Western Cape
Birdwatching

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Our most recommended Western Cape Birdwatching

From Cape Town: Cape Point and Boulders Beach Full-Day Tour

1. From Cape Town: Cape Point and Boulders Beach Full-Day Tour

Discover Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope on this guided day trip from Cape Town. Marvel at the beauty of nature as you stop at Boulders Beach to spot whales, ostrich, and other animals it shelters. The full-day tour leaves Cape Town in the morning for the spectacular landscapes of the Cape Peninsula. Enjoy a scenic drive to Boulders Beach through Muizenberg and Fish Hoek. Stop to see the penguins at Boulders Beach before heading to Cape Point, in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Be on the lookout for antelope, ostrich and other game. Scan the ocean for whales during the Cape's whale season (July-November). Enjoy lunch (at your own expense) before joining the optional hike from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope headland (medium fitness required). Sit back and enjoy the coastal drive back to Cape Town, taking in spectacular views from the Ou Kaapse Weg mountain pass.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

2. Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

Visit the Dyer Island eco-system and have the opportunity to spot the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, seals, dolphins and penguins. Every year from June to December, the southern right whales arrive to mate and calve. Witness mating displays, breaching, tail slapping, spy-hopping and more. You may also see Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, the elusive humpback dolphin and the common dolphin. An incredible array of seabirds and a sighting of the almost 60,000-strong Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock is guaranteed as the boat cruises down the famous Shark Alley. An on-board marine biologist will be on hand to teach you more about the amazing animals that visit these shores. On the day of your trip, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cape Town or Hermanus, if you have selected an option with transfers included. Upon arrival in Gansbaai, enjoy coffee/tea and muffins while listening to a dedicated safety briefing. After you're fitted with inflatable life jackets and wet-weather gear, take a 200 meter stroll down to the harbor to board the whale-watching vessel. Time spent on sea on average is two hours depending on sea conditions and marine life activity.  Upon return to land, receive an informative debrief while enjoying warm soup and bread. Professional trip footage is also available to purchase after the trip, so that you can have a permanent memory of your sightings. If you have chosen the option with transfers from Cape Town, a visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is also included on your way back. You'll see the important efforts being made to rehabilitate injured and sick animals.

Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

3. Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

Experience the three most iconic sites of Knysna on a 1.5-hour eco cruise of the Knysna estuary. Cruise along the rugged headlands and encounter the abundant marine life of the coastal waters.  Navigate the amazing estuary and pass the picturesque Knysna Heads. Venture further out into the expansive Indian Ocean to look for dolphins, seals, penguins, and Bryde's whales in their natural environment. Learn more about the geological features and wildlife you encounter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Plettenberg Bay: Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Jukani Wildlife

4. Plettenberg Bay: Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Jukani Wildlife

This ticket will give you access to one of 3 sanctuaries: Explore Monkeyland, the world’s first and largest free roaming primate sanctuary hosting 11 species and over 550 primates. With a 1-hour guided tour into the 12-hectare forest with a professional guide. In Birds of Eden, the world's largest single dome free flight aviary, discover over 200 species and nearly 3,500 birds. Go on a self-guided tour or go with a guide for no extra cost. The Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary is the first sanctuary of its kind, with enclosures built especially for the animal’s needs and personality, hosting apex cats and other predators and wildlife Animals. Go on a tour with a professional and trained guide into the sanctuary. Walk past the enclosures while the guide shares interesting facts of the animals you see.

Knysna: Close Encounter Whale Watching Tour by Boat

5. Knysna: Close Encounter Whale Watching Tour by Boat

Come get up close and personal with the gentle giants of the ocean on this 2-hour whale watching tour! Your trip begins as your captain navigates you through the Knysna Estuary and then you'll head out towards the vast and beautiful Indian Ocean. Every year, both the southern right and humpback whales leave their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica and migrate to mate and calve in the warmer waters of the Southern African coastline - this makes Knysna one of the best whale-watching destinations in the country. The tour will be narrated by an experienced skipper and guide who will share with you fascinating information about the lives of these whales. Your adventure will also be assisted by an experienced whale spotter who is in radio contact with all skippers, so you can be directed to any sightings. Keep your eyes peeled for other marine life as well - you may even spot a dolphin or a penguin or two!

Knysna Heads and Estuary Adventure

6. Knysna Heads and Estuary Adventure

This 45-minute adventure shows you the Knysna region's legendary and diverse estuary and all that it has to offer the coastal town of Knysna. The estuary has a compelling history, fascinating birdlife and is inhabited by 43% of South Africa's plant and animal life. View the rugged and iconic Knysna Heads, a unique sandstone formation, and the magnificent ancient caves nestled amongst the coves of this beautiful coastline. Depending on the tide, you may be able to see the famous Pacquita shipwreck found at the mouth of the Knysna Heads. An experienced skipper will also share with you information and stories about the area and how these natural formations came to be.  This trip is ideal for families and large groups. The tour does not venture out into the ocean, but rather shows you all that the Knysna Estuary has to offer - this is certainly the best place to witness the beauty of the flora and fauna of the region!   

Cape Town: Aquila Game Reserve Day Entrance & Game Drive

7. Cape Town: Aquila Game Reserve Day Entrance & Game Drive

Drive to the Aquila Private Nature Reserve, approximately a 2 and a half hour journey. Upon arrival, enjoy a complimentary breakfast before embarking on your 2 to 3-hour safari led by an experienced guide. During the safari, you'll have the extraordinary chance to see all the Big 5 (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalo) and learn all about the wildlife you will see. The bio-diverse habitat of the reserve ensures plenty of interest for the avid game viewer and bird watcher: giraffes, blesbok, black and blue wildebeest, zebras, springbok, gemsbok, klipspringers, duikers, greybuck, steenbok, ostriches, baboons, caracals, foxes, jackals, leopards and 172 species of birds, including the black eagle, are found on the reserve. After your safari experience, indulge in a delicious buffet lunch and take some time to explore the rest of the facilities, which include a open-air swimming pool.  You may choose to add on a spa treatment, horseback ride or quad bike safari, which you can purchase at the reserve.

Frequently asked questions about Western Cape Birdwatching

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Other Sightseeing Options in Western Cape

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What people are saying about Western Cape

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 440 reviews

Guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly! Bus pickup and drop off was easy. Would recommend this tour to anyone traveling to Cape Town!

Treasure was an amazingly knowledgable guide. Full of great stories. An amazing day, saw so much. I would recommend this tour

The tour guide was great and funny.. Seeing the penguins was cool and same with cape of good hope

Great trip, nice people, interesing areas= perfect experience

Beautiful way to see the heads and seals and whales!