Marine Mammals of South Africa

South Africa is one of the most incredible destinations worldwide for watching marine mammals. The waters surrounding Southern Africa boast 40 different kinds of marine mammal. It is in Plettenberg Bay that the Dolphin and Whale-watching industry is most organised.As well as trips on big, dry, comfortable boats, which are easy to board, and can even accommodate people in wheelchairs, Dolphin-watching kayak trips are also on offer and there are a number of scenic flights which provide good views of the Whales from the air.Further north, on KwaZulu-Natal's south and north coasts, Humpback and Bottlenose Dolphins are also easily seen from boats and the Humpback Whales pass through on their migrations. Seal watching trips are on offer between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.Visitors who come to South Africa in early June are in for a treat! This is the time when Southern Right Whales leave their Antarctic feeding ground for the warm waters of the Cape coast. A holiday of sorts, the Whales come here to mate and play.The Whales are so easy to watch. In Cape Town, you can see them from the road, or even the train, anywhere along the False Bay coast, and they're distinctly visible on the western seaboard if you get high enough.

Common Dolphin

The Common Dolphin is found in the temperate and tropical waters of every ocean. Their diet is relatively varied. It feeds on gregarious and migratory...more

Dusky Dolphin

The Dusky Dolphin is a quick and energetic swimmer. In South Africa, these dolphins go up to Walvis Bay in April to mate and give birth and returning...more

Frasers Dolphin

Fraser's Dolphin is uniformly distributed throughout the open sea in the Indian and Pacific oceans. They have an aggressive way of swimming...more

Heavisides Dolphin

This species of Dolphin is considered rare. It lives off western coasts of southern Africa (up to1 600 km of shoreline), from the Cape of Good Hope to...more

Humpback Dolphin

This species of dolphin is generally gregarious and moves in groups of six to nine individuals, and sometimes up to 20. It measures between 2 and 3.2...more

Rissos Dolphin

Risso's Dolphin is found all over, but mostly in deep temperate and tropical waters. Due to its dentition, Risso's Dolphin feeds mostly on cephalopods...more

Southern Elephant Seal

A few stragglers find their way to South Africa each year, and may join fur seal colonies. Isolated bulls sometimes flatten fur-seals females while...more

Striped Dolphin

This dolphin is found in temperate, tropical, and subtropical waters around the world. The Striped Dolphin often jumps acrobatically out of the water...more