Whale watching is basically the act of watching large whales and dolphins at their natural habitat. Whale watching may sound like a boring activity, but that is not the case. Whales and dolphins are a sight to behold. Many people take a trip to the nearest beach and watch the amazing sight of a wild orca whale swimming right by their side. Whale watching is primarily a fun recreational activity, however, it can also serve educational and scientific purposes as well.
Whale watching in Southern Africa is perfect for those who want to get closer to Mother Nature. The abundance of species such as the sperm whales (including the common sperm whales which are grey with black bottoms), African Wild Dog, the big dolphin, and Hector’s dolphin makes whale watching in Southern Africa very diverse and exciting. You can even watch different pods of whales congregating at the same time from a different part of the world. There are many pod hunting tours available in Southern Africa that allow visitors to watch whales congregating and moving in schools.
Whale watching in the waters off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa is also a great and exciting activity for people from all over the world. The waters off the Cape Peninsula are some of the most pristine in the world and are home to one of the largest populations of whales and dolphins. Whale sharks are a common sight and one of the more spectacular features of whale watching in the Bay of Plenty is when the sharks lunge out of the water as they feed. These sharks can reach lengths of up to twelve meters and are known to travel along the coastlines of Southern Africa. These sharks can be seen frequently during the months of June, July, and August.
In addition to whale sharks, Southern African waters also provide opportunities for seeing grey whales. Grey whales spend the winter months traveling around the southern coastline of the Cape Peninsula. The whales return north in the summertime to find their sea routes have changed and they head back to the colder ocean waters. Many whale watching trips are based in Durban, Cape Town, or Cape Peninsula. A number of companies offer trips to the grey whales and to other interesting locations in Southern Africa.
International whaling commission trips take place yearly in the month of November. This is an annual event where the members of the International Whaling Commission attend the International Whaling Research Centre in Sydney, New South Wales to celebrate the successful conclusion of the year with whale watching and scientific research. The International Whaling Commission has been instrumental in stopping international whale hunting and now works to ensure that the populations of whales are not depleted.
The coastal town offers on the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand is known for its vast numbers of humpback whales and one of the most popular whale-watching destinations in the Bay of Plenty is Greymouth. Greymouth is a popular destination for international humpback whales watching because there are about thirteen known humpback whales each season. Humpback whales travel between Australia and Alaska, making a home in New Zealand. There are also about twenty rare white-tipped albatrosses and other marine wildlife being seen by whale watchers here.
South Island of New Zealand is another popular destination for whale watching. It is the only place in the world where you can see multiple species of whales. On the North Island of New Zealand, the largest concentration of whales can be found from February to June, when they migrate southward. The whale population appears to follow a seasonal migration route, however, people-watching here may notice a large difference in the number of whales during certain seasons. The summer months are often the peak season for humpback whale activity and a number of ships from all around the world stop at the remote Haast’s Bay Islands during this time. Another reason why this place is a popular destination for whale watching is that it is home to the only colony of the Endangered Waka and this makes the islands particularly special.
The Southern Island of New Zealand offers many more opportunities for whale watching. There is more chance of seeing bottlenose dolphins and albatross than in any other area in the region. In June and August, the largest concentration of bottlenose dolphins can be seen as they make their way back southwards after breeding. Finally, albatrosses make their way to the remote Haast’s Bay in December. Many tourists take whale watching trips to the Haast’s Bay and spend a day or two exploring the serenely clear waters of this underwater ecosystem.