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Marine Big 5 Tour Self Drive


South Africa, this is for you! 40% Discount on our Shark Cage Diving 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
Duration3 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 traveling to Gansbaai. Please be aware that there are road works en route and waiting times are included in the above traveling 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

We loved our Marine Big 5 Tour with Dyer Island Cruises! The staff were extremely accommodating and knowledgeable on all of the animals. We really appreciated that they had a marine biologist onboard for both studying and sharing information. Almost immediately after setting sail we saw several humpback whales and watched them for quite some time. We then went on to check out the penguins and seals on the island. On our way back, the crew spotted humpback dolphins, as well as a mother / calf southern right whale. First time whale watching and it was incredible! Thank you! - Kyle St Nicholas

Es war eine ganze tolle und beeindruckende Tour. Danke auch fur das Video. Es ist eine schone Erinnerung. - Bernd Trenkle

The entire experience was just fantastic. From the moment we walked in, we were greeted with so many friendly faces. The briefing session and trip was outstanding. The info given by Jax was fantastic and we all learnt so much. The assistance and interaction onboard the vessel was great and extremely professional. Thank you very much for this experience. - Kelly

Living in Gansbaai for more than 2 years and being on the cage diving boat already, it was just a "must do". Loved every minute of it. My husband work as a volunteer at the penquin sanctuary and I realy wanted to see where the penquins heading to once they are releazed. I will definitely recommend it and most properly do it again myself. - Annetjie Anderson

In spite of it being quite a blustery day, the trip out to Dyer Island was fun and exciting - as well as being educational. Our guide kept us informed and entertained and we enjoyed seeing the Bronze Whaler sharks and the seals on Geyser Rock. The smell from the seals was indescribable! A highlight for me was to get good sightings of Northern Giant Petrel (quite spectacular). This is a trip which I highly recommend for a few hours of good activity and entertainment. Also very well organised by efficient staff (not forgetting the charming Luca). - Michael Kokot

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