Sea Kayaking with Southern Right Whales
During our time doing long distance in our relationship, Max went sea kayaking in Hermanus, South Africa for the first time. I was immediately jealous because of my love for animals, so it was one of the first adventures we had on our to-do list when we moved back!
We spent the weekend in Hermanus, because of its close proximity to Cape Town, with the sea kayaking as our main activity. Though there are a few companies that offer this, we went with Walker Bay Adventures because Max had such a great experience with them in 2013!
Walker Bay Adventures in Hermanus, South Africa
Booking was an easy process and they went above and beyond to accommodate our schedule. We did not book our slots (4 people) until the week of so we were just excited to get spots for a Saturday!
For equipment rental and a 2.5 hour guided tour the total came to R400 ($28.50) per person! We thought this was well worth it!
I often get intimidated by adventure travel activities (and sometimes have a complete meltdown), but Walker Bay did so much to make us comfortable. The staff was friendly and welcoming as if they had remembered Max from 3 years ago. They did not look down on small females attempting to take on the waves (which I appreciate). There was a thorough explanation of the plan and a brief kayak how to before we got on to the water.
Our group ended up having 18 people (9 kayaks) which was almost their maximum. Even though this was a large number of people, it did not detract from the personal experience.
The Kayaking experience
We kayaked straight out in the bay and looked for whales. Along the way we saw an African penguin and a few Cape Fur Seals! The waves continued to grow and it was a fun ride. It was comical how high we were falling from on the descent of the wave.
The group went through the bay and the instructor/guide pointed out things we would not have otherwise seen. It was a learning experience as much as it was exercise!
After 2 hours, we headed back in after seeing no whales 🙁
I am sad we didn’t see any whales, but apparently 2016 has been a poor year for the Southern Right Whale, with less calves than recent years, and the whales choosing to breed elsewhere. Let’s hope it’s just an off year and the whales will be back in 2017, and that this isn’t a warning sign for the future of the whales!
(These pictures are from Walker Bay Adventures. They offer a disc with tons of photos from your kayaking trip. For our group of 4 people, it was R150. We thought this was a good deal!)
After we got on land and were drying off, it was mentioned that there were a lot more seals in the earlier trip. Someone spotted a Great White Shark scare the seals and therefore they dispersed… as we were getting into our kayaks. So we were blindly kayaking with sharks in the area. It is on the Indian Ocean which means there is always a chance but my fears were confirmed. OH WELL. We made it 🙂
We will be back in 2017 earlier in the breeding season and hope to see the whales!