Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

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Ever heard of the Marine Big 5? Gansbaai, SA is the best location for spotting whales, seals, sharks, dolphins and penguins all in one trip. Learn about these animals and conservation efforts.


  • Get the chance to spot whales, seals, sharks, dolphins and penguins in one trip
  • Relax on a spacious and comfortable whale-watching boat with an observation deck
  • Learn about marine species you may encounter from an on-board Marine Biologist
  • Enjoy 5-star service while on board and on land, with amazing crew and staff
  • Enjoy all amenities at The Great White House, the 5-star welcome facility


Visit the Dyer Island ecosystem and have the opportunity to spot the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, seals, dolphins, and penguins. Every year from June to December, the southern right whales arrive to mate and calve.  Witness mating displays, breaching, tail slapping, spy-hopping and more. You may also see Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, the elusive humpback dolphin and the common dolphin. An incredible array of seabirds and a sighting of the almost 60,000-strong Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock is guaranteed as the boat cruises down the famous Shark Alley. An onboard marine biologist will be on hand to teach you more about the amazing animals that visit these shores. Please note that this is wildlife and animal activity cannot be guaranteed. You will be contacted by a member of staff the day prior to your tour to confirm the exact meeting or pickup time (depending on the activity you booked). Tour meeting times will differ from timeslots selected on booking as this tour is weather and tide depending. We will confirm the tour times after a detailed weather and tide check. Ensure you receive your message the afternoon prior to the tour and confirm receipt of message. Estimated timeslots on website is only an indication. On the day of your trip, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cape Town or Hermanus, if you have selected an option with transfers included. Upon arrival in Gansbaai, enjoy coffee/tea and muffins while listening to a dedicated safety briefing.  Once you're fitted with inflatable life jackets and wet-weather gear, take a 200-meter stroll down to the harbor to board the whale-watching vessel. Time spent out at sea on average is two hours depending on sea conditions and marine life activity.  Upon return to land, receive an informative debrief while enjoying warm soup and bread. Professional trip footage is also available to purchase after the trip so that you can have a permanent memory of your sightings.  If you have chosen the option with transfers from Cape Town, a visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is also included on your way back. You'll see the important efforts being made to rehabilitate injured and sick animals.


Return transportation from Cape Town or Hermanus (depending on option selected) Coffee/tea and muffins on arrival Vegetable soup and bread after the tour 1 dedicated safety briefing before the trip and 1 debrief after the trip Inflatable life-jackets and wet weather gear Visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (if option from Cape Town or Hermanus is selected)

Important Information

  • • All ages are welcome on the vessels. Should you have kids under 5, please contact the supplier directly to amend your booking accordingly. Kids 1 to 4 years old are free of charge.
  • Both the welcome facility and whale watch vessel are wheelchair friendly
  • The vessel can accommodate 2 wheelchairs per trip
  • If you are prone to motion sickness, it's recommended that you use anti-seasickness medication starting the day before the trip
  • Please bring warm clothes as it colder on sea than land
  • Please bring along sunscreen and a hat
  • This is a full-day activity with a duration of up to 8 hours, sometimes even longer
  • This is a weather dependent activity and sightings are not guaranteed
  • Starting times mentioned are subject to change daily and only used as indication
  • Exact pickup time can only be confirmed the afternoon before the trip after a detailed weather check has been done - guests will be contacted
  • The scenic drive from Cape Town to Gansbaai is 2.5 hours one-way

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund

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