A cliff path stretching from the one side of the
town to the other, hugs the coastline for about 12 km giving whale watchers
unlimited opportunities to study and get within 20 m of the gentle giants in the
coves below or lolling just beyond the breakers. Telescopes situated alongside
the Old Harbour Museum makes it possible to survey the entire Walker Bay and the
whales and dolphins at close range.
The only Whale Crier in the
world is not only a major attraction but keeps visitors informed as to the
whereabouts of the whales as he does his rounds through town every day. Phone him on the Whale Hotline number: 079 854 0684. The sound of his kelp horn has become a characteristic of the charm of this seaside
resort during the whale season.
Other excellent whale watching spots include Betty's
Bay, Kleinmond, De Kelders (a favourite viewing spot when the Southeaster blows
- providing perfect shelter), Gansbaai, and De Hoop Nature Reserve beyond
Struisbaai that is a favourite calving area and the largest concentration of
whales is often found here.
The whales seen most frequently along the Overberg
coastal areas are the
Southern Right whales, that have been protected internationally since 1935,
but other species do make an appearance occasionally.
Right whales can be distinguished from other
whales from its V-shaped 'blow' and the callosities which appear around its
head. They start arriving in May in order to calf in the shallow water, to raise
their young or to mate. Peak times for seeing whales daily is from August to
November, tailing off in December. Bryde's whales live year-round on the