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Posted on: June 29, 2015, in Wildlife
Winter is a very special time of the year for Umngazi, as guests are greeted to the sight of the Humpback Whales, which are the most commonly seen whale species off the Wild Coast.
These whales feed in Antarctic icy waters during the Summer and visit our shores during their annual migration to warmer waters during June to late November/early December; to give birth and nurse their calves, which inevitably becomes a treat for all eyes at Umngazi!
The whales do not come in as close as they do in the Southern Cape so it is best to pack a pair of binoculars and climb a high vantage point (the spa deck or Sugar Loaf a good spot!). Observers will be treated to spectacular displays as these incredible whales leap almost clear of the water. Various acrobatic displays can be seen from tail slapping, to eye hopping, lobtailing (where they remain inverted from time to time, with only their tails protruding above the surface), to full breaches. These are forms of communication between individuals as well as playful behaviour.
Dolphins are common along the coast and can occasionally form pods of up to 5000 members during the Sardine Run (known as a super pod). They are most often seen surfing and performing acrobatic manoeuvres in the waves. The two most commonly seen species are the Common and Bottlenose dolphins. Our area has a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins but as one can imagine, their playground is vast and they can be seen anywhere south or north from us.
Did you know?
Whale milk has a toothpaste-like consistency because of its 35-50% fat content which prevents it breaking up in the sea. Calves can drink up to 200 litres of it every day for at least 6 months.
If you are feeling adventurous and would like to get closer to the whales and dolphins; why not join Debbie and Rob from OffShore Africa in Port St Johns for a 2 hour or 4 hour ocean/whale watching trip.
Children under 12 years of age half price and light refreshments are provided onboard our vessel.
Trips are done on availability of the boats during sardine run season i.e. mid June – mid July.
Contact Rob on 0849511325 or Debbie on 0822589414, or visit www.offshoreportstjohns.com for an opportunity like no other!
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Tel No: 047-564 1115/6/8/9
Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa
GPS COORDINATES: S 31 36.680 E 29 25.938