The commonest whales around Cape Town are southern rights, and the best whale-watching spots are on the warmer False Bay side of the peninsula, from August to November. You could also try your luck on the Atlantic seaboard at Chapman’s Peak towards Hout Bay, and between Llandudno and Sea Point, where the road curves along the ocean. Whichever seaboard you’re visiting, remember to have binoculars handy.
Along the False Bay seaboard, look out for whale signboards, indicating good places for sightings. Boyes Drive, running along the mountainside behind Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, provides an outstanding vantage point. To get there by car, head out on the M3 from the city centre to Muizenberg, taking a sharp right into Boyes Drive at Lakeside, from where the road begins to climb, descending finally to join Main Road between Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek.
Alternatively, sticking close to the shore along Main Road, the stretch between Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town is recommended, with a particularly nice spot above the rocks at the south end of Fish Hoek Beach, as you walk south towards Glencairn. Boulders Beach at the southern end of Simon’s Town has a whale signboard and smooth rocky outcrops on which to sit and gaze out over the sea. Even better vantage points are further down the coast between Simon’s Town and Smitswinkelbaai, where the road goes higher along the mountainside. Without a car, you can get the train to Fish Hoek or Simon’s Town and whale-spot from the Jager’s Walk beach path that runs along the coast from Fish Hoek to Sunny Cove, just below the railway line.
It’s worth noting that there are more spectacular whale-spotting opportunities further east, especially around Hermanus and Walker Bay. For information on the latest whale sightings in False Bay, contact Alan on 072 930 4798.