Penguin patrol in Port Elizabeth

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The tour

In the morning

The Penguin Patrol is an exciting and educational day out to have a 'Real African Penguin Experience'. The tour begins at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, in the PE harbour, at 8:30am. We will take you on a catamaran to St. Croix Island to see the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. Watch these comical birds slipping and sliding as they get in and out of the water. And watch them fly through the water as they show off their amazing underwater adaptations. Now endangered, the African penguins in our bay lost 70% in 7 years, and could become rapidly extinct without intervention.

Raggy Charters has been assisting Dr Lorien Pichegru since 2008, with her vital research to help explain and reverse this trend. This research has been aiming to explain the dramatic decline in numbers (70% in 10 years) and reverse this trend. You will be informed about the penguin population decline, the causes, the research being conducted, and the ways in which we are trying now to conserve them.

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What can you expect to see?

During this cruise there is also a good chance of seeing bottlenose, common and humpback dolphins, Southern right, humpback and bryde’s whales, Cape fur seals, sharks, and various seabirds. With the only license for boat-based whale and dolphin watching in the bay we can get you that once-in-a-lifetime close encounter with these extraordinary animals.

After the cruise you will enjoy a delicious lunch in the Port Elizabeth Harbour choosing from a range of meals, including spectacular fresh seafood dishes served at The Chartroom Restaurant.

 

After lunch

You will then be taken to visit Port Elizabeth’s marine bird rehabilitation and education centre situated in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve. With oil spills threatening not only the African penguin population but other marine birds and mammals, rehabilitation centres are helping to save species. 17% of African penguins would be lost per year if we did not have rehabilitation centres located along the South African coast.

You will be taken on a tour around the centre and will learn about the desperate need for such centres in conserving marine species, and will get to experience nature through sight, sound and touch. You will experience the hospital and see the volunteers in action helping to save our environment, in particular the endangered African Penguin. 

In the afternoon

A shuttle bus will then pick you up to be taken to your final activity, Bayworld. You will get to see both the Seal and Penguin Presentations where you will learn about each species and about the individual animals. The resident seals and penguins at Bayworld were rescued and could unfortunately not be released. Thankfully, though, Bayworld has set up a captive breeding programme for the penguins, which could be vital for the world’s population if these endangered birds continue to decline.

There will be time to enjoy the spectacular marine displays in the rest of the oceanarium, including turtles and various fishes. You are welcome to explore the museum which blends cultural and natural history. The Marine Mammal Collection is reported to be the third largest and one of the most diverse in the world, as currently there are more than 3,090 specimens collected mainly from the Indian Ocean.

After touring the museum guests can either be taken back to the harbour or transportation can be arranged to take you straight back to your accommodation! 

Rates

Transportation from accommodation, between activities, lunch and afternoon tea are all included in the package! Cost is R1950 for the whole day (please enquire about discounts for children under 12). A percentage of the profits generated by the Penguin Patrol goes towards marine conservation and research efforts in Algoa Bay. The Penguin Patrol’s aim is to assist with penguin and other marine conservation by supporting research, initiating beach clean-ups, and educating the public, especially school children, as well as other projects. Raggy Charters, Bayworld and SAMREC have been contributing towards the conservation of the African penguin for many years and the Algoa Bay Hope Spot has recently been launched with similar aims. The idea behind the Penguin Patrol is to help raise funds for these organisations, as they work towards the greater good in trying to save the African penguin from extinction.

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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