The Southern Right Whale

The southern right whale is readily distinguished from others by the callosities on its head, a broad back without a dorsal fin, and a long arching mouth that begins above the eye. Its skin is very dark grey or black, occasionally with some white patches on the belly. There are some 10,000 in the Southern Oceans. These images were taken off the coast of South Africa, from the sea near Hermanus and from the air over Walker Bay nearby. The southern right whale spends summer in the far Southern Ocean feeding, probably close to Antarctica. During the Southern Hemisphere winter months (June - November) the southern right whales migrate to the coastal waters of South Africa, with in excess of 100 whales known to be in the Hermanus area. Whilst in the area, the whales can be seen with their young as they come to the calm sheltered Walker Bay to calve and mate.

Mother and calf
Two mothers and two calves in close proximity
There is a lot of play activity between mothers and calves and they are very tactile with each other
Mother and calf
Two mothers with calves again - I believe one calf is submerged
Back to Top