Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris is universally regarded as the leading boat-based whale watching company in South Africa.  We also boast one of the limited whale watching permits allocated country wide.  We specialize in Boat Based Whale Watching and we pride ourselves in offering a uniquely personalized service to all our clients

Operator Details

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Physical Address:
3 Hawe Weg, Gansbaai

Permit Area:
Walker Bay, Gansbaai

Date Formed:

Operator Contact

Tel (Office):
+27 28 384-0556

Tel (Mobile):
+27 82 926-7977

Website Address:

Email Address:
Click Here

Permit Details

Vessel Name:

Departure Area:
Walker Bay, Gansbaai

Passenger Capacity:

Boat Type:
Ace Craft 22m

About US

We operate in Area 6 of Walker Bay which is celebrated as the best location from which to view the magnificent Southern Right Whales. Our guests are looked after in lavish style by our fully qualified, proficient and registered whale guides whose only duty is to make your trip as memorable as possible. The safety of our guests is paramount and we have all-encompassing public liability insurance.


The Trip

A typical trip will have you exploring our magnificent coastline and bay while looking for whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and seabirds. Apart from the Southern Right Whales, we are able to view Brydes Whales, Humpback Whales and possibly even Great White Sharks.There are many Cape Fur Seals, African Penguins, Dolphins, Sunfish and plenty of coastal marine birds to been seen whilst out at sea.

The Vessel

Ivanhoe is a 42 ft. catamaran, which was specifically designed and custom-built for whale watching. Our extensive experience gained from over 6000 close encounters with our majestic whales was our inspiration for the design of the Ivanhoe. The most experienced whale skipper in South Africa specifically designed the “Ivanhoe” to provide an exceptionally safe and stable vessel from which to view whales.

Operator Reviews

Highly Impressed

5 5 1
“We were a little sceptical as to what we might encounter but were at once highly impressed with the professional yet sensitive approach of the boat crew to the many whales we did encounter The boat is well equipped and made possible some "to die for" sightings All the team including the land based crew who took our booking added immeasurably to the pleasure of this, albeit not inexpensive, trip. Very highly recommend this family run business operating out of Gansbaai harbour Really worth every rand!!!”

Second whale watching experience

5 5 1
“We would appreciate if our visitors could leave us a small review on the experience and service received form Ivanhoe Sea Safaris. Click here to submit your review. Jan 24, 2014 by Azhootie This was our second whale watching experience this month and there was truly NO comparison. We had a miserable time on the overcrowded boat with Southern Right Charters but Ivanhoe provided us with an experience that we will remember positively our whole lives. From the moment I contacted Michelle, I knew we were going to have a good experience. Michelle was friendly and professional and gave us ample notice when our Saturday trip was going to be cancelled due to weather and worked with us to reschedule on Sunday. Their boat holds 40 people including the crew but our skipper, Jason, said they never take more than 25 adults out at a time. This makes for such a pleasurable experience. People aren't climbing over each other trying to get a look at the whales. You can EASILY move from side to side or front to back of the boat to get a perfect view of the magnificent creatures. Another thing that really impressed me about Ivanhoe was that when the whales had satisfied their curiosity and moved on, Jason said "okay, folks. we don't chase our whales...we like to leave them in a good mood so let's go find some others." I loved that they respected the whales whilst still giving us a wonderful experience. The other gentleman on the crew (I feel bad that I didn't get his name) made us feel welcome and offered us water throughout the trip. To me, it really seemed as if each person associated with Ivanhoe actually loved what they were doing as opposed to just looking at is as a "job." Make the trip to Gansbaai instead of Hermanus and have access to places only Ivanhoe is able to go. It is SO worth it!”


5 5 1
“We chose Ivanhoe because of their smaller group sizes. We have been on many whale watches and our priority was a small group tour that didn’t crowd the boat. Michele was great with answering our questions when we first contacted Ivanhoe. She kept us updated with weather conditions and was helpful with rescheduling our tour due to bad weather. Our tour had a small group of people and the boat was very comfortable for everyone. The sea was fairly calm so it was easy to hear the whales spouting. Their exhalation is really amazing when they are close to the boat. We saw several mother/calf pairs including a calf that breached several times. Ivanhoe offered us exactly what we were hoping for - an intimate small group experience with close encounters of the Southern Right Whales.”
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©2019 SABBWWA - South African Boat Based Whale Watching Ass.

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