Raggy Charters: PENGUIN PATROL IN PORT ELIZABETH
The Penguin Patrol is an exciting and educational day out for tourists and locals alike to have a 'Real African Penguin Experience'. Transportation between activities, lunch and afternoon tea are all included in the package! Cost is R1550 for the whole day (please enquire about discounts for children under 12). Prices are subject to change.
The tour begins at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, in the PE harbour, at 8:30am where you will meet:
Experience an exciting boat cruise with Raggy Charters out 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. Guests 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.
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*
Guests 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.
However, the centre's purpose isn't just to rescue and rehabilitate, but to also inform and educate the public through their different programs. Guests 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. Visitors can experience the hospital and see the volunteers in action helping to save our environment, in particular the endangered African Penguin.
*Take a break after the tour at The Flying Penguin Cafe and enjoy a refreshing beverage and snack, while being entertained by the resident SAMREC penguins*
A shuttle bus will then pick guests up to be taken to their final activity:
The Bayworld Museum, Snake Park and Oceanarium is devoted to public education, as exhibits are aimed at stimulating a greater awareness of the need for conservation of our natural and cultural heritage. Guests will get to see both the Seal and Penguin Presentations where they 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 then be time to enjoy the spectacular marine displays in the rest of the oceanarium, including turtles and various fishes. And guests 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!
African Penguin Conservation
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.
This Experience is linked to Raggy Charters