[VIDEO] Whale Watching on the Kalkbay Pier, 07.09.11


There are two Kates in my life, one who has never seen a whale and one who has a holiday house in Hermanus. Since this is such a perfect marriage of fate, I started planning a weekend away for the past month, however, since the cover of the Cape Times was of a whale breaching yesterday morning, I decided to spend my day off investigating the current whale presence in Cape Town.

After driving to Fish Hoek and having a chocolate soft-serve from the cafe that honestly feels like it’s been there since I was born in Fish Hoek in ’83! A walk along the well-known catwalk was the next move since it’s such a great location to spot marine life, and today proved no different. After 10 licks of my ice cream (when I finally looked up) I immediately saw a whale’s tail in the distance. This caused me to squeal in delight, gobble down my ice cream, rush back to my car and cruise around the corner to Kalkbay harbour to get a closer look.

20110908-052207.jpgAfter running to the end of the light house pier, I took my plukkies (sandals) off, sat down the in the glorious sun (with NO wind, a miracle in Cape Town!) and committed to waiting until the Southern Right Whales came closer, no matter how long it took! I had seen them really close to the pier, (5 meters) about a decade ago so I knew it was possible but never expected to see them that close ever again.

Well my expectations were COMPLETELY surpassed today! After frolicking in the distance for about half and hour all of a sudden the whales started making a direct bee line for the pier. It was so surreal, as though they knew there was a crowd gathering in the hopes of seeing them up close, like they could read the sonic beats of our hearts pumping in anticipation!

Three of them approached the pier, showed us their fins, tales, sung, showed off their blow holes and even checked us out! Since I’d been sitting there for nearly an hour I had the hot seat! Of course the tourists came RUSHING down the pier but I was so proud to be seeing this incredible sight right in my home town, the cameras and exclamations of excitement only made me feel happier. Today Mother Nature truly blessed us with this amazing display of marine beauty. Here’s the video of them approaching the pier and showing off! We heart whales!


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  1. You have been so fortunate as we do not seem to have as many whales visible in False bay as in previous years. Congrats on your scoop and exciting video. Let’s hope there will be plenty of whales for the Hermanus festival at month end.