Knysna Whale Watching - Close Encounter (June - Nov)


Activity Description

Ocean Odyssey is Knysna’s only official whale watching permit holder, allowing us to approach whales to within 50m; if the whale chooses to come closer, we don’t have to move away. With a maximum of 25 passengers on board, personal service is guaranteed.

During the tour, stops are made to watch whales, dolphins, sharks, and seals, as well as any seabirds that may be encountered. Other interesting features pointed out to clients include cultural facts, shipwrecks, geology, bird colonies, and anecdotal information.

Inshore we’re always on the lookout for Humpback dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins. We see dolphins on 80% of cruises year around.

In the deepwater, we’re in search of common dolphins and Bryde’s whales. The Bryde’s whale is resident in Knysna, and sighted on approximately 70% of cruises year-round. Common dolphins are known for their large group sizes, in Knysna the largest group we’ve seen during a cruise was approximately 10,000 individuals.

During whale season, we have regular sightings of Southern Right whales and Humpback whales. Both species travel to South African waters for their breeding season. During peak whale season we spot whales on 95% of cruises.


ProviderOcean Odyssey & Springtide Charters
Duration2 hours
WhenFrom June to November
WherePlease arrive 15minutes before your booking start time. Start Location: Company: Ocean Odyssey Charters & retail shop TH 44, Long street Thesen Harbour Town Knysna Directions to our offices for check-in on Thesen Isle, From George direction drive into Knysna on N2. Turn right at the traffic lights onto Waterfront drive. Follow the road until the second set of traffic lights, turn right onto Long Street, head all the way down the road till the roundabout, follow the roundabout to the right, find us on the right opposite “Big Blue the whale sculpture”. From Plettenberg Bay direction: Drive into Knysna on N2 at third set of traffic lights keep Left onto Waterfront Drive, first set of traffic lights turn left onto Long Street. head all the way down the road till the roundabout follow the roundabout to the right, find us on the right opposite “Big Blue the whale sculpture”. GUESTS WILL CHECK IN 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AT OUR RECEPTION, WHERE THEY ARE REQUIRED TO SIGN THE INDEMNITY FORM.
WeatherAll trips through the Knysna Heads and out to sea are dependent on weather and sea conditions. Only the skipper is able to make a decision whether the cruise can depart. This decision is made according to wind direction and speed, sea swell and tide. This decision can only be made on the day of the cruise.
What to WearWind breaker or jumper
Things to BringCamera
Guests or SpectatorsOnly paid guests on board


Minimum Age3 years
Minimum Height0.0 m
Maximum Height0.0 m
Fitness LevelNo Fitness Requirement
QualificationsNot Applicable
Maximum Weight0.0 kg
CertificationNone Required
Experience LevelNo Experience Requirement

Inclusions and Exclusions

InclusionsBottle of water
ExclusionsFood is not allowed on this tour.


Minimum of 4 guests required to run this trip.
Trip duration is 1½ – 2 hours, depending on conditions.
Children welcome, no experience necessary

Customer Reviews

Thank you for that adventure. We had a very good time, even the waves were pretty high and sea was rough. We did feel safe all time of the trip and ver good taken care of. We can recommend your service any time!...and wish to come back soon to go on another adventure with you. We also did like your shop very much. Warm Regards, Sarah - Sarah Trommler

What an amazing experience!!!!! For 2 and a half hours I felt part of the splendour of Nature. Stephan is an awesome Skipper and has a wonderful rapport with his guests. The beauty of Knysna Heads is overwhelming. Highly recommended andI will do the trip again!!! - Colleen Sleigh

Our trip was absolutely amazing! It was my dad's first time out the heads so that alone was mindblowing for him... but to see and play amongst the dolphins and then seeing the mother and baby whale breaching and playing - truly out of this world magical! - Michelle van Staden

i was a good excursion the downside is we didn't see the whales but i viewed eNCA a few days back and it was stated that this is the second period that whale numbers have been low in the region but would do it again and hopefully i will be able to view whales at sea - KABELO JAMES MUNYAMANE

Super service - Rob van Bezouwen

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