WATCH | 40-ton whale leaps entirely out of water off the Eastern Cape shore

2020-01-29 08:45 - Marisa Crous
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"It was a rare clear, crisp, cold, winter day offshore Mbotyi in Pondoland, Eastern Cape province, South Africa," says Craig Capehart, a scuba diver who shot some incredible footage of a Humpback whale jumping completely out of the Indian Ocean water. 

Humpback whales weigh around 36 000kg on average as adults, so achieving such a leap is quite a feat. 

WATCH | Whale super pods (larger than usual) cause stir off SA's West Coast, public urged to keep their distance 

During the months of May to December Humpback whales and Southern Right Whales arrive along the Eastern Cape coast. One of the best parts of whale watching along the Eastern Cape coast is that you don’t need a boat ride into the ocean to see the whales – they are clearly visible with just a pair of binoculars so get out there and enjoy this wonder of nature! 

Here is the insanely beautiful footage of this rare event: 

And while this video was first shared in 2017, South Africa's shorelines, and the African continent more generally, is filled with great locations and destinations for you to check out all the breaching action.  

Here are a few other top spots to see all the action:  

The West Coast

On the Cape West Coast, excellent sightings of southern rights can be enjoyed all the way from Strandfontein to Lambert's Bay, Elands Bay, St Helena Bay, Saldanha Bay and Yzerfontein, just north of Cape Town. Even in the bays of Cape Town southern right whales are frequently spotted. If you’re one of the lucky few, you may even see them from the road along the False Bay coast, or on the scenic coastal Victoria Road. If you don’t want to rely on luck, book a trip with the pros.

 (Photo: iStock)

READ: Welcoming of whales: Africa’s first World Whale Conference to be hosted in SA

Hermanus and Walker Bay 

The most popular whale watching destination in SA, Hermanus welcomes local and international visitors to its shores to get a glimpse of the migrating creatures while taking in the natural beauty of the coastal town.

The Hermanus Whale Festival, that started 26 years ago, allows visitors to celebrate the migration of Southern Right Whales and other marine wildlife with ocean-themed activities and exhibitions, emphasising education and environmentally responsible adventures and activities.

There is real commercial value behind the incredibly popular Hermanus whale season. The whales really do come up close to the shore here, and they're quite amiable in disposition towards people it would seem.

 (Photo: iStock)

WATCH: Whale super-pods have made SA coast their regular buffet table

Mossel Bay 

If you’re after the Killers, Mossel Bay might be a good place to start looking. Hiking the St Blaize Trail will give you a good view of the bay below, where you can spot southern rights, humpbacks, Bryde’s whales or the deadly killer whales feeding on seals on the island in the bay. If you want to go out to sea and get really close, book a trip with the boat operators in Plettenberg Bay, further along the Garden Route.

 (Photo: iStock)

The Wild Coast

From Cape St Francis onwards, the cliff-lined coast gives some of the best vantage points from where to see Humpbacks, Bryde's whales, and further north towards Port St Johns, even sperm whales. Dolphins are also abundant in this area. You can spot them from land, or opt for a whale watching boat ride.

 (Photo: iStock)

CHECK OUT: Whale watching: Hermanus Whale Festival all set to delight

St Lucia

This is humpback whale territory, which stretches as far as Cape Vidal. The whales always stay in the perimeters of the coastline. From mid-May to mid-September, they move more north to breed off the Mozambique coast, and from September to December they return, on route to the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica. 

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