Close Encounter Whale Watching

Let’s get up close and personal with these majestic giants that inhabit our vast and pristine Indian ocean. These migratory mammals, Southern Right and Humpback whales, grace us with their presence from June to November annually showing off their acrobatic skills while nurturing their young.

Approaching a whale requires incredible skill and understanding of the behaviour of these gentle giants. Our skippers are well aware of the strict guidelines set in place by the permit and respect that they are in the whale’s domain.

  • Trip Duration – 1 ½ to 2 Hours
  • Trips depart 3 times daily (weather & sea conditions permitting)
  • Minimum of 4 pax per trip
  • Maximum of 25 pax per trip
  • Vessel – Odysseus Power Cat
  • Easily accessible Thesen Island Blue Flag Marina jetty
  • Whale spotter on duty to assist and direct skipper towards sightings

Fantastic. A perfect last day to our holiday ,had originally booked for the Sunday which was unfortunately cancelled due to sea conditions. Rebooked for the Tuesday on their advice. Went out And first saw the seals then saw a family of humpback whales, one calf with its parents. On the way back in we saw dolphins. A wonderful experience made better by the knowledge and wit of the skipper and his mate. Would recommend it to anyone.
Mr John Mcdowall, Activitar Review


Valid from the 1st December 2023 to 30th November 2024
Adults: R1 500.00 p/p
Kids under 12 years: R1 190.00 p/p

Departure Times

Daily departures at 09h30 | 12h00 | 15h00

Included in Trip

Laliza life jackets supplied
Mineral water supplied
No food allowed

Tour Details

Rates - click to read more

Adults: R1 500.00 p/p
Kids under 12 years: R1 190.00 p/p
(Valid from the 1st December 2023 to 30th November 2024)

Directions & Parking - click to read more

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. Just before the traffic circle on your left hand side is where our shop is located (Opposite The Time Machine and next to Diana Loon Boutique)

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. Just before the traffic circle on your left hand side is where our shop is located (Opposite The Time Machine and next to Diana Loon Boutique)

GPS Coordinates - click to read more

34˚02’54,2”S | 23˚02’51,3”E

Useful Information & tips for a perfect marine excursion - click to read more

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 to educate them about the ocean. Our key focus and drive remains in eco marine tourism and the abundance of marine life our oceans have to offer. This activity is not recommended for children under the age of 2 years as they are unable to be seated and self-supported while on the tour. This would be considered as a safety concern for the child, the parent/s or guardian and the skipper of the vessel. It is required that children 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. Children must always be seated towards the back of the vessel between two adults. They may not stand on the seats or be seated on your shoulders for a better viewing. Please ask your children to refrain from screaming and making loud noises as this will put the crew on alert and unsettle other passengers. Make it safe, make it fun.

What to bring - click to read more

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 to look out for - click to read more

Photo Tips - click to read more

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 to read more