Penguins at SANCCOB

The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds or SANCCOB centre at Cape Recife in Port Elizabeth does an amazing job as part of the conservation of the African Penguin, especially here in Algoa Bay. The centre was previously known as SAMREC and doesn't just play a huge role in conservation, but also in educating locals and visitors alike. Because of this the centre has become one of Port Elizabeth's main tourist attractions. The activities SANCCOB do include…

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Penguins on St Croix Island

A little while ago I had the fantastic opportunity to go on a cruise on Algoa Bay with Raggy Charters and it felt like we hit the jackpot that day. Whales, dolphins, bait balls, penguins, and the cherry on top, a killer whale. The cruise was the first opportunity for me to see St Croix Island up close. St Croix Island is home to the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. At one stage there were 60…

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Penguins and dolphins at St Croix

Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay are promoted as the Bottlenose Dolphin capital of the world while St Croix Island has the biggest population of African Penguins in the world. I was lucky to get both species in one photo at St Croix on an outing with Raggy Charters a little while ago. Bottlenose Capital of the World - It is estimated that a population of over 28 000 individual Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins make use of Algoa Bay and the surrounding…

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Baby penguins in ICU

While scouting spots as stops for Miggie's Amazing Race for this past Saturday I popped into SAMREC.  I haven't been for a while and had a quick walk around the centre with Keith, one of the guides.  He told me they had a lot of babies in at the moment and I got to peek into the hospital section.  They were lying around and for a moment I thought they were really sick until Keith told me they just ate…

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The Algoa Bay Hope Spot mini documentary

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrtC9K_z3UA&w=500&h=400]Algoa Bay is one of six marine Hope Spots proclaimed along the South African coastline.  Although the Algoa Bay Hope Spots covers the whole diverse marine ecology of the bay it focuses on the African Penguin.  The other South African Hope Spots are  False Bay, Cape Whale Coast, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and the Aliwal Shoal.  Check out this awesome mini documentary on the Hope Spot and learn more about the penguins and other inhabitants of Algoa Bay.

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A penguin party video, kinda

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qiBBaWWLv0&w=500&h=400]On 25 April we celebrated World Penguin Day. Here in Algoa Bay we are very fortunate to have the biggest breeding colony of African Penguins on St Croix Island.  But we're not just fortunate to have them here, we are thus also aware of the desperate plight of the African Penguin.  Penguin numbers have plummeted since the 1980's with only around 18000 breeding pares left out in the wild.  As a belated celebration of World Penguin Day, I'm posting this…

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Sun worshippers

The residents of the penguin pool at SAMREC having their morning sun worship.  Notice how it's not just penguins residing in the penguin pool. There's also a gannet on the right and a cormorant in the back. 

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Why were African Penguins previously called Jackass Penguins?

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDzxivW5WnQ&w=500&h=400]The African Penguin used to be called the Jackass Penguin.  A strange name for a penguin.  But how did it get that name? It is because the African Penguin's call sounds like a braying donkey.  Right, so now we have established that they sound like a donkey, but why were they called Jackass?  Donkey's are also called Asses (the scientific name is Equus africanus Asinus) while a male donkey is called a Jack.  Hence Jackass.  Check out this video by…

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Shark watching

I just can't help but laugh every time I watch the penguins at SAMREC and one of them wants to jump off the diving board.  They literally look like they are scanning the water for sharks before they dive in.

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Morning penguin feed at SAMREC

Early morning and late afternoon visitors to SAMREC in Cape Recife will be lucky enough to see how the penguins are fed as part of their tour.  The guide explained the whole feeding process to us.  As it turns out its not just a case of stuffing a couple of fish down their throats.  Every fish that is given to a penguin is recorded and placed on their personal files.  Some of the little guys have to still get medication as…

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