The entire length of the Garden Route is a natural wonderland, brimming with fantastic plant- and animal life. The town of Mossel Bay is one of the best known and most popular tourist stops along this world-famous route and offers visitors plenty in the way of things to see and do.
Every year, between June and November, the ocean that laps the shores of Mossel Bay comes alive with visiting cetaceans, which prove to be a delight for locals as well as for visitors from around the world.
Migrating away from the cold Arctic waters, humpback whales, southern right whales, Bryde’s whales, sperm whales and killer whales (which are actually a porpoise species) may be seen just off the coast of this part of the Garden Route.
Humpbacks and southern rights are the most common of these. Often, mothers will travel with young calves, taking advantage of the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Usually, these ones pass the shore in June, on their way west, towards Cape Town. Then, in November and December, they come by again as they head back to the icy habitats beyond.
These whales can be seen enjoying their time in the warmth as they peep out from the water’s surface or delight onlookers with plenty of playful antics, such as lobtailing, breaching, fluking and spyhopping (see more info here). These make for fantastic photo opportunities for those on the shore or on formal whale watching tours that take them much closer to these impressive marine giants.
The best spots in Mossel Bay from which to enjoy prime views of the visiting whales include The Point (at the St Blaize Lighthouse) and Reebok (especially the Kusweg area). So confident are local whale watching boat guides that some of the larger service providers all but guarantee that their passengers will have an up-close-and-personal experience with these animals during the peak season.
Other wildlife that is often enjoyed on the Mossel Bay coastline includes seals and dolphins. There are also a number of game reserves, outstanding hotels in Mossel Bay, shopping malls and historical tourist attractions nearby which make Mossel Bay a particularly well-loved destination.
For more info on whale watching in Mossel Bay and South Africa, see our newly published section here. This includes a free .pdf document which you can download, depicting the different whale behaviours, the best times and places to see the whales and much more.