Top 10: Wildlife wonders in the Western Cape

Whale-watching in Walker Bay, Hermanus. Whale-watching on the Hermanus coast.

1 Whale Watching

A major highlight on any trip to the Western Cape is seeing the southern right and humpback whales. Whale season runs from May to early November. more

2 Boulders Beach

The beautiful beach at Boulders is famous not only for its turquoise tidal pools and giant granite boulders, but for its colony of more than 3000 African penguins. more

3 Great White Sharks

The Western Cape is renowned for sightings of great white sharks, particularly in areas like Gansbaai and False Bay, where the past-time of cage diving with sharks has become extremely popular. more

4 Seal Island

A land mass located off False Bay known as Seal Island is home to a huge number of Cape fur seals and a wealth of bird life. Because of the dense population of seals, Seal Island also attracts predators - most notably great white sharks. more

5 Bird Island Nature Reserve

About 100 metres offshore from Lambert’s Bay is Bird Island - one of only six sites world-wide where Cape Gannets breed. It is also the only breeding site easily accessible to the public. more

6 Karoo National Park

In 2010, the Karoo National Park introduced 8 lions to the reserve, which is also home to various species of antelope, around 20 pairs of black eagle and five different tortoises (the highest density of species per equivalent area in the world) as well as Cape mountain zebra. more

7 Cederberg Wilderness Area

Rugged mountainous terrain covering 71 000 hectares, The Cederberg Wilderness Area is renowned for the spectacular landscapes and rocky outcrops. The local mammal population includes leopard, baboon, grey rehbok, dassie, duiker and honey badger. more

8 Goukamma Nature and Marine Reserve

This nature reserve is situated across 14 kilometres of coastline, covering 2 500 hectares in total. View Southern right whales and dolphins and sight land creatures such as grysbok, bushbuck, bushpig. Goukamma has more than 220 species of birds. more

9 De Hoop Nature Reserve

At De Hoop you’ll find the rare bontebok, eland, baboon and occasional leopard. Marine mammals such as seals, dolphins, and southern right whales are plentiful. In fact, this is a favoured spot for whales to give birth to their calves. more

10 Monkeyland

Situated in Plettenberg Bay this eco-tourism sanctuary is the world’s first multi-species free-roaming sanctuary. All the monkeys have been born in captivity and now leap around this large indigenous forest.