Skip to main content

Take a trip to Gansbaai, just outside of Cape Town, with your family and friends and embark on a sea adventure filled with fun and plenty of educational snippets. Whale watching may sound boring and something to be left for your parents, but you are quite wrong.

Let the team from Marine Dynamics take you out and show you just how fun it can be. You will get the chance to see the marine “Big Five” – not quite sure what that is? Think penguins, dolphins, seals, whales (obviously) and the elusive Great White Shark. If you haven’t seen our article on Shark Cage Diving, now is the time to go and check it out.

Gansbaai and Dyer Island: a little history

Gansbaai is named after an Afrikaans/Dutch word meaning “bay of geese”. Gansbaai is a fishing town, like many others along the coast, and it’s a popular tourist destination in the Overberg District.

Dyer Island is named after the Polynesian seaman, Samson Dyer, who used this island for seal harvesting in the 18th Century. Since Samson Dyer arrived on the island there were several events that affected both the seabird population and the ecosystem in general.

In the mid-19th Century, people scraped guano, excrement of seabirds, from the island that was used for fertilizer. This, however, had a negative effect on the African penguins as they used the guano for nesting purposes. This forced penguins to nest in the open, which made them susceptible to predators. Penguin eggs then became a delicacy and were collected from the island. Today the island is a well-conserved area and the birdlife is closely monitored.

About your trip to Gansbaai

Each trip lasts between two and two and a half hours depending on the sightings and weather conditions. As with the Shark Cage Diving trip, you will meet at the Great White House where you will be given a talk on the trip and a few safety precautions. Each visitor will be fitted with an inflatable lifejacket and a waterproof jacket.

You will depart from Kleinbaai Harbour near Gansbaai. You may be wondering why you will be embarking on this trip from Gansbaai and heading towards Dyer Island for your whale watching experience. The answer is simple – between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock is the home of over 60 000 strong Cape Fur Seals, which are present all year round.

Another amazing aspect of this trip is that you will be taken through Shark Alley where you might be lucky enough to spot the notorious Great White Shark. A bonus about a whale watching trip with Marine Dynamics is that they know all the whale watching hot spots and they will be able to take you to these spots. Because Marine Dynamics have been doing this for years the whales have become accustomed to their boats and know exactly where to expect them.

Marine Dynamics boasts SA’s largest boat-based whale identity catalogue with re-sightings of individual whales each year.

  • Trips are both fun and educational.
  • Each trip is led by an experienced marine biologist and guides who are happy to share their knowledge with you.
  • Marine Dynamics places emphasis on the welfare and conservation of the animal.
  • Marine Dynamics also practices responsible tourism.

When should you go to whale watching?

  • The best time to go on a whale-watching trip is between July and December
  • There is a chance that you could not only see a whale, but also a whale shark on the same boat trip
  • The best time to spot the southern right whale is between August and December
  • On your trip, you will see whales, seals, penguins and various seabirds
  • You may also be lucky enough to spot a Great White Shark or dolphins

What should you bring to Gansbaai?

  • Bring warm clothes – even though you are supplied with a waterproof jacket you may get cold while on the boat
  • Sunscreen
  • Anti-sea sickness medicine to be taken beforehand
  • Camera for pictures

Once you get back to the Great White House you have the option to have a warm shower and change into fresh clothes. At the Great White House, there is a restaurant where you can have a nibble after your excursion and a shop where you can buy something to remember your trip by.

If you have always wanted to see a beautiful, majestic whale in its natural habitat then this experience is for you. Forget Sea World and the unnatural habitats that these majestic animals are forced to live in, this trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So, board the boat with the Marine Dynamics team, take to the seas and immerse yourself in a truly unique experience and walk away with a plethora of knowledge from experienced marine biologists and absolute enthusiasts.

Marine Dynamics Whale Watching Tour is included in your Cape Town City Pass.