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“Disappointing”

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
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US$84,47*
and up
Whale Watching from Gansbaai
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US$58,12*
and up
Big 5 Sea Safari in Walker Bay from Gansbaai
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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 Brides 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 28 October 2016

I had a very bad experience with Ivanhoe Sea Safari.
We were on a mistrip and did not see anything at all.
Our voucher from Ivanhoe says: "We shall do our very best to reschedule you on the next available trip, or offer a full refund." Despite that, they would only offer a reschedule after the trip and said that the refund was a procedure that they do not use.
It was our last day in Cape Town, so we were not having the possibility of rescheduling. We had paid 10800 rand to Ivanhoe and used a whole day on the Safari without getting anything from it. I was willing to compromise and required only a 50% refund, but Ivanhoe was a rigid system and their solution is that, I "could try to sell them and get the money from it", but first of all it cannot be my job to sell their tickets. And who would be interested in tickets that I am selling because of a bad experience?

1  Thank Casper121212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ivanhoeseasafaris, Owner at Ivanhoe Sea Safaris, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

No Whale Guarantee – Disappointing – Not as we expected – Disappointing

All the 4 reviews on the 28th-Oct were by the same family. Vindictive to do this and place a blemish on our record, as well as not reporting all the correct facts.

One person said they used their own car, yet the family took our transport service on the day.

One person said they would have been happy with a part refund, but they conveniently forgot to mention they did in fact get a part refund.

In General we advise guests to book there water activates at the start of their holiday, this allows for bad weather and being able to roll over days and in the event of a miss trip at the start of end of whale season the ability to take a Free re-trip.

We can only go on past history of migration patterns and we warn people if whales have only just arrived or if they are reducing and starting of their departure.

2016 was a very frustrating season, with the lowest whale numbers recorded for over 15yrs, normally season can start May/June and goes all the way through to December and in the past even January. But for the last 4yrs the season dropped about 2 or 3 weeks over the finish of the previous season, and never have we experienced the whales leaving at the end of October.

This family made assumptions as to Our Whale Guarantee – Clearly this family had the impression they were visiting Water World with animals in captivity, other than that you can not 100% guarantee you will see the targeted wild animal.

AUG/SEPT/OCT are the months historically we never miss a whale sighting on a sea day, at the start of the season when numbers are just starting it is possible you get unlucky on a day, likewise when the migration has started and numbers are reducing, once again you can get unlucky and be the first boat trip of the season to miss on a trip.

Historically we have done well at the start and end of season and warned guests, these guests were unfortunately the first trip we missed on in 2016, if they had accepted our vouchers and come back the following day they would have seen whales.

The guests had left it to the last day to take our trip, refused to take our vouchers as they were leaving for home, we explained they can pass on the vouchers to other friends or family.

The guest made it very clear they were not happy with what they though a guarantee should mean, in the interest of customer relationship we compromised with a part refund and refunded them there transportation fees, this was equivalent to a 50% reduction of the whale trip, and the guests also took our re-trip vouchers.

1 Star rating x 4 = Vindictive family that don’t appreciate we are dealing with wild animals!!

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Reviews (140)
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18 - 22 of 140 reviews

Reviewed 23 October 2016

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris are friendly, courteous, professional and knowledgeable. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip from Gansbaai harbour into Walker Bay to view Southern Right whales. We saw at least six mother and calf pairs, and two adult whales. What most impressed me about Ivanhoe's crew is that they are truly eco friendly and responsible. Some of the whale watching companies label themselves as “green” or “eco-friendly." but for many of these businesses, these are just marketing catchphrases.
Ivanhoe however is the real deal. The boat doesn't approach the whales too quickly or too closely, and they take great care not to cause the animals stress. If the whales moved away from the boat, they never followed them. The didn't approach whales close to the shore so that they didn't feel boxed in. I was very impressed with the care and respect that they show the whales.
My trip on this boat was truly magical. To be able to see the whales so close up without disturbing them was amazing.

Thank Shapiros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2016 via mobile

Booked whale watching with Ivanhoe sea safari not expecting to see everything rather hoping as you cannot predict nature! But were overjoyed with what we got with the captains professional crew we managed to see many whales and a unexpected dolphin show whilst keeping a safe distance from the marine reserves and letting the whales decide if they wanted to interact,nice to know that the whales welfare is their foremost priority.
Only one thing to note that if making your own way to the harbour it is not that well signposted in gaainsbai and we had trouble finding it but they rang to give directions which again was a nice touch.
Well done Ivanhoe great day!

1  Thank Pope935
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2016

We had a beautiful time, the guides were very nice and answering all our questions, they really do their best to make sure you see a maximum of sealife! We saw a whale and its baby, it was magical.
The trip is very peaceful, i would definitely recommend it to my friends.

Thank Charlotte_Ber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2016

A mid-morning departure from the Gaansbaai harbor on Ivanhoe Whale watching boat, approximately 2 hours scenic drive from Cape Town, was the start of our journey which created a memory which will last a lifetime. Safety first. The crew first took us through all the sea faring safety rules comparable only to aviation standards. It was a beautiful spring morning with perfect visibility. He headed in the direction of Hermanus hoping to see some whales. Luck was on our side because we saw a great deal of whales. We has a Marine Biologist on board along to collect skin samples for testing in the Lab. The Crew were all passionate about their jobs and shared a wealth of information with us. We saw a number of Southern Wright Whales clustered together is a mating frenzy. They did not even notice our presence. There was a time when one of the Whales passed directly under the boat. So close we could almost reach out and touch it. The Whale was much bigger than the boat of course. I could help myself thinking. Its good that he is not Mobi Dick.Jokes aside, I felt completely safe.The crew were highly disciplined in sticking to the 20 minute rule in order not to disturb the majestic animals in their natural habitat. A small snack and a drink was most welcome to see us through. It seems all the luck was on our side as the sea was calm and we had no sea sick casualties. The Jason and his Crew. Thank you so much for an unforgettable life experience. You and your crew were knowledgeable, professional and conservation conscious. An Amazing Trip!!! A simply must Do!!! People if you want to see Whales you cant do it on land. It's just not the same.

Thank markashlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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