Three-in-one new tour from Raggy Charters, Port Elizabeth.

Three-in-one new tour from Raggy Charters, Port Elizabeth.

0090080007006010Here’s a nice new tour combo on offer from “Raggy Charters”:

Head off on an exhilarating boat cruise to St. Croix Island in Algoa Bay to see the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. After that it’s off to SAMREC, Port Elizabeth’s marine bird and rehabilitation centre in Summerstrand. Finish the day off with a visit to The Bayworld Museum, Snake Park and Oceanarium in Humewood.

For more information on The Penguin Patrol and to book, visit: http://www.raggycharters.co.za/page/penguin_patrol

About Raggy Charters, in their own words, from their website: http://www.raggycharters.co.za

“As far as we are aware we are the oldest marine eco tour company combined with a conservation project in Africa – since 1992. We are owner run and managed and use the volunteer system to assist in our tours and projects. We specialise in taking tourists, photographers, corporate office party groups, TV crews and marine wildlife enthusiasts on ocean safaris to watch the whales, dolphins, penguins and other natural wonders of Algoa Bay. Our wildlife and whale watching boat cruises possibly cover the longest distance of any ocean safari along the South African coast, lasting for 3-4 hours and covering 50km. This provides guests with a better chance of seeing the full array of marine wildlife Algoa Bay has to offer. Port Elizabeth is a hidden gem in South Africa for whale watching, and other wildlife viewing. With seasonal visits from Southern right whales, humpback whales, and indo-pacific humpback dolphins. We have the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world right on our doorstep. As well as our other resident species including bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, bryde’s whales, Cape gannets and more. All year round we at Raggy Charters can offer guests some great wildlife viewing experiences in our secret and undisturbed bay.”

Lloyd’s wife Dr Lorien Pichegru has been studying the breeding success of African Penguins in Algoa Bay for the past six years, to determine whether competition with purse-seine fisheries has caused the decline in African penguin numbers. Lorien gained her PhD at the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2008 and is currently a research associate at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (click here for a list of her publications). Part of the study involves closing a 20km radius around St Croix Island to fishing by purse seiners who target one of the penguins prey items, the sardine. It has been found that even this small Marine Protected Area around the colony helps dramatically. Click here for more information about the research being conducted on the African penguin.

Dr Pichegru says: “My research focuses on seabirds foraging ecology and life history traits in relation to prey availability and local competition with industrial fisheries, using animal-borne miniaturized recorders, such as GPS recorders combined with pressure sensors, cameras, etc. taped on adults breeding small chicks to determine the at-sea behaviour of several species of seabirds breeding in South Africa, endemic to the region and threatened with extinction.”

See Dempsey’s Blog on Raggy Charters’ feature in the SA Country Life magazine: http://dempseys.co.za/port-elizabeth-features-again-in-sa-country-life-mag