Dwarf Sperm Whale visits Cape Town harbour…
It was with much excitement that I folded away my laptop and leapt up from the rather dreary world of website fiddling and shot off down to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town’s harbour precinct to hopefully catch a glimpse of a most rare sight. Rumour was spreading fast in wildlife circles around Cape Town that a Dwarf Sperm Whale had slipped into the harbour and was to be seen casually swimming amongst the boats in full view of a curious onlookers. Despite the ever-present Cape Town traffic, I slipped effortlessly into the Waterfront area, awash with tourists and locals alike soaking up a magnificent Thursday morning.
A quick inquiry at a local watering hole was all it took and I was soon ushered down to the water’s edge where the whale had last been sighted. Across the water from me on another small jetty, stood a small throng of bystanders with cameras at the ready, waiting to capture that moment when the rare and elusive Dwarf Sperm Whale emerged from the harbour water’s depths.
It didn’t take long before we were all treated to a marvellous display by this incredible little whale. Soon he could be seen frollicking between the boats, rolling over and exposing his whitish underbelly as he slid within touching distance of the onlookers. As is often noted with some whales and dolphins, there was an apparent deliberate attempt to “engage” with his audience and it was notable that he definitely spent more time closest to the most populated jetty, rising, rolling and energetically swimming past his audience.
It was such a joy to sit on the water’s edge and share a brief moment with a creature that is typically miles offshore in the depths of the deepest oceans.
Cape Town truly is a special destination, boasting such incredible natural beauty and biodiversity. The city and its surrounds really offers the visitor something special at almost every turn, and on a Thursday morning in early November we were reminded of just how incredible this southern tip of Africa is. A rare sighting such as this one may not be the norm, but you are certainly guaranteed not to leave Cape Town disappointed. Be it Great White Sharks viewed from cages in the depths of the False Bay, Southern Right Whales viewed from sea kayaks in Walker Bay or simply enjoying spectacular vistas from the summit of Table Mountain, for those in search of wilderness in and around a city – there can be very few places on earth to rival Cape Town.