Save the Whales… Seriously 🐋

As residents of the lovely town of Stanford we are privileged to live in one of the most picturesque areas in the world. Walker Bay (which stretches between Gaansbaai and Hermanus) is situated just two hours from Cape Town and is characterised by spectacular natural beauty and pristine natural landscapes. Every year, between June and December, Walker Bay is also the temporary home to hundreds of Southern Right Whales. Every year these gentle giants make the gruelling journey from the freezing Antarctic to the East Coast of South Africa to calve, nurse their young and mate in the sheltered bays and warm waters of our piece of paradise.
The history of the Southern Right Whale is one of great sadness. The early whalers considered them the “right” whales to hunt. They are extremely docile animals, are relatively slow moving and spend a lot of their time on the surface of the water near the coastline. Thus they were considered easy prey. Due to the large amount of blubber the right whale also floats when dead. The meat as well as oil produced from the blubber brought an excellent market price. These magnificent creatures were hunted to near extinction but fortunately became a protected species in the 1930’s. The population has recovered significantly and luckily for us humans they do not seem to hold a grudge.
The Southern Right Whale can grow up to 14m in length and can weigh as much as 50 tonnes (50000 kg). If you laid them accross the Blue Gum Country Estate tennis court, they would stretch the whole length… and you would have to cancel the game. They are mammals, and they are very similar to us – they live in tight family groups, nurture and play with their young, talk to each other and take care of one another when in distress. Perhaps this is why they are so fascinating and enthralling to watch. They are also natural born actors, revelling in the adoration of their audiences as they lobtail, breach, tail- slap, lunge and spyhop.
These magnificent creatures start appearing in June. September then brings the whale festival to the Walker Bay area. The month is filled with great food and wine, many fun, interesting and educational events and glorious whale watching. As many as 100000 visitors will flock to the area to celebrate this mysterious creature with us and to watch the most beautiful and majestic show on earth. Hermanus (about 30km from Blue Gum Estate) has traditionally been the “place to be” for land and sea based whale watching. However, de Kelders (about 25km from Blue Gum) offers unsurpassed land based viewing, with Whales coming within a few metres of the shore. A “friendly” debate has arisen between the two towns as to who has the best whale watching. Hermanus has a far better tourism infrastructure with many more shops and restaurants. But, due to the increase in visitors, this has caused many of the whales to flee the noise and move further up the coast.
Come and join us at Blue Gum during the whale season and plan to come and see these beautiful creatures from the land or on a boat cruise. We partner with a number of great boat operators including Dyer Island Cruises , Ivanhoe Sea Safaris (leaving from Kleinbaai) and Southern Right Charters (leaving from Hermanus).

DYER ISLAND CRUISES: 082 801 8014 | https://www.whalewatchsa.com/ | https://www.facebook.com/WhaleWatchSA
082 926 7977 | https://whaleviewing.co.za/ | https://www.facebook.com/whalewhatchingsa
082 353 0550 | https://www.southernrightcharters.co.za/ | https://www.facebook.com/HermanusWhaleWatching

Anton | reservations@bluegum.co.za | 0656265456 | www.bluegum.co.za 🐳🐬🦭🐟🐠🐡 🦈

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