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Overview
RRaggy Charters has won 5 major Tourism/Environmental Awards during the last year. It is the only licensed boat-based whale and dolphin watching company in Port Elizabeth. We offer clients a personalised ocean experience where they have the opportunity to see whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, penguins and other seabirds in Algoa Bay. We are dedicated to providing an educational and personal experience with the marine life found in our bay, showing guests as much wildlife as possible during our cruises, whilst educating them on the marine environment and its vital need for conservation. Our Visitor Experience superiority is confirmed by the fact that we have been rated # 1 on Trip Advisor for the last 4 years of the 19 tours to do in the Metro. Raggy Charters was established in 1997 in order to fund the Baywatch Marine Conservation Project which was founded in 1992. The project is dedicated to marine conservation and research in Algoa Bay. During cruises we take guests to St Croix Island, which is home to the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. These endangered birds have rapidly declined, losing 70% of their numbers in 8 years. Raggy Charters has assisted our resident scientist on a weekly basis in researching the reasons for this decline. Due to the results achieved, the whole eastern portion of Algoa Bay is about to be declared a Marine Protected Area. This is the best option available in order to best preserve the remaining penguin population. We recently won the BirdlifeSA Owl Award for “outstanding contribution to the conservation of birds and their habitats”. It is along the St Croix Island route that we have the best chance of finding all the other exciting marine creatures that frequent our bay. Between June and December we find the ‘gentle giants’, both humpback and Southern right whales. They travel thousands of kilometres to use the safe and warm shores of Africa as their breeding grounds. Humpback whales are well known for their acrobatic breaches and they never fail to amaze here in Algoa Bay, as we see thousands of them passing by. Southern right whales prefer the shallower waters and seem to really enjoy getting close up and personal with our guests as they lazily roll and dive around the boat. We are lucky to boast some of the best bottlenose dolphin sightings in the world as 28 500 individuals use our bay every year. Their numbers are ever increasing, as we constantly see calves amongst the often 600-strong pods. We recently launched Algoa Bay as the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World and last year we achieved 76 sightings of these magnificent creatures in a row! The launch was attended by 350 people, including the Minister of Tourism, the CEO of Eastern Cape Parks and the CEO of Nelson Mandela Tourism who jointly hosted the event. Between February and June each year we get to witness the incredible Southern sardine run. Guests sit spellbound watching the feeding frenzies with thousands of common dolphins launching through the waves trying to herd the fish in to a ball, with Cape gannets and other seabirds dive-bombing the shoal. Penguins, seals, sharks and game fish help themselves to the feast and then bryde’s & minke whales wait until the end to finish the school off, as they lunge through the water, mouths open wide, engulfing anything in their path. This year Raggy Charters hosted our 6th BBC film crew who are including this phenomenon in their latest documentary. Our bay is also home to 250,000 Cape gannets breeding on Bird Island, and 6000 Cape fur seals at Black Rocks. We see humpback dolphins mostly in the summer months. It is during this time that the surface is covered with the tiny fins of baby hammerhead sharks. During the winter months, apart from the migratory whales, we also find albatrosses, petrels, terns and other pelagic bird species! We have recently launched a full day cruise to Bird Island in order to view the largest colony of gannets on the planet. This tour is gaining popularity by the month. There really is something for everyone in Algoa Bay!
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