< style="color:;" class="title ">Close Encounter Whale Watching

Departure Times

Four daily departures at 09h30 | 12h00 | 15h00


Knysna is one of the best whale watching destinations in the country.

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For an unforgettable marine adventure

WHALES! Every year, both the Southern Right whales and the Humpback whales leave their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica and migrate to mate and calve in the warmer waters of our Southern African coastline. And Knysna is one of the best whale watching destinations in the country.


Ocean Odyssey, is Knysna’s only close encounter permit holder and our tours are set to offer our guests an up close and personal experience with these gentle giants of the ocean.


Tours are typically 1 ½ to 2 hours long and are led and narrated by our experienced skipper guides. The trip begins as the boat navigates through the Knysna Estuary heading out toward the Indian Ocean.


Our whale watching trips depart four times daily (weather and sea conditions permitting) from the easily accessible Thesen Harbour Town jetty.


Once out in the ocean, we have a whale spotter that assists us in finding wildlife who is in radio contact with all skippers and will direct them to any sightings.

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2017 Rates from R850 pp 



'It was amazing. We saw 5 whales, 2000 dolphins and a seal. Super cool!!'

Jasper & Eve

Netherlands - 18/08/2015

Included & not included


Tour details



2017 Rates from R850 pp

Directions & parking

Coming from PE/ Plettenberg Bay: Take N2 to Knysna, 3rd Traffic light left (Waterfront drive) follow till next Traffic light, left again onto Long Street and continue onto Thesen Harbour Town. At the circle, look for parking on the left near Tapas & Oysters restaurant. Our office and retail outlet is directly behind Jawitz Property Group.

Coming from George: N2 to Knysna 1st Traffic light turn right onto Waterfront drive, 2nd Traffic light Right onto Long Street and continue onto Thesen Harbour Town. At the circle, look for parking on the left near Tapas & Oysters restaurant. Our office and retail outlet is directly behind Jawitz Property Group.

GPS coordinates

34 02 ‘56.3 S  |  23 02 ‘53.1 E

Useful information & tips for a perfect marine excursion

Sea sickness
It is better to be safe than sorry. If this is your first time out on the ocean, you may want to consider motion sickness medications. These can usually be found at most pharmacies. Prescription medications are also available through your doctor. Most medications must be taken a few hours prior to the trip so be sure to check the label. Once your trip begins, it is too late to take anything. Refer below for some helpful hints if you are feeling queasy.


A few helpful hints if you start to feel queasy
Remember sea sickness can sometimes be stopped if caught in time. Sometimes this is all that it takes. Nibble on crackers and sip on ginger ale. It can really help to have something in your stomach. Look at the horizon. Looking at something that is not moving helps the equilibrium. Start looking for whales and other animals. This keeps your mind occupied. The excitement of seeing these beautiful, magnificent creatures is enough to make anyone feel better. Whales, dolphins, seals and birds can usually be seen at any time during a trip. You never know what you can see until you really start looking.


A good breakfast is key!
Very often people will go on their first trip fearing they may get sick and will skip breakfast or lunch assuming that no food in their stomach means they won’t get sick. In fact, the opposite is true. An empty stomach produces acids and can actually make you sick. Eat a good carbohydrate breakfast and rather avoid fatty or fried foods.


Keep hydrated
Don’t get dehydrated! When on the ocean it is recommended that you keep hydrated by drinking water or ginger ale but a avoid drinks that are high in sugars. We will supply you with a bottle of water prior to departure.


Keep Warm!
It is always colder on the ocean than on land. Dress in layers and bring extra clothes. Sometimes on choppy days people can get wet and chilled. We will supply you with waterproof ponchos if it is raining and have lovely warm blankets for those extra chilly days.


Don’t forget the sunblock and sunglasses!
Water reflects and magnifies the sun rays. Without protection you can get severely sunburned during your trip. Be sure to bring your sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare on the water.


The best place to see the whales
Everyone wants the best seat in the house and that is not necessarily the front row. In fact, there is no one best place. Our vessels are small enough for you to have the best seat in the house in every row. Whales are extremely unpredictable and you can never really tell where they may pop back up. Sometimes they even swim around the vessel. Our skippers are trained to give you the best vantage point to take photos and have an unforgettable experience.


Children on boats!
We love having children on board as education about the ocean is a key driver in our business. However, this activity is not recommended for children under the age of 2 years. Please remember we have other guests on board so children must be supervised by their parent/s or guardian for the full duration of the trip. For safety reasons do not allow your children to run around the boat. Boats are made of hard plastics and metals. Children must always be seated towards the back of the vessel preferably between two adults. They may not stand on the seats or be seated on your shoulders for a better view. One wrong movement from the boat can send a kid flying and result in a painful injury. Please ask your children to refrain from screaming. Loud noises will put the crew on alert and unsettle other passengers. Make it safe, make it fun.

What to bring

Camera or Camcorder
Make sure your batteries are fully charged or you have a spare set to ensure you don’t miss the “money shot”. And don’t forget you memory card.


Usually the whales are close enough to see better without binoculars. They may, however, be useful for spotting some beautiful pelagic bird species.


Rubber-soled shoes
A moving vessel is not usually the best place for high heels. Sneakers/takkies have much better traction as sometimes the decks get wet and slippery even though we have non-slip rubberising on our vessels.


Warm clothes
Ideally you should wear a nice warm jacket or hoodie as it can get really chilly out on the ocean. We will supply you with a blanket if the day is colder than normal.


Sunscreen and Sunglasses
On sunny days you can get quite a sunburn and sunglasses will help protect your eyes from glare off the water as you scan the horizon looking for whales and dolphins.

What you might see

Click here to view our latest sightings.

Photo tips

Zoom zoom
It is difficult to take pictures without a zoom as you usually get a photograph with mostly ocean and very little whale. If you’re lucky, the whale will swim in close allowing you to get that shot you will remember for a lifetime. On a very sunny day a polarised lens will help reduce sun glare and will allow you to see the whale’s body below the surface of the water. You can get some amazing shots.


The perfect shot
After a whale dives, do not concentrate on the exact area it went down. They rarely come back up in this spot. Look out for the footprint which will help give you an idea which direction the whale is travelling in. The skipper will help by keeping parallel to the whales. Be ready to snap your shot. But remember the perfect shot is pure luck. You must look in the right place at the right time and snapping the shot at the precise moment.

Terms & conditions

Click here to view our full Terms & Conditions.

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Ocean Odyssey, Knysna

24B Saffron Lane
Thesen Harbour Town

+27(44) 382 0321
+27(44) 382 0421
+27(82) 852 9402


Wind: 9km/h WNW
Humidity: 100%


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