About Donkergat Whaling Station

Saldanha is one of the charming towns perched along the Cape West Coast of South Africa, known for its gorgeous coastline and unique vegetation. But, it was once also an epicentre for whaling or whale hunting; long before measures were put into place to protect these beautiful marine mammals.

Did you know? Donkergat Whaling Station was closed in 1967. This information is intended for those who are interested in the history of whaling and Donkergat.

Today, the Donkergat Whaling Station remains as testament to the West Coast of yesteryear. It was opened in 1909 and had three ships, which came before (and had a massive impact on) the whaling industry that would hit South Africa with a bang. It was initiated by John Bryde, in response to the vanishing of whales in other waters of the world, due to excessive hunting. There was a lull in the industry, but it was resurrected in 1947, and Saldanha was an important centre for this movement.

Donkergat became the whaling station of choice for countless ships from around the world, who would hunt mainly sperm whales, but also a significant number of sei whales. Finally, in 1967, the whaling station was closed. Sadly, the lives of more than 20 000 whales were lost before this decision was made.

Decades ago, the Donkergat public beach was a dangerous place to swim, since the sharks had been lured by the whale carcasses being brought in. Shark attacks on humans were frequent. However, over time, and with the absence of whale carcasses being dragged along by boats, the shark attacks have all but stopped completely.

This stretch of the coast is often stroked by winds, which makes it particularly popular amongst kite-surfers and wind-surfers. Fishermen spend their days on boats or on the rocks, catching fresh seafood for locals and tourists to enjoy.

Saldanha Bay is about two hours from the Mother City of Cape Town, and the magnificent Cape Winelands.

Need to Know

WhereDonkergat Whaling Station was closed in 1967. This information is for those who are interested in the history of Donkergat.
Saldaha, Cape West Coast, Western Cape, South Africa

WhenPermanently closed.

OvernightStay in Saldanha Accommodation, Western Cape

Disclaimer

Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.

Feedback?

If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Saldanha

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Donkergat Whaling Station

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Western Cape Accommodation / Cape Town Accommodation / Cape West Coast Accommodation / Saldanha Accommodation

Saldanha as a destination

Want to stay overnight?

Dates

When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Saldanha property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.