Whale Watching near Cape Town, South Africa Welcome to Gansbaai, home of the Marine Big 5.
Trip Summary 24 January 2024:
We had a windy but great time at sea that started with a small group of three endangered Indian Ocean humpback dolphins of Uilenkraalsmond. It’s always a great treat to see them and two of the individuals ‘Captain Hook’ and ‘Showoff’ are some well-known visitors to the bay. Further along the coast, we stopped at the shark cage diving vessel to see some bronze Whaler sharks and also got to see a variety of birds including European Storm Petrel. On our way to Dyer Island, we briefly spotted bottlenose dolphins and hundreds of Cape Cormorants. On the islands, we saw some penguins and more birds as well as thousands of Cape Fur seals. What a great trip!
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What species did we see today?
Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin
Humpback dolphins are an endangered species, with small populations living very close to shore, typically in water less than 25m deep and an average home range of 120km. Their proximity to land makes these animals particularly vulnerable to human influence.
Bronze Whaler Shark Cape Cormorant Bottlenose Dolphin
At present there are two recognized species of bottlenose dolphin, and in some cases, both species can be found in the same area. The two species are the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (T. aduncus). In addition, there is a great deal of variation in colouration, diet and behaviour. The difference between the common bottlenose and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin are subtle, but the common bottlenose dolphin generally larger and more robust with a slight darker colouration.
African Penguin Cape fur seal