Whales, Dolphins and Seals in Plettenberg Bay
Plettenberg Bay offers you a rich marine life. The sheltered bay is ideal for the mating and calving of the Southern Right Whale. These huge mammals spend from July to early November lolling around just for you to experience, whether from our land based viewing sites or on cruises where you can get up to 300 meters away for great viewing and photos.
What an awe inspiring sight – nature at its best!
Migratory humpback whales can also be briefly seen in May and June and then, on their return trip, from about November to January. Orca, (killer whales) are occasionally, also spotted.
Bottlenose dolphins can be seen almost every day in large groups and it is really good for the soul to sit and watch them playing in the waves. They love surfing and one sees them hurtling towards the beach, so close, that it seems they must beach themselves.
Humpback dolphins, although not seen as often, are also visitors to the bay. Common Dolphins are seen on a less regular basis.
The Robberg peninsula is a nature reserve and marine protected area at the southern extremity of Plettenberg Bay.
A large Cape fur seal colony numbering about 3000 occupies the sheer, sheltered northern shore. The high vantage points are ideal for spotting whales and dolphins and indeed, the colony is so successful due to the declining shark population.
Land based viewing points for whales, seals and dolphins
The Lookout View Site
From Main Street, you turn into Church Street, towards the Plettenberg Hotel. Just before the hotel, turn left to the viewsite, which is clearly marked.
You can watch from your car or sit on a bench, so take a snack and something to drink and enjoy your day.
A boardwalk goes along the side of the hill, also overlooking the bay.
Beachy Head Drive
From town, go down the steep hill leading off the dolphin circle in Main Street. Go over the bridge of the Piesang River, and turn left at the circle into Pharos Rd, towards the Beacon Isle Hotel. Turn left at the T-junction into Beacon Isle Drive. Turn right at Casquets Hill Avenue. At T-junction, turn right into Beachy Head Drive.
Continue along Beachy Head Drive until you see a bench on your left and shortly thereafter a parking spot. You can view the whales and dolphins from the car, the bench and when walking along the blue flag beach.
View from the parking areas just above the beach.
This area is reached by taking the N2 from Plettenberg Bay towards Port Elizabeth, and after the Bitou and Keurbooms Rivers, take the well marked sign to the right to Keurboomstrand.
Drive to Keurbooms Beach, where there is a parking spot on your right, and then a second parking spot, also on your right.
Robberg Nature Reserve
An excellent place for cliff based whale, seal and dolphin watching.
Since Robberg is one of SA’s best hikes, the marine and bird life, as well as the small land based mammals will just add to your experience.
The seals are not too far along the walk, on the rocks below. Lookout for dassies too!
There is a seagull rookery at Robberg Point and plenty of other sea birds, including the black oyster catcher.
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