ABOUT THE HUMP BACK WHALE AND ITS SEASON:
Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), or, as they are known, “the angels of the sea”, are black or grey with a lighter underbelly. They can be up to 15 meters in length and weigh up to 40 tonnes.
Behavior: Humpback whales are able to launch their entire body out
of the water which is known as breaching and have been recorded breaching over 100
times in succession. They are also very vocal and are known for their haunting “whale
songs”. They can be sighted off the South African coast in small groups from as
long as June to January when they follow their migratory pattern up the east coast
to mate and calf in the warm waters of Mozambique and Madagascar. They are listed
South Africa is the fifth fastest growing whale watching destination globally with
only 16 boat-based whale-watching permits being issued countrywide to minimize intrusion
on the whales and to regulate the industry.
Our whale and dolphin monitoring volunteer placement in Knysna is the only licensed
and permitted close encounter whale watching holders in Knysna. Their permit allows
them to approach whales within 50m and if the whales choose to come closer, the
boats do not have to move away. As part of the Whale Watching Permit, the company
is obligated to collect research material including daily sightings of the various
species of whales and dolphins (in particular the Humpback whales).
LOCATION - KNYSNA:
Knysna is approximately 500km from the beautiful capital city of Cape Town and
voted South Africa’s favourite town 4 years in a row! Its mountainous backdrop,
impressively sized estuary and indigenous forests really give the town a natural
feel to it. Although it still has that ‘small-town’ feel, Knysna is growing rapidly,
and has all the amenities you could ask for such as banks, hotels, internet café’s,
cinemas and shopping malls.
Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the ‘Garden Route’
of South Africa. It is surrounded by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests,
tranquil lakes and golden beaches, making it a real natural wonderland.
Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing with creativity and energy, and the pulse of good
music. It's a place where the you can enjoy the mellow atmosphere of street cafes,
watching the world go by. The main street is very leafy with trees along the pavements
and it has a wonderful holiday atmosphere with sun umbrellas everywhere.
Most cafes have outdoors seating areas overlooking the street or on the pavements,
with colourful sun umbrellas - a perfect place to sit with the sun on your face,
watching passers-by ambling along, sipping a steamy cappucino or staving off the
heat with a cold drink.
About 20-30 minutes' drive away from Knysna you'll find Plettenberg Bay (better
simply as Plett), which is a bit smaller than Knysna, but equally stunning.
pure white beaches stretch as far as the eye can see and there is a lot to do,
whale and dolphin watching, to hiking trails and awesome nightlife.
The Garden Route is famous for all sorts of activities from adrenalin sports such
as bungee jumping, skydiving and shark cage diving to more relaxed pursuits such
as hiking, quad biking in the forest or visiting one of the many animal sanctuaries
in the area. Your local Travellers liaison will be happy to assist you in finding
interesting things to do and places to see so make the most of it!
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