About Whale and bird watching
All the important things you need to know
Whale and bird watching photographs
Once in a lifetime moments captured by our team...
What you can expect – A typical trip with Dyer Island Cruises
When you book a trip with us, the evening before your tour we will contact you or your accommodation to confirm the time of your tour. Trip times vary with weather and tide conditions. Once you have arrived at The Great White House, you will receive a brief introductory talk about the route, safety, and what to look out for. Passengers are fitted with comfortable life-jackets and waterproof jackets. Safety is of the outmost importance. We have extensive public liability insurance.
Trip lengths are between 2 and 2.5 hours, depending on sightings and weather conditions. All cruises depart from Kleinbaai harbour near Gansbaai. Found only in Gansbaai, Dyer Island is located 8 km from shore and is an access controlled Important Bird Area (IBA) for the conservation of its many resident bird species, including African penguins. Adjacent to Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, home to a 60,000 strong Cape fur seal colony. These seals are present all year round. We will take you into the channel of water between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock known as the world famous ‘Shark Alley’. We will then take you to the whale hot-spots in the bay. With over a decade of experience, not only do we know where to expect the best whale viewings, but the whales have also learned where to expect us! We boast South Africa’s largest boat-based whale identity catalog and we see re-sightings of the same individual whales year after year.
We pride ourselves on being both fun and educational. Each trip is led by experienced marine biologists and guides who will share their knowledge with you, keeping emphasis on the welfare and conservation of the animal. Responsible tourism is our main objective so we focus on conservation, education, community upliftment and safety.
Peak Season – From July to December
This is quite possibly the only place in the world where one can see a mighty whale and a great white shark on the same boat trip (all less than 20 minutes from harbor!).
- Boat-based whale watching
- Southern right whales sightings from August to November
- See whales, seals, penguins as well as various seabird species
- Possibility of seeing Great white sharks and dolphins species
Working with wildlife – Things can change
Please note: Trips can vary from above. Should the whales arrive early or stay late in the year, we will alter our whale watching trips in accordance with the animals. Every trip is preceded by a brief introductory talk about previous sightings in the area.
What do I need? – Enjoy a comfortable trip
Always bring warm clothing as it is cooler at sea than on land. Waterproof/windproof jackets are available on the boat. We will provide inflatable life jackets. Please remember to use sunscreen. Please use anti-seasick medication well in advance if you are prone to motion sickness.
Dyer Island Cruises staff will meet you at the Great White House in Kleinbaai before your trip. There are bathroom facilities, as well as a restaurant and gift shop here.
Summer Time – From January to June
In the summer months after the Southern right whales depart, Dyer Island Cruises runs 1.5 to 2 hour trips to Dyer Island and Geyser Rock. These trips take in the sights described above at Geyser Rock, Dyer Island, and the White Shark Cage Diving boats. In addition, during this time of year we also spot Bryde’s whales and dolphins. The dolphins we most commonly see are Bottlenose and Humpback. This is also the beginning of the ‘sardine run’ and our best seabird encounters happen during this time of year.