GARDEN ROUTE WHALE AND DOLPHIN WATCHING TOUR
Cape Town – Garden Route whale and dolphin watching tour package.
Guided 7 x nights from ZAR 19 880 pp – group and self-drive rates on request.

Whale-Watching-charters

Whale watching on the Garden Route

This whale watching tour of the Garden Route is specifically designed for the whale and dolphin enthusiast. Available from August to November the tour offers fantastic boat and land based, whale watching opportunities.

Southern right whales are to be found in Cape Town and along the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay where large concentrations of bottlenose dolphins may also provide breathtaking encounters.

Humpback whales are also on their migrations at this time, travelling to and from the tropics, the chance of sighting them offshore are very high. Other species of whale and dolphin that may frequently be found include, Bryde’s whales, common dolphins and humpbacked dolphins. There are few places in the world that can offer such diversity of species in a single tour.

DAY 1 :  ARRIVAL CAPE TOWN
Activities: Arrival schedule dependant
Overnight: Simonstown – superior B&B
We welcome you to Cape Town – the Mother City as you are met at international arrivals and then transferred to your accommodation. Settle in and relax – you are now on holiday! Activities for the afternoon and evening can be arranged on arrival – schedule dependant.


DAY 2: DAY TOUR CAPE TOWN

Activities: Cape Point and close encounter whale tour.
Overnight: Simonstown – superior B&B
After breakfast we depart from Simonstowns historic harbour on a 2-3 hr boat-based whale watching charter with the only permit holders (licensed to approach whales to within 50m) in False Bay. This is your first chance to encounter the  southern right whales that come to the bay every year to calve and mate. After lunch in the Simonstown area we then take a scenic drive through the Cape Point Nature Reserve to Cape Point itself. As well as the great opportunities for land-based whale watching the spectacular Cape Point Peninsular Tour is a must for any visitor – look to the east over False Bay and out to the west over the storm swept south Atlantic.

DAY 3: CAPE TOWN DAY TOUR
Activities: Whale tour and Cape Town City Tour.
Overnight: Simonstown – superior B&B
Once again we depart in the morning from Simonstown for a 2-3 hr charter. Today we are hoping for more close encounters with southern right whales, and the opportunity to see some different animals and behaviours.
We then take the spectacular Chapmans Peak drive as it carves and winds its way around the coastal cliffs to Hout Bay. From there we move into the city itself, and the Cape Town Waterfront. Here we visit the Maritime Museum specifically to view the salvaged artefacts from the troopship HMS Birkenhead which sank off Danger Point (our next destination) in 1852. Right next to the museum is the world famous Two Oceans Aquarium with spectacular exhibits representative of the diverse marine environments of South Africa .
Lunch may be taken in any number of fine restaurants on the waterfront or en-route.

DAY 4: CAPE TOWN – HERMANUS TOUR
Activities: Transfer and land-based whale watching.
Overnight: De Kelders – superior B&B

After breakfast we take a leisurely coastal drive around Gordon’s Bay to Hermanus – the land-based whale watching capital of South Africa . Lunch can be had in any of the local restaurants overlooking the bay. Ample time is allowed for land-based whale watching as the town is set upon a range of low coastal cliffs and the whales often lie in the shallows just beneath your feet.

After checking into your hotel we then drop by one of the local vineyards (famous for their “crunchy” whites) while group members may choose to take a 30 or 45 min scenic flight over the area to view the whales from this unique aerial perspective.

We then take the short drive to the Danger Point Lighthouse for sundowners overlooking the ocean and the final resting place of the HMS Birkenhead . The Birkenhead struck the rock that now carries her name on the 26th Feb 1852 with the loss of 455 lives – all the women and children were saved as the officers and troops calmly lined up on deck to go down with their ship.

Your accommodation for the night overlooks the rocky coves of De Kelders. A well kept local secret, De Kelders is a hot-spot for whale watching and tonight the nocturnal blows from these southern ocean giants may dissolve into your dreams as you slowly drift into sleep.

The winter months also offer some of the best opportunities for diving with great white sharks. From De Kelders it is just a short hop to the cage diving centres in Gansbaai. Additional days cage diving may easily be included in your tour on request.

DAY 5: CAPE TOWN TO PLETTENBERG BAY
Activities: Transfer or flights to the Garden Route.
Overnight: Plettenberg Bay – superior B&B
From Hermanus we travel inland through the wheatfields of the Southern Cape to the historic and beautifully situated town of Swellendam – South Africa’s third oldest after Cape Town – and its interesting museum complex. Our next port-of-call is Mossel Bay, the first landfall on Africa’s east coast by the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488. The local maritime museum is built around a replica of the Caravel used on that epic voyage. Also of interest is the Old Post Office Tree, a 800-year-old milkwood, under which letters were left for passing ships. Leaving Mossel Bay we journey through the Wilderness Lakes District and the town of Knysna to reach Plettenberg Bay in the late afternoon for sundowners overlooking the bay.

Alternatively a private flight may be arranged from George to Plettenberg Bay – Spot whales from the air and fly over some of the most spectacular coastlines in South Africa.


DAY 6: PLETTENBERG BAY DOLPHIN TOUR

Activities: Dolphin discovery charter.
Overnight: Plettenberg Bay – superior B&B

We’ve come to Plettenberg Bay because it provides some of the worlds best opportunities for observing large numbers of bottlenose dolphins in the wild.
After breakfast we head out to sea on a standard 2 hr dolphin discovery tour. We are specifically looking for the bottlenose dolphins (groups of upto 1000 at this time of year) and those spectacular photographic opportunities that only Plettenberg Bay can provide. Of course the southern right and humpback whales may also prove distracting.

A representative from the Centre for Dolphin Studies will be on hand to meet the group and give a presentation or informal talk on and answer any questions. This is your chance to receive up-to-date information on current research in the area, pecies behaviour, biology and conservation.

Lunch can be had on the beach-front overlooking the bay and the afternoon is left open for your choice of activities or to simply relax.

DAY 7: PLETTENBERG BAY TOUR
Activities: Day is left free
Overnight: Plettenberg Bay – superior B&B
Overnight: Plettenberg Bay Milkwood Manor (or Similar) – superior B&B en-suite

This day is left free in the itinerary and can be used to catch up on any boat-based activities that may have been lost due to bad weather. Whale and dolphin watching charters may be booked from Plettenberg Bay or Knysna (40 min from Plett).

Our top suggested activity would be to explore the Keurbooms River, with a 5km navigable stretch of water that winds its way into dense indigenous forest. There are several small beaches along the banks from which to swim and picnic and wonderful bird-life in the forest and the vegetation overhanging the water. This is one of the best kept secrets of the Garden Route. Hire your own little boat with outboard (no license required, just some instruction), take a picnic and explore the river in your own time – pure magic!

DAY 8: TOUR END
Activities: Transfer out.
Transfer to George Airport or Port Elizabeth for flights to Cape Town or Johannesburg
(Exit flights not inc.)

This seven night whale and dolphin watching tour may be linked to any tours, packages and charters offered by Oceans Africa in the Cape Town and the Garden Route regions. Elements from this tour can of course be used to create your own custom tour.
Additional days may also be added to include cage diving in Gansbaai or extra time in Cape Town or along the Garden Route.

Price Excludes: All flights. All meals meals and refreshments except breakfast  . Personal expenses   . All equipment hire . Medical and Travel insurance . Anything else you can think of.
Price Includes: All transport, transfers and vehicle hire (excl. fuel) where applicable . Domestic flights where stated . Accommodation and breakfast . All park and entrance fees.
Terms and Conditions: Accommodation is based 2 persons sharing . Prices are correct at time of posting but may change at any time without notice . Group rates and self-drive options available on application . Payment in full secures booking

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2 Comments

  1. Geoff Haynes says:

    Could your WESTERN CAPE WHALE AND DOLPHIN WATCHING PACKAGE be linked to maybe a land safari and a few days leisure giving up to 14 days or so in all for sometime between 14 July and the end of August 2013? Could you include flights from and to London Heathrow? If so please let me have some details/options and prices.

    Many thanks

    Geoff Haynes

  2. Graeme Grant says:

    Absolutely Geoff, we can easily customise the tour for you. Will be in contact via e-mail. Graeme