30 April 2012 by Roy Barford

Sea Kayaking with whales in Hermanus

Last week I had the pleasure of joining the crew from Walker Bay Adventures for a sea kayaking experience in Hermanus. This involved getting within 40 metres of a Bryde’s whale and even closer to seals and dolphins.

Hermanus is known for having some of the best land-based whale watching in the world, but it’s only when you see these giants up close in the water that you really comprehend the extent of their bulk and power. The months between May and November are the best times of the year for whale watching in the Western Cape, so book your sea kayaking expedition as soon as possible if you’re going to be visiting during this time.

The tour started from the Old Harbour in Hermanus, where a quick safety briefing and explanation of how to paddle most effectively were the only preparations required. The 2-person kayaks used by Walker Bay Adventures were very buoyant and in the relatively flat waters of Walker Bay, no one on our expedition looked like they could capsize, despite not having any previous experience.

Get up close to marine wildlife in Hermanus. Photo provided by Walker Bay Adventures

We got right up close to breaching Bryde's whale within the first 10 minutes of the tour and spotted several others during our paddle along the rugged shoreline. We were entertained by inquisitive Cape fur seals at regular intervals and saw a few dolphins jumping in the distance.

We spent around 90 minutes out on the water, which was pretty much the ideal length of time to get some exercise, interact with marine life, learn about the ocean and take in the amazing scenery.

Riaan, our guide for the expedition, spoke knowledgeably about ocean currents, vegetation and wildlife, taking time to answer a barrage of questions from interested guests.

We got right up close to a breaching Bryde’s whale within the first 10 minutes of the tour and spotted several others during our paddle along the rugged shoreline.

Walker Bay Adventures are the only licensed sea kayaking operator in Hermanus and have been operating for 13 years without any safety mishaps. A sea kayaking experience costs R300 per person. For more information, visit the Walker Bay Adventures website, phone Herman de Vries on +27 (0)82 739 0159 or send an email to wbadventures@hermanus.co.za.

For more information on how to plan a trip to Hermanus, click here.

Add your comment below if you've had a similar whale-watching experience in South Africa!

No previous experience is required and the 2-man kayaks are buoyant and safe

Category: Adventure, Wildlife


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