Guide Summary and Photographs
With grey skies and a little rain looming, we set out towards the Uilenkraalsmond estuary on the first trip, hugging the rugged coastline before stopping just in front of the well-known holiday resort, which happens to be the oldest camping ground along the Whale Coast. We’re lucky to have the estuary bring in a lot of nutrients to the bay, which attracts a host of fish which, in turn, attracts a very special resident to our shores; the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with several of these unusual looking cetaceans, who like to stick in water less than 30m deep. This is the largest pod that we’ve seen in some time and it was really awesome to be able to watch them traverse the shallows, probably searching for one of their favourite snacks, a school of mullets.
After spending some time with this endangered species we took a stop by Slashfin where we had quite a special treat. Generally, when we take a stop here we get to see Great White Sharks but, today, we were surprised with the sight of a Bronze Whaler Shark, also known as a Copper Shark. We got to see quite a cute little guy, but these fast swimming predators are known to reach lengths of over 3m.
Next up, we travelled to Pearly Beach and spent some time with a few Right Whales, who were playing in the swell. We got to see the whales play with some kelp before we moved to Geyser Rock to go and check out some playful ocean pups. After our stop at the Cape Fur Seals, we spotted some African Penguins in Shark Alley, which completed our Marine Big 5 experience.
Although the second trip did not manage to get the Marine Big 5, we had an absolutely exquisite whale sighting at the end of the trip when we came across a mating group of about 6 Southern Rights in the Geldsteen. These whales were wonderfully active and showed off mercilessly for us, all coming up and blowing together, spy hopping and exposing those giant pectoral flippers. These majestic specimens also decided to come a little closer, giving us a great view of their Callosities, the thick patches on their heads that are covered in whale lice and barnacles.
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