Conference programme

WCA’s World Whale Conference 2017 will unite cetacean scientists, conservationists and welfare experts with whale watching operators, tour operators and other industry representatives, to discuss how tourism can be effective in protecting and celebrating marine wildlife across Africa – and the world – for generations to come. Take a look through the conference programme and find out more on the speakers, workshop sessions, community events, and delegate only excursions that are taking place as part of the 2017 World Whale Conference and Whale Heritage Site Summit.


Orca blow and rainbow
Copyright (c) Lloyd Edwards / Raggy Charters

Saturday 24th June 2017

“Celebrating Durban as the gateway to the Humpback whale migration”

Whale watching and Safari Excursions
Welcoming of the Whales Festival

Delegates attending the World Whale Conference 2017 are invited to take part in local excursions on Saturday 24th June, prior to the start of the conference. Delegates may choose from a whale watching tour or a land-based safari in Tala Game Reserve, organised by conference partners Aquatours. Welcoming of the Whales Festival will be held at Anstey’s Beach, on The Bluff.


Sunday 25th June 2017

Welcoming of the Whales Festival

Venue: Anstey’s Square, The Bluff  (timings to be confirmed)

Workshops are open to delegates and the public on subjects relating to cetacean conservation in Southern Africa. If you would like to present, please email the conference organisers at Priority will be given to workshops focused on African cetaceans or of likely interest to African participants.

There is a separate fee to attend the Workshops and will be confirmed shortly.


Drinks reception

(full details to be confirmed)

Venue: Hotel Protea Edward


Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th June 2017

WCA Conference

Venue: Hotel Protea Edward

The 4th WCA Conference will focus on responsible tourism for whales and dolphins. With the aim to unite national, regional and global stakeholders from whale conservation and welfare backgrounds, the whale watching industry, travel and tourism representatives, and beyond. Creating the opportunity to share evidence, discuss strategies and ensure the protection of cetaceans in southern Africa and worldwide.

For more information on the previous WCA conference please click here.


Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th June 2017

Whale Heritage Sites (WHS) Summit

Venue: Hotel Protea Edward

The 2nd Whale Heritage Sites Summit will bring together representatives from tourist destinations, international institutions and the private sector along with global experts in tourism, sustainability and whale watching to see WHS candidates showcase their destinations, and discuss and explore opportunities for the development of new sites in Africa and worldwide.

The previous WHS Summit was held in The Azores in October 2015, for more information please visit the official website.


Thursday 29th June 2017

Awards Dinner and Fundraiser

Venue: TBC

An Awards Dinner will be held on the evening of Thursday 29th June, to bring an end to the conference and to award those groups and individuals who have made great steps to protect – and/or celebrate – cetaceans.

Full details to be confirmed.