Whale Watching in False Bay

Agulhas National Park and the beaches below the lighthouse, provides wonderful vantage points from which to spot whales

Western Cape Tourist Attractions Whale Watching in False Bay

False Bay – Cape Town's Peninsula: During the late 1800s and 1900s False Bay and Table Bay had thriving whaling stations, there were so many whales in the bays. Today they do not attract quite the level of whale activity as towns further east, but come they still do.

Where? False Bay Coast, Cape Peninsula, Western Cape

When? Open daily.

Overnight? See False Bay accommodation, in Cape Town

Humpback and Byde's whales are commonly spotted away from the shore. You are more likely to see them out on one of the boat-based whale watching expeditions. But expert whale watchers say to look out for the three distinct notches on the dorsal fin that distinguishes the Bryde's whale.

Spotting whales close to shore is all about getting high enough to see them and having a pair of binoculars at the ready. Cape Town offers plenty of opportunity to see them, simply head up onto the cliffs. If you want to get closer to the whales, try hiking along the myriad hikes of the coast – the Oude Skip hike is one example.

Boyes Drive – the winding mountain road gets right up above False Bay beaches of Muizenberg, Dalebrook, St James Tidal Pool, and Kalk Bay offering sublime sightings, with binoculars, on days when the wind is calm. In any given day from June there are sightings in False Bay of southern right, humpback and Bryde's whales. A whale of a heritage route website keeps an online log of whales as and when they are sighted.

Fish Hoek - Jager's Walk that skirts the shoreline just might bring you across a couple of whales close to the boulders but whales have been sighted right in the bay too.

Coastal Road – between Fish Hoek and Simons Town there are some good vantage points for sighting whales, but it gets even better from Boulders to Smitswinkelbaai. At Cape Point the vantage point above Rooikrans is excellent, or stop and picnic at Buffel's Bay tidal pool (if crowds don't bother you).

Chapman's Peak offers wonderful vantage points, particularly as you are way above the whales. But you'll need binoculars.

Baden Powell Drive is one of the lesser known roads connected with whales. Linking Muizenberg with the N2, Capetonians use it as an alternative route to reach Somerset West or Stellenbosch. Strandfontein and Diaz beach, as well as Wolfgat Nature Reserve offer wonderful, if a little lonely, stretches of beach from which to spot whales.

Clarence Drive – the scenic drive between Gordon's Bay and Rooi Els en route to Hermanus has several incredible high points at which to see whales.

Whale watching boat tours operate from Simon's Town, Hout Bay and the Waterfront.

Popular Whale Watching Activities on the False Bay Coast

Whale Watching from Boulders

Where? Simons Town
Although Simon’s Town is small in size, one of its biggest attractions still remains a trip to Boulders Beach. Boulders Beach is situated at the end of Simon’s Town between Fish Hoek and Cape Point. A small entrance fee helps towards...

More info and contact details: Whale Watching from Boulders to Smitswinkelbaai

Whale Watching from Boyes Drive

Where? Muizenberg
Whether it be a passing drive or a leisurely stroll along Boyes Drive, there are many allocated stop-offs along the mountain side, where you can park off and view the vast ocean below. Surrounded by the False Bay waters and shark infested Seal...

More info and contact details: Whale Watching from Boyes Drive

Whale Watching in Fish Hoek

Where? Fish Hoek
Jager’s Walk, a beautiful walk path with a bird’s eye view of the whales, curves along the coastline towards Glencairn and takes you all the way into Simons Town. Whales often visit here and have even beached themselves onto Fish Hoek...

More info and contact details: Whale Watching in Fish Hoek

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