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Marine Big 5 - South African Special


South Africa, this is for you! 40% Discount on our Marine Big 5 Tour. T's & C's Apply. Operating dates as indicated on the calendar.

Activity Description

**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.


ProviderDyer Island Cruises (Pty) Ltd
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 metre stroll down to the harbour to board.
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 authorised to provide medication on-site. Your temperature will be checked on arrival as per COVID-19 protocols.


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.

It is our duty of care to ensure your safety is a priority and respond to any concerns during these ever-changing times. We pride ourselves on our attention to cleanliness and all our diving equipment is cleaned daily. For more information, please view our COVID-19 Protocols on our website.
We have the following precautions in place:
Alcohol-based antibacterial hand sanitizer for all guests onsite
Frequent cleaning and sanitization of all surfaces
On-call medical practitioners
Restrooms are checked & cleaned on a regular basis and replenished
Trained crew and team

Wear your mask
Wash and sanitize your hands regularly
Cover your face with the bend of your elbow or with a tissue if you cough or sneeze
Tissues will be available onsite as well as closed bins to dispose of them
Remember to cut the strings of your masks before disposal
Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
Avoid shaking of hands
Fill out your details correctly when registering! Should we need to contact you about anything, we need to have the right information to get in touch with you

Our standard cancellation policy stands; however, we are always willing to review on a case by case basis for extenuating circumstances. We have implemented a free date change policy – so if a client wishes to postpone their trip, we are happy to change the departure date to later in 2021 or 2022 at no charge. Please note that if the client moves the date to 2023, the 2023 prices will come into effect.

Customer Reviews

From the word Go!, the Dyer Island Whale trip staff were professional and most accommodating. They work seamlessly as a well managed team. The programme for the morning started with an clear and concise orientation talk and video. It was always made clear that safety was a high priority, and that they will always do their best to show guests as much as possible. They even went out of their way to show me an Albatross! The gear (life jackets, boat) were all in perfect working condition and clearly well maintained. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic, and aim to please! We can't recommend this trip more, or score it higher than 'Excellent'. A most enjoyable experience, and a great privilege to have been on! Thank you! - Hettie

Such an incredible experience. My hubby and 2 little kiddies got to see whales only a couple of meters from our boat. Was a once in a lifetime experience. With an amazing team on staff. Highly recommended - Gillian Haak

Very foggy. But a wonderful experience! We saw a Southern Right Wale and two Humpback Whales. The crew was very helpful and kind. A wonderful day on the water. Can only highly recommend that trip. - Markus Reichenbach

Dear Marine Dynamics Team. Thank you very much for an amazing experience that myself and family had onboard Whale Whisperer on Saturday. To the skipper and crew, thank you. Your passion and love for what you do can be seen and the way you all looked after all onboard and made us feel at ease due to the swells and weather was really appreciated. You all have inspired the kids to want to do more for the sea life and learn all they can. Janine and Tracey and the rest of the team that does the bookings, thank you for the informative responses and pasience with all the questions directed at you over the phone, you are amazing. To all the staff behind the scenes who sanatise and make sure everything is clean and safe during this pandemic so that we all can feel safe when going on the trips thank you, you are appreciated. Then last but not least all the staff at the sanctuary. You are doing an amazing job and we are grateful for the wonderful job you are doing with the pebguins and other sea life. We look forward to our next adventure with you all in the near future. Thank you once again. Kind regards Dominique and family - Hermanus Guest House Educational

An unforgettable experience for us! It was incredibly special seeing the humpbacks. They were so graceful and gave us a show that we will never forget. We were also lucky enough to see a few great whites swimming right under the boat. We will definitely do this trip again and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a deep love for the ocean. - Chané Grix

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