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Marine Big 5 - Local Prices


Activity Description

*Local Prices are valid to South African Citizens only. T’s & C’s apply.

**If you plan to book an infant seat, include this in relation to the number of children booked (considered a child if 11 years and younger), and select the add-on option to INCLUDE Discounted infant seat (0-4 years). Kids under 5 years old are free of charge.

All trips are weather and tide-dependent and launch times may vary accordingly from those stated. Your launch time will be confirmed the day before.

We have two custom-designed vessels that have been built for your safety and comfort, and both are perfect for marine wildlife viewing. Dream Catcher is a 14m catamaran that can accommodate 50 passengers and 6 crew. Whale Whisperer is a ll,4m semi-rigid inflatable that can accommodate 24 passengers and 4 crew. Note that during coronavirus related restrictions, our boats are filled to 75% capacity at the maximum. Our boats are spacious with dedicated viewing platforms for photographers, a PA system, on board toilets, and even a hydrophone. We reserve the right to use any one of our vessels based on passenger numbers, but your comfort and safety remain our first priority. Our boats are surveyed annually by the South African Maritime Safety Authority and conform to all specifications. Safety considerations include an onboard first aid kit, life-raft, and radio and cellular communications, with standard operating procedures in place including access to medical care.

Once you have arrived at The Great White House, you will receive a brief introductory talk about the route, safety, and what to look out for. Passengers are fitted with comfortable life-jackets and waterproof jackets.

Marine Big 5 Tour length is between 2 and 2.5 hours, depending on sightings and weather conditions. All cruises depart from Kleinbaai harbour near Gansbaai. Dyer Island is located 8 km from shore and is an access controlled Important Bird Area (IBA) for the conservation of its many resident bird species, including the endangered African penguin. Adjacent to Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, home to a 60,000 strong Cape fur seal colony. These seals are present all year round. We will take you into the channel of water between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock known as the world-famous ‘Shark Alley’. We will then take you to the whale hot-spots in the bay. With over a decade of experience, we know where to expect the best whale sightings. Southern right whale season is between mid-June to mid-November. Around this time our focus will be on spending some time with these incredible whales who are visiting our shores to mate and calve. We can encounter the more reserved resident Bryde’s whale throughout the year. From mid-December to mid-June we actively search for this species during our tours. We may also sight magnificent Humpback whales at the start and end of their migration season. We also have three dolphin species that move through the area – common, bottlenose, and endangered humpback – so if we are lucky, we may see one of those. We also hope to show you a bronze whaler shark or a great white shark. Remember that this is wildlife we are dealing with and sightings aren’t guaranteed, however, our team will do our best to show you as many of our Marine Big 5 as possible.

We pride ourselves on being both fun and educational. Each trip is led by experienced marine biologists and guides who will share their knowledge with you, keeping emphasis on the welfare and conservation of the animal. Responsible tourism is our main objective, so our focus is on research, conservation, education, and the upliftment of our community.

All clients will receive an online check-in link, which needs to be completed and the indemnity signed to be allowed to board the tour.


Duration2 hours
WhenYear-round, seven days a week – weather dependent. **Southern right whale season is generally mid-June to mid-November.
WhereThe Great White House, where you will receive a brief introductory talk about the route, safety, and what to look out for. We then take a 200 meter stroll down to the harbour to board. We will confirm the tour meeting time the day prior after a detailed weather and tide check.
WeatherDue to variable weather conditions the trip may not always be possible and is therefore not guaranteed. Time-related itineraries are dependent on tides, weather conditions and the number of tours scheduled for a particular day.
What to WearSunscreen Always bring warm clothing as it is cooler at sea than on land. Comfortable closed shoes are advised. Remember to wear your mask.
Things to BringBinoculars, camera, warm clothing,
Guests or SpectatorsAll passengers on board are charged, except for children under 5 years old. Please use anti-seasick medication well in advance if you are prone to motion sickness. We are not authorized to provide medication on-site.


Minimum Age0 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


Boat Trip
Tea and coffee with muffins on arrival
Bottled water on board

ExclusionsExtra beverages and snacks.


All trips are weather and tide dependent and launch times may vary accordingly from those stated. Your launch time will be confirmed the day before.
Please allow enough time for transport from Cape Town (3 hours) and Hermanus (1 hour) when travelling to Gansbaai. Please be aware that there are road works en route and waiting times are included in the above travelling times.

Customer Reviews

The reception was so warm, one really felt welcome. Well trained guides and a skipper that knows his boat and seas. Safety protocols excellently explained. I felt safe and happy during both cruises. The main thing that stands out is the good organisation of every detail. - Maroela Media - Elize Parker

Although sea was rough sea adventure was a memorable experience. ??% for professional and caring crew. Warm tasty soup and towels made-up for wetness and cold after trip. Misunderstood about sanctuary afterwards and missed out going there somehow thought it was part of trip and we get off on island to pat a penguin or two. ???[?]. Despite the weather thankyou captain and crew for a great day and wonderful experience ???[?]? - Educational: Marie du Plessis

Hi there My feedback is as follows: 1. Booking via email (Tracey Fourie). Tracey was very quick and efficient and could mostly answer my questions. However, I tried to phone using the telephone number on the bookings email to try and sort out answer all my questions and finalise the booking more efficiently than emailing. This telephone (082 801 8014) number took me through to a back office lady who was not client focused and was inconvenienced by my 2 phonecalls trying to finalise the booking. My suggestion is to put a contact number in that goes through to a bookings/client centric person. 2. Details on the email re the final booking had outdated covid protocol listed multiples times. This needs to be updated. 3. The pre-brief presentation we think should have been more scientific, was lacking in detail and the safety video wasn't shown properly. The lady appeared flustered and put on the video which started at the end of the video so the full video didn't run. 4. The before and after hospitality was really superb. Nice touch. The soup after led to us all sitting down in the restaurant and ordering extra coffees and extra food for the kids. The muffins were excellent. Soup and bread thoroughly enjoyed. 5. The actual boat experience from start to finish was top class. 11 out of 10! Skipper excellent as always. The marine bio ladies were fantastic. Attentive, informative, happy to answer all questions and quickly pivoted to birding when she could see we had some avid birders in our group. Spotters were attentive sorting out blankets and towels as needed. 6. Next time we will come at a different time of year to try see different things. This was our 3rd eco trip. 7. All in a all a lovely and special day out. Just suggest a bit of tightening at the booking and pre-brief presentation stages of the experience. Thanks - Jenny McIver

Really great day out, very informative and we were still able to see quite a bit of wildlife for that time of year. - Helen Chorlton

Best experience ever...... wish I could afford to do it more often - Lynette du Toit

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