Dyer Island Cruises:

Whale and bird watching

Giving you the best value for your money, we take you to South Africa's beautiful whales and birds on a Marine Big 5 Tour, without disturbing their natural behaviour.

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About Whale and bird watching

Enjoy a safe, comfortable cruise into the heart of the Marine Big 5 to watch graceful whales in their natural habitat

  • 5 Star Service

    Dyer Island Cruises offers welcome coffee/tea with water on board and soup with bread on return. We can cater for all dietary requirements and are the only company in the area who insist our guests wear life jackets, also providing a weather jacket to all clients

  • Home of the Marine Big 5

    The area surrounding Dyer Island and Shark Alley is the world famous home of the Marine Big 5. Depending on the time of year, you have the chance to see whales, dolphins, cape fur seals, african penguins and great white sharks, potentially in a single trip. An absolute must-see destination for wildlife photographers.

  • Experienced Tour Guides

    Our marine tour guides know this area better than anyone and are available to assist with your every need. Whether you want to know more about a species or help on the boat, we're here to make your trip as comfortable and informative as possible.

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Marine Big 5 Tour Prices with Dyer Island Cruises

Under 12's R1040pp

*Children under 5 years old are Free of Charge.

Local Price Under 12's R300pp

*Valid for South African Citizens only. T's & C's apply.
*Children under 5 years old are Free of Charge.

Adults R1 450pp

*Exclusive Tours are available.
Contact us for more information.

Local Price Adults R950pp

*Valid for South African Citizens only. T's & C's apply.

Whale and bird watching

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 two decades 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 catalogue and we see re-sightings of the same individual whales year after year.

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    Whale and bird watching: Frequently Asked Questions

    When is Southern Right whale season?

    From June to December

    This is quite possibly the only place in the world where one can see a mighty whale and a shark on the same boat trip (all less than 20 minutes from the harbour!).

    • Boat-based whale watching
    • Southern right whales sightings from June to December
    • Possibility of seeing humpback whales on their migratory route
    • See seals, penguins as well as various dolphin and seabird species
    • Possibility of seeing great white or bronze whaler sharks around the Shark Cage Diving vessels

    What do I need to bring?

    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.

    Might things 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. Stay up to date with recent sightings by visiting our daily blogs.

    When are Marine Big 5 Tours?

    Dyer Island Cruises run Marine Big 5 Tours throughout the year. In the summer months after the Southern right whales depart, we spot Bryde’s whales and dolphins. We can expect to see Bottlenose, Common and endangered Humpback dolphins. We operate around the world-famous Dyer Island ecosystem. Our vessel explores the bay area, passing by Dyer Island with endangered African penguins, Geyser Rock with Cape Fur seals and the Shark Diving vessels to spot sharks. This is also the beginning of the ‘sardine run’ and our best seabird encounters happen during this time of year.

    Whale and bird watching

    FREE trip to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary!

    Every Dyer Island Cruises guest also gets a free visit to APSS – our dedicated seabird rehabilitation facility.

    The APSS was born out of necessity. When the Dyer Island Conservation Trust was founded, the community immediately began reporting or bringing injured wildlife to the DICT’s headquarters. While minor injuries could easily be remedied by the DICT’s marine biologists, more severe or prolonged conditions could not be treated in Gansbaai due to the area’s lack of facilities. As the DICT’s influence spread further throughout the Overberg, more and more injured wildlife were being reported to the team.

    It became apparent that the only way we could truly make a difference to the wildlife in Gansbaai, and respond to all the increasing call for help, was to build a rehabilitation center in the heart of the Overberg.

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      Whale and bird watching

      Welcome to Dyer Island,
      home of the Marine Big 5.
      The trip of a lifetime.

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      Whale Watching in South Africa - Book Today!

      We share news and blog articles from across our various wildlife tours and Marine Big 5 adventures. If you want to experience South Africa's incredible marine wildlife for yourself, don't hesitate to get in touch!

      Book directly with us online to receive a FREE video of your trip!

      Book now or Call: +27(0)82 801 8014