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Southern Right whales up close

The Southern Right whale has made the De Hoop Reserve in South Africa one of the world’s best land based whale-watching areas. This marine protected area is a World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most important nurseries for this endangered mammal. During the winter months (June to November), Southern Right whales come so close to the shoreline that visitors can relax on the un-spoilt sand dunes and watch in awe as these beautiful creatures calve, blow, breach and belly-flop.

Increasing numbers of whale visitors

The Southern Right whale spends the summer months in the far Southern Ocean feeding close to Antarctica and migrates north in winter for warm-water breeding. The fidelity of the females to safe feeding and calving habitats brings these mammals in increasing numbers to the De Hoop region. The mother passes these instincts onto her calves which results in visitors being able to view this transient population of literally hundreds of whales that visit De Hoop shores annually.

Marine Marvel

Did you know that in addition to our winter visitors, the De Hoop Marine Protected Area also boasts sightings of Brydes Whales all year round? Humpback dolphins have also been sighted along the De Hoop Coastline, “possibly South Africa’s rarest marine mammal” says Marine Conservation Photographer Jean Tresfon.

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