Whale Watching Boat Cruise in Port Elizabeth
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. This permit allows us to approach cetaceans up to 50 metres (no one else may approach closer than 300 metres) and if the cetaceans wish to move closer and are thus in control of the encounter we do not have to move away. 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 R1400 per person (R850 for children under 12), although there may be discounts for groups of 10+. Please email us directly to make a booking. Gift Vouchers are also available to purchase online, which make a great birthday/christmas present for family members (locals please enquire about prices).
We meet at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club in the Port Elizabeth Harbour at 8.30am, departing soon after, and returning by 12.00pm (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.
In South Africa whale season begins in June when we see humpback whales moving along the coast as they head up the East coast of Africa towards their breeding grounds. Humpback whales can be seen in Algoa Bay between June and early January, reaching peaks in July/August and again in November/December when they make their return journey, with calves in tow. Southern right whales can be seen from July to October as they enter the safety of the bay to give birth. Southern right whales are usually seen very close inshore and often nearby to the harbour. They are the most frequently observed whales along the South African coast.
During this cruise guests also have the possibility of spotting bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, humpback dolphins, bryde’s whales, minke whales, Cape fur seals, various species of sharks, African penguins, Cape gannets, 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.*