Coast KZN

08 Jun 2021

Welcoming of the Whales Festival: get your tickets ready for a ‘whale’ of a time

Nothando Mthembu (Southlands Sun) Picture: Sodurba chairperson Helga du Preez marvels at a whale mural which can be found at the Airlie Road viewpoint on the Bluff.

It’s that time of the year again where the Bluff celebrates its much-loved, majestic, seasonal visitors. The Welcoming of the Whales Festival, hosted by Sodurba Community Tourism Organisation (CTO), will be held at WESSA Treasure Beach on Saturday, 26 June. Unlike previous years, the event will be on a much smaller scale and there will be no market. The focus will be more on environmental education and marine conservation as well as promoting the Bluff as a whale heritage site.

In keeping with Covid-19 protocols, attendance is on a strict pre-book basis and no tickets will be sold at the gate on the day. A ticket, sold at R10 per person, will get you an armband which will give you access to WESSA and activities on Treasure Beach. Although the event is still being finalised, marine and environment lovers can expect activations from Sodurba, WESSA, WildOceans, Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (Crow) and KZN Sharks Board.

“All the educational stations and activations will be held within the premises of Wessa. There will be one coffee station and one food vendor. There will also be a showcase of the movie, ‘Our Oceans: Return of the giants’, throughout the day. This film documents ground-breaking expeditions aboard the vessel and this unique access gives the viewer a window into the world of ocean exploration.

Sodurba chairperson, Helga du Preez showcases the whale heritage site information board which can be found at the Airlie Road viewpoint on the Bluff.

“A Beach clean-up from the Treasure Beach parking lot (62 St Geran Grove, Treasure Beach) will start at 8am. Attendees can also look forward to a Rocky Shore walk starting at 10.30am. People need to pre-book as we can take only a maximum of 50 per time slot.

Wessa Treasure Beach Centre, 835 Marine Drive, Bluff, activities will be conducted in different time slots, every two hours from 8am. It must be noted that we can only take people who have pre-booked and have presented a ticket,” said Sodurba chairperson Helga du Preez.

She said that there have been a lot of whale sightings already leading up to the excitement on the day. “They actually arrived very early this year and we’re hoping to see a few on the day of the festival as we’ll have a view site on the rooftop of the WESSA building.”

Fabricon, is the sponsor of the second whale sculpture, after Destiny, which will be displayed at the festival. Mike McFadyean has designed the piece, playfully and temporarily called ‘Destiny’s Child’. It shows a whale breaching the ocean waves, in a pose that whales have become so well-known for throughout the world.

Helga encourages everyone to attend the family-friendly, fun-filled event. “We would love to see a lot of children on the day as this will be an amazing educational experience for them outside of what they learn in the classroom.”

To pre-book and purchase a ticket, send an email to or or call 071-143-1235.

For more information visit the Sodurba website on