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Marine Big 5 - Local Prices


Activity Description

Please note that the Local Prices are exclusively applicable to South African Residents.
Certain Terms and Conditions apply to these rates. Our team will request supporting documentation during the tour confirmation process. In cases where this verification cannot be provided, any price discrepancy will need to be settled.
Please note that the Conservation Fee is compulsory. Please check the Add-on and specify the number of adults and children during the booking process. The booking will not be successful if this add-on is not selected and accounted for to all members in the group.

Kindly specify the number of children included in your booking, where a child is aged 11 years or younger. Children under 5 years of age are exempt from charges. Please select the add-on option to include the Discounted Infant Seat (0-4 years) to apply for the Infant seat that is free of charge. Please keep in mind that the compulsory Conservation Fee applies to all guests, adults, children and infants.

Our tours are dependent on weather and tidal conditions, and consequently, launch times may deviate from the initial schedules. The exact meeting/pick-up time for your tour will be confirmed a day before.

Our fleet includes two custom-designed vessels, meticulously crafted to prioritize your safety and comfort, ensuring an optimal experience for observing marine wildlife. The Dream Catcher, a 14m catamaran, can accommodate up to 50 passengers and 6 crew members. Complementing this, the Whale Whisperer, a 4m semi-rigid inflatable, accommodates 24 passengers and 4 crew members. Our vessels offer ample space, furnished with dedicated platforms for photographers, onboard toilette facilities and a PA system. While we retain the prerogative to deploy any of our vessels based on passenger count, rest assured that your comfort and safety remain our priority. Our vessels undergo annual inspections by the South African Maritime Safety Authority, adhering to stringent specifications. Safety provisions include an onboard first aid kit, life-raft, radio, and cellular communications, and we have standard operational procedures assisting with any medical emergencies.

Upon your arrival at The Great White House, you will view an introductory briefing concerning the itinerary, safety protocols, and notable highlights while enjoying some muffins and coffee. We do provide audio visual safety briefings in Italian, French, Russian, Spanish, German and Portuguese, please do inform us if you would like your briefing in any of these languages. Guests will then be dressed in essential life-jackets and waterproof jackets for their safety and convenience.

The duration of the Marine Big 5 Tour spans between 2 to 2.5 hours, depending upon wildlife sightings and prevailing weather conditions. All tours launch from Kleinbaai Harbour in close proximity to Gansbaai. Dyer Island, located 8 km offshore, stands as an access-controlled Important Bird Area (IBA), safeguarding numerous resident avian species, including the endangered African penguin. Situated adjacent to Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, which is home to a robust colony of 60,000 Cape fur seals, present year-round. Our journey will take us through the world-famous channel known as ‘Shark Alley’, nestled between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, Gansbaai include various species of seabirds such as albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters, gannets and terns, these birds are adapted to life at sea and can be seen gliding over the waves, diving for fish, or resting on the water’s surface. Next, we will navigate to prime whale viewing areas within the bay. With a wealth of over two decades of experience, we possess an innate awareness of optimal whale sighting locations. The Southern right whale season extends from June to November, during which our focus shifts to observing these magnificent creatures as they visit our coastal waters for mating and calving purposes. Throughout the year, we may also encounter the more reserved resident Bryde’s whale. The period spanning December to June offers opportunities to actively search for this species during our tours. Additionally, we may encounter the majestic Humpback whales during the initiation and conclusion of their migration cycle. Our region also boasts three distinct dolphin species—common, bottlenose, and the endangered humpback variety. As luck would have it, we may have the privilege of encountering one of these species. This marine adventure includes a visit to the shark cage diving vessels in the area to offer a sighting of a bronze whaler shark or the awe-inspiring great white shark.

It’s important to acknowledge that this is wildlife we work with and we cannot guarantee sightings; however, our dedicated team strives to provide opportunities to witness as many members of the Marine Big 5 as possible.

A hallmark of our tours lies in their fusion of enjoyment and education. Each excursion is led by seasoned marine biologists and guides, who eagerly share their wealth of knowledge with you, all while upholding a strong commitment to animal welfare and conservation. At the core of our ethos is responsible tourism, epitomized by our dedication to research, conservation initiatives, education, and the betterment of our local community.

To facilitate a seamless experience, all clients will receive an online check-in link. Completion of this process, including the signing of the indemnity form, is mandatory for tour participation.

Thank you for paying the conservation fee, your money goes directly towards the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, enabling us to do research, monitoring, attend to marine animal strandings, rehabilitation- and marine conservation work. This would not be possible without your conservation fee. This fee ensures that the whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and African penguins of the Dyer Island Eco System, will be here, not only upon your return, but your children’s and grandchildren’s return.


DurationOpen Ended
WhenYear-round, seven days a week – weather dependent. **Southern right whale season is generally June to 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.
Things to BringBinoculars, camera, warm clothing and closed shoes, sunscreen
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
Water on board
Towels and blankets on board
Safety and weather jacket
Soup and bread after the trip from June to December
Lasagne and salad after the trip from January to May

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

What an incredible experience! From the warm welcome with coffee and delicious muffins, straight out of the oven to the friendly and helpful staff, we felt safe and well looked after throughout the day. The boat was in ship-shape and sailed the high seas with ease.The spotting of the magnificent whale as well as an impressive sun fish were highlights, but the penguins and seals did not disappoint. Thank you for an amazing and memorable day which was rounded off with a delicious lunch on return.Five star treatment! - Dennis

Had the most amazing experience with a crew that went above and beyond to ensure our safety and ensure that we see the most amazing sightings. This company is on a standard that will be hard to beat. They are just next level when it comes to professionalism. - Elicia

excellent was a wonderful experience - Jacques

Amazing experience. Staff are super friendly and well informed. - Wiehahn

I brought my UK Family for a wedding holiday and we had the opportunity to take a trip on Dream Catcher with my life long primary school friend Dickie Chivell as the Skipper. It was truly an amazing experience having all my loved ones on the boat - my wife and I also work in the charter industry. We saw loads of marine life and the weather was pristine! The whole experience with the briefing and Pinky's knowledge of the area was on point. We all now own a beautiful sea front property(Penguin house) on Dyer Island :) Thanks to the whole White House and M.D. team for making everything so special & a big thanks to one of my mentors/heroes/Dads - Wilfred Chivell You guys rock!!! - Reinhard

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