South Africa Whale Watching – Cape Town – Book direct!

2hrs drive from Cape Town - Unrivalled Whale Watching Experience - Ivanhoe Sea Safaris, pioneers of boat based whale watching - Operating since 1996!

South Africa Whale Watching - 2hrs from Cape Town - Hermanus - Known World Wide to be the best place for Southern Right Whale Viewing!

South Africa whale watching experience, HMV the 'Ivanhoe' there is no better choice.

South Africa Whale Watching on The Ivanhoe

Trip Advisor 'Hall of Fame' and 6Yrs Winner “Certificate of Excellent” , there is no better recommendation, a company with a pedigree track record since 1996, one of the founding companies that established the whale watching industry in South Africa. Ivanhoe has earned the reputation of offering an unrivaled South Africa whale watching experience.

South Africa Whale Watching Trip Advisor Reviews

The Ivanhoe our custom built whale watching boat launches from the working fishing harbour of Gansbaai, just a 35-minute scenic drive from Hermanus, and a 2-hour drive from Cape Town.

Departing from Gansbaai harbor, we set course towards the whale watching capital of the world HERMANUS, immediately on our right we pass the Cliffs of De Kelders.

South Africa Whale Watching - Gansbaai Harbour

This area of Walker Bay has been scientifically proven year on year to carry the highest density of visiting Southern Right Whales, earning this area the reputation of being the “True Gem” of South African Boat Based Whale Watching and the best place in the world to enjoy boat based whale watching of Southern Right whales.

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South Africa Whale Watching

South Africa Whale watching season normally runs from June to December, however, as these are wild animals there migration dates are not the same each year like our holidays.

Should the whales change their migration schedule, as they have been known to start arriving in May and leave by the start of Nov, however, more often than not they arrive in numbers in June and there numbers fade by the end of November, we will adjust our schedule accordingly.

No two trips are ever the same, the trip generally lasts 2hrs, with our skipper and crews vast knowledgeable of the area we generally expect to sight whales, dolphins, seals, and an array of coastal marine fish and birds.

  • Whale Season (June - December)
  • Trip Duration (2 Hours)
  • Trip Times (7am - 10am - 1pm - 3:30pm)

2022 Whale Watching Pricing

  • Adults - R 1450.00
  • Children Under 12 - R 725.00
  • Children Under 5 - Free
  • Private Charter - R 31000.00

2022 Whale & Shark Combo Pricing

  • Children 8-12 - R 2270
  • Adults - R 3450

What our clients "Say and See"

South Africa Whale Watching Reviews for Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

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South Africa Whale Watching a true bucket list experience not to be missed!

Tick this off your bucklet list, join the pioneers of the boat based whale watching industry in South Africa

South Africa Whale Watching / Hermanus season is one of the most anticipated events in South Africa. As winter begins to creep in during June, Southern Right Whales will begin the long migration from Sub Antarctica to the coast of South Africa to find shelter within our sandy bays.

South Africa Whale Watching Hermanus - Southern Right Whale


Where they will make their way to their breeding and calving grounds. After a year of gestation, mother whales will find themselves off the coast of South Africa to give birth to a single Southern Right Whale Calf. The Hermanus Whale Watching season follows the mating and birthing of these gentle giants and how the young navigate the first few months of life.

South Africa Whale watching Hermanus season - June to December

South Africa Whale Watching in Gansbaai


The beginning of the season where mating occurs (although this has become less frequent in recent years) and the later part of the season where calves are born and raised along the coast. The Peak of the Hermanus whale watching season is August to October, with changes in the oceanic ecosystems causing whales to arrive a little earlier in the season and also leave a little earlier, though this varies from year to year. The calving peak is in August, and when these calves are born, they are around 5m in length and already a ton in weight. These little ones grow very rapidly, and at around a month or two old begin to learn to play. During the South African whale watching season, one can expect to see the youngsters having fun in the shallows, bonding with their mothers and giving us the occasional views of their flukes and flippers.

South Africa Whale watching Hermanus falls within the months of winter and spring


The whales beginning to head back down south during the summer months to feed once more. By the time the mother and calf leave in late November, the calf is already around half the size of the female. The bond between mother and calf is said to last about a year, with the little ones starting to skim feed on copepods and krill in February, which will begin the weaning process.

South Africa Whale watching Hermanus Southern Right Whale next to Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Southern Right Whale next to Ivanhoe Sea Safaris


Each year is different as mother nature has no exact time table, we highly recommend a visit in September or October for your best chance to enjoy a sighting of our incredible Southern Right Whales

Whale Watching Hermanus Experience and Trip Pricing

The Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe is a 42 ft. custom built catamaran specifically designed to allow optimum viewing of the whales. The boat is licensed to carry 40 passengers but we restrict the loading to 25 passengers, this avoids overcrowding and passengers can move freely around and enjoy there viewing of these gentle giants.  The boat is safe and stable for the whole family to enjoy, from infants to gran parents, you will find a very passionate, experienced and professional crew that loves nothing more than to share their knowledge and make this a truly memorable experience!

What you could see

As we are viewing animals in their natural environment, we can guarantee no two trips will ever be the same.  We always strive to provide the best viewing experience as possible and we hope to show you whales, dolphins, seals and an array of coastal marine fish and birds. On many occasions one can be humbled by witnessing a Southern Right whale come up close and personal to take a good look at us and the boat, so close you could almost reach out and touch them, obviously, this is forbidden!  Our viewing experience has been reviewed by many on Trip Advisor, a not to be missed, and should be on everyone’s bucket list.

About Us

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris pioneered boat-based whale watching in South Africa, we worked with respected scientists to set the regulations and rules of approach to ensure the animals flourish with minimal impact. We hold the permit for Area 6 of Walker Bay, this area is celebrated and boasts the best whale sightings along the entire South African coastline. The makeup of the Bay helps the mother protect its calve from predators, and a Marine Protected Area was established in front of the Cliffs of De Kelders.  We have developed a unique, personalized service that all our clients can enjoy, knowing we are NOT intruding on these magnificent animals.