Welcoming of the Whales Festival™ 2023
Sodurba CTO is the official tourism body for Durban South (the South Durban Basin, Wilson’s
Wharf, Yellowwood Park and Isipingo) with Durban Tourism as partner.
Our aim is to collectively
and boldly develop and promote responsible, exciting, creative and sustainable tourism for the
benefit of all Sodurba stakeholders and community.
We are hosting our 6
th Annual “Welcoming of the Whales™” event from 23rd June to 25th June 2023.
This event will take place along Foreshore Drive from 08h00 – 16h00, between Anstey’s
Beach and Brighton Beach, Bluff. Traffic will be controlled by Metro Police, at the entrance of
LIMITED PARKING FACILITIES ON THE DAY.
The day consists of an Educational Centre, Arts and Craft Market, Food Stalls, and various beach activities with activations.
There will be a free park & ride facility from the Bluff showgrounds.
Shuttles will be transporting guests down to Foreshore Drive.
Friday the 23rd of June brings back our Cocktail Evening with access to local Art, Fashion & Networking. Fashion show will be hosted by a very talented, Blak Bornfree, founder of DTiPO.
Ending off the Sunday the 25th with a once in a lifetime private tour to the Bluff Whaling Station
with a few special guests.
LIMITED SPACE – BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.
Durban has had a long history with whales. From hunting them and nearly caused the expiration
of many baleen whale species, including both humpback and southern right whales.
The Southern Hemisphere by 1986, and the South African Governments decision to draft and implement legalisation to limit and govern boats approaching whales (see the Marine Code of Conduct), as well as the efforts of various conservation efforts that were made and are being made globally, these two species have partially recovered in some areas, and continue to
increase their numbers every year.
Surveys of humpback whales have estimated that the humpback whale population that migrate past Durban have increased from the mere 340 individuals to approximately 7000 individuals – an incredible recovery of approximately 90% of the original pre-exploitation stock.
Sodurba CTO hosted the first ever Welcoming of the Whales™ event in 2017 and is proud to be the trendsetter of these events.
Lloyd Edwards from Raggy Charters in Algoa Bay states “When I initiated the Southern Humpback Whale Migration route in 2018, I had no idea that it would grow to be what it is today!
From its humble beginnings of two events in 2018, this has grown to 26 talks in Southern Africa as far afield as Kenya on the East coast and Gabon on the West coast. Raggy Charters, together with the World Cetacean Alliance and various partners along the way is once again proud to be part of this and will be presenting a series of talks in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Whales are a symbol of nature in its grandest form – massive, beautiful, powerful, and graceful.
They are ancient, managing so far to survive every planetary disaster and human-caused threat, from hunting to habitat loss. They are gentle, inquisitive, intuitive, forgiving, and sentient.
We are celebrating not only their recovery but also the Humpback Whale’s migration – the longest migration of any mammal on earth! Their story of recovery from levels that were arguably close to extinction shows that conservation clearly can work and, considering the trend of declining global biodiversity, should be celebrated as a symbol of hope for human survival, for the health of our oceans, and for the conservation of nature.