Each year with great anticipation we welcome the first appearance of whales in our Plettenberg Bay. They are such welcomed visitors, crossing thousands of miles of ocean to visit our coastline and bask in our warmer Indian Ocean water.
Southern right whales were almost hunted to extinction, because they were the right whales to hunt – hence their name. They visit Plettenberg Bay between June and November to mate and calve; who wouldn’t want spend time in our beautiful bay? A fully grown Southern right whale can weigh up to 80 tons – almost 12 african elephants and can live up to 50 years. A close encounter is something not to be missed , they are truly massive and magnificent. They are easily identified by their black colour and callosities on the head: “little bonnets”. It is difficult to distinguish their sex but if you happen to see them mating and are fortunate enough to be close, the 4 metre male organ makes identification relatively obvious! 🙂 The female’s gestation period is approx. 12 months and the calf’s birth occurs in the same waters of Plettenberg Bay a year later.
Humpback whales pass our shores on their way to their breeding grounds of Madagascar and Mozambique. They are the most energetic of all the large whales and are well known for their spectacular breaching, lobtailing, flipper slapping and skyhopping. Bryde Whales, smaller and slender are seen all year round, their large upright dorsal fin makes them look like huge dolphins.
So jump at the opportunity to go out with one of our local Whale watching boats and get really close to these mammoth mammels. Boats with permits are allowed to approach whales within 50 metres. Plettenberg Bay has several species of whales, dolphins and marine birds. Along Robberg Nature Reserve Peninsula you can see our large colony of Cape Fur Seals, the peninsula is also a great place for viewing whales.
Whether you prefer the close encounter, on a comfortable boat, an energetic kayak trip, a stroll on one of our beautiful beaches, or rather a bench perched at one of our look-out points with binoculars, take time out to watch the whales. Plettenberg Bay is known as the whale capital of the world!