Trip Status

Fabulous August 2018 | Whale Season Hermanus

The whale season in Hermanus is in FULL swing: with nearly daily sightings from the land and 100% success rate for sightings on all of our whale watching boat trips this past month, the coastline is beaming with activity.

The Whale Unit of the Mammal Research Institute took to the skies to conduct an aerial count of the Southern Right Whales along our coastline, the total count was 1347 whales between Hawston and Witsands. This jaw-dropping count is triple what it was this time last year!

 

 

Hello Humpback Whales!

Winter in the Cape is synonymous with hot chocolate at a roaring fire but in fact it is time to don a warm jacket and head out onto the blue yonder as it just also happens to be the time of the year when Humpback whales are migrating past the Hermanus coastline on their way to warmer waters.

These mammoth mammals are known as the acrobats of the ocean, you will fully understand why, when you witness this enormous animal breach (jump) out of the water with agility and true acrobatic form.

Humpback whales breach

HUMPBACK WHALE – Megaptera novaeangliae

 

Between June and August sightings of the Humpback whales in Hermanus are common as they follow their migratory path towards their breeding grounds in the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean.

The Humpback whale is a Baleen whale, and is further classified as part of the Rorqual family which includes whales such as the Bryde’s whale, Blue whale & Fin whale, the rorqual whales are also gulper feeders as opposed to only skimmer feeders such as the Southern Right Whale.

Humpback whales

QUICK FACTS

  • The humpback displays over 300 baleen plates on either side of its mouth.
  • Like the Southern Right, this whale feeds on krill, copepods & also feeds on small pelagic fish
  • Humpback Whales are easily recognizable by their long flippers, humped back with a dorsal fin, and the distinctive white markings on the underside of their flukes (tails)
  • Of all the whale species the Humpback has the longest flippers, with the length of one third of their total body length.
  • The white markings on the underside of a Humpback whales fluke (tail) are unique to each whale, much like the callosities, and a human’s fingerprint.
  • The Humpback whale displays a very impressive ‘breach’
  • Humpback whales can grow up to 16metres (52ft) with weights that exceed 40 tons.

 

 

Its a #GO for Greater Oceans

Southern Right Charters is super excited to launch The Great Oceans Initiative (#GO) to make a daily difference by reducing the amount of litter that ends up polluting our oceans.

Every year will welcome a new theme and this year it is all about marine debris and curbing it.

Did you know that according to the CSIRO study, roughly 80% of marine debris originates from land? By making small changes in our daily lives, we land mammals can do something about those stats!

Satellite socio and environmental campaigns that speak to this goal are ongoing and will dovetail with this initiative. Some of these are: Our #GOTalk where the SRC crew visited Hermanus Waldorf School, Living Hope Child Support and Just Care children to educate them on how to re-use, reduce and recycle to ensure that Splashy the Seal and Dizzy the Dolphin have a cleaner environment. Of course our enthusiasm for whales spilled over into an introductory talk on the wonders of whales in Hermanus and we ended with a drawing competition to win a boat based whale watching family voucher.

#GOWalk was initiated last year and this clean-up campaign is ready to go AWOL! Be it by boat, pool-net or bundu-bashing, the SRC crew will be on it with regular clean-ups of all the hard-to-get-to corners of the New Harbour in Hermanus.

Our #GOGetInvovled campaign is getting out there, finding like-minded ‘good stuff’ happening in our local community in which we can get involved. In this spirit we have appointed our ‘Butt Ambassador’ here at Southern Right Charters. She has been busily collecting ‘stompies’ around the harbour for the past couple of months to aid the Whale Coast Conservation ‘BinyourButt’ campaign. At the recent launch of the campaign in Hermanus, our ambassador took involvement to a whole new level and created awareness by becoming a giant cigarette! We eagerly await the installation of the SRC Sponsored ‘Butt Bin’ in the Hermanus New Harbour this July,

The Southern Right Charters’ Crew are excited to see where this Greater Oceans Initiative will ‘GO’ next!

GO Walk coastal Clean Up Bin your butt Campaign

GoTalk Greater Oceans Campaign #GoWalk Coastal Clean-up

Whale Watching Sighting Update | July 2016

Whale Season 2016 , Sighting update for July, Hermanus Whale Watching

During the month of July our whale watching tours had a 99% success rate for whale sightings.

SIGHTING SUMMARY

  • Brydes whales were frequently seen due to the large shoals of fish in Walker BayWhale watching sighting South Africa
  • Humpback whales were encountered on five of July’s trips
  • Southern Right whale’s were encountered on 99% of our trips, with numbers in excess of +20 whales on one trip
  • Southern Right whales mating was observed 19 times this past month
  • Humpback dolphins were seen twice during July. Our fist encounter was rare in term of the size of the pod, +50 dolphins were seen around the boat.
  • Common and Bottlenose dolphins were seen on 5 of our trips during July
  • Above average, pelagic bird activity in the bay this July.
  • A Great white shark was briefly spotted near the boat, and shortly after a whale in the distacarbon neutral tour operator southern right chartersnce started displaying very protective behaviour of her calf

SOUTHERN RIGHT CHARTERS IS CARBON NEUTRAL

Southern Right Charters have given back to the environment by offsetting our carbon footprint.
In an ongoing initiative certified and overseen by the Climate Neutral Group we now manage an effective emission reduction project, where we have reduced our CO2 output and engaged in sustainable way of giving back to the environment.
“We put back what we take out”

WHALE WATCHING | 7 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

whale watching hermanus

1. Is there a better time of day to see the whales, or when they are more active?

No two trips are alike and every day we have a trip that is the best but there is no way to know which one it will be before the time, it is all up to nature. We offer daily trips, weather permitting, which depart at 9h00; 12h00 and 15h00. No time of the day is better or worse for the whale sightings; it’s best to choose the trip time based on weather and what suits your travel plans best. If you are staying in Hermanus overnight then it is best to join on the 9h00 departure as then it leaves the rest of the day for other activities or traveling and the sea can often be calmer in the mornings.

2. Would we need to book a whale watching boat trip in advance or can we turn up on the day?

It is always better to book in advance as that secures your trip, payment is only required upon departure, as all of our trips are weather permitting. You can confirm your booking by completing our whale watching enquiry form or call us +27 823530550.

3. Are we guaranteed to see the whales?

We never like to use the word ‘guarantee’ as it is nature but with that said it is very rare that we do not encounter whales. Hermanus is lucky, as the bay is much loved by the Southern Right whales and in peak season there is easily 100+ whales in the area. If by some chance you do not see whales on your trip we do offer a 50% refund on your ticket price paid or the opportunity to join us on the next available trip for free.

4. What is the duration of the boat trip and whale watching tour?

We do not cap our trip time as it all depends on the traveling time to the whales. The trip itself can be 1hr 30m – 3 hours maximum. The trip time averages at about 2hours.

5. What happens if the trip is cancelled due to weather?

We only cancel on the day if the weather is poor, as the forecast can often be wrong. We would call you to let you know and then based on availability will re-book you for when suits you best. We always have a watchful eye on the forecast so feel free to call us a day or two prior to your trip for an update and possible re-shuffle of your booking. For direct bookings you only pay on arrival so that eases the hassle of refunds in case your trip is cancelled due to weather. Any tickets booked directly and paid for prior will be refunded in full if we cancel the tour.

Due to the whale season in Hermanus occurring during South Africa’s winter months, cancellation can often occur so we would always recommend booking your trip for your first available day so that if it is cancelled, then you have the next day as an option during your holiday.

6. What time must I arrive for my whale watching trip?

Arrival time is 30 minutes prior to departure time, as we have an on-land briefing prior the trip.

Confirmed bookings will be released and can be sold on if you have not arrived 15 minutes prior to departure, so please call to let us know if you are running late. (Cancellation terms apply)

7. Are there any age limits for children?

There is no age restriction but adult supervision is a must and it is regulation for all children under 12 years old to wear a life jacket at all times. If you child is an infant, chat to us prior to your trip about what is best to bring a long and life jacket sizing.

Also see: What to bring along for your whale watching trip

A Dolphin’s Tail…

Dolphin- a small, toothed whale

Usually whilst boat based whale watching, everyone’s eyes & cameras are set firmly in the direction of the whales, everyone amazed at these giants of the ocean. With this extraordinary viewing of whales up close why move your attention elsewhere? Not one reason we can think of!

EXCEPT: When in the distance you see an array of movement & splashes swiftly moving towards the boat. As the splashes come closer someone will shout out: “its dolphins, hundreds of them!”

As they move closer, you start to get a sense of their sociable personalities. This is magic! These minutes that the dolphins choose to be with us is breathtaking. Sightings of dolphins in Hermanus are frequent – particularly of the Bottlenose and Common variety. Earlier this month, we encountered Common dolphins in their hundreds, and our underwater camera was ready!

“When the dolphins are around us everbody is happy & smiling from ear to ear! They bringout the best in people, simply by their presence!”-Hannie Euser- Interpreter guide at Southern Right Charters

The world’s only ‘Whale Crier’ enjoys whale watching with Southern Right Charters

On Wednesday, 25th July, the world’s only ‘Whale Crier’ joined us on our morning whale watching trip.

The Whale Crier  arrived at the Whale Shack, our booking office, with a feather in his cap, a sandwich board proudly perched on his chest and a curly piece of dried kelp- his horn, which makes a sound that has become famously renowned for alerting visitors on the cliffs of Hermanus to whales in the bay.

With spectacular weather conditions our boat, Miroshca headed off along the coast in search of the ‘gentle giants’ of the ocean. The guests not only enjoyed having the Whale Crier on board but also enjoyed close encounters with Southern right whales and Humpback whales too!

Take a look at the mini video clip of the Whale Crier enjoying boat based whale watching, be sure to see him in awe as the southern right whale came millimeters from our boat!

The latest from Instagram

TODAY

Saturday
02 Mar 2024

Hermanus: End of the Southern Right Whale Season 2023

For more info on the current Humpback Season on the West Coast with Whale ExpeditionSA

Contact us

info@whaleexpedition.co.za

+27 82 353 0550

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* Trip status is updated daily around 16h00 SAST.

* Subject to unforseen circumstances.