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Knysna Whale Watching - Close Encounter (June - Nov)


Activity Description

Ocean Odyssey is Knysna’s only official whale watching permit holder, allowing the 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 deep water 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 around. 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.


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”.
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

The trip was great - Bruce Mkhize

Just amazing!! Our Guide was amazing and made sure we got to see see lions, dolphins and whales. I can only recommend it!!! - Lisa St.

We had a wonderful time! I appreciate the efforts the guides and spotters give to make it a good experience. Plus we saw three humpback whales, and that makes it a great experience! - Kenny Yates

Stefan did a great ADRENALINE job. Want to come back this month with next group! - Harald @ Absolut Tours

Hi. The Ocean Odyssey Whale Watching Team were all superb. I met a few of the admin staff when I went to the office to book our trip, all went well and they followed up nearer the time with a phone call reminder. All was ready and happy when our group of 10 arrived. The boat staff knew their jobs and did them well. No improvements required anywhere !! Regards Gill Thomas, Sedgefield - Gill Thomas

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