if you’re a first-time whale watcher, you need to get some idea about how to act when you’re in the middle of the sea, what to expect, and what not to expect.

Some Tips to Follow for Whale Watching

Whether you’re going whale watching alone or with your friends and family, there are few things you should know before you get into the boat. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your time with the whales in South Africa.

Learn Where To See Whales in South Africa

If you want to enjoy whale watching in South Africa, Hermanus is the place. Located in the country’s Western Cape province, this place is known as one of the 12 best whale-watching destinations in the world.

The town is tucked behind the famous Kleinrivier mountains and is a 1 hour 40 minutes drive from Cape Town. Even if you can’t manage for a whale-watching boat ride, you may see a whale launch itself out of the water while having a sunbath on the beach.

The Perfect Time for Whale Watching

The perfect months for whale watching in South Africa are June and November. During these times, the Hermanus whale-watching session remains in its full swing.

The pods of whales migrate from the Antarctic for calving purposes and take shelter in the calm bays and coves of the Southern coast. So, if you want to go there to observe the whale, plan your vacation during this time.

Choose The Best Boat

How much you’re going to enjoy the whale watching depends a lot on the boat you’re using for the cruise.

A high-quality, spacious boat will not only ensure safety in the middle of the sea but also provide the utmost comfort and best whale-watching experience.

If you want to ride your own boat to enjoy whale watching with your family and friends, there are some luxury boats for sale from which you can choose yours.

Whether you’re getting a personal boat or sharing with others, check that it comes with all the essential safety gear.

Don’t Forget To Take Photographs

Whale watching is an experience of a lifetime, which should be captured. While preparing to get into the boat, don’t forget to take your camera with you.

Capturing whale photos in the sea runs precisely opposite to the land rules. Unlike other photographs, whale watching should be taken in direct sunlight.

While most people go for watching the whales actively roaming around early in the morning and late in the afternoon, these two times don’t offer the best sunlight.

Make sure the sunlight can shimmer and sparkle in your photographs while you’re taking pictures of the whales.

Take Proper Precautions

You may have been to the sea a lot, and it may be calmer than you’ve imagined. But taking some precautions such as taking medicines for seasickness may save you from the uncomfortable situation in the middle of the sea.

Especially if you have children with you, you must make sure they don’t get sick. Make them wear a life jacket. Also, check if you have lifeboats, fire extinguisher, etc. stocked in the boat.

Some people don’t eat anything before the journey, which is wrong. There’s a high possibility that you will be exhausted, hungry, and thirsty in the sea. Eat properly and carry snacks and water with you.

Choose The Right Outfit

While dressing up for a boat ride in the middle of the sea, it’s best to leave the fashion on the quay. While the African sun and its UV glare can be extremely harsh, the breezes can be awfully frosty.

Always wear a waterproof jacket with long trousers. Don’t forget to take your cap and sunblock cream with high SPF. Instead of wearing fashionable shoes, opt for flat shoes with rubber soles.

Communicate With The Whale Crier

While preparing for the whale-watching tour, the last thing you want is to come back to the shore without seeing one. A whale crier may save you from this disaster.

If you’re wondering, a whale crier is a person who walks through the street and alerts people about the whales’ presence by blowing codes in his horn.

You will understand the codes by looking carefully at the sandwich boards they wear. Learn these codes and plan your ride accordingly.

Use The Help of The Crew

Safety on the road and in the middle of the sea are two completely different things. You may deal with any inconvenience by yourself when you’re on the land, but in the sea, you need an expert to guide you.

That’s when crew members come to your rescue. They are highly expert about the weather, the behavior of the whales, and any extreme condition of the sea. So, it’s strongly recommended that you always listen to them.

Besides, don’t feel ashamed to ask about anything you don’t know. They are very passionate about the job and will love to help you.

Final Thoughts

Whale watching is extremely fun and a must-have experience once in a lifetime. Especially if you’re visiting South Africa, do not forget to add this to your list.

While you can still see some whales from your cruise ship, it’s best to watch them closely from a boat. So, get prepared for the most exciting whale-watching experience in South Africa.

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