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10 May 2021

Whale watching wonders off our coast

(South Coast Herald: Southern Explorer) Picture: Justin Klusener. We sometimes don't always appreciate how massive whales really are.

There are endless sites on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast for tourists to witness the incredible migration of humpback and southern right whales between May and December. While anywhere along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is a great viewing spot, there are dedicated whale watching sites including the Umtentweni Conservancy Whale Deck, Ramsgate Whale Deck, Impithi Beach Kiosk, and Umdoni Golf Club Whale Deck.

Wait for the splash, because it’s coming! Photo: Justin Klusener.

The whales migrate throughout winter, heading towards Mozambique while feeding on krill, plankton and small fish. Mothers and their young will swim close together with female whales nursing their young for a year.

Whales will also court during the winter months with the gestation period just shy of a year. Birthing takes place in January and February, as well as July and August, with whales living up to 48 years.

One of the most common species sighted off the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is the humpback whale, which is immediately evidenced by its hump and black dorsal colouring. They are known for their magical songs that are used to communicate across great distances.

Whale watchers will also get the opportunity to watch the delightful antics of resident common and bottlenose dolphins, as well as the annual Sardine Run and its associated aquatic activity.