Whale watching season is in full swing and from June until November every year, both locals and tourists alike will head out to various coastlines across the country to witness these spectacular creatures and their calves.
But where exactly are the best spots in the country for whale watching? Common spots include those along the Western Cape coastlines from False Bay to Hermanus but if you truly want the best land-based whale watching adventure, then there’s only one place to go – De Hoop Collection.
De Hoop Collection recently announced that the first aerial count survey of the 2019 whale season is in – and of the total whales seen, over 90% of them were at De Hoop! De Hoop was notified of this by Jean Tresfon, a well-known Marine Conservation Photographer, and pilot of the aerial survey done by the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit.
Tresfon reported that although the count is below the number expected for this time of the year, a total of 288 southern right whales were counted, 131 females with calves and 26 adults without calves and nearly all females with calves were located in the De Hoop Nature Reserve.
Last year Tresfon was blown away by the sightings of the southern right whales at De Hoop Nature Reserve area – from Skipskop Point to Lekkerwater – where a record-breaking 1 116 whales (558 cow/calf pairs) had been spotted – this confirmed that Koppie Alleen in De Hoop is the most important nursery area for southern right whales on the South African coast.
Of the 2018 total of about 1 400 southern right whales that were counted, approximately 200 were not in the De Hoop area. With the current count being below the number expected for this time of year, and less than last year, it is probably due to the fact that the reproduction of the whales is not back at normal levels, perhaps due to non-optimal conditions in their feeding grounds.
Listed as the number 14th most Instagrammable spot in South Africa by Big 7 Travel- De Hoop Collection, situated in the Overberg region offers the complete outdoor experience from wildlife, to mountains, moving sand dunes and undoubtedly, the best spot for land-based whale watching in South Africa.