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TripAdvisor

 

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NMBT Member

Bird Island Boat Cruise in Port Elizabeth

Bird Island Cape Gannets on Bird Island

 

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Please note that Raggy Charters was the only successful applicant for the Boat Based Dolphin & Whale Watching Permit for Algoa Bay, South Africa. There was only one permit issued. The permit was issued on the 20th June 2011 by the Department of Environmental Affairs, which allows us close encounters with whales and dolphins. Although there were many factors that counted towards the allocation of the permit, we believe that we were successful because of our commitment to marine conservation and education. Most of the funds generated by our tours go towards The Penguin Research Fund which is trying desperately to explain the dramatic decrease in the African Penguin population and rectify this situation. Raggy Charters also undertakes regular beach clean-ups in the Port Elizabeth area and has started an initiative to offset our carbon footprint by planting at least one indigenous tree for every boat cruise we do.


Cost is R2800 per person & please email us directly to make a booking. We meet at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club in the Port Elizabeth Harbour at first light and usually return in the early afternoon (pre-booking required). Light refreshments and snacks are served during the cruise and there is the option of having lunch afterwards at the yacht club.


We start off the tour with a harbour cruise and a full safety briefing, after which we exit port and head out into the bay.

Map of Algoa Bay


Bird Island is home to 250,000 Cape gannets, the largest breeding colony of these birds on the planet. The 19 hectare island is fairly flat which allows our guests close-up views of the Cape gannets and African penguins which nest on the island. The Bird Island group also consists of Stag Island, Seal Island, and Black Rocks. Black Rocks is home to 4,000 playful Cape fur seals and guests also have a good chance of seeing great white sharks as they feed in this area. These islands are nearly 60km away from Port Elizabeth, making it a half-day excursion, so it needs as early a departure as possible. The Bird Island group, along with the St Croix Island group, recently became part of the Addo Elephant National Park, allowing rangers to patrol the islands in aid of conservation efforts to protect the African penguin population. As they are Marine Protected Areas, please note that guests are not allowed to actually go on to the islands.

 

During this cruise guests also have the possibility of spotting bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, humpback dolphins, Southern right whales, humpback whales, bryde’s whales, minke whales, Cape fur seals, various species of sharks, African black oystercatchers, Cape cormorants, white-breasted cormorants and various species of pelagic birds including terns, petrels, skuas, shearwaters and albatrosses.

 

Both catamarans have a specially designed viewing platform which allows the guide to have the best possible view of the bay and thus chance to see any animals that may be present.

 

*Disclaimer: Raggy Charters cannot guarantee animal sightings on any cruise. Raggy Charters offers guests the opportunity to view wild animals which will move around at their own will and therefore we cannot be held responsible for the movements of these animals. Guests who are taken to St Croix are guaranteed to see African penguins, and therefore no refund will be given if other marine animals are not spotted. If absolutely no animals are sighted compensation, in the form of a free ticket for the next boat trip, may be given at the discretion of the skipper.*

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