KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsWhale Watching in St Lucia
St Lucia, on the elephant coast, has boat-based whale watching trips to see these enigmatic giants who migrate annually from summer feeding grounds close to the poles, to the Equator where it is warmer for winter breeding.
Where? St Lucia on the Elephant Coast, KwaZulu Natal
When? Annually between mid-June and November
St Lucia – and the chance of seeing humpback whales - When you think of whale song, you think of the sound that the humpback whale makes. Their collection of moans, cries and howls can continue for hours and have made them rather famous. St Lucia, on the elephant coast, has boat-based whale watching trips to see these enigmatic giants who migrate annually from summer feeding grounds close to the poles, to the Equator where it is warmer for winter breeding.
St Lucia is a veritable Mecca for those that love wildlife and the outdoors that make South Africa such a desirable destination. It is situated in the balmy coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, which has a humid climate that yields plenty of lush, subtropical greenery. The Indian Ocean laps along the full length of this coastline, which means warm waters and plenty of swimming opportunities.
However, these waters are also loved by the many whales that frequent this part of the ocean, just a stone’s throw from the sand, every year. These are most often seen between mid-June and November. The most prolific species of whale seen off the coast of St Lucia is the playful, but enormous, humpback whale.
This cetacean is known for its charming antics and energetic performances, which are always a delight for onlookers. In fact, St Lucia has been rated one of the top whale watching sites in the country, thanks to having the highest recorded boat-based sightings of whales for the 2000, 2001 and 2002 period. In fact, to achieve this, St Lucia recorded almost 800 sightings. In second place was Shelley Beach, with only 145 sightings, which indicates how very popular St Lucia is among these playful cetaceans.
Because this part of the South African coastline is so warm, it is a common area in which the whales mate and give birth. Therefore, spectators will often see adult whale mothers swimming with a young calf at their side. This is a very special sight, leaving lasting memories for those that get to witness it.
Formal boat tours and whale watching expeditions are a must for first-time visitors. Between June and October, sightings of whales are all but guaranteed. Tourists are also very likely to spot a wide variety of other wildlife, including plenty of curious dolphins.