Whale Watching in Hermanus
- Author: Jeanette du Toit
- Tuesday, 13 October 2015
- Top Activities - Hermanus
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Carnivore
- Size: 50 ft (15.25 m)
- Weight: 70 tons (63.5 m tons)
- Group name: Pod
- Protection status: Endangered
- Females produce calves on average once every three years.
- Southern Right calves drink almost 600 litres of milk per day while sucking.
- Southern Rights were the first of the large whales to be protected in 1935.
- Southern Rights dive to a maximum depth of about 300 meters.
- Lifespan of the Southern Right Whale is estimated between 70 - 100 years
Related CategoryTop Activities - Hermanus
Hermanus is known as the land based whale capital of the world, you can see whales frolicking from the winding coastline, observe from the benches along the cliff paths.
The Southern Right Whale is a baleen whale, which means that instead of teeth it has long plates hanging from the top jaw. These baleens work like a sieve when the whale feeds. The Southern Right Whale was so named during the time when they were still hunted. They were referred to as the "right" whales to kill because they would float when dead – which made it easy for the whalers to find them in the ocean and transport them back to the whaling station. These whales have a large amount of oil (also called blubber) and baleen.
Southern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis) - identification
- Southern Right Whales are easily identified by the double or V-shaped blow,
- callosity patterns on the head region and the lack of dorsal fin.
- Southern Right whales are usually totally black in colour, although white patches can occur on the back and often on the belly.
- Their length is between 12.5 m -15.5 m, weighing between 30 - 60 tonnes
The Southern Right Whales start arriving in Walker Bay from June and have usually left again by December. Peak Whale season, when sightings are virtually guaranteed on a daily basis, is during September and October. Calving season is in August and September and the Whale population peaks in Walker Bay during October.
BOAT BASED WHALE WATCHING
The only Whale Crier in the world is not only a major attraction but keeps visitors informed as to where the whales can be seen when he does his rounds every day. The sound of his kelp horn has become a characteristic of the charm of this seaside resort during the whale season.