As an international Hope Spot and boasting five Blue Flag beaches, Plettenberg Bay is one of the top coastal destinations in South Africa. Every year, between June & November our bay and the surrounding coastline is visited by Southern Right and Humpback whales. Our relatively warm waters are the perfect playground for the whales to mate and calve, and we’re fortunate to be able to view these magnificent creatures from land and boat. Plett is having an incredible whale season this year, so it’s the perfect time for a visit.
Our marine safari boats from Ocean Blue Adventures and Ocean Safaris, operate daily in Plett, weather permitting. They offer visitors the opportunity for a closer encounter with the whales. Although permitted to approach the whales within a certain distance, the whales themselves are often curious and will venture closer to the boat, once the engines have been cut. What a thrilling experience to have a 30 000 kg mammal surfacing beside the boat. Forget your camera in that memorable moment when a whale breaches, launching itself out of the water – there’s no time, just enjoy it. Although no-one is 100% certain why whales do this – for those of us watching, it seems like pure happiness.
For land-based whale watching, Plettenberg Bay has many view-spots for watching the whales. Head to one of the view-spots success as the Whale Tail Bench, Robberg Peninsula or the Lookout Deck. Our recommendation is to pack a picnic and head up to Robberg Nature Reserve for a hike and picnic watching the whales. Grab your binoculars and take in the views, fresh sea air and the excitement of watching for those blows! An easy way to tell them apart without getting a good look at them is by their blows. The Bryde’s whale has a columnar blow, the southern right has a V-shaped blow, while the humpback whale has a bushy blow. If you’re strolling along Robberg or Lookout Beaches, you could be treated to whales resting just behind the breakers, often with calves as they tail-slap and spy-hop up for a glance above water.
We are very fortunate that Plettenberg Bay is such an ideal place for marine encounters; with our beautiful beaches and winter Whale Season, there is always a good time of year to visit Plett.