Morukuru Family De Hoop is one of the most exciting land based whale watching locations along the Southern Cape Coast, where you will be able to witness daily displays of raw power and elegant water acrobatics. South Africa’s oceans are known to have at least 37 species of whales and dolphins with the Southern Right Whale being one of the best known. June is the time when the Southern Right starts to migrate from icy Antarctica to the warmer waters of the Cape, which attracts these giant animals who are mating; calving and rearing their young. At Morukuru Ocean House and Morukuru Beach Lodge we are lucky enough to be able to offer our guests some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.
World Ocean Day is celebrated on 8th June each year. Calvin du Plessis – General Manager of Morukuru Family De Hoop, answers some of our questions. When is the whale watching season along the Southern Cape Coast? You can whale watch from June to November with July to October giving you some of the best sightings. Peak calving season is during August and September.What species of whales can I see? Southern Right; Humpback; Bryde’s and occasionally Killer Whales (Orcas).
Will I spot other types of marine life? Yes! Look out for various different species of dolphins including that of the rare Indo-pacific Humpback dolphin; Cape fur Seals and the Black Oystercatcher.
What is blowing? Blowing is the sound the whale makes when expelling air through its blowhole, together with a spout of condensed water vapor. This is the normal breathing pattern of whales and this beautiful sound can be heard echoing against the cliffs throughout the day and night.
Tell us about breaching: Breaching is the term we use to describe a whale leaping out of the water and falling back in with a huge splash. You can see whales breaching a number of times in a row – three to eight jumps especially that of the young calves who have just ‘found their feet’ and will continue doing this for quite some time. Whales do this to this to communicate, exercise’, as a form of playful behavior and to remove parasite build up on their skins.
What does lobtailing mean? This is when a whale slaps the water with the fluke or tail to make a dramatic sound. Experts believe Lobtailing is one way in which whales communicate with each other and can also be as a form of aggressive behavior when they might feel threatened. This too can be heard throughout the coastline when out on a walk.Explain Spy Hopping. Sometimes a whale wants to see what is happening above the water. This is when it will lift its head and body vertically, as far as the flippers, above the surface creating an awesome opportunity to view the whale more closely revealing the callouses which surround its head in the Southern right whale. This is called Spy Hopping!
Also read about our Marine Walk Adventure on offer to guests staying at Morukuru Beach Lodge and Morukuru Ocean House.