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“Very professional”

Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
Book In Advance
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US$83,83*
and up
Whale Watching from Gansbaai
More Info
US$57,68*
and up
Big 5 Sea Safari in Walker Bay from Gansbaai
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 3 November 2016

We booked a Whale Trip with Ivanhoe, but due to circumstances beyond their control we were never able to go. They sent us an email letting us know that there weren't any whales in the area, and that they were closing the whale season early instead of disappointing their clients. They offered to still take us out for a very reduced price or to give us a full refund. We opted for a refund, which they processed very quickly.

The thing about wild animals is that they are unpredictable. And if there aren't any whales in the area, that is not something the company can control. If you want guaranteed animals, go to Sea World. Considering the circumstances, Ivanhoe did everything they could to rectify the situation, and we found the way that they handled it to be very professional. If we ever get a chance to visit South Africa again, I would not hesitate to book a whale trip with Ivanhoe again.

1  Thank Scarlett S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 32 of 161 reviews

Reviewed 28 October 2016 via mobile

On our trip to Cape Town we choose Ivanhoe Sea Safari, because of their "whale-guarantee". In god faith that we would see some whales, we used 2 1/2 hour in a car from Cape Town to Ivanhoe Sea Safari (both ways). Unfortunately we did not see one single whale!.
Because of their guarentee we were sure that Ivanhoe Sea Safaria would give us full refund. But what we got was 7 completely useless "vouchers", that we could use on out next trip to Cape town. We live in Denmark and Will not come to South Africa again. Hos Can this be a whale-guarentee?
We are very disappointet - both because of The money-loss and because of The Way Ivanhoe Sea Safari handled The situation.

3  Thank ChrisPeder
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 26 August 2017

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!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2016

We chosed Ivanhoe Sea Safaris because of their whale guarantee. In my world guarantee means that you get your money back if you do not get the product.
We did not see any whales! When we got back from the trip we got a voucher for a new whale watching. We were going home the next day, and could not use the voucher to anything.
My family and I paid 10800 rand for a two hour cruise and spent a whole day on our vacation without getting anything from it. We were very disappointed. Not least because we were willing to compromise and required only a 50% refund.

5  Thank Anne Cathrine P
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 26 August 2017

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!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2016

We had a bad experience with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris, because the trip did not end as we were otherwise promised. We chosed this company because they promised warranty for whales.
They failed to live up to our expectations as we did not get the money back, but just a new ticket. Therefore, I can not recommend this company when you don't get your money back if you don't see whales. A guarantee in their world means a new ticket and not your money back, as we had expected.

Thank DanielAnders
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 26 August 2017

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!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 26 August 2017

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!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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